When you get a motorcycle, the next priority is to get the best protective gear available even if you are going out for casual rides in the sun. Whether you are a cruiser motorcyclist, an adventure rider, or a speed lover, you are going to need a helmet.
A good helmet will protect you from injuries in the event of a crash and a better helmet will protect you from dust, reduce wind noise and keep the glaring sun out of your eyes but the best motorcycle helmet will fit right, enable you to ride freely and experience the road like never before!
And guess what? You really do not need to put a dent in your wallet to get a motorcycle helmet that offers the best value per cost and premium features that will take your riding game from zero to 100! Budget motorcycle helmets do not have to be a compromise and in recent times, most helmet companies have introduced cost-effective models that look sleek, feature specialized technologies, and offer great structure.
We have listed down eight of the best-recommended motorcycle helmet models available in the market, complete with their pros and cons. And not to worry, if you are a beginner at the track, we have detailed a brief guide too on what to consider before purchasing a motorcycle helmet and all the features you should be on the lookout for!
The 8 Best Budget Motorcycle Helmets
Getting a budget motorcycle helmet can make a passionate rider nervous, especially if they are a beginner. However, long gone are the days when cheap equaled compromise! Today, helmet companies have stepped up their game, and most now offer great quality, fit and comfort without causing a dent in your wallet! We have picked out the best-rated budget motorcycle helmets available and detailed them all below for you.
Trusted for over half a century, Bell motorcycle helmets are a household name and their Qualifier model is nothing short of amazing! Constructed of a polycarbonate ABS material with a Bell NutraFog II visor shield and vents at the top, back and front, the Bell Qualifier full-face helmet is an all-rounder in terms of quality. The helmet’s inner liner is easy to remove and washable by hand. Also, it comes with speaker pockets and a padded wind collar!
The Bell Qualifier is a high-quality, well-ventilated, and easy to clean motorcycle helmet, perfect for experienced riders, beginner motorcyclists, and those looking to replace their current lids.
Scorpion helmets have been known to produce unique styles of motorcycle helmets and the EXO-R420 model is their newest arrival. Despite being constructed of an advanced LG polycarbonate shell, the Scorpion helmet only weighs 3 pounds! Its lightweight structure and full-face style makes it one of the best helmets for young and beginner riders. Also, the vents are plenty, cheek pads are removable and the inner liner is washable!
The EXO-R420 helmet by Scorpion is one of the most lightweight helmets available in the market, complete with a high-quality construction that is also SNELL approved. If there’s one helmet you can choose with eyes closed, it is this one.
3- HJC C70
The HJC C70 crash helmet replaced HJC’s best selling and featured helmet and that too, at three times the lower cost! With the shell made of polycarbonate, a drop-down visor included with pinlock and a quick release system using a micrometric fastener; the C70 crash motorcycle helmet is a definite all-rounder!
The HJC C70 crash motorcycle helmet is among the leading budget full-face motorcycle helmets for its comfortable interior, tough exterior, and aerodynamic system.
The LS2 OF569 Track motorcycle helmet is a 4-star open-face helmet, with features including a High-Pressure Thermoplastic Technology shell that improves impact protection, a drop-down sun visor for sunny days, and a removable liner for easy breathing.
The LS2 OF569 helmet, though an open-face style, provides great protection using the HPTT shell and promotes aerodynamic performance through its multiple vents, washable liners and quick-release chin strap.
The AFX FX-50 motorcycle helmet, also an open-face style, is constructed of a polycarbonate shell and features a drop-down sun visor and a retractable visor. Also, it has four air vents included and comm system pockets too, allowing speed rides through tough terrains without feeling too hot and staying connected with friends.
The AFX FX-50 is a great pick for urban motorcyclists looking for a helmet with a great ventilation system, protection from the glaring sun and comm pockets in a budget-friendly investment.
The AHR H-VEN30 motorcycle helmet is one of the best recommended helmets in the market if you are looking for a dual-sport, sleek MX-style lid for an adventure tour. It comes with an easily removable peak, a face shield and a total of five vents for improved aerodynamics. Also, the interior is removable, washable and padded for increased comfort.
The AHR H-VEN30 motorcycle helmet is perfect for motorcyclists that need a helmet for casual days out in the sun as well as for adventures in the wild mountains. It is easy to maintain and conveniently built for comfort.
The MDS M13 motorcycle helmet is a thermoplastic-shelled lid with a sleek structure and great comfort. With a four-star rating on SHARP and a micrometric fastener, the MDS M13 does not compromise on safety. As for comfort, it has three vents under the visor, two on the forehead, rear outlets and an interior that is fully removable and washable!
The MDS M13 helmet is AGV’s best-designed model offering great value for its price. The build is amazing, comfort is top-notch and the ventilation mechanism is competitive. This helmet is perfect if you are looking for a basic, full-face high-quality lid to ride with.
The Shark S900 motorcycle helmet is the most optimal pick in terms of safety. Along with a thermoplastic shell, it includes a multi-element internal shock-absorber for extra protection! Additionally, it includes an anti-fog visor as well as a sun visor. The interior comes lined with a microfiber fabric and a multi-point air intake with stainless steel vent protection.
The Shark S900 motorcycle helmet leads the market with its four-star SHARP rating and offering of best value in a budget. It is aerodynamic, tough and very convenient for urban and adventure motorcyclists.
What To Consider Before Buying A Budget Motorcycle Helmet
Did you know that the price of a helmet does not determine its quality? You could get the most expensive motorcycle helmet available and it still may not be right for you! So, how can you choose the perfect motorcycle helmet? Well, to answer this question, we have jotted down a brief guide below to help you purchase a helmet that meets your needs.
Usage of Motorcycle Helmet
Before zeroing in on a motorcycle helmet, think about why and where you will be riding your days and nights. For instance, if you are traveling long distances, you will need a helmet that cancels out wind noise well or if you are touring with a group, you are going to need a helmet that supports Bluetooth. Following are three basic types of motorcycle helmets to keep in mind:
Recreational bike helmets:
Usually budget-friendly, these helmets prioritize impact protection and are best used for casual riding.
Road bike helmets:
Optimal pick for long-distance riders, these helmets are well-ventilated, quiet, and lightweight.
Mountain bike helmets:
Made for adventure motorcyclists, these helmets include extra protection on the back, great ventilation, and a visor system.
Type of Motorcycle Helmets
Along with the usage, figure out the type of motorcycle helmet that will work best with your riding needs. There are three types of motorcycle helmets available and each of them have been described below:
Open face helmets
Best for casual riders and riders with claustrophobia, open face helmets come without chin protection. They allow riders to be more aware of their surrounding noise, movement and cuts down on extra blind spots. Open face helmets are great during summers as the increased airflow keeps the head cool and well-ventilated. They usually have long visors to keep your eyes shielded from dust.
Full face helmets
Perfect for all types of motorcyclists, full-face helmets offer the best impact protection, shields riders from the glaring sun using an attached visor, and lower the noise level significantly. They are usually mandatory for mountain rides because of the increased dust, grime and risk involved.
Flip front helmets
Also known as a modular helmet, flip front helmets are a good choice for riders looking for a lid that has the protective features of a full-face helmet and the freedom of an open-face helmet. They are a recent development and have become a popular choice among many convenience riders.
Fitment of Motorcycle Helmet
The best motorcycle helmet in the market may not be the best motorcycle helmet for you. Why? Simply because it may not be fitting you well. The fitment of a motorcycle helmet is the most important concern when going to purchase one.
If you opt for a full-face helmet, a good fit will be when your cheeks stay put with the helmet’s padding even if you move your head from side to side and no more than two fingers fit between your jaw and the helmet when you have buckled in the chin strap.
For all other types of helmets, make sure your head does not move side to side freely inside the helmet and the helmet does not come off easily when pushed from the back or through the chin strap. However, remember that the helmet that seems to fit well on you should not cause pressure on the head or any sort of pain while wearing it, even while traveling long distances. It should feel snug, not stuck.
When buying online, always measure your head circumference first, by wrapping a tape measure around the largest portion of your head (usually one inch above your eyebrows) and then finding an equivalent size using the guide given with the respective helmet. If you find yourself in between sizes, always go for the smaller size.
Weight of Motorcycle Helmet
The weight of a motorcycle helmet is the second most important concern after its fitting. The overall structure of the helmet should be evenly distributed from the back of your head to the front of the head and down to your shoulders.
A lightweight helmet may not be the best fitting helmet for you and may cause neck strain. It all depends on your head shape and the complementing weight of the motorcycle helmet.
Features To Look Out For In A Motorcycle Helmet
Generally, most motorcyclists look for a helmet that has multiple adjustable outlets for good ventilation, removable lining for convenience, wind tunnel-tested design for reduced noise level, micrometric fasteners, and cheek pads for ideal comfort. Other features that can top up your riding experience are described below:
Outer and Inner Shell
Most motorcycle helmets come with an ABS shell and though it does offer good impact protection, we recommend going the extra mile and looking for fiberglass or a thermoplastic outer shell. If it’s multilayered, you are in for a treat! As for internal protection, look for helmets that are constructed using a multi-element shock absorber with differentiated densities for added safety.
The interior lining of the helmet is also considered important when choosing a helmet. As it will attract dust, sweat, and grime from the gravel of the roads, make sure the lining is breathable, removable, washable, and stitched with a moisture-wicking, anti-sweat microfiber fabric.
The visor, usually found in full-face helmets and some flip front helmets, enables riders to view their surroundings well and block out wind noise and fog when riding. Look for a helmet with a visor that adjusts easily for good airflow, allows peripheral vision, is anti-scratch and UV-resistant. If fog is your main concern, look for a pinlock-ready visor and if the sun gets too hot where you live, consider a helmet that has an internal drop-down sun visor.
Safety of the rider is a helmet’s main priority and though most basic helmets have great impact protection, they do not take into account rotational forces that can be a cause of injury during accidents. To combat this, companies have introduced specialized technologies that offer increased safety and protect against rotational force injury. Here are some of them:
Features a low-friction layer that enables the internal foam layer to rotate slightly in the event of a crash and redirect the rotational forces. Motorcycle helmets with MIPS technology integrated protect the rider’s noggin from a concussion and lessen its chances of occurrence considerably.
Features a honeycombed lining that absorbs all impact forces including rotational energy and essentially becomes a ‘crumple zone’. It has been shown to be more effective than MIPS as it reduces linear impact forces as well.
Features multiple pads injected with silicone inside the outer shell and they minimize rotational forces by moving in an engineered structure. As the pads are removable and washable, helmets with SPIN technology are generally more convenient to have.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I wear a motorcycle helmet with glasses?
Of course, motorcycle helmets have been engineered to include all types of accessibility from glasses to speakers to even cameras. Flip front helmets are a popular choice among eyeglass-wearers for their convenience and they usually have grooves near the lining of the internal padding to fit the glasses. On the other hand, if you choose to wear contact lenses, go for a full-face motorcycle helmet so the lenses do not dry out from the wind and stay protected against dust.
How can I use my flashlight and camera with a motorcycle helmet?
Most motorcycle helmets do not have a specific inlet or an attachment to hold flashlights and cameras; however, you can find motorcycle helmets that have been engineered to let riders snap in a mount which will then be used to hold a camera or a flashlight. Look for helmets with ‘mount compatibility’ when going to purchase one.
What motorcycle helmet works best in the summers?
If you live in a hot climate or plan to tour areas where summers are regular, motorcycle helmets with good ventilation must be your priority. Open face helmets are an obvious choice but they do not offer as much protection, you may want to go for a modular or a flip front helmet for a better experience. If you opt for a full face helmet, make sure it has plentiful exhausts and inlets for ventilation. Also, having an anti-sweat, moisture-wicking liner with a drop-down UV-resistant visor is going to take your riding experience from better to best!
How to take care of a motorcycle helmet?
Motorcycle helmets are usually very easy to maintain and last long when taken care of properly. To clean the outer shell, all you need is soap, water, and a regular sponge. The padding on the inside is usually removable, make sure to read the company’s guidelines on how to wash them. Also, avoid storing the helmet in heated areas as it can damage the exterior and may potentially cause harm while riding.
How often do I need to replace my motorcycle helmet?
Motorcycle helmets usually last a very long time however, regular use, excessive storage, UV exposure and pollution can all weather down its exterior and impact protection abilities affecting its quality over time. So, as a rule of thumb, it is generally recommended to replace your motorcycle helmet every five years and to get a new one immediately after an accident even if the helmet appears to be undamaged and neat.
Having a helmet is always better than having no helmet. There are a ton of helmets available in the market and finding the absolute best motorcycle helmet is going to be a challenge especially where fitment is concerned.
However, by knowing your riding needs, the experience you would like, and the type of helmet you want to go for, you will already be riding through the right track! All you need to do now is measure your head size, find the right fit and the style you want to go for and as we have proven here, it does not have to cause a heavy buck either.
By going through this comprehensive guide, you will have found the answer to most, if not all, of your questions and be able to scour through eight of the best-recommended budget motorcycle helmets that offer great value per cost, feature high-quality build and premium construction because cheap should not equal compromise and frankly, you deserve the best there is to invest in!