Modular Versus Full-Face Helmet- In-Depth discussion

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The helmet is unarguably one of the most important gears you need to consider to keep you safe on your motorcycle. Wearing a helmet while riding potentially minimizes the severity of head injuries and traumas. Although a helmet doesn’t guarantee ultimate protection, it can significantly lower fatalities. 

Given the probabilities your helmet carries in saving your life, it’s important that you choose this safety gear wisely. There are a variety of helmets available on the market, but the ones we’ll talk about today are Modular Helmets and Full-Faced Helmets. Even though both of these helmets are increasingly popular, they differ from each other significantly. 

Full-Face Helmets vs. Modular Helmets: Knowing the History

Full-Face Helmets vs. Modular Helmets: Knowing the History

Full-face helmets had not yet been invented when motorcycles first became popular in the early twentieth century. The only helmet available on the market back then was open face helmets. Needless to say that they failed to provide the safety needed to protect a rider’s face in a crash. Compared to modular and full-face helmets, open-face helmets provide far less even today.

In the 1960s, Bell introduced the first full-face helmets. The helmets quickly made their way to become the standard choice for track and other competitive riders. And soon after that, their popularity grew to attract a general population of motorcycle riders. One of the most notable innovations of full-face helmets was the chin bar given that up to a quarter percent of motorcycle accidents impact the chin. 

The modular helmets first appeared in the late 20th century because the riders wanted some extra convenience and breathability with a small compromise in protection. These helmets included a detachable chin bar and face shield that could be adjusted up and down with the push of a button.

Modular helmets are popular because they give maximum protection while allowing for additional ventilation and mobility. While both of these helmets – Modular and Full-Face – are increasingly popular for riders of all kinds, many still wonder over the differences. And that’s what we’ll find out today so can make better decisions. 

Full-Face Helmets

Full-faced helmets offer the best protection for riders because the entire piece of equipment is welded into a single piece with no weak points like a modular helmet’s hinge system. Let’s learn about the benefits and drawbacks of this type of helmet.

Benefits
  1. If you want the ultimate protection for your head, a full-face helmet is the one you need to pick. The chin bar is effectively integrated into the helmet’s overall structure, making it more durable than a modular helmet.
  2. Full-Face helmets don’t have hinges or other components, making them lighter than modular helmets. 
  3. Full-face helmets provide you the best chance of avoiding major injury in the event of a collision.
  4. You’ll nearly always be required to wear a decent full-face helmet if you plan on riding on a track day.
Drawbacks
  1. Full-face helmets tend to be claustrophobic for some riders.
  2. Full-face helmets may be too stuffy and lack appropriate ventilation for riders in hot areas.
  3. In cold or humid conditions, visor fogging can be a problem for full-face helmets, and wiping off the visor on a full face is much more difficult than wiping off the visor on a modular.
  4. If you wear glasses, finding a full-face helmet that fits comfortably around your spectacles may be difficult.
  5. Sun visors aren’t always included in full-face helmets.

Modular Helmet: Benefits & Drawbacks

Modular helmets are a good compromise between full-face and open-face helmets.  They fall somewhere in the midst of full-face and open-face helmets. These helmets keep us safe while driving without being too limiting. That is, we don’t have to take off our modular helmets to talk to our riding friends. Instead, after we park our bikes, we just flip the mask up.

Benefits
  1. A modular helmet offers the protection of a full face and the breathability of an open face helmet with a minimal compromise of safety. 
  2. If you ride in a hot climate, modular helmets provide you the ability to flip the front of the helmet open to grab some air.
  3. We can rely on a modular helmet to keep moisture out of our eyes and faces off when we ride in a drizzle or a sudden downpour.
  4. If you want to talk to someone face-to-face while stopped, modular helmets are a good option as they will allow you to do it without taking the helmets off. This is an ideal feature for couriers, delivery people, and riding instructors. 
  5. The venting technology in modular helmets prevents heat from accumulating inside our helmets. 
  6. Modular helmets are easy to wear if the rider wears eyeglasses. 
  7. Some modular helmets often have built-in tinted sun visors, a feature not so common in full-face helmets.
  8. The flip-up visor in modular helmets gives riders the convenience to grab a quick bit of chocolate bar or drink of water at a stop.
Drawbacks
  1. Modular helmets don’t guarantee the level of protection a full-face helmet does. This is because the chin bar of a modular helmet is not as reinforced as that of a full-face helmet. 
  2. Unlike full-face helmets, modular helmets tend to be slightly larger and heavier because they require additional internal mechanisms to flip the visor up.
  3. It’s not a good idea to ride with a modular helmet open. If the wind catches your visor, it may be blown off your head. And if it gets stuck on something in a crash, the risk of catastrophic damage also increases.
  4. It’s been reported that modular helmets’ face shields can disengage in a crash, leaving the rider’s face exposed.

Are Modular Helmets Safe?

Are Modular Helmets Safe?

Yes, a good modular helmet is a typically safe and effective motorcycle helmet. While it won’t provide the same amount of protection as a full-face helmet, it will keep you safer than an open-face helmet (as long as the chin bar is kept tight) and surely safer than wearing no helmet at all.

As mentioned above, the chin bar is the main source of safety concerns with a modular helmet. The chin bar in a modular helmet is not a fully contained unit so it will not be as strong as the chin bar in a full-face helmet. Another major question is whether the locking mechanism on modular helmets can be trusted to stay in place in the case of a collision.

Although the issue hasn’t properly been looked into, evidence suggests that the chin bars in modular helmets sometimes disengage in crashes. Even though the problem is not so widely reported, it’s something to consider before getting a modular or full-face helmet. To minimize the chances of this happening, choose a modular helmet from a well-known motorcycle helmet manufacturer with an excellent safety reputation.

Which one should you pick, modular or full-face?

Which one should you pick, modular or full-face?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the rider. A full-face helmet, in my opinion, is better 80 percent of the time. Having said so, if you like in a crazy hot climatic area, modular helmets may give you extra convenience.  

Modular helmets are popular because of their convenience. You can shatter the shield of a full-face helmet to promote airflow, but you can’t readily slurp from a Big Gulp while wearing one.

In the end, it isn’t about which one is superior. It all comes down to which one is better for you. This, I believe, applies to almost all riding gear. What works for me and the way I ride might not be the best option for your riding experience.

Understanding what you want from a street motorbike helmet will help you decide whether to go with a modular or full-face design.

Full Face V/s Modular

Conclusion

choosing between the two types of helmets is simply a matter of personal preference, desire for open air, and overall level of safety and protection.

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