Modular Motorcycle Helmets - Why Are They Popular?
There are many kinds of motorcycle helmets available on the market, such as full-faced, open-faced, offroad, and modular helmets. Modular motorcycle helmets are also known as hybrid helmets. They are a hybrid between a full-face helmet and an open-faced helmet.
Full-faced helmets are the ones you mostly see on the road. This is one solid helmet covering your entire head and face. These helmets offer the best safety features and the least wind noise. However, some riders feel that full-faced helmets are too closed and don't allow enough airflow.
Open-faced helmets were among the first kind of helmets available. They only cover your head but have nothing to cover your face except for a visor. This means that open-faced helmets offer plenty of airflow and visibility. As a result, they don't make you feel as claustrophobic as full-faced helmets sometimes do.
However, open-faced helmets don't offer as much protection as full-faced ones. This is a severe drawback, especially if you intend to ride at high speeds or on open roads. So, what can you do if neither a full-faced nor open-faced helmet offers you everything you need?
Enter the modular helmet. These helmets have also been around for a long time. They were invented in the mid-to-late 20th century, and their purpose is to bring you the best of both worlds. A modular helmet looks like a full-faced helmet. The entire head and face are covered, and you have a visor covering your eyes.
However, with the push of a button, you can lift the front part of the helmet and pull it upward to secure it on the back. You have an open-faced helmet, with the visor still protecting your eyes. Modular helmets are designed to have an open-faced feel and airflow when you want them. But you can also have the necessary protection when riding at higher speeds.
Modular helmets have a lot to offer, but they also have some drawbacks. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of modular motorcycle helmets to give you a better idea of if they’re worth buying or not.
Advantages Of A Modular Motorcycle Helmet
Modular motorcycle helmets have one great advantage; they offer you the best of both worlds. The open-faced portion is excellent when you want to take a drink without removing the entire helmet. You can also wear the modular helmet pulled back when driving slowly to get more airflow and a better view.
However, when driving at faster speeds or on highways, you can lower the helmet's front section. Then you have coverage for your entire face. More protection is always better, especially at higher speeds. Therefore, a modular helmet offers you more protection than an open-faced helmet.
In addition, some riders report that modular helmets are more comfortable for those who wear glasses. A full-faced helmet sits very close to the face, making it difficult to wear the helmet over your glasses.
However, modular helmets have more room, meaning you can easily fit your glasses underneath the helmet. Another bonus of the modular helmet is that you can access the visor much easier than a full-faced helmet's visor. This allows you to clean the visor easily.
Finally, many modular helmets have a second visor that is tinted. This visor acts like sunglasses, protecting your eyes from the sun and improving your visibility. You can also lower the sun visor on its own when riding with the helmet open-faced.
As you can see, modular helmets have a lot to offer, and their features are aimed at improving your riding comfort. However, there are also some disadvantages of modular helmets. These must be discussed before you buy a modular helmet.
Disadvantages Of A Modular Motorcycle Helmet
Unfortunately, as great as the modular motorcycle helmet is, it has some disadvantages. The disadvantages of a modular motorcycle helmet have caused many riders to avoid these helmets altogether, so you best be aware of them before buying one.
The main disadvantage of a modular motorcycle helmet is that it is not as safe as a full-faced helmet. Although it is much safer than an open-faced helmet, the various compartments of a modular helmet make it more likely that the helmet will break if you are in a crash.
A full-faced helmet is made of one solid mold. When you are in a crash, the helmet will distribute the shock over the entire helmet, keeping you well protected.
However, a modular helmet is made up of different sections. As such, the shock cannot be evenly distributed, and the front area of the helmet can crumble when you crash, potentially causing severe damage.
Because modular helmets have more moving parts, they're also more prone to wear than full-faced helmets. This, unfortunately, means that the nuts and bolts keeping the front part of the helmet in place can loosen, causing your helmet to be less secure.
In addition, there have been reports of the front section of a modular helmet unclipping in a crash. This section then folds back, causing the front section to fly back, exposing your face to injury. Therefore, although modular helmets are safer than open-faced helmets, they aren't as safe as full-faced ones.
Another disadvantage of modular motorcycle helmets is that they are bigger and heavier than other helmets. Because there are more moving parts, modular helmets tend to be quite bulky. Some riders find them uncomfortably heavy.
The final disadvantage of a modular helmet is that it allows for more wind and traffic noise than full-faced helmets. The reason for this goes together with the ventilation. The more airflow there is in the helmet, the more wind noise you will experience. For some riders, the noise factor is the final straw that prevents them from buying a modular motorcycle helmet.
However, the comfort of a helmet always has a lot to do with its fit. Finding a modular motorcycle helmet that fits you properly will do wonders for its comfort and safety.
Finding The Perfect Fit For A Modular Motorcycle Helmet
The fit of a modular helmet is paramount to ensuring you are comfortable and safe while riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, people often buy helmets that are too big because they feel more comfortable. However, if a helmet is too big, it will not protect your head during a crash because it will not stay in place.
Conversely, suppose your helmet sits so tight that it's causing you pain (such as headaches or ear pain). In that case, it will cause severe discomfort while riding and sour your entire motorcycle experience. Therefore, finding the perfect sized helmet is paramount to ensuring you enjoy your new modular helmet.
When you have decided on the style of helmet, which is, in this case, a modular motorcycle helmet, you can now look for colors and shapes you like. Not everyone has the same shaped head, and some helmets will feel more comfortable depending on your head shape.
You should also measure your head's circumference before going shopping for a new modular motorcycle helmet. This will help you choose the size you need. To measure your head, ask someone to take a soft measuring tape and measure the circumference. The measurement should be taken above your eyebrows and across the broadest part of the back of your head.
When you know your head's circumference, you can quickly determine what size helmet you need. When you go shopping for a helmet, be sure to take your time. Try the helmet on and see how it feels. The helmet should sit tight on your head but not so tight that it causes headaches.
Remember that the cushioning in the helmet will wear within the first 15 to 20 hours of riding, according to RevZilla. They recommend you wear the helmet for half an hour to determine if it is the right size. After half an hour, if you don't have headaches or a red line running across your head, the helmet is the right size.
While wearing the helmet, move it around on your head. The helmet shouldn't move around. If it does, the motorcycle helmet is too big and will not offer you great protection if it does. When you are sure, the helmet fits perfectly, take it out for a ride and enjoy.
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley