The best flip-front motorcycle helmets

All the convenience of an open face but the protection of a full-face

Two flip-front motorcycle helmets

by Jim Blackstock |

Many people swear by a flip-front (or modular) helmet and once you’ve tried one, it easy to see why. They offer excellent versatility as well as (potentially) comfort and protection and can make struggling to get your lid off for a drink or to pay for petrol a thing of the past.

Unlike a single-piece full-face helmet, a flip-front has a separate chin-bar that lifts up, exposing the face while the helmet is still on. Not only does this allow people to see your face for ID, such as in a petrol station or a shop, it also allows air to your face. Plus, you'll be able to grab a drink, a bite to eat or simply have a quick chat with another rider or your pillion without taking your helmet completely off.

Another benefit is that because the helmet is put on with the flip-up, a modular can often give a better seal around the neck since the aperture doesn’t need to go over your head. This can mean a more comfortable fit, fewer draughts and lower noise.

Related: Top neck warmers

One historic criticism of flip-front helmets was that the always looked ungainly and larger than corresponding full-face items. Inevitably, they are a little heavier than their full-face counterparts due to extra hinges and fasteners, but most models are available in lightweight carbon nowadays (albeit more expensive than say composite) and the design on many doesn’t look like a flip.

One thing to consider with flip-front helmets is homologation. All helmets have to conform to regulation ECE 22.05 to be allowed to be sold in the UK but for flip helmets, they can either be ‘P’ or ‘J’ homologated, or both. P means it is certified for protective when the flip is closed and J means it provides adequate protection when the flip is open (it will need to be locked open to conform). If you want to ride with the flip open, then look for one that is P/J approved or has ‘dual homologation’.

Like all helmets, a SHARP rating is also useful; this government scheme tests and rates helmets for safety with a rating out of five stars, five being the most protective.

The best flip-front helmets

Viper RS-V171
photo: Amazon

This sports-style flip-front from Viper looks like a sporty street helmet with the flip-down but

Viper RS-V171

Pros:

• Built in Bluetooth
• Drop down sun shade
• Pinlock ready

Cons:

• Two star SHARP rating

It's fair to say the C4 that came before this helmet was not universally loved - the C5 benefits

Schubert C5

Pros:

• Dual homologated
• Certified to ECE 22.06
• Comes with Pinlock already installed

Cons:

• Chin bar catch could be chunkier

AGV Tourmodular
photo: Sportsbikeshop

A flip-front designed to look and feel like a sporty full-face, the new AGV Tourmodular is

AGV Tourmodular

Pros:

• Dual homologated to ECE 22.06
• Comms ready
• Wide vision aperture with good peripheral vision

Cons:

• None

Shoei Neotec II
photo: Sportsbikeshop

Shoei's premium flip-front is available in three shell sizes to suit every head. It is

Shoei Neotec II

Pros:

• Low noise interior
• Dual homologated
• Four star SHARP rating

Cons:

• Heavy and sun shade mists up

Caberg Duke
photo: Amazon

Caberg has a reputation for quality, inexpensive helmets and this Duke continues that theme while

Caberg Duke

Pros:

• Five star SHARP rating
• Intercom ready
• Pinlock ready and included

Cons:

• Visor release catch can be fiddly

HJC RPHA 90S
photo: Sportsbikeshop

Inspired by racing helmets, the RPHA 90S from HJC is a flip-front helmet that looks and rides just

HJC RPHA 90S

Pros:

• Lightweight
• Comms ready
• Dual homolgation

Cons:

• None

SHARK Evo ES
photo: Sportsbikeshop

A variation on a theme, the SHARK Evo ES uses a chinbar that folds right over the top of the

SHARK Evo ES

Pros:

• Dual homologated
• Chin bar rotates fully to the rear
• Main visor stays in place regardless of chin bar position

Cons:

• Loud at speed

Schuberth C4 Pro
photo: Sportsbikeshop

The C4 Pro has been designed for tourers as well as sports riders and has quietness and comfort at

Schuberth C4 Pro

Pros:

• Four star SHARP rating
• Comes with speakers and mic pre installed
• Quiet and comfortable

Cons:

• None

Simpson Darksome
photo: Sportsbikeshop

Release your inner Stig with this flip-front from American brand Simpson. Famously worn by TV's

Simpson Darksome

Pros:

• Striking design
• Wide aperture with good peripheral vision
• Removable and washable lining

Cons:

• Striking design not to all tastes

LS2 Vortex
photo: Sportsbikeshop

Also available in gloss and matt carbon finishes for £30 cheaper, the LS2 Vortex is a chunky (some

LS2 Vortex

Pros:

• Aggressive design
• Carbon shell
• Pinlock inluded

Cons:

• Can be a bit noisy

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