If you ride a motorcycle, moped, e-bike, or e-scooter, the best personal protection you can buy is a good helmet. Whether you’re shopping for your first helmet, adding to your collection, or buying for someone else, this is a great time of the year to find deals. You can go all-out with carbon fiber and the latest racing lid, go for it, but there are loads of cheap motorcycle helmets available. We rounded up the best motorcycle helmet deals available today for various types of riders. Below, we also included some useful advice on how to choose a motorcycle helmet.
- AHR RUN-C Motorcycle Half Face Helmet — $34, was $47
- Bell Pit Boss Open-Face Motorcycle Helmet — $120, was $130
- Bell RS-2 Helmet — $147, was $200
- Bell Bullitt Helmet — $420
- YEMA Motorcycle Helmet — Starting at $80, was $80
Because your noggin’s pretty important, don’t buy a motorcycle helmet on price alone. There are plenty of good deals available, but at a minimum, you want the protection and security of a helmet that’s Department of Transportation (DOT) approved — anything else is a toy and not capable of protecting your skull or worthy of your dollars.
Motorcycle helmet standards, approvals, and certifications
In the U.S., there are two helmet safety standards to consider: D.O.T. and Snell. Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) FMVSS1218 is the minimum standard required to sell a helmet for use on street motorcycles in the U.S. Manufacturers certify that their helmets meet the D.O.T. standard on their own. The tests include impact, penetration, strap strength, and peripheral vision range.
Snell Memorial Foundation approval, or Snell, requires additional tests. Snell approval isn’t required for helmets sold in the U.S., and a helmet with both D.O.T. and Snell approvals isn’t necessarily safer than one with D.O.T. only. However, f you want a helmet design that has passed independent testing rather than relying only on the manufacturer, buying a helmet with both approvals is a good idea.
Different types of riding and riders need different helmets. There are helmets designed specifically for motocross bikes, off-road scramblers, sportbikes, touring bikes, cruisers, and smaller bikes including scooters, mopeds, and many more variations.
Helmet style includes personal preference (Do you like the way it looks?) and structural design. Open face, 3/4, full-face, and modular styles all have their adherents. A good full-face helmet protects your face as well as your head. If you’re not sure if face protection matters that much, consider what it would feel like and what could happen if you ran into a June bug at 50 miles an hour during a summer evening ride. If you don’t have a full-face helmet or at least a face shield, just remember to keep your mouth shut when you ride, especially in the early evening.
Dark-tinted face shields may look cool or menacing, depending on who’s looking, but test before you buy an extra-dark face shield because you don’t want to impede visibility.
Most newer full-face helmets have one or more ventilation channels, usually with slide controls to keep the air out when the weather is cold. If you have any chance to try a helmet before buying, check that the ventilation actually helps. If you’re not sure, look around for buyer testimonials.
Touring bikes often serve as two-wheel infotainment and communications centers. If you’ll be wearing a full helmet and want to be able to take calls, stream audio, and chat with others on your ride, consider buying a helmet that accommodates communications electronics such as those made by Sena or Cardo.
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