Folks who have never really spent time in one imagine that full-face helmets create all sorts of problems, like muting the world around you so you can't hear other traffic or limiting your view. There is some truth to the concern about limiting vision, but just vertically. On a cruiser with tank-top instruments, the chin bar sometimes blocks your view, so you have to tilt your head forward slightly to read them. It's not enough to block your view of the road ahead, though. In some helmets, I can't even see both sides of the eyeport with my eyeballs at full-lock, so peripheral vision is not compromised. While a helmet does muffle external sounds some, that's generally a good thing, since most of the ambient noise is just that, noise. It's the sound of your engine, drivetrain, exhaust and most of all the wind passing your head. The sounds that you need to hear-the tire or engine sounds of approaching vehicles, emergency sirens, the voices of pedestrians, a change in your bike's drivetrain, something falling off the bike-have to be picked out from the general din, and that's easier when the ambient noise is knocked back a bit. In particular, a properly designed helmet shell can make your passage through the wind smoother and therefore reduce the wind's roar compared with your bare head, which is not as streamlined. Riding without a helmet or other ear protection will quickly cost you hearing capacity from the effects of wind noise. If you have a loud exhaust, the loss will happen even faster.