Colors are cool, styles are neat, and you can even attach hair to your helmet, but let us not forget that the most important reason for wearing a helmet is to protect your head. Helmets come in various shapes and sizes. There are half-helmets, ¾ helmets, full-faced helmets, and modular flip-up helmets. A motorcyclist should not consider a bicycle helmet or any other type of helmet that is not strictly designed for motorcycle use. Here are a few styles available and the type of protection they offer.
The full-face helmet is designed to protect the entire head, just as it name would suggest. Although many riders prefer this type of helmet, there are a few who feel that it causes a slight restriction in their peripheral vision. This type of helmet also keeps insects, wind and rain completely off the head, thus adding warmth and added protection while riding.
A step up from the full-face helmet is the new, modular flip-up helmets. These helmets offer the same protection as a full-face helmet, but have the added feature of having the chin part of the helmet to slide up. This is a great feature for someone who wears glasses, or flipping up the helmet instead of removing it for short periods of time.
¾ helmets are designed to protect the top of the head, the side of the face and ears, but do not offer any chin protection. Some come with a visor, or have the option to accessorize with a visor, but ¾ helmets should always be worn with some type of eye protection, either glasses or goggles.
Half helmets are designed with the least amount of protection. Sometimes these are referred to as “shorty’s”, and do not offer any protection to the chin or the side of the head. It’s recommended that these types of helmets be used for low speeds due to the lack of protection they provide.
No matter which style of helmet you choose, make sure the helmet fits you properly. It should fit snuggly on your head, but no so tight that your face or head hurt. High quality helmets will give a little after you where them, but just to mold to your face, they are not designed to get bigger over time, so don’t think if you buy a super tight one it will fit better in the future. Two other key features to check out when trying on the helmet is ventilation and the feel of the chinstrap. The more comfortable you are in your helmet, the more you will enjoy riding your motorcycle.