Curious about half helmets? Wondering, ‘Are half helmets safe?’ Look no further! Discover the truth about half helmets and their safety levels in this informative guide.

Half-helmets, commonly referred to as brain-buckets, offer minimal protection for the ears, face, and chin.

These helmets lack face-shields, leaving the face and eyes vulnerable to debris. Despite being lightweight and allowing ample airflow, they fall short in terms of providing comprehensive protection.

We will explore the pros and cons of it, discussing their impact, protection, and comfort.

Find out if they meet the necessary safety standards and what to consider before deciding. Stay informed and make a smart choice regarding your head protection.


Join the conversation and learn whether they are truly safe for your riding adventures.

What are Half Helmets?

Half helmets, also known as “low profile motorcycle helmets,” are headgear designed to provide partial protection to riders.

These helmets uniquely cover only the head, exposing the face to the jaw. While they may be called “open-face helmets,” this term typically encompasses head and ear coverage but not facial protection.

These helmets serve as a middle ground between open-face and full-face helmets, offering more head coverage than their open-face counterparts.

They are often playfully called “beanies” in common parlance to differentiate them from other helmet types.

When seeking the best motorcycle half helmet consider the balance between comfort, style, and safety that these distinctive headpieces provide.

Are Half Helmets Safe To Wear?

Regarding these  helmets, the question of safety lingers like a “million-dollar mystery.” Compared to full-face helmets, the risk of serious injury is significantly higher.


These helmets are best suited for experienced riders who embrace the risks. Picture the wind caressing your face, a tempting allure of half helmets, but it’s vital to note their limitations.

Inclement weather becomes a formidable foe as your face remains exposed to chilly gusts, raindrops, and snowflakes. Moreover, they leave you defenseless against smoke, bugs, dust, and even projectiles like pesky rocks.

To add a twist,  they aren’t meant for daredevil dirt biking or adrenaline-pumping sport riding.

They find solace in leisurely cruising, best reserved for short commutes under clear skies. Instead of a simple “yes or no” verdict on safety, let’s delve into the pros and cons, empowering you to decide for yourself.

Advantages of Wearing a Motorcycle Half Helmet

1. Better Visibility

Wearing motorcycle low-profile helmets ensures superior visibility on the road. With an open-face design, riders can enjoy a wider field of vision, allowing them to anticipate and react swiftly to any potential obstacles. No more compromising safety for a limited view!

2. Increased Airflow

Say goodbye to stuffy rides! These  helmets provide ample airflow, keeping riders cool and comfortable during their journeys.


The well-ventilated design prevents overheating and perspiration, allowing riders to focus on the exhilaration of the open road.

3. Less Claustrophobic

Escape the confinements of a full helmet! Opting for a half helmet offers a liberating riding experience. Feel the wind against your face and the freedom of the open skies. Embrace the thrilling sensation of being at one with the road.

4. Lighter Weight

Why carry unnecessary weight on your head? Motorcycle helmets offer a lightweight alternative to their full-faced counterparts. Experience the joy of effortless maneuverability and reduced strain on your neck muscles, enabling a more enjoyable and comfortable ride.

5. More Affordable

Save your hard-earned cash without compromising safety! These helmets are a budget-friendly option for riders. Enjoy the benefits of quality head protection without breaking the bank. Invest in your safety and your wallet simultaneously.

6. Easier Verbal Communication

Communicate effortlessly with fellow riders! The open-face design of motorcycle half helmets facilitates clear and unobstructed verbal communication. Engage in conversations, share exciting moments, and easily create lasting memories.

Disadvantages of Wearing a Motorcycle Half Helmet


1. Less Head Protection

Regarding head protection, women’s motorcycle helmets with retractable visors may not be the best choice.

These, while stylish and lightweight, fall under these helmets or in terms of providing comprehensive coverage. With their open-face design, the chin and face remain exposed, increasing the risk of facial and dental injuries in the event of an accident.

The lack of a full-face shield also leaves the eyes vulnerable to debris and wind. Safety should never be compromised, and opting for a full-face helmet can significantly enhance head protection on your rides.

2. Less Noise Protection

While the airflow in these helmets may be appreciated during hot rides, it also means less noise protection.

The absence of a full-face shield and the open design increases wind noise and turbulence, resulting in a noisier riding experience.

This excessive noise can be distracting and fatiguing, especially during long rides. Investing in a helmet with superior noise-cancellation features can help reduce auditory distractions, providing a more comfortable and focused ride.

Can You Hear Better With A Half Helmet?

  • Can you hear better with these helmets? Let’s find out!
  • Test it out: Wear a motorcycle half helmet with a retractable visor.
  • Enlist a friend to stand 10-15 feet behind you, speaking normally.
  • Can you hear them clearly? If not, ask them to move closer.
  • Now, repeat the process with a full-face helmet.
  • Compare the results. Which helmet allows you to hear the person talking from the furthest distance?
  • Discover the benefits of a half helmet: enhanced auditory perception and improved communication on the road.

Wrapping Up!

Half helmets, also called brain buckets, offer a lightweight design and increased airflow. They do not provide comprehensive protection for the ears, face, or chin.

Their lack of face shields leaves the face and eyes exposed to debris.

It’s crucial to prioritise safety by choosing a helmet that meets the necessary standards and offers optimal protection.

If you opt for it, be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety on the road.


Steve Hector is a writer for Biker Aware, specializing in all things motorcycles. With over many years of experience on two wheels, Steve is passionate about sharing his knowledge and insights with fellow riders. His love for motorcycles began at a young age, and he has since explored countless roads and destinations, fueling his writing and inspiring others to experience the thrill of the open road. When he's not riding, Steve enjoys tinkering with motorcycles and sharing his expertise with us.

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