Best Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle helmets can mean the difference between life and death of a motorcycle rider. They provide impact protection to the head, face, and ears, with modern helmets also having intercommunication features. Whereas they may not prevent serious injuries in case of fatal accidents, wearing the best motorcycle helmet reduces the chances of getting serious injuries.

Unlike traditional helmets, modern motorcycle helmets are made from durable plastics reinforced with carbon fiber. They also feature fabric with a foam interior for utmost protection and comfort. In the event you are involved in an accident, they break absorbing the impact of the crash, instead of your head.

If you are an avid rider, you definitely understand that motorcycle helmets are available in various types and styles. Understanding the various types is the key to making a prudent purchase decision. That said, below are the common types of best motorcycle helmets available on the market

Dual Sports Helmets

Dual sport helmets arose from the increasing popularity of adventure touring, hyper-motard riding and dual-sports. At a glance, these helmets more or less resemble dirt bike helmets but with slight design re-engineering. They are best for street use at above-average highway speeds.

They are excellent off-road riding helmets as they provide improved ventilation through the ducts and vents, and the face shields can easily flip down. You can as well flip the shield upwards and use goggles. Dual sports helmets differ with dirt-bike helmets in that they have permanently integrated chin bars that provide better jaw protection. Their glare-reducing sun peaks are also not subject to aerodynamic lifts with increasing speed.

To ensure maximum rider’s comfort, dual sport helmets have dense insulation. This provides better warmth than dirt-bike helmets and sound muffling. There are a lot more technological intricacies with dual sports helmets, with all gearing for multipurpose use. They are a good choice for those who need a functional helmet for on-road and off-road riding.

The Arai XD4 Helmet, Gmax GM11D Dual Sport Helmet, and AGV AX-8 EVO Naked Helmet are good models.

Arai xd4 helmet
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Gmax GM11D Dual Sport Helmet,
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AGV AX-8 EVO Naked Helmet
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Pros

  • Improved ventilation
  • Permanent chin bars
  • Multipurpose use
  • Dense insulation

Cons

  • Hot during summer

Open Face Helmets

Open face helmets are a long-time favorite choice for low-speed bikers and scooter riders. This type of helmets covers the top, back, and sides of the head, leaving the facial areas exposed. Their design provides an inherently vintage feel that auger well with stylish street motorists.

Compared to full face and dual sports helmets, open face helmets score less in terms of providing the rider’s safety. This is because of their open-face design and absence of permanent chin bars.  As such, it is prudent to wear goggles as an additional layer of protection for your eyes when using them.

That aside, riders enjoy the airy feel of riding in this helmet. The only limitation to the feel is during rainy or dusty weather conditions. However, modern helmets from various manufacturers feature Snap-on eye protection that solves these problems.

The best open face helmets include the

Gmax GM65 Naked Helmets
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Shoei J Cruise Helmet
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HJC Solid IS-Cruiser Half Helmet.
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Pros

  • Good wide visibility
  • Less hot during summer
  • Fits easily in scooter
  • Multiple variants

Cons

  • Less facial protection
  • Cold during winter
  • Riders feel more noise at high speeds

Half Helmets

Streetwise referred to as brain buckets, half helmets are perfect for style and riders who want to enjoy some breeze on their rides. Half helmets technically provide minimum head coverage of the top, side, and rear areas of the head. Due to their half design, you will enjoy the sights fully, hear sounds clearly, and smell aromas better than when using any other helmet. These features explain why vintage classics and cruiser bike riders value them.

Brain buckets capture the ideal image of motorcycling freedom. The airflow and lightweight cannot be compared to any other helmet. For better facial and mouth protection from bugs and road grit, you can incorporate goggles, sunglasses, and bandannas. However, some models have a detachable muzzle that eliminates the need for bandannas.

Some of the best half helmet models include the Skid Lid Original Bomber Pinup Half Helmet and Cyber Helmets Solid Style Half Shell Helmet.

Skid Lid Original Bomber
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Cyber Helmets Solid Style Half Shell Helmet.
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Pros

  • Unlimited sight
  • Better hearing
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not safe

Off-Road Helmets

As the name suggests, Off-road helmets are best for riders looking to get off the streets into dirt roads. These helmets are clearly distinct from regular full-face helmets due to their sun peaks and pronounced angular chin bars. Since dirt-bike riding requires a lot of physicalities and done during warm weather, off-road helmets are designed with minimal weight and maximum ventilation.

Off-road helmets have several features that make them suitable for dirt-bike riding. First is the adjustable sun peak attachments that keep the sun glare out of the rider’s eyes, especially when riding uphill or downhill at various angles. Sun peaks also block dirt and mud if you are riding behind another rider on a dirt trail.

Due to the lightweight and minimal insulation, users hear most of the external noise from dirt bike helmets. This is beneficial when riding at lower speeds on rough terrains when the sounds are essential to determine if the tires are skidding, sliding, or maintaining good contact. However, such noise can be unpleasant during high-speed riding.

To promote the cool temperatures, off-road helmets feature less insulation pads with one-piece construction that provide a superior level of protection. Since they are not intended for high-speed riding, dirt bike helmets lack a wind visor. Therefore, riders are encouraged to use goggles instead of eye protection. This doubles as an advantage as cleaning goggles is pretty easy if everything gets covered in mud.

The best off-road helmets models include the FXR Clutch CX helmets, Bell MX-9 MIPS Helmets

FXR Clutch CX helmet
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Bell MX-9 MIPS Helmet
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Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good ventilation
  • Adjustable sun peaks

Cons

  • Minimal insulation
  • Not good for street riding

Modular Helmets

Modular helmets are increasingly becoming popular as more riders aspire to enjoy more versatility from their daily helmets of choice. These helmets are typically the best of both worlds, allowing riders to wear them in a full-face setup with a chin bar and face shield or as an open helmet with chin bar lifted.

Construction and design of modular helmets are quite similar to full-face helmets. They have an included visor for eye protection and, at times, a secondary internal visor that provides additional eye protection from sunlight. Modular helmets weigh slightly more than full-face helmets due to their hinge design incorporated in the flip-up area.

They feature straightforward eye openings and lower sitting chin bar for better comfort. Some models have Bluetooth speakers and anti-fogging coating on primary visors for better riding experience. These helmets are common with cruisers, touring and adventure riders looking for riding versatility.

The best modular helmets on the market include the HJC RPHA90 Darth Vader Helmet, Speed and Strength SS1710 Helmet, and Scorpion EXO-AT950 Neocon Helmet.

HJC RPHA90 Darth Vader Helmet
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Speed and Strength SS1710 Helmet
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Scorpion EXO-AT950 Neocon Helmet
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Pros

  • Better eye protection
  • Above-average rider’s safety
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Wide eye-opening

Cons

  • Few sporty options available

Full-Face Helmets

Full-face helmets are probably the crème de la crème of helmet. They cover the front, top, and back of your head, providing the best possible protection compared to other helmets. Full-face helmets are typically round and bubble-shaped but feature aerodynamic inclusions that provide suitable riding positions. Regardless of their shape and look, they are structurally stronger and long-lasting.

Some of the incredible features of this best motorcycle helmet include;

  • Safety – despite the fact that there is no industry standard helmet rating to compare all the helmets with, full-face helmets provide the best possible level of protection. They have satisfactory SNELL and SHARP safety rating.
  • Easy operational face shield – high-end models of full-face helmets have an easy face-shield removal mechanism.
  • Wide eye port opening – some full-face helmets provide a wide eye port openings than others. This is especially important to sport bike owners who need a better opening to compensate for the low handlebars.
  • Easy to clean helmet line – factually, you will sweat a lot when riding, especially during the summer. However, the detachable helmet line makes it easy to remove and clean. This not only improves the hygiene of the helmet but also extends the life and provides better comfort.
  • Included chin bar shirt – this cool feature prevents air from swirling into the helmet.
  • Adjustable pads – users can add or remove variable size pads to provide a snug fit.
  • Air vents – full-face helmets have air vents that are handy when it gets hot inside. The ventilation system keeps the inner temperatures cool and prevents visor fogging.

Some of the best full-face models include the Bell RSD Bluetooth Street Bike Helmet, Schuberth  Helmets, and

LS2 Stream Solid Full-Face Helmets

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Bell RSD Bluetooth Street Bike Helmet
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Schuberth Helmet
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LS2 Stream Solid Full-Face Helmet.
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Pros

  • Best possible protection
  • Quiet
  • Less cold during winter
  • Better aerodynamics
  • Bluetooth and intercom features

Cons

  • May be hot in summer
  • Some have a small field of view

The Bottom Line

When searching for the best motorcycle helmet, begin by thinking about your riding position. For instance, does your bike requires crouching or sitting upright? For every riding position, choose a helmet that provides better visibility and ergonomics. The riding surface, helmet weight, desired visibility, speed, and temperatures are essential considerations when buying a helmet of your choice.