When you are new to riding, you are going to need to get a helmet. There are a few types, but only one type that is going to provide you the proper amount of protection needed when riding. In this article we’ll go over some of the reasons why.
So, why should you wear a full face helmet? You should wear a full face helmet. In an accident, a large percentage of the impact zone is your chin, nose and cheek area. Areas only covered by a full face helmet. They also provide better protection from the elements, debris from the road, insects and other random stuff that can hit you in the face.
Still not convinced? or maybe you want to know how I came to this conclusion. Read on to learn more.
Why I made the change from a half helmet to full face:
As mentioned in the intro, I used to wear a half helmet. I loved the comfort it afforded me. Back when I used to smoke, I liked that I could easily smoke a cigarette if I wanted to. I could drink water without taking the helmet off. Lots of little things that added to my enjoyment when riding.
Back then I really only used to do city riding. Nothing too fast, just on nice days commuting to work or running quick errands, that type of stuff. Not your hardcore road trips or anything close to highway speeds, just relaxed city trips. Then came the day that all changed.
One day I had some time and decided to just take a quick trip out of the city, finally try out some highway speed riding. I was always kinda of afraid to do it.
Something about cruising surrounded by big trucks didn’t appeal to me, but that day I just decided to do it. So off I went. All was good, the road wasn’t too busy and I was really enjoying the moment.
Everything was perfect, the sun was warming my face, wind in my beard. Bike was running perfectly. Any of life’s problems and stress felt like they were just melting away. A perfect almost zen moment. Then whack! What the…
The pain was something else! Nothing like cruising at highway speeds and having a rock kicked up from the vehicle in front of you, and smacking you right in the face.
Luckily I managed to pull over safely and check myself out. Nothing major just a nice mark on my face where it hit me, but at that point I decided it was time for me to get a full face helmet.
What is a full face helmet, half helmet and open face helmet ?
To put it shortly, a full face helmet is a motorcycle helmet that completely covers your head, face and chin. In almost all cases they will have some sort of a visor that will protect your eyes as well. These differ from other helmet types such as half helmets and open face helmets.
Half helmets will only cover your head and sometimes your ears. They do not provide protection for any part of your face, cheeks, eyes or chin.
Then in between full face helmets and half helmets, you have open face helmets. These are kind of your middle of the ground choice. They provide protection to your head, cheeks and sometimes also have a visor to protect your eyes from debris.
However they do not cover the whole face and chin like a full face helmet would.
What are the advantages in wearing a full face helmet?
Now that we have gone over what makes it a full face helmet, let’s talk about the advantages of wearing one. The main advantage is the sheer amount of protection it provides. You cannot get better protection than a full face helmet.
Here is a few of the protective advantages:
- Eye protection. Full face helmets usually come with a visor. This will protect you from debris, dirt, dust and other objects getting into your eyes. You don’t want to be riding down the road and all of a sudden get blinded by a dust cloud. Not a fun experience.
- Chin protection. There have been studies that have shown that in a motorcycle accident, the most common places for injury is the chin and cheek area. Around 60% of impacts during an accident happen on the chin or cheek area. If you ever see a helmet that has been in a accident, take a look at the chin area and ask yourself do you want your chin or helmet to take that damage?
- Noise reduction. Full face helmets cover your ears and help protect your hearing. Riding a motorcycle can be loud. Not just from the engine but also from wind noise. If you don’t think so or don’t believe me, next time you are driving in a car on the highway open your windows all the way and stick your head out the window.
- Stones, bugs. Getting hit in the face with a stone or bug is no joke and not something you want to experience. It hurts and can be dangerous if you have a knee jerk reaction it can cause you to crash. So keep yourself protected.
- Protection from the elements. Self explanatory here. They will keep the rain off your face and help keep you warmer in the cold. On top of that a lot of full face helmets will come with some sort of drop down inner sun visor which can be pretty helpful. Sun in your eyes? Just pop that visor down. You change direction and no longer need it? Just pop it back up. A sun visor is just a nice thing to have.
What extra features do full face helmets have?
Apart from keeping you safe from debris, elements, dirt and injury during an accident, they also have a few features that will make your riding experience so much better
Here are few features to think about:
- Sun visors. As I just mentioned lots come with a flip down fighter pilot type sun visor. These are great because you don’t need to worry about packing a pair of sunglasses with you just in case the sun starts to bother you.
- Pinlock or anti-fogging. Some full face helmets will come with a feature that will prevent the visor from fogging up.
- Air vents. These allow you to open and close vents on the helmet. Open them in warmer weather to help keep your head cool and when the weather starts to get a bit colder you can easily close them to keep the cold out. You can also close these when on the highway to help reduce wind noise.
- Chin bar skirt. This is kind of an interesting feature, it helps to prevent air from “swirling” up into your helmet from the front when you are riding. It can help to reduce the dust you inhale or prevent cold from getting into the helmet.
So should I wear a full face helmet?
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why you should wear a full face helmet. Everything from comfort and features to safety and injury prevention.
So next time you are looking to pick up a new helmet, maybe you should skip those cool half helmets with big spikes and just go with the safer, better alternative. I hope you enjoyed this article.
Wishing you a safe ride and wide roads ahead!