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!
Shandon in OH
Very nice helmet. You could say I’m picky and pay attention to little details. There are zero flaws with this helmet. The fit and finish are perfect. The drop down tinted shade works smooth and easy. I don’t notice the wind grabbing the visor and there’s plenty of airflow inside to keep the sweat down.Read All Reviews
Pete in SD
In fairness, I only wore it on the couch. seems built decent, very light but runs small. The interior is very plush which is good to start, but may break in and be too loose. I swapped for a Bell mx9 which I didn't feel bad about squashing the foam inside to custom fit my head because it is less than half the price of the Krios.Read All Reviews
Darren in NH
I usually wear a small or a medium depending on the brand. This helmet fits great in a medium, so I'd say it runs a bit small. The cheek pads are snug, and the rest of the helmet makes good contact. It looks and feels like a more expensive helmet.Read All Reviews
Austin in CO
This is my favorite helmet I have ever owned. The shade visor is a little short, but it works. The fit is perfect and I have a huge, round head haha. I also have a sena installed on it and all the liners easy remove to be able to wash or hide the wires.Read All Reviews
David in TX
I purchased this as an alternative to my Shoei. Tried the Aria as well. This helmet is so well made and there is very little wind noise. The modular design is fabulous. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.Read All Reviews