A half helmet, also known as a brain bucket, skid lid, or open-face helmet, is a type of motorcycle helmet that covers the top and sides of the rider’s head but leaves the face, ears, and lower part of the head exposed. Here are some key features and information about half helmets:
1. Coverage: Half helmets provide minimal coverage, typically protecting the top of the head, including the skull’s crown, but leaving the face, ears, and neck exposed. They offer less protection compared to full-face or three-quarter helmets.
2. Shell Material: Half helmets can have outer shells made of various materials, including fiberglass, polycarbonate, or composite materials. The choice of shell material affects the helmet’s weight and durability.
3. Straps and Retention Systems: Like other motorcycle helmets, half helmets have chin straps with quick-release buckles to secure the helmet in place.
4. Ventilation: Half helmets may have minimal or no ventilation features, as they lack a face shield or visor. Riders rely on sunglasses or goggles for eye protection.
5. Weight: These helmets are generally lightweight due to their minimalistic design, which can make them comfortable for short rides or in hot weather.
6. Style and Aesthetics: Half helmets are often favored for their classic and retro appearance. They are popular among cruiser and custom motorcycle riders who prioritize style.
7. DOT Certification: In many regions, including the United States, half helmets must meet safety standards and have a Department of Transportation (DOT) certification to be legally used on the road.
8. Eye Protection: Since half helmets lack a face shield, riders often use sunglasses, goggles, or other eye protection to shield their eyes from wind, debris, and insects.
9. Notable Advantages:
Freedom and Airflow: Half helmets provide a sense of freedom and allow for greater airflow, which some riders prefer in hot weather.
Easy On/Off: They are easy to put on and take off, making them convenient for short trips.
Lightweight: Half helmets are among the lightest helmet types, reducing neck strain during long rides.
Reduced Protection: Half helmets provide less head coverage and offer limited protection in case of accidents.
Wind Noise: Riders may experience increased wind noise due to the exposed face and ears.
11. Recommended Use: Half helmets are typically best suited for low-speed, short-distance rides or for riders who prioritize style and comfort over maximum protection. They are not recommended for high-speed highway riding.
When choosing a helmet, it’s important to consider safety, personal preferences, and the type of riding you’ll be doing. For riders who prioritize safety, more extensive coverage and face protection are available in three-quarter or full-face helmets. Always ensure that the helmet you choose complies with your local safety standards and regulations.