Open, Flip or Fullface?

Having seen the damage to Shivers lid in an accident that could happen to anybody…

made me think about what I wear.

Since I have always had open face or flip ( and 99% time have the flip up when it’s not raining ) I have been considering changing my style. Seeing the lid above I can only imagine what would happen to me.

…life without a jawbone??? Face like mincemeat (gulp)

So down it goes - except at very slow speed, at lights or when having a fag. :w00t::cool::stuck_out_tongue:

What do you do?


I wear a flip-up lid at work, I ride around in London Mon-Fri, I open it while im sat at traffic lights and as I set off i close it. Better be safe than sorry eh?:smiley:

No offence m8, but its a no brainer for me.:hehe: You dont need to see Shivers lid to know what’d happen if your boat touches the tarmac for a second, even even at 10mph. I like my boat the way it is and would rather it stay that way!:hehe:

i use flips and to be honest with a full face its all useless if the helmet is the wrong size or the strap is not adjusted correctly that allows the helmet to twist and lift to expose parts normally covered .

Always wear a full face in the UK but when I go to see the folks in Tenerife and ride around on my bike there I wear the Schuberth J1 open face helmet with the jaw protector.

Guess my rational is I’m riding slower, 250 not 1000, and I’m in a lot less traffic.

None taken;)

It’s just that I get into bad habits ( especially in hot weather ) and get the attitude “well nothings happened yet”…:blush:

When I started ( here we go Uncle Albert) FFs were bloody expensive… most people wore opens and I just did the same (even after my mate Tom rearranged his fizzog around a lampost )… faster touring stuff meant a flip… but bad habits creep up…

Mind you FFs suit a sportsbike and opens a cruiser/classic… those Harley skull caps should be banned though…( or are they anyway???)

Where does that leave flips?.. both? none?:smiley:

It’s not uncommon for helmets to come off completely in accidents & be found with their straps still securely fastened, happened to the brother in law of a guy I used to share a house with.

I bet at least 20% of people on here could with the aid of a bit of jaw wiggling & relatively little effort push the chinstrap to the front of their chin from underneath it when they think they’re properly fastened in, now think of the forces in action in the event of a tumble down the road.

It’s not just down to adjustment though, the mounting points of some straps simply won’t fit some some chins securely, having excess fat in the area also makes it more difficult.

I use flip in the hot sunshine, but this weather, agv, full face,:smiley:

when my job moves into the city next year I think I may invest in a flip front for summer

but as i mentioned if the helmet is the wrong size ie too large then yes the possibility of the helmet coming off with strap intact is highly plausible …

I for one can not wriggle my strap over my chin on both helmets i own a flip and a full face …

How many people buy a helmet just because it is the best rated or because of its paint scheme or its name and then find little issues with comfort or fitting that they just put up with because they have spent that amount of money on a helmet that is the dogs ****** in the magazine review but for them is the dogs butthole …

Yes Caberg are noisy as such and are not the top rated but are one of the best in fitting myself and retaining the comfort and the grex flip i use may be even noisier but again its a comfortable fit.

If the mounting points are uncomfortable then that is not the helmet manufacturers fault … 30,000 other people may wear that helmet and it is comfortable to them so again its not the helmet for you

I think it depends on a lot of factors. Which bike you are riding, where you are riding, the style of riding you will be engaging in, the traffic conditions and your own mental state and what you are trying to do.

If I am riding a fast sports bike, on country roads, with no traffic and an attitude that I wish to progress at a sprightly rate, then of course, it can only be a full face lid.

If I am riding a slow chugging commuter bike, on London roads, in heavy traffic, with a relaxed attitude and loads of time to get where I need to be. Then I may choose an open face/flip lid and have it open in appropriate weather.

You have to be sensible about what you are doing.

I can’t use closed-face helmets as I find them claustrophobic and they give me tunnel vision. The resulting stress and much narrower field of vision would make far more likely I would get into an accident in the first place.I use a Shoei Multitech flip-up which is up about 90% of the time in town, but closed most of time out of town (and 100% on fast roads/motorways).

The only circumstance I would get a permanently closed-face lid is if they invented one that looked like this


I have FF and Flip, the Flip gets by far the most use due to its versatility.I could care less about what the bike journos think is the dogsbollox :smiley:

i’m with sneaky on this one. full face looks fine on any bike, and of the things that you can live with grazing on tarmac, your face is not one of them.

that very much includes town speeds

i like my face, i want to keep it that way. full face helmet for me only, unlike most people i like wearing helmet,it protects from too much sun exposure and if i’m a bit hungover or have a headache, i like my head to be cocooned it acts as a headmassage :blink: i would actually like to have a tinted/coloured visor as well so people can’t see my face at all, i think it looks cool.but of course if someone rides a cruiser then it looks a bit strange to me when they wear full face helmet, i expects them to wear cowboy boots, jeans, leather jacket and some german looking war helmet covering their head :smiley:

i switch between both sytles depending on the weather etc but had an accident a fair few yrs back with the roof helmet open faced but with visor, the only bit of the crash hat that hit the floor was the visor just about where my eye is.

m8 of mine had crash with full face and the bit that goes around the jaw was snapped.

answers all questions really.,

I agree with johnnybravo and sneaky… i went face first into the tarmac in this last accident and my full face lid saved my face… ok i may have got knocked out but the point is that i dont have a gravel rash face. You cant see in the picture but the paint has totally gone from the front part…



Even a good fitting helmet will not prevent the possibility of it becoming detached from your head in a crash.

I was the expert in the case of Finnis v Caulfield where the well fitting helmet on Mr Finnis came off on impact with the car driven by Caulfield.

The third party insures admmited liability in respect of causation, but stated that the injuries were as a result of the helmet being eith a poor fit, poor quality or it was undone.

To cut a long story short, I was able to prove that it was a perfect fit, it was secured and it was in good condition.

As part of my investigation, I interviewed the chief medical officer of the FIM who is based at the John Radcliffe who had undertaken a study of helmets coming off as a result of a crash even though they were fastened.

3 GP riders in the 250 class had crashed, all of them had factory sponsored and fitted helmets and all of them had them done up at the time of the crash.

There were also a number of examples of diffuse brain injuries again where the helmet had come off in a crash involving ordinary road riders.

The nub is that in certain circumstances, the head can shrink momentarily, but sufficiently for it to allow the helmet to roll off the riders head.

It happens so quickly you won’t know it has happened, but it will give the illusion that it was unfastened or a poor fit.

Subsequently I have dealt with several similar cases since Finnis which was in 1999 and was one of the reasons why I was asked to become a consultant to some of the big helmet manufacturers and why I was a member of the BSI helmet technical committee for many years.

With a flip front helmet, you increase the chances of a fracture to the base of the skull (broken neck) by about 60% and there was a time when they came very close to being outlawed because of the number of fatalities that occured in this type of helmet.

They have improved to a degree, but you still run the increased risk of breaking your neck fataly wearing a flip front compared with a conventional full face.

Australia is still considering banning flip fronts and they are also on the verge of banning open faced.

As a by the by, in the Finnis case, the third party insurers offered £50,000.

The case was settled for £1.5 million (brain damage) and is the most reported motorcycle accident case in UK legal history, so I am quite proud to have played my part.

Why does a flip front increase the risk of broken neck?


I can understand if the flip is open as it will act as a lever pulling the head round - but if closed it should be as good as a FF surely???

This is an interesting angle I suspected but never heard mentioned before…