Motorcyclists are at greater risk of an accident because they often share the traffic area with fast-moving automobiles, buses, trucks and are less noticeable.
Moreover, due to their lack of physical protection, they are particularly vulnerable to severe injuries if involved in a collision. Approximately 75% of all motorized user deaths are caused by severe head and neck injury.
Hence, the greatest means of protecting oneself is to wear a helmet, because motorcycle helmets have shown to lower the risk of brain injury by 69% and the chance of death by 42%.
The helmet protects your head by acting as a mechanical barrier between the head and impact force. For riding a two-wheeler, only authorized impact-tested helmets should be used.
A high-grade helmet with adequate safety features can certainly protect your brain from collision injury.
In this article, we have reviewed the safest motorcycle helmets which successfully fulfill all the safety requirements.
If you are wise enough to invest in the safest motorcycle helmet to protect your noggin in a crash, then keep reading the reviews below, so you can decide which one is best for you.
Safest Motorcycle Helmets
Without any further ado, let’s look at the safest motorcycle helmets to know what makes them worth investing in.
1. Shoei Solid X-14 Motorcycle Helmet
Premium Choice – Most Light Weight
The Shoei X-14 helmet is an updated version of the Shoei X-12 model and offers a fully redesigned helmet with big advancements for improving safety.
Its aerodynamically optimized outer shell is one of the smallest and lightest in the industry and provides more stable riding even at high speed.
CWR-F polycarbonate shield of Shoei X-14 helmet provides clear vision and improved stability to avoid distortion when riding at high speeds. The QR-E shield base makes it easy to install or remove the shield.
The shield also has a double lock mechanism, which prevents it from being opened unexpectedly, by locking the hook internally and holding the shield externally through a sliding lever.
In addition, an anti-fog Pinlock is fitted in the helmet to minimize visibility issues caused by fog formation. A photochromic visor is also included in the face shield to protect the rider against harmful sun rays.
Features such as a max-flow ventilation system and 3D Max-Dry interior, provide a comfortable riding experience.
Shoei realizes that Heavy bikes make a loud noise that starts to annoy the rider after some time. They added a distinctive noise reduction feature in the X-14 helmet that allows riders to focus on driving without being disturbed by wind or road noise.
Shoei designed this high-end premium helmet for professional riders. Even at high speeds, its aerodynamic shell offers little or no drag, making it one of the quietest and safest motorcycle helmets.
However, the price tag for the Shoei X-14 is quite expensive compared to other helmets on the market. If the budget allows, this helmet is guaranteed to serve its best for years to come — perfect pick for expert enduro riders and MTB riders.
2. SHARK Helmets Race-R Pro Carbon Full-Face Helmet
Durable Choice – Most Aerodynamic
Originally built for professional racers, the Shark Race-R Pro carbon full-face helmet has a DOT certification, ECE approval, and SHARP 5-star safety ratings.
This SHARK helmet is constructed using CFD technology (Computational Fluid Simulation). This technique provides excellent ventilation and air penetration for reduced drag and high-speed stability.
The shell of Race-R Pro Carbon is made with carbon and aramid fibers that make the helmet strong and lightweight.
The 4 mm optical distortion thick face shield has an anti-fog coating and provides a wide field of view, so a rider can remain aware of its surroundings which is necessary to avoid accidents.
The magnetic finish of the dual-dimensional ring strap ensures a safe fit.
The wind tunnel test assures that even at high speed the helmet cannot exceed 4.5 decibel level of sounds.
Neoprene sections in the neck roll enhance water resistance and flexibility and also helps reduce noise by generating a barrier around your neck.
Thermo-shaped removable and washable antibacterial comfort lining provides long-lasting comfort while the interchangeable cheek pads assist you to make your fit pleasant and safe.
Furthermore, the Race R-Pro helmet comes ready to install Shark-tooth or any other wireless communication system.
This Shark Race R-Pro helmet is as safe as you can expect from a 5-star SHARP-rated helmet. It’s lightweight, comfortable, somewhat calm, and provides strong air circulation, but it’s not the least expensive as well.
Full face helmets do not come cheap but the expense brings in what no other type of helmet has on offer so if you can, do splurge on your safety and reap the benefits for years.
3. Arai Signet X Helmet
Optimal Choice – Best Anti-Fog Features
The Signet-X is built with a multi-layered polystyrene liner fiberglass shell to achieve an enhanced impact absorption rate. It combines many materials and processes that have been developed internally by Arai to reduce the possibility of the helmet to dig in your head or rotate your brain and neck during an impact.
The polystyrene multi-density liner, a standard of Arai helmets, provides increased absorption over a single EPS density.
The VAS Max-Vision shield that supports the Pin-lock lens is provided in the Signet-X. The VAS lock secures the shield to prevent accidental opening. The water repellent Chin cover increases exhaust from the mouth area and reduces wind noise coming up from below.
Furthermore, the odor-proof and antibacterial liner of the Signet-X keep your helmet fresh and sweat-free.
The Arai Signet-X helmet is specially built for riders having medium oval heads shapes. With its DOT, ECE, and SNELL certification, this helmet is as safe for your head as any other high-rated helmet on this planet.
Besides the safety features, the motorbike helmet is one of the most popular picks for enduro riders — especially beginners, because it offers all the necessary features in a humble price tag.
4. Bell Moto-9S Flex Helmet
Editor’s Choice – Best Fitment
For creating its Moto-9S Flex Helmet as one of the safest dirt helmets on the market, Bell has done a lot of research and advancement in its technology.
The lightweight carbon fiber shell of this Moto-9S helmet incorporates a multi-density Flex that makes the helmet so flexible that it molds slightly to the contour of the wearer’s head to provide a snug fit.
In an accident, the Flex line is designed to spin independently of the head to reduce the rotational forces transferred to the rider’s head.
EPS behind the chin guard is a rare but excellent feature to see on a motorcycle helmet, which contributes to safety and comfort. Cheek pads are equipped with a fast-release emergency system to enable emergency personnel to remove the helmet swiftly off a rider’s head without inflicting any neck damage.
In addition, a revolutionary Eject Helmet Removal system is included in the helmet, which further aids in the safe removal of the helmet from the head of an injured rider.
The silver liner X-Static XT2 consists of an anti-bacterial silver thread tiled into the liner, to keep the skin fresher.
This well-built helmet has all the features you would expect in a high-quality motocross safety helmet and is designed to suit the regular intermediate oval skull shape. But the size of this Bell Moto-9S Flex helmet runs about half a size smaller than normal helmet measurements, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
5. Shoei RF-SR Helmet
Our Top Pick – Most Size Inclusive
Another Shoei helmet having Snell M2015 Certification and UK SHARP 5-star safety ratings, that speaks itself of how good the safety standards on this Shoei RF-SR helmet is.
The shell material is a compound organic multi-ply fiber having the ability of shock absorption to protect your head in the event of an accident. Shoei’s Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus (AIM+) technology is used for this RF-SR helmet. This technology combines fiberglass with organic fibers in five layers for a sturdy, solid, and elastic helmet.
The EPS multi-density line also makes the helmet comfortable, offers more shock absorption and progressive deceleration.
There are enhanced fit choices available with four shells and EPS liner sizes that can easily suit most head sizes.
To increase the airflow within the helmet, top vents are positioned to evacuate the heated air effectively.
The RF-SR comes with a transparent standard shield and no additional sunscreen. But it has an anti-fog Pinlock insert called Evo, designed to effectively cover the whole inside of the shield to avoid fog build-up.
Shoei has also added an Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS) in this helmet which becomes increasingly common in crash helmets these days as it makes it easier to remove a helmet after an accident.
For a few years now, Shoei AIM+ has been a top safety player. If you’ve come after one of the safest helmets for your noggin for street riding, commuting, or touring, Shoei helmets will be a great option.
6. NEXX XG100 Devon Full Face Helmet
Value Choice – Best Peripheral Vision
The NEXX XG100 Retro helmet is constructed by utilizing X-Matrix technology, which combines multi-axial fiberglass, 3D organic, and carbon fibers to provide a sturdy and extremely light exterior shell.
This helmet has a wide flat shield to offer a broad field of view and a PC Lexan Shield, a smoked visor, included for day time riders. The aerodynamics of the NEXX XG100 helmet are maximized by a strong peak fitted right above.
The X-Mart Dry technology provides the sound touch and an efficient cooling system. A chin vent guard controls the internal ventilation of the helmet.
The internal sweat-wicking and anti-allergy liner can be removed and washed easily. 3D cushioning fits well to keep additional draft and noise out of the helmet.
It is the safest retro helmet that performs well on the road and is also easy on the pocket. For exceptional comfort and fitness, the new NEXX XG100 comes in two shell sizes and provides a broad choice of attractive vintage colors and designs so that you can choose according to your unique style.
7. HJC C70 Helmet
High Quality Choice – Most Comfortable
HJC has a fantastic performance record for safe crash helmets, so we can expect its C70 model to be the same. This polycarbonate shell helmet, together with the DOT certification, also earned the highest safety ratings of SHARP (5 stars).
A wide shield enhances safety by providing a decent peripheral view and an integrated sun visor is present to prevent harsh UV rays. Pinlock-ready shield, enabling the rider to purchase and fit a Pinlock easily.
It has HJC’s Rapid Fire II shield removal system for easy removal and installation of the shield. A tiny locking mechanism is also included for the C70 shield.
According to HJC, the C70’s wind-tunnel tested shell also works great to minimize noise, buffeting, and total air output. And if you prefer riding with glasses, the C70 helmet is ideal for you because it has glass grooves built into the frame.
HJC C70 is an all-rounder, safest budget motorcycle helmet. It’s available in sizes XS-XXL and is a medium oval fitment.
8. Scorpion EXO-R420 Helmet
Stylish Choice – Most Efficient Pick
The EXO-R420 full face helmet is one of the safest and inexpensive helmets ever made by Scorpion. The helmet shell is built of poly-carbonate which lowers the weight of the helmet without compromising safety.
The Ever-Clear shield offers a good peripheral view. Ever-clear is highly efficient fog protection present on the back of the face shield. A ratchet mechanism Ellip-Tec II has been installed by Scorpion to stop the shield from opening while riding.
The 3-way chin vent has an open-closed slider that lends airways into the helmet.
The inside of R 420 uses KwikWick II from Scorpion which is antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, comfortable, and easy to wash. There’s now a glasses groove present as well so it’s easy to wear your glasses or shades while riding.
It also includes the quick-release emergency system (EQRS) for secure removal of the cheek pads, which is an ideal feature in a helmet at this price.
Scorpion has done a fantastic job in providing a quality and attractive design for an affordable safest helmet. This motorcycle helmet will be your best option if your pocket is not too deep, but you want quality full-face protection.
Which Factors Determine the Safety of a Helmet?
Before purchasing the safest motorcycle helmet, several aspects are necessary to consider, and here we discuss all of them.
Motorcycle helmets offer many styles of but the three main designs are full face, 3⁄4, and half helmets.
Among all, the full-face motorcycle helmet is the safest choice as it provides maximum coverage around the head and neck and also protects the rider’s face from unpleasant environmental conditions or foreign elements from hitting the face, especially at high speed.
A chin bar is also a distinctive characteristic of a full-face helmet, which most 3⁄4 and 1/2 helmets don’t have.
According to a study, the chin experienced fifty percent of the severe impacts in an accident, and only a full-face motorcycle helmet can offer complete head and face protection including the chin area.
The external shell of a motorcycle helmet acts as the first and most essential protective layer in the event of an accident to prevent serious harm to the head of the rider. Normally, the external shell consists of Kevlar, carbon fiber, poly-carbonate, plastic molding, or any combination of these materials.
The internal shell should consist of an impact-absorbing liner, usually composed of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam. The main aim of the liner is to absorb shocks without damaging the rider’s head and distribute the impact energy.
Some helmets feature a single layer of EPS foam or less dense foam, while others contain multiple layers of dual-density foam for additional energy shifts during impact.
The face shield or visor is a safety gear that keeps bugs and debris out of the helmet. To give a clear and broad field of view, a safe motorcycle helmet should feature a wide face shield.
Most motorcycle helmets also offer a drop-down sun visor to give extra protection for your eyes from the harsh sun rays, as sunlight makes it hard to see across distance.
There are several safety standards for motorcycle helmets, all having different test criteria. For U.S. roads, a helmet must have DOT certification.
Some other safety certifications are Foundation Snell Memorial (M-95/M2000), ECE 22/05 (European Standard), and the SHARP grading system.
Among all, Snell certification is considered the world’s best testing standard for motorcycle helmets. It is not a legal requirement in States or around the world. However, they go above the basic standards in many ways to fully evaluate helmet safety features.
A motorcycle helmet’s retention system, which is frequently called the chin strap, is fastened underneath your chin to maintain the helmet on your head while riding.
The two options for motorcycle helmet retention systems are either a normal D-ring closing or a rapid-release ratchet system.
To guarantee the ideal fit, a chin strap should be correctly fastened in a way that only two fingers fit between the strap and the skull, not more than that.
Ensuring your motorcycle helmet fits correctly should be your number one priority when buying a helmet because the helmet can only do its job if it is fitted correctly on your head.
The ideally fitted motorcycle helmet must sit snugly and comfortably on your head. If it’s too loose, it won’t give you the best protection and if it’s too tight, it becomes uncomfortable.
Before purchasing, a helmet should be tested and examined for ideal fitness. Wear the motorcycle helmet for a few minutes, grab the chin bar with both hands and try to move your head left-right inside the helmet.
You should have minimal lateral movement as it is necessary to reduce buffeting at higher speeds.
Now test the fit with the chin strap fastened, look down to the chest, and try pushing the helmet up. If you can push it up a lot, it’s not the appropriate fit.
Always tighten your chin strap completely, because if the motorcycle helmet is not correctly tightened, it will come off in an accident or at least compromise the helmet safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I replace my helmet?
According to the helmet manufacturers, you should update your helmet every 3-5 years, even if it did not get any direct impact.
Are low-cost motorcycle helmets safe?
Yes, some inexpensive helmets have all the qualities of a safe helmet, along with required safety certifications. Helmet manufacturers have launched a number of top-notch motorcycle helmets
How do I take care of my helmet?
After each use, let the helmet air dry, and then keep it in a cool, dry place where it won’t get any damage. Never use any harsh chemicals, paints, or petroleum-based cleaners on your helmet. They can damage a helmet, which greatly reduces its protective ability.
What is the safest type of motorcycle helmet?
Among all helmet options – full face motorcycle helmets offers maximum protection. Your body will get the best protection. Solid materials reduce the chance of head injuries. The visor on this helmet protects the face while the rider is on the road.
Two-wheel driving can only become a wonderful experience if you are safe and secure.
You have to invest in safety equipment, especially good motorcycle helmets, as it is the best way to minimize the risk of death when driving a motorcycle.
Remember, the right fit is essential. If a helmet does not fit on your head, it won’t rescue you if a collision occurs, no matter how robust the helmet was.