Statistical evidence is conclusive that a full-face helmet offers the best protection when riding a motorcycle. But, and it’s a very important but, there are genuine reasons why they aren’t suitable for some riders to wear.
Approximately 12 percent of the world’s population suffers from some form of claustrophobia. This fear of enclosed spaces can bring on a panic attack, dizzy spells, and tachycardia (rapid heartbeat). All of which is not ideal when you need to concentrate on the road.
The other consideration is visibility. Some riders feel that the enclosed nature of the average full-face helmet hampers their field of vision.
It was for neither of these reasons though that the first open-face helmet came into existence. Like the independent development of the jet engine in the 1940s on both sides of the Atlantic, the first jet (open face) helmet advanced in Italy (AGV) and the USA (Prof.CF Lombard/Bell).
The creation of the jet helmet revolutionized safety coverage of the head and would be the last word in road and track safety right up until the invention of the full-face helmet in 1963.
Today, thanks to advances in composite materials and production processes, open face or jet helmets have again advanced in style and safety.
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YUIEN Carbon Fiber Retro Open Face Motorcycle Helmet
While the YUIEN helmet sports a smooth matt black finish, what lies beneath is 100 percent carbon fiber. If matt black doesn’t float your boat, this model is also available in green and orange. It also features a traditional carbon fiber weave finish in either matt or gloss.
You will find three snaps on the forehead to accommodate a visor or peak, and on the back of the helmet, there’s a studded flap. This final detail is essential if you don’t want to lose your goggles every time you push them up.
The inside of the lid features a leather-look trim and moisture-wicking faux suede comfort liner. The liner also provides good sound insulation, together with the cheek pads, which are removable for washing. This option is a plus point for anyone riding in hotter climates.
Keeping the helmet securely in position is an adjustable Double D-ring strap with a quick-release tab.
This DOT-compliant helmet has a generous shock-absorbent EPS liner but isn’t so thick as to give the rider the dreaded bubblehead look. Disappointingly, no information is available regarding the size range, but at 1.54lb, it should provide all-day comfort.
LS2 Cabrio Carbon Open Face Motorcycle Helmet with Sunshield
Although this Spanish manufacturer has branched out into biker clothing, LS2 made their name producing feature-laden helmets at a reasonable price.
LS2 helmets are not the lightest on the market, but at a fraction over 2lb, the weight of this carbon model is hardly a neck bender.
The carbon fiber is in a checkerboard pattern, which looks impressive. Meanwhile, the circular flush fitting bracket on the side of the helmet adds class to the design. Set into the bracket is the switch for the flip-down visor, which the rider can operate from either side.
On the subject of visors, the Cabrio’s flip-down sun shield is made from an optically correct UV scratch and fog-resistant polycarbonate. This same high standard also extends to the (included) full-size flip-up clear visor.
The outer shell comes in three sizes covering XS-XXL and is preferable for oval head shapes. As you would expect, the hypoallergenic liner is breathable and removable for washing. Together with laser-cut foam inserts and a multi-density EPS liner, the fit is excellent.
Being a Spanish company and selling their helmets worldwide, the Cabrio comes with DOT and ECE certification, and the liner’s design allows for speakers.
|XS – XXL||2.09lb/950gm||DOT ECE|
Woljay Carbon Fiber Open Face Motorcycle Helmet
Available in matt or high gloss black finish, the latter makes the Woljay helmet appear more expensive than its bargain price tag first suggests.
Three snaps on the front of the helmet accommodate a decent size peak (supplied) and will also pull double duty if you need to clip on a full-length visor. On the rear DOT certification is proudly displayed just above the snap closure goggle-retaining flap.
The size range runs from M-XXL, but there is no information regarding different size shell sizes or whether the EPS liner takes up the slack. Similarly, the helmet’s weight isn’t supplied, but it’s still light at 2.64lb, including packaging.
Riders in warmer climes will welcome the removable and washable comfort liner and cheek pads. An adjustable ratchet chinstrap ensures the helmet is secure and joins via a quick release buckle.
Overall, with the added safety factor of carbon fiber, this is a useable open-face helmet that won’t break the bank.
|M – XXL||2.5lb/1130gm(approx.)||DOT|
AI DI SAI Motorcycle Open Face Carbon Fiber Helmet DOT Approved
For a helmet costing almost the same as the carbon fiber LS2 open face, I would have liked a lot more information from AI DI SAI, but I will share what I know so far.
The carbon fiber appears to be well laid, and the gloss finish is thick and even. The trim seems solid, and the comfort liner is removable in three pieces for washing.
You will find a snap-fastening tab on the rear to retain your goggles. While the adjustable chin strap features left and right pads to prevent the nylon strap from digging into the skin. A ratchet-style closure and quick release buckle make undoing the helmet a one-handed task.
Sizes run from XS-XXL, and as the EPS liner looks quite slim, the fit should be close, meaning no bowling ball profile.
YEMA YM-628 Open Face Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Helmet With Sun Visor
If you are a fan of graphics adorning your headgear, then the YEMA should fit the bill. As well as a matt finish carbon pattern, there is an option of two overlaid paint finishes featuring a Stars and Stripes skull or a skull with a Maltese Cross background.
Both styles feature a chrome strip around the edge, which gives the lid a vintage vibe. Besides the carbon fiber adding to the helmet’s protective qualities, the substantial-looking multi-density EPS liner should absorb plenty of impact shock.
Inside, the chocolate brown comfort liner and leather-look trim are removable for cleaning. The three snaps on the front of the helmet can take a peak or visor, and the chromed rear goggle snap and flap feature contrasting stitching.
Available in just three sizes, the helmet offers extra space on the sides of the temple to accommodate glasses. Riders will also welcome the pull-down tinted sun visor that is impact, scratch, and UV resistant.
The reinforced adjustable ratchet chin strap offers added safety. The buckle is quick release, and with laser-cut foam inserts, the fit should be great.
|M L XL||N/A||DOT/ECE|
Indian Motorcycle Open Face Carbon Fiber Retro Helmet
Before we dig into the helmet’s specs, let’s first address the elephant in the room. Indian and those other well-known V-twin manufacturers don’t produce either clothing items or helmets. No sir, they import them from manufacturers mainly in the Far East and rebrand them with their labels.
Does this justify the price? You may be paying more for the nametag, but the fact that they’ve put their name to an item means this open-face helmet is a class act. And this helmet is dripping class, from the contrasting stripe down the center of the matt black lid to its plush red quilted lining.
Three snaps on the front of the helmet hold the supplied sun peak firmly in place, and there’s a very neatly executed goggle strap holder at the rear.
The helmet weighs in at 1050gm, which may seem heavy compared to some others in our review, but there is a reason. The carbon fiber shell may not add much, but the quality materials used in the rest of the helmet bump up the weight. In all honesty, the extra heft feels reassuring.
The D-ring chin strap secures the helmet, and its quilted lining looks all day comfy. However, according to the specs, and the only disappointing thing is that only the cheek pieces are removable rather than the entire comfort liner.
On the plus side, the helmet is bluetooth compatible. Also, apart from the self-issued DOT sticker, the ECE label is also there to offer extra peace of mind.
|XS – 4XL||2.3lb/1050gm||DOT/ECE|
Bell Custom 500 Carbon Open Face Helmet RSD Edition
If you haven’t heard of Bell helmets chances are you live under a rock and don’t actually need a carbon open face motorcycle helmet. For the rest of the motorcycling world, Bell is recognized as the granddaddy of the modern helmet and this Custom 500 variant is a real gem.
The Helmet uses a composite blend of fiberglass finished off with bonded carbon fiber on the outer layer. You may also recognize the RSD logo on the side of the helmet and you can thank that beacon of bold taste Roland Sands Design for the awesome pinstriping.
Inside the top-shelf spec continues with a combination of quilted leather and suede like materials. To get the fit just right the Bell Custom 500 comes in no less than five shell and EPS liner sizes.
Five snap fasteners give you the option of a short style peak or a retro bubble visor, safe in the knowledge that the two side snaps will keep it securely in place.
If you demand new school technology combined with old school looks, this could be the helmet for you.
|XS – XL||3.5lb/1587gm||DOT/ECE|
Carbon Fiber Open Face Helmet FAQ.
Are Open Face Helmets more comfortable than full-face options?
The answer to this depends on the type of motorcycle you ride. I once took a Suzuki GSX 750R for a test ride wearing an open face helmet and goggles. At 160mph the lid’s limitations and the need for a rear retaining strap became very apparent.
But generally speaking, a good quality well fitted open-face helmet should be perfectly comfortable as long as you ride within the parameters of their use.
What are the Benefits of a Light Helmet?
Riding a motorcycle safely relies on the rider staying sharp. The lighter the helmet (while still complying with safety certification) means the neck muscles will become fatigued less quickly, letting the rider concentrate for longer.
For this reason, riders in the know opt for carbon fiber helmets, as they weigh far less than their plastic or fiberglass equivalents.
Will an Open Face Helmet Protect You?
It will, and in more than one way. A good quality open-face helmet will protect the top and front of the head and the sides and back of the head. The facial area is exposed, but a good quality full-length visor will safeguard the rider from adverse weather and airborne debris.
The significant increase in safety over, say, a half helmet is the protection it offers to the rider’s hearing. Even if you don’t ride with loud pipes, sustained wind noise on unprotected ears over 30mph is enough to give you tinnitus. A condition, which I can tell you, isn’t a lot of fun!
Is it a Good Idea to Wear Sunglasses or Goggles with a Carbon Open Face Helmet?
Yes, 100 percent. The helmets in our review feature goggle straps for a reason and a good pair of goggles should have shatterproof lenses and be optically correct.
I have ridden for many years with convertible military-grade goggles that can take a strap or arms and offer a range of lenses from clear to very dark. This type of flexibility is ideal for open-face helmets and means you get excellent eye protection and an unrestricted field of vision.
Sunglasses are also a common and necessary addition to an open-face helmet. But don’t let cheap knock-off Roybans tempt you! All your riding eyewear should be capable of taking a reasonable hit from dust, debris, and bugs.
Stay Ahead of the Game!
The type of motorcycle helmet you choose will always be dictated by which style lid the rider feels most comfortable wearing. Half helmets may provide the least coverage while still being legal, but an open-face helmet offers great looks and has more safety features.
Choosing a carbon fiber open face helmet offers great style, is lightweight, and impact-resistant, meaning you can ride longer and stay safe. For me, that’s a win-win.
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