While color, design and price may be a part of your decision about which helmet to buy, think first about protection and comfort. There are three basic motorcycle helmet types:
A full-face helmet gives the most protection since it covers more of your face. It usually has a moveable face shield that protects the eyes when it is closed. Racers prefer full-face helmets for the added protection and comfort.
A three-quarter, open-face helmet is also a choice of some riders. It is constructed with the same basic components, but doesn't offer the face and chin protection of full-face helmets. If you use an open-face helmet, you should have a snap-on face shield in place when you ride,or buy a pair of goggles that can withstand the impact of a stone or other debris. Prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses are not sufficient protection, and they might move or fly off.
A “shorty” half-helmet protects even less of your head. It is more likely to come off your head upon impact. Therefore, “shorty,” half-shell helmets are not recommended.