These days, there is a common question amongst the biker, are dirt bike helmets street legal or not? No need to think that a regular helmet and dirt bike helmet looks similar, they are totally different from the build quality to the overall outlook.
The extra-large protruding parts, along with the wider opening, make a dirt bike helmet completely unique. So, chances are it might be legal, or might be not!
Don’t worry. I’m here to give you adequate information about its legality. And also, for your convenience, I’ll let you know which helmet should be your go-to for street riding.
Dirt Bike Helmets Street Legal or Not: What Does the Law Say?
Well, there’s a little bit of debate regarding this topic as the law varies from one state to another. But, as a conscious citizen, you must abide by the rules.
So, any bike helmets can be legal in the United States if they’re DOT certified. Now, the duty of “DOT” is to test the bike, helmet, and the roads they are going to be used.
After successful trials and experiments, they come to a conclusion and make the decision that will benefit you and your neighborhood. Therefore, not every model can be used for street riding.
On the contrary, the top brands always try out different things. As a result, they launch helmets that can be used on the streets or roads. So, I suggest you purchase the helmets from a well-known brand since they provide some best gears for you to hit the roads safely.
Difference You’ll Notice in Dirt Bike Helmets
As we know, the main purpose of designing a helmet is to protect our head from serious accidents, and there are some noticeable differences that you’ll find in modern helmets.
Good to know, every helmet isn’t created equally, even they won’t provide you the same amount of safety required while riding. Let’s say a helmet with full-face is less safe compared to dual-sport helmets.
Besides, when we talk about the structure, a dirt helmet comes in a large opening and is engineered to accommodate a specific glass or goggles. Also, to keep your jaws away from getting any injuries, this one right here equips a protruding chin, thankfully.
So when you ride at an average speed, you can get adequate fresh air due to the big opening. Needless to say, dirt helmets are free from visors. However, they have a sun peak in order to protect your eyes from extreme heat and UV rays.
Can I Use Dirt Bike Helmet for Street Riding?
That’s a good question! In a nutshell, dirt helmets aren’t the best choice for road traveling. It’s engineered usually for minimal speeds and is manufactured for tons of bumps.
Listen, since the dirt helmet gets some big protruding parts, it gets caught easily in the heavy air while you ride at a maximum speed. This particular type of helmet is aerodynamic. Consequently, when you try to ride more than 70 – 80 kph on the ride, it makes you feel like you’re wearing a sail! So annoying, eh?
What about Full Face Helmets?
Probably you’re wondering about getting yourself a full-face helmet, right? I don’t think it’s going to be your best decision. Confused? Let me clarify the matter.
Although some pieces of full-face helmets are designed to be a perfect choice for riding everywhere, it’s not the great pick for streets. However, you shouldn’t think about the legality. It’s safe and permitted by law.
The full-face helmet appears to be a little weighty compared to the dirt helmet. Besides, it’s built with top-quality materials and gets over 2 foam layers for ultimate comfort.
But as it covers your full face, you won’t get that much air into your face while riding. And the result? You’ll feel hot and sometimes annoying, especially in the summer.
In that case, dirt helmets play a vital role in ensuring maximum airflow. Due to the large opening, everything is unable to beat a dirt helmet in terms of cooling factor.
But as I’ve said earlier, dirt helmets aren’t that friendly with heavy wind, which is why they’re also not that suitable for the street.
So, what’s next?
Are Dual Sport Helmets Ideal?
Really, the name speaks for itself; it’s designed for both off and on-road use, and of course, it suits two different sports best! The best thing about the dual-sport helmet is, it gets both the features of a dirt helmet and a street helmet.
And guess what? It can easily be adapted or modified to the style of riding that you prefer.
Thankfully, this type of helmet gets a prominent chin bar along with a sun peak. Both the visor and sun peak can be removed while needed. In this case, when you prefer getting a street helmet (aerodynamic), feel free to take the sun’s peak off straight away.
On the flip side, putting on the peak back and removing the visor will be a wise decision when you want to get dirt (airy) helmets.
So overall, I think having a dual-sport helmet is the best decision that you should take, especially when it comes to riding on the road or street.
So, Can I Ride Dual Sport Dirt Bikes Legally on the Street?
You’ll be happy to hear that a dual-sport dirt bike is highly suitable and legal for the street. All you have to do is throw a number of plates immediately on them, and then you’re ready to go!
More interestingly, dual-sport dirt bikes are tested by DOT, EPA, DMV, and such well-known agencies. Speaking of the structure, they’ve got a relatively wider seat, ensuring a more comfortable ride.
Also, the softer suspension, as well as the powerful engine, make it just fantastic! Even you can go for up to thousands of miles without doing a lot of maintenance.
But every type of dual-sport bike isn’t compatible with street or road use. In that case, knowing the types becomes so important!
- Standard Dirt Bike (Dual-Sport)
Hands down, it’s a popular type amongst the professional rider who needs to have a bike for off-road use. What does it mean? Well, it means this particular type won’t be ideal for road or street use.
Kawasaki KLR 650, Suzuki DRZ 400, Honda XR 650 — these are some of the popular models of standard dirt bikes, which suit off-road riders most.
- Competition Dirt Bike (Dual-Sport)
Similar to motocross in terms of outlook, it’s used for serious off-road riders. However, the good thing is, a competition dual-sport bike is 100% legal for streets or roads.
It requires maintenance, but it’s not that comfortable if you compare it to the standard one. Users will probably feel like they’ve landed their butt on the seat of a motocross bike.
So I think if you’re wondering about getting a street-legal dirt bike, this one won’t let you down, trust me!
Hands down, KTM EXC F 500 gains a lot of popularity when it comes to competition dirt bikes (dual-sport).
Now, what do you think? Are dirt bike helmets street legal or not? Well, I’ve already given you the answer through this writing, and I’m pretty sure now you’re entirely free from all doubts and confusion!
Again, if the helmet you’re using is DOT certified, then it’s totally safe and legal for every street and road. Get it?