Open, Flip or Fullface?

Yeah, genuinley interested in why they’re more likely to break your neck.

I’ve got two flippy lids, BMW system 4 and 5. I usually only flip the front up when stopped at lights etc in town as I know they’re very weak when the chin isn’t locked into place. If you grab them by the cheek bits and pull they flex like hell.

There are a number of factors.

The helmets are not as balanced as a conventional full face because of the way the flip front is attached to the main body of the helmet, the front can break off or cave in creating excess friction which can cause your head to slow down too quickly (one of the most common problems) and it can also cause rotation on the head which again is a major contribution to neck breaks.

I have also had a few cases where the front has caved in preventing helpers from being able to remove the helmet and the rider has stopped breathing, and I had one guy who hit the Motorway central barrier, the front of his helmet caved in, he survived, but when he got to hospital they popped his eyes out and found carbon fibre and fibreglass from his helmet behind the eyes.

Once you put a weak spot into the helmet, that is the weakest point, and if it starts to open up, then the friction created is going to slow you down to quickly and your body will be doing one speed whilst your head decelerates too quickly, similar principal to wearing leathers that are too big.

Many Police forces have now gone away from using flip fronts (not all but many) for the very reasons mentioned above, and having worked with many of the manufacturers, you will never catch me wearing a flip front hat.

I would also like to way up a question as I use a FF helmet but a friend of mine keeps saying that I should get a flip. His reasons are that if you get knocked unconscious and / or the paramedics can not get your helmet off, with a flip they can still give you oxygen and hopefully save your brain.
If this is a valid point is a FF still the helmet to be in?

Cheers for that TC. Oh did you used to post on Ridersite ages ago?

So basically, if it fails structurally (opens the flip), there’s more to catch and dig in, causing rotational forces on your neck.

Is the chin part much weaker than a normal full face lid?

I still do post there :wink:

The chin part is substantially weaker than a conventional full face, and because it is an attachment to the helmet, it allows flexing to occur, whereas the chinbar on a conventional full face is an integral part of the structure of the helmet.

Some manufacturers have to sell their flip fronts as an open face wth the flip as an optional extra because quite a few will not pass EC22/05 or the old BS6658-85 test as a full face.

As far as friends or whatever saying whether you should buy a flip front or not, that comes down to personal preference, I can only tell you what has been found over many investigations involving many riders in many crashes, and I don’t rely on Government figures or stats, simply on the investigations I have been involved in as well as the research done by independent organisations who have been able to attache a percentage figure.


I bought the Caberg Trip which is a flip. I always ride with it closed because worry bout mashing my jaw on the road… I only ever flip it up if I go in to pay for petrol etc.

also bought one for my missus who likes the pillion from time to time…

now to find out the are potential neck snappers… the words ‘caved in’ also give me the heebies.

It’s supposed to a 5 star safety in the ‘sharp rating’ - does that count for anything T.C?

maybe time for some new lids.

Full face all the way for me maybe not the xr1000 as my chin got cut but it saved me big time I’ll never have a flip

I have not had any faith in the Sharp rating ever since it was introduced.

When the standard became self accredited under EC22/05 it meant that there was no need to have BS testing and so those affected had to find something to justify their existence.

The only statement that they have ever come out with which I have agreed with 100% is that you do not need to spend hundreds of pounds to get good protection, some of the cheaper hats are just as protective, and all of them will give you a minimum level of protection, but that protection is only as good as the fit, but even then as i mentioned in the Finnis case, sometimes even that cannot guarantee that you will not be 100% protected.

As I said, I am not going to say to you don’t buy a flip up, but simply be aware of the potential pitfalls.

At the end of the day, if you hit something that hard, it won’t matter what you have on your head.

  • 1 - This is worrying as I currently have a flip front lid. Is it about quality or a design flaw that creates extra leverage on the neck?

Will always be full face.

Currently, I believe all flip front lids are classed as open-face. I think that says it all really.

I friend of mine was hit by a car running a red light whilst wearing a flip front lid one Sunday morning. He had to have 3/4 facial reconstruction … in fact he was very lucky to survive. The doctors thought he wasn’t going to make it.

Full face all the way for me!

Only plus for open face lid is posing for a wheely photo with a cigar in your mouth…damn pimp:P