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German Motorcycle Helmets

Updated on October 17, 2018
ToTheBrimm LM profile image

Retail manager by day... Internet contributer by night... Motorcycle rider every chance I get!

These German Shorty Helmets are both stylish and practical. Learn a little about why they're so popular among Bikers, why they're shaped as they are and why these modern DOT German Helmets are better than ever before.

There is no political agenda to be found here. If you're looking to express either your hate of, or your support for, WWII era Germany, you'll have to do it somewhere else. These Motorcycle Helmets aren't really German WWII helmets. They're called "German Motorcycle Helmets" only because anyone hearing the term immediately knows what type of helmet is being spoken of. Saying "Flared Shorty Helmet" just doesn't evoke the same universally understood mental image.

Why are These Helmets Shaped Like This?

German Motorcycle Helmet v. Standard Shorty

If these German Motorcycle Helmets aren't meant to invoke "Nazi-istic" images, then why are they shaped the way they are?

There are two reason:

  • Functionality: The German Shorty is a functional design, that's why it was used in WWII; that's why it's used today. If you look at the design of most DOT (see DOT for an explanation) Shorty Motorcycle Helmets, you'd notice that they have a flare that extends beyond the base of the skull in the back, to protect the neck. In the event of a crash, a helmet with a flare that extends straight down, thereby resting against the wearer's neck, could potentially cause unnecessary neck injury. Wearing a helmet with a protruding flare could lessen the probability of neck injury being caused by the helmet itself. In other words - many riders feel uncomfortable about wearing a helmet that stops at the base of the skull/top of the spine. This "Protruding Flare" gives the visual impression of an old German WWII helmet.
  • Nostalgia - When American G.I.s return home after WWII, they brought trophies with them, including German Helmets. Members of the newly forming Motorcycle Culture brazenly wore these trophies. The German Motorcycle Helmet of today is simply a nod to our Biker Forerunners.

Why Wear a Shorty at All; Why Not Just Wear a Full-Face Helmet?

Shorty Vs. Full-Face

It all just comes down to personal preference.

  • Shorties offer a better field of vision. Full-Face Helmets help to reduce heard wind noise.
  • Shorties don't fog up. Full-Face Helmets are much nicer when it's raining or cold.
  • Shorties are easier to stow in a saddle bag. Full-Face Helmets offer greater coverage.

The first time that I tried on a Full-Face Helmet, I felt as though I couldn't breath!...

they take some getting used to.


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