The Motorcycle industry sure has been keeping up with technology, and manages to innovate and improve rider safety and comfort year upon year. As great as this is, it can sometimes can create more questions rather than answer them. How much should you spend on a lid? How long will they last? Is blue even my colour!? Well, OK I admit I can’t help with the last one, but below you should find more than enough information to get you started.
The Four Main Types Of Helmets
Currently if you go into any motorbike shop and have a look at their helmets, you’ll be hard pressed to not find any of the following:
- A Full Face Helmet
- An Open Face Helmet
- A Flip Front Helmet
- A Motocross Helmet
Now if you know what these are, that’s great! You can read more about how you can use your budget more wisely here. If not, then that’s fine too, we all have to start somewhere! I’ll explain the main differences including the advantages and disadvantages for you below.
A Full Face Motorcycle Helmet is your ‘run of the mill’ helmet. The helmet most riders envision when a helmet is is brought up in conversation. It has an immovable shell that covers your entire facial area including your chin, face and forehead. If you ever want to ride on a track, they won’t let you ride without one of these puppies which could be very important if you’re the budding racing type. They perform better than most in accidents due to the fact that your entire face is covered unlike some of the other types. Most riders will feel at home in one.
Flip front motorcycle helmets are fantastic. The difference between a flip and a full face is the ability the flip helmet has to, well flip. If you’re a commuter and you often get stuck in traffic, owning one of these will allow you too open your helmet and allow your skin to breathe. They’re also ideal for instances where you fill up for some petrol, or enter a shop as you can open your helmet and you can still enter the shop without having to take off your helmet. They offer great convenience, and can still offer the protection of full face.
An Open Face Helmet. They pay homage to the more retro styles that were around when mopeds and lambrettas were the big things. If you are or plan to be a tourer/cruiser rider, or if you’re going for a more rustic vibe in your getup the open face helmet is essential. Like a flip helmet they offer convenience and are extremely easy to get on your noggin. Most of the time, riders elect to wear them with a neck tube or balaclava. Many will tell you how alive you feel when you can feel the cool air caressing your skin.
And finally a Motocross Helmet. These are nearly exclusively worn by motocross riders. Those of you that have a love for the off-road, and enjoy getting down and dirty while riding around. They are essentially a full face helmet, only they keep in line with the motocross style.
Hopefully you now have a better idea as to what kind of helmet you’re after. However, how much money do you have to spend? The more money you’re willing to part with, the better helmet you’re going to get, and as a result you’ll be getting plenty of features the further up you go. How far your money goes and how long you can expect your helmet to lasts will vary between brands, types, how often you use the lid and so on. Below is a rough guideline.
- Low-Mid Budget: Typically Less Than £150.
If rider safety is your main concern, the lower priced items will still offer the same protection as the high budget lids due to them having to pass many rigorous tests in order to be lawfully sold in the UK. They come with standard features you’d expect, such as removable padding to help maintain your helmet and venting to help you stay cool and sweat free. Some also offer features associated with higher end products, such as drop down visors (think sunglasses for your helmet). Helmets at this range also will serve you for at least a couple of years.
From around £100 and up is where your options will really begin to open up. You can start to look at the bigger names, such as HJC. More and more features become available to you, whether it be wicking properties in the internal padding (a wonder fabric technology that keeps you completely sweat free) or even an internal bluetooth system which can pair with your phone and allows you to speak hands free. These helmets will serve you for a little longer, and you can expect to get anywhere from 2-5 years from them.
- High Budget: Over £150
This is where you have the pick of the lot. Any brand, any type, any feature, it can be yours. They really have some great lids, and they offer all the features that were listed above as well as more. You get shells made of lighter materials, that aid in rider comfort without losing any safety due to their strength. Replicas of sports rider helmets start to pop up as well, allowing you to look and feel great. These lids will last you anywhere from 2-5 years as well.
So to summarise don’t let the helmet world overwhelm you, take your time and do a bit of research into what you think will suit YOU. Think about your rides, how often you go on them and for how long. What’s perfect for someone could and more than likely will be not the best option for yourself. If you have any questions or would like to add anything, be sure to leave a comment or shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org.