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!
MARK in MO
Good helmet with large field of view, not a lot of wind noise, and vents good. Not affected by wind turbulence up 65 mph. Fit is usual for other Scorpion helmets, with slightly tight cheeks which from past experience become very comfortable with wear.Read All Reviews
Joshua in WA
I thought with the ventilation in the nose that the helmet would not fog up and would allow me to wear my glasses underneath without having to try and fit goggles over them. Every time I have worn it during a ride it has fogged. Granted one of the times was around 40 *F I assumed that it would stay reasonably clear. It runs a little tight, especially if you have a rounder face. Once it's broken in though it is a good fit and comfortable.Read All Reviews
Thomas in NJ
I really want to like this helmet and I waited to write a review but I just finished a 100mi ride on my Africa Twin and it was unbearable due to how much wind noise this helmet creates. I found that taping over the vents on the cheek areas and at the top helps quite a bit but the aerodynamics of this helmet are about as good as a mailbox. The angular area of the chin create a LOT of turbulence so it sounds like a 747 is taking off directly over your head at any speed above 25 mph. Even with earplugs in I just want to stop riding whenever I wear this helmet. In comparison, my FLY F2 motocross helmet with goggles is much quieter. The quality is pretty good for a helmet in this price range. The fit is pretty strange as its really snug in the cheek area. It runs small too, I tried XXL and had to exchange it for a XXXL, the strange thing is the triple XL didnt really seem much bigger at all. To fit any type of speakers inside, even the thin Sena smh-10, you will have to trim out some foam. Ventilation is good, until you have to tape over the front vents to prevent hearing loss. Visor has a bit of distortion but its not too noticeable once riding. The drop down sun visor is great. This helmet would be great if someone at LS2 actually rode with it and realized how terribly loud it was and then reshaped the entire helmet. Overall I would not recommend unless you are deaf or really want to be.Read All Reviews
Andre in NB
I tried 2 other brand before this oneal helmet, and they were not comparable, oneal has a better quality, foam inside are easy removable, and do not have flimsy snap. I love the sun visor inside, and overall quality, I recommend.Read All Reviews