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Dirt Bike Helmets And That Big Visor

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Gift Motocross Helmets


Dirt-bike riding offers some of the greatest pleasures in motorbike riding I have experienced – even if the majority of the off-road riding I did was as a kid. But even way back then, I wouldn’t ride without my 1970s-era helmet, which did come in very handy at times!

All motorcycle helmets are not created equal.

And off-road helmets, or more specifically dirt-bike and MOTOCROSS HELMETS have some observable differences, in spite of their obvious similarities to FULL-FACE street helmets.


Here are the most visible differences that distinguish a motocross full-face helmet from a full-face helmet for street riding:

  • Dirt bike helmets have an elongated and angular chin section

  • Dirt bike helmets are typically worn with goggles and not a face shield

  • Off Road full-face helmets also have a long VISOR to shade the eyes

Originally, off-road helmets did not have the chin section. Early dirt-bike riders used helmets that are very similar to modern open face street helmets (also called 3/4 helmets, since they cover 3/4 of the head).

The elongated and angular chin section (which is round on a street helmet) offers some facial impact protection in addition to protection from flying dirt and debris.

The helmet visor keeps the sun out of the eyes of the rider, and seems like such a useful feature that you might wonder why they are not standard on street bike versions of full-face helmets.

However, street-bike helmets are designed for use at higher speeds than dirt-bike riding and are made to be more aerodynamic – and visors do not aid an aerodynamic profile.

Further to that, at higher speeds, such a helmet visor could be downright dangerous, as a wind blasts could snap the rider’s head in different directions when riding at higher speeds – which does not aid rider safety. (Note: there are available very SHORT visors for some street helmets).

When properly combined with goggles, motocross full-face helmets offer similar protection to that of full-face street helmets – and most obviously, the added protection of any full-face helmet is protection for the chin and face, which other helmets do not offer.



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