Welcome to our 3-minute guide to the best motorcycle helmets and brands, for 2018 and beyond.
If you’ve read any of my other stuff (like the best motorcycle helmet for beginners), you’ll know I’ve been riding for almost two decades.
I’ve read various articles that really don’t help riders narrow it down, when it comes to buying a motorcycle helmet.
So, this is going to help.
Choosing A Motorcycle Helmet
When you’re buying a helmet, you’ve got these things in mind:
So, it’s not a one-size fits all approach. That’s why below I’ve listed the top motorcycle helmet brands that either I’ve used, or are regarded as the best-of-best.
This list leaves out boring things like safety ratings and certification.
Why? All the best brands ensure their helmets adhere to road/racing laws as standard.
The only helmets that don’t, are cheap copies from manufacturers that aren’t helmet specialists. And, you should avoid those like the plague.
What I’d say is this.
Pick whatever helmet you like. And sure, have a strict budget and buy a cheap helmet if you must.
But, always pick a motorcycle helmet from one of the brands mentioned below.
Your life depends on it…
I first started using AGV helmets for motocross racing. Eventually, I bought the AGV K3 as my first street bike helmet.
The current list of riders using AGV helmets is huge…here’s a few:
- Valentino Rossi
- Andrea Iannone
- Pol Espargaro
- Jack Miller
- Nico Bulega
They’re also used by bike nut Guy Martin, and were the lid of choice for motorcycle legend Barry Sheene.
With a tonne of positive online reviews, and as a helmet I personally own, I’m picking the K3 SV as the best motorcycle helmet from AGV.Check Price on Amazon
Founded in 1926, Arai aren’t far of reaching their 100th birthday. And, for good reason.
Arai are a motorcycle helmet brand that cover, well, more than just motorcycles. Sure, they cover:
- Motocross & Enduro
- Street Bike
Here’s what most people don’t know about Arai.
They’re so advanced, they’re the choice of helmet for Formula 1 Drivers such as:
- Sebastian Vettel
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Max Verstappen
- Lance Stroll
- Carlos Sainz
- Dani Pedrosa
- Cal Crutchlow
- Maverick Viñales
As well as motocross riders:
- Pauls Jonass
- Julien Lieber
If Arai is good enough for those guys… 🙂
We like the Arai Corsair-X.Check Price on Amazon
For a long time, Bell Helmets have been an innovator when it comes to R&D and therefore, motorcycle safety.
And, that’s led to them managing to bag some of the best athletes in the world on their sponsor list.
They’re certainly a brand we’d recommend for all types of riding (including street bikes), but they’re sponsor list certainly leans towards the offroad scene, with riders such as:
- James Stewart
- Cody Webb
- Eli Tomac
- Aaron Plessenger
- Robbie Madison
But, they’ve also got a tonne of road racing professionals on their sponsor list. Such as current MotoGP hot shot; Brad Binder.
We don’t endorse cheap helmet brands. But, Bell have produced a low budget and high quality lid in the form of the Bell Qualifier; just over $100.Check Price on Amazon
For years, HJC were known as a budget brand. I was one of the few that recognized them has being highly underrated.
Now, they are recognised as being one of the best motorcycle helmet brands that money can buy.
Currently, they are used by:
- MotoGP Rider Jorge Lorenzo
- AMA Superbike Rider Aaron Yates
- AMA Supercross Rider Kyle Chisholm
- Freestyle Motocross Rider Nate Adams
If you’ve got a budget of a little over $100, head straight for the HJC CL-17.Check Price on Amazon
It’s got hugely positive online reviews.
But, if your budget will stretch to around $200, the HJC IS-MAX II is a worthy contender for your cash.
Check Price on Amazon
Lazer was one of the first motocross helmet brands I used. Their lids are ridiculously comfortable.
If you’ve not been involved with motorcycle riding for long, you’ll probably know Lazer for their line of mountain bike helmets.
Whatever type of lid you’re looking for, Lazer has you covered.
Cheap helmets? No Problem. Flip up helmets? No problem.
And, if you’ve got cash to burn, you can buy something ridiculously cool looking like the Lazer Monaco.
Nolan are a brand most well-known for their flip up helmets.
Although they’ve got plenty of science to backup their claims they’re durable and safe, I’m a sceptic. I prefer a 1-piece full face motorcycle helmet; it just feels safer.
However, they’ve still made it onto this list, as they are definitely one of the best motorcycle helmet brands producing lids for adventure riders.
Looking for a modular helmet for adventure riding? Take a peek at the Nolan N44 EVO.Check Price on Amazon
Back to the a typical motorbike helmet brand. Shark.
Shark is actually a much younger brand than most people think. In fact, it’s only a few years older than me, founded in 1986.
They design, test, manufacture and sell quality helmets for:
- Street Bikes
- Dual Sport
For such a young company, they’ve done well to break into such a crowded marketplace.
And, that’s an obvious testament to the quality of what’s coming out of their factory.
Looking for a cool street bike helmet? Head straight for the Shark Helmets Skwal Instinct.
Check Price on Amazon
No top list of motorcycle helmets or brands is going to be complete without mentioning Shoei.
As a few of you may know, I’m a complete MX nut. And, they’ve recently released the VFX-EVO which is possibly the coolest looking motorcycle helmet I’ve ever seen in my life.
But, Shoei is also one of the longest living helmet manufacturers. It was started back in 1959, and it’s being growing from strength to strength since.
You’ll regularly see top riders in AMA Motocross, AMA Superbike, World Superbike and MotoGP wearing their lids.
Looking for a cheap motorcycle helmet? Look away now.
One of Shoei’s best helmets is the Cog GT-Air. And, it’s heading for $700.Check Price on Amazon
Spada is another young motorcycle helmet brand that’s managed to make a good name for itself. The company was only formed back in 1994.
Realistically, it doesn’t compare with any brand on this list except for Nolan.
A lot of big helmet brands like Shoei and HJC focus on helmets specifically, but mainly racing helmets. Nolan and Spada focus more on the adventure rider gear (not just helmets) and the flip up lids.
So, if you’re looking for a flip up motorcycle helmet, you’ll be tossing up between Nolan and Spada.
Looking for an alternative to Nolan?
Check out the Spada Sting Maverick.
Thanks for reading our 3-minute guide to the best motorcycle helmet brands.
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