An open-face or 3/4 helmet has a wider front and better visibility as there is no jaw or chin guard area attached to the shell. It might not have 100% protection, but it gives you better visibility, wider view, and more airflow, and some of us love it!
However, choosing the right 3/4 motorcycle helmet might not be as easy as it looks. Many people don’t know what to look for and end up buying a cheap helmet that looks good but is not that safe. And that’s not something you should do as it’s motorcycle safety equipment.
For this reason, we compiled our list of the top 5 best 3/4 motorcycle helmets. Those are completely safe (DOT approved) and one of the best in this category you’ll find out there. As a bonus, we’ve made a buying guide and responded to some of the common questions about 3/4 helmets in the end.
Let’s start with our first one of the best 3 4 motorcycle helmet reviews.
Best 3 4 Helmet Reviews
# Wind tunnel-tested aerodynamics: Like many Soei helmets, this one is also wind tunnel tested. And this aerodynamic design reduces 7% lift, 1% drag, and 43% horizontal pull force compared to its predecessor. And that means an overall smooth performance even at high speed.
# Intercom-ready design: This helmet fits in the Sena SRL2 and SRL intercom so well that you won’t even notice there’s a Bluetooth device installed in it. This is a similar design to the Shoei GT Air 2, which is also an amazing helmet.
# Improved ventilation structure: Almost all users of this helmet are quite happy with the ventilation performance of this helmet, the stats also support that. You’ll get 30% more airflow inside this helmet compared to the previous version of this helmet, thanks to the additional upper vent.
# Pinlock-ready face shield: The face shield of this helmet is designed while keeping aerodynamics in mind. Also, it’s a Pinlock EVO-ready face shield so the fogging-up issue is also checked.
# Internal sun shield: The internal sun visor is 5mm longer than the previous version and the visor also exceeds the ANSI Z80.3-2010 standard. Shoei did an excellent job at the sun visor lever, it’s very easy to use and gloves-friendly.
Reasons to buy
If you want to trade dollars for performance or comfort in a 3/4 helmet, the Shoei J-Cruise 2 is the best bet. This is a premium helmet that ensures your comfort and performance well. It’s aerodynamically better, it’s comfortable and you can use the intercom without showing that you are using an intercom, that’s cool! People absolutely love this helmet there’s no doubt about that. It’s like a summer version of the Shoei GT Air 2 helmet with better airflow from underneath the helmet, that’s what 3/4 helmets are great for!
Reasons to avoid
The J-Cruise 2 sure is a great helmet in terms of performance and quality. However, this is a premium helmet, and it’s a bit heavy on the budget. I mean, it’s Shoei’s top-of-line open-face helmet after all and it might not be worth the investment for some. In that case, you can check out the LS2 Verso, it’s similar but with a really budget-friendly price, and overall that helmet is quite good as well.
• Helmet Shape: Intermediate Oval
• Helmet Weight: 3.38 lbs.
• Shell Construction: Polycarbonate Shell
• Sizes: XS (54-55 cm) to 2XL (63-64 cm)
• Safety Standards: DOT certified
# Bluetooth intercom-ready design: This Bell Mag 9 is also a Bluetooth-ready design helmet. Just pop in the SENA SMH10 or CARDO SCALA RIDER Q1/Q3 and it’s ready to go.
# Drop-down sun visor available: It comes with a drop-down sun visor and the lever for the visor is pretty unique I’ll say. And it’s fine because it works with gloves on, and it works well.
# Removable and washable interior: The interior is pretty standard; detachable, washable, and convenient.
# Velocity flow ventilation structure: Bell’s ventilation structure is quite good as well. It might not be as superior as the Shoei but it works, ad that’s good.
# Built-in face shield and peak visor available: Now, the face shield and the peak visor of this helmet offer a pretty impressive combo, because it’s convenient. And you get the commuter vibe on this helmet and it’s pretty good for a passenger helmet as well.
Reasons to buy
If Shoei J-Cruise 2 is a Mercedes Benz, then the Bell Mag 9 is Toyota. You know what I mean, right? It’s a helmet that’s budget-friendly, and convenient and it gets the job done. It’s a pretty good day-to-day use helmet and it’s comfortable enough. This is a collaboration between Bell and Sena, an amazing Bluetooth Communication brand. The Meg 9 helmet has a pocket on the left-hand side, which is specially cut out for the Sena com unit. Installing the com unit is a matter of seconds now. The Bell Meg 9 is the ultimate open-face commuter, you can say.
Reasons to avoid
This is a budget-friendly helmet and it was made for convenience and rough use. So, it might not give you the same level of comfort as a premium helmet would. And that’s pretty reasonable because it’s like ⅓ the price of the Shoei J-Cruise 2. However, it’s reported that the sizing of this helmet is a bit off, so make sure you double-check before placing an order.
# Retro-style outer design: This helmet has a retro vibe to it and I can clearly see it as a Harley Davidson helmet; it looks damn cool!
# Value for the money: The Biltwell Bonanza helmet comes at a very attractive price. And with the looks, it’s a must-have, even as a second helmet.
# Rubber and chrome edges: Small details like this add value to a helmet, especially when it’s a budget helmet. These rubber and chrome edges with the styling at the front look fantastic!
# Snaps to attach bubble shields and visors: This helmet accepts all bubble shields from Biltwell. Also, there are three brow snaps on this helmet whereas the Custom 500 has five. So, make sure you check the shield attachment system of your helmet before you get one for your helmet.
# Detachable and replaceable cheek pads and comfort liner: The inner material or interior of this helmet is removable and washable. And this will let you clean the interior efficiently, whereas the Custom 500 has a non-removable interior.
Reasons to buy
The Biltwell Bananza is very similar to the previous Bell Custom 500 in terms of looks and styling. What sets these two apart will be the shell material and inner shape. In addition, the Custom 500 comes with an intermediate oval shape, while this one has a round oval. So dudes with a round head shape can go for this one. So, the Biltwell Bonanza is a competitor of the Bell Custom 500 in terms of retro looks and features. And they both have their sides of superiority, and this one is good enough for a Custom 500 alternative.
Reasons to avoid
This helmet looks amazing, but it’s a budget helmet and it got its bad side as well. You might’ve heard of the mushroom head or bubble head problem. Well, this helmet got an issue here. For some people, it looks bubble or egg-shaped on their heads. Also, the helmet does come with snaps on the top, but the helmet does not come with a shield included. Not all like face shields, you can some cool bubble face shields like this one, and this helmet looks amazing with a bubble shield.
# Retro classic open-face helmet: This thing resembles the perfect retro open-face helmet; you might see a cool dude on a café racer.
# Five shells and EPS sizes: There are 5 shell sizes and EPS sizes for this model, making it possible to get the perfect low-profile look.
# Comfortable non-removable leather interior: Although the interior is non-removable, it’s made of anti-bacterial materials. And you can also clean a non-removal interior; check out our ‘how to clean non-removal helmet liner’.
# Many graphics options are available: There are a bunch of graphics options available for this helmet, and all look amazing!
# Snaps to attach bubble shields and visor: The five snaps around the front of the helmet support the face shield and peak visors. It’s a cool feature similar to Biltwell Bonanza.
Reasons to buy
Bell is not new in the helmet market; they’ve been producing, designing, redesigning, and improving helmets over the decades. And for this Custom 500 helmet, they took the original Bell helmet design from the 50s and made it lighter, smaller, and better. You can go for the premium version of the helmet, the Bell Custom 500 Carbon, this one is even better! So, if you want a safe, retro-style 3/4 helmet, Bell Custom 500 comes at the top, with a bunch of flexible accessory options.
Reasons to avoid
If you are not a big fan of retro styling, then this Custom 500 helmet is a big no-no. The interior is non-removal, which you can wash as well, but I think a removable interior is easier to clean. Also, seems like the old-school helmet runs a bit small, so watch out for the sizing before ordering the Bell Custom 500 helmet.
# Dual-position built-in sun visor: The LS2 Spitfire is an open-face helmet with a drop-down sun visor. This helmet has a built-in sun visor, which is two-step positioned. So, no need to carry around your sunglasses from now on.
# Value-for-the-money helmet: This is a value-for-the-money helmet, and it’s a pretty good option for an open-face helmet with a drop-down sun visor.
# Lightweight helmet: The Spitfire is a pretty lightweight helmet thanks to the High-Pressure Thermoplastic Technology or HPTT.
# Amazing graphics options: This helmet got some nice graphics options, and they all are interesting.
# Detachable and washable hypoallergenic inner material: The standard removable, washable interior is here, and it’s made with hypoallergenic materials.
Reasons to buy
This LS2 Spitfire is similar to the Bell Custom 500 and the Biltwell Bonanza but with some differences. First of all, this helmet has a built-in sun visor, which is two-step positioned. Another amazing plus point for this helmet is the unique and stylish graphics it has. LS2 is always known for its graphics and paint finishes, which didn’t disappoint us. This helmet got some of the coolest open-face helmet graphics I’ve ever seen. It got both DOT and ECE certifications, which is pretty cool considering the price.
Reasons to avoid
This LS2 Spitfire is pretty cool and all, but it’s a budget helmet as well. And to be honest, it lacks some features and the overall feeling of the helmet might not be the same as a premium helmet. And you can not add a face shield to this helmet but you can add those in Bell Custom 500 and Biltwell Bonanza.
Top 3/4 Motorcycle Helmet Buying guide
An open-face or 3/4 helmet is a helmet that does not have the front area on the chin side. Well, this might not be the safest type of helmet out there, but it’s better than having nothing over your head. There’s a debate about that, but it’s the truth, an open-face helmet won’t protect your front chin or jaw area if you happen to be in a crash. However, the open-face style has been out there for ages. And the helmet makers have done a great job adding fantastic safety features to this type of helmet. That’s why a 3/4 helmet might not be as protecting as a full-face lid, but it’s good enough.
Here are some factors you should watch out for if you want an open-face helmet.
Why Choose a 3/4 Helmet
Let’s just admit it, not everyone likes to take on and off a whole full-face helmet every time they stop at a gas station or want to have a chat. Well, a modular helmet might solve the issue, but some people like the open-face helmet anyways. Even I also prefer an open-face helmet when it comes to the daily commute and sometimes for styling, to be honest. By the way, you might want something convenient for a day-to-day ride, also not compromising safety. In that case, check out our ‘Best Modular Helmets’ post; you might find something you like.
Anyways, a 3/4 helmet is for you if you-
- Don’t like to take on and off a full-face helmet multiple times in a short time.
- Like the retro-style helmets
- Like to feel the wind blowing on their faces
- Want a helmet that matches the aesthetics of their motorcycle
- Commutes in a short distance a lot
If you have some other reasons to choose an open-face helmet, let us know in the comment section, we’ll be delighted to hear from you.
Helmet safety is something that shouldn’t be neglected at all, I mean ever at all. Having a helmet over your head reduces the possibility of getting injured significantly. So, never skip a helmet when riding a motorcycle; if you don’t like a full-face helmet, at least have a half or open-face helmet.
As for the quality of the helmet, it matters from manufacturer to manufacturers. The minimum road safety requirement in America is a DOT certification. So, avoid helmets that do not have a DOT seal or sticker at the back.
Almost all major brand helmets come with a DOT certification.
And for the safety comparison between an open-face helmet and a full-face one, the full-face helmet is safer. To put it simply, it guards more areas of your head and face than an open-face helmet, so it protects more.
If you want a safer helmet, you can check out our low-profile full-face motorcycle helmet reviews.
Fitting and Comfort
Like every other gadget, product out there, the more you spend for a product, the more quality it comes with. A similar can be said for a motorcycle helmet. I mean, the price range of a helmet can be between $100 to $1200, but most helmets come between $200 to $600 price range. And the inner material depends on the price, so does the comfort level.
However, the most expensive helmet might not be the most comfortable for you, as head shape and size differ from person to person. A helmet should wear helmet snug enough that you don’t feel uncomfortable for longer hours.
So, make sure the helmet you are getting matches your head shape and size. A quick reminder, the average American head shape is intermediate oval, a bit longer in front and back, and roundish in the middle.
Features and Styling
Of course, the style or looks of the helmet matter. And fortunately, open-face helmets come with various graphics options, and you can modify them as well.
The styling of an open-face helmet varies as there are retro-style helmets like the Custom 500. And modern all in one type Bell Meg-9.
If you are not sure whether you should get a 3/4 helmet, first make sure you like the open-face style. And try to identify which features you want in your riding companion, and the selecting process should get a whole lot easier.
Also, check out the best half helmets section if you want a helmet style other than the full-face.
Yes, like every single product in the world, the pricing of an open-face helmet also varies from item to item. And the budget range for this type of helmet should be around 100 to 200 dollars.
Depending on the brand and model, the quality of a helmet should increase if you increase the budget. Duh, you already know that! But identifying the features you want and how much you can spend on them will help you in the selection.
FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Safety should be the main concern when it comes to selecting a motorcycle helmet. There has been a lot of controversy over whether an open-face or 3/4 helmet is safer than a full-face helmet.
There are arguments that open-face helmets provide better visibility and do not obscure the view as full-face helmets do. However, they also do not protect your face as full-face helmets do.
On the other hand, some state that the higher risk of facial injuries only occurs when motorists fail to wear their safety gear correctly. Like wearing a low-quality helmet or no helmet at all. This contradicts the fact that a 3/4 helmet does not offer protection for your face and provides lower visibility than a full-face one.
In short, an open-face or 3/4 helmet might not be as safe as a full-face helmet, but it’s better than wearing nothing.
The study of the effect of different motorcycle helmets on the risk of head injury has been done. It has been concluded that the full-face helmet is more effective in protecting against death or serious head injury. On the other hand, the 3/4 helmet, which was previously considered to be safe, is less effective in protecting against death or severe head injury. This is because your jaw and chin area remains exposed while wearing a 3/4 helmet and a half helmet. And in a full-face helmet is guarded by the shell, so it provides much more safety than a 3/4 helmet.
Not having any kind of protective headgear on your head at all can lead to life-threatening head injuries. For example, if you don’t wear a helmet, you are not protecting yourself from brain haemorrhages, concussions, and death by injury to the head.
In conclusion, the best motorcycle helmets will be a great investment to make for your safety. It is important to make sure that you choose a helmet that will best suit your needs because each one has a different purpose.
In this case, we’ve picked some of the finest 3/4 head buckets out there for you. Also, made a detailed buying guide with a FAQ section to make your decision-making easier. I hope this clears all your doubts and answers your question about this type of motorcycle helmet. If you still have some questions about motorcycle helmets, we’ll be more than happy to answer them!
Have a good day!!