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I could care less what any rider wears to protect themselves, head or otherwise. They’re your body parts and it’s your choice IMO. This coming from a rider who for years rode with a 3/4 helmet and really switched to a full face for noise/wind reduction than for other reasons. I’m also not interested in starting a hot debate on the merits or not regarding rider protection. But, for those gathering info or on the verge of making a lid choice (first, second or otherwise), I just picked this up in Quora, which I thought might be interesting to those who are at odds about what kind of lid they should choose. Regardless, as the saying goes, “you pays your money and you takes your choice.”

Are full-face motorcycle helmets safer?

I will answer with a picture of a very specific helmet, the Icon Airframe Statistic.
This helmet has a graphic illustrating, from data collected over years and years of moto accidents, the impact likelihood percentages for different parts of the helmet.

The data used to make the graphic comes from this study on motorcycle crashes: https://smf.org/docs/articles/hic/Helmeted_MC_JTrauma.pdf
Now, with the above in mind, what bits are missing from a 3/4 helmet? The chinbar - responsible for the majority of the crash impact locations.
A half helmet? add in the back of the head and the base of the skull, easily represented by higher percentages than the parts of the head actually covered by the half helmet.
And those tiny skullcap helmets? the ones that exist solely to appease the DOT standards for helmet-mandated states? such helmets would protect in only 3.6% of crashes according to the study. The other 96.4% of unfortunate downed riders would take the hit on an unprotected part of their head or face.
The only way to ensure that a helmet takes the hit in 100% of crashes? Wear a helmet that covers 100% of the head.
 

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I too am a firm believer in wearing or not wearing what you're comfortable with so no judgement from me.

I used to ride my sport bike with a full face helmet in t-shirts and shorts. Twenty years as an LEO and many motorcycle crash investigations later, I'm an ATGATT rider. Soft tissue injuries are no joke.

I went to a crash where a guy riding in a t-shirt caught his arm on a guardrail upright when he went down. It "sleeved" his arm from elbow to wrist. Perhaps the most gruesome and yet cool injury I ever saw. I could see every muscle and tendon that are usually hidden under the skin.

As to the helmet, I was watching a video from an EMT describing a crash where the rider went over the bars and landed face first on pavement and slid. Poor guy had a 3/4 helmet and ground off everything from the nose down to his neck.
 

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Playing devil's advocate
Something else that needs to be taken into account is the speed at which you ride in that helmet. An open face adds 10-15 mph to my perceived speed in my opinion and makes me ride slower.

I'm not saying that's gonna help you if you come off, I agree a full face much better protection in a crash,

I've been told a million times that someone doesn't wear open face because they have seen what happens?????

Bikers die often in Wales. I've never heard of one dying from having his face scraped off because he didn't have a chin bar yet.
99% of them are in a rossi one piece and full face. (the other 1%ride off cliffs where it dont matter what helmet you got on lol)
Imo full face and leathered up can make you do things you wouldn't try with your beard and balls blowing in the wind,
I mainly use an XO, I have open and full face helmets so have no dog in this fight.
I'm just never just never convinced by the open face bashing because my experience is ALOT more people die wearing sport helmets.
 

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As to the helmet, I was watching a video from an EMT describing a crash where the rider went over the bars and landed face first on pavement and slid. Poor guy had a 3/4 helmet and ground off everything from the nose down to his neck.
I think a Youtube video you once saw of someone else describing an open face injury is about as close as we gonna get to confirming this has ever happened
 

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The only serious injuries I have ever received on a bike have been on bits of me that weren't covered by leather or fibre glass composite.

But if I wanted to be risk adverse I'd drive a Volvo...very slowly...not on the road...

Just about to get my first open face helmet - going to be very interesting to see if it slows me down a bit.

I have changed from full on sports bike to naked bike to Bobber intentionally to slow myself down a bit - there are only so many times I can get away with a (well deserved) warning from the police.

....but I still really fancy taking the Bobber onto a track just for the laugh ! Unfortunately, I don't think my fulll leathers fit any more though (they seem to have shrunk a bit...)
 

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You could say there are to groups of people, there are people who buy cruisers to slow down a little and there are people who are short. 😬

Joking aside try the open. It's a completly different experience. I think they slow you down, at 50/60mph your chin feels pretty close to the tarmac even without crashing, they make you very aware of your speed..
Over 60mph you better have that thing strapped on tight cause it will start to pull your head off, like a built in safety limiter🤣
 

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Imo full face and leathered up can make you do things you wouldn't try with your beard and balls blowing in the wind,
If wearing gear makes you do more reckless things, you shouldn't be driving a motorcycle. Basing your logic on the actions of these types of people is generally a bad place to start your side of a discussion lol

In the most civil way possible, if you're not geared up while riding a motorcycle, you're being stupid. And that's not even a dig, it's actually just common sense that even anti-ATGATT people will just admit. Especially in the US around here: "If I die, I would've probably died anyway and at least I had decades of comfortable riding." Honestly, I don't disagree with the sentiment, I honestly don't care if anyone wears or doesn't wear gear, but at least admit that the idea here is stupid lol it is always a trade-off between safety and comfort and to me one of those is always the smarter option "I've never heard of story of this type of injury happening" - ok but it has happened to someone at some point 100% guaranteed lol why would you not protect yourself against it? I just watched a fking video of a dude getting absolutely obliterated by a BULL on the STREET charging him from the opposite direction (he lived after weeks in coma).

I'm on some messed up subreddits to keep me humble and safe if anyone wants to see these things that "never happen" actually happen to people.

I mean even if the discussion moves to non-fatal crashes, do you want broken fingers and messed up jaws and torn lower back muscles and all this other **** that'll never heal the same ever again? Just find comfortable gear that provides protection, it really isn't difficult.

Again, I'm just trying to give some of my own perspective. You don't need to agree, we're all adults with choices to make, no hard feelings. Being a statistician and physicist I'm sure you can tell which side of this discussion I'd be on.
 

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If wearing gear makes you do more reckless things, you shouldn't be driving a motorcycle. Basing your logic on the actions of these types of people is generally a bad place to start your side of a discussion lol

In the most civil way possible, if you're not geared up while riding a motorcycle, you're being stupid. And that's not even a dig, it's actually just common sense that even anti-ATGATT people will just admit. Especially in the US around here: "If I die, I would've probably died anyway and at least I had decades of comfortable riding." Honestly, I don't disagree with the sentiment, I honestly don't care if anyone wears or doesn't wear gear, but at least admit that the idea here is stupid lol it is always a trade-off between safety and comfort and to me one of those is always the smarter option "I've never heard of story of this type of injury happening" - ok but it has happened to someone at some point 100% guaranteed lol why would you not protect yourself against it? I just watched a fking video of a dude getting absolutely obliterated by a BULL on the STREET charging him from the opposite direction (he lived after weeks in coma).

I'm on some messed up subreddits to keep me humble and safe if anyone wants to see these things that "never happen" actually happen to people.

I mean even if the discussion moves to non-fatal crashes, do you want broken fingers and messed up jaws and torn lower back muscles and all this other **** that'll never heal the same ever again? Just find comfortable gear that provides protection, it really isn't difficult.

Again, I'm just trying to give some of my own perspective. You don't need to agree, we're all adults with choices to make, no hard feelings. Being a statistician and physicist I'm sure you can tell which side of this discussion I'd be on.
10 out of 10 for passion but I was talking bout open face helmets. Not riding in your socks. (y)
 

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10 out of 10 for passion but I was talking bout open face helmets. Not riding in your socks. (y)
My quote from you was about people in full gear making stupid decisions because of it. I wasn't alluding to your personal opinion of gear or how much of it you should wear at all. How is your response even applicable here? lol maybe you just wanted to clarify? and if you're riding with your 'balls blowing in the wind', it would be odd to even have socks on at that point lol but appreciate the 10/10 I strive for excellence
 

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I think a Youtube video you once saw of someone else describing an open face injury is about as close as we gonna get to confirming this has ever happened
You pays your money and you make your choice, everyone’s risk level is different and I wouldn’t criticise anyone for wearing an open face or even no helmet at all it’s a personal thing.

I know as a young man in the late 80s I toured Europe in a very thin leather jacket, jeans and trainers and one year when we got down to Greece where it was super hot I just rode in shorts and a t-shirt, happy days. But you live and learn and as you get older you start to realise you don’t bouncy as well as you used to! So as motorcycling kit improved my level of protection did to, and it’s a good job.

Seven years ago I was out for a quick spin on my 48 on a local country backroad when an artic pallet lorry coming the other way lost control on a bend and jack-knifed right in front of us. The closing speed for the BMW in front of me must have been something approaching 100mph (50 for the truck and 50 for the BM). For me it was possibly a bit less but with trees either side and with the lorry across the whole road sliding towards us at speed I had nowhere to go.

Somehow and I don’t know because I have no memory of the crash I ended up under the lorry between the cab and the trailer. I broke lots of bones, that included fracturing multiple disks in my back, a punctured lung and a big bang on the head. Fortunately the chin bar and visor protected me from a face vs. metal with the underside of the lorry.

So it does happen and the other thing worth mentioning even ignoring the 20% chance of getting something in the face in an off, usually full-face helmets offer more skull/brain protection than open-face helmets (particularly those favoured by cruiser riders) and that’s a big thing. As out of all the injuries I picked up that day the head injury has had the most lasting impact and I wouldn’t wish one on my worst enemy.

As a side note if any of you guys in the U.K. are doing a charity run this year and are looking for a charity to support I’d recommend ’Headway’ they do some remarkable work for head injury victims, many of whom are bikers and they certainly saved my life. Just hope you never need them!

Ride safe.
49366

49368
 

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My quote from you was about people in full gear making stupid decisions because of it. I wasn't alluding to your personal opinion of gear or how much of it you should wear at all. How is your response even applicable here? lol maybe you just wanted to clarify? and if you're riding with your 'balls blowing in the wind', it would be odd to even have socks on at that point lol but appreciate the 10/10 I strive for excellence
Wow. I'll try my best.
I defo get a bit more leany in the one piece leathers and full face then I do in the jeans and jacket. (motorcycle grade of course).

And I live in the UK its too cold to ride in socks 🤗
 

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Wow. I'll try my best.
I defo get a bit more leany in the one piece leathers and full face then I do in the jeans and jacket. (motorcycle grade of course).

And I live in the UK its too cold to ride in socks 🤗
Wow you'll try your best? in regards to what?
miscommunication central here today lol
 

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That's very impressive but how tall are you? 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣
6' .. you an adult troll on a motorcycle forum or are you just a monkey brain? lol

I found the perfect helmet for you:
49369


that response was hard to read dude, you are cringe af lol
 

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Bought a Davida open faced helmet a while back for the sake of looking “cool”. What a waste of money. My face got peppered by grit/flies/bees all the time. The worst thing was looking over my shoulder during overtakes, etc. The goggles kept getting pulled to the side.

Fair enough if you’re going to ride like a granny all the time, but for for me they’re more hassle than they’re worth.

The large aperture on my Bell Bullitt makes it feel more open face than my open facer. A lot comfier too.
 

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Bought a Davida open faced helmet a while back for the sake of looking “cool”. What a waste of money. My face got peppered by grit/flies/bees all the time. The worst thing was looking over my shoulder during overtakes, etc. The goggles kept getting pulled to the side.

Fair enough if you’re going to ride like a granny all the time, but for for me they’re more hassle than they’re worth.

The large aperture on my Bell Bullitt makes it feel more open face than my open facer. A lot comfier too.
ditto
 
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