Guide to Motorcycle Helmets

Guide to Motorcycle Helmets

by Chris Rutter May 26, 2021

Thrill-seekers and commuters all have something in common when it comes to motorcycles — the feeling of cruising down a road on your bike doesn't compare to any other vehicle. Traveling on a motorcycle is an electrifying experience that leads to more people becoming motorcycle enthusiasts every day.

While riding a motorcycle is an exciting activity and lifestyle, riders must have adequate equipment to ensure their rides are safe. Riding gear is essential to a safe ride, especially a motorcycle helmet. 

Motorcycle helmets are essential for protecting yourself if you get into an accident on your bike. Motorcycle helmets are structured to prevent head injuries, and riders can choose between various helmet styles, materials and brands to protect themselves.

Picking the best motorcycle helmet is simple when you follow this guide. Check out the various types of helmets, learn how to measure for the right helmet size and see where you can purchase quality motorcycle equipment.

6 Types of Motorcycle Helmets

A helmet is one of the most important pieces of motorcycle equipment a rider can have. Laws requiring helmets while riding a motorcycle vary by state, and only three states have no laws requiring a helmet while operating a bike. Most require helmets until a certain age, while others ask all riders to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Owners of motorized bikes, like motorcycles and off-road bikes, have six types of helmets to choose from for their riding attire. Take a look at the different types of helmets to see which one is right for you:

1. Full-Face Helmet

A full-face helmet will cover all around your head, including the top, back and front, providing optimal protection. This type of helmet has the most coverage out of all the different helmet styles. You'll notice that full-face helmets are typically round or elongated and include aerodynamic features for various motorcycle riding positions. Full-face helmets offer ventilation to combat sweat and cool you down during a ride on a hot day.

2. Modular Helmet

A modular helmet, also known as a flip-up helmet, covers the entire head like a full-face helmet but with a unique feature. The visor and chin bar can swing up to expose your face if you need to take a breather, stop and talk to someone or look at your GPS for directions.

While these helmets offer the convenience of hinges to open up the front of the helmet, they do not provide the same strength against impact as a full-face helmet. Also, modular helmets are heavier than full-face helmets because of the hinges.

3. Open-Face Helmet

Riders also refer to open-face helmets as three-fourths helmets. This helmet type protects the back and top of the head but leaves the face exposed. Riders who like to feel the wind on their face as they cruise along the streets opt for an open-face helmet. 

While this helmet protects the back and top of your head in situations of an accident, the front of your head is still vulnerable to injuries, road debris and weather conditions. An open-face helmet is lightweight, and riders can purchase round or elongated-shaped helmets.

4. Dirt Bike Helmet

Riders using dirt bike helmets are usually operating off-road bikes for activities like motocross or dirt biking. Off-road riding requires a special helmet design to maneuver through tight turns and allow for more airflow to pass the helmet. Dirt bike helmets cover the back and top of the head and have a chin strap but leave the eyes and part of the face exposed. If riders are off-roading in areas of mud or are concerned about debris, they can wear goggles or glasses.

5. Dual Sport Helmet

If you're looking for a helmet with the look of a dirt bike helmet but made to wear riding through the streets, a dual sport helmet is an excellent option for you. Dual sport helmets have ventilation for comfort and a face shield that riders can flip up when they've completed their ride. Dual sport helmets offer more protection than dirt bike helmets. 

6. Half Shell Helmet

A half shell helmet covers the top of the head and parts of the back of the head. The half shell helmet exposes the most out of all the helmet types. This type of helmet gives riders a stylish option as opposed to one that offers optimal protection. Half shell helmets allow riders to experience the most of their surroundings on their rides, taking in all of the elements, sounds and sights of their adventure. 

How to Size and Buy a Motorcycle Helmet

To ensure your motorcycle helmet offers its maximum amount of protection, the helmet should fit your head securely. Riders can measure their head shape to purchase a helmet that fits correctly and protects them from impact.

Once you've decided on a helmet type, find a soft tape measure and begin measuring your head to find the right helmet shape for you. The three main head shapes that riders categorize themselves as include long oval, intermediate oval and round.

Follow these steps when measuring your head for your motorcycle helmet:

  1. Take the soft measuring tape and wrap it horizontally around your head about one inch above your eyebrows.
  2. Measure three more times in the same spot.
  3. If you get different measurements, record the largest measurement. 
  4. Choose your helmet size by using a helmet sizing chart. If your measurement falls between two sizes, choose the smaller size so your helmet fits securely.

Once you've found your helmet size, try on a few different styles to see which ones fit your head shape the best. Finding your helmet size and determining your head shape should narrow down your helmet choices and make purchasing a helmet a simple task.

Buy Helmets and Motorcycle Gear From Fat Head Cycles

Motorcycle helmets provide a significant benefit to your riding experience, giving you peace of mind whenever you take your bike for a spin. Shopping for helmets and motorcycle apparel is easy when you shop from quality motorcycle shops. Browse through excellent motorcycle gear and apparel from Fat Head Cycles

Fat Head Cycles is a full-service Harley-Davidson shop offering motorcycle parts, audio accessories, apparel, bike maintenance and other motorcycle products and services. Find all of our products on our online store to enhance your riding experience. Contact us today to ask any questions about our products or motorcycle services we offer. 

Chris Rutter
Chris Rutter


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