A helmet is typically a full-face unit, normally covering the entire head with a hard shell. More specifically, a helmet basically complements the skull on top of the head in safeguarding the central human brain from impact. Symbolic or ceremonial helmets may be worn by soldiers. Often made of Kevlar or some other light lightweight synthetic fibers, military helmets without any protective functionality are called ceremonial helmets.
Today’s helmets are not the solid black visors popular back in the day. While there is still some use for the visor in preventing moisture from entering the face, many modern helmets have added more functional features such as snap on goggles, or even interchangeable nose and chin bars. Many manufacturers even make a “slim fit” version of a full face helmet that fits closer to the skin than traditional helmets. There are also full-face helmet models available with open face optics.
Helmets are important not only for safety reasons but also because motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets run the risk of serious injury to the head and face. Because motorcyclists are more exposed to head injuries than automobile drivers, it is especially important for them to wear a helmet. Some studies indicate that motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets are five times more likely to suffer a serious head injury than those who do. Helmets can prevent these injuries by preventing serious damage to the brain. Studies have shown that when a motorcyclist is involved in a collision, the brain tissue will not be damaged as significantly if the helmet was worn. Wearing a helmet has also been shown to reduce the incidence of headaches related to neck pain.
The inner or shell of a motorcycle helmet is usually made of hard foam or various synthetic fibers. A face shield is usually attached to the outer shell using clamps or straps. Face shields also are known as windcheaters since some motorcyclists refer to the face shield as a windcheater, which is a reference to the shape of the helmet. Motorcycle helmet manufacturers use various manufacturing techniques, including dye-sublimation printing, in order to create unique helmet designs. Some companies specialize in producing graphics for face shields. One company, Spy, specializes in creating rhinestone designs on the outside of the face shield. It is also give the best standard safety certifications.
Some full face helmet models are designed with vents to allow air flow over the rider’s head and face. The vents allow airflow to keep the rider cool during a warm ride and to prevent sweat from dripping into the helmet. Other manufacturers have designed helmets with expandable cheek pads that protect the top of the cheeks from damage. These cheek pads can also be useful when riders experience wind resistance while riding.
Some full face helmet models come as kits with a removable chin bar and removable visor. Chin bars are available in single pieces or in sets, and the sets may include a helmet with or without the visor. A chin bar increases the rider’s visibility in the headlights of oncoming vehicles, but the visor may be useful in bright sunshine when the rider is traveling at an increased speed. Many motorcycle accessories dealers offer a complete line of motorcycle gear and accessories, including helmet options.