The Best Motocross Helmets (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Stay safe when you hit the open road with these top-rated motocross helmets
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON February 19, 2021
When you’re ready to hit the trails and start off-roading on your new dirtbike, safety is the top priority. Every rider needs a quality motocross helmet to protect their neck and head in case of a tumble. These helmets have to meet certain standards, namely those prescribed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). By choosing a helmet constructed according to these safety guides, you can be sure of getting maximum protection. It prevents damage from impact, helping to avoid traumatic brain injury and neck damage alike. In conjunction with other gear (motocross pants, gloves, etc.), you can be fully decked out for your ride.
Want to find a motocross helmet that’s both safe and stylish? That’s exactly why we crafted this list. We’ve broken down the best motocross helmets on the market to help you track down the perfect fit. This piece goes through essential details about important helmet features. By learning what to look for in a helmet, you can find the ideal head protection for your ride. Let’s get started.
Featuring a sleek design and retractable visor, this helmet provides full face and neck protection. It meets all safety standards and is built to last.
- The helmet has DOT certification for off-road use.
- It works on ATVs, motocross bikes, and other vehicles.
- The inside of the helmet is easy to maintain.
- The interior padding can be harsh on sensitive skin.
- Need to open the clear visor to control the shaded one.
Offering comprehensive protection against injury, this affordable helmet meets all necessary DOT standards. It’s crafted exclusively of high-grade materials.
- The helmet comes at a friendly price point.
- It’s constructed of tough ABS plastic.
- Highly durable and user-friendly.
- Includes a shaded visor.
- Helmet sizes run large, even when using the measurement chart.
- Often, the helmets arrive a size too big.
Coming in multiple sizes, this stylish helmet provides full head and face protection. It’s available in several colors and meets all relevant safety standards for off-roading.
- Comfortable design balances lightweight structure with protection.
- Includes a quality face shield.
- Interior wicks away moisture.
- Whole helmet is easy to wash.
- This helmet comes at a fairly high price point.
- Creates significant noise when driving at high speeds.
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Benefits of Motocross Helmets
- Protects your head and neck. Properly certified and constructed motocross helmets ensure that, in the event of a fall, you are kept safe from injury. Motocross helmets are built to keep the most vulnerable areas secure.
- Visors offer eye protection. This component pulls down to over your eyes and acts in place of goggles. It keeps dust and debris out of your eyes and off your skin. Some helmets have a shaded visor that protects you from the sun.
- Prevents noise and vibration. The design is made aerodynamically to prevent vibration when you hit high speeds. The padding and structure of the helmet stop it from getting too noisy while you ride.
- Keeps your hair dry. Both in terms of moisture-wicking and precipitation resistance, motocross helmets keep your hair dry. The padding is made to be ventilated and whisk away sweat. The polymer exterior keeps rain away from your hair in the event of a downpour.
- Helps avoid wind resistance. When you face too much wind, it can force your neck in an unpleasant way. These helmets are made to cut through the wind with angular fronts and aerodynamic structures.
- Meets safety standards. The biggest benefit of motocross helmets is the performance standards they are designed to meet. DOT certification ensures that you don’t have to worry about the impact resistance thresholds and other specifics. These are taken care of by checking if it meets the necessary standards.
Types of Motocross Helmets
The full-face type of motocross helmet provides full neck and head coverage. It is the most common type of motocross helmet, due to the safety features. With a piece going over the chin and either a space for goggles or a visor, these helmets are thorough. The space of the chin bar may differ depending on the helmet’s purpose and the speed of travel. Higher chin bars are better for faster speeds.
While entirely safe, these helmets have a more relaxed design. The head is protected on the top and at the sides, though the face isn’t covered. This type of helmet must be used in conjunction with goggles if it doesn’t feature a visor. Since there is no chin bar, open face options can be less restricting. However, roads that kick up debris are less suited to these helmets due to the lack of face and neck coverage.
These helmets combine the benefits of off-road needs with full-face features. The helmets usually have a substantial visor and a distinct chin bar. Usually incorporating some sort of protection for the eyes, these helmets are often preferred for moto crossing. Typically, these helmets will be both aerodynamically structured and noise-reducing. These helmets are, in most cases, designed to meet DOT standards.
These types of helmets are best-suited towards moto crossing and off-roading, especially on trails. With full protection including a chin bar, a visor, and side protection, it offers complete security from incidents. Though not all of these selections come with eye protection, there are many which include a shaded visor. Generally, this type of motocross helmet is heavily aerodynamic.
The most basic motorbike helmet on the market, and not recommended for motocross. Some still receive approval from the DOT, though, so their use is best confined to street use. Coverage extends to halfway down the sides of the head and there is no significant visor protrusion. Usually, this style incorporates less aerodynamic components and is more rounded. It is essential to have some form of external face protection when using these helmets.
By flipping up from a full-face helmet, modular-type options give you the choice of multiple settings. Both the bar and the visor are capable of adjusted placement which can expose the face. Usually, these helmets incorporate a separate visor that offers shading from the sun. Chin bars are usually lower on modular models than on strictly full-face selections.
Opening its doors in 1982, Vega Auto Accessories is an Indian company that has a comprehensive assortment of headgear options. One of its fan-favorite options is the Vega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Helmet.
Focusing entirely on crafting high-quality helmets of all types, GLX began operations in 2011. With roots in California, this business has a huge array of helmets. A top offering is the GLX Youth Off-Road Helmet.
After opening its doors in 1970, O’Neal dedicated itself to constructing top-tier motocross gear that balances style and safety. Founded and operated by dedicated riders, O’Neal became one of the leading names in helmets. A popular selection is the O’Neal Full-Face Sierra II Helmet.
Motocross Helmet Pricing
- Under $100: Helmets in this range span all the different types. While the helmets offer chin straps, face protection, and full coverage, there is less likely to be things like Bluetooth compatibility.
- $100 and up: Within this price range are higher-end options that incorporate improved ventilation, more extreme aerodynamics, and special features like Bluetooth.
The key feature behind any helmet is protection from injury. Break down this feature into face, head, and neck protection. Check for a chin bar if you need one. Look into the visor and eye protection components. Make sure that the sides of your head are secure and that the top of your head has proper protection.
This feature speaks to how comfortable the helmet will be. There are two components to this feature. The first is breathability in terms of padding. Check that it prevents moisture from accruing in the material. The other piece is to make sure the helmet is crafted with ventilation for the exterior. So long as this doesn’t create a noisy environment, the ventilation shafts can keep your hair cool.
Instead of facing a whole bunch of wind-resistance, the aerodynamic features on your helmet speak to its design. This refers to the angle of the front and how it meets the smooth top of the helmet. The air is meant to move around you while you drive. This improves comfort and prevents neck strain while you ride.
The visor feature has dual benefits. The first is that it secures your eyes behind a transparent pane. When you travel at high speeds, dirt and debris can kick up. It keeps your eyes safe from injury. On the other hand, some helmets have dual visors where one layer acts like sunglasses. It prevents ultraviolet radiation damage to your eyes.
This is the component of the helmet that affixes it to your head. A critical feature, you want something that is easy to adjust. Opt for a selection where the clasp is highly durable and the material is attached well to the helmet itself. Be sure that the closure is reliable and easy to handle, even if you’re wearing motocross gloves.
- Size: Be sure that you take proper and up-to-date measurements of your head before beginning your search. You want to consult the sizing chart of each helmet before you choose. Ensure that the helmet fits properly or the safety features will be moot. So long as the helmet fits, you can get the full benefits of its design.
- Maintenance: Eventually, the helmet will require cleaning. Consider how you plan to clean it out. If the helmet has Bluetooth, be sure that it won’t interfere with the cleaning process. Check that the padding is removable and, ideally, machine washable. This will ensure the easiest maintenance and ensures you get the most value from the helmet.
- Style: Even within the different types of helmets, there are different styles. Consider the color and design features. Are you looking for something sleek and subtle? Or is it more bold and loud? There are some with designs and decals while others are more plain and straightforward.
- Sun Protection: For both your eyes and your skin, you need a certain level of UV protection. Consider whether you plan to ride with goggles when you think about what you need out of a visor. Look at whether the helmet features eye protection that also keeps ultraviolet radiation out.
- Weight: When you’re looking for the perfect helmet, consider the amount of weight it holds. You want something sturdy, but it also needs to limit the strain on your neck. Check the specifications of the individual helmet to be sure that it won’t be too heavy. This is particularly important for younger drivers.
Best Motocross Helmets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Keep the helmet well-maintained. Clean the interior padding and let it air dry. Wipe down the outside of the helmet to ensure your closures work properly.
- If you are in an accident, get a new helmet. The structure and design is very effective but only once. After an impact, the force dispersal won’t work again.
- Ensure the visor is clean. To have full visibility while you ride, keep both the inside and the outside wiped down and free of streaks.
- Check the size chart. Measure your head and consult the size chart of the helmet manufacturer. Be sure that you have the right fit for your size.
- Properly strap yourself into the helmet every time. The safety features only work when used properly. Adjust the helmet every time you wear it.
- Use with other safety gear. A helmet alone is not always sufficient. Use it in conjunction with motocross pants and gloves to get the most safety you can.
- Opt for a balance between weight and protection to make sure your neck can support the helmet over lengthy treks.
Q: What are the best motocross helmets?
The best helmets for motocross are those that fit properly, offer comprehensive protection, and are comfortable. A quality option is the WESTT Cross Dirt Bike Helmet for its high performance and sleek design. Motocross helmets must have DOT approval to be safe.
Q: Why do motocross helmets have a peak?
The peak at the front of motocross helmets is there to prevent glare. It also helps keep some dirt and mud off of either the goggles or the visor. This protrusion is usually aerodynamic by design, meaning it won’t create resistance or noise.
Q: Are motocross helmets DOT approved?
To be sure of the helmet’s safety value, yes, it must meet DOT approval standards. These regulations are set forth by the Department of Transportation, the governing body that concerns itself with motorized vehicles of all types, including motocross.
Q: Why are motocross helmets different?
Motocross helmets separate themselves through increased protection for the face. This usually means a more sizable visor and a chin bar. Typically, the chin bars are lower for improved aerodynamics and safety.
Now that you’re familiar with the finer details about motocross helmets, you can make the best pick for you. Perhaps it’s the WESTT Cross Dirt Bike Helmet or the cost-effective ILM Adult ATV Motorcross Helmet. There’s a fit for every rider.