Why would someone be looking for the best motorcycle helmets? That’s because a motorcyclist shares common traffic space with many fast-moving cars, trucks, and buses, which puts him at an increased risk of being involved in an accident. A person who finds himself in that unfortunate event and is not wearing a motorcycle helmet is more likely to get a neck or brain injury, which can be fatal.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), wearing motorcycle helmets can decrease the risk of these fatal injuries by about 72%. Similarly, a survey was conducted which showed that 1,829 lives were saved in 2008, and if all motorcyclists had worn helmets during that time, then an additional 823 lives could have been saved. However, other factors may contribute at the time of the collision, for example, speed. But the best motorcycle helmet tends to reduce the impact of force on the head.
Therefore, here is a guide for motorcycle enthusiasts that can help them choose the best motorcycle helmets.
- Features: SRL 2 Sena Bluetooth System | QSV-2 drop down sun visor | Emergency Quick-Release System | 3D Max-Dry center pad | Molded air spoiler | Three intake, six exhaust vents | Eyeglass compatible interior | DOT approved
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- Features: Slim And Light Weight Design | AIM+ Shell Construction | Impact-absorbing Dual Liner | Quick-Release Self-Adjusting base plate | The CWR-1 Pinlock shield | 3D Max-Dry System II Liner | E.Q.R.S. System | DOT and SNELL M2015 approved
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- Features: Ultra low-profile fiber composite shell | Multi-Density EPS liner | 5 Metal Mesh intake vents | 3D Cut cheek pads | Magnefusion shield closure system | five-year warranty | DOT and ECE certified
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- Features: HIR-TH Shell Construction | Optimized using FEM System | XQRS Visor Mechanism | Integrated Sun Visor | XQRS visor mechanism | Dry-Comfort liner | DOT certified
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- Features: Premium polycarbonate shell | Advanced multi-layer EPS | KwikWick II liner | KwikFit cheek pads | Aero-tuned ventilation | Five Years Warranty | DOT certified
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- Features: CAD technology Shell | Single-button chin bar release | Tool-less Shield Replacement | Integrated SunShield | Advanced Channeling Ventilation System | SuperCool Interior | DOT certified
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- Features: Integrated Sena DWO-5 v3.0 System | 8 hour talk time | Flip Up Chin Bar | Double D-ring Interlocking | Multi-point ventilation system | 7 day stand-by time | DOT certified
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- Features: Super CLC Construction | Premium Comfort liner and padding | Facial Contour Support Cheek pads | Aerodynamically Tuned | Dry-Cool technology | Hign-end Performance & Versatility | Snell M2020 and DOT Certified
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- Features: Ellip-Tec Ratchet System | KwikWick II anti-microbial Liner | Easy-use flip-up chin bar | EverClear No-Fog Face Shield | Easy-use flip-up chin bar | Removable block off plates | DOT certified
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- Features: Tri-Matrix Shell Construction | MIPS Safety System | X-Static XT2 silver Inner Liner | Eject System ready | Velocity Flow Ventilation system | Integrated vented roost guard | Snell M2015 & DOT Certified
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- Features: Lightweight composite Shell | Adjustable Muzzle | Convenient speaker pockets | Easy removable front mask | FidLock magnetic connection | Stainless steel D-rings | DOT Certified
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- Features: Kinetic Polymer Alloy Shell | Integrated Sun Visor | Laser-cut foam | Quick release chin strap | Multi-density EPS | Hypoallergenic Liner | DOT Approved
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- Features: Composite Tri-Matrix Shell | Low Profile Design | Extremely Lightweight | Scout’s Honor | Includes two peak visors | Five-year warranty | DOT Approved
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13 Best Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
Following are the reviews of the above listed Best Motorcycle Helmets;
1. SHOEI GT-Air II – Full Face Helmet
Shoei is one of the top motorcycle helmet manufacturing industries in the world. They are known for their quality, comfort, and protection. The Shoei GT Air 2 offers superb quality with improved aerodynamics and stability. It provides an integrated sun shield for maximum sun glare protection and “first position opening” for better defogging and ventilation.
Based on the AIMS+ architecture, the shell construction uses fiberglass technology, which helps the helmet be more rigid, resilient, and lightweight. The helmet’s internals features the 3D Max-Dry system, which absorbs sweat and moisture very quickly compared to other nylon interiors. Moreover, all these internal components are removable, adjustable, and washable.
The built-in sun visor meets ANSI Z80.3-2010 standards and has lengthened 5mm more than its predecessor. It provides anti-fog and anti-scratch technology, allowing you to have a clear field of vision.
Like other Bluetooth motorcycle helmets, the most stand-out feature of this helmet is that it packs an integrated SRL-2 Bluetooth System by Sena. Not only that, Shoei has redesigned the internals and has made proper cutouts for wires, so they do not push against your head or face to create any pressure points.
For ventilation, this helmet has a three-positioned vent mechanism. The upper vent and a broad chin vent allow the air to pass through the EPS liner. Ultimately, this circulated humid air is then drawn out from three rear exhaust vents. It is a lovely, cool vented helmet for warm weather.
Shoei has equipped this helmet with DOT certification so that you can wear this anywhere without any hesitation. Furthermore, the shape is an intermediate oval with a longer front and back, which should work perfectly for the majority audience.
- Good Ventilation
- Compact Design
- Integrated Sun Shield
- Integrated Bluetooth Communication System
- Slightly Expensive
- The Bluetooth’s battery adds little to the weight
2. Shoei RF-1200 – Top Rated Motorcycle Helmet
People have always loved Shoei motorcycle helmets. And the Shoei RF-1200 is not an exception. It is a full face motorcycle helmet and the successor to the bad boy RF-1100, a prestige helmet of its time. However, this thing is impressive; one of the best full-face motorcycle helmets. When it’s on your head, it just feels right. There are no tight spots, no loose spots, and no pressure points. It is super comfortable.
Besides being comfortable, this thing is very safe, meeting both DOT and Snell M2015 safety standards. It has built-in EQRS, and an emergency cheek pad removal system, which can be very useful if the situation calls for it.
The shield features CWR-1 Pin lock technology with a spring-loaded base plate to provide an excellent seal. Its shell is made up of heavy polycarbonate, and the face shield blocks all UV rays. The internals of this helmet is composed of 3D Max-Dry Pads, and everything is almost swappable.
It has a very compact design and is perfect for intermediate to long oval head shapes. The ventilation of this helmet is on point, and the sound levels are unbelievable. Even with the vents open, you do not hear much noise. The helmet’s weight is about 3.5 lbs., making it the lightest Snell certified helmet in the current Shoei lineup.
Shoei has crafted a fantastic piece that packs pretty much everything and will last years. The RF-1200 is the best helmet. It is a safe, comfortable, lightweight, and quietest motorcycle helmet that a hardcore rider would appreciate.
- Value for Money
- Comfortable & Lightweight
- Amazing Noise Suppression
- Good Ventilation
- Pinlock anti-fog face shield
- Slight whistle inside the helmet when the shield is up
- Cannot wear glasses comfortably
3. BELL Bullitt – Best Looking Helmet
The Bell Bullitt is a beautiful retro design motorcycle helmet that perfectly complements the modern classic motorcycle look. It has been built to pay homage to the helmet that revolutionized the motorsport and helmet industries in the 1960s, THE STAR.
Bell motorcycle helmets have always been built using the highest quality materials. The outer shell of the Bullitt is a fiberglass composite, which makes it extremely lightweight. The design of the helmet is not that aerodynamic; however, it looks super classy. It has a gigantic face shield on the front and can be adjusted in three different positions. Bell has used a Magnefusion Shield Closure System to lock the face shield. This system uses a small tab attached to the strap that sticks with the shell when the shield is closed.
Moreover, this helmet can fit two styled face shields, i.e., a flat face shield and a bubble face shield. The flat face shield helps in better viewing angles, and the bubble face shield helps in better ventilation. However, there are no proper gaskets on the helmet to provide a better seal. Due to this, you can expect some noise and rain to make its way inside the helmet.
On the inside, Bell has used micro-suede lining with genuine leather trims. The comfort liner and cheek pads are removable and washable; however, the neckroll stays intact.
For ventilation, there are six intake vents on the front and an exhaust vent at the back of the helmet. The chin vent can be opened or closed, but the other front vents can not. The soundproofing of this helmet is not that great. You might want to use earplugs while wearing this helmet.
So, if you are looking for a motorcycle helmet that looks old school and features some modern elements and safety standards like DOT and ECE, then you might want to consider the Bell Bullitt Helmet.
- Classy retro design
- Fits very snug
- Excellent field of view
- It whistles on high speeds
- No gasket for the visor
4. AGV K3 SV – Affordable Helmet
The AGV K3 SV is an iteration of their original K3 helmet. In this iteration, they have completely redesigned the helmet. That is why they have added the SV in the name. So, let’s discuss what changes have been made that make it worth buying over the original K3 helmet.
Starting from the helmet’s internals, the K3 SV packs an integrated drop-down sun visor, which helps you enjoy a comfortable ride on those sunny days. Moreover, the face shield mechanism offers a Perimetrical Visor Seal for better sound suppression and draft protection.
The inner neck roll and cheek pads are integrated into a single piece, which is completely removable and washable. The comfort liner and the cheek pads use Dry-comfort technology to absorb moisture and provide a cool and comfortable experience inside the helmet.
Now, talking about the shell, they have completely updated the design and made it very aerodynamic. For the shell construction material, they have used High Resistant Thermoplastic Resin. The helmet’s size lies in neutral to the intermediate oval, giving you a little more space around your cheeks and temples.
Like other aspects of the helmet, the ventilation is also improved. It now houses four vents on the front, one at the chin guard and three on the top. Moreover, they have also provided us with the two rear exhausts placed just under the rear-mounted spoiler for optimal airflow.
It is one of the cheap motorcycle helmets in our current best motorcycle helmets lineup. But this thing does not feel cheap in any way! The AGV K3 SV Motorcycle helmet is an excellent choice for anyone who wants sophistication, modern design, and safety in a single package. Hence making it ideal for street bike riding.
- Pretty good helmet for the price
- Very comfortable fit
- Comes with Pinlock lens
- ECE and DOT certified
- The tint on the sun visor is not so good
- No separate speaker pockets
5. SCORPION EXO-GT920 – Best Modular Helmet
EXO-GT920 is a sports bike helmet with modular features, i.e., it supports a flip-up design. The looks of this helmet are aggressive, and it gives a premium feel. It has a built-in spoiler to improve aerodynamics and is DOT certified, so you don’t have to worry about its safety while riding. It is one of the lightweight modular helmets on the market, weighing about 3.10 lbs.
It packs an integrated Speed-View drop-down sun visor with a smooth operating mechanism. The helmet’s face shield is coated with Everclear no fog coating, which comes in very handy while driving in winter. Scorpion has also given the speaker cutouts in the interior of this helmet. If you are a commuter who uses speakers on the go, you will love this helmet because it does not create any pressure points.
The upper vent mechanism of the helmet has been redesigned. It is now optimized for the upright to three-quarter positions. The back of the helmet houses a 10mm exhaust vent, which pulls all that moist air out of your helmet. The KwikWick II inner liner supports anti-microbial properties to absorb your sweat away and keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
To support that modular functionality, the chin of the helmet sits on a metal hinge. It is a nice add-on for the price that you are paying. The helmet has an intermediate oval shape, is not overly round, and not overly narrow. It just fits right on. The shell uses a premium polycarbonate material, which helps in making the helmet lightweight.
Overall, this is an excellent helmet that packs a lot of features of a premium segment helmet.
- Very comfortable to put on and wear
- Pretty cool Graphics options
- The hinges are pretty strong
- Fairly light for a modular helmet
- The drop down visor has minimal distortion and is stable
- The noise suppression is average
- A tight fit around the cheeks
6. HJC IS-Max 2 – Affordable Modular Helmet
The HJC IS-MAX 2 falls under the budget helmet category. It is a sport-touring modular helmet with an excellent updated scheme for aerodynamics and profile. You can also use it as an open face helmet with its single-button face shield release system. It weighs about 3.8 lbs, which is a reasonable limit for a modular helmet.
In HJC motorcycle helmets, the IS in the helmet’s name means that the helmet has an internal Sun Visor. So, if you see IS in any of the HJC helmet’s names, then know that it has an integrated sun visor. The IS-MAX 2 is equipped with a smoked tinted sun visor with a locking mechanism. This sun visor can be adjusted in three different configurations with a slider located on the top of it.
The helmet’s size is an intermediate oval, which fits right in the sweet spot. It has a symmetrical shell, which makes it more aerodynamic and robust. The ventilation actuation has gotten much better in this helmet. There are two vents in the rear and two in the front. A nice tight gasket is used for a better seal from nature. Unlike their previous helmets, they used a metallic mechanism for interlocking.
The neck roll and cheek pad are integrated, giving you better comfort and quietness. They left an extra space to install a clamp mount system for the Bluetooth or camera along with the neck roll. There are cutouts present inside the helmet for internal speakers to not cause any discomfort.
There are two snaps at the helmet’s chin, which allows you to pop an aftermarket breath box or a chin curtain. The HJC IS-MAX 2 delivers a lot of functionality and is not going to break the bank.
- Very comfortable while wearing glasses
- Great Helmet for the Price
- Modular Functionality
- The hinge mechanism is beefier
- It’s noticeably quieter and very comfy for a long ride.
- Could be lighter
- Inner shield isn’t dark enough to be useful
- It fogs up easily so pinlock is required
7. BILT Techno 2.0 – Sena Bluetooth Modular Helmet
BILT Techno 2.0 Evolution is a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet that also packs the features of modular motorcycle helmets. It has an internal Sun Visor and a fully integrated Bluetooth communication device. Being a modular helmet, you can open and close the chin bar as you wish to do so. It is packed with a ton of features, and it’s going to be an excellent option for anyone who spends most of their time in that up riding position.
This modular helmet consists of an active vent at the chin, two active vents at the top of the helmet, and a few exhaust vents at the back. This combination will pull the helmet’s humid air through the EPS to keep you comfortable and cool when you are riding.
There are variations to the face shield. For instance, if you want to maximize airflow, you can set the shield accordingly and maintain eye protection. The Sun Visor is a great addition to this helmet. It helps eliminate the need to carry around an additional shield. You can simply retract the shield inside when you don’t want it and engage it when you want extra protection from the sun by pushing the toggle on the left-hand side.
A microphone is connected to the DWO Sena Bluetooth communication device. You turn it on, connect it to your smartphone, and you are ready to communicate with your fellow riders or passengers. You can listen to music and get directions from the GPS. There are a lot of benefits that these communication systems provide. You’ve got eight hours of talk time, and seven hours of standby time.
The Techno modular helmet interior consists of a removable and washable liner so you can take everything out of this helmet, wash it, and pop it back in. It makes the helmet stay nice and fresh for the duration of its life. It also has an integrated chin curtain that helps to block out unwanted wind noise and air.
For those looking for motorcycle helmets with Bluetooth with an internal sun visor, this could be an excellent option for you.
- Integrated Bluetooth communication device
- Easy to connect
- Looks and feels great
- Well vented and the drop down screen is a useful option
- Easy to flip the front for a quick breather
- No Upgradeability options for speakers etc.
- The speaker gets loud, but the mid or lows are not too good
8. Arai XD-4 – Safest Motorcycle Helmet
Arai is one of the most renowned motorcycle helmet manufacturers in the world. Every Arai helmet is hand-built in Japan. The XD4 is a dual-sport helmet, which means that it’s a combination of an Off-Road and a Full-Face helmet. The helmet’s exterior is like an off-road helmet, but the comfort inside resembles the full-face helmet.
It is a great option that works well in the streets as well as on the trail. This premium quality helmet features a comfortable interior with an FCS cheek pad design. What’s unique about this design is that it has 5mm peel-away temple pads. These pads can be removed to make more room inside the helmet for better adjustability. Similarly, there is also a peel-pad in the comfort liner, which can be removed too.
The shell uses Complex Laminate Construction, which aids in making the helmet strong and lightweight. The fit of the helmet is an intermediate oval, which fits best for most people. You can use this helmet in three different configurations, with the peak removed, the shield removed peak on, or both off.
The strong points of this helmet are its ventilation and aerodynamics. The lower vents have been improved from the front, and brand-new brow vents have been added to the shield. It has a free flow mechanism in the chin vents that sucks the moist air out of the helmet, resulting in low fog. It has six holes inside the helmet and four exhaust vents in the back to get rid of all the moist and hot air.
Arai has put some effort into making this helmet a perfect one for real enthusiasts. Both DOT and Snell approved, the XD4 can be worn anywhere, whether it’s a track or a mountain. Moreover, it also has quick-release cheek pads, which can come in handy in an emergency. If you have a question in mind, What is the safest helmet for motorcycles? then we would not be wrong, in saying that the XD4 is considered one of the safest motorcycle helmets.
- Excellent Ventilation
- Exceptional Aerodynamics
- Crazy Customizability
- Exceptional build quality
- Very light on the head
- The neck strap is a bit tight
- You might want to use ear plugs with it
9. SCORPION EXO-AT950 – Adventure Helmet
Modular Adventure helmet let’s discuss it first. When we think about the modular helmet, we know that its chin bar lifts up, and when we think about the adventure helmet, we see that it will have a significant peak. EXO-AT950 is one of the first helmets that has tried something like this. It packs features of both a modular helmet and an adventure helmet.
EXO-AT950 is one of the versatile helmets that has hit the market for quite a long time. It is a sleek aerodynamic Modular Touring Helmet that fits the purpose of every kind of ride. If you want to hit the dirt, just take down the face shield and pop on the enormous peak. Likewise, if you’re going to hit the roads for a pleasant long journey, you can take that peak off and use that face shield to block out the bugs and the excessive noise.
The ventilation of this helmet is adequate, but it could be a little better. It has a two positioned chin vent. The first position allows air to flow through the visor, helping in defogging. The second position allows air to flow through the helmet. The face shield and inner sun visor are both coated with Everclear Fog-Free Coating.
Furthermore, the helmet’s peak moves a little when you lift the helmet’s chin because it helps in aerodynamics by not creating much air resistance. It has a polycarbonate shell and is DOT rated.
Typically, modular helmets lie in the 4 lb. range, but this helmet weighs about 3.12 lbs. The AT-950 will provide you with the same comfort and design level you would expect from a Scorpion helmet. It can be utilized almost anywhere, off-road, on the road, or in dual sport.
- Offer Versatility
- Cool Design
- Can easily install any com device
- Strong metal hinges
- The fit is a bit snug
- The face shield fails to provide a better seal sometimes
10. BELL Moto-9 MIPS – Good Sports Helmet
Bell is one of the most recognizable Motorcycle Brands in the world of off-road helmets. They have been making helmets since 1954. The Bell Moto-9 is one of their flagship helmets that packs many premium features for a fraction of the amount. In our motorcycle helmet reviews, it is the best-looking off-road helmet on the market.
The helmet’s shell is composed of Tri-Matrix technology and is designed to maximize airflow. It weighs around 3.8 pounds, a bit on the heavy side, but it’s not a deal-breaker. Bell has introduced tabs instead of screws to loosen the fully adjustable Flying Bridge Visor. You can pop the tabs out with your finger’s help and adjust the visor position by rotating those tabs.
For ventilation, Bell is using its velocity flow vent design. There is a fully ventilated EPS-lined chin bar and SEVEN exhausts at its back. The internals is made of their X-Static XT2 Silver Liner system, providing that premium everyday comfort.
Bell is the only company that is using MERS (Magnetic Emergency Release System) in their helmets. Instead of using snaps, magnets are used to stick the cheek pads inside that helmet, which can be very easy to take out or place back in.
The Bell Moto-9 is DOT, as well as Snell certified. Moreover, to enhance its safety, it has a MIPS (Multidirectional Impact Protection System) liner system. This system allows your head to slide a little inside the helmet in case of a collision. Suppose if someone’s head collides at a certain angle, then the MIPS liner allows their head to rotate so that all that collision force is not applied to a single point. Furthermore, you also have the option to install the Eject Helmet Removal System.
As considered one of the best dual-sport helmets, it packs a lot of cool safety features and is loved by many motorcycle enthusiasts.
- Great value to money
- Cool Safety features
- Cool graphics options
- Extremely Lightweight and Decent Vison
- Noisy so you might wanna carry some earplugs
11. BELL Rogue – Best 3/4 Helmet
At first glance, the Rogue is a groundbreaking new helmet from Bell. If we look at it from an application standpoint. It will cater to riders who want an open-face helmet with some extra protection. It falls under the coolest motorcycle helmet category which offers many additional features that a standard half helmet does not have.
It has a removable muzzle that looks very badass when attached. The Fid-lock technology in the muzzle uses a magnetic connection that helps the rider put the muzzle on or off quickly. The muzzle contains some airflow vents on the front and a breath guard. The breath guard houses a 3D foam breath box, which can be helpful in winter to block that cold air. In summer, you can remove that breath box and let those vents do their task.
This helmet’s shape is an intermediate oval, and it is going to fit perfectly with most audiences. The shell comprises carbon and fiberglass resigns that help the helmet be lighter and more rigid than the polycarbonate helmets. Do note that it does not have any vents on its shell as it is an open face helmet. You will be getting a lot of airflows, nonetheless.
Whether you are a sportbike rider, cruiser rider, or Harley rider, if you are used to wearing a half helmet, you will want something that gives you a little more coverage and stylish looks. The Belle Rogue is one of the cool motorcycle helmets that you should be evaluating.
- Muzzle helps with wind and debris
- Looks are pretty cool
- Durable, strong and light
- Pockets for communication system
- The muzzle sits a little low on the nose
- Not an option for people with large head size
12. LS2 Rebellion – Lightweight Half Helmet
The LS2 Rebellion is a modern design half-shell helmet weighing only around 2.5 lbs. It contains a large vent on the top with an open and close functionality that is very easy to operate even with a gloved hand.
It also has a drop-down sun visor with unique two-stage adjustability. You can either lock it halfway for a little shade or fully down for total sun protection.
The helmet’s design involves curves on the outside, which reduces drag and keeps the helmet more stable. The exterior of this helmet uses kinetic polymer (KPA), which is technically a plastic shell.
While on the inside, it has a nice comfortable liner held in place using six snaps. The helmet also comes with ear flaps so that if you want to use any communication system, you can cover the speakers with those flaps.
It is DOT-approved and uses a micrometric quick-release chin strap, which meets the FMVSS standard.
This helmet is just the right blend of retro cool with a technological edge. If you are a rider and you set your course, then the LS2 Rebellion is one of the best motorcycle half helmets at such an affordable price.
- Adjustable twin shield drop-down sunscreen
- Bluetooth installation is easy
- Hypoallergenic and removable fabric liner
- Cool Protection Features
- Does not have any muzzle to provide extra safety
13. BELL Scout Air – Best Half Face Helmet
BELL Scout Air is one of the lightest helmets Bell has ever produced, weighing only about 900 grams! This helmet is exceptionally compact and qualifies for the ECE and DOT certifications. It is a budget-category helmet using all the premium components.
It supports an “In-mold” construction, using a tri-matrix design instead of polycarbonate, which makes it lightweight. It has a nice retro feel, and throws you back in the ’90s.
It fits the head size of an intermediate oval and sits a little high above the eyebrows. It has a removable peak that can be popped out with a button to swap it with a bigger one if you want. Unlike other helmets that fall under this budget category, this one allows you to remove the internals. Everything in it is integrated, like your cheek pads or comfort liner; all are attached.
One thing to take care of before buying this helmet is its size. It is an intermediate oval, but it’s a tight fit. You would want to order one size bigger than your regular size. Other than all this, if you are looking for retro motorcycle helmets that don’t break the bank, then you must try this one.
- Super lightweight
- Cool retro design
- Bang for the buck
- Offers support for a Sun Visor
- Not much protective
WHAT THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A MOTORCYCLE HELMET
Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards
There are many safety standards that different motorcycle helmet brands follow. And keeping track of each of them can be very puzzling. We have discussed some of the common standards to let you know how they rate your helmets as safe. Before buying a motorcycle helmet, please ensure that any one of the following standards certifies your helmet because it can effectively reduce head injury in an accident.
DOT (Department of Transportation)
The DOT standard was issued in 1974. All helmets in the US must be DOT certified before they can be used on public highways. The helmet manufacturers test the helmet themselves to be sure that it is DOT approved. There is no reporting required for this standard. However, the government performs some random tests to ensure that the helmets meet the DOT standards. The helmets go through the following tests;
- Impact extenuation test: A helmet is put on a mannequin head and is dropped down to a flat hard surface or a rounded anvil to check whether it cracks or not.
- Penetration test: When an object is dropped down on a stationary helmet to see whether it penetrates or not.
- Retention system test: Tension is applied on the chin strap to see whether it maintains its position or not.
SNELL Memorial Foundation
SNELL is a private nonprofit organization that issues its motorcycle helmet safety standards. It is considered the gold standard for helmet safety. Unlike DOT testing, SNELL performs the tests in its labs. Their technicians examine each helmet individually to find all the weak spots. They take some sample helmets from the manufacturers and apply the tests on them. The following are the tests that are performed on a helmet before it gets SNELL certified.
- Impact testing: The helmet is dropped on multiple surfaces to check the energy transfer inside the helmet.
- Roll-Off test: The helmet is put on a mannequin head and dropped from different heights on different terrains to check whether the helmet rolls off.
- Dynamic Retention test: The helmet is strapped on a mannequin head, and weight is applied to the strap to test whether it opens or not.
- Chin Bar test: The helmet is placed on a surface facing upwards, and weight is dropped on the chin bar to test whether it bends more than the safety limit or not.
- Face Shield Penetration Test: The face shield is put on the test helmet and is shot with an air rifle. The face shield must not crack to pass the test.
ECE (Economic Commission for Europe)
ECE standard was issued in 1958 under the United Nations agreement. This safety standard is very similar to DOT, i.e., it involves all the tests like Impact extenuation, penetration, and retention tests.
However, there are some critical differences between the two. In ECE, the helmet is also tested for absorption resistance. For this test, the helmet is rubbed against a rough surface to check whether it wears off or slips past the surface. Moreover, ECE requires batch sampling of every production. The manufacturers must send some samples to the designated laboratory that follows the UN agreement’s ECE standards.
Helmet Shape, Size, and Fit
We do not buy motorcycle helmets every other day; it is an investment one is putting in. So, before buying one, we should be very concerned about its size and fit. The best motorcycle helmet is one that fits comfortably on your head and provides enough safety in case of an impact.
The very first thing a rider should consider before buying a helmet is the helmet’s shape. Each manufacturer designs their helmets to fit a particular head shape, which are;
- Long Oval
- Intermediate Oval
- Round Oval
Once you have found out what shape will fit you best, then it is time to select the best motorcycle helmet size.
Finding the right helmet size is as easy as finding a perfect-fit hat. All you need is a tailor’s measuring tape to wrap around the widest part of your head and jot down the numbers.
Every motorcycle helmet manufacturer has issued a size chart against their different helmet models. You just have to compare the numbers on that size chart and the ones that you measured. If the measured length matches exactly or is lying within that size chart limit, then you should do just fine with that helmet’s size.
If you got the shape and size right, then the helmet should fit you perfectly. However, a new helmet feels slightly tight when put on the first few times. But this is normal; it will get loose after some time. Also, when you are trying the helmet for the first time, note that it should not have any pressure points besides being tight.
For example, certain helmets have removable interiors, which are held in place with some snaps. Some manufacturers have placed these snaps at locations, which create a pressure point when a helmet is put on. Other than this, note that the helmet should not wobble on your head. The visor should be clear, and in case it is tinted, it should not have an aggressive tint. You should have a clear field of view.
A good helmet makes the ride comfortable and enjoyable. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a helmet that would keep you safe and comfy.