Adventure / Dual Sport Helmet Buyers Guide

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Dual Sport Helmets

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!

Latest Riding Gear Helmets Reviews – You could win up to $500 for reviewing products!

  • Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet

    Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet


    Why wear anything else?

    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.

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  • Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet

    Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet

    Jason in IA

    Dirt helmet

    Bought this helmet with a real dual sport adventure expectations but with the vents that are fixed open like a normal mx helmet this wasn't water resistant or cold weather capable it looks nice and the quality of the helmet is great for the price but not a real dual sport helmet in my opnion

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  • AFX FX-39 Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

    AFX FX-39 Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

    kenneth in AZ

    comfortable, but needed some mods

    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.

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  • AFX FX-41 Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

    AFX FX-41 Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

    Scott in MT

    Fits good, but a few issues

    For those that have never had this style of helmet before, there is a LOT of wind noise in this style of helmet. This particular helmet's lenses are not optically correct, and I ordered 2 replacement shields with it. No difference after changing the shield, things are still distorted, and worse with the sun shade down. Feels a little cheap, and the visor has cracked already. Fit is OK, but very thin padding in the front of the helmet. I guess I had higher hopes, but likely will never buy this brand again. These are all things I could get used to, but why. If I hadn't thrown the box away, I would have returned it within days of buying it.

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  • Fly Racing Trekker Motorcycle Helmet 2014

    Fly Racing Trekker Motorcycle Helmet 2014

    ARTHUR in FL

    Great helmet

    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.

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  • Bell Revolver EVO Motorcycle Helmet

    Bell Revolver EVO Motorcycle Helmet

    clay in Alaska


    This helmet is amazing, fits much better (for me at least) than some helmets costing $200-300 more. I read lots of reviews about it being "noisy". Your on a motorcycle, going 70+ mph, welcome to motorcycling. I have a stack of helmets from Arai's to HJC's and I can tell you that they are all noisy. If it bothers you that much, maybe you should find a new hobby. If your not bothered by a little wind noise and you ride a motorcycle, you need a helmet. This helmet is comfortable, easy to use and best of all, has sunglasses built into it. Ive ridden with this helmet in the up position going 80mph and i was amazed that there wasn't any wind buffeting like I've experience with other modulars. The chin button is easy to find and use, as is the sunglass buttons. venting is OK, but no helmet I've used has venting worth talking about. The magnet for the strap is a nice touch also, Like most helmets, id recommend you find a place local to try it on as everyones head is different. Enjoy.

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