Sometimes an open-face lid is a great option, sometimes it’s a terrible one.
Many flipfront helmets allow you to switch from full-face to open-face and back again in seconds, but these five helmets do it better than the rest.
The lids here all have chinbars that can be raised all the way over the helmet and left to rest at the back of the shell.
This gives you better weight distribution than having the chinbar sat on top of your lid, and they also leave the visor behind when flipped, giving you the benefit of proper eye protection.
The helmets here have made the cut based on the feedback in Sportsbikeshop customer reviews.
There’s a lot of love for Scorpion’s flip-over option among the customer reviews, with owners very complimentary about the quality, especially considering the relatively low price. Particular points of praise are for the security of the chinbar closure and noise levels (though some riders, as is the case with most helmets, say the noise level is higher than they’d like). If there’s a criticism it’s that the sun visor tint is quite light, but comments like that are largely drowned out in the positivity that abounds for this lid.
Shark are among the pioneers of this style of helmet and their refinement of the design shows in the positive feedback for the Evo-ES. This one has an anti-fog coating on the visor rather than the Pinlock found in Shark’s similar Evo-GT, and that is mostly well received by owners. Some riders feel it’s noisier than they’d like, but most accept it’s common for this type of lid to be a bit noisier than the norm. Some also found it tricky to return the chinbar from the back of the lid to the front (tip: pull it back slightly before trying to slide it forward).
The more luxurious of Shark’s two flipover lids is aimed at tourers rather than the more commuter-friendly Evo-ES, and this one has a top-grade Pinlock 120 insert to defend against visor misting, superior ventilation and a better liner. There are also a pair of thicker cheekpads included in the box, in case the fit needs tweaking. It’s popular with owners, though not quite as popular as the cheaper Evo-ES. As with most helmets of this style, owners say it’s a bit noisy, and the fact it’s prepared for Shark’s own Sharktooth intercom makes it trickier to fit the popular Cardo comms systems, so some owners are unhappy about that.
The second generation of LS2’s flipover lids gave us improved ventilation over its predecessor, and a visor change system that’s roughly one million times less likely to inspire a two-word sentence that ends with the word ‘hell’. Most buyers have been happy with their Valiant 2, but some have experienced build quality issues. There’s also a relatively common feeling that it comes up a bit small, especially around the face. One particularly colourful review describes the fit around the owner’s cheeks as being “like a fat kid squashed in a lift door”. Despite the compressed chops, the reviewer still gave the Valiant 2 four stars, so it’s not all bad news for LS2.