Riding a motorcycle without a helmet may seem like a good idea as you get to feel the wind on your face and look at the world around you without the viser. However, this increases the chances of getting a fatal head injury in case you meet with an accident. Helmets help protect your skull from heavy impacts with the road or any other hard surface.
There are many different styles of helmets that motorcyclists can wear. The three basic styles of helmets are the half-helmet or the beanie, the three-quarter helmet, and the modular or full-face helmet.
Because of its look, the half-helmet is preferred by cruisers since it gives them a better feel for the world while improving their hearing as they ride. You can wear this type of helmet with either sunglasses or goggles.
Are Half Helmets Safe?
Most motorcycle riders believe that a person’s riding skills, instead of a piece of protective equipment will determine how safe they are on the road. This is true to some extent since it’s not easy to dismiss the advantages of having protective gear while riding. Accidents can happen even to the most experienced riders.
While a half helmet is safer than none at all, it doesn’t offer the type of protection given by a full-face helmet. A large portion of the rider’s face is left exposed leaving them susceptible to the danger of facial trauma in case of an accident. Half-helmets also only protect riders from serious brain injuries in 36.8% of motorcycle crashes.
Besides, riders aren’t protected from dust, smoke, or any other flying objects as they ride. It also doesn’t offer protection from harsh weather conditions like rain or snow. It may be liberating to feel the open air while riding, but when put against all the above conditions, half-helmets come up short.
Because half-helmets offer the least protection, they shouldn’t be worn by inexperienced riders. It also shouldn’t be worn on long rides or during the rainy season.
They’re best worn on short distances commutes such as work where traffic isn’t very heavy and the risk for accidents is low. It’ll come in handy if you’re using a scooter since they’re lighter and can be easily stored in under-seat storage.
Best Half Helmet
You have to consider certain factors when looking for the best half helmet. Striking a balance between your style and liking will help you in selecting a helmet that’s not only comfortable but also looks great.
You should also consider the shape of your head. The best half-helmet should look ideal on the shape of your head. People with round heads will need different helmets from those with oval-shaped heads.
It’s also important to think about the quality of the half helmet you’re going to buy. Since the helmet is going to protect the most important part of your body, the head, it should be made from high-quality materials. This will ensure that it can withstand impacts on any hard surface without cracking. Moreover, the best half helmets are approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
DOT Approved Half Helmet
The DOT helmet standard applies to all helmets designed for on-road use in the U.S. It sets the minimum standards for all helmets sold for the intended use of motorcycling on public roads. The specific standard for motorcycle helmets is the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FVMSS) 218 and is commonly referred to as the DOT helmet standard. A DOT certified helmet can be used for on-road, off-road and competition purposes.
Under the DOT standards, manufacturers are allowed to test and self-certify the helmets they intend to sell. After successful testing, manufacturers have to affix a DOT emblem on their helmets to show that they’re compliant with FVMSS 218. Unlike other helmet standards such as Snell, the National Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA) doesn’t test helmets against DOT standards.
For a half-helmet to become DOT approved, it has to meet the specific conditions for absorbing energy, penetration resistance, and retention system effectiveness. The peripheral vision also has to be more than 105-degrees from the helmet midline.
The FVMSS 218 also requires that helmets are properly labeled after certification. This is to make it difficult for non-compliant helmets to come up with similar labeling. It also puts forward legal implications for counterfeit found with a fake DOT label.
The DOT label at the helmet's back has to appear in descending order as follows: The manufacturer's name, model number or name, 'DOT' below the manufacturer's name, ‘FVMSS 218’ centered below DOT, and the word ‘Certified’ below FVMSS 218.
Best Half Helmets with Visors
1. ILM Half Helmet Open Face Sun Visor
The ILM Half Helmet with a sun visor is a DOT approved half face helmet that’s been built with a quality ABS shell and high-density EPS foam. The helmet’s design makes it lightweight for storing in the under-seat storage of your scooter. The EPS foam provides comfort to the rider. Along with the outer shell, this inner foam is vital in absorbing any impacts ensuring that motorcyclists are safe whether they're on a moped, scooter, touring bike, cruiser, or an ATV.
The half helmet also comes with a quick-release buckle. This makes it easier for a rider to take it on and off. It has a comfortable and skin-friendly ear-flap that'll ensure you won't feel squeezed round the face when adjusting the helmet's tightness using the chin straps. Besides, it comes with a detachable sun that’s suitable for both men and women. The tinted sun visor is easy to remove and replace. However, a clear visor for this helmet is sold separately.
The helmet features premium venting that helps to keep your head cool as you ride along. This open face helmet is available in different shades of black that’ll suit different styles.
It comes in matte black, gloss black, and a patriotic flag design suitable for both sexes. Also included is a warranty for any broken visor. If your visor is broken, all you have to do is contact the manufacturer and they’ll send in a replacement without any charges.
2. TORC T55 Spec-Op Half Helmet
The TORC T55 Spec-Op comes in a glossy black color that’ll go well with different riding outfits and bikes. The stylish design will ensure that you’re exuding confidence as you feel the air through the streets. The Spec-Op has a strong outer dual shell that makes it safe and durable.
Weighing just 2.8-pound, the half helmet provides a comfortable and slim fit to the rider’s head profile. The lightweight and comfortable design make the T55 easy to wear and adjust. One of the unique features of this half-helmet is its quick, retractable drop-down tinted sun visor.
The dark sun visor ensures that the rider’s eyes are protected from any harmful rays or blinding blurry vision that may come from the sun. It provides a clear vision of the road ahead, especially when the sun is high in the sky.
To provide the rider with a perfect fit and add to their personality, the T55 comes with two outer shell sizes. The helmet’s inner padding and lining are made of a fabric that’s soft and breathable. Moreover, the antimicrobial properties of the inner lining helps to protect the rider from any skin infections. The removable and washable linings can be reused but don’t last very long.
The adjustable cheek paddings of the TR55 make it easy for the rider to put on or take it off as they wish. The helmet is DOT approved assuring riders that it has met all the safety standards required for helmets used for on-road purposes.
3. GLX Cruiser Scooter Half Helmet
The GLX Cruiser Scooter Half Helmet is a classy but cool half helmet that riders can use if they don’t want to feel a burden on their heads. The lightweight design offers the perfect fit to any rider’s head. The helmet is available in matte black and glossy black colors that will suit different outfits and motorbikes. The rider can exude confidence when they go out with this helmet.
It comes in 3 different sizes for both adults and teenagers alike. The three sizes are medium, large, and X-large. Riders are offered the choice of selecting either a clear or smoked visor. You can easily select the right visor to use depending on the conditions outside. These visors are also retractable and compatible with most 3rd party Bluetooth units.
The helmet only weighs 2.1-pounds and is lined with a high-impact resistant EPS foam on the inside. It also features a dual-sized outer shell that gives it a proper scale in appearance. The hard outer shell and inner padding provide sufficient protection to the rider’s head from any impacts.
It has a lining that's removable and washable for easy cleaning. To allow the user to easily put it on or take it off, the GLX half helmet comes with a quick-release strap. The strap can also be adjusted to provide the user with a comfortable fit. It also meets the minimum standards required for motorcycle helmets intended for road use.
Best Half Helmets with Goggles
1. Hanmei Leather Brown Vintage Garman Style Half Helmet
The Hanmei Leather Brown Half Helmet is a great option for cruiser riders. The brown leather style of this helmet goes well with different riding outfits and bikes. The clear goggles will not only protect you from the wind and flying objects but will give you the 1950's – 1960's look that was characteristic of riders at that time.
The helmet weighs 1.8-pounds making it light and comfortable to put on. It also measures between 22”-22.8” making it suitable for different head sizes. The size provides riders with a perfect fit for their head profile.
Also included in the package is a conveniently detachable 4 season ear muffle. The rider can wear this helmet at any time of the year. Besides protecting the rider’s ear, the detachable ear muffle allows the rider to feel the air and hear all the sounds besides their motorcycle engine. Riders become more aware of their surroundings.
The Hanmei Vintage Garman Style Helmet also comes with a convenient chin strap one touch buckle. Riders can easily adjust this strap to give them a tighter fit of the helmet. It also makes it easy for riders to take the helmet off when they need to.
The helmet features a DOT sticker at the back to show that it’s DOT certified. Riders can rest easy knowing that the helmet has passed all the necessary tests that ensure it’s safe for use on public roads. A warranty is also included in case of any defect on the helmet and its accessories.
2. Fatmingo German Style Half Helmet
The Fatmingo German Style Half Helmet is made from a high-quality ABS shell that gives it impressive durability. The inner padding is made up of a high-density foam lining that can absorb any heavy-impact ensuring the rider’s head is protected. Despite not being a DOT-approved gear, the Fatmingo still provides enough protection to its users.
The fabric lining the helmet's interior is breathable and convenient. It’s also soft and won’t cause any irritation to the rider’s head. It’s even more comfortable because it wicks sweat and moisture away keeping the rider’s head cool. It also features an adjustable buckled strap to provide a perfect and tight fit.
The helmet also has a padded chin strap and a single-touch buckle to ensure the rider can easily put it on or take it off. This German-style helmet also comes with a detachable 4-season ear muffle that ensures the rider can use it during any season of the year.
The tinted goggles can help to protect you from the sun’s rays when riding with the sun high. Besides, they’ll give a rider a cool and classy look. The helmet is available in different graphic prints and colors. These include a black/white/pink with star and black leaf design. The helmet can also be used for skiing, hiking, and motorbike riding.