The chin bar of motorcycle full-face helmets is the most likely region of the helmet to sustain impacts during accidents, with a large percentage of these impacts leading to basilar skull fracture. Currently, helmet chin bars are designed to mitigate the peak acceleration at the centre of gravity of isolated headforms, as required by standards, but they are not designed to mitigate the neck force, which is probably the cause of basilar skull fracture, a type of head injury that can lead to fatalities. Here we test whether it is possible to increase the protection of helmet chin bars while meeting standard requirements. Fibre-reinforced composite shells are commonly used in helmets due to their lightweight and energy absorption characteristics. We optimize the ply orientation of a chin bar made of fibre-reinforced composite layers for reduction of the neck force in a dummy model using a computational approach. We use the finite element model of a human head/neck surrogate and measure the neck axial force, which has been shown to be correlated with the risk of basilar skull fracture. The results show that by varying the orientation of the chin bar plies, thus keeping the helmet mass constant, the neck axial force can be reduced by approximately 30% while ensuring that the helmet complies with the impact attenuation requirements prescribed in helmet standards.