We all know that feeling of throwing your leg over your motorcycle and pushing for that rush of adventure, the feeling that first drew us to the open road.
But chasing that exhilaration can get dangerous, even for experienced riders; when you are riding on an awesome engine with two wheels attached, especially around cars, you can never be too careful. The only significant protection that most motorcyclists wear is a helmet – this equipment can mean the difference between a fatal accident and a less serious injury.
To help you with your search for the perfect helmet, we put together a list of the top brands we love. Along with the several brands listed are some of our favorite helmet models so you can be rest assured that you have great head protection if you go for any of the lids listed below.
Click on a name below to jump to our section on a particular brand:
In 1958, Shoei Co.’s founder Eitaro Kamata envisioned innovating the motorcycle helmet industry. They were the first helmet manufacturer to use carbon fiber and Kevlar in their products. With some of the best reviews in the motorcycle helmet industry, you know Shoei is a safe bet for maximum comfort and protection with any model you choose. They offer many different shapes and styles for beginner bikers to seasoned veterans. One of the best parts about buying a Shoei is they offer a five year warranty for every purchased helmet.
Starting with one of our favorite touring helmets, Qwest is light weight while bringing comfort and versatility. These helmets come with Shoei’s latest ventilation system, which works better than the majority of the market’s alternative. This is a great choice for beginner and intermediately skilled riders.
The latest generation of the RF series did not disappoint. This helmet is made with the best of what Shoei has to offer: light weight ventilating material, the most aerodynamic Shoei design to date, and all the features you can ask for in a motorcycle helmet – not to mention we love the shape and style. Awesome buy for the intermediate to experienced riders.
Arai Helmets has been making quality head protection since its conception in 1926. All Arai helmets sold within the United States exceed or meet the Snell Memorial Foundation safety standards. Arai is the cream of the crop when it comes to helmet manufacturing – they won all ten annual J. D. Power and Associates Motorcycle Helmet Studies. It also came in or tied for first place in three of the four judged categories: overall satisfaction, styling, and ventilation.
Geared towards the more experienced of riders, the RX-Q was designed by the same engineers that work on Arai’s racing helmets. This helmet offers the highest quality protection the company has to offer. Some features include an enhanced wide peripheral view, removable neck-roll, and award winning ventilation and comfort. Even the visor is state-of-the-art.
Almost identical to the RX-Q from the outside, the Signet-Q’s difference is the elongated interior that is made to fit a wider variety of consumers. With all the same features of the RX-Q, this helmet is meant for the veteran riders out there.
The crown jewel of Arai’s touring helmets, the Corsair-V features the patented “air wing” technology that increases ventilation and airflow through the helmet. Calling this a “cool buy” goes without saying – lame joke, we know. If you have the budget for the price point and are an experienced motorcyclist, you could not go wrong with the Corsair-V. Neglecting its price, this is our favorite helmet on the market. All of the newest technology and styling on the market today is included in this bad boy, and we know you would love it too.
This Italian motorcycle helmet firm was founded by entrepreneur Lander Nocchi in 1973. Their helmets’ look and feel is recognizable as a Nolan product. This company’s helmets provide protection while not breaking the bank, which makes their products perfect for beginners – yet they have loyal intermediate and experienced riders rockin’ Nolan products.
Starting off with a classic Nolan design, the N104 is the latest of Nolan’s signature series. It comes with all the amenities of a standard motorcycle helmet and has great ventilation systems. If there is one knock about the N104, it is the lack of a wide peripheral view that you get from other helmets. Luckily, there is now a Hi-Visibility sub-series of the N104, so we recommend trying this if you are a beginner looking for an awesome starter helmet.
The N44 is a crossover helmet that has interchangeable accessories to quickly modify your look and style. This helmet serves its use as reliable head protection and is a great buy for any beginner not looking to spend too much.
One of the youngest companies on our list, ScorpionExo has become a leader in motorcycle helmet manufacturing over the past decade. They are in possession of their own manufacturing factory and spend most of their budget on research and development. Scorpion helmets are the modern twist on traditional head protection.
With a fog free visor and two levels of moisture reducing material, the Exo-R410 Airline is a cost effective choice for the beginner rider. Although we prefer the other helmets on this list from a protection standpoint, this helmet is still reliable and is a solution for the rider trying out the motorcycle lifestyle.
A wonderfully engineered composite shell with the Aero-Tuned Ventilation system even has adjustable check pads for a “custom” fit. We love this helmet because it is stylish, great protective head-wear that is a Scorpion classic.
HJC Helmets have been the number one brand in North America since 1992. This brand is geared toward riders looking for mid to high end head protection. They constantly are releasing new models and series, so make sure you check out HJC for yourself at the time of your purchase. For us, however, we are going to have to settle for picking our favorite HJC helmets as of now.
With the line’s inauguration in 2012 came the RPHA 10 full face helmet – the standard model comes with a patent pending center locking mechanism, an ultra light weight shell, and a comfortable, aerodynamic design. This shell is completely unique from its style and design to the composite material it is made from. This is a high end helmet for a mid end price.
Part of the newest series of the HJC brand, the FG-17 is the full face model of the FG line and comes with the technology consumers are demanding in interchangeable parts and an aerodynamic ventilation system. The shell is made of lightweight fiberglass which is a reliable and safe material – perfect for the intermediate level rider that wants to pay less than expected prices.
One of the best helmets on the market, we’ve covered this and it’s predecessor, the CL-16, in depth here on Helmet Advisor. It’s an excellent helmet all around, and is particularly good for the every day rider who wants to get something special, but doesn’t want to break the bank. We highly recommend this for just about anyone, even if you just use it as a starting point to compare other helmets to.
Bell Racing Europe and Bell Racing USA have combined to bring the public motorcycle helmets from a company that is a recognizable leader in bicycle head protection. Within the past decade, Bell’s power-sports division has took off and continues to grow annually. They have a great line of helmets that we recommend you keep your eyes on.
Featuring a Kevlar and fiberglass light weight composite shell and a premium ventilation system, the RS-1 is Bell’s mid end head protection solution and is offered at a modest price. This helmet is made for the beginner to intermediately skilled riders.
Bell’s most coveted design, the Star Carbon pulls out all the stops with its high-tech, aerodynamic make up. The head form of the helmet is all new for superior fit and comfort. The Star series provides Velocity Flow Ventilation with FlowAdjust which makes for premium moisture relief and temperature control. With its incredibly aerodynamic profile and light weight TriMatrix Composite Shell, the Bell Star is one of our favorite models on the list.
This is one of the most unique, badass helmets you can find. It’s a half helmet, but it’s got a face shield that makes you look like a bad guy out of the Mad Max movies. This one gets top marks for being one of the coolest lids you can find, and is consistently among the top when it comes to fit, safety, and value for the money. Highly recommended.
Icon has been one of the more important helmet brands for the last decade and has helped transform helmet design and technology. Across all their helmets Icon offers World Standard ECE DOT Certification, fog free shield visors, fully removable hydrodry liners, and ingenious aerodynamic design.
Having an intermediate fit between the Airframe and Airmada, the Variant is made of fiber glass composites. This helmet is designed for speed and fits the majority of riders. This is a premium helmet for experienced riders.