Motorcycle riders love their bikes. Some bikes serve a dual purpose, such as managing the duality of off-road versus adventure biking. Sometimes you see off-road bikers who wear a lot of gear and adventure bikers who wear less. Protective equipment is necessary at all times. We’ll look at what you need to know about biking gear, like can you wear off-road helmets on road?
First, we have to ask if all motorcycle helmets are the same. The honest answer is that it depends. Motorcycle helmets tend to minimize the force of impact upon the head. Still, each helmet is different based upon the manufacturing. However, some helmets are safer than others.
The off-road motorcycle helmet is typically for slower riding on uneven terrain. Also, it exposes the face, placing maximum protection upon the head and chin. Goggles maximize their vision and security of the eyes. However, some helmets have protruding chins to protect the jaw from the immediate impact with the handlebars. This style of helmet allows maximum airflow access to the face while biking off-road. Additionally, there is a sun peak on the head covering to minimize the glare of the sun.
On the other hand, the adventure helmet can be used off-road and on-road safely. The adventure helmet reduces the exposure of the face by providing an overhead visor consistent with a visor that covers the complete face, as seen with many street helmets.
Can You Wear Off-Road Helmets on the Road?
You might be wondering, “Can you wear off-road helmets on the road?” The answer is yes, you can, but it is not a good idea. Off-road helmets are for uneven terrain and slower speeds, not faster riding on city streets and highways. When riding at excessive speeds, the protruding mask creates more drag, and they are less aerodynamically sound. In short, the off-road helmet will slow you down, and you will feel the resistance as you accelerate.
Why Do Off-Road Helmets Have Visors?
Exactly why do off-road helmets have visors? The off-road biking experience requires a different helmet. With these helmets, some have visors, and, as previously mentioned, some covers expose the face. Let’s first explain what a visor is. A visor is a see-through fiberglass masking barrier that protects the entire front facial area of the biker. Some of the reasons for visors include:
- To reduce the glare of the sun.
- To protect against water exposure.
- To minimize contact with shrubs and tree branches.
- To reduce the impact of collisions.
- To eliminate bug disruptions.
- To eliminate dust and sand exposures.
Are MX Helmets Road Legal?
Many bikers wonder, are MX helmets road legal? Authority figures say yes. Although a motocross (MX) helmet is of a different design than a typical motorcycle helmet, the objective is the same. The protections vary. MX helmets demand airflow access and other impediment protections.
Additionally, the MX helmet does not use aerodynamics as a priority. Still, it does use different criteria to establish a protective and quality MX helmet. The MX rider’s vision must be broader with its helmet. The MX rider needs to maneuver instantly compared to the motorcycle helmet that requires a reduction in vision but enough necessary to stay within the flow of street traffic. Both styles of helmets will minimize accidents and injuries along with the impact as a result of a crash.
Other Gear You Need
While looking into the question, “Can you wear off-road helmets on road?” it’s important to think about the other gear you need. Here are just a few options to consider.
For accuracy, a “jersey” is synonymous with “off-road jackets.” Just like with the sports team’s jerseys, you want gear that is lightweight and maximizes airflow. Additionally, the jersey must fit over the off-road biking armor that the biker wears. They are typically comfortable and keep you cool during your ride.
Meanwhile, street bikers wear jackets that are similar to the adventure jacket. The flexibility of the jacket is a significant attraction to a biker. For example, some jackets are worn throughout three of the four weather seasons. They also come with outside padding and support including removable thermal armor if so desired.
Off-road pants are of similar lightweight material to the jacket or “jersey.” The material designed to handle the covering of the underline protective garments is excellent. The fit is flexible and roomy so that there are no restrictions of movement during the ride.
Adventure pants come loaded with protective gear made of thicker material. They typically have ventilation with additional support around the knee and hip area. Waterproofing is a must due to the exposure of the outdoor ride especially during rainstorms and unexpected waterways.
Off-road boots have a distinguishable look. They are designed to top off below the knee for a protected fit. The quality of the boot must be the priority. Due to their firmness, the off-road boot does not qualify to handle “bike walking.”
On the other hand, adventure boots are more diverse than the street selection, especially in appearance and for casual riding. So, if a diverse boot is what you desire, the adventure boot is the boot of choice.
Off-road gloves are distinctively different from the street glove. Street gloves secure the hands from the oncoming wind due to high-speed exposure. On the other hand, off-road gloves are made of thinner material due to gripping being a priority in addition to biking at a lower speed on bumps and uneven terrain. The quick maneuvering and hand movement fluctuations require a glove that maximizes hand control and breathability.
Adventure gloves are more related in design and functionality to the street glove. There’s more protection offered to the wrist and knuckle support in case of a crash. Throughout the glove, even the fingers and knuckles have supportive material to protect against scrapes and bruises.
Whether on-road or off-road, the proper gear is a must. Carefully analyze the benefits of biking gear to your biking style. Although minor, utilizing the appropriate equipment based on your lifestyle can keep you safe.