Why Do Dirt Bike Helmets Have Visors? – Purpose and Benefit

Written by

James Stevens

Fact-checked by

Robert A. Verdin

why do dirt bike helmets have visors

Consider a scenario in a motocross equipment shop, where you see dirt bike helmets in front of you. They come in different brands and sizes, but you often wonder, “why do dirt bike helmets have visors?”

As part of the safety outfit required in motocross sports, a dirt bike helmet visor is included for a crucial reason. It offers rider protection of the face from all types of flying objects, debris, and weather extremities encountered during the activity.

Purpose and Benefit of Helmet Visors


Since dirt bike racing is in an off-road situation, it does need an off road helmet as a safety gear. To be more specific, a visor for dirt bike helmet protects you from the following that is typically encountered in motocross sports:

  • Roost: This is considered the dirt that comes off from the bike’s wheels ahead of you. It may come in huge amounts, a mixture of sand, stones, or even mud.
  • Tree branches and twigs: Especially when you are on a forest trail for motocross sports, falling twigs and tree branches may be inevitable. It is important that you wear a motocross helmet with visor for safety purposes.
  • Weather extremities: This may include direct sunlight and raindrops that could blur your vision and affect your riding performance without the presence of a visor.

Different Types of Visor Design and Attachments


It is said that there are two types of dirt bike helmet design.

  • The first type is a helmet with a built-in visor fixated on the dirt bike helmet. This way, the visor can endure most riding conditions and will not easily come off.
  • Another type is a dirt bike helmet with a visor of a detachable type. This design allows flexibility of the helmet for different conditions, whether for casual riding or motocross racing. Wider visors are of this type which offers better rider protection from rain and roost.

Coupled with the helmet peak visor, some riders wear open-faced dirt bike helmets with goggles for added protection.

Specific Role/function of Visors, Protective Features on Dirt Bike Helmets

Note that when we talk about the visors of dirt bikes, we specifically refer to the motorcycle helmet peak, which looks like a baseball cap’s brim. Its primary function is to deflect the conditions from blocking your view and harming the face.

Apart from the safety aspect, the overall design of a dirt bike helmet should also make the user comfortable. Factors such as helmet weight, visibility, and ventilation contribute to the ease of wearing the said safety gear.

Significance of Full-face Coverage for Off-road Riding

Going back to the core purpose of a dirt bike helmet’s feature, a full face dirt bike helmet with visor is necessary for face protection. In addition, the full-face coverage ensures that the rider’s face is well protected, including the chin.

Is a Bike Helmet With a Visor Better Than Without a Visor?


When using a bike helmet with or without a visor, take into account the circumstances of how you will use it. To give better context on weighing your options, listed below are the pros and cons of using a moto x helmet with visor:


  • Lighter than typical road helmets
  • Maximized ventilation keeps rider’s head cool
  • Allows secure fitting of sunglasses and goggles
  • Reduced head and neck fatigue, designed for comfort on longer rides


  • Limited insulation against cold weather
  • Peak creates drag resistance at higher speeds, prone to rider fatigue if used on typical ATV or motorcycle activities

Why Do Dirt Bike Helmets Look Different?

Dirt bike helmets look different than the typical motorcycle helmet because they serve a different purpose specific to motocross racing.

For everyday road purposes, motorcycle helmets are designed aerodynamically to create lesser drag resistance at higher speeds. They are also designed to absorb crash impact and are fully closed with little air vents on the sides to prevent fogging on the visor.

On the other hand, off-road biking will be different. Cool dirtbike helmets should allow proper airflow while protecting the rider against flying debris and dust even when the dirt bike operates at lower speeds to prevent discomfort.

Compare With Other Helmet Designs, Other Helmet Options


If ever you want to explore more options on bike helmets but you may have a difficulty in assessing such, the following is a tabulated presentation on the pros and cons of each of the following helmet types other than the off-road helmet:

Motorbike helmet types Pros Cons
1. Full-face helmet
  • Best protection
  • Protective for all types of terrains
  • Allows insulation of noise and sounds


  • Not ideal for claustrophobic riders
  • Fogging issues on visor during cold weather
  • Tighter for those wearing glasses
2. Flip-up or Modular helmet
  • Ease on conversion between full-face and open-face
  • Great ventilating conditions
  • Can be used for both warm and cold weather
  • Not very lightweight
  • Less structural integrity than that of full face helmets
  • Unsafe for higher ride speeds
3. ¾ or open-faced helmets
  • Good ventilation
  • Allows one to drink, eat, and talk without removing the helmet
  • Lightweight, wider vision field


  • Chin and face may be vulnerable to injuries
  • Not suitable for cold weather
  • Limited noise reduction
  • Less stable at higher ride speeds
4. Half helmets
  • More focus on activity
  • Allows one to drink, eat, and talk without removing the helmet
  • Great ventilating conditions
  • Face is not fully protected
  • Vulnerable to weather extremities
  • Requires purchase of other protection gears for better safety
5. Dual sport helmet
  • Allows fitting of goggles due to the flip-up visors
  • Decent rider protection especially for the chin and jaw
  • Great noise and sound insulation
  • Expensive
  • Offers less ventilation
  • Can be heavier than the other bike helmet types
6. Intelligent or Smart helmet
  • Improved padding and hardware to prevent accidents
  • Contains smart devices for hands-free operation
  • Innovative features and systems (such as communication, navigation, and entertainment)
  • Expensive
  • Add-ons may distract the rider


Say you want to try other off-road activities such as ATV trail riding, dual sport helmets are typically used as ATV helmets. They are considered for such as they offer an adventure helmet that is best for rider protection and versatility of usage.

Why Dirt Bike Helmets Don’t Have Face Shield

You might not often encounter a dirt bike helmets with shields as visors. This is because a typical helmet with a face shield as a visor will not protect your face from dust as it enters through the air vents on the sides.

Moreover, the aerodynamic aspect has little impact on riding performance at lower operating speeds for dirt bike helmets. Such speed also picks up humidity more easily; hence the shield tends to easily fog.

Maintenance and Care for Helmet Visors

To maximize the longevity of your safety equipment, such as a dirt bike helmet, it is also important that you are knowledgeable about its proper care and maintenance procedures. Listed below are some of the procedures to keep in mind:

Cleaning Methods


  • Wash the inner foam padding and cheek pads in a gentle warm cycle wash. You can also do hand washing by using mild detergent.
  • Rinse the helmet well and hang to dry.
  • Do not use a dryer as this may degrade the foam of your helmet. Do air or sun drying.
  • Clean the interior and exterior parts of your helmet using a damp towel. Make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and dried before using your helmet again.

Tips for Inspecting and Replacing, Storing and Protecting

  • Inspect the outer shell of your helmet. Never reuse the helmet when exposed to severe damage.
  • Replace the inner lid when significant deterioration of helmet’s interior headliner is observed
  • Check for degradation of straps as this concerns the safety of helmets used.
  • Store your helmet in ambient conditions and recommended storage areas such as padded helmet bags, storage racks and hooks, and storage cases.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dirt Bike Helmets With Visors


As you buy your first dirt bike with visor, take note that it has to be suitable for your personal needs. The following factors must then be kept in mind:

  • Riding style compatibility: Are you the type to use a dirt bike solely for off-road purposes, or do you consider engaging in other casual biking activities? Considering the pros and cons, choose whichever feels flexible for your needs.
  • Fittings: This aspect will help you gauge how you feel at ease with your helmet as you try it on your riding activities. You are compromising your safety if the helmet fits poorly on your head.
  • Quality and features: Consider choosing a dirt bike helmet worth your buck. Weigh each feature presented and how it contributes to the longevity of your helmet.

Sample Brands

Ever wondered what awesome dirt bike helmets are found in the market today? Listed below are some of the well-known ones, as presented on Revzilla.

Fly Racing Formula Helmet features:

  • Best for hardcore dirt bike riders
  • Huge ventilation
  • Withstands intense conditions before significant wear is observed
  • Wide opening that can fit large goggles

Bell MX-9 Mips Helmet features:

  • Impressive dirt performance for its price
  • Massive ventilation and lightweight
  • Wide opening that can fit large goggles
  • Suitable for dual sport rides

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use a dirt bike helmet without a visor?

For off-road purposes, one should use a dirt bike helmet with a visor as it is the primary protection against flying debris, dirt, and weather extremities. However, if you use it on casual road riding, you may opt not to use a visor.

What are some recommended dirt bike helmet brands with visors?

Based on the Revzilla website, recommended dirt bike brands include Fly Racing and Bell due to their reputable quality and features for their price.

Why do some dirt bike helmets have removable visors?

Some dirt bike helmets have detachable visors for easy cleaning and replacement in case of wear. This kind of design is also said to allow flexibility in helmet usage for different conditions.


Considering what you have learned so far about dirt bike helmets, it’s time for you to get into the nearest shop and ask yourself this question again, “why do dirt bike helmets have visors?”

This time, it is evident that you surely know the reason, and that is to protect your face from the hazards like massive dirt, weather extremities, and other flying debris on off-road biking activities.

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James Stevens

James Stevens is an expert bike mechanic who knows everything from basic repairs to custom modifications. What sets him apart is his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that's easy to understand. Check out his content on Speedway if you need help with upgrades or modifications for your bike.