The difference between dirt bike gear and street motorcycle gear is never more apparent than with helmets. They look completely different because they address different needs. A dual sport helmet combines the best features of both into a single package that can be effectively used either off-road or on-road. And fortunately, helmet technology has advanced so much that you don’t need to feel like you’re making a such a compromise when you choose a hybrid helmet; you’re able to take a single helmet with you regardless of what terrain you expect to find.
One of the defining elements of a dual sport helmet is the visor (or peak). Dirt helmets utilize visors primarily to protect against roost or branches. With a little head tuck, the visor can catch debris and prevent it from hitting your face. If you do heavy off-roading on your dual sport motorcycle, you’re likely to utilize the visor to the same effect. But even if you don’t, many riders find the visor to be a great way to block out the sun, making it an excellent feature for pure road use as well.
So why don’t all street helmets have visors? Traditional visors – like those found on dirt bike helmets, for example – tend to catch the wind when going at speed. This makes travelling at highway speeds with a visor-outfitted helmet annoying or even exhausting. However, many modern dual sport helmets have circumvented this problem by strategically placing vents that allow the airflow to move past the visor instead of catching it. Some helmets even have adjustable visors, which can help with this same problem.
Another important element of a helmet is the face shield. It’s standard on all street motorcycle helmets, but dirt helmets do away with it altogether in favor of goggles. As a general rule, dual sport helmets do include face shields. They tend to be warmer in cold weather, and they’re important at higher speeds. However, face shields aren’t ideal for dusty environments because it creates something of a vacuum and doesn’t easily allow the dust inside to escape. It can also begin to layer dust on the inside of the face shield, making it difficult to wipe off. Some dual sport helmets include features to combat this problem, but others make it possible to simply remove the face shield altogether and use goggles instead, allowing the helmet to be customized to the type of riding you need it most for.
Another nice thing about dual sport helmets is the elongated chin bar and venting. While generally not as pronounced as on a full-fledged dirt helmet, this feature allows increased airflow. If you do any intermediate-to-advanced off-roading, this is an essential feature as it will make it easier to breathe in more physically demanding environments. It also makes you less likely to fog up your face shield through heavier breathing.
At Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, we’ve assembled a large selection of some of the best dual sport helmets on the market. You’ll find a wide range of brands, including names that have left a big mark on the industry with a long history along with well-regarded brands that have entered the dual sport motorcycle segment only recently but which are still putting out incredible and innovative helmets.
Reading the product descriptions is one of the most important things you can do when searching for the best dual sport helmet for you. This is where you’ll find out which features a particular helmet includes (such as those mentioned above). And if you want the opinion of fellow riders, make sure to check out the customer reviews as well. They often contain invaluable bits of information that can help you make a good purchasing decision.
Take a look at our selection of dual sport motorcycle helmets now, and pick one up today!
WALTER in ID
You cannot beat this helmet for the price. I struggle with most helmets as they are generally designed for a more rounded fit. Helmet noise is not bad either. I wear ear plugs and the sound is really tolerable. Plenty of room for speakers in ear pockets if you're running an comm system.Read All Reviews
Donald in TX
Have worn this helmet for a couple of rides now. Fairly quiet, maybe not as quiet as the Arai XD3 that I have had for years, but as quiet or quieter than most. These helmets run large,....I usually wear an XL in most helmets, (Arai, Shoei, Scorpian, etc) but this took a L for me, almost could have used a Medium but probably would have been a little tight for me. Just keep this in mind when ordering. Quality seems really nice and is a good looking helmet. Visor seems to be stable so far, (does not seem to catch in the wind), probably as not much shading as I was used to from the Arai,.....somewhat a trade off. Happy so far.Read All Reviews
WILLIAM in AZ
Quite possibly the best helmet ever for adventure riding. It's so comfortable you forget it's on. Lots of side view makes it a safe helmet when you're in traffic and have to maintain your forward vision. Plus Arai's safety features and reputation make it a no brainer. I used RMMC's sizing chart and was awarded a perfect fit. Helmet was in stock and I had it to my door in two days. 5 stars to RMMC and Arai.Read All Reviews
kenneth in AZ
The helmet is comfortable and great for everyday use now that I have made two mods. 1) shorten the quick release strap so that it can actually get snug 2) extend the middle visor mount and stiffen the visor so that it doesn't vibrate. ultimately this may be from the specific dynamics of my moto/windshield, but still annoying. Overall a good, durable, comfortable helmet - for the price point.Read All Reviews
ARTHUR in FL
I mostly ride off road and this Helmet is light and fits great. I wear a 7 1/2 hat size and ordered a L helmet. Fits perfect. Lots of protection and very comfortable, there is a large opening around the ear so you can install speakers/communicator or Bluetooth. Great helmet for the price. Flip down visor has so much visibility compared to wearing goggles. Love it.Read All Reviews