Why do Dirt Bike Helmets Have Visors – What is their Main Purpose?

A Dirt Bike Helmet with Visors

Since riding a dirt bike is motorsport, it is necessary to wear a helmet. In addition to being a safety measure, helmets differ in design and functionality across different motorsport disciplines for various reasons. The helmets are designed differently for each sport, taking into account the demands of the various sports.

Off-road helmets differ from street bike helmets in that they have visors. What advantages do dirt bike helmets have visors like these over regular bicycle helmets? Why do dirt bike helmets have visors?

When you wear a dirt helmet for your bike, the visor, or the peak, is primarily designed to protect the face of the rider against mud or dirt during the ride time. Besides providing eye protection, it also protects the rider from the glare of a low-lying sun.

Riders like it because it’s cool, and it’s become an iconic symbol for all the best dirt bike riders that somehow separate them from the rest of the bike riding disciplines, almost like a form of pride. Dirt bike helmets without visors are considered unfit for riding.

Why Should Dirt Bike Helmets Have Visors?

On top of the dirt helmet with a visor, the primary purpose is to fully protect the face of the rider from any harmful dirt or mud during the racing. In motocross circles, the term ‘roost’ is often heard. Rooster tails are called roosts in slang.

You are riding on a track filled with mud and dirt, and a rider in front of you accelerates away, kicking up an arching spray of dirt, mud, and stones from the rear of his bike. A rooster tail is an arching spray of mud and dirt coming from the back of the bike because the shape resembles that of a rooster’s tail!

Dirt bike riders who are seasoned will dip their heads into the rooster tail when going into the rooster tail so that the visor takes the brunt of the spray of dirt, as opposed to being hit in the face by it. Rooster tails can block your goggles, preventing you from seeing where you are going and even causing cuts and lacerations to your face!

Keeping the sun’s glare from the rider’s eyes is another benefit of a dirt bike helmet visor. This function is similar to that of the visor of a baseball cap. The sun is only low on the horizon in the early morning or late afternoon, so this would be necessary only during these times.

A rider riding dirt bike on sand

How Important Is A Dirt Bike Helmet Visor?

Your riding style will determine if a visor on top of your dirt bike helmet is very much necessary.

My personal opinion is that a visor is a must-have in motocross dirt track racing primarily due to its function of protecting you from other riders.

You might not need a visor if you’re riding dirt bikes off-road and mostly on trails where there isn’t a lot of high-speed competition riding. The visor, however, can shield you from the glare of the sun.

For off-road and street riding, assuming your dirt bike is street-legal, have a street bike helmet for riding in the city and suburbs and a dirt bike helmet for riding in the country.

It may seem overkill, but you will quickly discover that street helmets do not work well off-road, and dirt bike helmets do not work well on roads. It quickly becomes scorching and uncomfortable inside a street bike helmet when used in the dirt at lower speeds. This will result in the screen foggy up, leaving you very dissatisfied!

When used in off-road riding environments, street helmets are susceptible to scratches and damage because they are not designed for the rigors of such riding.

Quick Guide on Different Types of Visors

Even though visor styles and shapes can vary, there are generally two main types of visors.

1. Built-in

A built-in visor is an integral part of a dirt bike helmet. Sun and rain protection are still available with these types of visors, which tend to be shorter.

Additionally, the visors are shorter for another reason. Longer visors could break in a crash landing, causing eye or head injuries. Shorter visors offer crash protection.

This type of visor is not recommended on more challenging tracks or in more severe weather conditions. A breakaway visor is a better option.

2. Removable/Detachable

They are helmets with visors that can be removed or detachable and wider. With various visors in different styles and shapes, the owner can switch between them for other trails or situations.

The removable visors’ wider shapes better protect against weather, tree branches, and roost.

A dirt bike rider

Which Dirt Bike Helmet Visor is best?

It is imperative to choose a visor that is appropriate for the track or trail. A built-in visor can be a good choice for Casual Mountain biking because it offers some protection, but doesn’t get in the way while riding.

It is better to have a removable visor for MX, single-track courses, rough terrain, or harsh weather conditions. The detachable design of these visors ensures that the rider’s head or neck will not get pulled on and injured if they get caught on something.

Further, the visor will not cause injury to a rider if it breaks or if a rider falls on it.

On the other hand, visors can restrict a rider’s vision, so a visor is often unnecessary when riding on flat or accessible roads.


In addition to offering protection against various conditions and environments, dirt bike helmets often have visors. If you are riding a dirt bike on a trail or a road, you should select a visor that matches the type and style of the trail or road.

If you choose a helmet, make sure that it is suited to the situation and is appropriately certified. Do a bit of research on helmet visors and see what type of visor can suits best according to your riding requirements and head size.