Whether you are a motocross madman, a trailblazer on the street, or a classic cruiser in town, wearing a motorcycle helmet is imperative – not because it’s common sense but also because it’s legally required everywhere.
But with the extreme inflation in prices, it has become almost impossible to budget for a $600 full face helmet. Luckily, you don’t have to. There are loads of motorcycle helmets available on a budget.
In this guide, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best inexpensive full face motorcycle helmets (all under $140!) and jotted down advice on what to look for when purchasing one.
Reviewing 10 of the Best Inexpensive Full Face Motorcycle Helmets
1. Icon Airform Sacrosanct Helmet
Editors’ Choice – Best Features
Designed for track and tour, the Icon Airform Sacrosanct Full Face Helmet features an advanced injection-molded polycarbonate shell for strength and tough durability. The stiff outer shell keeps the head protected from harsh impacts, abrasions, and shocks.
To maximize crash safety and comfort, a standard shock-absorbing EPS liner is stitched underneath the DOT-certified shell along with a three-piece Hydradry moisture-wicking liner. Integrated with a continuous airflow system, the helmet doesn’t feel stuffy and the head is kept cool on warm days.
Despite being a full-coverage helmet, the Icon Airform is built with a sculpted neck roll to offer extra support to high-risk areas and avoid paralyzing the rider at high-speed crashes.
Speaking of full coverage, the Sacrosanct helmet comes with an Icon Optics face shield that rarely fogs up, provides great peripheral vision, and can be snapped open using the emergency release system.
The cherry on top, the iconic full-face helmet is designed with a removable molded breath deflector and integrated speaker pockets to ensure your ride is enjoyable and free of distractions.
The Icon Airform Sacrosanct full face helmet provides all the features of an expensive helmet without breaking the bank and makes sure all of them are purposeful, which is definitely a winning deal.
2. Nexx SX100 Iflux Helmet
Stylish Choice – Best Visibility
Designed for cruisers and novice motorcyclists, the Nexx SX100 Iflux full-face helmet performs well in terms of protection and safety thanks to the superior thermoplastic technology integrated in the outer shell.
The plush interior comes with an extensive wind tunnel featuring adjustable intake vents at the crown and visor as well as an exhaust vent at the back that supports the anti-allergen removable and washable liner in wicking away moisture and keeping the head cool.
The air vents of the DOT-certified helmet also help keep the drop-down sun visor free from fog and the panoramic eyeport from blurring the field of view. This way you can easily keep a head check on the road, keep a lookout for obstacles and enjoy a more confident ride at the track.
No matter how thick the winter gloves are or how fast you’re riding, deploying the internal sun shield on the Iflux helmet takes mere seconds with the help of the company’s special X-SWIFT shield change mechanism.
The Nexx SX100 Iflux full face helmet is the perfect helmet for cruisers of the day. With snazzy graphics, a tough outer shell, reasonable airflow, and unmatched visibility, this helmet provides excellent bang for the buck.
3. Bell Qualifier Stealth Camo Helmet
Our Top Pick – Best Fitting
Among all helmets featured, Bell helmets have always been at the top and their Qualifier Stealth Camo Full Face Helmet defines the reason perfectly. Built with a strong polycarbonate shell, it offers excellent impact protection but in a lighter-than-air design.
Along with an EPS liner, the interior comes plush with antibacterial, removable, and washable padding for comfort and a powerful ventilation system for cooling. The cheek pads are contoured for an easier fit. If you’re worried about wind noise, a padded wind collar is integrated to cancel out all of them for a quieter ride!
That’s not all, the Bell Qualifier factors in wind drag as well and offers a streamlined shell design for better aerodynamics. Maximizing the safety standards, the full face shell is secured using a double-d ring retention system.
Watch the world go by in the perfect Bell helmet using the NutraFog II face shield and when it gets dark, you can easily remove it without needing any tools.
The Bell Qualifier Stealth Camo is a great helmet for beginners, expert racers, and long-distance travelers. It has everything you’d need to enjoy a quiet and safe ride around town.
4. LS2 Rapid Machine Youth Helmet
Beginners Choice – Most Breathable
Outfitted out of advanced HPTT, the LS2 Rapid Machine Youth Helmet is one of the most sturdy shells on the market for little riders. Given that they are more prone to falling off, the structure is designed to withstand maximum impact and prevent abrasions.
The DOT-approved design feels light on the head, is resistant to wind drag, and comes lined with a multi-density EPS liner to absorb shock. Also, a Magna-tech neck roll protects the back from road burns. Talk about great safety standards!
The padding is soft, flexible, and hypoallergenic. The best part is, there’s a constant flow of air through the vents which keeps the head cool and prevents heat exhaustion.
The LS2 Rapid Machine Youth Helmet is an all-rounder in the budget helmets category. It’s reliable, sturdy, and quite charming on a little head.
5. Fly Racing Street Sentinel Mesh Helmet
Reliable Choice – Best Ventilation
Constructed with summer riders in mind, the Fly Racing Street Sentinel Mesh Helmet is a poly-blend full-face shell offering extreme strength and lightweight durability against gravel friction and sudden impacts.
While most helmets have a standard EPS liner, this DOT-approved structure comes with a dual-density EPS foam for maximum shock absorption and comfort.
Speaking of comfort, the Sentinel Mesh helmet is designed with an incredible count of six intakes and five exhaust vents, all of which are easily adjustable. The head doesn’t just cool down, it’s actually less likely to even sweat in 85-degree weather!
The cool Fly Racing helmet makes sure you can enjoy the view under the harsh sun through a drop down tinted sun shield, an anti-fog and anti-scratch lockable face shield as well as a removable air guide that keeps moisture away from the visors.
The Fly Racing Street Sentinel Mesh is the best affordable helmet you can find on the market for summer riding. It’s lightweight, breathable, and fits true to size.
6. Scorpion EXO-R320 Helmet
Durable Choice – Best Impact Protection
A household name among seasoned motorcyclists, Scorpion EXO launched their most affordable full-face helmet and it’s every bit as comfortable as their most expensive ones.
The R320 Helmet features an advanced LG polycarbonate shell that takes care of all impact forces and road burns for you. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and perfectly fitting.
Along with a dual-density EPS foam, the DOT-approved structure comes with KwikFit cheek pads and KwikWick II liner to keep the interior free of moisture and an innovative ventilation system to swerve cooling air around the head.
Signature of Scorpion EXO helmets, the full face design is fitted with a Pinlock-ready face shield and a lever to lock it in place so you can ride confidently at high-speed.
Speaking of locking things in place, the R320 wraps up securely using an Ellip-tec ratchet system that is user-friendly and easily accessible.
The Scorpion EXO-R320 full-face helmet is the best helmet to get if you’re looking for a durable structure with excellent room on the inside, efficient visors, and comfortable padding – all for less than $120.
7. GMax FF49 Solid Helmet
Value Choice – Best UV Protection
Built for beginners and part-time riders, the GMax FF49 Solid Helmet is a neat character of sleek design featuring a strong shell made out of poly-alloy. It doesn’t feel as heavy as a polycarbonate shell but deals with impacts at the same level.
Available on the most expensive shells, the GMax FF49 is the first helmet to bring the CoolMax interior on a budget design. While the efficient ventilation system keeps the head cool, the DuPont interior keeps the head dry and sweat-free. The best part is, it can be removed to wash easily and adjusted to fit perfectly.
Another amazing characteristic of this DOT-approved helmet is its face shield which not only keeps the flying dust and debris from entering the eyes, it also manages to provide 100% UV protection.
The GMax FF49 Solid Helmet is the simplest full-face shell you can get at this price. It’s beginner-friendly, ventilated, and lasts quite some time too.
8. HJC CS-R3 Helmet
Unique Choice – Most Versatile
Although it’s outfitted with a standard PC shell, the HJC CS-R3 Helmet is anything but conventional. With advanced CAD technology integrated, the simple PC shell is upgraded to offer a better fit, superior safety against impact, and great comfort.
The interior padding is removable and washable, feels soft against the face and supports the Advanced Channelling System for premium airflow. With cool air flowing in from the front and out the back, you’d never feel ‘stuffed in’ or exhausted with the heat.
In fact, the full-face helmet has enough room on the inside to accommodate a BT system in its carved-out speaker pockets – perfect for traveling with friends and riding long distances.
The best feature of the CS-R3 helmet is its quick-release face shield. Not only does it provide 95% UV protection, but it also remains fog-free and is quite resistant to scratches. For easy removal, HJC has installed a RapidFire Shield Replacement System which makes the process seamless.
The HJC CS-R3 Helmet is a great find for trailblazers and city cruisers. Simply open up the visor halfway and there would really be no flaw in this otherwise excellent shell. Not to mention, pocket-friendly!
9. BILT Vertex Stripes Helmet
Reviewer’s Choice – Best for Sport Riders
Made for powerful roadrunners, the BILT Vertex Stripes Helmet is tuned perfectly to offer incredible support at high speeds against sudden crashes and a secure fit while swerving on the road.
Featuring an injection-molded polycarbonate full-face shell, the Vertex helmet has a solid structure ready to tackle the harshest impacts. The interior is decked out in soft foam padding and dual vents at the top that can close plus two exhaust vents to decrease humidity and maintain a sweat-free environment.
Fasten the DOT-approved helmet with the double-d ring lock and enjoy a secure view of the front using the clear quick-release face shield. It has dents on the side for greater airflow, a tool-free mechanism, and even room to add goggles.
The BILT Vertex Stripes Helmet is one of the best in the market for stylish, sturdy, and sport-focused full-face helmets. All these features for less than $90? What a great deal!
10. Biltwell Gringo ECE Holeshot Helmet
Innovative Choice – Best Padded
Weighing only 3 pounds, the Biltwell Gringo ECE Holeshot Helmet really surprised the masses with its extensive features and functions.
The Holeshot DOT-approved shell is built using injection-molded ABS that performs better against impacts and is more durable than its predecessor, Gringo’s structure.
But the attention to detail actually shines through with the interior. Along with a standard EPS liner, a removable brushed Lycra liner is hand-sewn inside for comfort and it’s supported by a diamond-stitched open-cell foam padding that blankets all shock forces.
If you think that’s amazing, there’s an additional BioFoam pad at the chin to wick away moisture and protect against road burns. Right underneath it is the strong double-d ring made of steel for extra class.
Most helmets simply have speaker pockets inside but Biltwell introduced Velcro closures on top of the speaker pockets in its Gringo ECE design for extra security of the Bluetooth system at high speed.
Hand-painted graphics, hand-sewn removable padding, goggle compatibility, and innovative Velcro patches on the speaker pockets for less than $90? The Biltwell Gringo ECE Holeshot Helmet really left no stone unturned.
Are Budget Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets Safe to Wear?
Yes, budget motorcycle full-face helmets are safe to wear. Although the scratch in price is welcomed by riders, it is also questioned for safety, and rightly so. To make sure, your choice of helmet isn’t compromising on safety, here are two of the most important points to prioritize.
- DOT Certification
All motorcycle helmets must go through a standard safety testing procedure before one can wear it out on the street legally. In the United States, this responsibility is handled by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and SNELL.
Make sure the motorcycle helmet you purchase is certified by DOT. It is one of the most basic testing procedures that ensure the impact protection and legal permission of the shell. Although it is recognized globally, you can be specific and go for ECE-approved helmets in Europe or AS/NZS-certified shells in Australia.
The tags of each safety standard will be present on top of the shell as a sticker as well as stitched inside in case you choose to remove the sticker.
- Head Shape and Fitting
Next, look for a motorcycle helmet that is designed for your particular head shape. The majority have an intermediate oval head but if you have a rounder head, go for a round oval shell, and for a narrower or longer face, look for long oval shapes.
Getting the right head shape improves the fitting of the helmet by at least 90%. This allows the shell to protect all parts of the head in a personalized manner in the event of a crash. A tight fit is suffocating while a loose fit keeps the helmet unsteady.
How to Choose the Ideal Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet on a Budget?
Now that you know what to prioritize in a budget motorcycle helmet, here are a few factors that can help you narrow down a high-quality shell without breaking the bank.
- Riding Use Case
First, filter out the full-face helmets that serve your purpose of riding a motorcycle. You can find dual sport helmets, motocross shells, sportbike headgear as well as cruiser helmets. This will match you with a helmet designed for your particular interest so you can enjoy personalized benefits.
- Safety Standards
No matter what type of motorcycle helmet you select, always make sure it is approved for safety. DOT certification is the simplest standard and is permitted legally all around the world. If in Europe, look for an ECE rating and if you’re riding in Australia, search for the AS/NZS approval.
- Shell Construction
A helmet’s main job is to provide impact protection, the rest of the features only improve its functionality. Because it is the shell that takes a major hit in the event of a crash, the quality of the construction must be impeccable. Helmet exteriors made of polycarbonate offer great crash protection on a budget.
- Foam Padding
The interior of a motorcycle helmet is as important in terms of crash protection as the exterior. Most shells come lined with multi-density EPS foam that absorbs shock and layers of padding underneath to keep the head in place and avoid wobbling in negative space.
A signature of a full-face motorcycle helmet, the visor is what helps you keep a head check on the road, look out for obstacles at high speeds and see the world without squinting under the sun or harsh wind. Search for drop-down sun visors to protect against UV rays and Pinlock visors for great visibility.
Whether you are a summer rider or a winter cruiser, ventilation in a motorcycle helmet is key. Look for full face shells with vents at the chin, forehead, top, and back of the head. This way, the head is kept cool, the visor doesn’t get foggy, and you won’t feel suffocated inside.
If you’re constantly in the public eye, a full face motorcycle helmet with snazzy graphics can quickly become your signature. Ensure the helmet you choose has the details painted on. There should be no protrusions like spikes, lines, or even a logo as that can mess up the impact protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cheap helmets worth it?
Yes, cheap helmets are worth the wear as long as they don’t compromise on safety standards. Make sure the motorcycle helmet you choose is approved by the Department of Transportation and has good impact protection technology. Also, make sure it fits you properly so the head can be protected well.
Why are helmets so expensive?
Motorcycle helmets are usually more expensive because it takes a lot of research to finalize a shell design and update it with advanced features like temperature regulation, adjustable fitting, 3D molded padding, etc. The investment in research and the materials used in construction all amount to the final cost of the helmet.
How much should you spend on a helmet?
It depends on the style of helmet you need and the features you’re looking for. Generally, you don’t need to spend more than $130 to get a full face helmet that fits easily and has great ventilation and visibility along with soft foam padding for comfort. Open-face helmets are relatively cheaper while modular helmets are comparatively more expensive.
Why do helmets only last 5 years?
Everything has an expiry date, even motorcycle helmets. They should be replaced every five years as that is when the foam and chin strap starts to disintegrate from sweat and dust buildup. The shell also breaks in too far under the sun’s heat and wind drag which compromises impact protection and fitting.
Whether you are a beginner motorcyclist looking for a helmet that can take a good hit without breaking the bank or a seasoned rider purchasing a budget helmet while saving up to splurge on your favorite, these 10 inexpensive full-face motorcycle helmets are the best deals you can find on the market!