Should You Purchase a Dual Sport Helmet?

A line of safety helmets are on display during Motorcycle Safety Day April 13, 2018, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. There is no Delaware State law requiring riders to wear a helmet but Department of Defense Instructions require all military and DOD civilian personnel wear a helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle whether on or off a DOD installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

If you have been riding for a while, then you have likely heard the debate between modular vs. full face motorcycle helmets, with Harley modular helmets being the standout in modular design. However, that debate only pertains to specific riders. For example, dirt bikers likely won’t want either style, but they might consider a dual-sport helmet, especially if they like trail riding and dirt biking. However, like any helmet design, there are positives and negatives to using dual sport options.

Increased Space

One benefit of dual-sport helmets over modular and full-face designs is increased space in the visor area. While snug fits are ideal in most situations, and adventure riders typically don’t require much room in the visor area, MX riders and dirt bikers like to wear goggles. Most standard off-road helmets do not provide enough room for goggles, but dual-sport helmets do. While it might seem like a minor benefit, it is quite significant for riders who require extra protection.

Improved Field of View

Next, most motorcyclists feel that the helmets with the best field of view are cruiser half helmets because they are designed without visors and other obstructive elements. However, dual-sport helmets also provide a large field of view both vertically and horizontally. Because of the increased visor space, the helmet extends forward, which allows for a larger visor that extends the peripheral sightline. The larger display also contributes to safer off-roading as riders can see a more significant portion of the surrounding environment.

Better Fog Control

The increased interior space also reduces the amount of fogging riders have to contend with, especially those who wear prescription glasses. For MX riders who wear goggles, they likely understand how quickly glasses fog behind goggles, which probably leads to them getting contacts or prescription goggles. A dual-sport helmet may prevent the need for additional goggles because improved ventilation means less fog to contend with.

More Ventilation

An essential part of racing and riding is remaining cool, and helmets play a significant role in that process. Some helmets are restrictive when it comes to air movement, which is beneficial in colder conditions, but when it is warmer, ventilation is a must. Dual-sport helmets have superior ventilation when compared to other helmets. Therefore, if you are planning on doing a lot of off-roading in the summer, a dual-sport option is likely best.

Poor Aerodynamics

While a dual-sport helmet has several advantages over other motorcycle helmets, aerodynamics is not one of them. If you do a lot of extended rides or adventure touring, then a dual-sport option is likely not for you. Highway speeds will probably demonstrate why this style of helmet is not right, but it is still a good option for urban and suburban riding. Although, it is designed mainly for MX and off-roading.

Should you buy a dual-sport helmet? That depends. What is your riding style? Do you do a lot of off-roading and dirt biking, or are you more into adventure touring? If you want more help to decide, then contact a retailer of motorcycle gear and discuss your options.