Choosing a helmet – to go open-face or full-face?

Choosing a helmet – to go open-face or full-face?

There is a huge choice of safety helmet types and models for motorcycle riders to choose from these days, from the very expensive, exotic material-made race items, to the more budget-friendly but still safety-tested models that are perfect for city commuters that don’t ride that fast. But, the two main differences in motorcycle safety helmet types are the open-face models and the full-face models. Here are the main qualities of the two types of very popular safety helmets.

motorcycle helmets

An open-face safety helmet for the summer months
There are two types of open-face safety helmets to look at, and these are more suited to less hardcore riding conditions, unlike those experienced on one of the very powerful sports bikes, for example. The more traditional open-face safety helmet is simply that – a helmet without the face portion of the design – which means that your face will always be open to the elements. Fine on a sunny day, less great when the wind is howling and the rain is driving. You might spot riders of more cruiser-style motorcycles wearing this style of safety helmet; on Harley-Davidsons and the like.

If you are considering this style of helmet them it’s worth a thought to whether or not you plan to wear it in all weathers, as the weather protection offered by a full-face safety helmet is considerably greater. However, if it is summertime cruising that is only on your mind, then an open-face helmet will feel less close and restrictive on those hot, sunny days. All you need then is a cool pair of sunglasses and you’re all set. And why not look at a nice new pair of Dainese motorcycle boots to match your new safety helmet?

An open-face safety helmet for all occasions
A more recent development in the world of open-face safety helmets is rather nifty indeed, but because of the engineering and expensive materials involved, these types of modern head-wear are a little dearer than the standard open-face models.

These new, twin-use motorcycle safety helmets look like a full-face model, but with that clever engineering the full frontal face area of the helmet can be entirely lifted, as well as the visor area that shields the eyes. These helmets work well for the police force who like to fully reveal their faces when talking to the public.

You can ride your bike with the face area lifted, but because of the size of the face area you may find that it catches the wind at higher speeds. On a hot day, it is nice to be able to lift the full face area and catch some breeze on your hot face, and then you have the protection and and style of a full-face helmet when you get going again.

A full-face safety helmet for faster riders
Riders of the faster machines, like the big sports bikes, will generally go for a full-face motorcycle safety helmet, as seen being worn by riders on the race track. These helmets offer the best protection of all as the riders face is fully enclosed, and because there is no join between the face-cover and the rest of the helmet – like our flip-up-face helmets – so there is less chance of the face part of the helmet becoming detached in an incident.

The visor that shields the eyes flips up and down, of course, giving the rider the option of cooling their face at lower speeds, but riding at higher speeds without eye protection from the visor is not recommended. Sunglasses will offer the eyes some protection, but the lenses here are nowhere near as strong as the visor on a full-face helmet. If you plan to ride in all conditions and all weathers, a full-face safety helmet is always recommended.

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