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 FL
Love this helmet. You may want to order a size or two larger. I have a big head and when I went off of the sizing chart it said I needed a Large. Against my better judgment I ordered the large. Upon arrival I could barely get it on and it was way too tight. I contacted Rocky Mountain, they arranged for a pickup return and I reordered a XXL and it fit perfect. Great helmet. Easy return policy too.Read All Reviews
Todd in CO
Sizing chart was good - had to remove 5mm cheek pads until helmet packs out a bit which is a nice feature (tightening up fit at later date). Love the face shield flexibility in that you can crack it in cold weather (stay warm yet not fog), ride wide open with sun glasses on and be able to drop the shield quickly when landscape holds flying insects. Just overall highly acclaimed and tested helmet so worthy of cost. All my friends take note of it and say it's one they'd like to haveRead All Reviews
Michael in NC
Let me first preface this review with the fact that this is my first adventure/dual-sport helmet, so this is somewhat of a review on ADV helmets in general. Nothing was wrong with my street helmet but I read about how the adventure helmets were supposed to offer a wider field of view, allow you to use goggles, be more lightweight, have a sun visor, etc. Well, after wearing this for about a month and at least 600 miles, I'm not impressed. Sure it's a little lighter, that's why I got this one. But the visor catches the wind something fierce at highway speeds. My neck was sore after riding for a while. On long rides I have to take off the visor, which is time consuming because you have to use a little tool and remove 4 screws. Another problem with using an ADV helmet in general is that when you turn your head sideways at highway speeds it catches the wind more than a street helmet. And the shield is not as round so it's not quite as optically perfect. Also there are not very many choices for aftermarket shields with this helmet. I removed the shield and tried to use some goggles I bought and they barely fit in there, squished my nose so much I couldn't breath out my nose. When removing the shield on this helmet, I noticed the pivot corners were already gouging into the helmet and removed paint and left nasty scratch marks on the shield. This is hidden from view but it seems like a defect. The built-in shades work okay but it's hard getting used to because the lower side of the lens is always in view, unlike the smoke lens I put on my street helmet.Read All Reviews