Dirt bike helmets vary from a regular helmet in design and appearance. The dirt bike helmets contain an extra chin protector against the roost. It gives room for an efficient air supply that sustains the rider’s breath, unlike street helmets.

On the other hand, street helmets you use on roads and offer protection from wind and noise. Therefore, it’s best to wear the right helmet as they are built differently and serve different purposes. Let’s learn more about the differences between the two helmets in this article.

Differences Between Dirt and Street Helmets

  • Dirt bike helmets tend to be lighter and have visored shapes for wearing with goggles and no face shields; this is fine on the trails, but various wind patterns throw your head around quite a bit at highway speeds.
  • Conventional dirt riding involves traveling at slow speeds than on the streets. A rider is more manually involved with his bike during dirt track, calling for a lighter helmet with adequate ventilation to minimize fatigue and help you keep you cool.
  • Dirt helmets also call for a larger eye-port that can fit a good goggle inside the helmet. Goggles allow the rider to inhale heavily and prevent fogging. Additionally, the foam lining in goggles helps soak-up sweat before it drips into your eyes. Again, a dirt helmet also helps keep your eyes safe and away from dust and sand in arid conditions.
  • Dirt helmets offer more dust protection than street bike helmets, which is a significant reason they have different shapes. When riding a bike in the field, you encounter a lot of dust, and that’s why it’s right to have a dirt helmet. Therefore, dirt bike helmets and general off-road helmets require a different design to fit their use. The helmets protect your face and head from dust.
  • Street bike helmets offer more protection than dirt bike helmets. Dirt bike helmets are more delicate and only built for purpose but won’t protect you much from a crash.
  • Dirt helmets offer more ventilation than street bike helmets because riding a dirt bike on the ground is hectic, exhausting, and hot. You sweat a lot when riding off the road than when riding on the street, thus needing more ventilation.
  • Dirt bikes are lighter in weight than street bike helmets, providing better sight and mobility on dusty roads, while the street helmet is typically heavier and has less ventilation.
  • Street bikes offer better noise and wind protection. When riding on the street, you do it at high speed, which causes a lot of noise from the flying wind. You require a motorcycle helmet that is wind and noise proof for street riding, thus being different from dirt bike helmets.

You require a helmet with aerodynamics and mechanics that provide comfort, smooth airflow and dampen air noise at speeds potentially over 200mph for street riding. Impact generally comes from in front of you.

Check this too: What to Pack When Trail Riding a Dirt Bike

Why Do Dirt Bike Helmets Have a Different Shape?

Dirt helmets have a different shape than street helmets because they serve other purposes like; protection from dust while riding, keep the sun out of your eyes, and ventilation. These helmets offer distinct features to cope with the challenges of riding in the field.

The helmet’s chin bar also protrudes to a greater degree than the road version helmets. This feature is essential to offer further protection in hitting your chin on the handlebars while providing additional airflow underneath.

Can You Use a Dirt Bike Helmet on the Street?

You’ll have issues when you use a dirt bike helmet on the street. The helmets are loud with minimum noise insulation. The wind noise will affect you if riding faster than 120kph because the front of the helmet (chin area) is open and the angular design make it less aerodynamic. The streets helmets have visors designed to run the air around your head rather than through it, like the dirt helmet.

The dirt bike helmet will also not protect you from the sun, especially if riding facing it. Therefore, it’s almost impractical to use a dirt helmet on the road as it offers less protection from elements like rain or cold temperatures.

Are Dirt Bike Helmets DOT Approved?

DOT approves dirt bike helmets for their specific use. Though it’s unnecessary to use an approved helmet off-road and even ATV helmets for aggressive riding, it causes no harm to buy one. The law stresses using DOT certification requirements for helmets intended for road use.

Check this too: Is it Legal to Wear a Motocross Helmet on the Road?


While choosing a helmet to buy, it’s best before considering the graphics or hi-tech features to think of the type of riding. As mentioned earlier in this article, both road and off-road helmets have different features to serve their terrain. So, wearing the wrong helmet for the unfit landscape will not offer any protection. Shop for the right kind of helmet and ensure it’s DOT certified.