Are Half Helmets Safe For Motorcycling? 

 May 26, 2023

By  Mia H.

Motorcycle safety is paramount, and choosing the right gear, especially a helmet, is crucial. Half helmets have gained popularity among riders, but are they safe? This article will explore the world of half helmets, examining their design, safety considerations, and the benefits and drawbacks associated with their use. Additionally, we will guide how to choose the correct helmet for optimal protection and comfort.  

Understanding Half Helmets 

Half helmets, also known as brain buckets or shorty helmets, are motorcycle helmets that cover only the top portion of the head. They offer minimal coverage compared to full-face helmets, exposing the face and chin. Despite their limited coverage, half helmets still provide some protection and are favored by specific riders for their comfort and style.  

Safety Considerations 

Regarding motorcycle safety, impact protection is paramount. Half helmets offer limited protection compared to their full-face counterparts. The absence of a face shield and minimal coverage make riders more vulnerable to facial and chin injuries in case of an accident. However, half helmets still provide better protection than no helmet at all.  

Pros and Cons of Half Helmets 

1. Advantages 

  • Lightweight and comfortable for short rides.  
  • Enhanced visibility and peripheral vision.  
  • Preferred by cruisers and scooter riders for their style.  

2. Disadvantages 

  • Reduced impact protection and coverage.  
  • Limited protection against wind, debris, and weather conditions.  
  • Minimal noise reduction.  

Choosing the Right Helmet 

To ensure optimal safety and comfort, consider the following factors when selecting a half helmet:  

1. Certification Standards 

  • Look for helmets that meet DOT (Department of Transportation) or ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) safety standards.  
  • These certifications ensure minimum safety requirements are met.  

2. Personal Preferences and Fit 

  • Try on different helmet models to find the right size and shape that fits your head securely.  
  • Consider additional features such as adjustable straps and padding for a personalized fit.  


While half helmets provide a certain level of protection, they have limitations compared to full-face helmets. The decision to wear a half helmet should be based on personal preferences and understanding of the associated risks. Remember, protection should always be a priority when riding a motorcycle, so choose the gear that best suits your requirements and provides the necessary protection on the road. 


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