From understanding motorcycle-related jargon to figuring out what type of motorcycle is right for you, there’s a lot to learn before hitting the road on a two-wheeler. That includes finding the best motorcycle helmet — one that balances price, safety, technology, and handsome good looks. Here are our top picks for 2021.
Bell Custom 500 Carbon RSD Checkmate Helmet
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This modern twist on Bell’s iconic Custom 500 helmet boasts all the good looks and build quality of the original. Improvements include a new headform for a better fit and a thin carbon fiber shell that allows it to sit lower and more comfortably on the head.
Icon Variant Pro Ghost Carbon Helmet
After more than a decade on the market, Portland-based Icon rebooted its favorite Variant helmet. The new, flagship Ghost Carbon edition boasts a blended, reinforced Dyneema and fiberglass shell, along with a slew of other technical features.
Ruby Castel St. Germain Helmet
Boutique European outfit Les Ateliers Ruby caters to the “money is no object crowd” with super-premium helmets that deftly blend style and function unlike any other. The retro-modern Castel St. German Helmet features an open port design, a subtle central “spine,” and chrome-plated steel exhaust vents that add breathability and a bad-ass aesthetic.
Schuberth C4 Pro Helmet
Like most things German-engineered, Schuberth’s C4 Pro Helmet combines state-of-the-art tech with streamlined good looks. It boasts a seamless, washable inner liner and an ultra-tough, proprietary outer shell. Plus, it comes factory wired with a microphone, an internal speaker, and an antenna.
Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Helmet
For that “track-ready” look on the street, there’s Scorpion’s EXO-R1 Air Helmet. The long list of innovative features includes an antimicrobial lining, an emergency release system, a built-in recess for speakers and sunglasses, and a state-of-the-art shell technology that includes fiberglass, poly-resin, and aramid polymers for protecting your dome.
Shark S-DRAK Carbon Helmet
This streamlined, stormtrooper-esque moto helmet boasts a full carbon fiber construction for unparalleled protection. Inside is a plush, premium suede for the ultimate in comfort.
AGV Pista GP RR Carbon Speciale Helmet
In the world of race helmets, AGV is basically the gold standard. It’s the go-to brand for hotshots with money to burn on the world’s most expensive motorcycles and luxe helmets to match. This, the brand’s flagship track helmet, promises an ultra-low drag coefficient, a hydration-system-ready design, near-perfect ventilation, and a beautiful matte carbon fiber shell.
Shoei Ex-Zero Helmet
For a picture-perfect, retro aesthetic, there’s Shoei’s on- and off-road-ready Ex-Zero helmet. Beyond its 80s-inspired good looks, this full-face model also features a drop-down visor, vertical mesh mouth slits, and an extended chin bar.
Quin McQ Nero Helmet
This Steve McQueen-inspired, open-faced helmet offers a handsome, retro-moto design, including contrasting white striping and a quilted red lining. Inside, however, you’ll find the latest in modern helmet technology, including an integrated mic, Bluetooth speakers, and Quin’s patented Intelliquin System that can detect crashes and send out an SOS call in case of an emergency.
Arai Rapide Helmet
Arai’s full-face Rapide Helmet shows off all the retro good looks of last century’s motorcycling era. It’s at once vintage and modern. High-tech safety features include a durable, Superfiber shell, grilled ventilation slits, and an antimicrobial liner.
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