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Best Rated Motorcycle Helmets (2018) | Modular & Full Face Helmets

A motorcycle helmet can mean the difference between life and death, but some helmets are far more effective than others. Our Geeks did the legwork to find the best rated motorcycle helmets based on price, comfort, technology, and user reviews. On this page, you’ll find our picks for: the best modular helmets, the best full face helmets, and the best rated helmets overall.

Best Motorcycle Helmets OverallBest Modular Motorcycle Helmets
Best Full Face Motorcycle HelmetsMotorcycle Helmet FAQs

Best Motorcycle Helmets Overall

Shoei Metallic Neotec Road Race Street Helmet

Best Shoei Motorcycle Helmets

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Estimated Cost: $650 – $700

Built to take you from cruising on the open road to gunning it off the beaten track, this sleek helmet is a dutiful hybrid that hasn’t compromised anything on its path to true versatility. Shoei, the Japanese company responsible for this bona fide brain bucket, has always been a pioneer in the field, surprising riders with safety innovations, comfort upgrades and unique quality-of-life additions that have set their products apart from the rest.

What’s interesting to note here is that the Neotec is built off the backbone of the Multitec, an office-favorite that many of our Geeks still use. Engineers analyzed and tweaked the old helmet, marrying its tried-and-tested design with some of the best tech emerging from their bustling lab.

The result: this helmet blew us away. It features wider and taller field of vision than its predecessor, wind noise reduction, an internal sun shield, improved shell aerodynamics and a removable and washable liner.

During our test drives, our Geeks were most impressed by the helmet’s lightweight design and hardworking anti-fog system. It’s comfortable to wear over long stretches and features hardworking ventilation even when temps begin to climb.

Bottom line: the racing stylings of this hybrid helm aren’t just for show – the Neotec is the speed king of the highway, road, trail, you name it. The best motorcycle helmet under $8.1k.

LS2 Helmets Valiant Solid Unisex-Adult-Flip-Up-Helmet-Style Motorcycle Helmet

Best LS2 Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $275 – $325

This futuristic helm wouldn’t be out of place on the set of Blade Runner. But it’s far more than just a prop. Smaller and lighter than most of its competitors, the aerodynamic Valiant has cut down on superfluous extras leaving breathing room for LS2 Helmets’ trademark features to excel.

Not only has this helmet earned the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) approval, but it also exceeds many of the safety standards set out by the government institution. The helmet’s thick foam lining and generous padding work together to protect you in a crash. However, LS2 Helmets hasn’t traded away comfort and convenience for the sake of safety.

The removable comfort padding is spun from “thermo-formed” breathable threads. In layman’s terms, this material is heated and then molded to the shape of the helmet. The result: you won’t find a thick layer of heat-trapping glue between the padding and the shell of your head armor.

Plus, the cheek pads are designed to prevent hot spots from forming inside the helmet. Combined with an adjustable ventilation system – which enables you to react to sudden shifts in the weather – the Valiant is a top performer under any condition.

Our Geeks’ favorite feature: the quick release chin strap. It takes just seconds to put on or take off this head armor. Bottom line: built in Barcelona, this helmet has global appeal – whether you’re riding in colder climes or cruising along sunbaked beaches.

 

Scorpion EXO Unisex-Adult Modular/Flip Up Adventure Touring Motorcycle Helmet

Best Scorpion Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $695 – $750

Adventure riders need more protection than most – whether it’s in a crash or against the elements. However, most helmets in this range are one-trick ponies, bucking their riders when it comes to comfort and convenience. Fortunately, this head armor doesn’t fall into the same trap.

Comparable to more expensive luxury options, the Department of Transportation-certified ScorpionEXO’s Adventure Touring helmet is a knockout at its price point. It’s a full-face ADV helmet with an attachable peak visor featuring generous peripheral vision through its oversized eye port.

On the road and trail, this helmet manages to significantly muffle wind noise resulting in a quiet ride typically limited to more expensive brain buckets. Our Geeks noted that the helmet created minimal wind drag (even a higher speeds). The liner and cheek pads provide extended sweat-free comfort and the drop-down sun visor did an excellent job of blocking harsh sunlight.

Our Geeks’ only complaint is that the chin strap is on the short side. This should not be a problem for most riders, but keep that in mind if you’ve struggled with the length of straps on other helmets before.

Bottom line: a comfortable, robust helmet that outpaces competitors twice its price. This is the best full-face helmet under $480.

 

HJC IS-MAX

Best HJC Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $175 – $225

HJC has designed and manufactured some of the world’s top motorcycle helmets for the better part of four decades. The company’s strength lies in its ability to offer innovative safety, luxury comfort and long-lasting build quality at an affordable price point. The IS-MAX embodies the perfect trifecta of HJC’s brand identity, and is without a doubt the best full-face motorcycle helmet under $390.

Featuring a polycarbonate composite shell, this DOT-certified motorcycle helmet was built using advanced CAD (computer-aided design) technology to provide a superior comfortable fit. This digital-driven process eliminates human error that can often lead to design flaws and irritating faults in a brain bucket’s shape.

The interior padding repels moisture and kills bacteria. Together with the helm’s ventilation system, which delivers on its promise to channel humidity and heat out of the back of the IS-MAX, this helmet ranked top in our tests for comfort.

Equipped with a three-stage sunshield, which can be deployed with the touch of a button, the IS-MAX is an adaptable piece of head armor, adjusting to shifting weather patterns with ease. But the quality-of-life features don’t end there. A glasses groove in the helmet is designed to accommodate riders who have to wear a prescription pair.

Bottom line: HJC improves on their already pristine track record with a helmet that is as great as it is affordable.

Best Modular Motorcycle Helmets

Shoei Solid Neotec Modular Motorcycle Helmet

Best Shoei Modular Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $595 – $665

Adventure touring is on the rise but many manufacturers are still struggling to catch up with one of the world’s biggest motorcycling trends. Shoei has one simple rule: stay ahead of the curve.

Built to excel equally on the trail and open road, this futuristic bumblebee-colored brain bucket is an innovative hybrid featuring the best versatile tech on the market. Forged from the framework of the still-popular Multitec, the Neotec has taken giant leaps towards improved comfort and convenience.

Spoiler alert: we love this helmet. Not only does it feature a wider and taller field of vision than the bulk of its competitors, engineers have also managed to improve on its predecessor’s already excellent wind-noise reduction and taken further steps towards streamlining the shell’s aerodynamics.

The result: our Geeks experienced minimal wind drag during their test runs. Plus, the helmet’s lining and removable padding remained comfortable over extended trips, with the hardworking advanced ventilation system wicking away moisture under even the hottest conditions.

Bottom line: adventure riders looking for a helmet that works as well in the wild as it does on the road, need look no further than the Neotec.

 

Klim TK1200 Karbon Modular Street Motorcycle Helmet

Best Klim Modular Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $595 – $625

KLIM is no stranger to setting new standards. The company is responsible for creating the world’s first Grand Touring helmet, paving the way for a new precedent in modular helmet design. With one chess move the company proved helmets could be lightweight without sacrificing safety or comfort. Now, the TK1200 sends a new clear message: KLIM is still the standard bearer.

Featuring a full carbon fiber shell, the TK1200 is molded to accommodate luxury features while cutting down on deadweight. The result: our Geeks said this helmet has to be worn to be believed. It’s lightweight to the point you might even forget you’re wearing it.

The helmet is equipped with “intelligent” ventilation which wicks away moisture and creates a steady supply of refreshing air. Even on longer drives our Geeks barely broke a sweat.

And you don’t need to worry about shifting weather conditions or packing a second helmet for night-time riding. The Transitions face shield and Pinlock lens block harsh rays during the day, pierce through the fog at dawn, and provide unobstructed vision when the sun begins to set.

Bottom line: this helmet is up to any challenge. This is the best modular helmet under $720.

 

HJC Align Men’s RPHA-MAX Street Bike Motorcycle Helmet

Best HJC Modular Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $500 – $550

HJC knows that one little snag can ruin a perfect Sunday ride. As a result, the RPHA-MAX Street Bike Motorcycle Helmet avoids the pitfalls of other models in this range. You won’t be wrestling with a stubborn chin strap, stopping to wipe fog from your shield, or going deaf in the proverbial wind tunnel of poorly-designed shell.

Built using a composite of carbon fiber, aramid epoxy, organic fibers, and fiberglass epoxy, the RPHA-MAX’s shell is strong, durable and light. Under the hood, you’ll find removable padding which molds to the shape of your head and can be washed to eliminate stinky road odor.

The helmet features a one-touch sunshield which can be adjusted into one of three positions, ensuring that you always have an angle against the glare. Bottom line: the RPHA-MAX is a milestone in modular helmet design which has the mileage to keep you safe for years to come.

 

Bilt Techno 2.0 Sena Bluetooth Modular Helmet

Best Bilt Modular Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $225 – $250

It’s not often that companies can surprise our Geeks. But when the Bilt Techno 2.0 Sena Bluetooth Modular Helmet arrived at our lab, our crew of seasoned testers was blown away. Not only does the Sena pack all the safety features and comfort luxuries you’d expect, it’s also equipped with Bluetooth technology which syncs with your phone enabling you to blast your favorite tunes or finish your work phone call while still sneaking out before rush hour.

A single charge nets you around eight hours of talk time and a whopping seven days of standby time. The helmet also supports a Universal Intercom protocol enabling you to communicate with other tech-savvy riders or even better, your passenger.

Bottom line: more affordable than most with a feature you’ll struggle to find anywhere else. This helmet is a steal at this price point.

 

LS2 Helmets Strobe Solid Modular Motorcycle Helmet

Best LS2 Modular Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $145 – $165

Want more control over your ventilation? The Strobe Solid Modular Motorcycle Helmet is here to help you keep a cool head.

The adjustable flow-through ventilation system can be tweaked to your heart’s content, enabling you to find that bliss point of airflow – whether it’s hot and humid or you’re battling the frigid cold. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this helmet is just an air head.

The Strobe’s fog-busting shield is backed up by a drop-down sun shield to battle the sun’s rays. Plus, this helmet features a fully removable (and washable) moisture-wicking liner. Our Geeks’ favorite feature: the quick release strap that fits all sizes and is as easy to put on as it is to take off.

Bottom line: this helmet bundles a myriad of must-have features and creature comforts into a sleek aerodynamic design.

 

HJC Modular CL-Max 2 Men’s Street Bike Motorcycle Helmet

Best HJC CLMAX Modular Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $120 – $150

Further proof that HJC cannot make a bad helmet, the company’s Modular CL-Max 2 brain bucket leaves its competitors in the dust. Featuring an advanced polycarbonate composite shell and an adjustable chin bar fashioned from the same high-quality material – this helmet is lightweight but still heavy on coveted comfort features.

For example, you won’t be fiddling with stubborn straps or stiff shield hinges. The CL-Max 2’s chin bar and face shield release with the press of a button. During testing, our Geeks found that this release system remained smooth despite rigorous use.

You can find that same level of build quality inside the helmet, where designers have leveraged CAD technology to achieve a precise fit. But the helmet’s shape doesn’t just nestle your head, it also helps accommodate a robust ventilation system which channels air from front to back, stripping away heat and humidity as it exits the other side.

Bottom line: the CL-Max 2 is another showstopper from a trusted company with an unblemished track record. This is the best modular motorcycle helmet under $260.

Best Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

Shoei XR1100 Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

Best Shoe Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

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Estimated Cost: $650 – $700

Serial innovators Shoei have created a helmet which is designed to muffle even the biggest impact. Using a combination of strong and elastic materials, the XR1100 distributes the shock of a collision over the largest area possible, ensuring that every inch of its advanced EPS foam liner – which is designed to compress under stress and slow down crash forces – absorbs the brunt of the impact.

It’s impressive tech, but it doesn’t come at the cost of the company’s trademark comfort features. This lightweight helmet features a newly designed interior with removable and washable cheek pads. Four outlet vents work together to expel hot and humid air from the back of the helmet.

Bottom line: just wearing a motorcycle helmet significantly reduces your risk of life-threatening injury on the road. The XR1100 hedges the odds even further in your favor without compromising on comfort or convenience.

 

Scorpion Exo EXO-R2000 Ravin Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

Best Scorpion Full Face Motorcycle Helmets
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Estimated Cost: $275 – $325

The Scorpion Exo EXO-R2000 Ravin is a full face motorcycle helmet built to take the sting out of any impact. Featuring an advanced TCT-Ultra shell, which is made up of five protective layers of interlaced fibers, this helmet is lightweight and durable.

Under the shell, you’ll find the company’s KwikWick III removable and washable antimicrobial foam liner designed to expel moisture and keep your dry no matter the weather. The helmet also features a retractable and repositionable sun visor which can be adjusted with a simple slider.

But the centerpiece of this impressive helmet is the Everclear No-Fog Face Shield. Featuring a hardened coating, the shield is scratch resistant and offers 100% UV protection against the sun’s rays. In tests, our Geeks said the shield refused to quit, performing in extreme foggy conditions and withstanding even our most brutal scratch tests.

Bottom line: the Scorpion Exo EXO-R2000 is an near-indestructible helmet, providing unobstructed vision day or night.

 

Pilot Motosport ST-17 Full Face Motorcycle Helmet
Best Pilot Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

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Estimated Cost: $85 – $105

Helmets under $100 tend to cut corners and compromise on safety features. Up until our Geeks tested the Pilot Motosport ST-17 Full Face motorcycle helmet they would have never recommended a brain bucket in this price range.

But this helmet is a gamechanger. Not only is the Motosport DOT-certified, but it’s also ECE-certified, which means it has been approved for racetrack use by every major racing organization in the world.

The helmet features a retractable sun visor, tool-less shield replacement, a double-D ring chin strap, and a five-year warranty. Our favorite feature: the Venturi Intake and Exhaust System which outperformed similar systems on many of the more expensive models we tested.

Bottom line: at this price point, this helmet is punching way above its weight and one of our best rated motorcycle helmets under $210.

 

Motorcycle Helmet FAQs

When should I replace my motorcycle helmet?

Short answer: after a crash. The foam lining found inside a motorcycle helmet is effective at reducing the blow of an impact. However, to slow down these extreme forces the material needs to compress. This foam is classed as a one-use material as it will not be as effective at reducing crash forces in another collision. You should immediately replace your helmet after you have been involved in an accident.

However, you will need to replace your helmet every five years. Heat and humidity can slowly degrade the structural integrity of your headgear, warping the protective materials and reducing your helmet’s ability to protect you in a crash. Body fluids, hair oils and some cosmetics can also speed up the degradation of your helmet.

 

Is buying a second-hand helmet safe?

Experts warn against buying used helmets. The second-hand market is flooded with cheap knock-offs, old helmets and units that have already been involved in a crash. The latter is a massive red flag and not a potential hazard you can spot with the naked eye.

Our Geeks suggest avoiding the second-hand market, and opting for one of the new proven and safe helmets reviewed here.

 

How do I know if a helmet will fit me?

Try this:

  • Wrap a tape measure around the top of your head, about one inch above your eyebrows. This will give you an accurate estimate of the circumference of the largest part of your head.
  • Check your head measurement against this helmet sizing chart and select the size closest to your head’s circumference. Remember: a helmet will never precisely match the size of your head.
  • Purchase a helmet based on the size calculated here.

 

What is DOT-certification?

The “DOT” emblem is a sign that a particular motorcycle helmet meets the high Department of Transportation safety standards enforced by the National Highway Safety Administration. However, the authority does not test the helmets itself, instead, companies undertake their own crash testing and self-certify their units.

The National Highway Safety Administration then acquires random samples of a company’s product and conducts its own testing to verify the company’s compliance with safety standards. Companies caught misleading consumers are heavily penalized. Fortunately, the companies listed in this review have unblemished track records of manufacturing reliable and safe motorcycle helmets.

 

 

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