I bought my first full face helmet in 1972 - it was (if I recall correctly) a Bell Star, and I believe the first mass produced full face helmet. I bought it because I thought it was so cool, high tech, and completed my "look".
A perfect compliment to my 1972 H1B Kawasaki triple, aka the widow maker.
One year later I broadsided a deer coming home at 3:00am after working a 16 hour shift during my summer job. I landed on my face in the middle of the road. No doubt that helmet saved my life, even though I was so banged up and bruised I could not walk for several days. It was good to be 19.
Fast forward to 2007 - and I have always worn full face Arai's since then.
Until this year, when I bought a new 3/4 Arai to wear during hot weather.
I took my first ride with it last month over a 400 mile day trip and have to admit that I felt it was liberating to have an almost unlimited field of vision, especially during "quick head turns" to check traffic. It also made the rest of my ride feel more "free".
While I enjoyed it immensly it was also much noiser than my full face - but also provided a lot more air flow which I found refreshing. I think it kept me more alert especially toward the end of my day.
My take on the 3/4 helmet:
better in traffic due to increased peripheral vision.
A much better "motorcycle experience" - kind of like watching HD wide screen vs. a video IPOD.
Much cooler and lighter - therefore possibly
less fatigue inducing - especially behind a large fairing where wind and aerodynamics are not an issue.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY:
Ain't no way it is going to protect as well as my full faced Signet GT which I am wearing - as
I type this.
I plan on wearing the 3/4 when it gets REALLY HOT. I think the increased airflow is worth the increased risk.
Bottom line - I think an alert driver is a much