One might ask what is a dual sport helmet and why are they characterised differently from all other types of helmets? Well, that is exactly what we are here to answer for you today and spell it all out A to Z.
A dual sport helmet is a hybrid or a cross between a full-face helmet and an off-road or MX-style helmet. Similar to a modular helmet design, a dual sport helmet offers a retractable visor (especially helpful for eyeglass wearers!) and a wider field and peripheral view than a full-face helmet. Also unlike off-road helmets, the visor is windproof and lets air in the helmet without lifting up and controls noise levels down to a minimum.
Dual sport gear is generally constructed with more than enough foam padding which can be removed if needed. For adventure or enduro riders, having a dual sport helmet means the freedom to travel through tough terrains with the visor down, away from harm and being able to retract it up to breathe in fresh air.
Such helmets do not come easy and it can be quite the task to shop for them so we have compiled all the best adventure helmet available in the market, complete with their pros and cons and a comprehensive guide on what to look for when shopping for a dual sport helmet.
The Best Dual Sport Helmets
Whether you are packing up your gear for your next adventure ride or looking for a new helmet that is suitable for on and and off-road travel, here are a few picks from the experts you may want to look into!
1. Arai XD-4 Full Face Helmet
Value Choice – Best for Daily Wear
The Arai XD-4 full face helmet is constructed of a compact, DOT approved shell design that provides excellent impact protection while riding on the street or travelling long distances to tour.
The aerodynamically tuned shell is integrated with multi-density EPS foam, around the head, neck and jaw, for additional protection from injuries during falls. Also, the face shield is prevented from fogging up through larger sculpted side cowl vents
Ventilation on the helmet is maximised by the large cowl vents on the helmet, air intake vents on the upper side with chin vents and exhaust vents positioned around the helmet for optimal airflow and cooling.
The interior is removable, washable and even replaceable. It stays put during high speeds and adds to the overall stability of the helmet. With attached metal rivets, the chin strap is functional and makes quick release. Also, an added chin curtain helps lower noise levels.
This Arai XD-4 helmet covers all that a rider essentially needs. It has the optimal ventilation for long breezy rides, the comfortable padding to feel relaxed in and the durable shell to ride safely in. Dual sport riders will especially appreciate the addition of aerodynamic stability in the shell shape.
2. Schuberth E1 Adventure Full Face Motorcycle Helmet
Convenient Choice – Best Vision Coverage
With a lightweight fiber glass shell design constructed with a shock-absorbing multi-density EPS foam, Schuberth’s E1 Adventure full face motorcycle helmet targets all the key areas for impact protection during speedy rides, from the rider’s noggin to their jawline.
The helmet features a dual visor where one is a clear drop-down visor and the other is an internal sun visor which allows riders to speed safely on warm, sunny days as well as windy days.
The interior system is as comfortable, with removable and washable padding all around and sufficient intake and exhaust vent ports to circulate air around, the rider stays cool and sweat-free during the summers.
The Schuberth E1 Adventure full face motorcycle helmet offers a wide visibility range with its dual visors, a breathable ride through its ventilation mechanism and a reliable structure.
3. SHARK EVO-ONE 2 Lithion Dual Modular Helmet
Stylish Choice – Best Aesthetics
The EVO-ONE 2 Lithion dual modular helmet by SHARK is a step up from their world-famous EVOLINE Series 3 and it features a fibreglass shell design for a shiny, classy look that does not compromise on impact protection.
The ultra wide eye port is automatic and moves up and down easily, even with gloves. Dual sport motorists will appreciate the enhanced kinematics of this helmet as well as its ventilation mechanism which features sufficient intake and exhaust vents.
The EVO-ONE 2 modular helmet by SHARK offers motorists the freedom of riding in an open-face helmet and the comfort of speeding while secured in a full face helmet. When riding on or off-road, short or long distance, this is one helmet that features all the elements a rider may need, from aesthetics and lightweight to security and automatics.
4. 509 Delta R4 Ignite Helmet
Recommended by Experts – Most Anti-Fog
The Delta R4 Ignite motorcycle helmet by 509 is constructed using dual density EPS foam for complete impact protection during adventure rides.
The interior is made of expanded polystyrene and fitted with the company’s exclusive Pro Series Liner and cheek pads for comfort. Also, the chin curtain is made quick-release through their Fidlock easy-open magnetic strap clasp.
Best feature of the helmet is the added dual pane heated shield which eliminates fog and avoids blurring the vision for motorists, especially helpful when speeding through the day.
The Delta R4 Ignite helmet by 509 sets the tone for all modular/flip-up helmets with its better than standard approach to comfort, durability and breathability. Dual sport riders living in warm, sunny climates, windy days or even sub-zero conditions will appreciate the easy-open, glove-friendly extra large motorcycle helmet.
5. Troy Lee Designs SE4 Motocross Helmet
Premium Choice – Best for Racers
Constructed of a lightweight MIPS integrated shell design, the SE4 full face helmet by Troy Lee Designs minimises rotational force impact during road accidents.
For comfort, the nylon/polyacrylate liners and cheek pads are removable, washable and interchangeable for a customised fit around the rider’s noggin.
Airflow management of the helmet is supervised by 16 cooling intake vent ports, 6 exhaust vents as well as a ventilation system near the collarbone.
The SE4 MIPS integrated full face helmet by Troy Lee Designs is a dual sport rider and a racers best find for its wonderful aerodynamics, standard head shape fitment and its excellent ventilation mechanism.
6. BELL Unisex MX-9 Off-Road Helmet
Our Top Pick – Most Protective
Bell has been a household name for motorists all around the world and with every helmet’s launch, they seem to be getting better and better. Their recent MX-9 MIPS model is a favourite among dual sport riders for its tough polycarbonate shell design that holds up well against accidents and sudden impacts.
The highlight of the helmet is its MIPS energy management system which breaks the rider’s fall and disperses all vibrations minimising the impact. Also, airflow is managed by the Velocity Flow ventilation mechanism as well as the adjustable visor for summer days.
The liner is removable and washable for comfort and the fitment is perfect for all standard head shapes. The helmet is also sufficiently weighted and stylish so riders can speed comfortably and look cool at the same time.
The Bell MX-9 MIPS helmet offers all the basic features and enhances them so adventure touring riders and dual sport riders can enjoy travelling on and off-road. It is durable, lasts for years and is suitable for the summer and the winter days.
7. ScorpionEXO Covert Motorcycle Helmet
All-Rounders Choice – Most Comfortable
Leading the industry with their expert engineering, ScorpionEXO has released yet another bombshell and that is their Covert motorcycle helmet. With an advanced LG polycarbonate shell design, the weight of the helmet is minimised and impact protection is maximised.
The visors on the helmet are plenty and versatile, it includes a retractable integrated sun-visor for protection against the glaring sun and avoiding eye strain. It also features an additional clear visor for night riders and a dark smoke installed visor.
Comfort is the helmet’s core as featured by the removable chin that comes with neodymium magnets, an expanded polystyrene liner, sufficient padding and block-off plates for riding open-face.
The ScorpionEXO Covert modular helmet is one of the bests available in the market for dual sport riders. The features and safety ratings are top-notch so if the budget approves, don’t be shy to splurge on your safety.
8. AFX FX-41 DS Unisex Full Face Helmet
Unique Choice – Most UV-resistant
From one of the top helmet suppliers in North America, the AFX FX-41DS full face helmet is an all-rounder. Featuring an advanced lightweight composite poly-alloy shell design, the helmet is protective, abrasion-resistant and does not feel heavy on the head.
The fitting of the helmet is flush and has a quick-release mechanism using a single-turn screw. The flip-up face shield is removable, scratch and UV-resistant.
Also, the visors are clear and include a drop down sun visor as well to protect against the sun’s glare. Ventilation of the helmet is fresh and airflow is maximum allowing riders to breathe calmly in the summertime and avoid feeling claustrophobic.
The AFX FX-41DS full face helmet is a dual sport rider’s must-have, especially for round-shaped heads. The features on the amazing helmet are plentiful, from good aerodynamics to aesthetics, and performance is hard to beat..
9. O’Neal Men’s Sierra II Full Face Helmet
Editor’s Choice – Beginner Friendly
With nearly 40 years in the industry, O’Neal’s helmets are the best of the bunch and their Sierra II dual sport full face helmet is here to prove it. Constructed with ABS, the shell is durable against impacts and protects the rider’s head from injuries.
The Sierra helmet is aerodynamic, featuring a moisture-wicking air channelled liner that is removable and washable for ultimate comfort. Also, the dual sport helmet comes with sufficient vents for optimal airflow.
The full face helmet adjusts according to the rider’s noggin through the height-adjustable helmet shield and an integrated face shield. Also, the chin strap is padded and the closure is a Double-D safety lock type.
The Sierra helmet is lightweight, durable, aerodynamic and wins the aesthetics feature. This DOT approved helmet is a great pick for adventure riders.
10. EVS Sports Unisex T5 Solid Motorcycle Helmet
Best Overall – Most Durable
Unisex in nature, the EVS Sports full face motorcycle helmet is designed using a specifically engineered polycarbonate shell for maximum impact protection.
It is lightweight, measuring only 1580g. The interior liner is made of a dual density EPS, is removable, washable and moisture-wicking so the helmet can be worn in the hottest days without making the rider feel exhausted.
The intake and exhaust system features a Max Flow system for superior airflow and complete comfort. Also, the compression gasket can be integrated with the neck brace or the race collar.
The EVS Sports T5 full face helmet meets and even exceeds the best standard certifications meaning its durability and impact protection is top-notch. The comfortable dual sport helmet is definitely a great pick for adventure-touring riders and dual sport motorists.
What Are The Top Elements You Must Prioritise When Choosing A Dual Sport Helmet?
When riding on or off-road, there are specific considerations to keep in mind that can help you ride safely and with complete security. Dual sport motorcycle helmets are quite complicated so knowing what to choose and what to let go can make or break your experience while riding along the day.
First and foremost, comfort is of the highest priority. You are going to be travelling long distances and the last thing you’ll need is neck strain from the helmet. Make sure the helmet you zero in on is constructed using lightweight materials and offers sufficient padding on the cheeks and neck.
The exterior construction or material used can be as much an indicator of impact protection as it can be of the cost the helmet will incur. Fibreglass helmets look cool but do not withstand hot climates and are expensive. Polycarbonate and thermoplastic shells are affordable and protect the head.
Besides a good exterior, you will definitely need a helmet with a good interior so long distance rides do not feel stuffy or cause harm by causing strain. Make sure the interior is well-padded, removable, washable, water and scratch resistant, dustproof and anti-fog. Having a drop down visor also helps.
Most people have an intermediate oval head shape which is why a standard helmet is made to fit an intermediate oval noggin but to set matters right, make sure to measure your head correctly and compare with a standard sizing guide to understand what head shape will fit you best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is certification important in a dual sport helmet?
Yes, certification is of the utmost importance in any and every type of helmet but especially adventure touring or dual sport motorcycle helmets. Make sure the helmet you choose is DOT approved, ECE certified or meets the FMVSS 218 standard. It may be priced higher than an uncertified helmet but it’s worth every penny.
Are dual sport helmets comfortable for long distance?
Yes, most dual sport helmets are specifically made to target long distance riders and are fitted with removable chin curtains in a modular helmet style, padded for comfort and security or constructed with multiple intake and exhaust vent ports so air can circulate around the riders head.
Why do dual sport helmets always have a visor attached?
Visors on a dual sport helmet are generally made larger than full face helmets to allow a greater field perception and keep away dirt, debris and rainwater from entering the helmet. Also, most visors on dual sport helmets do not lift in the wind and are more aerodynamic and aesthetically-pleasing.
Dual sport helmets can be quite hard to shop for, especially given the high price tags most of them come with but with healthy research of the market and of experts’ recommendations, you can be one step closer to choosing your next great dual sport helmet.
Now that you have gone through the list of products above and read the comprehensive guide on how to shop for a dual sport helmet, you must be able to comfortably zero in on a dual sport helmet that will help you fulfil all your fantastic adventure touring, enduro riding and dual sport dreams!