Why the difference between off and on-road helmets?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by LuciferMutt, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Why do "off-road" helmets look the way they do? I've always wondered about this -- is there some functionality to the design? I can understand that on-road helmets are probably much more aerodynamic, but why make off-road helmets that much LESS aerodynamic?
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  2. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Off-road helmets are designed to be used with goggles and allow more air flow.

    Street helmets are typically quieter and have more protection from the elements.
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  3. tedder

    tedder irregular

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    air flow, goggles, and a hell of a lot of sweat.
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  4. Old Nubbins

    Old Nubbins Been here awhile

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    Extra structure on the chin helps out when you smash your face on the handlebars.
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  5. Cumminsman76

    Cumminsman76 befuddled

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    I went from an offroad helmet to an Arai XD3. The Arai is much nicer at speeds than my old HJC. But turn your head with either and you know the beaks there. I don't like riding with my dads street helmet without the beak to block sunlight though.
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  6. tedder

    tedder irregular

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    I removed the beak from my XD when I bought it. In fact, I'm not even sure where it is now.. just doesn't work at freeway speeds.
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  7. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

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    What they said.

    To make the difference clear just try wearing the wrong one for the job. It will become obvious pretty quickly.

    Go out on your bike sometime this summer (say July/August timeframe) with a street helmet... ride through some challenging off road terrain where your body is getting an insane workout just from the effort of the ride, but you can only go 10-15mph. That will make you understand what a dirt helmet is for. Street helmets just can't scoop in enough air.

    Then take that dirt helmet and hit the highway at 80mph. You'll quickly realize what street helmets are for.

    Personally, I wear my dirt helmet 90% of the time just because it's more comfortable. I'm used to on the road and it doesn't bother me unless it's really windy or if I get over 70mph... but I try to stay off the highway so I rarely get over 60 for any long stretch of time.
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  8. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    Ther visor on an offroad helmet is awesome for keeping roost and sun out of your eyes on the trail. Also, goggles are 10,000x better in dust than a full face street helmet. And the air flow plus washable padding are a must when you are working hard offroad and sweating.

    But that same visor that works so well offroad sucks at highways speeds. And rain at highways speeds is absolute, pure, unmitigated hell in an offroad helmet. So is cold. And the padding and chin bar in my street helmet look way safer for high speed impacts than what my offroad helmet offers.
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  9. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I was going to say the same thing, almost to the word. I use my MX helmet for a lot of road use on hot days, just way more air flow. The visor is a plus too when the sun is bright or low on the horizon. :clap
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  10. Motorrad Steve

    Motorrad Steve Adventurer

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    I think for what they are designed for. Off-road for off-road and street for street.
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  11. Silver King

    Silver King Maita'i roa ae!

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    :norton Thanks Captain Obvious! :lol3
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  12. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    It had to be said.... :ear
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  13. soboy

    soboy Long timer

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    +1 - It takes only one off road ride in a street helmet during hot weather to make one realize that won't work. I wear my Snell/DOT off road helmet 100% of the time that I am on my DR, except for the winter, when I wear my full face street helmet. In hot weather, I prefer the off road helmet and goggles for street riding. Much better air flow than any full face helmet. Except for solo off road winter riding, my street helmet is useless off road due to heat build up and dust getting inside the visor.
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  14. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    So the huge chin thing is to flow more air?
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  15. Motorrad Steve

    Motorrad Steve Adventurer

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    "Captain" I work for a living.
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  16. Silver King

    Silver King Maita'i roa ae!

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    :huh
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  17. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    That and the open face. I basically wear my Snell&DOT approved off road helmet anytime its hot enough to wear my mesh jacket. It helps considerably.
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  18. airjammer

    airjammer Western Colorado

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    Field of view is greater w/ off road.
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  19. racer

    racer Long timer

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    The visor or bill lets you deflect branches from your face by tipping your head downward a bit.
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  20. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    and more breathing room
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