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Why do Motorcyclists Wear Half Helmets?

September 16, 2020 6 min read 0 Comments

Why do Motorcyclists Wear Half Helmets?

Why would anyone consider riding a motorcycle with a half helmet on given that a full-face helmet is much safer? There are many reasons why motorcyclists wear half helmets on as opposed to a full-face motorcycle helmet. A full-face motorcycle helmet is arguably the more popular of the two types of helmet. And it is easy to see why; it offers more coverage and protection to your head, face, and cheeks. On the other hand, a half-face helmet is a cool option. It provides you the freedom to see around you in an accessible manner, to feel the wind blast into your face and hair, and has superior breathability.

Some riders describe the experience of riding in a full-face helmet to being stuck in a car. You can’t feel the world around or hear anything much except the wind noise. And it even gets worse in the excruciating summer heat when you have to sweat out all day.

Motorcycle half helmets continue to rise in popularity today thanks to an increasing taste among new riders. The freedom that they provide to the rider makes them an easy choice for riders looking for a more relaxed form of protection.

How safe are half helmets?

Most states make it a requirement to wear a protective motorcycle helmet when riding a motorcycle. The law requires the helmet to have a hard exterior shell that resists impact and penetration. The helmet must also have a secured shock-absorbent cradle for the head. All these are safety components that each helmet must come equipped with to guarantee protection in case of an accident.

When it comes to motorcycle half helmets, the issue of safety is one of concern as it does not provide full coverage. A half helmet covers the top of your ears while leaving much of the area below exposed.

The half helmet is the most preferred type of helmet by cruisers since it gives them the freedom to hear the world around them. Unlike a full-face helmet, you can wear a half helmet with your favorite pair of sunglasses for an even swankier look.

A half helmet is useful in protecting you from serious head injuries in about 36.8% of the crashes. For the most part, your face is exposed to dangers that can cause facial trauma if you are involved in a collision.

It is no wonder that most experienced riders prefer to wear a half helmet believing that their riding experience and skills determine how safe they are on the road. While this might be true to some extent, it is crucial to have protective motorcycle riding gear at all times. Accidents can happen even to the most experienced biker with over 20 years of riding experience.

A motorcycle half helmet does not offer the same weather protection as a full-face helmet. The freedom of feeling the open air comes with the price of not getting protection against harsh weather conditions like snow and rain. Flying objects, dust, smoke, bugs, and other projectiles are possible risks when wearing a half helmet. These projectiles can make for an uncomfortable riding experience, which also puts you in danger.

Since half helmets provide the least protection, you should only wear them when riding short distances in much safer conditions and for shorter periods. Inexperienced riders should avoid wearing a half helmet before they get a hang on riding a motorbike.

Also, the type of bike that you ride determines how safe you are going to be wearing a half helmet. Let’s say you are riding a sportbike, with aggressive power and speed, the risks for a severe accident are much higher than riding a scooter.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of half helmets?

Motorcycle half helmets are certainly one of the most popular types of helmets on the market today. Besides the freedom that they can afford you when riding a motorcycle, they are usually lighter and less bulky than full-face motorcycle helmets.

Another considerable advantage of a half helmet is the breathability factor. Half helmets are made of virtually half the material used to make full helmets and cover only the top half of your head. This means there’s plenty of surface area for air to flow past. The large surface area keeps the rider cool while riding. Part of the reason you see vents in full-face helmets is to allow free airflow. With a half helmet, ventilation is not a problem since the helmet is open.

A half helmet is incredibly affordable compared to full-face helmets. The lesser amount of material used to make the helmet makes it more accessible to many people. You can shop a variety of cool half helmets that are dot approved.

Generally speaking, half helmets are considered cooler to have and will have many people turning heads. Imagine yourself sporting a cool motorcycle half helmet while donning a stylish pair of sunglasses. I guarantee you that that’s a cool outlook that speaks volumes about your sense of style and personality. This level of coolness is what makes half helmets very popular among older riders and young riders alike.

Another advantage of motorcycle half helmets is the versatility that they provide. You can pretty much wear a half helmet with your favorite piece of gear and let your hair flow on your shoulders. Unlike full helmets, a half helmet gives you the flexibility to choose your style of eye protection. Whether you prefer riding glasses or biker goggles, you can decide to match them with a half helmet.

Most motorcycle half helmets or beanies are reminiscent of retro-styled ‘bucket brains, which were the original helmet design. For this reason, wearing a half helmet conjures a vintage style appearance that is both classy and cool. If you are a cruiser rider, combining a motorcycle half helmet with clear goggles will not only protect your head and eyes but also give you the 1950s-1960s super cool look.

It is easy to carry a half helmet off the bike. Due to their lightweight nature and being less bulky, it is easier to take a half helmet off the bike than a full-face helmet. In situations where you have to make a stop on your journey, you can always carry the helmet with you wherever you go. It is also easy to store a half helmet as it does not require much space compared to other types of helmets.

What to consider when choosing the best half helmet?

Besides looking cool in your half helmet, you should consider other factors when choosing the best half helmet. Safety should be your first consideration. While most half helmets are not built to provide maximum protection in a collision, they certainly prevent life-threatening brain injuries. You should only wear a half helmet when riding in low-risk situations and for shorter distances. This reduces the chances that you will get into an accident.

Consider the shape of your head and whether the specific half helmet is the best fit for you. People have different head shapes, such as oval-shaped heads and round-shaped heads, which will need different types of helmets. In most situations, you should opt for a half helmet if your head is round-shaped.

Think about the quality of the half-helmet you are going to wear. Does it meet the minimum safety requirements? A helmet of any kind is considered to be the most necessary form of protection when riding a motorcycle. So it makes sense to take your time to reflect the overall quality of the helmet, including the build quality, design, and type of materials used in its construction. A good quality helmet will withstand impact on any hard surface without showing faults. 

For the best quality assurance, the helmet should be approved by the Department of Transport (D.O.T). D.O.T. half helmets are sturdy and built from the highest quality materials to ensure they can withstand impact and protect your head from injuries.

Dot half helmets have to pass through a rigorous test to become approved—the specific conditions include absorbing energy, retention system effectiveness, ability to resist penetration, and others. Also, the helmet has to have a peripheral vision of at least 105 degrees from the helmet mid line.

A dot-approved half helmet assures riders that all safety standards required for helmets have been met to ensure maximum safety for on-road use.

There are plenty of cool motorcycle half helmets that you can buy at an affordable price point. The good thing about these types of helmets is that they are classy and readily affordable. If you want something to protect your head on the cruise, then a half helmet is your best bet. You will not only look cool wearing it but also cover the most crucial part of your body.


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