You do not ride a motorcycle without a helmet, period. Motorcycles are intimidating machines, you have to be one with the machine to make your ride worthwhile. Moreover, there is very little room for error during rides and it is very important and mandatory by law that you wear a helmet to protect your head from serious injuries.
While you put thought in purchasing a new motorcycle, give some thought in also purchasing the kind of helmet you would like to use. Just like motorcycles, there are different types of motorcycle helmets available for you to choose from. Each type of helmet has its pro’s and con’s, so it is important that you choose the right kind of helmet for yourself. We take you on a short tour to showcase the type of helmets available in our market.
A full face helmet is the most ideal helmet for your riding. Full face helmets cover the rider’s face and the entire head. It offers the most protection to the rider and will save you from sustaining serious injuries to your head and skull. Full face helmets also stop wind blowing off your face, and will also keep noise levels to minimum, while restraining rain to creep inside. Full face helmets are marginally bulky though compared to other counterparts but are being designed to keep the weight to a minimum as possible. These helmets are very comfortable for long distance riding and will give you the needed protection giving you the needed confidence to open up the throttle.
2. Half Face Helmet
A three quarter helmet also known as a half face helmet covers the head of the rider leaving the face open. The face is covered by the visor and will give you a complete view of the field. However with a half face helmet, you are more prone to facial injuries at the time of an accident. Wind and noise will also come into the helmet offering more wind resistance. The half face helmet offer the ease of riding with sunglasses, while communicating with the helmet becomes much easier. You also need not remove the helmet during smaller stops to sip in water or wiping your face. If full face helmets suffocate you, this is the helmet you should opt for.
3. Modular Helmet
Modular helmets are a cross between full face and half helmets. The front of a modular helmet is adjustable and can be moved up to convert your helmet in a half face helmet while riding. The modular helmet weighs a little more though, because of the added screws and bolts that make it a hybrid. Look out for good quality ones though, as the bolts loosen over time and the helmet loses its rigidity. These helmets are also not completely sealed, so expect wind, noise and rain to creep inside the helmet easily. If you want the protection of a full faced helmet with the convenience of a half faced one, this is the helmet you should go for.
4. Half Shell Helmet
Also known as the skull helmet offers you the minimal possible riding safety mandated. It offers protection to only the top of the head till the ears leaving the face, jaws, neck all open. Half face helmets are substantially cheaper though and easily comply with the laws making them a good option. Ideally wearing a half shell helmet is like wearing none at all and should be limited to the ones riding a scooter; rather should not be used by them as well. The helmet also offers more wind resistance while riding putting strain on your neck, while your face is open to the elements of wind, heat, water, rain and so on. Overall, half shell helmets are potentially capable of killing you. Consider thrice before you pick this one up for your bike rides.
5. Off-Road Helmets
Off-road helmets are limited to the ones who choose to travel where there are no roads. Off road helmets look very cool and are specifically designed to counter the dirt and debris that gets kicked towards the face. Dirt bikers choose to ride with goggles instead of using the visor to protect their eyes. For city use, off road helmets are a good option but will provide more wind resistance straining the rider’s neck. Also the off road helmets are designed with air vents to keep the head cool, which make them very comfortable during long rides. However, the lack of a properly covered visor can be less comfortable compared to full faced helmets.
6. Dual Sport Helmets
These are the helmets that the big daddy’s of pro biking choose to use. These helmets are specifically designed to be more aerodynamic and are approved by the DOT rating, which a far higher safety rating system than the Indian ISI mark. Biker’ with 650cc and up use these helmets considering their protection properties and aerodynamic design for the high speeds that the bikers cruise at. These helmets will set you back by a huge margin with prices starting at Rs. 10,000/- onwards. Popular brands of these helmets include Arai, Shoei, Bell and so on. But remember these helmets are not ISI marked which is mandatory for all helmets sold in the country.
Helmets are designed for your protection, so do remember you are investing in your life when riding with a helmet. Do make that purchase worthwhile when you choose to buy a new one and opt for the best quality ones at a shop instead of bargaining for one with a roadside vendor.