Are Motorcycle Half Helmets Safe? [Know all Aspects]

There are six types of helmets from dual-sport to half helmets. And all of them offer different features, outlooks, functions, and protection levels. However, when it comes to half helmets, safety is the main concern that will come to your mind.

In that case, you may ask: Are motorcycle half helmets safe enough? Well, with heavy duty weighted dual sport and full face helmets ruling the market, this kind of question is legit.

The short answer is YES, half helmets are safe enough to ride on a regular basis. Although they may not provide the same level of protection as a full-face or dual sport hamlet would, they are good enough to protect you from traumatic brain injury.

But you must get a half helmet with assured safety. Moreover, you should know how and where it’s okay to wear one. We’ve talked about it all throughout this discussion, along with the advantages and disadvantages of half helmets. Let’s get to it real quick:

Types Of Motorcycle Helmet

Types Of Motorcycle Helmet

When it’s about what are the type of helmets, you’ll find six different types of helmets, including:

  • Full-face
  • Modular
  • Open-face
  • Half Helmets
  • Off-road
  • Dual-sport

All these helmets are designed to meet safety and ensure the safety of the riders. However, based on the helmet types, you’ll get different levels of protection. Let’s talk more deeply about the helmets and their protection level. Check out the section below:

1. Full-face

The full-face helmet comes with the most coverage around your head and neck, easily keeping you safe from unforeseen impacts. It’s a versatile helmet that can be used with all types of motorbikes.


2. Modular

A modular helmet is also known as a flip-up helmet that allows to remove or fasten the chin guard to the rear of the shell. Since it’s like a full-face helmet, a modular helmet will give the full-face helmet-level protection.


3. Open-face

Open-face helmets are also known as ¾ helmets that will cover your head’s top, back, and sides. This helmet leaves the face exposed and doesn’t have a chin bar, and that’s the reason it offers less protection than a full-face helmet.


4. Half Helmets

Half helmets only cover the head, and many experts suggest getting mushroom-headed half helmets to ensure safety. However, if you want to use a half helmet no mushroom head, you can go for it. However, make sure the half helmet is also DOT-certified and has assured safety measures.

Half Helmets

5. Off-road

An off-road helmet is equipped with a larger visor and more accentuated chin bar and basically used for off-road or dirt bike riding. This helmet is designed with maximum protection for potential risks of accidents. However, you won’t get the ventilation like an open face or half helmet. Plus, the weight also is a bit heavier than half helmets.


6. Dual-sport

Dual-sport is the combination of a full face and off-road helmet, and it offers a big eye protection visor than all other helmets. Along with larger eye protection, dual-sport also offers more ventilation.


What Are The Differences Between Full Face And Half Face Helmets?

Full face and half face are two different types of helmets that serve different functions and protection. However, if you are not familiar with both of them, then you should check out the section below. Here we’ve included a comparison between full face and half face helmets. Have a look:

What Are The Differences Between Full Face And Half Face Helmets

  • Functionality: A full-face helmet will cover your entire face and head, the half helmets will also cover your head and eyes. Like a full-face helmet, a half helmet doesn’t have full-face protection, especially the chin.
  • Coverage Area: When it’s about a full-face helmet, it’ll cover your head and also your cheeks, chin, and jaw as well. And the half-face helmet offers protection on your head’s top, back, sides, and they don’t offer a chin bar protection.
  • Protection Level: The most important difference between a full face and a half helmet is the protection level. A full-face helmet will provide full-face protection, whereas a half-helmet protects only the top of the head and the sides.
  • Weight: A full-face helmet’s weight range is approximately from 1400 to 1800 grams. And the weight range of a half-face helmet is 1000 to 1500 grams, which is less heavy than a full-face helmet.
  • Storage: A half helmet is easier to store than a full-face one when it comes to storage and overall structure. The half helmet requires less space which is easy to store and carry.
  • Usability: A full-face helmet will let you ride your bike in all weather conditions by covering your entire face, especially in winter. On the other hand, a half-face helmet will let you comfortably ride the bike in summer.

Are Motorcycle Half Helmets Safe?

So, what about ultimate safety? Are motorcycle half helmets safe? The answer is YES, they are safe. As mentioned before, you’ll get a DOT approved one, it should be safe to wear for bike riding. A half helmet is very effective to protect the rider from serious head or brain injuries.

Are Motorcycle Half Helmets Safe

Although half helmets don’t have the same protection as full-face or dual sports helmets, they are good enough to keep you safe from heavy impacts in case of an accident. Well, if you want to keep yourself safe and want to ride a bike with a half helmet, it’s possible.

Here we’ve included some principles that you can follow while riding while wearing a half helmet to keep yourself safe:

Wear Half Helmet for a Short Distance

The first thing you can do to ensure your safety with a half helmet is to wear it for a short distance. No matter you’re a pro or beginner, never risk wearing a half helmet on long-distance trips. It may seem tempting to take a half helmet on a long distant countryside trip to have the cool breeze on your face. But your safety should come before that!

Avoid Half Helmet If You’re a Beginner

If you’re a beginner or inexperienced in riding a motorbike, then try to avoid half helmets. That is because as a beginner you have to ensure full safety while learning or riding a motorbike. And the half helmet is not ideal for beginners. Expert riders can rely on efficient riding expertise to stay safe in a situation.

No Half Helmet in Harsh Weather Conditions

A half helmet is meant to wear in nice and fresh weather, and you should never wear this in harsh weather conditions. Tough weather conditions like rain, snow, or high wind atmosphere are not suitable with half helmets. If you have to go on a ride in harsh weather conditions, go on and put a full-face, fully protective helmet on.

Ride in Low-Risk Areas

Another good thing you can do to safely ride a bike with a half helmet is riding in a low-risk area. Several incidents can happen in heavy risk or high vehicle or traffic areas and wearing a half helmet may not keep you safe from those incidents.

Ensure Safety Gear

As you know that half helmet only protects head’s top side, always try to wear goggles or sunglasses. That is because riding a bike with a half helmet can put a lot of impact on your eyes because of dust, wind, and all types of flying elements. No matter how fancy it may seem to have your face open while riding, safety never should be compromised.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Half Helmets?

Not only half helmet, when you want to purchase any type of helmet for riding, but it’s also worth considering both advantages and disadvantages. Well, a half helmet comes with plenty of pros and cons, and below, we’ve included some of them:

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Half Helmets


  • Half helmets are known for their stylish looks, and they help riders immerse themselves in the riding experience.
  • They allow us to enjoy the surrounding atmosphere and feel the noise and weather.
  • Half helmets offer more ventilation than all other helmets, and they are lightweight, making them super comfortable to wear and carry.
  • They offer good visibility and produce less sweat inside, making your riding both exciting and reliable.
  • Since half helmets don’t have much padding, you can quickly wear and take them off.
  • Half helmets are easier to clean, and they don’t have a lot of function like all other helmets.
  • A rider can wear his or her favorite goggles or sunglasses while riding the bike.


  • One of the major disadvantages of half helmets is safety, and they offer less safety than all other types of helmets.
  • Since they don’t have glass protection like full-face helmets, several elements like dust, smoke, debris, and many other things can come off in your face while you’re riding.
  • Half helmets are not weather friendly, and you can enjoy riding in cold and rainy conditions.
  • They do not offer reliable all round impact resistance like a full face or any other type of helmet.

Who Should Not Wear Motorcycle Half Helmets?

When it comes to wearing helmets for riding, you have to consider plenty of things. If you want protection then nothing can be a good option than a full-face helmet. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the atmosphere and feel the wind, then you can go for half helmets.

Who Should Not Wear Motorcycle Half Helmets

However, when it comes to who should not wear a motorcycle half helmet, it is difficult to answer directly. First of all, a beginner who is learning to ride should not wear half hamlets.

A half hamlet is also not recommended for long-distance and also heavy traffic areas. However, you can use a half helmet for low-risk or short distances. And using a half helmet on fewer vehicle roads is also safe to wear.


While choosing a half helmet instead of a full-face helmet, several questions may arise in your mind. Safety would be the first one for sure. While a full-face helmet offers complete protection, you may wonder why you should go for half helmets. You may also wonder are motorcycle half helmets safe to wear or not.

Well, throughout this article, we’ve tried to answer several aspects of half helmet, including pros and cons. A half-face helmet will also give good protection to your head and give you the freedom to see the surrounded atmosphere. In short, it’s a cool option to get a half helmet but remember to wear it in low-risk areas and for short distances and avoid harsh weather or long trips.

Ryan Walker

Ryan Walker

Hi, I'm Ryan Walker, the chief editor and the founder of this site, Motoable. I’m a bike rider, and I’ve been riding motorbikes for almost thirty-five years. I worked for a renowned motorbike accessories manufacturing company for twelve years as a quality in charge.Later, I start my own business where I sell different bike accessories and safety gear for motorbikes. I created this site Motoable to share my experience with other bikers who are new to this field and don’t have adequate knowledge about motorbikes and their accessories.

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