The Best Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide – 2017 edition

If you are passionate about motorcycles and enjoy the thrill and adrenalin burst while riding, you are aware of the fact how dangerous it can get on the road. Adequate gear can (literally) be a lifesaver. In this text, we are going to help you find the best motorcycle helmet 2017.

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What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Helmet?

Although different people have different priorities when buying a helmet, there are few features that everyone should consider before making the final decision.

1. Safety

It is not surprising that this feature is first on our list knowing that the essential purpose of a motorcycle helmet is to keep your head (and life) safe in case of an accident.

We advise you to buy a helmet that is DOT tested, or Snell tested, or in the best-case scenario that it is both DOT and Snell tested. Helmets which are DOT and Snell tested were tested on retention, impact and peripheral vision. These standards are the most acknowledged when it comes to the safety.

2. Comfort

Even though we have hesitated what to put as a second most important feature, design or comfort, the choice naturally fell on comfort for an apparent reason. It is more important to feel cozy (especially if you wear a helmet for hours) than to look pretty.

Many reputable brands make helmets that fit easily and provide a comfortable wearing. The key to finding the most comfortable helmet is to try various models. The helmet is comfortable if it can be easily put on and off and if it doesn’t squeeze your head. Also, try to avoid too heavy helmets because they are not very comfortable for wearing. Lightweight helmets are up to 1650 grams.

3. Design

The design of the helmet should reflect your personality and encourage you to wear it all the time. Helmet’s design varies in colors, lines and graphic. Some manufacturers even allow you to personalize your helmet and make it unique.

4. Price

Before buying the helmet, decide how much money you can and want to spend on it. Bear in mind that the price of the helmet doesn’t define its quality. So, the expensive models aren’t necessarily better than mid-priced or even lower-priced helmets.

Garret Wilson

Advantages of Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet

The primary goal of a motorcycle helmet is to prevent or reduce head injuries in case of an accident. One statistic concluded that helmets reduce the risk of the head injuries by 69% and death by 42%. Also, helmets protect against cervical spine injuries.

Wearing motorcycle helmets protects your eyes from the dust, bugs, stones, sand and gravel. It warms your face and keeps you dry when it rains.

Helmets protect your ears from unnecessary wind and traffic noise. Due to the high-speed, the noise of the wind can damage your hearing. Models that block the wind noise are available on the market.

Accessories

The basic motorcycle helmet’s accessories are speakers and camera.

Speakers

One of the best things about driving a car is listening to your favorite music and singing. This stress-releasing experience is now available to the motorcycle drivers. If you aren’t lucky owner of a bike with its own audio system, installing your helmet with speakers may be the solution. These speakers are installed near the ear cavities and can be hooked to a mobile phone. Many manufacturers make these holes by default, and some can leave space for the speakers if requested.

Camera

Motorcycle helmet camera is installed on the top of the helmet. It records your whole journey from the moment you put your helmet on until you take it off. Helmet cameras are convenient for recording funny situations that often happen in traffic or to record an accident. In this case, recording can be used in the court as evidence material.

Best Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcycle Helmet for Women

The times have changed so riding a motorcycle is not “manly” activity anymore. The number of women who own a motorcycle or are co-drivers has increased significantly during the last ten years. For this reason, many manufacturers have designed motorcycle helmets particularly for women.

The two main differences between men and women helmets are in the neck design and the size chart. Men helmets are round at the bottom, and women helmets are arched upwards to provide better support.

The size chart for women is entirely different from the men’s chart. Also, women helmets are lighter than helmets for men.

Top 5 Best Motorcycle Helmets 2017 – Individual Reviews

HJC CL-17 Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet

HJC CL-17 Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet Review

The HJC CL-17 comes as the latest iteration of the CL line of motorcycle Full-Face Helmets which, in our opinion, are one of the world’s most famous helmet types for sure. It is equipped with the best safety features in the class, and we found it to be very comfortable too. Also, it is very lightweight yet super strong, being made out of the polycarbonate composite material which has been a part of the company’s manufacturing process for many years in the past.

The CL-17 has proved to be a comfortable, well designed and quite stylish helmet which will certainly ensure the safety of motorcyclists. It is also priced reasonably well given the fact that it is loaded with tons of great features.


PROS

  • This helmet is Snell 2010, and DOT FMVSS-208 certified which means this is one of the safest helmets in this price range.
  • The face shield is designed to pop off quite easy, and it was a breeze to replace it. Also, they are compatible with all HJC models which are great.
  • When it comes to the ventilation system, we have to say that it was a huge step forward from previous models. Even when riding in summer, we had the pleasure of enjoying the coolness of air due to the Advanced Channeling Ventilation System.
  • The shield has both anti-fogging and UV protected capabilities.

CONS

  • It wasn’t a big issue, but like all other products in this class – it needs a little maintenance if you want to ensure its longer life.
  • One of the biggest downsides of this product is its weight since it is built entirely from polycarbonate. Wearing it for an extended period of time will cause you some neck strain for sure.
  • Also, a minor issue is that this model allows you for only three different face positions, so you won’t be able to ride if it’s cracked. The extra shield is advised.
HJC CL-17 Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Matte Black, Medium)
71 Reviews
HJC CL-17 Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Matte Black, Medium)
  • Advanced Polycarbonate Composite Shell; Lightweight, superior fit and comfort using advanced CAD technology
  • Anti-Scratch Pinlock ready Faceshield (HJ-09) New 3D design provides 95 percent U.V. protection; Side shield lock mechanism for a ultra-secure seal; For ultimate Anti-Fog system add a optional Pinlock insert (sold separately)
  • RapidFire Shield Replacement System; Simple and secure shield ratchet system provides ultra-quick, tool-less removal and installation for efficient operation
  • ACS Advanced Channeling Ventilation System; Full front to back airflow flushes heat and humidity up and out
  • SuperCool Moisture-Wicking Interior; Fully removable cheek pads and liner; Anti-Bacterial Fabric; All sizes of cheek pads are interchangeable in all helmet sizes

Shoei RF-1200 Matte Black Full Face Helmet

Shoei RF-1200 Matte Black Full Face Helmet Review

The Shoei RF-1200 Matte Black Full Face Helmet is the latest iteration of the popular RF-series. It is an all-around helmet which comes with different graphics and colors and four sizes from XS to XXL head size range. This is the DOT version of the RF-1200 which is Snell certified and the finish, feel and overall quality of this helmet are second to none. Also, the shell itself feels very sturdy and solid combined with the close tolerances for the vents.

This helmet is a much-needed product for Shoei which has somewhat lacked innovations in recent years. It has good looks and provides superb value. Its exceptional quality should set it apart on the market making it an excellent choice for bikers in need of a helmet for touring, sport riding, commuting, track days or all mentioned at once.

Read more: Best Full Face Helmets of 2017​


PROS

  • CWR-1 visor has pronounced ribs at the top as well at the bottom giving it extra strength.
  • QR-E base plate features five position ratchet adjustments located on each side allowing you to adjust the fit of the visor to seal wind noise.
  • The vents are moving with oiled precision making the task of closing or opening a vent to be a pleasure.
  • Pockets for speakers features noise-deadening foam which is a smart use of empty space.
  • Whichever comes first, Shoei has a seven years warranty from the manufacture date or five years from the purchase date.

CONS

  • The Pinlock visor insert between the ribs will prevent fogging, but it can lead to starring during the night ride.
  • There is not enough ventilation in the chin area, unfortunately.
  • The noise levels are rather disappointing during the ride with a windscreen which directs air at the helmet.
  • Even with a good fit for your head size, which can be somewhat challenging since it runs small in size, the shell itself is relatively large which we found a bit strange.
Shoei RF-1200 Matte Black Full Face Helmet - Large
86 Reviews
Shoei RF-1200 Matte Black Full Face Helmet - Large
  • Light Weight Multi-Ply Matrix AIM+ Shell Construction
  • Ventilation System
  • 3D Max-Dry System II Interior
  • Standards: Snell-M2010, DOT
  • Construction: AIM+ (Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus Multi-Ply)

Nolan N44 Trilogy Solid Helmet

Nolan N44 Trilogy Solid Helmet Review

The Nolan N44 is a six-way crossover helmet which can be converted from a full-face to an off-road style which makes it a true modular in the biker’s definition of the word. With its solid build quality, better-than-average ventilation and many other useful features we find it to be one of the most interesting motorcycle helmets you can get on the market today.

While we are not sure how many riders will benefit from all six variations, one thing is for sure: this helmet can provide a vast amount of visibility with its removable chin bar, full-face guise and the large face shield in place.


PROS

  • This helmet features a Pinlock system which should provide an anti-fog visor paired with a silicone-sealed profile as well with the anti-fog insert, and it works pretty well.
  • It comes in two outer shell sizes made of injected polycarbonate GE Lexan making it very lightweight and very proportionate to the rider’s size. That means that the sizing is very accurate and it fits very well in the chin/nose area.
  • The ventilation system is exceptionally equipped with an air intake in the frontal area, in the chin guard and with two rear extractors which are recycling air inside the helmet.
  • We liked the internal sunscreen short dark shield which is mounted on the inside of the shell which also has a UV rays protection from the sun.

CONS

  • While it isn’t a significant issue, there is not a lot of padding inside, and some people might find it uncomfortable.
  • We had some trouble removing the liner which could be an issue when it comes to cleaning.
  • While most helmets feature a steel ring you can lock to, in this case, there is no possibility to secure the helmet to the bike, unfortunately.
  • The chin strap can cause a slight discomfort since it crosses a little too far back.
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Nolan N44 Trilogy Solid Helmet (Platinum Silver, X-Large)
60 Reviews
Nolan N44 Trilogy Solid Helmet (Platinum Silver, X-Large)
  • Crossover design with quick-change accessories

Bell Qualifier Unisex-Adult Full Face Street Helmet

Bell Qualifier Unisex-Adult Full Face Street Helmet Review

Bell Qualifier Unisex-Adult Full Face Street Helmet is referred to as a bang for the buck by its company, and we have to say it is true. It features an exceptional Transitions photochromic visor, and it has a fantastic ClickRelease face shield release system. Also, we found it to have a good all-around ventilation with a chin vent composed of two vent ports.

Safety, comfort and yet attractive designs are all included in the Bell Qualifier Helmet. Its design is also very effective which has proved to have some useful features with only a few drawbacks. By all means, it is not perfect, but for the price, we have to say that it is pretty decent made and very comfortable.


PROS

  • The visor on this fairly priced helmet was one of the finest innovations in our experience. It reacts to available light by becoming darker as the day gets brighter. Basically, it can go from absolutely clear to totally dark saving us the hassle of changing visors.
  • Although there was a bit of noise inside the helmet, it could be easily compensated with the speaker pockets to drown out the noise caused by the wind.
  • We liked its effective design with the exterior aerodynamic shape and the comfortable fit interior shape.
  • It comes in various styles and sizes to meet all head measurements for a pretty close fit.

CONS

  • There is no Pinlock anti-mist visor insert so that it will fog badly.
  • The lid is somewhat on the heavy side while the quality of the lining is not as plush as in other helmets of this class, unfortunately.
  • The substantial press studs which are there to secure the removable lining in place were touching my forehead, and it was very annoying after a long ride.
  • It was very strange that it doesn’t have a chin curtain to block air from entering under a mouth area and it was causing a fair amount of noise within the helmet.
Bell Qualifier Unisex-Adult Full Face Street Helmet (Solid Matte Black, Large) (D.O.T.-Certified)
322 Reviews
Bell Qualifier Unisex-Adult Full Face Street Helmet (Solid Matte Black, Large) (D.O.T.-Certified)
  • Lightweight Polycarbonate/ABS Shell Construction
  • Click Release Shield for fast, easy and tool-free shield replacement
  • NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch and UV protected shield
  • Padded Wind Collar drastically reduces wind and road noise
  • Removable/washable interior. Contoured cheek pads. Integrated speaker pockets. Padded chin strap with D-ring closure. Industry-leading Five-year warranty

ILM 10 Colors Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip up Modular Full Face Helmet DOT

ILM 10 Colors Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip up Modular Full Face Helmet Review

The ILM 10 Colors Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip Up Modular Full Face Helmet proved to be worthy of its reputation with its many great functions. This helmet would fit perfectly without loosening or tighten your head. Also, the chin strap appears to be sturdy and well made, also well padded.

The paint and color variations of this helmet looked good, fashionable and durable enough giving its affordable price. Both primary and secondary shields were easy enough to operate even with thick winter gloves with a little practice.


PROS

  • It has a quick release chin strap that proved to be very convenient rather than having to tangle with the loops.
  • The flip down sun visor is dark enough eliminating the need for sunglasses.
  • We liked how it locks in, and you can flip the face up which will make the stops easier when we wanted to take a break on the trails.
  • Another feature that we liked is the removable liner paired with snaps in the back which will hold it in the proper position.

CONS

  • It has a very strong chemical smell. However, after a while, it will fade, but it will not be gone.
  • To lift the visor, we had to squeeze the sides on the bottom which is not an issue, but it requires both hands.
  • The visor which is tinted has some wavy spots in it which distorted the view, and it was somewhat annoying.
ILM 10 Colors Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip up Modular Full Face Helmet DOT (L, Matte Black)
181 Reviews
ILM 10 Colors Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip up Modular Full Face Helmet DOT (L, Matte Black)
  • EPS Impact Absorption Inner Liner
  • Meets or Exceeds FMVSS-218 and DOT Safety Standards
  • Helmet Liner / Cheek Pads are Lightweight, Soft and Easily Removable and Washable
  • Sleek and Lightweight Design Reduces Wind Noise
  • Modular Flip-Up Function Anti-Scratch, Anti-Fog and Wide View Clear Visor

Conclusion & Our Recommendation

After having the pleasure to test and try all of the motorcycle helmets reviewed above, we came to the conclusion that the HJC CL-17 Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet beats out the competition and has proven to be the best motorcycle helmet that you can buy on the market today.

The HJC CL-17 is one of the safest helmets compared to the competition since it is Snell 2010 and DOT FMVS-208 certified and we liked that especially in this price range. Also, it has excellent and actually working ventilation system which was way ahead of its rivals. We had the pleasure to wear it in the hot summer days, and it was quite enjoyable. Reasonably priced and loaded with great features, we firmly stand behind our decision and recommend this product to every motorcycle enthusiast.

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Michael Hafer
 

Our motive is to ease the lives of the bike riders who are looking to buy helmets, but find themselves stuck in the labyrinth of a countless number of brands. I love riders, motorcycles and wanted to help everybody pick the right products for their helmet.