Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 6th August 2019

As a biker, you’ll know that nothing beats the feeling of taking on the open road, a race track, or some off-road dirt track on your two-wheeled pride-and-joy. No matter where you prefer to take your motorbike for a ride, it’s obviously essential that you wear a helmet.

The right helmet could save your life in the event of an accident, and there are a variety of options out there to choose from. We wanted to go through the different types of motorbike helmet, so that you can find the type that’s best for you to stay safe while riding.

Essentially there are a total of 6 different types of motorbike helmet…

Full Face Helmet 

As the name suggests, this type covers the whole of your head, from the back to the front, obviously there’s still an eye port for you to see through. These helmets also have a chin bar feature, which is handy since a high percentage of impacts from accidents occur in this area of the head. 

If you’re in need of a sportier feel, then there are full face helmets that can accommodate you. You’ll find that the chin bar will be higher on these, and the eye port will be angled more towards the top. This is to accommodate for the more hunched over riding position. These helmets will be aerodynamically designed to prevent any lifting at high speeds.

Full face helmets with a chin bar that extends a little lower, with an eye port that looks straight out, will be better suit you if you’re more of a tour bike rider. These helmets will provide more comfort and soundproofing, along with extras such as Mp3, and Bluetooth etc. 

The main drawback to this type of helmet is a lack of ventilation when the visor is down. This is why it’s a good idea to look for some removable padding that’s moisture wicking, to avoid the build up of sweat and moisture inside the helmet. 

Modular (Flip-up) Helmet

These helmets allow the chin bar to be flipped up or completely removed, turning what was a full face helmet into an open face alternative. The versatility of this helmet makes it a popular choice for touring riders. If you suddenly need to check a map, talk to a follow rider or grab a snack, the flip mechanism makes it all easily achievable. 

Of course it’s not recommended to ride with the helmet in the open face position, because the chin bar flips onto the top of the helmet with the majority of these models; making that position quite unsafe and not very aerodynamic when on the move. 

Thanks to the flip-up mechanism, this type of helmet is actually not as safe as the standard full face helmet. The reason for this is that it requires a hinge to work, which subsequently weakens the otherwise solid structure. 

Open Face (¾) Helmet

If you happen to be a cruiser or scooter rider then you’re no doubt aware of these helmets, as their classic vintage look and feel makes them a popular choice for stylish street street-going motorcycles.

They are structurally equal in terms of safety but obviously they provide less coverage. They have no chin bar and many open face models also have no face shield whatsoever. While they do provide a very airy feel, this isn’t necessarily a good thing in bad weather conditions.  

Of course in sunny weather you can get away with wearing sunglasses if your helmet doesn’t have any eye protection at all. However, if conditions are rainy or dusty you may want to consider using goggles. Also, using a bandana to protect your chin is advisable if the helmet has a flip-down visor.

Off-road Helmet

Sun peaks and pronounced angular chin bars help to distinguish these helmets from their standard counterparts. They are designed to minimise weight and maximise ventilation, due to the fact that dirt riding demands a higher physical toll and is often done in warm weather.

These helmets simply wouldn’t be suitable for riding on the regular roads, as the minimal soundproofing would play havoc on a riders ears in any traffic or high winds. Also, the sun peak would make the helmet dangerous at high speeds, essentially turning your head into a kite. 

For riding around on dirt tracks and off-road wooded areas, these helmets are ideal. Since they do not have in-built face shields, it’s best to wear goggles with them, as you’ll need to maximise airflow for off-roading. Make sure the eye port matches the frame of your goggles as this ensures your eyes will be fully protected from the elements. 

Dual Sports Helmet

If you’re looking for a middle-ground between a full face helmet and an off-road helmet, then this may be an option for you. They provide great soundproofing and warmth for when you’re riding on the roads, but also feature the sporty sun peak design, along with excellent ventilation. 

They are designed for versatility, and for those who want a hybrid helmet that can cater to both an off-road rider and on-road rider. If you’re worried about the sun peak on the roads, they are designed slightly differently on these helmets, as they are able to resist lifting at higher speeds. 

The built-in visor can be flipped up so that you can easily use goggles instead when riding. It’s all geared towards providing a multipurpose helmet, which is ideal for adventuring on on-road and off-road terrain. 

As well as being dedicated to finding you competitive motorbike insurance quotes, and providing you with the right policy – we also offer a range of additional products/cover too, such as

  • Protection for your biking gear in the event of a motorbike accident. Up to £1000 of cover for your helmet, leathers and boots if they’re damaged beyond economical repair – all for just £40.99.
  • Excess protection up to £500, if you needed to claim under your bike insurance. Following a successful settlement of any physical damage claim to your bike, you’ll be able to reclaim your excess payments, or payments, up to £500 during the duration of your main policy, by making a separate claim for your excess – all for just £36.99.

You can find out more about our helmet and leather cover options here