A motorcycle helmet can be 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 Overall
Shoei Metallic Neotec Road Race Street Helmet
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. Engineers analyzed and tweaked the old helmet, marrying its tried-and-tested design with some of the best tech emerging from their lab.
The result: This helmet blew us away. It features a 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 $750.
LS2 Helmets Valiant Solid Unisex-Adult-Flip-Up-Helmet-Style Motorcycle Helmet
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.
This helmet exceeds many of the safety standards set out by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT). Its thick foam lining and generous padding work together to offer maximum head protection 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: There’s a reason why this helmet has global appeal – whether you’re riding in colder climes or cruising along sunbaked beaches, it offers the perfect balance of safety and comfort.
Scorpion EXO Unisex-Adult Modular/Flip Up Adventure Touring Motorcycle Helmet
Estimated Cost: $690 – $750
Adventure riders need more protection than most. Unfortunately, helmets in this category are often one-trick ponies. They offer exceptional protection yet lack comfort and convenience. This is where the Scorpion EXO stands apart from the pack.
Comparable to more expensive luxury options, the Scorpion EXO’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.
This helmet excels at muffling wind noise, resulting in a quiet ride that is typically only available at a higher price tag. 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 $775.
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 $250.
Featuring a polycarbonate composite shell, the IS-MAX 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 lead to design flaws and irritating faults in a helmet’s shape.
The interior padding repels moisture and kills bacteria. Together with the superb ventilation system, which channels 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 sun shield, 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 its already pristine track record with a helmet that is as stylish as it is affordable.
Best Modular Motorcycle Helmets
Shoei Solid Neotec Modular Motorcycle Helmet
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 for both the trail and open road, the Neotec is an innovative hybrid that features the best tech on the market. Forged from the framework of the still-popular Multitec, the Neotec has taken giant leaps toward optimal 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, but engineers have also managed to improve on its predecessor’s already excellent wind-noise reduction and taken further steps toward streamlining the shell’s aerodynamics.
The result is minimal wind drag. Plus, the helmet’s lining and removable padding remain comfortable over extended trips, with the 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
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 clearly establishes KLIM as one of the most innovative helmet brands.
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 where 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 and, in our opinion, is the best modular helmet under $650.
HJC Align Men’s RPHA-MAX Street Bike Motorcycle Helmet
Estimated Cost: $500 – $550
HJC knows that one little snag can ruin a perfect Sunday ride. The RPHA-MAX Street Bike Motorcycle Helmet avoids the pitfalls of other models in this price 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 a 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 that molds to the shape of your head and can be washed to eliminate stinky road odor.
The helmet features a one-touch sun shield that 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 that offers better protection than other helmets at the same price point.
Bilt Techno 2.0 Sena Bluetooth Modular Helmet
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 hit the market, our crew was blown away. Not only does the Sena pack all the safety features and comfort luxuries you’d expect, but it’s also equipped with Bluetooth technology that 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 8 hours of talk time and a whopping 7 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
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.
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 superb comfort into a sleek aerodynamic design.
HJC Modular CL-Max 2 Men’s Street Bike Motorcycle Helmet
Estimated Cost: $120 – $150
Further proof that HJC cannot make a bad helmet, the company’s Modular CL-Max 2 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. Reviews indicate that this release system remains 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 that 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 $175.
Best Full Face Motorcycle Helmets
Shoei XR1100 Full Face Motorcycle Helmet
Estimated Cost: $650 – $700
Serial innovators Shoei have created a helmet that is designed to offer maximum protection against even the heaviest 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-R2000 Ravin Full Face Motorcycle Helmet
Estimated Cost: $275 – $325
The Scorpion 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 you dry no matter the weather. The helmet also features a retractable and repositionable sun visor that 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. The shield performs well in extreme foggy conditions and withstands even the most brutal scratch tests.
Bottom line: the Scorpion EXO-R2000 is a near-indestructible helmet, providing unobstructed vision day or night.
Estimated Cost: $75 – $105
Helmets under $125 tend to cut corners and compromise on safety features. Up until our Geeks reviewed the Pilot Motosport ST-17 Full Face motorcycle helmet, they would have never recommended head armor 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 outperforms similar systems on many of the more expensive models.
Bottom line: at this price point, this helmet is punching way above its weight and one of our best rated motorcycle helmets under $125.
Motorcycle Helmet FAQs
When should I replace my motorcycle helmet?
Short answer: after any crash or every five years. 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 as effective at reducing crash forces in subsequent collisions. You should immediately replace your helmet after you have been involved in an accident.
Also, you will need to replace your helmet every five years to ensure you are being protected by the latest technology. Heat and humidity can also 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 listed above.
How do I know if a helmet will fit me?
- Wrap a tape measure around the top of your head, about 1 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.
What is DOT certification?
The “DOT” emblem is a sign that a particular motorcycle helmet meets the Department of Transportation safety standards enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the authority does not test the helmet itself; instead, companies undertake their own crash testing and self-certify their units.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration then acquires random samples of a company’s product and conducts its own testing to verify compliance with safety standards. Companies caught misleading consumers are heavily penalized. Fortunately, the brands listed above have unblemished track records of manufacturing reliable and safe motorcycle helmets.
How effective are motorcycle helmets?
Motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in collisions than other drivers. These accidents cost the United States billions of dollars each year due to productivity loss and medical expenses. A proper helmet can reduce your risk of death by approximately 37 percent and reduce your risk of sustaining a brain injury by nearly 67 percent, which is why 47 states have enacted partial or universal helmet laws.