Any motorcycle owner should own a motorcycle helmet due to the safety and protection it offers. However, not all helmets come with the features you need to feel safe on the road. One of those features is motorcycle helmet visors, which we’re going to talk about today.
Visors are an important safety measure since they can provide the protection and relief you need from the sun. Sun protection is crucial because if the sun’s shining in your eyes while riding, it can greatly impact your visibility.
Let’s discuss their benefits, how to pick one, and everything else you need to know before making a purchase.
Why Would I Need Motorcycle Helmet Visors?
Visors, also called shields, are large clear panels that you look through while riding. They offer protection from the sun, elements, and flying debris. Therefore, the visor you buy must be strong enough to resist any penetration upon impact.
Some motorcycle riders think that riding a bike is all about looking cool and feeling the wind against their face. However, if you’re serious about riding, then visors are an important accessory you don’t want to ride without.
While some helmets are already equipped with a visor, some aren’t. Models sold separately are often expensive, so do some research first to ensure you end up with what you need.
How Do I Choose Motorcycle Helmet Visors?
With a lot of aftermarket helmet visors today, choosing the right one can be a bit confusing. Here are a few factors to consider in case you’re shopping for a new one:
Make sure that the visor you’re planning to buy is compatible with your existing helmet. Most visor manufacturers list which kinds of helmets are compatible with their products. Plus, if replacing your existing visor, you have to make sure that it’s removable.
Opt for visors with an anti-fog treatment. If a visor fogs constantly, your safety and visibility will suffer. The best visors have long-lasting anti-fog coatings on both the inside and outside.
Go for helmet visors that offer good eye protection. Keep an eye out for motorcycle helmet visors that are durable and shatter-proof.
Additionally, the best visors also have built-in UV protection. This will help protect your eyes from sun damage during long rides on sunny days.
Tint and Color
Helmet visors come in different tints and colors, including mirrored and reflective lenses to transparent styles. The former prevents others from seeing your face while the latter is to help you see as clearly as possible.
Choose visors that match the conditions where you’ll be mostly using them. Reflective tints are good for areas that get a significant amount of sunlight, while clear visors work for low-light areas.
Style and Appearance
You’ve probably already invested a lot of money into your motorcycle, helmet, and all your other riding gear. Thus, you should also look for a visor that compliments your entire existing gear. If not, you might grow sick of it and it will end up being a waste of money.
What Types of Motorcycle Helmet Visors are Available?
There are several types of motorcycle helmet visors. The most common ones include:
These protect not only the rider’s eyes. These extend down the front to just above your jaws to protect the chin, which is vulnerable during head-on collisions.
Since some motorcycle helmets don’t have an open-face design, the opening only exposes your eyes. In this case, the visor is shorter, because it can no longer extend under the bridge of the nose.
What we like about these visors is that you can raise or lower them depending on your preference. Meaning, you can raise the visor to cool off while stopped or riding at slower speeds. Most of the aftermarket visors today follow this design and it’s quickly becoming the standard.
Mirrored visors have a mirrored exterior that reflects light. Since lesser light passes through the lens, your eyes are protected from glare. Apart from improving visibility in bright and well-lit conditions, they can also help keep your face cool.
You can buy mirrored visors in both full-face and half-face styles. They’re also a perfect choice if you mostly ride on sunny days.
Do All Motorcycle Helmet Visors Fit All Helmets?
Short answer: no. Motorcycle helmets come in a wide range of styles, which means visors will only fit certain types of helmets. Since helmets have different dimensions, it’s impossible to make a visor that has a universal fit.
With this, many visor manufacturers make sizes that work well with the most popular types of motorcycle helmets. They design their products in a way that they can fit as many helmets as possible.
So, before making that purchase, check the manufacturer’s compatibility guide first to see if the visor fits your helmet. Many companies state this information and make it easy to find.
What are the Laws Concerning Motorcycle Helmet Visors?
When it comes to helmet visors, the laws generally have something to do with how much tint visors can have. Most states require at least a 50% light transmission rate, meaning visors can’t block more than half the light you see. This law aims to improve visibility and increase your safety and those around you.
However, take note that tinted visors are legal in the US. Moreover, some local jurisdictions have rules preventing you from leaving your visor open at certain speeds. While uncommon, such laws help prevent you from getting distracted by the oncoming wind.
If your state has wind-related visor laws, consider investing in a clear visor if you’re planning to ride at night.
How Do I Care For My Motorcycle Helmet Visors?
Visors are delicate. Because of this, before riding, make sure to secure your helmet to a motorcycle holder to protect the coatings. Additionally, knowing how to keep the visor clean is just as important.
You might think that wiping your visor with a wet rug is enough to keep it looking good. But, you should also take extra precautions to prevent the special coatings from getting damaged. This becomes especially important when cleaning the inner surface, or where the anti-fog coating is.
Put a warm, wet paper towel over your visor’s exterior. Let the paper towel rest for about ten minutes to soften and break down any debris.
Then, grab a new wet paper towel to wipe the surface. To remove any dirt and grime build-up, wipe the exterior and interior with a mild dish cleanser and warm water. Rinse the visor with warm water and pat dry using a microfiber cloth. Remember to use patting motions to avoid damaging the special coatings on both surfaces.
Getting Rid of Scratches
While scruffs and scratches are impossible to prevent, try to do so since these can greatly impact your visibility. These can prevent you from seeing traffic, people, or hazards, especially in low or bright-light conditions.
To get rid of scratches and preserve the integrity of the visor, start by taking the visor off the helmet. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t attempt to remove the scratches as this can do more harm than good. You may even end up permanently damaging the visor as well.
Sanding and Using a Heat Gun
After removing the visor, place it under warm, running water. When sanding the scratches, use a 1500 grit sandpaper and sand the visor’s surface for about 30 seconds. Gently rub a finger over the surface, and if you can still feel the scratches, continue sanding until it becomes smooth.
Once it’s smooth, use a microfiber cloth to wipe excess water and let it dry for at least two hours. Next, set the heat gun to 500 degrees.
Turn a lamp on and put the visor around three feet from the light. Then, place the heat gun about five inches away from the visor’s outer surface. Move the heat gun constantly across the surface and never hold it in place for more than a few seconds.
Once the surface seems smooth and free from the remaining scratches, let the visor cool down before reinserting it to the helmet.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Motorcycle Helmet Visors?
Using motorcycle helmet visors is a great way of improving your visibility and increasing eye protection. But, it’s not for all types of helmets.
For example, some low-end motorcycle helmets don’t have removable visors—meaning, aftermarket visors won’t fit. You should also refrain from buying a new helmet visor if you’re unsure about the type of helmet you own. Since visors work with specific types of helmets, getting one that isn’t compatible is just a waste of money.
Moreover, avoid buying mirrored or dark-tinted visors simply because they look cool. These visors block a certain amount of light, which is a problem if you mostly ride in low-light conditions. While a new visor can add personality to a helmet, it’s not worth compromising safety over style.
So, before purchasing new motorcycle helmet visors, make sure they’re suitable for the type of riding you do.
Lastly, never buy high-end visors if you’re planning to use them on entry-level helmets. It’s better to just invest in a new helmet since most mid-range helmets already have well-made visors in them.
Motorcycle helmet visors are what you need if you’re looking to improve visibility, prevent glare, and increase eye protection. We hope we helped you explore your options, and when buying, choose something that matches your needs, style, and budget.
Happy shopping and stay safe on the road!