Did you know Australia was the first country to introduce a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for riders? The real inventor of the first-ever motorcycle helmet is a bit of a squabble in history.
You see, the first half of the controversy understands that the first-ever motorcycle helmet was invented by Gottlieb Daimler, also considered as the father of the motorcycle. While the other part states that a medical officer at the Brooklands racetrack, Eric Gardener was the real man behind the motorcycle helmet.
Who is the main protagonist is not much of a worry here!
Both gentlemen were trying to assert the same conjecture after all- the immediate necessity of the motorcycle helmet for riders. In the early days, although the helmet was becoming a huge safety measure in the motorcycle riding community, many riders still refused to secure their heads. The helmet comes in between the “cool rider” factor, they said. But today, that dilemma does not hold true.
Several brands specializing in motorcycle gears offer helmets that not only enhance your riding experience and safety but also induce an ultra-cool rider look to your entire ensemble.
However, with so many features and types of helmets, it does get a bit overwhelming to make a good choice.
To help you familiarise yourself with the best motorcycle helmets that offer robust safety and follow the trends, here is a guide on all the different types and forms of motorcycle helmets supplemented with a brief buyer’s guide.
Remember, a motorcycle helmet is your best bet in the clumpy system of road safety networks.
Here’s a List of helmets we are going to be looking at:
Here are our top 3 choices if you are in hurry or don’t like reading too much.
Keep in mind, we have chosen the best of the best motorcycle helmets, these can be a little too expensive for some. If you are looking for something affordable or something specific, We have got you covered for that too.
- 15 Best Motorcycle Helmets Of 2021 [Reviews]
- Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide
15 Best Motorcycle Helmets Of 2021 [Reviews]
The Shoei GT Air 2 helmet is the best representation of what an ideal full-face motorcycle helmet looks like, and it is not just about the looks either. The helmet carries the most premium and functionality high feature you can ever get your hands on. How? Well, it has a state-of-the-art build, all the delicate aerodynamic finishes, and a perfectly installed sun visor. Trust, the visor is the most satisfying integration you will find on this list.
Each fiber of that makes the Shoei GT Air 2 contributes to its regality. The helmet is infused with the infamous Japanese Advanced Integrated Matrix technology. Well, be remiss if we didn’t mention how this full-face helmet came to be. The Shoei GT Air 2 was born as direct feedback to its predecessor GT Air 1. Having corrected all the misgivings in the older version, this full-face modular helmet sports high-class features including an emergency release system, stain steel built micro ratchet, and a game-changing pin lock ready visor. The fan following on this best motorcycle helmet was so massive that Sena, another well-known motorcycle gear brand, designed an exclusively dedicated wireless Bluetooth comm system for the GT Air 2.
The interior of the helmet is as stunning as its plush exterior. With a comfortably snug fabric surrounding your head, and well-insulated padding, this product is the avatar of true perfection for riders. Moreover, due to its versatile design, this helmet is perfect for touring and day-to-day commuting.
The Aria Corsair X is another motorcycle within the upper echelon of rider safety gear. The helmet is the successor to the infamous Arai Corsair V. However; the Corsair X looks strikingly similar to its ancestor; there are several upgraded and added features that make it a much more entitled to be mentioned as the best motorcycle helmets in the market.
The composite fiber shell of the helmet is enhanced to feel feather-light on your head. The safety factor is reaffirmed with the SNELL rating as well as a bonus by SHARP closing on an impressive 5/5. The shell is tweaked to look and feel much smoother. One of the most satisfying tweaks on this motorcycle helmet is the full-fledged ventilation duct located on the top dome with several exhaust outlets and vents for better fog clearance and visibility. To summarise, the Arai Corsair is a true art form for riders.
The helmet also sports an ultra-fine liner and adjustable straps along the cheek and temple region, allowing for a snug fit. Another feature that tips the scales for this helmet to be on the top tier is the enhanced axis system and lock shield mechanism. The helmet is an inspiration for the motorcycle industry, with several other brands replicating its charming integrations. Could they close on the authentic satisfaction of owning an Arai Corsair X? Perhaps not, original is still the best and possibly will always be.
The AGV K-1 helmet will restore your faith in rider safety measures that also enhance your sporting and adventurous persona. Yes, indeed, the AGV K 1 does not truly bring an element of novelty to the table, but it does deliver revolution and class. The main benefits of the AGV K1 helmet come from the entry-level features at the cusp of AGV racer technology.
The helmet sports a thermoplastic shell that is a broader shield for a wider and angular vision. The face shield of the helmet is supplemented with an anti-fog feature adding to the crisp view of the road ahead. The interior fabric comprises a total of four polyester liners that offer a snug fit. the plush cheek pads act as cushions and resist impact should things go south when you are riding.
There are five vents distributed on the overall body of the helmet. The dual rear exhaust supplements the anti-fog feature, and the shell stays true to the cutting-edge aerodynamics that is another mark of the brand. The shell also eliminates wind noise due to its anti-wind resistant integration. There is not a single shelling that will go wasted on the AGV K1 motorcycle helmet. The product is made for longevity and ultimate rider safety, which directly translates to a greater return on a good investment.
The Bell DLX qualifier is an excellent offering for the rider who is looking for rider safety gear under a budget. The brand has been one of the pioneers when it comes to motorcycle helmets, and they don’t disappoint with this product either. The Bell Qualifier DLX Helmet comes as a breath of fresh air with its ingenious color schemes, light-reactive shield, and the exciting Double D ring fastener. There is no doubt that this product is the crème de la crème and entirely worthy of being classified as the best motorcycle helmet for racing and day-to-day commuting.
In fact, you might be quite familiar with the Qualifier DLX if you are a racing fan. There is a reason why you see so many famous racing personalities sporting this helmet. The very first noticeable upgrade to this motorcycle helmet is its Face shield equipped with transition photochromic light, which means it becomes a darker shield when you are exposed to too much UV light.
The flawless quick release technology makes operation convenient and simple. The helmet is designed to house intercom systems with a detachable side panel that is spacious enough to adopt intercoms such as the Sena SMH10. Yes, there is a bit of a lacking when it comes to the noise reduction ability of this helmet. However, for the price, the product is definitely a steal.
5. Bell Race Star Flex DLX
- Solid design with the latest aerodynamic integrations
- Multi-layered interior fabric for better rider protection
- Affordable as a premium motorcycle helmet
- Extremely well-formed ventilation system
- The fit is made for narrow head shapes; hence, riders with neutral or round heads might experience some fitment issues.
Bell Race Star Flex full-face helmet is the ultimate choice if you want to reap every penny of your investment. Of course, when we talk about some of the best brands in the market, the stakes are always high. For a brand to stand out among such intense competition, there is an imminent necessity to bring something innovative and usability high on the table. The Bell Race Star Flex helmet has done precisely that; it stands out from the crowd so flawlessly with its truly unique and exciting offerings.
Considering that the brand has a clean streak in surprising the rider realm with its unique integrations, they have taken things to a whole new level with this brand. In the helmet, we can see the brand’s hunger for perfection. It reflects in the built of the helmet and penetrates flawlessly into the interior design for enhancing convenience and comfort while keeping the prices similar to the older versions.
The 3k carbon composition is a promise for the best safety for riders. Bell recrafted the entire shell for the Bell Race Flex helmet. To improve the helmet’s fit, the brand has adopted an oval shape, which is supplemented with an aerodynamic design that thins and thickens accordingly at all the fundamental places.
The unique out shell is a bell exclusive, with the EPS integration making the gear virtually unbreakable, which is why it has become the go-to choice by bike racers. The interior is as meticulous as the exterior. The inner fabric is a composite of three different layers for better shock absorbance and to dampen the rotation force. There are so many factors that make the Bell Race Flex undoubtedly the best helmet in the market.
The AGV Pista GP RR is made for aggressive riding, making it perfect for track days or racing. The helmet features a badass wind slicing angular front end with a wind tunnel developed shell. Needless to say, since it is incredibly light and extremely strong, it’s styled in Italy. Considering how much it gives, its price seems quite reasonable.
The Pista GP RR uses IVS ventilation with 5 big metal air vents on the front and 2 on the back. The big cutaways in the EPS allow air to flow through and over the helmet. Also, the helmet features a comfortable liner that gives it immense adjustability in order to give you a custom fit. The manufacturer has modeled the components around the shape of your head. On the inside, you will find dense foam that gives you a snug fit. This is what makes the helmet stand up to high speed wind resistance while staying in its place properly. Making the lining removable and washable, it is clear that AGV worries about its customers’ hygiene.
When it comes to the visor, the Pista GP RR delivers awesomeness. Whether you’re left handed or right handed, the one click visor lock mechanism in the centre will be easy to use for you. With the class 1 optical visor, you get perfect clarity.
In the past few years, only a few helmets have managed to get the same praise as the Shoei X-14. The X-14 rules the track. Every single line, angle, and curve of the helmet has been particularly designed to get the most out of you and your ride. Shoei has successfully given the X-14 some brilliant aerodynamic properties. How? It has maximized this property by testing it extensively by the wind tunnel method and frequently taking professional riders’ feedback.
The X-14 does not only protect you from harm but also gives you comfort. With the dual layer multi density EPS liner, the Shoei X-14 gives amazing impact absorption and ventilation. The upper air intake vent in the helmet is placed on the helmet in a way that it maximizes the air volume entering the helmet. The Cheek Pad Cooling System consists of channels that pass through the EPS liner. This produces air holes in the cheek pad foam that allow cooling and removal of warm, humid air away from your face.
The X-14 is made to fit everyone. It has a custom interior system which allows you to remove the entire interior lining (for cleaning) and replace with optional thicknesses. The helmet keeps aggressive riders cool and dry with its 3D Max-Dry helmet liner, which absorbs and dissipates sweat and moisture two times as fast as traditional nylon.
8. Arai XD-4
Best Adventure Helmet
- The helmet is equipped with Arai’s amazing build quality
- Snell and DOT certified, so protection is guaranteed
- Superb ventilation system
- Incredibly comfortable
- Good for users who wear glasses
- The helmet can feel a little heavy to some users
- Quite expensive for people who are looking for a full-face helmet on a budget
A world famous helmet, the Arai XD4 is one of the best ADV touring helmets out there right now. Its Snell safety rating is evident to this. Like all the best motorcycle helmets from Arai, it features a comfortable liner and cheek pads with 5mm removable pads for a better fit. With the XD4, your riding becomes effortless due to its aerodynamic shell. The Arai helmet contains a removable floating peak, which channels air into the redesigned vents. This not only improves the overall ventilation but also makes buffeting milder at higher speeds. With its larger sculpted side cowl vents, the helmet obtains enhanced ventilation. To make the ventilation even better, you get exhaust ports on the top diffuser vents.
The Arai XD4 is not the lightest motorcycle helmet out there, but Arai does not claim it to be one either. With a weight of about 3.6lbs, the XD4 can be quite hefty as compared to a regular full face helmet. However, the high comfort level of the helmet may not let the weight bother you. Speaking of comfort, the Arai XD4 does a terrific job in this field. It uses the Dry-Cool technology to keep you dry and cool. If you wear glasses, you don’t have to worry about any inconvenience while wearing and putting on or taking off your glasses.
No matter what kind of motorcycle you ride and how you ride it, the Icon Airflite Helmet does not care. In any case, the helmet will give you a badass look. Apart from the look, there is a lot that the helmet has to offer you, such as comfort and protection. The Icon helmet has extraordinary strength since its shell is made from injection molded polycarbonate. Aficionados would know that this material can be a little heavy, albeit pretty protective. To take the protection up a notch, the helmet gives you improved impact resistance with the help of dual-density EPS liner.
For your comfort, the Icon Airflite helmet gives you a robust ventilation system. It achieves this feat with the help of its multiple oversized intake and exhaust ports. For further convenience, you get a fog-free face shield and a molded breath deflector. For this reason, the helmet is ideal for colder places. Also, it gives you a removable hydradry moisture wicking liner. Not only that, but since the helmet also has a recessed twin channel supervent cooling system, we think it is great for summers as well. Above all, the Icon Airflite Helmet meets (if not exceeds) all world helmet standards, such as DOT FMVSS 218, ECE 22-05, SAI AS1698, and SG safety and testing standards. So if you want reliability, this is the helmet for you.
10. Shoei RF-1400
Consumer's Choice Helmet
The successor to the widely popular Shoei helmet, RF-1200, the brand new RF-1400 is a major step up for Shoei. Like all Shoei helmets, the RF-1400 looks heavy, but it is not. As a matter of fact, it is the lightest Snell M2020 rated full-face helmet from Shoei. The all-new RF-1400 has an added amount of vents and a much easier way to open and close the front vent. Not just that, but there are nearly 50% more exhaust vents in the helmet as well.
With the Shoei RF-1400, you will ride without getting bothered by any noise. Shoei has designed the helmet to be as quiet as possible by sealing off as much wind as possible that comes up from below. A huge reason for this is the chin skirt. The helmet comes with a clear visor, but you can also purchase a tinted one. Even though the tinted visor is dark enough, you can easily wear your shades if you need an additional layer of tint.
The Shoei RF-1400 has received fantastic improvements when it comes to aerodynamic performance. With the compact, aerodynamic shell shape and integrated spoiler, the helmet reduces the forces placed on your head. Also, the helmet has a more rounded or neutral bias to its intermediate oval shape.
The Shark Unisex motorcycle helmet comes as a unique modular safety gear for riders with its neo-flip-up angles. A modular helmet is so desirable to riders because they can be worn in an open face position, making it essential the helmet you choose stands by that feature.
The innovative chin bar is the most striking feature of this helmet with its flip-up integration, which is also a rare occurrence. The aerodynamics are done right on this product with a successful attempt to reduce the weight for better comfort. The mechanisms are enhanced, and it is quite noticeable that the minds at Shark put quite the time and energy to activate the high convenience factor in this unit.
The tweaks are most noticeable with the visor, face shield, and the liner that works well if you are in the mood to put on some sunnies. All in all, the Shark Adult Flip-up helmet is a fantastic product for all types of rides- touring as well as for day to day rides.
12. ScorpionExo EXO-GT920
The ScorpionExo GT920 is another handsome offering for our riders. the design is very close to our first category of full-face motorcycle helmets, and its easy to think of its as one. the interior padding shouts premium with integrations that enhance both comfort and convenience.
The GT920 comes in three size variants, which is a significant rarity for full-face helmets. We recommend paying close attention to the size charts as this helmet can have a tighter fit due to thick interior pads. Scorpion leaves very little room to nitpick in all its helmet ranges, and the EXO line is incredibly meticulously made. Moreover, the white color variant is perhaps the whitest modular helmet you can get your hands on with very minimal red or silver aerodynamic shaping lines.
The only disparity here are the overly packed cheek pads on the interior of the helmet, which might create issues with the fitment of the gear. The helmet comes packed with useful features such as the anti-fog for better UV protection eliminating the hassle of a pin lock strap. Overall, everything about the ScorpionEXO helmet shouts quality and premium-ness, and without a doubt, it is one of the best motorcycle helmets fulfilling versatility.
Flip-up helmets have taken the rider realm to a frenzy. The convenience of raising the chin-bar to do your rider things on the road trip without taking off your helmet every time is what true ease of use looks like. With the surge in the fan following for flip-up helmets, several bands took the lead on offering some unique products. But one that stood out among many is the HJC i90.
The HJC i90 is attractive, budget-friendly, and comfortable- AKA- everything that a helmet must have to be considered as the best motorcycle helmet of the year. Although there is not much to talk about in terms of aerodynamics as the weight rounds off at around 3 pounds. You get to choose between several color options and graphics.
It comes with a Larger HJ-V9 drop down internal sun visor and has a Bluetooth-ready design that works with SMART HJC 10B or 20B Bluetooth communicators. The only drawback is when you snap to close the chin bar, there is a lack of an identifiable beep to tell you that the helmet is undoubtedly closed, which at this point is present in most of the flip up helmets.
If you overlook the notification disparity, the HJC i90 is an attractive offering at a budget price for riders who are looking forward to customizations and graphic-heavy motorcycle gears.
We understand that riders pass on several motorcycle helmets, especially when riding is a lifelong commitment. In that case, it is only fair that you will be on the hunt for helmets that don’t break your wallet. The O’Neal adult off-road Sierra II helmet is one such peace offering. A truly versatile product for all types of riding adventures.
The design and build of the helmet is fantastic, imparting a cutting edge, almost tech crazy look. For the minimal price, you won’t find any other helmet that looks as good as this one. In terms of functionality, it was easy to appreciate the unique drop-down visor on this motorcycle helmet. On days when its extra sunny, you simply nudge the button on the left-hand side of the helmet for a secondary visor that acts as a face shield offering enhanced protection.
The only noticeable disparity for this helmet is its mesh padding on the inside structure. If you have sensitive skin, the mesh might cause some irritation, but otherwise, this does not seem as much of a handicap. Overall, without a doubt, the O’Neal Sierra II is one of the best motorcycle helmets with ultra-attractive aesthetics.
The Fly Racing belongs to a line of the premium motorcycle off-road helmets, with the most robust and lightweight shelling mechanics to have existed in this realm. With the unique 12k carbon formula and a plush interior structuring, this motorcycle gear is by default one of the best motorcycle helmets we have ever reviewed. The impact absorbing energy fibred in the interior of the helmet is crafted to provide the best standards for rider safety.
There are several enhancements that the brand made, including the progression and response of more massive impacts, an ingenious peak system, and an upgraded ventilation technology. The Fly Racing 2020 formula helmet packs several features to make your riding experience hassle-free and fun.
The aesthetic on this helmet are absolutely on point, and with numerous useful whistles, the motorcycle helmet is certainly desirable despite its exorbitant price point.
Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide
Rider safety was the original reason behind the inception of the motorcycle helmets. There are several safety ratings that will give you a better idea of how protection- oriented your motorcycle helmet of choice really is. In the United States, the DOT or the Department of Transportation ratings means your helmet has been pre-tested according to all the measures dictated by the road safety network.
Helmet ventilation is directly pertinent to comfort and better riding experience. A helmet that does not have an adequate number of vents and exhaust can quickly get hot and stuffy. A properly ventilated helmet keeps your head cool and fresh, which is critical for riders. If your helmet is infamous for its ventilation system, you are looking at one of the best motorcycle helmets in the market, and you shouldn’t miss that opportunity.
Weight And Size
The shape and size of your helmet are non-negotiable considerations that you must make before hitting the buy button. The aerodynamics of the helmet’s outer shell will influence not only its size but also the weight. If your helmet is too heavy, it does not necessarily promise safety. A lightweight helmet ensures that your head and neck do not experience any kind of cramping during the riding keeping your focus on the road ahead. Moreover, you should always pay close attention to the size charts while purchasing motorcycle helmets as the interior fabric, and cheap pads can affect its fit.
Cost is another factor that keeps your investment fruitful and eliminates regrets. Instead of focusing on a feature-heavy helmet, it is recommended that you only pay for those bells and whistles that are highly usable for you. another
Are Expensive Motorcycle Helmets Worth It?
Hell yes, helmets are expensive because most helmet companies do extensive research and development to build a helmet that just doesn’t look cool but also provide keeps you safe in case of any mishap. Moreover helmets are tested in wind tunnel facilities to reduce drag while riding at high speeds. All this takes years of research and high end technology. Hence the expensive price is justified.
Which Type Of Helmet Is Best?
For a fully safe and secure riding experience, we recommend that you get a full-face helmet or a dual-sport helmet as they cover your full face unlike Half-helmets or flip-up helmet. Most modular helmets are considered safe but some can have fragile hinges that can break in an accident and defeats the purpose of wearing a helmet.
How Many Years Does A Motorcycle Helmet Last?
A helmets can last upto 5 years if handled with care and is never involved in an accident. With regular use, a helmet lasts around 3 years. If involved in a crash, you should immediately replace your helmet.
Is Snell Better Than DOT?
DOT is the basic helmet safety standard for street legal helmets in the U.S. but If your helmet comes with Snell rating, it should be better than a DOT approved helmet as Snell approved helmets go through extensive testing and is generally safer than a DOT approved helmet.
Every motorcycle helmet brings something unique to the table, which means you can’t possibly land on a product that has universal application. It is important to remember that the helmet is protective gear.
Hence you should invest more in features that enhance the defensive nature of the unit. Instead of going with a one-size-fits-all approach, try to make a checklist of all those factors that can make a ride much more enjoyable for you.
All the helmets mentioned on this list certainly deliver outstanding performance and will keep you from severe harm should things go out.