What are modular helmets: A complete guide

Riders have a variety of options when it comes to motorcycle helmets or face helmets, including full-face, open-face, and other modular helmets. The quietest modular helmet, sometimes referred to as a flip-up visor helmet or a convertible helmet, combines the benefits of both an open-face helmet and a full-face helmet.

what are modular helmets

They have a chin bar that the rider may flip up or remove to switch between an open-face and a classic full-face helmet. Modular and full-face helmets are preferred by motorcyclists who value ease and flexibility because of their adaptability. Face helmets will be discussed in detail in this article, along with their functions, advantages, and disadvantages.

To assist you in selecting the best rider helmet for your needs, we will also compare modular helmets to other types of face helmets, like full-face helmets.

Structure of helmets

Helmets consist of different structures, including:

Exterior shell

The exterior portion of the motorcycle helmet that is visible from the outside is called the exterior shell. Typically, it is constructed from molded polymers, Kevlar, polycarbonate, or carbon fiber. Additionally, it may be a mix of them. Its purpose is to shield the head in the case of an accident or injury.

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It ought to keep rocks, insects, and other exterior objects out. It is available in a wide variety of hues, tones, and patterns.

Face shield

This security component keeps all the dirt, grit, and insects out of your face and eyes. They’re typically detachable to make cleaning or replacing them simpler.

Certain motorcycle helmets just have a clear face shield, which is ideal for low-light conditions. Some also have a few colored models. Many hues are ideal for various riding scenarios and the climate. Although some tinted ones might also prove useful, you should have a clear face shield because that’s the one, you’ll likely use regularly.

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Absorbing liner

Typically, the EPS impact absorption liner is found inside the exterior shell. Its function is to disperse energy and absorb stress in the event of an accident. In a nutshell, the exterior shell shields your head from outside threats, and the liner stops the power from reaching your skull. You’ll feel fewer foreign objects hitting on your head if the liner is excellent.

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There are various types of liners, and it all relies on the model and kind. Some have a single dense foam layer, whereas others have two layers for greater power absorption.

Chin strap

Your chin strap’s importance has already been explained. It aids in securing the helmet and keeps it firmly on your head while riding.

Typically, it is constructed of a woven textile and fastened with two D-rings. To wick away sweat, it is additionally upholstered with a material that matches the comfort cushioning. If your chin strap is properly fastened, only two fingers ought to fit in the space between your chin and the strap.

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Cushioned comfort layer

While the lining is a safety element, the padding is intended for comfort. No matter what kind of helmet you choose, this is the part that supports your head when you’re wearing it.

Typically, open-cell foam makes up this layer, which is then coated in a moisture-wicking substance. It should be soft, odor- and sweat-resistant, and comfy. For easier maintenance and greater versatility, be certain that it is detachable and replaceable.

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Both safety and general comfort depend heavily on the ventilation system. They assist in as much perspiration and odor evaporation as possible while keeping your head cool. Regardless of its appearance, it is essential for open-face helmets and full-face helmets. A proper ventilation system is something that all helmet manufacturers have their take on.

The ability to adjust the airflow based on the weather is provided by a good vent’s ability to open and close. With the ability to modify, you can maintain a comfortable temperature all year long.

Cheek pads

Not all the motorcycle helmet types have them. They are most frequently found in full-face helmets and open-face helmets.

These rest on your cheeks and can be taken off for better cleaning. Additionally, they may be altered to fit the contours of your face because of their adaptability. If you share your helmet with someone else, this comfort feature is extremely useful.

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In that they offer some extra safety and aid in keeping the motorcycle helmet in place, the pads are comparable to the padded comfort lining.

Cons modular helmets

Like any product, modular helmets have advantages and disadvantages. Full-face and open-face modular helmets both offer ease and versatility. Consider the following drawbacks:

Safety: They may not provide the same amount of protection as a conventional full-face helmet, even though they are made to meet safety regulations. The chin bar system has the potential to weaken the helmet’s structural integrity and raise injury risks in the event of a collision.

Weight: Because the flip-up chin bar requires additional hardware, they are often heavier than regular full-face helmets. Especially on lengthy rides, the added weight might lead to neck pain and discomfort. Due to the extra connections and hardware, they may be noisier than conventional full-face helmets.

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Some riders may find the additional wind noise the chin bar system produces to be distracting and uncomfortable. Due to the extra hardware and functionality, they are typically more expensive than conventional full-face helmets. Some riders, in particular those on a restricted budget, may need to make a considerable investment in this.

Due to extra hardware and moving parts, they require more upkeep than conventional full-face helmets. It can be necessary to repair or replace the chin bar device if it becomes loose or broken over time.

Aerodynamics: Especially at higher speeds, the added hardware and moving pieces of a full-face helmet might have an impact on the helmet’s aerodynamics. Additional wind drag might result from this, which can be uncomfortable and weaken the rider’s control of the bike.

Advantages of modular helmets

In addition to being more handy and versatile, they are designed to boost rider comfort. Full-face helmets could make you feel constrained or suffocated, but it allows you to rapidly flip out the chin bar to obtain some fresh air, communicate with your fellow cyclist, or enjoy a snack or beverage.

The nicest feature about these modular helmets is that you can move the internal sun visors down when not needed to provide sun protection. An opaque visor must be removed from a helmet and replaced with a clear one to wear a helmet.

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When refueling, you might need to take off your full-face helmet because the modular version only needs the chin bar’s opening to reveal your face. When filling up with gas, you need improved sight of vision. Even when wearing the glasses, many motorcyclists find it simple to put on and take off their modular helmets.

Bluetooth connectivity is a feature found on several modular helmets. It may be a preferable option for novice motorcycle riders who find full-face helmets intimidating and a disincentive to riding.

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History of modular helmets

Helmets have been worn for head protection since prehistoric times. For protection in battle, the ancient Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans donned leather or metal helmets. Knights in the Middle Ages wore steel helmets to protect their heads during jousting matches and combat.

However, the usage of helmets for protection in non-military contexts did not start until the early 20th century. To protect himself while riding his motorbike, a British doctor by the name of Dr. Eric Gardner created the first helmet for motorcycle use in 1914. The helmet was made of leather and cork.

The British Standards Institution issued the first motorcycle helmet safety standard in 1928, calling for chin straps and impact-resistant helmets. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that helmet use took off, in part because of government laws and safety advocates’ initiatives.

The first full-face motorcycle helmets, which offered more protection for the rider’s face and chin, were launched in the 1970s. The first modular or flip-up helmets, which made it simple for motorcyclists to converse with others without taking off their helmets, were released in the 1980s.

In many contexts nowadays, including motorcycle riding, cycling, skiing, and many other sports and hobbies, helmets are commonly worn. They are intended to lower the incidence of traumatic brain damage and other head traumas, while also offering protection from impact and penetration.

With continued research and development, helmet design and technology continue to advance, with a focus on enhancing user comfort and safety.

Things to consider before wearing modular helmets

Motorcycle riders choose modular helmets or motorcycle helmets because of their simplicity and versatility. However, there are a few things you should think about before donning a modular helmet or a full-face helmet:

Safety standards: Verify that the one you are thinking about satisfies the safety requirements established by your nation or region. Check for certification labels like DOT, ECE, or SNELL, which prove that the full-face helmet has undergone safety testing and certification.

Fit: It should be snug but not overly tight on your head. For comfort and safety, a good fit is crucial. To choose the face helmet that fits you the best, carefully measure the size of your head and try on many brands and sizes.

Weight: Because the chin bar mechanism adds weight, they are often heavier than standard full-face helmets. Consider the full-face helmet’s weight, as a hefty full-face helmet might lead to neck aches and discomfort during extended rides.

Ease of use: Because of the chin bar system, they can be trickier to use than conventional full-face helmets. Make sure that, even with gloves on, you can easily open and close the chin bar.

Ventilation: When it’s hot outside, ventilation is crucial for comfort. Select the one that has plenty of airflow channels and vents for ventilation.

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Due to the additional joints and actuators, they may be noisier than standard face helmets. Look for motorcycle helmets or modular helmets with noise-canceling features like padding or a chin bar curtain that fits snugly.

Cost: Because of the complexity and additional functions, they are typically pricier than standard open-face helmets. If the additional features will cost more, take your budget into account. Overall, riders who want the adaptability of an open-face helmet with the extra safety of a full-face helmet may find modular helmets to be a wonderful option.


What is a modular helmet?

Even though this kind of face helmet is more frequently referred to as a “modular helmet” or “convertible,” we still mean the same thing when we say “flip-up visor.” A folding chin bar of the flip-up helmets is built into the front of the modular helmet.
A single modular helmet can thus serve two purposes: A jet when the lower portion is raised, and a full-face helmet when the lower portion is lowered, having an outer shell for the most protection for your head and reducing the wind noise.

What’s the difference between modular and full-face helmets?

Motorcycle full-face helmets weren’t a thing in the late 1800s. The only helmet-style of open-face biker helmet was available. They lacked any form of safety from accidents or other potential events that might occur while motorcycling because the open-face helmet lacks an outer shell.
Although Milo Hollister patented the concept in 1898, it was almost 50 years before a superior one was created. In addition to back coverage, the Bell500 full-face helmet prototype had features like a chin bar, an outer shell, that reduces wind noise, and a visor to get the most protection for your head.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the first modular helmet was made available to get the most protection for your head, but it was a game-changer. In 1975, both The Bell Star and Shoei Kabuto were produced. In addition, riding with a modular helmet open is not recommended.
The headgear was created with racing in mind. The wearer can move more swiftly thanks to their small weight and aerodynamic design. Both modular helmets offer the same protection as full-face helmets.

Why do people like modular helmets?

There are several reasons why individuals could favor and believe that donning modular helmets is cool:
Safety is one of the main reasons why people wear modular helmets. Modular helmets shield the head from harm that could result from accidents, sports, or outdoor activities. Wearing a modular helmet demonstrates your safety concern, which is an honorable and commendable quality.

Motorcycle riding style, there are many different colors and styles of full-face helmets, and some people choose to wear the one that best fits their interests or personalities. A biker may wear a full-face or modular helmet that matches their bike for the riding style, or a skateboarder may wear one with a distinctive design.
Modular helmets offer the feeling of security and are fashionable if you’re sporting a trendy modular helmet.

In social norms, in some neighborhoods, donning a modular and full-face helmet is an accepted practice. It may be assumed that those who don’t wear helmets are careless or reckless towards the sun visor. You can demonstrate that you are a member of the community and observe social norms by wearing a modular helmet.

Influencers: When participating in sports or outdoor activities, many riders, athletes, celebrities, and influencers wear them. People may desire to imitate them because of their influence, which makes helmets look stylish or trendy.
Overall, because it blends social standards, style, and safety, and features a retractable sun visor, many riders like and think that donning modular helmets is cool. Wearing a full-face or modular helmet can make you feel like a responsible and fashionable part of that community. Helmets have become more widely used and accepted in many areas.

Is a modular as safe as a full face?

Both full-face helmets and modular helmets safe for riding on the road if they are certified and high-quality. To decide whether to choose one or the other sort of full-face helmet, it is best to assess their individual qualities. This will enable you to select the full-face helmet that has the maximum protection and best suits your riding preferences and demands.


This is the main point. The results of all the available research on helmet safety consistently highlight two discoveries. First, wear a full-face helmet because they save lives. Second, while no helmet can guarantee that the rider will be entirely safe, the odds are increased if it complies with DOT regulations and, much better, receives Snell certification.

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Choose a full-face helmet or modular helmet that fits your style and is comfortable, then drive safely. It doesn’t matter which is superior.

Which one is best for you is what matters. This applies to pretty much all riding equipment, in my opinion. What works best for me and the way I ride might not be the best option for you or your riding style.

Your choice between a modular and full-face design will depend on what you value most in a street motorbike helmet.

Robert Miles

I have an immense love for fast motorcycling and a deep passion for motorcycles. With a decade-long involvement in motorsport, I have experienced thrilling adventures and have had the opportunity to explore various aspects of this exciting world.

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