Types of Motorcycle Helmets

Types of Helmets

January 2017 Core


One of the most important safety aspects to riding a motorcycle is the helmet. It is always wise to wear a helmet at all times when riding. From half-helmets to modular helmets, Barnes Harley-Davidson® Langley has the perfect helmet for you. We are located in Langley, British Columbia. Stop by today to check out our selection.


A half-helmet is the lightest type of helmet, and also the most conservative in terms of protection. These helmets only cover the top half a rider’s head and do nothing to shield your eyes and mouth from the wind and dirt of the road. The biggest draw to a half-helmet is the comfortable lightweight fit, which is great for riders who are spending hours at a time on the road. To offset the lack of face protection, there are many riders who augment their half helmet with a set of sturdy riding glasses and a face mask to keep the grit out.

Full-Face Helmets

A full face helmet provides the most thorough protection. A full-face helmet’s most distinctive feature is the chin bar that extends out in front of and below the rider’s face. This chin bar acts as the connection point for a full visor. Together, these features provide outstanding protection for a rider’s eyes and mouth, and the chin bar will also absorb some impact in the event of an accident. The big drawback to a full face helmet is the weight, which can fatigue a rider’s neck and back after extended rides.

Three-Quarter Helmets (Open-Face Helmets)

An open-face helmet is a split between the full-face and half-helmet design. These helmets closely resemble a full-face helmet that is missing the chin bar. The advantage to the open-face design is the combination of crash protection, and the ability for a rider to freely talk, eat, or drink without removing the helmet entirely. This type of helmet often comes with a removable visor that protects at least some of the riders face from the wind on the road.

Modular Helmets

A modular helmet combines the convenience of a three quarter helmet with the face protection of a full face helmet. The distinctive full face chin bar of these helmets is able to flip out of the way, which allows a rider to eat, talk, or drink without needing to remove the helmet completely. The chin bar can deploy back to a riding position to provide full face comfort on the road. The one limitation here is that the chin bar helps protect your face from the wind, but not necessarily in the case of an accident. In the event of an accident, a modular helmet is roughly equivalent to an open-face helmet.

Pick it for the Fit

When picking out your helmet, pick it for the fit. This is a pretty simple tip and there are sure to be plenty of great fitting helmets that fit your style. It’s surprising how often a rider will pick a helmet “because it looks cool” without even testing out the fit. A good motorcycle helmet should fit snugly, but not tightly, without impeding your range of motion or your vision in a way that will be dangerous on your bike. Make sure that when you’re trying on your helmets, you fasten and tighten all the straps to find points where it might pinch or rub uncomfortably. Making sure the helmet is a piece of gear you want to wear every time you ride is key to being safe whenever you hop on your motorcycle.

Whether you need some assistance picking out the perfect fit for your helmet or you’re interested in a full-face helmet for the ultimate protection riding down the highway, Barnes Harley-Davidson® Langley staff are here and ready to help. We are located in Langley, British Columbia. Stop by our Harley dealership today and check out our selection.

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