Can’t Stand a Full-Face Helmet? Check out the Best 5 Open Face Motorcycle Helmets of 2020
It all started way back in the 1900s with Dr. Eric Gardner, medical officer at the world famous Brooklands racetrack in Great Britain. After every motorcycle race, Dr. Gardner faced treating numerous head injuries even from low speed offs.
These accidents were entirely due to the headgear is worn by the racers, which at the time was either a flat cap worn back to front or an aviator’s leather hat. In 1914 Gardner had seen enough and designed a dome shaped helmet made from canvas t stiffened by varnish made from beetle droppings.
Repeated blows from a plank of wood tested the domed helmets resistance to impact. Today, advances in technology and materials have given us lightweight open face crash helmets of incredible strength and innovative design.
Not everyone can get on with the confines of a full-face helmet. But if you want an open face with the same level of performance regarding safety, you have to look at a helmet like the J-Cruise.
This helmet is Shoei’s Rolls Royce of open face helmets, and it’s evident from the moment you put it on. The curved visor is reassuring smooth in operation and due to its superior manufacture, has incredible optical clarity even at the edges of your peripheral vision.
It even comes with an industry- first, air dam to cut down on buffeting at speed. The helmet also features a distortion-free built in sun shield that is operated via a switch on the left side and gives almost 100% UV protection.
The interior of the J-Cruise features Shoei’s 3D Max Dry liner system, which is removable and washable. Plus the EPS liner is a multi-part construction to allow for maximum airflow.
From a price point of view, the M1 goes head to head with the Shoei, so it comes down to a real battle of the specs and which design you prefer. The outer shell, which comes in two sizes, is constructed of composite fiberglass. This construction makes for a slower build process, but a very durable helmet.
The flip up visor also features a flick down sun shield, manufactured to EN 12312-1 standards. And a combination of five visor and sun visor colors are available as optional extras.
Keeping a cool head shouldn’t be a problem with the M1 thanks to the EPS liner’s Pro- Active ventilation system and 3D inner liner.
What sets the Schuberth apart though, is that it comes with a boomless microphone and speakers pre-installed. This feature means that there is no visible wiring. And the company’s next generation SRC Bluetooth comms system (sold separately) is ready to plug and play.
The Solid J-Cruise is the open face helmet that feels as solid as a full face. Like most new Shoei helmets the fit has gone from round to a round/oval shape which, Shoei fans say that you need to go up one from your regular size.
Getting the right fit shouldn’t be a problem as it comes in four shell sizes that cover X-Small to 2XL. Shoei has also got helmet ventilation down to a fine art, and the vents on the J-Cruise Solid can be operated easily while on the move.
As with the rest of their top shelf range, the helmet features a Max Dry, removable and washable liner. And their wire operated face shield, which comes with a flip down sun visor, has been designed not to flip up unexpectedly at speed.
You will also notice that the shield sits lower on the chin than most and this has a unique effect on lowering noise levels.
The Shark Raw, took the French helmet makers three years to get from design concept to on the shelves. But the wait was worth it, especially if you’ve written the words ‘must be badass’ on your list of helmet must haves.
The latest version comes with an ECE and DOT safety rating, but just bear in mind that’s for the open face helmet, not the chin piece. Which although comes with a dust blocker and filter, isn’t designed for massive impact resistance.
As for the goggles, form over function takes a back seat here and show that the Raw has a serious edge to it. An awful lot of thought has gone into the double-layered eye protectors, which feature optically correct lenses by Carl Zeiss. They’re also anti-fog and vented along the bottom edge.
Weighing in at a mere 2lb 3oz the Raw is light and ventilation is excellent. The liner and cheek pads are washable, but care has to be taken with the goggles as the elastic straps slacken over time.
The Rogue may look like something left over from WW1, but add the face guard, and the Bell Rogue takes on a whole new edgy look. Coming from one of the most respected helmet manufacturers in the business, it also comes packed with 21st-century features.
Made from fiberglass and Kevlar resin means that the Rogue is very light. But thanks to the composite construction, is as tough as they come. Although classed as a half helmet, the injection molded neck guard gives it the feel of a 3/4.
Chin guards may be ok for lesser helmets, but the Rogue gets a muzzle! Like the Raw, it is not designed to take a serious hit. But being made from the same injection molded plastic as the neck guard makes it feel a lot more substantial.
The muzzle is also fully adjustable and has a removable inner filter. You are going to need eye protection with this lid, but be aware that the Rogue has a smooth contour, so goggles that slip back will be taking a one-way trip to the goggle bone yard.
The Best 5 Open Face Motorcycle Helmets 2020: Final thought
Whether it’s because full face helmets are claustrophobic or simply uncool, they just aren’t for everyone. Thankfully, there’s never been a better time to shop for a new lid, and in our review of the Best 5 Open Face Motorcycle Helmets of 2017, we’ve got some of the safest and coolest open face helmets ever made.