Best Beginner Motorcycle Helmets
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A motorcycle helmet is an essential part of safety equipment. Not only does it protects your head in the event of crash but also ensures that you suffer minimum shock from the sudden fall.
Unlike cars, motorcycles have no crumple zones, but the possibility of falling is far more than a four wheeler. This possibility increases a lot more in bad weather due to low visibility.
A motorcyclist is 29 times more likely to die in an accident and 4 times more likely to be injured in comparison to a four wheel driver. In addition, motorcyclists are more easily overlooked in flowing traffic.
So if you are planning to ride across some of the best American motorcycle roads, do not forget to make a good quality helmet your travel companion.
10 Best Beginner Motorcycle Helmets
Choosing the right helmet is a tricky task. You need to look at all the components related to your safety before shortlisting one. Moreover, it should be within your set budget. To make things easy for you we have shortlisted the best beginner motorcycle helmets that are ideal for a novice motorcyclist and are completely trustworthy when it comes to safety. Let’s have a look.
Scorpion EXO-R420 Helmet
Scorpion is known for making excellent beginner motorcycle helmets. They are sporty, stylish and cheap. Speaking about EXO-R420; this 1700 gram helmet is ultra-durable, stylish and is priced just around $160.
As for the features; the helmet incorporates 2 air vents, where the first vent is located near the chin and the second is located at the top of the helmet. Moreover, the inner lining (KwikWick II anti-microbial fabric) can be easily removed and is completely washable.
It also comes retrofitted with breath deflectors to prevent your helmet from fogging, and a pair of wind deflectors to reduce air resistance. Plus, helmet bag is also included as a standard!
Currently the helmet is being offered in 7 sizes starting from XS to 3XL in pure black, whereas in matte black you also have an option to purchase 4XL. And with an additional $30 you can purchase a Pinlock visor as well. What’s more to ask?
- Full face helmet
- Ideal for intermediate oval heads
- DOT approved
- Breath & wind deflectors
- Aero tuned ventilation system
- Removable & washable inner lining
- 2 shell sizes (XS-MD, LG-3XL)
HJC CS-R3 Helmet
Just like EXO-R420, the HJC CS-R3 is a great beginner helmet that costs less than $100. It is made specifically for those who value quality and safety over style (incorporates advanced polycarbonate composite shell). However, the features are limited in this price and you do not get a dedicated sun shade or UV goggles. But yes, the visor itself is treated with anti-scratch as well as anti-UV coating.
The HJC CS-R3 is available in 6 different helmet shell sizes ranging from XS to 2XL and for additional $30 you get a Pinlock visor as well.
As for ventilation, HJC incorporates Advanced Channeling Ventilation System to ensure uniform circulation of air all through the head. Plus, it offers superior fit and comfort due to its advanced CAD technology. And to top it all, the antibacterial linings are interchangeable as well as completely washable.
- Full face helmet
- Ideal for intermediate oval heads
- Certification: ECE-R 22.05
- Light in weight (1600 grams)
- Breath & wind deflectors
- ACS (Advanced Channeling ventilation system)
- Inner lining removable and washable
- Ideal for riders who wear glasses
BILT Power Boost Modular Helmet
Bilt has offered a unique motorcycle helmet ideal for riders who wear glasses. BILT Power Boost is a clear visor modular flip up motorcycle helmet with an integrated sun shade.
This modular helmet is completely street legal and is equally suitable for both men and women. The outer shell is made of Hi-tech injection molded polycarbonate with multiple layers of shock absorbers. The material is scratch resistant and the inner linings are removable as well as washable. Additionally, it comes with Double D-ring lock for a secure closure.
And to protect against fog as well as retain ventilation, this helmet is equipped with surface mounted open/close airflow system that maintains an optimal temperature inside the helmet to ensure maximum comfort.
Moreover, you get a removable clear face shield with a quick release mechanism along with a flip-down tinted sun shield that can easily be deployed with your gloved hands.
Plus, the shock-absorbing multi-density inner lining is removable and completely washable. Priced at $139, you can grab your Power Boost in two-color options; Black/Grey and Black/Hi-Viz Yellow.
- Ideal for round and oval shaped heads
- DOT and ECE approved
- Anti-fog visor & sun shade
- Fits like a full-face helmet.
- Integrated ventilation ducts
- Inner lining is removable and washable
- Reinforced Double D-ring fastening system
Scorpion EXO-T520 Factor Helmet
The full face Scorpion EXO-T520 is available in 6 different sizes starting from SM to 3XL. It features a very lightweight and low-profile construction making it ideal for both every day riding as well as long distance touring.
The helmet shell is made of advanced polycarbonate and features dual density EPS lining that ensures you are protected from all kinds of impact and crashes.
The EXO-T520 comes equipped with an emergency release system, 6 adjustable intake vents, Ellip-Tec II ratchet system and KwikFit cheek pads with an option of 3 different colors to choose from.
Moreover, Scorpion has designed and constructed this helmet very thoughtfully so as to make it compatible with any type of Bluetooth communication system.
And although the helmet is made in China, its durability is tested in Great Britain.
- DOT & ECE certified
- Good fit, head well enclosed, comfortable
- Suitable for riders with glasses
- KwikFit cheek pads
- AirFit inflation system
- Dual position mouth vent
- Communication system speaker pockets
HJC i90 Helmet
Another brilliant entry level flip-up helmet is the HJC i90 where you get at least 5 different colors and 9 different sizes to choose from. So, as a beginner you are getting a lot of options with respect to colors as well as sizes. In fact, there are very few helmet models that offer sizes starting from XS all the way up to 5XL!
Speaking about the construction; under the rather simple hood you will find a polycarbonate layer which makes the model sturdy as well as light. A tinted and adjustable sun visor is included as a standard and comes with patented One-Touch release mechanism that deploys and retracts quickly and easily with three riding positions.
Plus, this modular helmet is Pinlock ready, in case you wish to upgrade with an anti-fog visor.
On top of that, you get D-ring chin strap closure, removable and washable cheek pads as well as inner linings, and a Bluetooth-ready design that can accommodate SMART HJC 10B or 20B Bluetooth communicators quite comfortably. Moreover, there are special grooves along the temples to accommodate glasses if you wear one.
- DOT & ECE approved
- Double D ring retention system
- Affordable modular helmet for beginners
- Suitable for people who wear glasses
- Inner lining removable / washable
- Multiple ventilation ducts
- Dropdown tinted sun-visor
AGV K3 SV Helmet
The full face K3 SV from AGV is an affordable and adaptable motorcycle helmet available in 7 sizes (XS, SM, MS, ML, LG, XL, and 2XL). Its shell is made from high resistance thermoplastic resin (HIR-TH) and weighs approximately 1600 grams.
It is equipped with a Double D retention system, 4 front and 2 rear ventilation vents, removable anti-scratch sun visor and removable windproof chin strap as well as breath deflectors.
K3 SV also features an X-tra Quick Release System that allows you to remove and replace the helmet visor without any hassle. Plus, the face shield incorporates perimetrical visor seal (or PVS in short) that ensures minimal noise against wind and drafts.
Currently K3 SV is available in two color options; black and matte black with DOT certification.
- DOT approved
- Relatively easy to put on and take off
- Comfortable and snug fit
- Well-padded chin strap
- Good aerodynamics
- Low noise helmet
- Effective ventilation
- Quick release visor mechanism
Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet
Just like K3 SV, the Scorpion EXO-AT950 is priced around $250. In terms of quality and functionally it is no way different from AGV either. The AT950 is a versatile modular adventure touring helmet which is completely aerodynamic and can be switched into a full face helmet, thanks to its peak visors.
The Speedview® sunvisor and KwikWick® II liner ensures your ride is comfortable and enjoyable. Additionally, you can use this as a dirt helmet by removing the face shield completely. This means you get all the features of a full face, modular and a dirt helmet in a single product! But that’s not all, the shell is made of LG® Polycarbonate that makes it light weight, strong, and safe.
You also get a special slot in case you wish to use a Bluetooth headset for communication and Pinlocks for enhanced visibility in bad weather.
- DOT certified
- Ideal for intermediate oval shaped heads
- Low noise helmet
- Face shield with 100% UV-A & UV-B protection
- Wide eye port
- Communication system speaker pockets
- Reinforced chin bar
- Folding metal visor hardware
- 5 year warranty
LS2 Valiant Helmet
The LS2 Valiant combines the advantages of two types of helmets; by simply flipping the front chin portion all the way back, your integral helmet can be converted into a classic open helmet. This transformation is quite smooth and can be easily done with one hand, even while riding.
It is equipped with laser cut cheek pads, built-in Twin Shield System inner sun shield, and multi-density EPS liners. And thanks to the Pinlock-ready face shield with built in Pinlock inserts, the formation of fog inside the helmet is minimal even on the coldest of days.
Furthermore, the inner padding can be easily removed and washed within minutes. And this material is made of hypoallergenic antibacterial material that limits any kind of bacterial infestation inside the helmet.
As for breathability; it is achieved with the help of dynamic flow-through that creates a constant air flow inside the helmet.
Constructed from Kinetic Polymer Alloy (KPA), which is characterized by high strength and strong built quality, you can choose this helmet from 4 different color options and 7 different head sizes.
- DOT approved
- 180° swing-around chin bar
- 2 in 1 (Full face and Open Face)
- UV resistant
- Quick release system
- 2 shell sizes: XS-XL, 2XL-3XL
- Breathable with air diffusers
- Accommodates LRP 3 Bluetooth by SENA
Shark Street Drak Tribute Helmet
Shark Drak Tribute is surely a badass helmet that will catch your eye at first glance. It is designed for someone who is preparing to ride a post apocalypse bike in the land of Zombies!
Shark has used reliable thermoplastic to build the shell. The goggles fit perfectly into the profile of the helmet and create a perfect set with the mean looking face mask. In addition, the glass is treated against fog or scratch using latest technology.
The Shark Drak Tribute helmet is ideal for beginner riders due to its affordability ($289), style, and safety features. It has all the characteristics of a good motorcycle helmet including ventilation, hygiene (washable padding), and opening mechanism (quick release system). Moreover, the helmet is also compatible with Sharktooth audio communication system which can be purchased as an extra accessory.
- Certificate: ECE 22.05
- Ideal for round and oval shaped heads
- Double anti-fog and anti-scratch visor developed by Carl Zeiss
- Comfortable and breathable with D-ring closure mechanism
- QRGS: Quick Release Goggle System
- Light weight (1180 grams)
- 2 shell sizes (SM-MD and LG-XL)
HJC i10 Helmet
Last of the best motorcycle helmets for beginners is this great model from HJC which also features polycarbonate shell. It is not very light weight (1700 grams) but is surely a sturdy and reliable sport-touring helmet.
HJC i10 comes equipped with maximum security features. It has a double D ring strap, superior fog resistant clear Pinlock max vision shield, SuperCool® moisture-wicking interior materials and removable crown and cheek pads.
Moreover, its three dimensional face shield is optically correct and offers 95% UV protection. You are also offered grooves around the temples to accommodate almost all kinds of prescription goggles.
On top of that, you have state-of-the-art Advanced Channeling Ventilation System (ACS) with front-to-back air channels that allow heat as well as sweat to escape within seconds.
This is undoubtedly a great helmet when compared with other known brands in the same price segment.
- DOT and SNELL M2020 approved
- Lightweight polycarbonate construction
- Advanced channeling ventilation system
- Anti-scratch face shield
- Removable and washable linings
- Bluetooth-ready design
- Double D closure
How to choose your first motorcycle helmet?
Here are some tips for beginners to buy helmet that best suits your riding style, your budget, and most importantly your safety. Once you get to the end of this guide, you will no longer have any doubts about the choice to make.
The price of a helmet varies widely, ranging from $50 for plastic shell sold in supermarkets to $1500 in specialized stores.
Does the price of a helmet reflect its quality? Yes and no, after all, the cheapest of helmets, if they have received an approval, either ECE or DOT, will provide a decent level of protection. But its comfort, finish, and resistance to weather cannot be compared to that of higher end helmets.
In general, and most bikers will agree to it, a helmet priced around $50 cannot ensure protection and comfort at the same time.
Helmets that start from $150, offer a lot better protection when compared to an ordinary $50 helmet. This means that it is quite possible to find a good helmet between $130 and $150 if it was launched few years back, in colors that were not in much demand.
In any case, neither the price nor the brand, offer a guarantee of quality.
All the “big” brands (Nolan, Shoei, Arai, HJC, Shark, and AGV) offer several ranges, with products low-end, mid-range and high-end that may look alike but are not equal.
On the other hand, some less widespread brands are only low-end (Chinese brands, for example) and others only high-end (German brands like BMW and Schuberth).
Your head is priceless (at least for you), you only have one and it will be a little late to regret if you crash while wearing a shitty helmet!
|Full Face||1. Continuous outer shell leads to high stability
2. High chin protection
3. Usually comes equipped with protective visor
4. Safest of all the helmets
|Modular||1. Looks just like a full face helmet
2. The front chin part can be pulled up
3. Easy to remove and wear
4. Ideal for riders with glasses
|Open||1. Popular helmet for small engine sized motorcycles
2. Missing chin part leads to poor protection
3. Does not protect face
4. The open design of the helmet has a retro charm
|Cross Helmet||1. Closed and continuous shape like a full-face helmet
2. Offers good ventilation
3. Built for off road riding
4. Long chin area with dirt filter protects against flying mud
Before considering the technical or aesthetic characteristics, you should have a clear idea about the type of helmet you want. There are 4 main types of helmet available in the market: full face helmet, modular helmet, open face helmet, and the motocross helmet.
The full-face helmets are the safest of all types. They are fully closed, thus an entire protection of your head and chin is ensured. They are mainly used on long distance tours, high speed races, or adventures that require maximum protection.
More aesthetic and more ventilated, the open helmets are used when riding at a limited speed, especially in urban areas. They offer good visibility as well as breathability and are perfect for A1 motorcycles with small engines.
The modular helmets are also called hybrids, thanks to the possibility of raising the chin bar, these helmets offer both the protection of a full face helmet, and the ventilation as well as the wide field of vision of an open helmet. Thus, it can be used in any season, and in any kind of ride.
The classic motocross helmets (also known as MX helmets) are perfectly tailored for off-road riding. At the same time, they offer you freedom of movement, protect your head and ensure good ventilation. This ensures that you don’t sweat even on difficult courses. Compared to normal motorcycle helmets, they have a significantly longer and more pointed chin.
This is another essential criterion that should not be missed. US law requires wearing an approved helmet to reduce deaths and injuries to motorcyclists and other motor vehicle users resulting from head impacts (FMVSS No. 218). In addition, the helmet should meet DOT standard or the European standard ECE 22.05.
Advice: The ECE test is much more stringent than the DOT test and is generally considered better.
Motorcycle helmets can be made of polycarbonate, fiberglass, thermoplastic, Kevlar, or carbon. This material of the shell affects the price. Be aware that these materials offer a good level of safety in the event of an impact. But not all are in the same boat.
For instance, carbon helmets are very light. These are composed of woven carbon fibers and reinforced with a layer of fiberglass for added strength. They absorb impacts evenly and resist better than polycarbonate or thermoplastic. So, obviously, carbon helmets cost more than others.
Helmets made from fiberglass are also lightweight and quite expensive. However, they are flexible and split on impact.
Polycarbonate and thermoplastic helmets have certain amount of weight that can be felt while wearing. They are usually cheap and provide a decent protection.
There are three possible types of locking techniques to keep your helmet secure and tight on your head. The chinstrap fasteners of the different categories have different specifics in terms of their usability and resistance.
|Double-D closure||Quick Release||Click closure|
|Safest: Double-D is now one of the most common types of closure. This variant consists of two D-shaped rings through which the chinstrap is passed, which very efficiently ensures that the helmet does not accidentally open while riding.||Convenient: The ratchet lock is easy and quick to use and has a secure hold. Thread the strap through a slot in the ratchet. Then turn the lever on the lock and gradually tighten the strap. The ratchet quick release fastener is very popular.||Fastest: Mostly made from plastic, simply press the movable outer jaws of the locking piece into the holder provided. Since the locking pieces are mostly made of plastic, they frquently break under pressure.|
Height & weight
It is important to choose a motorcycle helmet that fits around the shape of your head. The helmet should not be so tight that it hurts you. However, it is important that you feel a slight pressure on the temples and cheeks. The motorcycle helmet should also not move when you turn your head or when you bend down.
Besides the size, you will need to consider the weight of the helmet before purchasing. This criterion depends very much on the materials used, which generally composes of 1,200 to 1,600 gram of the total weight. Commonly, flip-up helmets are heavier than the full-face helmets with an average weight of 1,600 to 1,800 g. The weight of open helmets varies from 1,100 to 1,200 grams.
Logically, choose a motorcycle helmet that your head can withstand!
Flip-up, and modular helmets usually have a clear visor, but brands also offer a wide range of tinted or mirrored versions. Helmets with particularly heavy tinted glass must not be used in the twilight or in the dark. They drastically impair visibility and endanger both rider and other road users. If you prefer a tinted visor on sunny days, you should choose a helmet whose visor can be changed in a few simple steps.
Pinlock visors are practical for all-weather rides. They are mounted inside in front of the actual clear visor and prevent the build up of fog in bad weather by creating a thin, insulating layer of air between the main visor and Pinlock visor. However, some times the edge of the inner visor slightly restricts the rider’s field of vision, even if the edge is made of transparent plastic.
In order to ensure breathability and to avoid overheating in the helmet under high temperatures, ventilation is an essential element. But don’t think that a well ventilated helmet is always the best. In fact, ventilation systems make your helmet noisy which can create interference while riding.
In addition to ventilation, the helmet must also protect against sun, rain, noise, insects and wind. So make sure the seals are perfect around the edges of visor. Similarly, an anti-UV goggle ensures that your ride is comfortable on a bright sunny day.
In case you ride with a pillion, it is best to opt for a helmet that has a built-in mic to facilitate communication.
The helmet must enclose the head in such a way that it does not press against your face uncomfortably. Check whether the helmet slips from your head when the strap is open. And do make sure you try your helmet with a balaclava.
Motorcycle helmets are available in sizes from XXS to XXXL.
You can determine the helmet size by placing a measuring tape around the thickest part of the head a little above the ears. Then compare the result with the table below and you have your approximate helmet size.
Q. How often should I buy a new helmet?
A. You should definitely get a new helmet after an accident. Even if the helmet has not suffered any visible damage, cracks may form in the layers of the shell, which have a significant impact on safety.
But even without accidents, you should replace your motorcycle helmet every 5 years, because environmental influences damage the material and make it less stable.
Q. How should I clean my helmet?
A. Care should be taken when cleaning your helmet or it could be damaged in the process. First, you will need to completely disassemble it for thorough cleaning. Post which, you should clean the visor with a mild soap solution and a soft cloth (e.g. a microfiber cloth).
Under no circumstances should you clean the visor under running water.
Clean the entire surface of your helmet using the same soap solution and cloth. If the dirt cannot be removed with a cloth, you can wrap the helmet in a damp cloth for 30 minutes.
Avoid the use of aggressive solvents, hard sponge, or your fingernails.
In addition to cleaning with lukewarm water and a soft cloth, treatment with talcum powder is recommended, as this maintains the seal and counteracts the fragility of the rubber.
Last but not least, before assembling the helmet, make sure that it is completely dry so that moisture does not get caught inside the helmet.
Maximum safety should be the top most priority while choosing your first motorcycle helmet. For this reason, it is important that you take enough time in deciding your ideal “life saver”. Pay special attention to the following points:
- Full face helmets offer comprehensive protection of the whole head
- Your own head size is decisive for an ideal fit
- The helmet should be either DOT approved or ECE approved.
- The visor should be standardized in accordance with ECE-R and should have Pinlocks.
- Double-D fasteners are the most reliable closures.
Hope we were able to address all your queries related to beginner motorcycle helmets. For more information, feel free to drop a mail. Ride Safe!