Open Face Helmets: A Face-Off

For various reasons, many riders prefer Open Face Motorcycle Helmets to traditional Full Face Helmets.  Some riders tend to feel claustrophobic in full face helmets, while others would just rather feel the wind on their face (especially during hot summer months).  Whatever your reason, if you are shopping for an open face helmet, we hope the following video review and written comparisons help you narrow down your choices.

Hopefully that video helped you narrow down your search. Here’s a quick highlight on each helmet, from least to most expensive:

Gmax GM67

The Gmax GM-67 Helmet sells for around $75, and is packed full of features that rival helmets which cost twice as much. The GM-67 has a few ways it can be configured. It comes standard with both a visor peak as well as a clear single lens face shield. You also have the unique option of adding a chin-bar to the GM-67. That’s a great option to have if you ever plan to use the helmet in colder weather, or like the idea of the added protection of a chin-bar from time to time. Another feature completely unique to the Gmax is the availability of a rear L.E.D. light with a brake light function. This rear light can really add to your visibility on the road, and is a great safety feature.


Scorpion EXO-250

For riders who are looking for a basic open face helmet that won’t break the bank, the EXO-250 might be a good fit. Scorpion’s replacement for the EXO-200 is the new EXO-250. The Scorpion EXO-250 helmet has been wind tunnel tested and developed to be quiet and aerodynamic. The rear spoiler reduces lift, and increases the efficiency of the rear exhaust vent. The EXO-250 sells for about $100, and a face shield will run you an additional $25-30. No internal visor on this helmet, but you do get Scopion’s KwikWick moisture wicking liner.



In the $130 range we find the popular HJC IS-33. The IS-33 is an eye catching helmet, especially in one of the metallic colors. The fit and finish is nice, with functional vents and a nice internal visor mechanism. The internal visor on the HJC IS-33 helmet is deployed with a simple slider on the top of the helmet, and retracts very quickly with the touch of a button. The interior of the HJC IS-33 has HJC’s SilverCool fabric, which is not only moisture wicking but also anti-bacterial and odor-free.


Bell Mag 9

Next up in this comparison is the Bell Mag 9 helmet at around $169. This helmet has the most radical design out of the helmets in this lineup, with an off-road inspired visor peak that will block the sun, but has been designed to remain aerodynamic. The Bell Mag 9 is highly customizable, with options to run with or without the visor, with or without the face shield, and an internal sun visor for bright sunny days. The visor mechanism on the Mag 9 isn’t quite as precise feeling as some of the others in this list, but it gets the job done. The Mag 9 definitely has the coolness factor on it’s side, and should turn some heads out on the road.
Nolan N43E / Nolan N43E Trilogy

These two helmets get lumped into the same paragraph, because they are essentially the same helmet. The Nolan N43E is just the helmet with no extra features which sells for around $185. The Nolan N43E Trilogy is the same helmet with an included chin-bar, visor peak, pinlock shield, and chin curtain for around $80 more. For an Italian made helmet, that’s a real bargain, no matter which model you choose. The Nolan N43E Helmet features a microlock ratcheting chin strap, an internal sun visor with a simple operation, and a clima-comfort interior that is moisture wicking, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. The Nolan N43E helmet is the only one in this comparison that is designed for use with a specific communications device. The Nolan N-Com system integrates very nicely with the N43E Helmet, making for a clean installation and simple operation. The removable chin-bar makes the N-34E Trilogy helmet one of the most versatile helmets in this comparison.
Shoei RJ Platinum R

Last but not least, the sub-$300 Shoei RJ-Platinum R is the only helmet in this comparison to have a fiberglass shell. Shoei has constructed the RJ-Platinum R with their AIM shell (Advanced Integrated Matrix). This results in a helmet shell that is much stiffer than the polycarbonate competition, allowing it to disperse impact. The Shoei RJ-Platinum R is also the only Snell 2010 approved helmet in this group. While the Shoei shines in the safety department, it lacks the creature comforts of some of the other helmets, such as an internal sun visor or external face shield. It does come with a snap on sun visor, and has slits in the cheek pads specifically to accommodate eye glasses. A dual layer EPS liner allows Shoei to integrate air passageways within the liner, increasing the effectiveness of the ventilation system.

We hope this Open Face Helmet Comparison has been helpful to you. If you have any questions about these helmets, we have a full detailed review video of each available on our youtube channel at You can also call one of our sales staff at 1-800-543-3535, we would be happy to answer any of your questions! Leave us a comment and let us know which helmet you would pick!

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