All about modular/flip-up helmet chin guards

You buy a modular helmet and you probably like the convenience of an open face helmet when you want it – but with the option of turning it into a full face when you need it.

Best of both worlds, right?

So, what do you need to look out for when you’re in the market for a new modular helmet – and do their chin guards give you the same levels of protection as a full face?

Here’s what you need to consider when you’re buying a modular helmet.

Designed for protection?

The chin guards on most modular helmets are designed to give protection – but not all. And while most modulars are designed to give protection with the chin guard down, some aren’t designed to give protection in open face mode.

When that’s the case, we’ll always mention it in our reviews. We’ll also mention when a helmet’s dual homologated. That’s a European thing mostly, but when a helmet’s been designed to give protection both when it’s in open-face mode as well as full face, it’s called dual-homologated.

Here’s more information on dual-homologated helmets.

And here’s our reviews of dual-homologated modular helmets.

Is it a real modular?

It’s worth quickly mentioning that some helmets that look like modulars, actually aren’t. They’re usually the streetfighter type helmets like the Shark Drak which are really open face helmets with a bit of a face cover to look mean and keep flies/road dirt off you – but they won’t give protection in an accident. So, if you want decent protection, you should probably avoid these helmets.

Half-up or up-and-over?

Some modular helmets let you flip the chin guard up to about forehead height. Others are designed so the chin guard goes right around to the back of the helmet, nicely out of the way. Modulars from Roof and Shark tend to do this and work better in open-face mode.

Will the chin guard stay locked and closed?

All modular helmets are designed to have chin guards that lock closed (see below). However, the locking methods makers use are different – some use a single button action while others need two buttons to be pressed to unlock the guard. Also, some use plastic mechanisms and others, metal.

So how do we know which to trust?

Short of throwing your modular helmet up the road then having a look to see if your helmet’s in one piece, it’s undoubtedly tricky.

Or at least, it was.

Thankfully, when the dudes at SHARP test modular helmets, they jot down if the chin guard on the helmet has stayed locked. They then translate that into a percentage and publish it for us to see.

So whenever we review a flip-front helmet that’s been tested by SHARP, we’ll always let you know how well its chin guard did (and therefore what chance it has to protect you in a accident).

Which are the best modulars?

It’s easy. You can find our top ten best modular helmets list here. Or you can view all our modular helmet reviews here. Or you can even visit our Smart Filters page and choose things like ‘Safest helmets’ and ‘Flip-up/Modular’ to find the safest modulars.

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