Even if motorized scooters never took off in the US the way that they have in Europe and other parts of the world, that doesn’t mean they’re not still a great way to get around. They sit somewhere in a happy medium between bicycles and motorcycles, making them a great vehicle for commuters. Scooters are more powerful than bicycles or mopeds, but smaller and more maneuverable than motorcycles. Scooters are also typically more fuel-efficient, and they’re more of a laid-back way to get around than a high-intensity motorcycle. It’s a little less “Fast and Furious” and a little more “old Italian man on his way to lunch,” if you will.
The fact that scooters exist in a mid-point between pedestrian vehicles and motor vehicles can be the cause of some confusion, especially regarding the legality of such vehicles. The major point to know is that — even if your scooter doesn’t go as fast as a motorcycle — it still counts as a motorcycle. That is, at least in the eyes of the law. That means that you need a motorcycle license and a helmet to ride on the streets. However, it’s not necessary to get a helmet that’s designed for riding at high speeds.
Where an open face helmet isn’t protective enough for highway speeds, it can be a perfect option for scootering. Open face helmets protect the top of your head and sometimes the side of your face while leaving the chin and lower face uncovered. That way, you can feel the breeze while still being protected. Below, we’ve rounded up three great helmets. They’re all Department of Transportation (DOT) approved, so you can scoot around safely and in style.
1. Vega Helmets Half Helmet with Sunshield
This helmet comes in a few different sizes and it’s adjustable, making it suitable for a variety of different head sizes and shapes. The back of the helmet has a dial adjuster to tighten and loosen it. The front of the helmet has a short bill, and the helmet comes with a drop-down sun shield. It’s suitable for men and women, and the helmet comes in a range of colors.
Pros: Dial adjuster on the back for a customized fit, comes with a drop-down sun visor, padded moisture-wicking liner on the inside.
Cons: Sun shield can be too close to the face, especially for those wearing glasses.
Vega Helmets Half Helmet with Sunshield
2. ILM Half Helmet
This affordable option from ILM comes in sizes small through XL, and a sizing chart is included on the listing. It has a small bill and a smoked drop-down sun visor. The sun visor is replaceable, too. The adjustable, quick release chin strap makes it easy to get the helmet on and off. Additionally, it comes in a few different colors, including matte black, glossy black, and a black and white American flag option.
Pros: Includes a quick release chin strap for easily getting on and off. Comes with a built-in flip-up sun visor.
Cons: Visor is not the most durable.
ILM Half Helmet
3. AHR Motorcycle Half Face Helmet
A highly affordable half face helmet is this option from AHR. It has a small bill to give a little bit of sun protection, although it does not come with a built-in visor. The chin strap is adjustable for a more snug fit, and the helmet comes in sizes ranging from small to X-large.
Pros: Highly affordable and simple option. Classic, understated design.
Cons: Doesn’t include a visor.