Shopping for Her First Full Face Motorcycle Helmet and Having Problems

Share your opinions about good quality, lightweight helmets

Could you recommend a full face helmet that isn’t heavy? I have been riding as a passenger with my husband for three years and plan to take the MSF Basic RiderCourse and get my own license this spring. I always wear a helmet but mine is not full faced.

I tried a friend’s full face helmet but it was really heavy and hurt my neck. Are all full face helmets like that? Could you recommend one that would be more comfortable?

Sandra Thrasher
Seekonk, Massachusetts

Please share your advice in the comment section below.

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13 thoughts on Shopping for Her First Full Face Motorcycle Helmet and Having Problems

  1. Personally I really like ICON helmets and the way they fit. I got in a car accident 12 years ago and my C1, C2, and C3 in my neck (spine) cause a lot of problems, to the point where my neck literally cannot support my head. So having that problem, I have been in the same situation as you, wanting to find a helmet that wasn’t too heavy. I’ve been riding for more than seven years and have always had full face helmets. It’s not much but I hope it helps.

  2. When you purchase your helmet, also purchase extra face shields. If you wait until it needs replacing, you may not find one that fits.

  3. Lightweight and comfort are critical for gals when buying a helmet. The physical size is also important as some brands only have two actual shell sizes and make up the difference with padding inside. Carbon fiber is cool, but not necessarily a big weight savings. Try a visit to Cycle Gear that probably has more helmets to try on than anyone. Helmet shells today made from polycarbonate are extremely strong and lightweight. Bell Helmets makes a very lightweight full face that is reasonable priced. The shape of the liner is critical to your own head shape. Sounds like you are on top of that. An approved quick-release chin strap is also a bonus to new helmet users. Good luck!

  4. I didn’t see anyone else mention it, but besides fit being very important you must understand that the helmet will feel totally different during riding than when you are static or just walking around. The aerodynamics are also important. They will create some helmet “lift” at speed which takes some of the weight off your neck. Which aerodynamics work for you, depends on how you ride and what you ride.

  5. First, make sure you know your head shape and circumference. I am a medium long oval. Revzilla and a couple other sites list helmets by shape. I found a starter helmet that wasn’t heavy and fit well by going to a couple local shops that carried brands recommended for my shape.Remember the helmet should be tight when you first wear it. I wore mine for about two weeks about two hours a day around the house until it was broken in like new shoes.HJC and ICON and Harley-Davidson are my favorite helmet brands in a full face.

  6. I also went from a half shell to a full face and yes, it was an adjustment. My issue was not weight, but it made me feel claustrophobic. Gals above brought up oval and round heads—they are right, it’s important to have a proper fit to ever be able to adjust to it.I totally love wearing a full face now! My Scorpion EXO-T510 Azalea also has a sun visor built in, so I can ride with my glasses and flip the visor down in the sun and back up at night without changing helmets, visors, or glasses. I bought a second one so now I have one in black and one in white for those very hot summer rides. The liner is removable for cleaning. It has a great venting system built not only to keep you cool, but it also reduces the fogging of your visor.I used to wear a Shoei half shell but I must have the other type of head shape. I found the right full face by wearing it around in the dealership for nearly an hour, making sure it fit right and that I could easily reach all the features. A good full face helmet will extend your riding season!

  7. Personally, I love the Schuberth C3 Pro flip-up for the weight and quietness. However, they are for round heads of which I do not have. I’m an oval but thought I could manage. It is easy to flip up and has two visors so no need for sunglasses. I wore it one time while riding two-up in Colorado with a head covering. Unfortunately, I’ll have to get an Arai for oval heads eventually.

  8. Was the friend’s helmet you borrowed even the right size for you? If it was too big, chances are that would make it wobbly on your head. I recommend you go to a motorcycle store that has a large selection of helmets and just try them all on.I personally wear a small in a Shoei modular helmet. I don’t recommend a modular (flip up chin) as your first full size helmet. The mechanism to flip the chin up does add more weight. So go to a store like Cycle Gear or a dealer with a large helmet selection and try them on. Head shape matters, and some are designed for round heads and others are designed for oval heads. If you find one you like walk around the store and wear it for 10 minutes or so if you can. See if you get any hot spots on your forehead. I have an oval shaped head and some helmets literally give me a headache after a while.Good luck on finding the helmet of your dreams. I admire you for wanting a full face helmet.

  9. I like Shoei full-face helmets for their light weight and quietness and because they fit my head shape. I also have a Schuberth C3 Pro Women flip-up that I really like. It’s also lightweight. Arai makes lightweight helmets. They now make helmets for different head shapes.Lightweight helmets are more expensive due to the shell materials so you may have a little sticker shock. They are not cheap.It’s best to try on before buying. Find reputable dealerships who have an apparel specialist. They’ll be able to fit you correctly and help you find one that you’ll feel comfortable wearing. Wear the helmet around the shop for a few minutes to see how it feels. Can you easily find and adjust the vents? How much venting do you want?If you think that you may be changing out visors, like clear for night and shaded for day, or to get a visor you can use a Pinlock (anti-fog) insert with, have the salesperson show you how to disengage the visor. Some are easier than others to swap out visors on. This is another reason I like Shoei. They’re very easy to change out visors.A good, lightweight full face helmet that fits well is worth its price. I won’t wear any other type of helmet. I hope you find one you like.

  10. There’s lots of good information on the web. I watch and read reviews of any gear I’m interested in. A great helmet is an investment—financial and life-saving. Personally, I decided on a Shoei RF-1200. I wanted a modular, but the Shoei Neotec fit differently and I could feel pressure points. The RF-1200 is also SNELL rated which I believe to be a higher standard than DOT. The modular helmet was not SNELL rated. I wear this helmet all the time with the shield down and am not even aware that I have it on! It’s very light and comfortable for my shaped head. It has a lot of features other helmets did not. I can change out my shield so easily! I purchased a dark visor when I saw how easy it was.Good luck. I’m happy to hear someone wanting a full face. There are charts of helmet points of impact in accidents. I would never wear anything less than a full face after seeing the data. Ride safe.

  11. I am not sure what helmet your friend has but modular full face helmets are very heavy. I have a Shoei RF-1200 full face. It’s a medium weight and it is fine and doesn’t hurt my neck. There are technical materials that can make a helmet even lighter but those are quite expensive.

  12. Every helmet is different and so is every full face. I’d recommend taking a morning and heading out to the closest motorcycle gear shop and just try on helmets until you find one you like.Personally, I always ride with a full face helmet. It does offer the most protection but there is added weight compared to a half helmet. For me, I was willing to power through the awkwardness and weight in the beginning and now I don’t even think about.My helmet is a Bell Qualifier with MIPS technology. I love the transitional shield (no worry about sunglasses while riding or it being too dark at night).

  13. I couldn’t find a helmet to fit my oval head. helped. After some measurements they looked through their database and found a list of helmets that fit me. Their number one pick was amazing—it fit perfectly! I’m sure they would have weight as a consideration as well.

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