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Finding the right motorcycle helmet isn’t easy. There are so many options out there that it’s hard to know where to start.
If you’re thinking about a ¾ helmet but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a closer look at this popular style.
Comparison of the Best 3/4 Open-Face Motorcycle Helmets
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What is a 3/4 Motorcycle Helmet?
A ¾ helmet is also known as an open-face helmet. It’s different from a full-face helmet in that it leaves the face open and covers the top, back, and sides of the head. This style of the helmet does not have a chin guard, which leaves the face completely exposed. That means that a ¾ helmet isn’t as safe as a full-face or modular helmet, but it does provide more coverage than a half-helmet or no helmet at all. They usually come with a removable sun visor to protect the rider’s eyes when needed.
When Would I Use a 3/4 Helmet?
It’s not safe to use a ¾ helmet for all riding. For example, if you’re interested in adventure or track riding, this is not the helmet for you. That said, here are some popular uses for a ¾ helmet:
This is a good choice for commuting in rush hour traffic. The open-face design makes it easy to see around you and keep an eye on traffic. And this type is a lot cooler than a full-face helmet, so you won’t arrive at work covered in sweat.
Cruising is a special style of riding that focuses on taking your time, enjoying both the ride and the scenery around you. A three-quarter helmet is a great cruiser helmet because it provides an amazing view. Plus, it gives more head protection than a half helmet.
A ¾ helmet can be a great choice for touring, particularly if you’re sticking to side roads and taking a long way. If the helmet has an integrated Bluetooth communication system, that’s even better. That said, it’s not the best choice for highway speeds.
Review of the Best 3/4 Open-Face Motorcycle Helmets
If you’re looking for a great three-quarter helmet, you’re in the right place. Here are some options if you’re looking for a ¾ that’s also a DOT approved helmet.
BELL Custom 500 Helmet
Type of Helmet: Street riding, cruising
Materials Used: Composite shell made of low-profile fiberglass
Type: Open face, ¾ helmet
Certifications: DOT, ECE
Clasp type: D-ring
Weight: 2.41 lbs.
What Types of Activities is the BELL Custom 500 Helmet Best For?
The Custom 500 is a great helmet for street riding and cruising. Adding an after-market visor or shield makes it even more versatile. It’s not vented, so it might not be the best choice for long journeys or commuting in a lot of start-and-stop traffic.
Safety Features of BELL Custom 500 Helmet
- This helmet has a composite shell made of low-profile fiberglass that’s DOT and ECE certified.
- A padded chin strap and D-ring closure keep the helmet in place. The strap keeper also keeps things neat and out of the way.
What Are the Components of the BELL Custom 500 Helmet?
- 5-snap pattern. The integrated snap patterns work with a variety of aftermarket face shields and visors. It’s easy to add accessories to improve comfort.
- Padded chin strap. This helmet has a comfortable strap with D-ring closure that most riders prefer.
- Many sizes are available. There’s a Custom 500 helmet for everyone. It’s available in 5 shell and liner sizes, each with a low-profile look.
HJC Helmets CS-5N
Type of Helmet: Street, Touring, Cruising
Materials Used: Thermoplastic alloy outer shell
Clasp type: D-ring
Weight: 2.56 lbs.
What Types of Activities is the HJC CS-5N Best For?
This is a great choice for casual street riding. That said, it’s a good fit for commuting, cruising, and touring, too. The vents make it easier to wear for longer rides. Plus, you can snap on the visor when you need it to adjust to weather changes.
Safety Features of HJC CS-5N
- The outer shell is made from a lightweight thermoplastic alloy, designed using advanced CAD technology.
- Because this helmet is available in so many sizes, it’s easy to find the right fit.
What Are the Components of the HJC CS-5N?
- Ventilation. The adjustable ventilation system is unique in a helmet of this style. The open-face design combined with the vents provides great airflow.
- Padding. The brushed Nylex interior padding is soft and comfortable.
- Snap-on visor. Easily attach and remove the visor using the simple three-snap system. HJC has additional aftermarket visors for sale, too.
Best for the Money:
Type of Helmet: Cruising, Touring, Street
Materials Used: Injection-molded ABS outer shell
Type: Open-Face, ¾
Clasp type: D-ring with adjustment strap end retainer with brushed fleece Lycra touchpoints
Weight: 2.43 lbs.
What Types of Activities is the Biltwell BH-BLK-FL-DOTMD Best For?
This helmet is suitable for casual riding, commuting, and cruising. The open-face design helps you stay cool and doesn’t obstruct the view. A lot of people love the retro styling. Plus, you can add a visor as needed using the integrated snap system.
Safety Features of Biltwell BH-BLK-FL-DOTMD
- The injection-molded ABS outer shell is lightweight and rugged for safe cruising and street riding.
- The custom-shaped EPS safety shell delivers a snug but comfortable fit.
- The Lycra lined chin strap has durable plated steel D-rings to hold the helmet securely.
What Are the Components of the Biltwell BH-BLK-FL-DOTMD?
- Comfort liner and cheek pads. The Lycra touchpoints absorb perspiration to help keep you cool on long rides. The liner is comfortable and dries quickly. Plus, it’s removable and washable.
- Snaps. This helmet doesn’t have a visor. If needed, use the integrated brow snaps with after-market accessories. They're compatible with items from Biltwell and select other brands. Add bubble shields, visors, and more.
Best Low Profile 3/4 Motorcycle Helmet:
Daytona Helmets COMINU049916
Type of Helmet: Cruiser, Street
Materials Used: Polycarbonate plastic outer shell
Clasp type: D-ring
Weight: 2.35 lbs.
What Types of Activities is the Daytona COMINU049916 Best For?
Dayton Helmets calls this helmet a cruiser, and that’s just what it’s suited for. The design is comfortable and stylish thanks to the classic shape and stylish rivets. Plus, the removable snap-on visor helps adjust to weather changes. And you can’t go wrong with a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Safety Features of Daytona COMINU049916
- This helmet comes in multiple shell sizes to ensure a proper fit.
- An adjustable chin strap makes sure that the helmet sits on the head properly when riding.
- The removable strap-on visor helps block bright sunlight or rain from getting in the rider’s face.
What Are the Components of the Daytona COMINU049916?
- Lining. The moisture-wicking lining keeps your head cool and dry when riding.
- Adjustable chin strap. The chin straps move forward and backward and are easily adjusted to ensure a snug and secure fit.
- Slimline design. The low-profile shape avoids the mushroom shape that so many half and ¾ helmets have. Plus, the steel rivets add a touch of modern style.
Best 3/4 Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth:
Sena Savage Specs
Type of Helmet: Street, Cruising, Touring
Materials Used: Composite fiberglass outer shell
Clasp type: Double D-ring
Weight: 4.04 lbs.
What Types of Activities is the Sena Savage Best For?
The Sena Savage is suitable for street riding and commuting but it is a great cruising helmet. Not only does it provide a clear view of the scenery, but it also has the integrated Bluetooth features that make it easy to communicate when on the road.
Safety Features of Sena Savage
- This helmet comes with a short and long visor so you can make changes according to the riding conditions.
- With two available shell sizes and multi-density EPS lining, getting the right fit is easy.
What Are the Components of the Sena Savage?
- Bluetooth. The integrated communication system supports 11 hours of talk time. The advanced noise control makes communication clear and understandable on this Bluetooth helmet.
- Liner. The comfortable quick-dry liner is removable and washable. It’s easy to keep this helmet feeling and smelling fresh.
- Visors. This helmet comes with removable visors. Each can attach using the three snaps above the brow.
Open Face Helmets Pros and Cons
Open face or ¾ helmets have both good and bad things to consider before choosing one. Here are a few things to think about.
- Open face helmets provide an excellent view. This makes it easier to watch traffic and take in the scenery.
- They let you feel the wind on your face and the sun on your skin. A lot of riders love the feeling of freedom the bike gives them but feel stifled by a full-face helmet. An open face helmet is a nice compromise.
- They’re lightweight. Because they don’t cover as much of the head, they often weigh significantly less than a full face or modular helmet.
- They’re not the safest option. Although they’re better than a half helmet or no helmet at all, they don’t provide any protection for the face and jaw. If you’re most concerned with safety, a full-face helmet is a way to go. No helmet provides as much protection as a full face.
- They’re noisy. Open face helmets allow a lot of air to blow past the ears which may necessitate wearing earplugs.
Open Face Helmet Types
There are a few types of open-face helmets, including:
Open Face with Visor
Some open-face visors come with a visor or have a removable visor you can put on when you need it. This comes in handy when you need extra protection against the sun. If you prefer this type of helmet, make sure it includes a visor. Some brands make you buy the visor or other accessories separately.
Open Face with Bluetooth
Helmets with Bluetooth integration are one of the more modern and advanced designs. They often include a Bluetooth communication system. This allows the rider to communicate with other riders in their group. You can also sync them to your smartphone to listen to music or use GPS. Some even have an integrated FM radio.
Technically, open face helmets refer to the ¾ style, but other types of helmets let you feel the wind on your face. One is half helmets, which over the top of the head. These helmets give you a lot of ventilation, but they do not provide a lot of protection. Modular helmets are similar to full-face helmets, but the chin bar and visor lift to expose the face when needed. These are much safer than a ½ or ¾ helmet since they protect the face.
Here’s a closer look at different styles of helmets and how they compare.
Open Face vs Full Face Helmets
Open face helmets leave part of the face exposed. Technically, open-face is another term for a ¾ helmet. This kind of helmet covers the top, back, and sides of the head while leaving the face and chin exposed.
Full face helmets cover the entire head, including the face and chin. They are the safest type of motorcycle helmet available because they provide the most coverage. That said, they do have their downsides. Full face helmets are heavy and don’t provide the same field of view as an open face helmet.
Half Helmet vs Open Face
Half helmets and open face helmets are the same things. They cover most of the head, but leave the face and chin exposed.
Some people might include half helmets in the category of open face helmets. Half helmets provide the least amount of protection of all helmets. They expose everything below the brow line, including the face, ears, and chin.
Modular vs Open Face Helmets
Modular helmets are a hybrid of a full-face helmet and an open face helmet. They aren’t quite as protective of full-facefull-face helmets because they are not made of one continuous piece of material. But, they are significantly safer than an open face helmet because they have a visor and chin bar.
The benefit of wearing a full-face helmet is that, in addition to providing more protection, the front chin bar and visor open to expose the face. Some, but not all, of them are certified for riding with the visor in the upright position. Regardless of whether you can ride with a modular helmet when it’s open, it still gives you an easy way to expose your face. This comes in handy when you need to get some fresh air, take a breath, or talk to a toll booth operator.
How to Wear an Open Face Helmet
Now that you know a little bit more about open face motorcycle helmets, you might be wondering how to wear one, especially if you have glasses. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
How to Put on a Motorcycle Open Face Helmet with Glasses
- Turn the helmet over so you’re looking at the inside. Make sure the chin strap is undone and hold open the lining.
- Place the helmet on your head, pulling it down firmly.
- Adjust your glasses. Make sure the arms of the glasses are sitting properly on your ears and that nothing is caught in the lining.
- Put on the chin strap. Adjust it tight enough that you can only place two fingers between the strap and your chin.
- Check your glasses again, making sure they’re in place.
An important thing to remember about wearing a helmet with glasses is that both are important for safety. Finding a helmet that works with your glasses is key to having a safe ride.
How Tight Should an Open Face Helmet Be?
All motorcycle helmets should be tight enough that they stay in place without causing pain. Open face helmets should fit snugly around the top, sides, and back of the head.
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a motorcycle helmet. If you’re looking for something that lets you feel the wind on your face but still provides a fair bit of protection, a ¾ motorcycle helmet might be the right choice for you.
People Also Ask
We know finding the right helmet isn’t easy, and that you have more questions. Here are some of the questions people also ask.
How Much is a 3/4 Helmet?
Like all helmets, ¾ motorcycle helmets vary in price. You can find inexpensive options for around $30. But, make sure you take a good look at the safety certifications for anything in that price range. Some of the most expensive ¾ helmets cost upwards of $500.
How to Lock an Open Face Helmet to Bike
The best way to lock any helmet to your bike is to get a helmet lock. If there isn’t a specific place to attach a helmet lock, threading it through the D-rings on the chin strap is always an option.
How to Open the Face Shield for an Open Face Helmet
A lot of open face helmets don’t have face shields. If they do, they’re typically integrated into the helmet and should easily slide up and down. More common with a ¾ helmet is an options visor. These attach above the brow using snaps and provide some protection from the sun. If you want to protect your eyes from debris and wind, a pair of glasses or goggles are a good option.
How to Remove Padding from an Open Face Motorcycle Helmet
Each manufacturer is different. Make sure you look at the manual before you start removing anything. That said, the process is usually pretty simple. Most helmets are designed to have the lining removed and cleaned regularly. It should easily come out and go back in place.
How Fast Can I Go with an Open Face Helmet?
As fast as you can tolerate. If you wear an open face helmet, you need eye protection. If not, the wind will be too much once you reach 20 or 25 mph. Even with eye protection, highway speeds are uncomfortable. The wind lashes against your face the entire time you're riding.
How Does an Open Face Helmet Protect in a Crash?
An open face helmet provides the same level of head protection as a full face helmet. It protects the top, sides, and back of your head. If these areas come into contact with anything during an accident, your head is protected. Your face and chin are exposed, though. They are still vulnerable and can be significantly injured.
Are 3/4 Motorcycle Helmets Safe?
They are safer than no helmet or a half helmet, but they are not the safest choice. If safety is your biggest concern, always ride with a full-face helmet.