full face vs open face helmet

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JustMark
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full face vs open face helmet

#1 Unread post by JustMark »

Ok, so ive read all the pros for a full face helmet vs open and yet when i bought a helmet i decided to go open face instead. When i was testing the bike out, the guy i was buying it from had a full face he let me borrow. It wasnt comfortable at all. Not that it was tight or loose, i just didnt feel like i could see very well at all. peripheral (sp?) vision seemed minimal at best to me. Am i weird that my first helmet is NOT a full face?

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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#2 Unread post by Johnj »

Have you ever tried to talk to somebody that had their jaw ripped off in an accident?
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#3 Unread post by jstark47 »

There's a chart around somewhere -- I'll post it later if I find it -- summarizing a German study of motorcycle accident statistics. The area of the head most frequently impacted in a motorcycle accident was the jaw. I like my jaw the way it is, so I'm not risking it motorcycling. But that's a personal decision of course, others may differ.

Contrary to the OP, I find another reason for using full face helmets is comfort. I ride year round (unless there's ice on the road). I'd rather not have 35F air blowing in my face at 75 mph, it's a tad chilly. I also opt not to have stones, bugs, and other small objects hit my face at speed.

As far as peripheral vision goes, in my case the area cut off by the helmet is so far to the edge of my field of vision it's of very little practical use to me. I maintain situational awareness through actively scanning mirrors, doing head checks, and listening (yes, you can hear with a full face on).

I had a 3/4 helmet once. I stopped using it after buying my first full face, and we eventually gave it away. As for half helmets, I don't much see the point.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#4 Unread post by csspostal »

Is this the one you were referring too?

Image

I had a 3/4 with a shield when I took the safety course. It made me a little more comforatable because it felt like I was in a hockey helmet.

Now someone posted a pic of their yellow full face helmet on here when they were in an accident It was awfully scratched up in the jaw area. I thought and my wife agreed I didn't need to get any uglier so I decided to get a full face helmet. I can just catch the edges of the full face in my peripheral vision. The only thing this will do I believe is to force me to do my head checks. I'll turn the to check to see if that thing in my peripheral vision is just the edges of my helmet or something sneaking up on me. The instructors told me we can lose close to 300 points on my full license test for just head checks so getting into that habit isn't a bad thing.

Truthfully though it is a personal decision on how much risk you are willing to take.

Now buying helmets may lead you to be called names by some people. Well it did me anyway. My wife called me a woman. I was :whome: She caught me looking at my next helmet which is a full face by Joe Rocket coming out early this year

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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#5 Unread post by solstice22 »

Well first I have to congratulate you on wearing a helmet! When I went helmet shopping I had two things that I wanted: Full-face and White. And here is why; I wear contacts and having 24-60mph winds in my eyes will dry my eyes faster than a desert, not to mention I do not like dust and crap flying in my eye. I also wanted my helmet to be white, as long as you are not riding in a snow storm, a helmet is the highest point on your cycle and motorists seem to notice white. Of course you can lose all sense of style and go for the neon yellow helmet however I find white to be a happy medium. I went out with these intentions and spent 5 hours in the motorcycle shop trying on helmets. As it stands now my helmet is my favorite piece of gear. I also wear a Skull Cap under my helmet to get a snugger fit and to keep it from smelling like sweaty nastiness. Everyone has their reasons for what they want, just make sure the reason you get your gear is for safety and comfort then style. Ride safe!

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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#6 Unread post by HYPERR »

Johnj wrote:Have you ever tried to talk to somebody that had their jaw ripped off in an accident?
Lol yeah. I mean why bother even wearing a helmet if you aren't going to protect the one part that is most likely to smash into the pavement.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#7 Unread post by JustMark »

Thanks for all the input. Maybe that particular helmet just didnt fit right for some reason? Who knows. Im sure at some point ill look at helmets again and probably end up with a full face also. Guess i just thought all helmets fit that way, and i didnt give em a chance. Ill have to hit the store and try on several different ones and see if i can find one i feel comfortable with.

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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#8 Unread post by jaskc78 »

JustMark--you're absolutely right about different helmets fitting differently. i sell quite a few helmets at my buddy's shop and i can tell you that Arai is the only helmet that fits the way they do. KBC's have a different feel, too; people either seem to love it right away or it's always just that little bit off that makes it uncomfortable. i tried on a bunch of Shoei helmets because i like a lot of their color schemes and graphics, but i never could find one that was comfortable. my first helmet was a Sparx and i loved it, but i decided to wear it again after wearing only my Scorpion since Christmas and i immediately noticed how differently they fit.

bottom line: try on every helmet you can and see how you like it. you'll know right away if it's something you might like or if it'd drive you nuts to wear it on a motorcycle. if it's something you might like, wear it around the shop for maybe 15 minutes or so and see if it develops any hot spots. if not, it's probably a good fit. also keep in mind that it should feel snug on your cheeks and it should be tight enough that when it's on and you grab the chin and move it back and forth the skin on your face should move with it (most noticeably will be your forehead, it should slide back and forth over your skull with the helmet).

there's a helmet buying guide on here, too, so may want to give that a good read before buying your next helmet.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#9 Unread post by Lion_Lady »

JustMark wrote:Thanks for all the input. Maybe that particular helmet just didnt fit right for some reason? Who knows. Im sure at some point ill look at helmets again and probably end up with a full face also. Guess i just thought all helmets fit that way, and i didnt give em a chance. Ill have to hit the store and try on several different ones and see if i can find one i feel comfortable with.
Like wearing (downhill) ski boots for the first time, a full face helmet can take a bit of getting used to. Once you're on the slopes, the "odd" feeling of ski boots is no longer an issue, because they're doing their job.

It does seem that a full face helmet will limit your peripheral vision, but I'm sure you'll discover that once you're riding it doesn't. Check out the "Helmet Fit Guidelines" - stickied at the top of this forum. Print it and take it with you shopping for a full face. You may reconsider.

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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#10 Unread post by dean owens »

a full face helmet felt constricting when i first tried them on and i thought i'd never get used to it. 3 years later and i can't imagine riding without one. knowing what i know i'd have a hard time wearing anything other than a full face helmet.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#11 Unread post by shane-o »

Ah


hmmmmmm


Open face = bugs to the kisser (aussie for face), stones to the kisser, sunburn to the kisser, kisser shall be torn off post accident etc etc

Full faced = Safe, safe, oh and let me see, safe :)


But geezuz, dont let safety stand in the way of "lookin the goods", nice allah party helmet with spike would be saying a lot using very little, its tempting very tempting ;)


.



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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#12 Unread post by storysunfolding »

I think this is the graph we were looking to find on this page

http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/swisher.htm

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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#13 Unread post by RockBottom »

Well, look at the bright side--an open face helmet does provide lots of low fat protein from all the bugs you swallow.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#14 Unread post by Grey Thumper »

JustMark wrote:When i was testing the bike out, the guy i was buying it from had a full face he let me borrow. It wasnt comfortable at all. Not that it was tight or loose, i just didnt feel like i could see very well at all. peripheral (sp?) vision seemed minimal at best to me.
Chances are, you're completely right with that one specific helmet that you tried, but there are dozens of helmet manufacturers out there, with maybe a hundred different models of FF helmets between them. Should be at least one that feels right and fits you perfectly.

It's not even just a speed thing; you could fall while making a slow u-turn or while the bike is completely stopped (hey, it happens), and a fall on your jaw from 5-6 ft can still cause a lot of damage.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#15 Unread post by MZ33 »

My face hurts just reading this thread!
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#16 Unread post by havegunjoe »

All the full face helmets I have seen go way up on the sides so as not to impair your peripheral vision. Second I like my face and jaw just the way they are. Third while I like the wind in my hair, if I still had hair, I don’t like the wind in my face and eyes and bugs and gravel hitting me there too. I have been smacked by an occasional stone or bug and without my helmet it would have really hurt, even on the chin. I have a bright red and white helmet so people can see it.


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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#17 Unread post by Johnj »

I just went out and bought a Shoei RF-1000. I wore it in the shop for over thirty minutes while chatting up some young girl who was working there. I'm so geeky.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#18 Unread post by HYPERR »

Johnj wrote:I just went out and bought a Shoei RF-1000. I wore it in the shop for over thirty minutes while chatting up some young girl who was working there. I'm so geeky.
I have that helmet. It is the quietest helmet I have ever owned.
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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#19 Unread post by sunshine229 »

JustMark wrote:Thanks for all the input. Maybe that particular helmet just didnt fit right for some reason? Who knows. Im sure at some point ill look at helmets again and probably end up with a full face also. Guess i just thought all helmets fit that way, and i didnt give em a chance. Ill have to hit the store and try on several different ones and see if i can find one i feel comfortable with.
Great idea!

Yes they all fit very differently so go somewhere with lots of variety.

I agree that when wearing a full face your peripheral may seem slightly impaired but they wouldn't continue to be designed that way if it weren't appropriate for riding.

My hubby had an accident wearing a full-face helmet and he did hit his jaw... the damage done to the helmet was unbelievable. Now I'll never wear anything but a full face.
Andrea :sun:

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Re: full face vs open face helmet

#20 Unread post by dweiss »

I feel absolutely naked if I am not wearing my full-face (I have a solid silver HJC), even if it is just to toodle down the street and do a u-ee.

I considered less coverage in the beginning, because I live in Phoenix AZ, and ride pretty much year-round...but I can wash off the sweat and wipe out the helmet.....and that seems a lot easier to do than sucking food through a straw for the rest of my life. :D
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