What Type of Motorcycle Helmet Should I Use?

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There are several types of helmets available and depending on the purpose (or your ride), you may need a certain type of helmet. Just because you’re wearing a headgear considered as a helmet means that you have the optimum protection for your head. Because there are different types of helmets, each with its unique purpose for the needs of the rider, it is imperative that you wear the most suitable one.

Though the different types of helmets slightly differ from each other, they have their own unique characteristics that set them apart. To know more about the different helmets available in the market and the best one for you, read through.

What are the different types of motorcycle helmets?

There are three major types of helmets: Full-face helmet, three-quarter helmet or open face, and shorty or half-helmets. The best out of the three is definitely the full-face helmet because it is capable of providing full protection not only for your head, but also for your face, jaw, and cheeks.

Because of the protection a full-face helm can give, there is a lot of variation for this, catering for the needs of different riders. First off, let’s discuss the differences of the three major types of helmets:

Half-helmet or Shorty – This type of helmet offers the least protection out of the three because it only covers the top of the head up to the tip of the ears. A strap that can be locked and unlocked underneath the chin holds the helm. It leaves the face, cheeks, and jaw and is not recommended for wearing during high-speed rides.

In some cities, it is also illegal to wear this type of helm when riding on highways or freeways. The helmet is good only for wearing when cycling or riding a motorbike around the neighborhood in a fairly slow pace. It is also good if you’re not intending to ride for long hours (if you’re only going to a trip to the grocers, pet shop, etc).

The pros of half helmets are that it is very lightweight and comfortable. It also provides the most visibility out of all the types of helmets. The downsides are the lack of full protection and visor that allows dust, dirt, and elements to touch the exposed face.

Vega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Half Helmet

Three-Quarter helmet or Open Face – This helmet lies in the middle of half-helmet and full-face. It covers the head up to the back but leaves the face exposed. Similar to half helmets, this is only good for short rides at low speed. This isn’t recommended for high speed drives because the open face exposes it to dirt and the elements.

The large opening also allows for wind resistance, which can cause neck strains when worn at high speed. Also, when an accident is met, any impact caused on the chins and jaw is known to radiate onto the entirety of the head, nulling the use of the helmet – It’s as if the person is not wearing any helmet at all.

Bear this in mind when opting for this helmet during long rides, believing that it has the same security protection as full-face helms. The pros of this helmet are the same as half helms.

Fuel Helmets Open Face Helmet

Full-face helmet – This is the best helmet that you can get for protection. It comes in a variety of styles, sizes, and shape to suit the needs of the rider. It is the most common helmet as it covers the rider’s entire head and face, leaving only an opening for the eye area, which is covered by equally strong and durable visors.

Full-face helm are rather bulky but there are ones made from lightweight materials so that the wearer won’t suffer stiffness and heaviness during long rides. The round shape is also great for having very little wind resistance so it is also great for protecting against neck pains.

There are many types of full-face helms and they are listed below:

Touring – This helmet is great for riders who go for very long travels. The helmet is designed not only for protection but for comfort as well. This helmet has great ventilation to keep the air circulating around the head and face area. Touring helmets are also generally made of lightweight materials while still being effective and sturdy to protect the head.

Matte Flat Black Full Face Motorcycle Helmet DOT

Modular – This is a cross between a full-face and open-face helm because it allows the rider to completely expose the face by lifting the front part of the helmet open. This is great for riders who want to have protection and at the same time expose their face as a breather after long rides.

GLX Modular Helmet with Sun Shield

Adventure Touring or Dual Sport – This helmet is a cross between a street and dirt helmet. The helmet is designed with aerodynamic properties for high-speed riding but can be suitable also as a touring helmet. It is versatile to suit different riding conditions as it has both a visor and face shield, which offers extra-wide peripheral vision.

GMAX GM11D Adult Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

Dirt/Motocross – This helmet is very unique and is meant for dirt and motocross riding. The helmet is designed in a way where the sun visor and chin section are elongated. This feature offers the rider protection from dirt and debris kicked by other bikes. The helmet also has numerous vents in it to allow for good air circulation because this active sport can greatly generate heat.

DOT Dirt Bike ATV Motocross Helmet Monster

Key Takeaway: Full-face motorcycle helmets are definitely the best out of the bunch, no matter what the purpose. If you are buying your first helmet, make sure to check out the full-face helmet rack because that is where you’ll get the one that is capable of full protection.


It is illegal to go out riding a motorcycle without a helmet and to some countries, it is a criminal offense that can get you to jail. Always remember to wear your helmet for protection all the time when going biking. Most importantly, get a full-face helmet suitable for your needs.