Motorbike helmets are an essential piece of motorbike gear to keep your noggin intact and your chin stuck to your face, and like bikers all helmets are vastly different. Whether you’re a hard-core Harley rider, a speed demon sport bike rider or a laid back cruiser there is a helmet to suit your style and your needs – here is our complete motorbike helmet guide.
Open or Full Face?
The first question you want to ask yourself is whether you want to go for a helmet that covers your full face or leaves it exposed. The obvious difference between the two is the protection it offers, if you’re a safety first kind of person a full face helmet is for you, a high quality 5 star sharp rated helmet with a full visor and chin protection will keep your face gravel free if the worst should happen. If you’re more of a risk taker that doesn’t want to sacrifice style for safety maybe you’ll go for an open face helmet, these are more popular with the riders of cruisers, hogs and café racers, open face helmets have an old school cool feel about them that might be right for you. With an open face helmet you’re going to need a good pair of glasses or goggles as the lack of a visor leaves your eyes open to bug attacks, gravel flying up off the road and all other manner of debris that comes your way!
What do I need to look for in a helmet?
You know the style of helmet you’re looking for and you might have a couple of models in mind, but before you make that purchase there are a few things you need to consider! Safety, safety, safety! It might start to sound like a broken record by the end of this article but it is the number one thing to consider when picking your helmet. Look at Sharp ratings, EU and UK safety legislation, it’s essential that you check and double check that your helmet meets all of these criteria before you buy it. In terms of the open face vs. closed face argument it’s always recommended that you wear a closed face helmet at all times if you want optimum safety.
Make sure it sits snuggly (but not too snug) to your head. When you’re in the shop picking a helmet, try it on and don’t take if off for a while, yes you might feel a bit silly but it’s the best way to make sure you’ve found the perfect fit. A helmet shouldn’t move around at all when you turn your head, if the padding does move it is definitely too big for you!
In another case of sacrificing a bit of style for safety the colour of your helmet is very important. Yes we know full black leathers and a sleek black helmet looks very, very cool but it’s pretty dangerous. We aren’t telling you go out and buy a bright orange helmet but something like a reflective strip or a funky pattern will make you stand out more to other motorists on the road.
The last thing to consider is comfort and ventilation, on a hot, humid summer’s day you don’t want to be sweating it up inside of an unventilated helmet not to mention the dangers that come with the visor steaming up! You need good airflow to keep cool but also the option close it up when the inevitable great British weather takes a turn for the worst..
Our Favourite Helmets!
You know what style of helmet you want and what you need to consider when you buy one, check out a couple of our recommendations below:
First up are the open face helmets, if you’re looking for something with a stylish, retro look the Premier Jet Vintage Star 9 might be the one for you. The features of this little beauty include a detachable light weight visor, a Dyneema carbon aramidic fibre epoxy resin shell and quick release strap. It’s made to full ECE safety standards so you can trust it to keep your head safe and sound, plus at £169 it’s not too pricey either! Buy the Premier Jet Vintage Star 9 here: http://bit.ly/2pgqgKW . If you’re more on the safety conscious side you can get the same helmet with an added mask here: http://bit.ly/2pZC16m
Safety Rating: ECE Approved
If retro isn’t your style check out the Scorpion Exo Combat in matt black, the more modern fashionable look makes it one of the coolest helmets on our list! With an advanced polycarbonate composite engineered shell and EPS lined chin bar you are guaranteed maximum protection with this helmet as well as the option to remove the chin guard completely, creating an opened face jet style helmet. In terms of comfort you can’t go wrong, it has hypoallergenic removable machine washable interior lining and adjustable indexed front and rear vents for the best ventilation. Buy it here for £169.99: http://bit.ly/2pdq1yh
Safety Rating: 4 Star SHARP Rating
Moving on too full face helmets and there are so many different styles to choose from, whether you want a bright colourful fashion helmet, a sleek plain no frills helmet or even a funny helmet there’s one for you!
If you like a bright colours, funky patterns and standing out in any crowd the Icon Airmada Opacity helmet might be the one for you. Eye catching peacock feathers and a rainbow of colours makes this helmet something to behold but looking beyond the patterns it has some impressive features as well! Removable moisture wicking interior, a polycarbonate shell for strength and durability, adjustable chin and forehead venting system and a fog proof deflector make this a very reliable and long lasting helmet. Buy it here for £199: http://bit.ly/2oH3Pv5
Safety Rating: 2 Star SHARP Rating
For a simpler helmet you can’t go wrong with the Shoei RF-1200. This is the most expensive on our list but also the longest lasting. It really is one of the top dogs when is comes to motorbike gear with reviews all over the web singing its praises, it bridges the gap between a light weight and strong shell. The Max-Dry system is a great feature that absorbs and dissipates moisture keeping your helmet dry and free of fogging and in terms of comfort the 3D cheek pads and centre pad components are shaped to match the contours of your face perfectly! Buy it here for £687.91 http://amzn.to/2pgBgIe
Safety Rating: 4 Star SHARP Rating
For those of you working with a smaller budget we have a few cheaper options for you, the first being the Vega X-888. For £57.09 it is definitely one of the cheapest helmets you can buy, it might be a very simple helmet but it has everything you need in terms of protection and comfort as well as looking pretty stylish as well. The design minimizes wind noise but doesn’t sacrifice proper ventilation, keeping it breathable. You can buy the Vega- X888 here: http://bit.ly/2oHwAHX
Another great budget helmet is the Shark 600, for around £75 you don’t need to compromise anything! Sure, it doesn’t look as cool and exciting as the other helmets on our list but it’s practically just as good, features include a thermoplastic injection shell, an anti-scratch 2.2mm visor and a removable and washable interior. Reviews from Shark owners all over the internet rave about how comfortable and long lasting the helmets are as well as how quiet it stays even in the most brutal wind. Buy the Shark s600 here: http://bit.ly/2q5YbXr
Safety Rating: 4 Star SHARP Rating