Helmets are the essential gear for motorcycle riders as they provide safety to our heads. Because of different types, quality, and price differences are there in helmets, it becomes hard for riders to choose the safest helmet. Also, there are many variables applied while buying helmets like certification, price, types, etc.
And We all have heard that expensive means good products, I think many people use the same logic with helmets also. But is it even true, that buying an expensive helmet will ensure you all the safety and protection? After doing some research on various helmet manufacturers and talking to some of the experts. Here is what is found.
So, How much should one spend on a motorcycle helmet? You should spend at least $150- $500 to buy a better and safest helmet that can withstand the impact of sudden falls or accidents. Motorcycle Helmets are the most essential gear to protect your head while riding a motorcycle in case of falls or accidents.
According to NHTSA, In 2015, the use of motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 1,772 lives. An additional 740 lives would have been saved if all motorcyclists had been wearing helmets.MotorcycleMonarch
Apart from this, it depends on many factors. And the number of money people will spend will also be different. So, let’s have an insight into some factors.
Factors to consider before purchasing a Motorcycle Helmet
Here are the factors that you must consider before purchasing the safest helmet. If you neglect these factors then no matter how expensive the helmet you buy. The safety level will be compromised. There are some little things to know before heading to purchase motorcycle helmets.
Decide the type of helmet you need
There are three main helmet types in that market available Full face, Open face, and half. One of the safest helmet types for a motorcyclist is the full-face helmet. And there are other sizes of helmets also available such as half-face, Open face ¾ Helmets, etc.
But, in terms of proper protection of your head and chin from accidents, full-face helmets must be preferred. Here is a study conducted in 2015 shows that the chin bar of full-face helmets is the region with the highest number of impacts.
Helmet types like open face, and half will not provide the safety level compared to the full-face helmet. The most fragile portion of the face and will be left vulnerable like cheek, jaw, etc. Although, there are certainly benefits of these helmets that you may like. But, if safety is your utmost priority while riding a motorcycle then go with a full-face helmet.
If you are a casual rider be it men or women you can go with any helmet type. But, if you do extensive, adventurous, speed riding then makes sure to go with a full helmet.
Consider your Riding frequency
Buying a perfect helmet is an art that’s what I call it for this era. The second most important factor is “the frequency of your motorcycle riding”. The time you invest in riding a motorcycle, depending on this we need to evaluate the comfort level of the helmet you require.
You should note that for frequent riders the helmet must be equipped with proper ventilation to keep the airflow inside the helmet.
If you are a casual rider and you don’t ride much apart from going to your job and weekly rides. You can consider buying low-price helmets. It should be noted that buying low-price helmets doesn’t mean a compromise in safety.
But, there will be a compromise in quality, comforts, and other things like proper ventilation, etc. Thus, you should consider this factor and make a proper budget before buying a helmet for the best experience and safety.
Look at your budget
You should only look at your budget if you are a casual rider, but I would not recommend you to think about the budget if you are a frequent rider. Overall, It will be like saving your life vs saving money. And When you are gone, what will you do about money?
Thus, the thing is very simple. If you are a frequent rider who loves to ride motorcycles every time, get into the race with friends, and explore the terrain of adventure. You should buy the safest and comfortable helmets available in the market by pushing the limits on your budget.
If you ride less occasionally then you can save some bucks for yourself by buying a moderate helmet that fulfills your requirements.
What to look for in a motorcycle Helmet before purchasing?
To get a better comfortable fit and the safest motorcycle helmet. You should look at the following features to ensure the quality and the investment you are doing in a motorcycle helmet.
Certification for Helmets
In the US there are some organizations that provide safety ratings by doing rigorous tests. Their names are Snell, DOT, ECE, SHARP, etc.
According to the bikebandit, Snell is the superior helmet certification in the US. Its helmets are tested in a more rigorous standard, and the standard is derived from racing. And racing is the place where accident impacts used to be higher. Thus, the Snell standard is derived from motorcycle racing.
You should look for the certification sticker or label behind the helmets of the above certifications listed. This is the primary requirement that makes helmet safes. Otherwise, how will you know that any helmet is safe or not?
You are not going to test the helmet by yourself. Thus, these organizations have their standard specified, and if the helmets didn’t meet the standard. Those helmets got rejected in the first place by these organizations.
Size & Weight of Helmets
The second most important thing to consider before buying helmets is their size and weight. Every rider should consider the helmets’ size & weight, and it is a must for riders spending a considerable amount of time with motorcycles.
Riding a motorcycle must be a comfortable experience so, try the helmets before purchasing one. You must always try helmets prior to purchase and check for the fit. Wear the helmets for a couple of minutes.
The first thing to check is fitness/size, your face should move without any delay. And helmets shouldn’t move if you are not moving your head. The Chin strip should be tight enough that only one or two fingers fit in the bottom of the chin strip.
The second thing to consider is the weight of the helmet prior to purchase. If you are feeling too much weight and uncomfortable then the helmet is too weighty. And you should try some other helmets that are lighter.
There are some other tests that you can perform for a better selection of the helmets such as walking with a worn helmet, trying to look at your chest, pushing back, looking upward ( it should not become loose), etc. These were a handful of trials to check the helmet fitness & weight for the rider.
The Ventilation system is designed in helmets to keep the rider’s head cool with constant airflow around the head. It gives the rider an airflow inside the helmets as he/she rides and evaporates the sweat and keeps the fresh air inside the helmet.
Ventilation is the most important aspect in order to have a long and comfortable riding.
The vent comes in full-face helmets and ¾ helmets, But Vent is not available in the half-face helmet because there is no need. They are in constant touch with the wind.
But when it comes to buying full-face helmets or ¾ size helmets for the long-term riding. You must check the vents because it is the ultimate thing that will be responsible for comfortable riding. And nowadays helmets are equipped with an adjustable vent that you can adjust according to the need and weather. Here is a helpful video giving a glimpse of vents on different helmets.
Visor/ Face Shield
Your vision should be crystal clear while you ride a motorcycle. Thus, it becomes to save the eyes from the speck of dirt, bugs, debris, etc. That’s why a face shield/ Visor is very important.
All motorcycle helmets except half-face helmets come with a face shield. Those who buy half-face helmets should use glasses, which are also effective to save the eyes.
Visors in full-face helmets are customizable and designed to be removable for cleaning purposes. And, if you encounter any problem with the visor, you can change it with another face-shield visor. Apart from this must look for anti-fog, anti-scratch, etc to have better vision even in different weather.
5 Budget Helmets under $500
Nobody wants to spend too much money just on motorcycle helmets. That’s why I will give you a little overview by listing some budget full-face helmets.
Here is the list of top 5 budget helmets under $500.
It is one of the budget full-face helmets from the Shoei manufacturer. It is known for making premium and expensive helmets. The helmet price is $399 which is a little high but completely justified because of its comfort and features.
This helmet has a compact, aerodynamic shell design with aggressive styling. It comes with three upper air vents for optimum air intake.
Its face shield/visor comes with a fog resistance system and blocks 99% UV rays to protect your eyes.
It is available in 4 shell sizes XS to XXL. Apart from all this, The feature that I liked most is its E.Q.R.S system.
Emergency Quick Release System (E.Q.R.S) allows medical personal to gently remove the cheek pads safely from an injured rider’s helmet with minimal load on the injured rider’s head.
Reasons to buy
- Comes in 4 different sizes
- It comes with a 5-year warranty
- Equipped with E.Q.R.S technology
- It has a safety rating of 5/5 from Sharp
- DOT and Snell Approved
Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS — Price $269
It is a full-face polycarbonate lightweight helmet. It comes with a proper vent that will keep your head cool while flowing out warm air and heat.
It’s a MIPS version that means a Multi-directional impact protection system. This is designed to reduce the rotational forces while any accident. It saves the rider’s skull and head from twisting, which is good in terms of safety.
Apart from this, its visor is also advanced to provide a Photochromic anti-fog and anti-UV shield.
Reasons to buy
- It comes with MIPS
- DOT and ECE Approved
- It has a Sharp rating of 3 out of 5
Shark Ridill Nelum full face helmets – $179
It is a new entry-level full-face helmet by Shark Helmets which provides features of top range helmets.
The helmet is integrated with all the features that any premium one contains. Shark Ridill is made outer shell is made with a Poly-carbonate shell and that makes it light-weight. It comes with an optimized and adjustable ventilation system to provide cooling to your head and keep sweat out.
Reasons to buy
- Easy and fast shield change
- Light-weight and Comfortable fit
- DOT Approved
- It comes with 5 years of warranty
HJC C70 : Price: $150
This is one of the top-rated cheapest full-face motorcycle helmets. It is made with Advanced Polycarbonate Composite Shell that makes it a lightweight and comfortable helmet.
It comes with ACS (Advance channeling Ventilation) that allows full front-to-back airflow to flush heat and sweat out.
This helmet is available in all sizes and multiple styles, colors. So, wear your fashion with safety.
If we talk about its visor then you have many options to choose from.
Apart from all this, HJC helmet parts are fully replaceable in case of breaks due to accidents. It includes a chin curtain, cheek pads, gear plate, vents, headliner, etc.
Reasons to buy
- It comes with 5 years of warranty
- All sizes available
- Variety of design for helmets
- The safety rating of 5/5 by Sharp
- DOT and ECE Approved
LS2 Stream Evo FF320 : Price: $117
It is another cheapest helmet available in the US Market with ECE certified Sticker. The thing that I liked about this helmet is its flash colors and solid design.
Its visor is made with “A class polycarbonate” which provides high resistance to the impact. Apart from this, it provides maximum clear visibility along with scratch resistance and UV protection.
LS2 helmets provide a channeled EPS ventilation system for maximized airflow throughout the head and retaining coolness.
Reasons to buy
- It comes in solid colors and flash designs
- Comfortable with removable parts
- ECE Certified
In this post, I have talked most about buying helmets. You should spend at least $200 to get a safety-certified helmet under the budget. But again, if you are a hardcore rider, you should at least spend $500 for better protection in a sudden fall. I tried to cover as many things as I can cover in this post. If you have still some query then you can reach us on the contact page.
Are expensive motorcycle helmets worth it?
Expensive helmets are made out of high-quality material and have gone through multiple organizations for certifications like DOT, ECE, Sharp, and especially Snell. The protection of these helmets is of great value that can save lives even in dangerous accidents. Thus making a purchase of an expensive helmet is totally worth it.
Are more expensive motorcycle helmets always safer?
Expensive motorcycle helmets don’t always mean safer. Even if you buy a $300 helmets that perfectly fits your head and is rated with DOT then that motorcycle helmet is also safer. Shoei makes some expensive helmets by keeping the riders’ comforts in mind and that helmets don’t qualify for the Snell rating standard. So, it is not true that expensive helmets are always safer.
Which is the safest helmet type?
Snell rating helmets are designed for sports range and thus the testing is also rigorous. So, if you are looking for the safest helmet type then go with Snell rating helmets. And you can also go with helmets that have 5/5 Sharp ratings. These are the safest motorcycle helmets you can find available in the market.
Also, there is an old motorcycle proverb, “Show me how big is the accident going to be?” I will show you the safest helmet. Therefore we can’t conclude everything on a just rating until we know the intensity of accidents.