Modular Motorcycle Helmets vs. Full Face Helmets

If you are in the market for a new helmet you might have heard about modular helmets. This article will shed some light on these products and how they compare to their full faced brethren.

shoei-neotec-modular-helmetModular helmets have the ability to raise the chinbar and face shield to expose the rider’s face. This is accomplished by a hinge mechanism around the rider’s temple which is activated by a latch usually located on the chin bar. This feature is meant purely for convenience and the helmet is not to be worn this way when riding the motorcycle. With the faceshield and chinbar lowered, the rider’s face is completely enclosed, much like a full face helmet.

schuberth-c3-pro-modular-helmetThese type of helmets have become more and more popular in recent years, especially with touring riders or city commuters. They allow the rider to pop the helmet open during red lights to grab some fresh air. When the light turns green, it only takes a split second to drop the chin bar and be on your way. You can raise the shield on a full face helmet to get some air but the fact that the chin bar is out of the way exposes much more of your face to quickly vent hot air trapped inside the helmet.

Have you ever heard someone trying to talk while wearing a full face helmet? They almost have to yell for someone to hear what they are trying to say. If the person they are trying to talk to is also wearing a similar helmet, a regular conversation sounds like a yelling match. Again, raising the face shield on a full face can let more of your voice get through but that chin bar in front of your mouth still muffles the sound.

1storm-hg339-modular-helmetIf you are a rider that needs prescription glasses to operate safely on the road, then you might want to try a modular helmet. When the chin bar and face shield are up, you won’t need to remove your glasses to get in and out of your helmet. You can also do the same thing if you’re wearing regular sunglasses.

Another convenient thing about flip up helmets becomes apparent if you’ve ever been asked to present your driver’s license or some form of ID while stopped on your motorcycle. You can keep your helmet on your head while the other person makes sure that the picture on the card matches the person underneath the helmet.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to wearing a modular helmet. But you should also know that in order to allow the flip up features, there are obviously going to be some engineering differences in the helmet. To make room for the hinges and latch mechanisms, the internal padding has to be thinner, which might make it more uncomfortable for some. Since the front part of the helmet has to move freely, this also creates an area that allows for more wind and road noise to get through.

The chin bar on a modular helmet also has a hinge that makes it susceptible to impact damage in the event of a crash. Modular helmets are also significantly heavier because of the added components. Keep in mind that modular helmets are DOT approved and that brands with the European ECE certification are tested to some very high industry specifications. ECE certified helmets are the standard in MotoGP racing.

Because of their one piece structure, full face helmets don’t suffer from any weak points like hinge attachments. They are generally considered the best piece of head gear a safety conscious rider can use. Comfort is a subjective thing but the internal padding of a full face is more generous than a modular because there are no additional pieces to fit inside.

hjc-cl-17-full-face-helmetFull face helmets are also manufactured in larger quantities than modular helmets. What this means for the rider is that there are a lot more options if they go with this route. It is easier to find replacement shields, interior padding, and customized components like communicators or internal speakers. For riders who have a hard time finding a helmet that fits correctly, they are more likely to find a fully enclosed helmet that will work for them.

biker-1151343_640Hopefully this article has given you an idea as to the type of helmet you’d like to get. Before making that purchase, make sure that you try the helmet on and check to make sure it fits properly and comfortably. Don’t be afraid to wander around the store with that helmet. It’s the only way to make sure that you won’t run into any fit problems after some time. There’s a huge difference between putting the helmet on for a few seconds in a store and wearing it for an hour long (or more) ride.

How To Choose A Motorcycle Helmet

Safety and responsibility are one of the crucial factors motorcycle riders should consider. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to have fatal accidents than car drivers. To continue enjoying the amazing experience on the road, you must invest in a safe riding gear, especially the helmet. A helmet protects your head from injuries during a crash. With a helmet on, you will feel safe and confident on the road. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right helmet.

Safety Features

pre-cut-interiorA helmet should have at least two components of safety. The outer shell should be adjusted well to allow the reinforced fiber composites to contract during impact. The composites contract and reduce the intensity of the force significantly before it reaches the head. Another important component of a helmet is the impact-absorbing liner. The liner consists of a Styrofoam material. The material absorbs shock and deflects the impact of the hit away from the head.

DOT Certification

Make sure you look at the DOT sticker on the helmet to determine whether it meets the safety standards. The sticker, which comes from the Department of Transportation, is the only way to know whether the helmet will perform. According to the DOT standards, a helmet should be able to absorb a given amount of shock, prevent significant penetration and have a good fitting system. Manufacturing companies must do standard tests under the DOT guidelines before they put the sticker on their helmets. The companies usually send the products to laboratories run by independent institutions for tests. The department then posts the results on its website for those who want to make inquiries.

Retention Capacity

retention-systemRetention is an important safety factor that people need to consider if they want to stay safe. A good helmet should stay on your head during a crash. To test whether the helmet you want to buy will stay on your head, adjust the strap. While you adjust the strap, you should feel some pressure on the chin. Also, take the helmet and roll it over your head or lift it up. The helmet should not go off. If the helmet goes off or rolls over quickly, consider other options.

Comfort

hjc-cl-17-full-face-helmetThe helmet should be comfortable enough to enable you to enjoy the ride without any problem. Most people believe that there is no such thing as a comfortable helmet. However, the truth is that everybody can find comfort in a new helmet if he or she is willing to take some time and do an extra homework. You need to try more than four helmets to accurately determine the desirable level of comfort in a helmet. Most motorcyclists confirm that the full-face helmet models are the best options. Some full-face models come with interchangeable pads to accommodate different shapes of cheeks. Other standard features that make a helmet comfortable include paddling, presence of the seal around the ear and a roll on the neck.

Size of the helmet

racing-254609_1280The size of the helmet will determine the rider’s level of safety and comfort. A helmet with a perfect size should fit you well. It should come into contact with most parts of the head and the sides of the cheek. However, it should not exert a lot of pressure on the parts. The helmet must adjust with the shape of our head, but it should not feel loose. The neck roll should not push the head to the back of the helmet. To get a helmet with a size that matches the shape of your head, take a measuring tape and determine the dimension of the largest circumference of the head. Translate the measurement to the helmet. Try this several times with different helmets until you get the right one. If there is a sizing chart, use it for matching.

Consider the Coverage

Consider the shell coverage of the helmet before you buy it. A full open-face helmet is more efficient that a full-face helmet when it comes to coverage. A helmet with an additional coverage that protects the face and the head from the EPS liner is a plus.

Convenience

biker-1151343_640You need to determine how convenient the helmet is when riding your motorcycle. A helmet with an extra shield and an adjustable face-shield system is better. Others have features that allow riders to fasten the straps to prevent them from flapping. A breadth guard may also make the helmet more convenient.

The Cost of the helmet

dollar-signThe cost of a helmet should be the last thing to consider. Helmets with great features go for higher prices. However, you can compare the prices of same models in different shops and settle for the cheapest. But if you see a cheaper helmet that has a DOT sticker and fits you well, go for it without hesitating.