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Different types of helmets: Importance and effectiveness

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Head injuries suffered during a bike accident often lead to high mortality rates. Here, the right bike helmet can save lives! Helmets are arguably a rider’s most important piece of safety equipment. With the availability of so many different types of helmets in the market, choosing one can be challenging. But we have made things easy for you. In this article, you will learn about the different types of bike helmets along with their importance and effectiveness.




Different types of helmets

In this section, you shall learn about the importance and effectiveness of diverse types of motorcycle helmets.

1. Full-face helmets

The full-face helmet covers the rider’s face and the entire head. It offers the most coverage around your head and neck. Hence, it is considered the safest type of helmet to protect you from adverse injuries. It guards the chin and the jaw from potential impact in case of an accident.

It is an ideal helmet for two-wheelers since it provides enough protection from rain, wind, and outside noise. Be it a long ride or a daily commute; these helmets offer optimum protection to the head.  

You can choose from low-cost to premium, feature-rich full-face helmets based on your choice and the type of bike you own. While it may feel suffocating for some riders, it is the safest helmet.

2. Open-face helmets (Half-face)

As the name suggests, it covers only the head, forehead and ears. These helmets are lightweight, making them comfortable, especially for short commutes. 

It may not be the safest helmet since it does not cover the rider's chin and jaw, exposing them to adverse injuries. But it is a popular choice among city dwellers as it offers comfort in choc-o-bloc traffic and hot weather conditions; a favourite among lower-speed scooters and bike riders. However, as mentioned, it may not provide optimum protection to the rider since it only covers the head. 

3. Modular helmets

Modular helmets offer the best of full-face and open-face helmets. They are also known as flip-up helmets, as you can flip up the chin guard and visor when you want the feeling of an open-face helmet.

They are designed to offer the same protection as full-face helmets. They are slightly heavier as they feature a hinge to facilitate the operation of the chin guard. Typically, these cost much more than open-face helmets but can be more affordable than some of the premium full-face helmets. 

Although affordable modular helmets are popular in India, they are primarily used by adventure bike riders, tourers and long-distance travellers.

4. Half-shell helmets

Half-shelf helmets cover only the head and expose the ear, neck, chin and jaw, making riders vulnerable to adverse injuries. While they offer maximum visibility, they are not ideal helmets due to the reduced safety quotient. 

They are lightweight, cost significantly less, and do not require too much space to store. They are also easy to wear. However, they are not as effective as a full-face helmet, as they do not completely protect the rider’s head. 

5. Off-road helmets

Off-road helmets are also known as motocross helmets. Taking the bike off-road needs more physical exertion, and off-road helmets are lighter and designed for maximum comfort and ventilation so that you can breathe easily during such situations. Such helmets feature one-piece construction with a sun peak and a long chin guard.

Since these helmets are not designed for high speeds, they don't have visors. Instead, a separate goggle is used for protection against dirt and wind. This makes it easier to clean the goggles and use them back again. But the sun peak can be challenging, especially if riding at high speeds. This can easily push your head up and back, making it unsafe. 

If you plan to go off-roading with your bike, ensure you have one of these types of biker helmets and do not use them for long-distance travel or tarmac racing.

6. Dual-sport helmets

Dual-sport helmets are typically the same as the off-road or dirt bike helmets but have been re-engineered for street use at moderate speeds. They are suited for soft off-road adventures.

These helmets can also work when it comes to long-distance travel due to their improved ventilation and face shield or visor. The visor or the shield can be flipped up when not in use. The chin guard of these helmets is permanently integrated into the helmet, unlike off-road helmets. They also have sun peaks that aren’t as intrusive as off-road models.

These bike helmets are dual-purpose in nature, so they are expensive and must be maintained well. 

Tips to keep in mind while choosing the right type of helmet

Here are some factors you should consider while selecting a helmet.

  • Safety certification: Ensure you choose a helmet certified by the Indian Standard Institute (ISI).

  • Right size and shape: Choose a helmet that fits your head snuggly. Don’t buy a larger size; choose one that fits well. At first, it may appear to be tight, and you may mistake it for being smaller, but it will eventually take the shape of your head and fit perfectly.

  • Inner liner and cushioning: Ensure you choose a helmet that features removable and washable inner pads. This will ensure your helmet is always clean and odour free.

  • Visors: Ensure you buy a clear visor instead of a smoked or a mercury-tinted one since your vision can be affected during nights and rains. Also, pick a visor which is scratch-resistant and has the option for the anti-fog insert.

Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to some of the common questions about bike helmets.


How to find the right helmet size?

Take a measurement tape and measure the circumference of your head crown, i.e. the measurement around your head, just above your eyebrow. Match the size to the size chart provided by the helmet manufacturer. This will let you know if you need to buy a helmet that’s small, medium, large, etc. 

Should I wear a helmet at all times?

Yes, you should wear a helmet whenever you ride a two-wheeler, as it can protect you against serious injuries. It is mandatory to wear a helmet in India. Failure to do so shall invite penalties or even imprisonment.

Is it legal to wear a half-face helmet in India?

Yes, you can wear a half or open-face helmet if it is certified by the ISI for use in India.

View Infographic: Your Guide to Finding the Right Helmet


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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