What are the Different Styles of Motorcycle Helmets?

What are the Different Styles of Motorcycle Helmets?

Posted by Team Motorcycle on Oct 2nd 2023

Before starting your motorcycle journey, selecting proper safety gear should be on your list. The most critical piece of safety equipment for any rider is a helmet. With various styles, you want to select a motorcycle helmet that fits properly, meets safety standards, and matches your riding needs.

Whether you prefer the sleek minimalism of a half helmet, the versatility of a modular helmet, or the full coverage of a full-face helmet, understanding the differences in motorcycle helmet styles will help ensure you choose the right one. Your helmet is your most vital piece of riding gear, so take the time to explore your options and select a helmet you'll want to wear every time you hit the road. The open road awaits, but safety first.

Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

As the name suggests, full-face helmets provide the maximum protection for your head. They cover the entire charge, including the base of the skull and jawline. These helmets are the safest choice, especially for high-speed or off-road adventures.

Full-face helmets protect against impact and abrasion in a crash. They also shield against wind, debris, and insects. The hard outer shell and impact-absorbing inner liner work together to cushion and protect the head. Full-face helmets that meet safety certification standards like DOT or Snell are highly recommended for responsible riders concerned with safety.

Icon Domain Cornelius Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

The motorcycle helmet has a flawlessly handcrafted FRP shell, ensuring it's solid and lightweight. Its internal airflow design keeps things comfortable during rides, complemented by a continuous venting system for added freshness.

The sculpted neck roll adds to the snug fit, while the Fog-free Domain™ Shield, equipped with the Rapid-Release™ System, ensures clear vision in all conditions. This helmet also offers practicality with its removable molded breath deflector, chin-curtain, and Hydradry™ 3-piece moisture-wicking liner.

For connectivity, it's even upgradeable to the HelmLink™ Bluetooth® communication system, available separately.

Open Face Motorcycle Helmets

Open-face helmets, while stylish, offer little protection. They shield only the top and back of the head, exposing the face. For safety, full-face helmets are recommended. However, open-face helmets provide more visibility and ventilation, allowing enjoyment of the open road.

They are a popular choice for short, casual rides in warm weather. If selecting an open-face helmet, choose one with sturdy construction and high safety ratings to maximize protection in an accident. Look for helmets meeting or exceeding DOT certification.

Detour Helmets D.O.T. Flat Black 3/4 Helmet

The Detour Helmets D.O.T. Flat Black 3/4 Helmet is a wise choice for motorcycle riders looking to safeguard their noggin while maintaining a sleek, classic look. This helmet is not only D.O.T. approved for safety but also features a durable yet lightweight ABS shell, ensuring both protection and comfort.

Its EPS interior adds an extra impact absorption layer, while the convenient Quick Release black chin strap ensures a secure fit. Plus, it comes with a handy protective helmet bag, and with sizes ranging from XS to 2XL, riders of all sizes can find the perfect fit for their dome. Ride safely and stylishly with the Detour 3/4 helmet.

Modular Motorcycle Helmets

Modular or flip-up helmets offer the versatility of an open-face helmet with the protection of a full-face helmet. The chin bar and visor can be flipped up for more ventilation and ease of use at lower speeds or stopped, then locked down for maximum protection at highway speeds. This flexibility allows you to have the best of both helmet types in one without needing to carry two separate helmets.

Modular helmets provide the same impact protection as a traditional full-face helmet when the chin bar is locked in the down position. The flip-up mechanism does not compromise the integrity or safety of the helmet. However, when the chin bar is open, there is less protection for your face. Modular helmets also tend to be slightly heavier than a comparable full-face helmet due to the added parts for the flip-up mechanism.

A modular or flip-up helmet is an excellent choice if you want the most flexibility in one helmet without sacrificing safety. When riding at lower speeds or in warm weather, you'll appreciate being able to flip open the chin bar for more airflow. Then when hitting the highway or open road, simply lock the chin bar down for maximum protection. The modular helmet offers the best of both worlds.

Daytona Glide Modular Helmet

The Daytona Glide Modular Helmet is a top-notch choice for motorcycle enthusiasts, ensuring safety and comfort. It surpasses D.O.T. safety standards with its FMVSS 218 certification. This helmet has an inner retractable smoke shield and an outer anti-scratch, pin-lock 30-fitted clear protection to combat foggy conditions, with optional replacements in different colors for added style.

Its one-finger lift chin guard opening system makes it effortless, and the nylon strap retention system with a quick-release lock ensures a secure fit. Riders can stay cool thanks to adjustable chin and forehead ventilation and moisture-wicking fabric. The interior is removable and washable for easy maintenance, and the clear lacquer finish adds a sleek touch. For easy connectivity, it's Bluetooth-ready, and the chin guard lock adds an extra layer of safety and convenience. The Daytona Glide Modular Helmet provides a safe and enjoyable ride.

Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmets

Dual sport helmets are designed for both street and off-road riding. They typically have an aerodynamic shape for high-speed road riding but also incorporate features for off-roading, like a visor and extra ventilation. The versatile dual sport helmet allows you to transition between seamlessly- and off-road riding without changing helmets.

These helmets provide the necessary impact protection for street and dirt use and often include additional coverage around the back of the head. They are heavier than a dedicated street or dirt helmet due to their dual-purpose design. Popular brands of dual sport helmets include Bell, Arai, Shoei, and AGV.

AFX FX-41DS Dual Sport Helmet

The AFX FX-41DS Dual Sport Helmet is a top pick for riders who love on and off-road journeys. It's built for comfort and safety with its lightweight, aerodynamic design and scratch-resistant, UV-shielding face shield. You can easily switch to an open-face style or use goggles with removable protection. The built-in sun shield is handy, and the liner and cheek pads are removable and washable. With 17 ventilation points, it keeps you cool in all conditions.

The quick-release retention system and ear cavity space for speakers enhance convenience. Plus, it comes with a clear coat finish for durability, a Deluxe Carrying Bag option, and a Limited Lifetime Warranty for peace of mind. It's DOT and ECE 22.05 certified for safety, making it perfect for riders who want protection and versatility in one helmet.

Dirt Motorcycle Helmets

When riding off-road motorcycles, proper protection is essential. Dirt motorcycle helmets are designed specifically for off-road riding and provide maximum coverage and protection for your head.

Dirt motorcycle helmets feature an elongated chin bar and visor to shield the face from debris. They usually have a peak or sun visor to block sunlight and mud. The shell is made of high-impact polycarbonate plastic that can withstand multiple impacts. Inside, a thick layer of impact-absorbing foam lines the helmet. Dirt helmets also have extra neck protection, and most cover the ears.

Snow Motorcycle Helmets

Snow motorcycle helmets, also known as snowmobile helmets, are designed specifically for riding snowmobiles in cold, snowy conditions. They feature double visors to prevent fogging and are typically heavily insulated for warmth. The outer shell is also reinforced for impact resistance in a collision or rollover on icy terrain.

These helmets may include additional features like Bluetooth connectivity, drop-down sun visors, and breath deflectors to direct exhaled breath away from the visor. For the safest snowmobiling experience, choose a helmet that meets safety certifications like DOT, ECE, or Snell.

HJC CS-R3 Snow Helmet With Dual Lens Shield

The HJC CS-R3 Snow Helmet with Dual Lens Shield is a must-have for snow bike riders, combining advanced features with superior comfort. Its Advanced Polycarbonate Composite Shell, engineered using CAD technology, offers a lightweight design and an exceptional fit.

The "ACS" Advanced Channeling ventilation system ensures optimal airflow, with adjustable vents on the forehead and chin and two rear exhaust vents to keep heat and humidity at bay. This helmet has a breath guard, chin curtain, and Framed Electric Shield for added convenience and protection.

The Advanced Ventilation System further enhances comfort, and the plush Nylex® Interior, featuring fully removable and washable cheek pads and liner, ensures a clean and cozy ride. Safety is paramount, as this helmet meets or exceeds D.O.T. standards, making it a reliable choice for snow bike lovers.

Half Motorcycle Helmets

Half helmets, also known as "shorty" or "open-face" helmets, cover only the top portion of the head. They provide minimal coverage but allow for maximum airflow and peripheral vision. Half of helmets meet the minimum coverage requirements for helmet laws in most states but offer limited protection. They protect the top and back of the head but leave the face, ears, and neck exposed.

Half motorcycle helmets are popular among cruiser and touring riders who prefer an open, unrestricted feel, but they provide little defense against impacts to the face or debris kicked up from the road. For maximum protection, full-face helmets are recommended. However, half helmets can be an excellent lightweight, low-cost option for those wanting basic head coverage on short rides.

HJC IS-Cruiser Half Helmet

The HJC IS-Cruiser Half Helmet is a fantastic choice for riders seeking a comfortable and versatile option. Its Advanced Polycarbonate Composite Shell, crafted with advanced CAD technology, provides a lightweight and comfortable fit. The integrated sun shield is a standout feature, offering a smoke-tinted protective shield that easily slides up and down for sun protection. Inside, the Nylex® Interior is plush and moisture-wicking, with a removable and washable anti-bacterial liner for easy maintenance.

The HJC IS-Cruiser Half Helmet combines safety and style with a secure nylon strap D-Ring system. It's lightweight, approximately 2.45 lbs, meeting or exceeding D.O.T. standards. Its SunShield System, with optional shields like Clear, Smoke, Dark Smoke, and Amber, lets riders customize sun protection. Enjoy a comfortable and safe ride with this helmet.

Cruiser Motorcycle Helmets

Cruiser motorcycle helmets offer an open-face design without a visor and are meant for cruising down scenic roads. They provide minimal protection but maximum airflow and visibility. The helmet only covers the head's top and back, exposing the face. Riders should exercise caution as faces are left unprotected in the event of an accident or impact. However, for casual riding on warm days, cruiser helmets allow riders to feel the wind on their face and experience an almost unencumbered ride.

Shoei J-Cruise II Helmet

The SHOEI J-Cruise II cruiser motorcycle helmet introduces groundbreaking advancements in product design, aiming to redefine rider experiences. SHOEI prioritizes function, comfort, and safety, offering a compact and well-ventilated design.

The lightweight AIM (Advanced Integrated Matrix) shell ensures durability and protection, while the multi-piece, multi-density EPS liner promotes efficient air circulation for enhanced cooling. Riders benefit from the easily removable shield, securely held by the shield stopper to prevent unexpected openings.

The interior liner is also removable and washable for convenience and hygiene, contributing to an overall superior riding experience with the J-Cruise II cruiser helmet.

Sports Bike Motorcycle Helmets

Sports bike helmets are designed for high-performance motorcycles and their required riding positions.

These helmets typically have an aerodynamic shape to reduce drag at high speeds. They are usually made of lightweight materials like carbon fiber or fiberglass composite for minimum weight. The helmets have a close, precise fit and often include features like visors that can be flipped up or down and vents for airflow.

Touring Motorcycle Helmets

Touring motorcycle helmets are designed for long-distance riding and provide maximum comfort. They typically have larger eye ports for increased peripheral vision and drop down sun visors. Touring helmets also emphasize ventilation and noise reduction for a pleasant riding experience over extended periods. Some key features are anti-fog face shields, ear padding for sound deadening, and breath deflectors to direct airflow away from the face.

For lengthy road trips, the additional comforts of a touring helmet are ideal. The customizable fit and premium components cater to the demands of riding for hours. While costing more, a touring helmet is an investment in endurance and the overall riding experience for motorcyclists who enjoy the open road.

E-Bike Motorcycle Helmets

E-bike motorcycle helmets are designed specifically for electric motorcycles and scooters. They provide the safety and protection of a traditional motorcycle helmet with additional features suited for e-bikes.

E-bike helmets typically have enhanced ventilation to cope with the lower speeds of e-bikes. Extra vents and breathable materials prevent overheating and allow for airflow.

Many e-bike helmets offer Bluetooth connectivity to link to your e-bike, GPS device, or Bluetooth intercom while riding. This allows you to control features on your e-bike or navigate without distraction.


As you have learned, there are several styles of motorcycle helmets to choose from, depending on your needs and preferences. Full-face helmets offer maximum protection but less visibility, while open-face helmets provide more visibility but less protection. Modular helmets are versatile, allowing you to ride with an open or closed face, but may be heavier. Off-road helmets are best for motocross riding, providing extra coverage and ventilation.

No matter which style you prefer, the most important thing is always to wear a properly fitted helmet certified to meet official safety standards. Your helmet is the only thing protecting your head in an accident. Choose wisely and ride safely.