How To Modify Helmet for Hot Weather

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Dirt bike rider with a helmet on lap pointing a finger to an air flow vent

With summers getting hotter and hotter, we all need to take measures to keep our body cool during ride days. Wearing a helmet in searing hot weather is definitely not fun, but luckily there are few simple things we can do to keep our heads cool out on the trails. What is the best helmet for hot weather? It’s likely the one you already have.

To make your dirt bike helmet cooler for hot weather is simple. You can improve the airflow inside the helmet by drilling the air flow vents larger. For additional airflow, remove or replace the chin bar air vent mesh material. Finally, wearing a wet bandana inside the helmet can further help in keeping you cool during trail riding.

In this article we focus on making your existing helmet ready for hot weather trail riding. We explain how to drill your helmet to open the vents for increased airflow and share few other tips on how to keep riding during hot summer time. Let’s get started.

Read also: The best dirt bike gear for hot weather

Drilling Dirt Bike Helmet For Hot Weather

When you ride dirt bikes in hot weather, you should focus on breathable gear that allows maximum airflow around your head and body. The hot air should escape easily to cool you off. The same goes for the dirt bike helmet. Any increase in airflow inside the helmet will help in keeping you cool.

Dirt bike helmet for hot weather with a drill next to it on a table
Use a drill to open up the air flow vents for better air flow inside the helmet.

Next, we are going to cover the steps to drill the helmet air flow vents larger. The larger, more direct air flow channels will increase the cool air circulating inside the helmet. The increased airflow will make the helmet and your head much cooler in hot weather.

Step 1. Remove The Helmet Liner

Remove the helmet liner and padding from the inside of the helmet. They are held in place by velcro or snap-in buttons.

Locate the air vents around the helmet. They are usually covered with closable flaps, but some smaller ones may only have a mesh covering. After this, you are ready to drill the air vents larger to improve the helmet for hot weather riding.

Step. 2. Find Air Vents and Matching Drill Bit

Once you have located the air vents, that go through to the inside of the helmet, find a matching drill bit size. You may need to use different sizes to match the opening size. Select the size that fits well inside the hole and is not damaging the outer shell or the vent closing flaps of the helmet.

You may need to remove the air vent covers with flaps, if the hole in the top liner is not large enough. Carefully pry off the vent covers. You can also remove the visor to be able to access the front air vents easier.

Read also: Best dirt bike backpacks for trail riding

Step 3. Drill The Vents Open To Make The Helmet Better For Hot Weather

Carefully, drill the openings out. Start drilling from the inside. You can use a smaller drill bit first to find the correct angle and location. Helmets usually have a styrofoam type liner that can easily be drilled off around the vent openings. Avoid damaging any other materials, such as inner liner connecting snaps or MIPS cups.

Dirt bike helmet rear air vent drilled larger for hot weather
Left rear vent is drilled to 1/2″ size. The vent cap is removed to allow larger hole drilling into the top liner.

As you can see from the picture above and below, many of these air flow holes are very small. They allow almost no air directly inside the helmet and can be greatly improved by drilling them out. To make the airflow better inside the helmet for hot weather, the air vents need to be larger.

Front side of a dirt bike helmet showing air vents
Top front air vents before drilling. The air flow is greatly restricted.
Dirt bike helmet with a front air vent drilled open for hot weather
Front air vent after drilling the soft inner styrofoam material larger to allow more direct airflow inside.

Step 4. Clean Insides And Reattach Liner

Clean the debris off from the insides of the helmet and reattach liner. Check that the liner and pads are not blocking the air vents. If the liner is closing the air vents, you should consider modifying the liner to further increase the airflow directly into your head.

Replace Or Remove Chin Bar Vent Grill Mesh Material

In the front of the helmet, in the chin bar, many helmet designs include a vent grill. The vent grill usually has some thick mesh material, which will get dirty and restrict airflow. You should clean the mesh material regularly if you can access it. Cleaning the mesh material will increase the airflow and making the helmet better for hot weather.

Dirt bike helmet chin bar air vent open and set on the table
Remove the front chin bar mesh material or replace it with thinner cloth material for increased air flow.

For hot weather, you can completely remove the mesh material or replace it with a lighter cloth material that will let more air flow inside the helmet. Bandana material or similar light weight cloth will work well. If you ride in dusty conditions, wet the cloth to provide increased dust resistance.

Wear A Wet Bandana Inside The Helmet For Maximum Hot Weather Cooling

After you have made the airflow better inside the helmet, wearing a moist cloth or bandana inside the helmet will cool you down. The increased airflow inside will already make the helmet more suitable for hot weather. But, when the water vaporizes from the cloth and is pushed out of the helmet, your head will cool down much more effectively. The effect is very noticeable and can help anywhere from 30-60 minutes at a time. If you get overheated in the trails, you can also pour some water inside the helmet to wet the insoles.

Read also: The best dirt bike gear for hot weather


Trail riding in hot weather can quickly wear you out. But with few modifications to your gear and helmet, you can ride longer and enjoy the cool breeze around your body.

With these steps, you can increase the airflow inside the helmet to keep your head cooler. Combining it with a moist cloth over your head inside the helmet, you can easily keep riding into three digit temperatures. We hope these modifications will help transform your helmet for hot weather trail riding and keep you riding cooler much longer.

Keep a cool head on the trails!

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Last updated: July 26th, 2022