Full face helmet: Should you ever buy anything else?

By | February 11, 2014

sol metal man orangeHelmets have been biker’s best friend since the first motorcycle was invented in the second half of 19th century. They protect the squishy little thing between your ears from killing itself, regardless of race, sex, or level of stupidity.

Helmets come in various shapes and sizes, with three primary classifications being:

  1. Full face helmet
  2. Half face helmet
  3. Flip-up helmet

Our topic of discussion today is: should you every buy any other type except a full face helmet? Read on to find out. Check out my SOL Metal Man full face helmet up top!

Full face helmetAdvantages of full face helmet

  1. Protects your face, teeth and neck, apart from the brain: A full face helmet not only protects the most vital part of your body, it also protects your face against bruises, your teeth from unplanned extraction, and provides support to the neck during a fall.
  2. Provides protection against bugs: If you have ever ridden at night, especially doing triple digit speeds, you will remember the number of bugs splattered on your helmet visor. Now imagine all of them going into your eyes, nose and mouth, or hitting you like squishy, living rain.
  3. Provides protection against dust: I wear contact lenses, so for me any dust in the eye is a huge disaster. I always wear googles while riding, but the helmet visor provides first line of defense against the dust, keeping your eyes clean and your nostrils booger free.
  4. Provides protection against flying debris: I can’t even remember how many times small stones thrown up by fast-moving vehicles have hit me on the helmet. They may look small, but anything hitting your face at 100 kmph is going to hurt very, very bad.
  5. Provides warmth in cold conditions: In Ladakh, my Vega helmet protected me from the icy cold winds, snowfall, hail and rain. If not for my full face helmet, my face would have been left paralyzed for the rest of my life.
  6. Provides a more aerodynamic surface for wind to flow by: Every tried to go over 130 kmph wearing a half face helmet? Chances are the wind gave you a nice, deep blowjob of sorts. No high-speed trip is possible without a full face helmet, I found that out on my Bombay to Bangalore ride, doing 173 kmph!

flip up helmetDisadvantages of full face helmet

Nothing is perfect, so full face helmets do come with certain problems of their own:

  1. Fogging up of visor: Even in the slightest cold or rain, and no matter how good quality your helmet is, if you are not moving, your visor will start fogging up. This severely impedes visibility. Solutions to this problem include buying a pin-lock visor, or not closing the visor all the way.
  2. Sweating and discomfort in summer: As expected, full face helmets virtually cut-off your head from all contact to outside air. This means that summer time can lead to a lot of discomfort and sweating. Solution would include buying a good quality helmet with lots of ventilation.

That’s it! 6 pros vs. 2 cons. The decision should be rather simple, but I still say a huge number of bikers wearing half face helmets. This is especially true for ladies, who wear that kitchen bowl thing on their head.

cruiser helmetLadies, when your face is going scratching against the asphalt at 60 kmph, the road isn’t going to care how moisturized your skin is, or how oily for that matter. The road doesn’t discriminate. Just because the Indian govt. allows you to NOT wear a helmet, for some insanely stupid reason, doesn’t mean that you should wear something so useless.

Half face helmets are a strict NO, they barely provide any protection. A lot of cruiser owners feel that half face helmets look stylish on their hogs, but I’ve got news for these guys. Guess what? Helmets have NOTHING to do with style! They are meant for safety. In any case, a scar-free face makes a much better style statement than a hideously damaged one, any day.

half face helmetFlip-up helmets, again quite popular with our cruiser buddies, would also get a NO from my side. Why do you need to flip-up? What difference does it make? If you can flip the helmet up, you think there is no chance that a big impact from the road can do the same? Plus what happens if you flip it up and then forget! Yes there is no excuse for stupidity, but this is a logical possibility.

So next time you go out to buy a helmet, for yourself, your kid or your lady friend, always go for a good quality full face helmet only.If you buy anything else, you are gonna have a bad time! Even after reading this 800 word essay you feel unconvinced, think about F1 drivers and MotoGP riders. They place their precious lives in the hands of a full face helmet only, why should you do any different?