What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Half Helmets

What you need to know about motorcycle half helmetsI am a big fan of  DOT/Snell/ECE 22.05 approved motorcycle helmets.  Particularly Snell certified helmets. And there are no half helmets on the market that are Snell certified.
But I’m savvy enough to realize that many motorcyclists choose not to wear helmets, and many more wear open-face helmets, half helmets, or even motorcycle helmets that look like the GI Joe helmets the kids buy from ToysRUs. (and give the same level of protection!)
So in the interests of practicality here is what you need to know about motorcycle half helmets.

Incidentally, if safety is a major consideration for you (and it should be) but you don’t want a full face helmet, why not consider an open face three quarter helmet? There are Snell Certified open faced helmets available, and I will list them at the end of the article, so keep reading!

Although I am not sold on these helmets, I appreciate that for a lot of people  riding a motorcycle makes a statement, and the right look is important.  The bike, the clothes, the sound and the helmet (or not) help to define who you are as a motorcycle rider. Motorcycle half helmets are here,and whether I like it or not, they’re for sale and they’re legal, so I’m not going to preach. Just please bear these points in mind

  • If you’re a fan of motorcycle half helmets, that’s fine, but  make sure you buy one with decent quality, DOT approved, and not the GI joe Toys R Us versions.
  • Be aware that you are sacrificing a level of protection by opting for a half helmet. Make sure you ride accordingly.
  • Make sure the helmet fits properly. Try a few on, and check that the straps are comfortable when fastened (you wouldn’t ride with one without fastening the straps would you? Good!)
  • Check any accessories (snap on visor, ear muffs) are actually usable before you buy any motorcycle half helmet. Why pay money for something you can’t or will never use?
  • If you get very hot and sweaty in a helmet, look for motorcycle half helmets that have air vents (yes they do exist) for exampe the Vega XTS helmet.
  • If you buy one, wear it. On every ride. The time you decide to take a ride down the block to the gas station for something may wel be the time you have a rear end. With a helmet you stand a chance. Don’t become a statistic!
  • If you want to look at Snell Certified open faced helmets as an alternative to the half helmets, try these makes:


    HJC CL31
    Shoei RJ Air
    HJC CS5
    HJC AC3

    Keep checking back as I will try to add to this list of Snell Certified open face helmets for those of you looking for an alternative to motorcycle half helmets.

In summary, cruiser riders and other bikers who like the half helmet style should have no problem finding a style they are comfortable with. Manufacturers who make motorcycle half helmets include; in no particular order, HJC, Shoei, Vega, AGV, Gmax, M2R, THH and the list goes on. They are available in any finish you could want including leather! So If your image cant’ accommodate a full face helmet when you are out cruisin’ try these online outlets for DOT approved motorcycle half helmets…

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  1. Rob Fleming - June 6, 2011

    New blog post: What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Half Helmets http://bit.ly/mDEtRy

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