12 Best Motorcycle Helmets in 2017
There are plenty of motorcycle helmet options out there and choosing one can get rather chaotic due to the abundance of models and styles; this is especially true for beginners!
Whether you’re a beginner who isn’t yet familiar with the different motorcycle helmet styles or if you’re simply looking for an affordable upgrade, we will present the 12 best motorcycle helmet models to you here in our guide.
We realize that you all have different needs from a helmet since it depends on what type of bike you’re riding, the helmet capabilities and where you’ll be riding, which is why we lay everything out for you in an easy-to-follow manner.
First, check out the top helmets in our table and then head down for useful shopping tips and detailed reviews of the top five helmets!
Table of Contents
- Top 12 Motorcycle Helmets Table
- Motorcycle Helmet Buying Information
- Look at the Details
- Top 5 Best Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
Top 12 Motorcycle Helmets Table
Motorcycle Helmet Buying Information
We’ll start by looking at the three basic helmet styles: full face, open face and modular.
The best motorcycle helmet for you isn’t necessarily what will work for another biker, so narrow down the choices by determining which style meets your needs.
- Modular – Modular helmets are best for casual cruising in open traffic on a street bike.The fact that you can lift the entire front portion of the helmet up is nice when you want to talk to someone (you don’t have to remove the entire helmet or shout so they can hear you). When it gets hot inside, you can easily cool off by lifting up the front to let the air flow through).
- Pros – Entire front part lifts up, some models have built-in sunglasses, good for all seasons, easier to turn your head, better weather and insect protection
- Cons – Not as safe as full face helmets
- Full Face – Full face helmets are also ideal for street use since they offer a higher level of protection and they’re the best choice for bikers who like to max out on speed (not that suggesting it, wink wink).
- Pros – Higher level of protection (which is of utmost importance when it comes to choosing gear), better weather and insect protection
- Cons – Chin bar does not lift up like that of a modular helmet, less air flow
- Open Face – Open face helmets offer you the least amount of protection and are most often favored by custom street bikes or Harley-Davidson (the slow ones). You can also use this for riding scooters or Vespas.
- Pros – You can see more when riding, plenty of airflow, easy to put on and take off
- Cons – Obviously the lack of protection is the biggest con
Look at the Details
If you’re new to motorcycle helmets, then understanding what small details to pay attention to as you shop is important. Here, we’ll give you some expert advice from our pro riders.
- Chin Strap Closure – There are two types of chin strap closures: D-ring and Quick Release Buckles. Which one is better? It depends on whom you ask.
- D-Ring – To us, the best chin strap is the D-Ring: it is a solid closure system, and there is no way that it will accidentally come loose as you’re riding (which is the biggest flaw of the Quick Release Buckle). In other words, it is the safest option. You can also adjust the tightness to a custom fit.
Some riders don’t like it because it takes a little extra effort to release the strap when they’re ready to remove their helmet, but we’d take and extra 60 seconds over a helmet fly off randomly as we ride any old day!
- Quick Release Buckle – The Quick Release Buckle is easy to put on and take off, but that is the problem with it: you don’t want a helmet that is “easy” to remove because your life depends on it in the event of an accident.
That being said, some riders still prefer it since it is quicker to release. You also have to remember that you are limited to the level of tension you can choose since the buckle only has a certain number of channels.
An example of the Quick Release Buckle on the Triangle Helmet Full Face Street Motorcycle Helmet.
- Air Vents – On full face helmets, check to see how many air vents the helmet has on the top and the chin.
Some have one, but two vents are better since they (obviously) allow more air to flow in as you drive.
- Removable & Washable Padding – Ideally, a helmet should have padding that can easily be removed and washed for hygienic purposes. If you sweat, that padding absorbs it all, and we doubt it would be any fun riding around with a stinky helmet on your head.
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
If you’re looking for a decent full face helmet, check out this one from Triangle Helmet.
The outer shell is made with ABS and has an EPS inner liner (EPS is the plastic material that absorbs the brunt of the impact), and it features the quick release chin strap system that we mentioned earlier.
Under the main visor, this helmet has a second sun visor that you can lift up or down based on your personal preference (some riders don’t like it, especially those who wear prescription lenses). The fit is comfortable for most, although a few have found the sizing to run a little small so make sure you measure before purchasing.
If you’re a beginner who isn’t quite ready to invest a higher sum of money for a more serious helmet, you’ll find that this one meets your needs as you get to know your bike and motorcycle gear in general.
Find a replacement visor here if you need it!
The pink butterflies on this IV2 helmet obviously hit toward something for women, but if you guys don’t mind the pink butterflies, it is still a decent helmet.
We like that it has the D-Ring chin strap closure to offer you the most secure fit as you ride. The padding is comfortable and offers you a snug fit (that is if you purchase the right size for your head), and visibility is great.
The shell of this helmet is also made with ABS but is fiber-reinforced for added durability. The cheek pads are removable so you can wash them (which is nice if you happen to wear makeup since you know it will rub off!) and the ventilation system allows the air to flow through without the noise.
The IV2 is probably the best motorcycle helmet on our list for entry-level female riders.
Moving on to a different style, we have this modular helmet from 1Storm.
Like the Triangle Helmet above, this also has a second sun visor on the inside, but we did notice that it is a bit shorter: this might cause to have the bottom of the rims in your light of site, which can be rather distracting. The good news is that you can flip them up if they get in the way.
Out of the five helmets we reviewed, this one offers the most ventilation: you have two vents on the top of the helmet and two on the mouthpiece, then on the back, you have one exit vent on the top and two on the nape. While the airflow is great, your ride might also be a little noisier, which is something to take into consideration.
As a whole, this is a good, solid entry-level helmet and the padding is easy to remove and wash. Some find that the fit is too snug, so be careful when choosing a size.
Got a Harley? Get this helmet.
While it isn’t going to offer you as much protection as the other helmets, we must say that it is still well-designed and the chin strap closure is secure. It exceeds DOT standards, just in case you were wondering.
There’s not much else we can tell you about this helmet: some feel that the shape is too “mushroom head” and others had sizing issues (too big and too small), but those who didn’t mind the shape and found the right size thought it was pretty comfortable.
We agree. Not bad for the price!
If the other helmets we looked at were too entry-level for you and you need something more serious, then you need a helmet like this from Bell. It is appropriate for track use and street use and offers a superb level of protection compared to the other helmets we reviewed.
You’ll feel safer and comfortable riding around with a helmet like this on your head, and some of the most useful features include an adjustable ventilation system, D-Ring closure with padded chin strap, cheek pads that contour to your face and even integrated speaker pockets.
The Qualifier is an updated version of a previous Bell helmet (the Arrow) with more aerodynamic lines and superb ventilation.
We like that the visor is optically correct (no distorted vision) and that if offers superb UV protection. Just keep in mind that the tinted visor is more expensive and needs to be purchased separately (the standard version comes with a clear visor).
If you’re ready for more serious gear, then you need a serious helmet like this one.