Why Are Dirt Bike Helmets Different?

The function of a helmet, whether riding on-road or off-road, is known to everyone. And if you have a bike, you probably know better than most. Still, you can’t get your head around the difference between types of helmets. 

And you get it that dirt bike helmets are not like standard bike helmets. But why are dirt bike helmets different, and what makes them different?

Well, a dirt bike helmet or ATV helmet not just looks different but has many exclusive features to provide you with sufficient safety while riding off-road. 

And we are here to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of dirt bike helmets and their specific features. Read on because understanding why they are different will lead to your right ATV helmet.

What Is a Dirt Bike Helmet?

A helmet that is specifically designed to be used while off-road riding is a dirt bike helmet. It’s also known as a Motocross helmet or ATV helmet. 

Now, what’s meant by specifically designed? Many features come to play when it comes to off-road ridings, like comfort, protection, better airflow, and more. Typically, a motocross helmet comes with a robust chin guard, a larger visor, and ventilation. 

The chin guards are there to protect your chin and jaw when you fall off the bike and your face hits the ground first.

Also, when you repeatedly place your face on handlebars after hoops or jumps, a less rigid chin guard won’t be enough to prevent injuries. 

And the ventilation on the chin guards is there to provide sufficient airflow and prevent sweat and fog while you are riding aggressively. The ATV helmets are also lightweight, not to put extra weight on your head as you ride through bumpy roads.

Different Types of Motorcycle Helmets

While all motorbike helmets aim to ensure your safety, there are different types of helmets for specific uses.

And sometimes, it isn’t very clear to figure out which helmet type you should choose. But knowing about various models will undoubtedly ease the process. 

So, here are the five most popular motorbike helmet models. Let’s have a quick look at them.

Full Face Helmet

As the term implies, full-face helmets shield the entire head and face from the rear, front, and top, providing the most comprehensive protection on any unfortunate events. They feature a chin bar integrated with air vents to guard your chin and jaw and prevent the visor from fogging. 

The full-face visors can be flipped up and down, and most often, there is an additional UV protection visor to keep your eyes safe from the direct sun. These helmets have excellent aerodynamics, which makes them comfortable and quiet.

Modular Helmet

These helmets look quite like full-face ones in closed positions, except they feature a hinge with which you can flip the chin bar to make an open position.

Being able to open the front of the helmet has a plus side; it offers convenience when you stop making a call or having a coffee cup. 

The downside is, the hinge feature makes the helmet heavier and less safe than full-face ones.

Off-road Helmet

Off-road or dirt bike helmets are lightweight, have less insulation, more ventilation, robust chin guard, and no wind visor.

Each of the features has reasons like the open visor means dirt or mud can’t impair your vision, and you can use a pair of goggles instead. 

Lightweight makes it easier for you to keep the helmet on, on bumpiest roads. And the chin guard minimizes your injury chances, as you are more likely to fall on your face in case of any accidents. 

Dual Sport Helmet

These bikes are an improved form of dirt bike helmets with well-engineered features, making them suitable for roads.

In other words, they are a combination of off-road and full-face helmets with more inside cushioning than full-face ones, a lower chin bar, and a larger wind visor. 

The design and feature of dual sport helmets enable you to use them for both on and off-road ridings. 

Open Face Helmet

This helmet model is quite popular with scooter riders. It covers the head from the back, top, and sides but lacks any protection on the front. 

It features no chin bar, and thus your face and chin remain exposed to the breeze, which might feel comfortable in tropical climates, but offer minimal protection to crashes.

Why Are Dirt Bike Helmets Different?

Dirt bike helmets are different based on some features. Let’s have a look at what those are.


Dirt bike helmets are differently designed with loads of features to make them suitable for aggressive off-road ridings. The first noticeable difference is the weight.

These helmets are significantly lighter than street bike helmets, as more weight can stress your neck and head after a day-long ride on the bumpy road. 

There’s No Wind Visor

Another feature that might strike you as unlikely is the absence of a wind visor. Now, a visor acts like a shield in street helmets preventing any dirt or air insect from entering into your eyes. 

However, while riding off-trail, there is a lot of dirt and debris flying around that can quickly accumulate inside and outside the visor, blocking your vision. 


A dirt bike helmet features a wide opening to fit your goggles which tightly fit your face and prevents any dust from getting into your eyes. 

A long ride on a bumpy trail causes much physical exertion, and you sweat a lot. These helmet models are designed with much better ventilation than street helmets allowing you to breathe easily. Additionally, improved ventilation prevents fogging of your vision.

Less Insulation

These helmets also have less insulation inside to help them stay cool on summer days. Also, it enables you to listen to tire noises, whether skidding or sliding.

And you can get an idea of your nearby opponent with the sound. However, at high speeds, the noises can be a drawback as all you will be hearing is the wind noise. 

Chin Guard

And the most important of all is the robust chin guard. While street helmets are also good at minimizing chin and neck injuries, you are more likely to fall on your face while riding through bumpy roads. 

And these minor inevitable accidents can cause severe injuries without the highest level of protective chin guards. So, the dirt bike helmets are designed such. 

Last, another distinguishable feature of these models is the adjustable sun peak. It keeps your eyes safe from direct sun glares and blocks a lot of debris picked up by your front rider.

Are Dirt Bike Helmets Safer?

All bike helmets have a common purpose that is providing safety. However, each type is designed with exclusive features, making it the best fit for a specific purpose.

For instance, full-face ones are considered the safest while riding on-street, but not for off-trail. But it would help if you did not put them on while on mud roads. 

Conversely, it’s not safe to use dirt bike helmets on street. They are made to work at low speed, on bumpy grounds. Thus, include less weight, more ventilation, less insulation, sun peak, chin guard, and more. 

So, for aggressive off-trail rides, yes, dirt bike helmets are safer.

Can You Use Dirt Bike Helmet for Street Riding?

Well, you can use a dirt bike helmet on the streets, but it is not recommended that you do. The reason is, these models are designed for low-speed off-road riding and can cause a lot more trouble if used on streets. 

If you are riding on-road, you are likely over 60-70 km/h. At this speed, the open visor can make it difficult for you to see without glasses. Also, you will hear a lot of wind noises that sometimes can become unbearable. 

The lighter weight and sun peak can lead to serious head injuries if you encounter any accidents with dirt bike helmets on the streets. So, it’s not safe to use these models on-street.

Final Words

Having a helmet is not enough for your safety unless you have the right kind. And for off-road ridings, dirt bike helmets are the right kind. Still, you wonder, why are dirt bike helmets different? 

Well, for a lot of reasons. This article presents a detailed description of what makes these models stand out, along with a comprehensive narration of various helmet types.

We hope this is helpful to understand the safety requirements better while riding off-trail.

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