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Adventure / Dual Sport Helmet Buyers Guide

ADV/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!

  • Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS Torch Helmet

    Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS Torch Helmet

    Gary in IL

    Bell MX-9

    Very happy with this product from Bell. I wear glasses and I didn't want to wear goggles over them. This helmet solved that for me. I got the orange color and Wow.! It stands out and other riders can see me coming through the woods wearing it. That in itself is a huge plus for Safety. Yes I would highly recommend this helmet. RM you guys are awesome and I love your product reviews, keep up the great customer service...! Super fast shipping as well. Thank you Gary S.

    Read All Reviews
  • Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet

    Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet

    Keith in AZ

    A lot of wind noise - I wear ear plugs for highway speeds - I've worn Arai's for 20+ years so the fit for my noggin is typical, read: good.

    Read All Reviews
  • Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS Blackout Helmet

    Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS Blackout Helmet

    J. David in CA

    Cofortable and functional

    I was looking for a comfortable helmet, with ear cut outs for my Sena speakers and a cool look and value....This helmet nailed it! My head size in hats is a 7 1/8 so the Medium is the perfect size.

    Read All Reviews
  • LS2 Pioneer Element Helmet

    LS2 Pioneer Element Helmet

    Ray in OH

    Nice helmet just

    Nice helmet for the price and comfortable

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  • AFX FX-41 Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

    AFX FX-41 Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

    James in CO

    Looks and feel cheap - replaced with Scorpion AT950

    Vision is distorted when looking down at guages; looks shiny and plastic. Returned and bought Scorpion AT950 which is awesome

    Read All Reviews
  • Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS Helmet

    Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS Helmet

    DAVID in CO

    False information

    Picture of product is not correct. Face shield is clear, not tinted. Had to purchase additional face shield for tinted for extra money + shipping.

    Read All Reviews
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