Best Motorcycle Racing Helmets: Protect Your Head on the Track
These top motorcycle racing helmets are great for competition
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There are a variety of different helmets for different types of motorcycling. Racing helmets are strong, lightweight, and aerodynamic. They also provide superior ventilation. When you're on the track, the last thing you want to worry about is the helmet on your head. The best motorcycle racing helmets provide optimal protection and safeguard your skull in a crash. Check out some of the best options in our buying guide below.
The helmet has multiple air intakes and exhaust for maximum airflow. It features an adjustable liner, it's very lightweight, and it can be used with racing tear-offs.
- Anti-fog technology
- Pinlock knobs could be distracting
- May vary from the picture
This affordable helmet comes in either black or white and sizes small through XX-large. It has an ABS shell and multi-density EPS construction
- Aerodynamic shape
- Plenty of venting
- Foam padding is thin
- Not compatible with glasses
This DOT-certified helmet comes in seven colorful designs and sizes X-small through XX-large. It has an EPS inner core and an outer polycarbonate shell.
- Ellip-Tex Ratchet System
- Kwikfit cheek pads
- Small air vents
- Only comes with clear face shield
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Benefits of Motorcycle Racing Helmets
- Provide head protection. The best motorcycle helmet for racing is designed to do one thing and do it well: protect your head. If you don't wear the proper full-face helmet on the track, you are setting yourself up for injury and even death. Racing helmets are much more effective than open-face helmets and modular helmets.
- High-quality. Helmet manufacturers spend a lot of time and money researching and designing their products to ensure that they protect riders in a crash. The best motorcycle racing helmets can even decrease the effects of brain rotation.
- Meet federal guidelines. The best motorcycle road racing helmets meet or exceed federal safety standards. Many track and race organizers hold tech inspections to ensure that the helmet you're wearing is safe.
- Make racing fun. Riding on the track can be addictive, and the more protected you feel the more fun you will have. Going to the track can improve your skills and make you a better rider. When you're wearing the proper helmet, you can let loose and enjoy the ride.
Bell was started by founder Roy Richter in a garage in 1954. The company creates Bell helmets for auto racing, motorcycling, and bicycling. Bell is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, and one of its top products is the Bell Race Star Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet.
The Japanese company Arai Helmet, Ltd. was founded in 1937. It started off making military headgear in the 1930s, industrial helmets following World War II, and motorcycle helmets in the early 1950s. The U.S.-based facility is in Pennsylvania. One of its popular products is the Arai Signet X Helmet.
Shoei Co., Ltd. is another Japanese company that manufactures motorsport helmets. It's been making protective headgear since 1958. Shoei designs helmets for several Grand Prix motorcycle racers. One helmet to consider is the Shoei X-Fourteen White Full Face Helmet.
Italian motorcycle helmet manufacturer AGV has been in business since 1947. It's known for making the first fiberglass full-face helmet. Several of its riders have made history in motorcycle racing. Check out this AVG helmet for everyday riding: AGV Unisex-Adult Full Face K-1 Warmup Motorcycle Helmet.
Motorcycle Racing Helmets Pricing
- $150-$900: Expect to pay a lot for a motorcycle racing helmet. It's a worthy investment because it will provide optimal protection in a crash. These helmets are designed to be lightweight and aerodynamic and are made of high-quality materials, such as carbon fiber and kevlar.
The best helmets will circulate air and provide maximum airflow when you’re racing. The best motorcycle racing helmets feature intake and exhaust vents that you can easily open and close. Many are adjustable for comfort. The vents bring cold air in when you need it and shut it out when you don't.
Field of Vision
Look at the eye-port opening of the helmet. Some helmets have higher openings than others, which can affect your field of view. For example, sport bike riders often prefer a higher opening, which compensates for lower handlebars as well as their riding position. Many racing helmets are designed to provide optimum vertical and lateral visibility, so you see what’s around you when you’re on the track.
While all these features are important, it's vital that you get a helmet that fits your head properly. If it doesn't, it won't protect you very well. Some helmets have a break-in period, while others fit comfortably from the start. It's okay if a helmet is tight at first because it will wear in over time. A helmet that's too large and moves easily around your head may come off during an impact.
Official and professional races have a variety of safety requirements. If possible, focus on the latest helmets rated by the Snell Memorial Foundation even though many events permit helmets that are rated the previous year. SA-rated helmets are professional grade and are often used in auto races.
M-rated helmets are designed for motorcycle racing. They have a wider field of vision than SA helmets but provide a lower level of protection. K-rated helmets are for karting and have similar impact protection as SA helmets but are not as fire-retardant. Experts recommend purchasing an M-rated helmet because they are versatile and provide good protection.
- Material: Helmets are made of either fiberglass, carbon fiber, kevlar, or mold-injected plastic, which is the most common. Racing helmets are typically kevlar and carbon fiber, so they're very strong and absorb greater impacts. Fiberglass helmets are also designed to take impact and can withstand greater impact than plastic helmets.
- Liner: Some competitions have stringent safety requirements, and you may need a helmet with a fire-retardant inner lining in order to participate. Some brands make antimicrobial liners that keep sweat and grime from building up inside your helmet. Other liners are adjustable and/or removable for easy cleaning.
- Padding: Many helmets have pads that you can add or remove as necessary. You need a snug fit so that your head doesn't bounce around inside the helmet when you're riding. Adjust the pads for comfort and fit, and make sure they're not too tight that they cause discomfort.
- Face Shield: The best motorcycle racing helmets have face shields that are easy to install and remove. It can be frustrating if it's hard to remove the shield. Many helmets come with clear visors, but you have the option of replacing it with a tinted shield, which can help with visibility.
Best Motorcycle Racing Helmets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Once you purchase a helmet, make sure it fits. This is particularly important if you buy it online. Before removing the shield stickers, wear it around the house for about 10 minutes. If it's not comfortable or too small or large, return it.
- Don't wear an expensive helmet for many, many years just because you spent a lot of money on it. You need to replace helmets on a regular basis so they provide optimal protection in a crash.
- Look at the helmet’s chin strap fastener. It's easier if the helmet has a simple fastener that prevents the loose end from flapping in the wind. It should also be easy to use when you have gloves on.
- Some helmets are Bluetooth- and speaker-compatible. If you like listening to music when you ride, find a helmet that is designed to accommodate a sound and/or communication system.
Q: How do I know that it’s time to buy a new helmet?
A: You need a new helmet if your current one is more than five years old, if it doesn't fit properly, or if it suffered an impact in a crash. You also need to replace a helmet if it shows heavy wear and/or is in poor condition.
Q: Which helmet safety standard is best?
A: Most helmets are DOT/Snell- or DOT/ECE-certified. Cheaper helmets are DOT-certified only. Ideally, you should wear a helmet that has Snell certification.
Q: Are more expensive helmets safer?
A: More expensive helmets usually have higher-quality inner linings and tend to last a lot longer than cheap motorcycle helmets. Pricier helmets are often lighter weight and provide a fit that’s a bit more snug. Still, affordable helmets—as well as expensive ones—can be DOT- and Snell-certified, which is a testament to their safety.
Our pick for the best motorcycle racing helmet is the Shoei X-Fourteen White Full Face Helmet. It's available in three colors, is very comfortable, and is great for visibility.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the YEMA Motorcycle Full Face Helmet. It comes in a wide range of sizes and has an aerodynamic shape and lightweight ABS shell.