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..Helmets , street-- dirt


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I have just become the new wallet for a F-650 GS and have been exploring the upper reaches of the coastal mountains here in southern Oregon.

Last ten years have been on street bikes and before that the only Dirt I did was in the desert forty years ago.

Can someone explain the reason I may want to change helmets from a street helmet to the off road helmet?

I am not really trying to become a dirt biker, just an explorer of wild roads

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Afternoons Bill


I'm sure different riders have different reasons for a separate on-road & off-road helmet.


In my case I ride hard enough off road in real dirty & branch/limb encrusted areas that I would trash out a good street helmet & scratch the face shield in just one outing.


Personally I like a lot of ventilation for my off road helmets as well a helmet that will allow a large size MX type goggles. A good jaw protection is also a good thing.


If you ride behind other off road riders then a duck bill to divert flying chunks of dirt & rocks is also a nice addition.






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Great explanation. two thumbs up.

As I progress on this adventure I believe that a off road helmet is in the future



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I'd try your street helmet for a while before you make any purchases. I've found that while off road helmets have their place, they are a compromise for casual off road trips. For one thing, the extended jaw area and visor catch lots of wind as you travel at highway speeds to and from the off road areas. The goggles also restrict your peripheral vision. For casual riding I find that I like to have a flip up visor. If I'm going to do some agressive riding I'll wear my off road helmet.

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+1 on what dirtrider said.


I started ORM last fall and I'm still using my road full face helmet. In the cool weather you are breathing so hard the visor fogs so you tend to ride with it up ergo not a lot of protection over your eyes from branches. Even in the hot weather I need to get the visor up to get enough air. The helmet is getting nicked up as dirtrider suggested it would.


Having said all that, I'm waiting for some reports on the off road helmets with full visors - like the one that Tewks linked to. They have the breathing vent right in front of your mouth so fogging shouldn't be as much a problem. The other unanswered question I have is that light sand clings to the plastic full visor. How does that compare to the goggles?

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Afternoon Rocer


Yes, the dust clings to my goggles also. Easy to wipe off as I carry some little (plastic safe) packaged lens wipes as well as sometimes just use a bit of water from my water bottle. If they dust up while riding I just use a gloved hand to wipe the lens off.


At least with goggles I don't get dust/dirt clinging to the inside like with a face shield & if I scratch the goggle lens's I just install new at a descent price. Unlike the expensive face shield of a street full face helmet.


I guess my take is that if a person is riding off road with a full face street helmet & closed face shield & it isn't fogging it up inside in cool weather then they sure aren't riding very hard. Or have a lot better breathing regiment than I do.


After a good days off road riding I could plant a tree in my helmet & have enough dirt in there for it to grow. I sure wouldn't want to do that to any of my expensive street helmets.


If you are looking at off road helmets & want to ride it (fast) on the road getting to the back roads & trails maybe look into one with a removable duck bill. That way you can remove it for road riding.

It never bothered me to ride my off road helmet on the road as I usually just cruise along at about 60-65 mph on the road with my full knob equipped off-road bikes. I ride a lot faster than that on dirt roads & trails when I leave the pavement.


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