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Difference Between Helmet Types

  • While color, design and price may be a part of your decision about which helmet to buy, think first about protection and comfort. There are three basic motorcycle helmet types:

    A full-face helmet gives the most protection since it covers more of your face. It usually has a moveable face shield that protects the eyes when it is closed. Racers prefer full-face helmets for the added protection and comfort.

    A three-quarter, open-face helmet is also a choice of some riders. It is constructed with the same basic components, but doesn't offer the face and chin protection of full-face helmets. If you use an open-face helmet, you should have a snap-on face shield in place when you ride,or buy a pair of goggles that can withstand the impact of a stone or other debris. Prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses are not sufficient protection, and they might move or fly off.

    A “shorty” half-helmet protects even less of your head. It is more likely to come off your head upon impact. Therefore, “shorty,” half-shell helmets are not recommended.


Regulations in Your State

Regulations in Your StateAre you aware that regulations for motorcyclists vary from state to state?

The Safety Test

The Safety TestGo here for Articles and Videos - including a new video for 2013 - that provide additional information about the safety of DOT-certified helmets.

Featured Information

Go here for Articles and Videos that provide additional information about the safety of DOT-certified helmets.