Last Updated on November 1, 2021 by Stephen Paul Robertson
If you are a motorcycle rider, you must already know about the different types of motorcycle helmets available in the market and how they differ in terms of protecting ability. A common argument amongst the users is based on who would win in terms of usage when it comes to full face vs modular helmet.
Which helmet will protect you better? What are the differences between a full face and a modular helmet? Which is going to bring more advantages to your life?
When it comes to helmets, it’s best to be properly educated as they hold the power to save your life. Hence, take a minute and give our article a read!
Read Also: Best Motorcycle Helmet For Beginners
Full face vs Modular helmet
When looking for comfort while riding, nothing will serve you better than a modular helmet. Built with the perks of open face helmets and safety measures of full face helmets kept in mind, it is a combination of both thanks to the hinge construction system.
The hinge allows the chin bar and face shield to be lifted when necessary, meaning users can easily take a sip from their favorite drinks, talk to other bikers, and get proper ventilation during stops and red lights.
Once the chin bar and face shield have been closed, it will work like a full-face helmet, providing full protection for the rider’s head during a motorcycle ride. During awful weather, the glaring sun, depressing rain, and piercing snow will not affect your health or ride. In case of a crash, the front and back portions of your head are saved. However, there are several concerns expressed by people regarding its shielding abilities.
Modern-day modular helmets have Bluetooth speakers attached to them, which allow users to maintain communication during their rides. A good ventilation system provides a heat-free ride and prevents the face shielding from fogging up due to breathing.
Pros of a Modular Helmet
- Provides breathability like most open face helmets, in turn making it easier for users to wear. This makes it especially comfortable during sunny days as you can lift the front section during stops and put an end to all the sweating.
- Modular helmets can be worn with sunglasses, meaning the user’s vision is protected from all sorts of reflection.
- Consists of features like Bluetooth speakers and tinted visors that assist the rider in enjoying a ride without the piercing glare of the sun making it hard to see.
- Good for riding instructors or delivery men, as they can talk whilst having it on.
Cons of a Modular Helmet
- Chin bar is not as protective as that of a full-face helmet. Hence, during bad accidents that cause frontal smashes, wearers might end up getting brain injuries.
- Modular helmets invite wind noises which act as a distraction and can cause permanent deafness in some cases.
- They are weighty and thus, might put the wearer at discomfort during long rides.
- Research has proven that in some accidents the hinge system came undone and caused the face shield to lift, putting the rider’s face in danger.
- If users forget to pull the visor up, the wind could end up peeling the helmet off of the rider’s head.
Full face Helmet
Several types of research carried out by helmet experts have consistently proven that in terms of safety, the full face helmet takes the crown. They cushion and cover your head diligently, guarding it against all threats, making it the perfect companion for a ride. It even covers the rider’s chin and the non-adjustable face shield eliminates the risk of anything being pulled off during a ride.
Most racers prefer wearing full-face helmet as it increases chances of survival during crashes. Besides that, the inner lining is usually made snug using EPS foam, which can usually be removed and replaced for something better fitting.
Overall, full face helmets are praised for being lightweight and stylish looking; the aerodynamic style also contributes to the rider’s speed. Vents are present for proper airflow although, at times some people claim that they can be a little suffocating.
Pros of Full Face Helmet
- Provides unparalleled protection for all wearers. As the chin bar and face shield are fitted into the helmet, there is no fear of them slipping up during worst-case scenarios (as long as the helmet is the right fit for you).
- Full face helmets are lightweight (they are usually made of poly carbon) despite being shockproof and resistant to impact.
- Increases the wearer’s chances of getting out of an accident without any severe damages to the head.
- Block out wind noises fairly well and thus, risk the chances of getting permanent ear damage.
Cons of Full Face Helmet
- Riding on hot days is rather painful as the entire head is covered and has reduced ventilation. This can also cause visors to fog up.
- As full face helmets cover the entire head, some people find them to be rather claustrophobic.
- Wearing spectacle underneath a full face helmet is rather tough and most full face helmets don’t have tinted visors that protect the rider’s eyes from the sun, meaning reflections can cause hindrances to vision.
Is A Modular Helmet Better Than A Full Face Helmet?
In terms of protectiveness, nothing stands out more than a full face helmet that shields your head from all possible harm; over the years, statistics have proven that it helps people get out of crashes without severe injuries. They are lightweight as the face shield and chin bar are all fitted and don’t need to be connected via a hinge system.
Full face helmets are made of some of the best materials that deal well with crashes and blows. Such helmets are cheaper than modular helmets while also being available in many different types; users have various options and sizes to choose from. Most full face helmets have an aerodynamic style that clashes against drag while also being pleasing to look at. The only downside is the ventilation factor which some low-prices full face helmets skip altogether making it hard for the rider to wear. Breathable full face helmets are on the expensive side and can be hard to find.
Although in most ways a full-face helmet trumps as the better one, when it comes to comfort modular helmets are the winner. It allows more ventilation and prevents claustrophobic feeling. Users can comfortably breathe without fogging up the visors and when necessary, they can also wear sunglasses under a modular helmet.
When researching modular helmets’ protective abilities, you will find scientists stating many lacking. As chin bars are connected to the motorcycle by a hinge system, it is not strong and reacts badly to collisions. Many times there have been reports of the helmet flying off the rider’s head when the visor and chin bar have been lifted.
Another benefit that modular helmets hold is the helmet intercom system that makes communication on the road easier for the rider. Bluetooth motorcycle speakers and microphones are available which can be paired with one’s phone and then connected to the helmet system. This is especially helpful for riders who need instructions and communicate with others during their journeys like delivery people or riding instructors; anyone in need to block out wind noises can also do so by turning on songs or podcasts during their ride.
Are Modular Helmets Safe?
When asked this question, the short answer will be yes. When elaborated, however, you will notice that they are lacking in some departments. When worn with the chin bar and visor raised, a modular helmet acts as an open-face helmet that doesn’t protect your face. In such a case, if you were to be involved in a crash, you might break your nose, hurt your face and even get long-term brain injuries. It also causes an imbalance in the helmet’s weight, meaning on windy days, your helmet might as well fly off of your head.
When sported with the visor and chin bar down, the safety level increases but it still fails to provide the same level of protection as full face helmets. As the chin bar is not a part of the helmet itself and is instead connected to it via a hinge system, its abilities are always questioned. When facing sudden forces, it can even lift on its own, providing no defense for the rider’s facer; at times, the chin bar breaks off of the hinge system altogether.
Why Aren’t There Any Snell-Certified Modular Helmets?
As most modular helmets barely meet the conditions set by DOT, the Snell Foundation or the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) who have more thorough testing systems don’t deem modular helmets to be rather protective for use.
Till now, no modular helmets have passed the meticulous tests set by the Snell foundation; the chin bars are comparatively weaker and less resistant to blows, while the helmet has a probability of slipping off in times of need. Hence, till now no modular helmets have been Snell-Certified. This–to many motorcycle riders–acts as a sign that a modular helmet will not be efficient in terms of protection.
Finding A Breathable Full-Face Helmet
A poor air circulation system discourages most riders from putting on a full-face helmet. The heat makes it harder to concentrate on driving and the visors are bound to fog up and make it harder to see. This is why, as technology advances, these days many full-face helmet manufacturers have been able to focus on increasing the ventilation system of the helmet without causing any scars to its protective functions.
With an increase in breathability due to proper vents, the price of the full-face helmet increases too. Some manufacturers even go as far as installing anti-fog systems in the visor that increase the rider’s visibility. You can also find anti-fog sprays or waxes that will keep your visors crystal clear.
Buying a breathable full-face helmet also depends gravely on finding the perfect fit. Something that is not the right shape or size for you is bound to feel suffocating, hence, take extra care when looking into size charts. While purchasing, make sure to try on the helmet for around 15 to 20 minutes so that you can identify any pressure factors that cause discomfort and create pressure points. You should also try moving your head around and making sure it doesn’t affect your flexibility.
Is full face safer than modular helmet?
Yes, full face helmets are safer than modular helmets. This is because it forms one firm piece that sits around your neck and is thus, efficient in protecting your entire head.
Is it safe to use modular helmets?
Although modular helmets are not as safe as full face helmets, they do however provide better protection than half-face or open-face helmets; they meet the standards set by DOT.
What are the benefits of modular helmets?
Modular helmets have a chin bar that can be raised by a hinge system meaning users can lift the visors to receive better ventilation or maintain a conversation with other riders. They can also support intercom systems, allowing communication via Bluetooth speakers.
Read Also: Benefits of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet
Are modular helmets noisy?
In comparison to full face helmets, modular helmets are rather noisy due to the hinge system that attaches the chin bar to the helmet. When the visor and the chin bar are opened, the wind can enter and create noises that can lead to deafness.
Are carbon fiber helmets worth it?
Carbon fiber helmets provide the highest level of protection whilst being lightweight. They are better than the ones made of fiberglass and manage to provide excellent scratch and impact resistance.
With all necessary information relayed, you can now figure out in a fight between full face vs modular helmets, who wins for you. Each has some perks that make it a better option, meaning you should choose wisely depending on the factors that will act as a plus point for you. Hopefully, you can now choose a helmet that will help you have a safe ride!
Paul, a graduate from the University of California, has been a Safety Advisor for over 5 years in USA. Along with his other 2 partners, who are professional bikers, he has been the chief of the headsafetyguard.com to create mass awareness on an often neglected issue: HEAD SAFETY