Motorcycles offer numerous benefits over cars, which has led to their excessive usage. Riding motorcycles cuts cost, they are easier to park, and are growing as a fashion among youngsters. But more importantly in today’s fast moving life-style, where everyone is in a hurry, motorcycles are pretty handy.
Its growing popularity is a boon but simultaneously it is a concern too. More motorcycles on the road mean more accidents. And for this, helmets have become essential. Driving a motorcycle without a helmet is like going to a war without armour. Many nations have made wearing helmets mandatory.
With the growing demands, the helmet industry is growing rapidly, offering a large variety of helmets, tailored according to the needs of the bikers.
Types of helmets
Helmets come in various types. Before we categorise them, it is very important that you look some of the essentials while choosing a helmet.
Primarily helmets – as they are head protective gears – must have a hard case, be very well fitted, and cover the whole head.
Secondly they must provide you with eye port space, and should not obscure any vision. The front portion of the helmets – which covers the eyes, has a transparent plastic face shield, commonly known as a Visor. Visor can be swivelled up and down as per the rider’s comfort. Recent helmets have dual visors, to enhance the visibility according to the changes in light. Basically you don’t need goggles if your helmet has dual visors.
Lastly, the pad which is enclosed inside the helmet shell, should be necessarily very soft, to reduce the pressure on your head, during a collision. These three – are the primary requirements of any helmet.
Helmets are further categorised based on their size, shape and fit. Generally there are five different types of motorcycle helmets.
Full Face Helmet
A full face helmet covers top, back and front of your head, most importantly encasing the skull and face entirely.
Most full face helmets are perforated with ventilation ducts, to allow air flow to the riders.
Off-road or Motocross
This helmet is intended for off-road uses, for example meandering and drifting. For this reason it has elongated chin and visor portions. It even has a chin bar, which is not present in a full face helmet.
Commonly this type has dual visors, to protect against dust and provide clear view.
Modular or Convertible
This type is popular among motor officers. The most special feature of Convertible helmet is that the chin bar in this kind, can be pivoted upwards or even removed, allowing the riders to eat, drink or even converse without removing the head piece every time.
It is termed as a “hybrid of full face and open face helmet” and is recommended for street use.
The problem with convertible helmet is that, it is not advised to be used in open, as the protruding chin bar increases the chances of neck injury in collisions.
Open Face or “Three-Quarters”
Open face does not come with a chin bar at all. It offers a full rear protection but minimal protection to the face.
With this type, you definitely need a wrap-around sunglasses or goggles to reduce the dirt and air particles from entering your eyes.
A half helmet, also known as a “pudding basin” is more common with the rockers. It provides a certain amount of safety to the skull region but no safety to the rear and front face regions. Some motorcycle safety foundations even prohibit the use of this type.
It is commonly used by short distance bikers, and not recommended on highways and other fast lanes.
Although it does not guarantee complete safety, it is preferred by a lot many bikers as it allows maximum air flow and vision unlike other helmet types which reduces air flow and vision and sometimes the whole charm of riding.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Although helmets provides with all the safety measures for a rider, wearing them can be tiring. It takes away the delight and glamour of riding. This is one of the disadvantages of wearing helmets.
Some of the other common disadvantages of wearing a helmet are:
- it gives a cage feeling to your head and is even referred as a “sealed head bubble”.
- it makes some riders feel nauseous,
- the inner pad becomes very unhygienic due to prolonged exposure to seat and head worms,
- and most importantly it inhibits the riders from communicating to others, you cannot communicate even with your fellow drivers or ask for navigation comfortably.
- some refer that wearing a helmet is like going off grid, as the use of most of your vital senses, are almost limited.
To reduce all these problems (or at least to a certain extent) technology has come to aid. A lot of motorcycle accessories today make the ride a very pleasant one. You can use a motorcycle GPS for navigation or install a Bluetooth speaker on your bike, to listen to your favourite music. But certainly nothing can beat a Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet.
The deal about bluetooth motorcycle helmets
Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet technology has moved many folds as the Bluetooth technology has drastically evolved during the past decade. The good part about this technology is that it is universal and can work on most full face, open face, and even half helmets. You just need to choose the best fit.
These helmets are conveniently like other ordinary helmets. In addition to the ordinary ones they have an inbuilt pair of speakers and headphones that connect via Bluetooth to your Android or Apple devices.
With Bluetooth helmets you can have bike to bike communication system that works super well. You can communicate to your fellow bikers, which is very important when you are biking in a group, and this is the least it provides.
You can listen to your favourite podcasts connecting to your phones or even iPods and make your journey a jazz, hip hop or pop. In addition to this, you will be surprised to find that some helmets even have an inbuilt radio system. Forget the long hanging wires from your pockets making the music and journey both, inconvenient!
You can use the helmet itself for navigation and no more need an extra pair of electronic GPS device, which saves you a lot of bucks.
And most importantly you can receive or make calls from your helmets via your cell phone, just by the push of a button, which means you are never off grid. You can simply make use of all your riding time, giving instructions and accomplishing your tasks on the phone. You don’t have to pull out your phone again and again, or take breaks in your journey to attend important calls!
Note that it is very important to choose a good brand helmet. Bluetooth after all is an electronic technology, and hence needs a guaranteed manufacturer. You might purchase a low end Bluetooth helmet, only to regret later, because of its inferior quality electronics.
Here, I have short listed some of the best brands that give full value to your money,
- Royal Enfield
- Steel Bird
- Hawk Helmets
And have also listed top five Bluetooth Motorbike Helmets, based on the technology they use, the devices they support and other salient features.
The first one which tops the list is the FreedConn BM2-S.
- It is a flip up, dual visors, full face helmet.
- It comes with built-in Bluetooth Version 3.0 Intercom Communication System.
- Has a range of 500 meters.
- Can be paired with a maximum of 3 riders
- Comes with an inbuilt FM radio.
- In addition to that, it is a waterproof helmet, available in more than 5 colors.
Review – Crafted with the highest standards and the latest Bluetooth version it is the best helmet in the market.
The dual visor’s surface is treated with unique anti-fog and wear-resistant technique, and both, clear visor and sun visor are pretty easy to open and close. What surprises the most is that it has a respiratory airflow which washes the visor to minimize fog accumulation.
The speakers at full volume are pretty loud, and offers crystal clear sound even on traffic struck roads.
The size might be a bit small though, so consider ordering a size bigger than what you normally would.
Overall it is an excellent helmet and remains the preferred choice for its sound, vision, look and quality.
Overall Rating – 5/5
The second in the list is the Torc T14B Mako
- It is rounded with a pointed nose.
- It features laser contoured comfort liner padding.
- Comes with a sun visor.
- It uses Smooth lock – a new lockdown system for locking down visors.
- Has a flag graphic, printed on the rear side.
Review – The sound from the speakers is very good. If you are traveling at 80mph you can hear music and voice absolutely fine without even reaching full volume. GPS directions are very simple and clear. Has an excellent air flow, although this in the winter can cause very cold temperatures inside the helmet. One flaw with this piece is its thin chin strap which is a bit flimsy too.
Overall it is a very good helmet, and the best you can lay hands on, in this price.
Overall Rating – 4.5/5
Third in the rating list is ILM Bluetooth Helmet
- It is a modular flip up full face helmet
- Features Bluetooth version 2.0
- Offers 8 Hours of talk time and 110 Hours in standby mode.
- Supports a maximum of 300 meters – rider to rider Intercom.
Review – The piece works very well. Volume is good and can be better but, for the price the quality is fine.
As it works on Bluetooth Version 2.0, the voice is not very clear and you might face some distortions, but that is a rarity. Other than calling, listening to music is just perfect.
An unwelcome situation is that if you wear it without moving it does fog up
Make sure to order a perfect size, because personally the fit was a bit larger than what it looks.
Overall it is a good head gear, and fulfills the basics of a Bluetooth Helmet.
Overall Rating – 4/5
Next in line is the Hawk H-500
- It is a full face large helmet.
- Has an Anti-scratch, anti-fog, wide field clear visor.
- The pads on the inside are removable and washable.
Review – This helmet looks impressively sharp. Bluetooth works nice and smooth. Listening to music and navigation is impressive but the sound goes down while talking on the phone. Visor easily pops off for cleaning.
The speakers aren’t the best, but as the helmet is priced substantially low to the other three, the speakers are worth the price. Fit is a little tight, but loosens up after a couple of wears.
A big issue is the microphone, which is of little use at high speeds.
Overall for a hundred dollars it is the best you should go for. A budgeted helmet is what you can name it.
Overall Rating – 3.5/5
The last in the list is IV2 Falcon 967
- Note that this is not a Bluetooth helmet, rather it is a Bluetooth enabled helmet, which means it is compatible with most of the Bluetooth units sold separately. (Please check with your Bluetooth device provider for more details.)
- Has a dual visor and a retractable Sun Shield
- It is a full face Street Motorcycle Helmet
- Comes with reinforced fiber and an ABS thermal plastic composite shell and is underlined by high quality foam with removable liner and cheek pads
Review – Though this is not an inbuilt Bluetooth Helmet, but is the best amongst the ones in which you can externally fit a Bluetooth modem. If you already have a helmet, in which you can fit a Bluetooth unit, then go for it, because it will save you a lot of dollars.
It has a comfortable interior and very importantly a quick release strap. Air vents allows maximum air flow.
One of the remarkable features is the graphics and design, which makes it an undoubted choice of the youngsters.
Overall it is the best and most economical head gear available, and can be easily converted to a Bluetooth Helmet. So, if you are looking for a budget fit, then this is the best availability for you.
Overall Rating – 4/5
You can choose any of these best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets. And as an experienced and skilled biker, I assure you that you will be very satisfied with the product. So don’t look back, select form this list and start enjoying your biking experience from today.