A Closer Look at Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets

The difference between standard full-face and modular

| March/April 2009

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    Z1R Eclipse

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What’s the difference between standard full-face motorcycle helmets and modular motorcycle helmets? Standard full-face helmets have a fixed chin bar, while modular helmets have a hinged chin bar that can be rotated up - handy when you’re filling your bike with gas or paying at the toll booth. Though we often see people riding around wearing modular full-face helmets with the chinbar in the “up” position, most of these helmets say right on the helmet that they should be closed when moving.

While we’ve come to regard modular motorcycle helmets as very useful, some people like them and some don’t. It’s just a matter of preference.

In most instances, Editor Landon Hall prefers a standard full-face helmet as opposed to a modular helmet, as they’re often a little quieter and a little lighter.

Editor Richard Backus and Publisher Bryan Welch both prefer flip-up helmets because they’re convenient. The remaining question is the safety of modular helmets. Though all the helmets here are at least DOT approved, none of the modular helmets pass stricter helmet testing, such as the Snell or ECE 22-05 standards. Some people believe in these tests, and some don’t. Again, it’s a personal decision.

So which kind of helmet is right for you? Our best advice is to try on a variety of helmets yourself. Both standard and modular full-face helmets have their advantages, but if you haven’t bought a new helmet in a while, you may be impressed with the level of quality and list of features available in a variety of price ranges. MC

Read more motorcycle helmet reviews: 
Eight Road-Tested Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
Seven Motorcycle Helmet Reviews for Touring
Six Retro Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
Seven General Motorcycle Helmet Reviews 

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