We know you’ve heard the saying before, but really – how much is your head worth? Ask us and we’ll tell you we want to wear the best motorcycle helmet money can buy. Your head really is the most important thing to keep safe, whether you’re on a motorcycle or not. You don’t have to spend as much as most of these ten cost for a truly great helmet, but if you’re really after the best, well, you have to open up the purse a little. The following are some of the best money can buy – including some modular options for street riders or those who like the versatility flip-ups provide. Presented in alphabetical order, the MO staff collectively agree the helmets below have brought the helmet game forward in terms of safety, comfort, design, practicality, or all of the above.
In our humble staff opinion, these are the ten best motorcycle helmets out there today:
Table of Contents
6D ATS-1R – $695
For decades helmet construction was basically the same: a polystyrene shell surrounded your dome and was built to crush upon impact, absorbing the crash force so your head won’t have to. But as motorcycles evolved, helmets didn’t. Until 6D arrived. First came the ATS-1 helmet; now there’s the completely reworked ATS-1R. Using a new and improved version of its ODS (Omni-Directional Suspension) system reduces energy transfer to the head/brain even more than before, says 6D, and makes the R even lighter. Basically, we’ve got tiny springs wedged between two EPS liners, which 6D claims offers unsurpassed security. Read the review here.
AGV K-6 – $529
The latest thing from Italy is the culmination of all of AGV’s helmet technology focussed onto a single helmet for street use. A super light carbon and aramid fiber shell is formed into an aerodynamic shape that works well on any kind of motorcycle, and its intermediate oval shape and four sizes deliver an excellent fit for most heads. A plush Ritmo and Shalimar fabric interior is moisture-wicking, removable and quiet, and the K6’s shield is easily swappable. Solid colors start at $499.
AGV Sportmodular – $600
Weighing in at just a touch over 3.0 pounds, AGV’s new Sportmodular is built entirely from Carbon Fiber. AGV says this flip-up meets the same safety standards as its Pista R MotoGP helmet – while weighing less than its racing counterpart! Built for the sport and sport-touring rider, AGV says it spent countless hours in the wind tunnel to make the SportModular aerodynamic and quiet, while still providing good ventilation and stability. Three shell sizes covering XS to XLLL mean everybody should be able to find a comfortable yet compact fit. Read the full MO review here.
Arai Regent X – $560 – $690
Arai’s reputation is second to none when it comes to helmet safety and quality. Lasty year the Corsair-X was in this space, the same helmet the racers wear on MotoGP and WSBK grids. This year we’re putting in the new Regent X, which is a lot like the Corsair-X but designed around a new shell with an even smoother shape. The same plush comfort, protection and features expected of the brand is here but also something else – the Regent is much easier to get on and off your head. The new reinforcing Hyper Ridge and VAS shield system lower the center of gravity, and the bottom of the new shell flares out 5 mm to make putting the helmet on easier. It’s a subtle but really noticeable difference that makes the Regent easier to deal with in everyday use than the full-race Corsair. Naturally, the Regent still meets Arai’s own safety standards, which surpass both DOT and Snell. The Regent isn’t cheap, but remembering that every Arai is handmade by an expert craftsman in Japan softens the blow. It’s available in a bunch of solid colors and graphics like the Sensation pictured – and we reviewed it here.
Bell Race Star Flex DLX – $750
Back in the day, the Bell Star was the helmet to put on your head because it was the only helmet to put on your head. Fast forward a few decades and Bell’s new flagship is the Race Star Flex. Bell’s lightest and most advanced helmet, the Race Star Flex features a 3K carbon fiber shell that makes it light. Helping protect your noggin from impact forces, the Flex design incorporates three different layers of material at different densities – EPO, EPP, and EPS – to best absorb impact from low-, mid-, and high-speed crashes. From there, magnetic cheek pads, a huge field of view (especially when in the tuck position), a sweat-wicking liner, and excellent ventilation all contribute to the helmet’s premium feel. Finally and best of all-ly, DLX denotes a PanovisioProTint Photochromatic shield is standard equipment.
Bell SRT-Modular – $370
Evans Brasfield himself reviewed the Bell SRT-M last year, and liked it enough to call it a worthy inclusion to this list of best motorcycle helmets. You can tell a lot of thought went into the design of Bell’s premium modular helmet, even though it doesn’t carry a premium price tag. From its aerodynamic shape, to the vents – even down to the shape of the internal flip-down sun visor and its lip extension that keeps turbulent air from coming underneath the chin bar and aggravating your eyes, this is a great lid. With correctly placed grooves for glasses and pockets for communication systems, Bell really thought of everything when it came to designing this practical, flip-front street helmet.
HJC RPHA 11 Pro $400 to $540
RPHA represents the top of the line when it comes to HJC, and the RPHA 11 Pro is the top offering in terms of full-face race helmets from the Korean helmet manufacturer. Lately, HJC is getting notoriety for the wacky graphic designs it’s place on its helmets, a result of the partnerships it has formed with the Marvel, Disney/Star Wars, and Pixar franchises. Pictured is the Mike Wazowski. The wide price variation is strictly to do with that collaboration. But to focus on that would be to miss an excellent helmet in the RPHA 11 Pro. Constructed from composite materials, the 11 Pro is a surprisingly comfortable helmet with great aerodynamics and ventilation. The RPHA 11 Pro has a lot of the premium features as the others, but comes in at a price point much easier to swallow. Here’s a John Burns’ review from 2017.
Shoei RF1200 – $486 – $627
When it comes to a fully-featured street helmet, the Shoei RF name is legendary. With the RF1200, the legend continues. Featuring a slimmer profile compared to its RF1100 predecessor, the RF1200 is also more aerodynamic. Constructed from a six-ply matrix of various fiberglass and organic resin fibers, the RF1200’s dual-layer EPS liner incorporates different densities while also allowing cool air to travel through built-in channels. In all, the RF1200 meshes the extreme comfort we know and love from Shoei with excellent protection, visibility, and ventilation. And it’s available in a range of solid colors and graphics, including Pink Haromonic. Read our review of the RF1200.
Shoei Neotec II – $700 – $800
In case you haven’t noticed by now, the MO staff loves flip-up helmets. They’re practical and convenient – basically everything we want in an everyday street helmet, and even better for long days traveling. Shoei seems to have the intermediate oval shape down. The field is stacked with great modular helmets (and a couple not-so-great ones), but one of the best we’ve tried is the Neotec II. Several tweaks were made in the wind tunnel to improve the Neotec II over the original Neotec a few years ago, resulting in a modular that’s more aerodynamic, quieter, and comes with improved ventilation. A trifecta of achievements, especially considering the original Neotec was no slouch in any of those departments. For the full scoop on the Neotec II, check out Evans’ review here.
Shoei X-Fourteen $682 – $900
What, three Shoeis? You said you wanted the best.
If you want to wear what’s on Marc Marquez’s head, then the X-Fourteen is it. The best of the best, the X-Fourteen competes with the other flagship racing helmets out there. With the help of wind tunnel testing, the X-Fourteen is the most aerodynamic X-series model to date, with removable and/or replaceable wings to suit the rider’s needs to a specific track. The wind tunnel also helped with ventilation design, as the six intake ports work in tandem with the six exhaust ports for excellent airflow. There are even ventilation channels designed around the cheek pads to cool the rider in that area. Comfort is a given with the X-Fourteen, as one of the four shell sizes are sure to fit most head shapes, and the patented rotating liner system allows for a better field of vision in a tuck position. Dual-layer, dual-density EPS liner disperses impact energy with the best of them, and the quick-release cheek pads (seen on all Shoei helmets) make it easier for first responders to take off the helmet if they need to tend to you. Read our review from 2016.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews and other articles. Learn more about how this works.
Become a Motorcycle.com insider. Get the latest motorcycle news first by subscribing to our newsletter here.