Deciding on a helmet is a sort of life philosophy. Each type tells a lot about the style, aspirations and character of the rider who wears it. But aside from aesthetic preferences, what are the benefits and features that characterize full-face, modular and adventure models? It’s a good idea to know so that you’re fully aware when buying one.
Firstly, whichever helmet you ultimately decide upon, you need to pay attention to several very important common factors – not least, safety. As well as looking for a helmet that is approved in accordance with current standards, you need to focus on excellence.
For those who use their bikes a lot, it’s best to opt for a helmet with an outer shell in composite fiber or carbon fiber, and preferably one that comes in a wide range of shell sizes, so that you can choose the perfect fit for your head.
For short- and medium-range urban or touring use, thermoplastic resin helmets are undoubtedly a good choice, especially for those who are new to riding, or those who are not looking for featherweight or race performance.
Also consider the composition of the absorbent layer, which is safer if it is in EPS that varies in density depending on the points of the head it must protect. An EPS (expanded polystyrene, the material that actually absorbs impacts) that is thicker in certain areas is strategic and saves lives, compared to helmets with EPS of default thickness.
La scelta del casco è una sorta di filosofia di vita. Ogni tipologia racconta molto dello stile, delle aspirazioni e dell’indole del motociclista che lo indossa. Ma a prescindere dalla scelta estetica, quali sono i pregi e le caratteristiche che connotano gli integrali, i modulari e i modelli adventure? È bene conoscerle a dovere, visto che al momento di acquistarne uno è fondamentale essere consapevoli.
You should also consider a number of factors that might not seem particularly significant but are in fact crucial to safety – the visor’s opening mechanism for example. A small mechanism takes less space away from the EPS, so a helmet with this feature will offer greater coverage and safety in the temple area.
Pay attention to the field of vision, which needs to be as wide as possible particularly towards the sides of the visor. The reason is simple, as greater visibility when riding can make a difference when it comes to perceiving your surroundings, and therefore the traffic around you. The visor is not simply a shield to protect against the air, as it must also protect against all other types of object, which is why its thickness is fundamental. Latest generation visors must be no less than 3 mm thick and must be of optical class 1, the equivalent to eyeglasses, meaning there is no image distortion.
The ventilation system is also the result of careful study, with air intakes and extractors that are strategically positioned in order to effectively expel heat and humidity. It's not just a question of comfort and breathability, as increased heat slows down reflexes and affects rider perception. It’s best if the ventilation system, and the entire helmet in fact, is designed and developed in the wind tunnel. Shapes that are more aerodynamic and fluid heighten rider comfort and reduce air resistance.
The full-face is the ultimate helmet, a type worn by professional MotoGP™ riders, but also by bike and scooter riders who want maximum protection. The main advantage of the full-face lies in its structure, the shell having no gaps other than the visor opening. The development of the shell materials (carbon and composite fibers) has further reduced its weight, so as to not to bear down on the rider's neck, to the benefit of safety and comfort.
Studying shells in the wind tunnel has led to increasingly compact and aerodynamic solutions. Aerodynamics is an important aspect for anyone who makes wide-ranging use of the bike, and not only for those who race on track. A helmet with advanced aerodynamics will offer less air resistance, for a smoother ride with less rustling and vibration, and greater comfort at higher speeds. And their sporty style - this too influenced by aerodynamic research - makes them aesthetically attractive and aggressive.
Created about forty years ago to meet the needs of touring riders and travelers, the modular helmet is highly appreciated and continues to evolve. The ability to open and close the visor and chinguard is a clear advantage in terms of its versatility. But don’t think that the presence of an opening mechanism will disproportionately increase the overall helmet weight. There are some modular helmets with carbon fiber shells that weigh less than many full-face helmets.
The chinguard can be opened when stationary and on warmer days, or even just to be able to talk and communicate with a travel companion. This type of helmet is equipped with an internal sun visor, convenient when on a long journey as the rider does not have to stop to put on or remove sunglasses depending on the light conditions.
Designed for long distances, modular helmets focus particularly on comfort, both in terms of practicality and acoustic comfort. They offer good soundproofing, reducing the rumble that can result from turbulence when traveling at motorway speed. It is important that the interior is made of high-quality fabrics that quickly remove moisture from the rider’s head.
AGV helmets of this type also stand out for the presence of a reversible crown pad in two materials, with one side in Shalimar material, which is warmer and suitable for winter, and the other in Ritmo, a cooler, summer fabric.
The growing popularity of maxi enduro and adventure bikes means that road riders are now increasingly likely to indulge in light off-road riding and exploration far from the asphalt. And so this kind of helmet has also grown in popularity. Technically, it is similar to a full-face model with its single-piece shell, but it has its own solutions derived from off-road disciplines, such as the removable peak that protects from both the sun and mud and branches during extreme off-road use.
The adventure helmet is also more versatile than any other solution. In practice, it is a helmet that offers four configurations, depending on whether or not the rider uses the peak, and considering the fact that the visor can be removed and replaced by a pair of MX goggles. Its customizable character makes it suitable for different bikes, as well as different uses, breaking the boundary that ties it to maxi enduros alone. In short, it’s a faithful friend in all situations and with any kind of bike.
Whether you’re looking for maximum performance, race-inspired style, comfort and practicality when traveling or in the city, or a helmet with an adventurous attitude, the important thing is to make a conscious choice and to be aware of the key points and essential characteristics to consider when purchasing a helmet.