Main Motorcycle Helmet Categories:
There are a LOT of types, style, characteristics, and levels or performance in all the different helmet categories. This is a quick look at each, and what to expect should you want to know more about each. All the images are linked to the pages that will give you a more detailed look at each of the many types of motorcycle helmets.
Adventure helmets, also called dual-sport helmets, are a prime choice for the motorcyclist who equally enjoys cruising the roadways and off-road biking.
A larger windshield size than on-road helmets affords you greater front and peripheral vision, allowing you to watch out for low-hanging tree branches as well as cars coming up in the adjacent lanes out on the highway. Strategically placed vents on these helmets keep your head cool while riding out in the heat, and a built-in sun visor keeps the sun out of your eyes when you’re riding off into the sunset.These helmets are some of the lightest safety helmets on the market, keeping your head safe without weighing you down. For days you want to take advantage of cooler weather on your bike, by slightly popping the windshield open at the bottom, your vision won’t be impeded by dangerous condensation build-up.
Enjoy the freedom to go on and off road without the hassle of having to lug around an extra helmet any time you wish to ride to an off-road site with a dual-sport helmet.
Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets (link)
While riding solo can be a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life, it’s still important to be able to be able to take or make a call or be able to communicate with your riding partners without taking your attention away from the road. With Bluetooth-enabled helmets and Bluetooth helmet accessories, you can enjoy the open road without being completely out of touch with others.
For solo rides, these helmets and helmet accessories allow you to enjoy music through your helmet without having to strain to hear your favorite songs over the howl of the wind. Heading out to check out a new hangout spot? Link your Bluetooth-compatible phone or GPS device to your helmet’s Bluetooth and be guided to your destination without having to suffer the indignity of pulling over to ask for directions. With up to four-way communication intercoms available on some models, you can shoot the breeze with your riding companions if you so choose.
Whether you’re riding across the country or just across town, you can listen to good music or a good friend’s voice clearly and safely with a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet or by adding a Bluetooth accessory to your current helmet.
Carbon Fiber Helmets(link)
Wearing a helmet is crucial to safety while cruising on a motorcycle, and in many areas wearing a helmet is also the law. However, after a while, a helmet can feel like it’s weighing your head down, particularly on long rides. Carbon fiber motorcycle helmets will keep your head protected as well as keep you on the right side of the law without feeling like you have an anvil strapped to your head.
Despite the incredibly light weight of these helmets, they are stronger than steel, offering your head optimal protection in a worst-case scenario. The best part about carbon fiber helmets is that you don’t have to sacrifice style for the lightweight protection: whether you favor half-helmets, full-face helmets or any style in-between, you’re sure to find a helmet in your preferred style made with this awesome material. Some bikers like the appearance of this material so much that they apply carbon fiber wraps to their current helmets as well as various parts of their motorcycles!
For a light yet strong helmet that looks cool and comes in wide range of styles, you can’t go wrong with a carbon fiber helmet.
Adorning your helmet with crystals, spikes, or both crystals and spikes is one of the many ways that a motorcycle helmet can be customized without sacrificing the structural integrity of the helmet.
For a “blinged out” helmet, the main things you need are a lot of crystals and glue, and a bit of time and patience to get the exact design you want on your helmet. Crystals and rhinestones in various colors, as well as the glue needed to adhere them if the crystals you buy are not the glue-backed variety are available in big-box retail stores, craft stores and online.If spikes are more your thing, you will need a power drill, a drill bit slightly smaller than the size of the base of the spikes you will be using, and spikes with a screw-on backing. While spikes that can be glued on are also widely available, keep in mind that even the strongest weather-resistant glues eventually do erode away, creating the risk of losing a spike while out riding.Whether you favor “bling”, spikes, or a combination of the two, the only limit to a unique helmet design is your imagination.
A made-to-order motorcycle helmet is one of the best helmets a biker can get as it is produced to fit the wearer’s head perfectly without sacrificing comfort. Unfortunately, a truly custom (as in made-to-order) helmet also prohibitively expensive for most bikers. Thankfully, there are a plethora of ways to customize a motorcycle helmet without breaking the bank.
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to customize the look of your helmet is with a helmet cover. Not only do covers instantly give your helmet a new look, they also protect your helmet from things like bugs and flying gravel. If you get bored with the cover you have on your helmet, just swap it out with another cover.
Another easy way to customize your helmet is with stickers. From solemn memorials to blunt statements and everything in-between, finding stickers that display your personality is both inexpensive and easy.
Stickers and covers are fun, but for a truly custom look, painting your helmet is the ultimate way to make your helmet turn heads. While painting a helmet can be time-consuming or expensive if you have a custom shop paint it for you, the stunning results will last for years to come.
For the motorcyclist whose primary concern is safety, a full face helmet is undeniably the most protective of all styles of helmets. With coverage from where your skull meets your neck all the way to right below your chin, these helmets snugly encase your head with built-in vents to keep you cool as you blaze down the highways.
The face shield, which can be clear or tinted to prevent the wearer from being blinded by road glare, keeps your face free from bugs and your skin from being chapped by the wind.As a bonus, the full coverage of the helmet means an ample surface area to unleash your creative side with whatever customization method you choose.
For motorcyclists just starting out or hyper-conscious bikers, a full face helmet provides absolute safety and limitless potential to make your helmet one-of-a-kind.
These half helmets, styled after the battle helmets German soldiers were issued after World War I, haven’t changed much in appearance from their inspiration over the years. Unlike their predecessors, today’s German helmets are specifically made for biking and meet the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) certification specifications.
It is highly recommended that a rider wear goggles and a partial face mask when donning a German motorcycle helmet or other half helmet to protect their eyes and prevent, among other things, accidental bug inhalation. After all, while a protein rich diet is ideal, bugs are not the way you want to get your daily protein intake!
Available in low profile and traditional styles, these helmets bring a touch of the past to your riding experience in a stylish way for the rider who likes to feel the breeze on their face while keeping their head protected.
Founded in 1903, Harley-Davidson is one of the most famous motorcycle and motorcycle accessory brands in the world. This company is so dedicated to motorcycles and motorcycle culture, not only do they hold celebratory rides every five years to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where the brand first started, they changed their New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol from HDI to HOG in the summer of 2006.
While most non-bikers think of motorcycles when they hear the words “Harley-Davidson”, the company also offers a wide selection of helmets ranging from full face helmets to half helmets and designs as simple a plain color helmet with a discretely placed Harley-Davidson emblem to bold designs encompassing the entire helmet.
Bikers that own and love a Harley-Davidson motorcycle will most likely go for a helmet bearing the matching emblem. After all, taking pride in your bike is part of the culture; why not take pride in your helmet, too.
A properly-fitting helmet is crucial to a safe and comfortable ride, especially on long trips. With the right accessories for your helmet, not only can you increase your comfort while riding, but look cool while heading down the road.
There is an enormous variety of helmet accessories ranging from fun accessories such as glue-on or screw-on ponytails, pigtails, and mohawks to functional accessories like helmet locks (important to keep your helmet from growing legs and walking away while you’re away from your bike), face shields (to protect your face from sunburn, windburn, and of course, bugs), and helmet LED lights to increase the likelihood of other drivers seeing you from a safe distance.
At the junction of fun and functional, there’s also wireless helmet cameras that allow you to tape as much or as little of your ride as you wish to show your non-biker friends so that they see for themselves what they’re missing by sticking with cars. With so many helmet accessories to choose from in stores and online, you’re sure to find exactly what you want and need to make your next ride extra-special.
High Tech Helmets (link)
Technology is a wonderful thing, especially when it makes riding around on a motorcycle a safer experience for everyone on the road. Between the high tech helmets available today and what will be available in the near future, there has never been a better time than now to be a biker.
There are currently helmets on the market that feature a Heads-Up Display (HUD), allowing you to “see” behind you without having to take your eyes off of the road. This feature is handy when an inconsiderate motorist is riding far too close to your exhaust pipe. There are also kits available to add LED turn signals and a brake light to the back of your helmet so that motorists behind you have better sight of the action you are about to take, which keeps you and those behind you safer.
Other techs that will be available soon include a visor that self-tints to block out the sun or goes back to clear at the touch of a button, helmets with built-in GPS systems that can be controlled by your vocal commands.
Nothing quite says “old school” like a leather motorcycle helmet. When motorcycles first became popular in the early twentieth century, leather helmets were incredibly popular with motorcyclists. Even now, the style of leather helmets coupled with modern safety features are highly attractive to bikers.
It is worth noting that leather helmets are motorcycle helmets covered with either black or brown leather, whereas helmets made solely from leather are marketed as motorcycle caps or motorcycle hats. In states with helmet laws, most (but not all) leather helmets are DOT certified, but leather caps are not as they do not provide much, if any, protection in the event of a motorcycle crash and as such will not pass muster in states with helmet laws.
There certainly is no denying, however, that leather caps look really cool on (where state laws and common sense permit) and off of the road.
Military Motorcycle Helmets (link)
Motorcycles and the military just seem to go hand in hand. Roll onto any military base and you’ll see quite a few soldiers riding around the base on motorcycles. As such, it’s little surprise to see quite a few military inspired helmets out on the market.
Within the military motorcycle helmets lie two camps: vintage military style and modern military style helmets. As the name suggests, vintage military helmets combine the look of old military helmets with today’s safety features to provide a stylish yet protective helmet and are often favored by those with customized motorcycles. Modern military helmets are modeled after helmets from various armed force branches around the world. Some helmets specifically designed for fast motorcycles were modeled after fighter pilot helmets and designed to handle gravity forces from high speeds. Whether you go for a vintage or modern military helmet, your head will be kept safe without sacrificing style.
This motorcycle helmet category is the type of helmet that has a flip up front section to allow for easy access to phones, drinks, and just chatting without removing your entire helmet. Your ear buds may be just where you want them or your hair might be just tucked in nice and tight.
Having the safety and security of a full faced helmet with the easy access to your face when you don’t are what these style of helmets are all about.
And they have come a long way in style, comfort, and features too.
Novelty Motorcycle Helmets (link)
Motorcycle enthusiasts and helmet collector absolutely love novelty helmets due to the customized designs so many of them sport as well as the potential to customize a plain-looking helmet. With so many styles of novelty motorcycle helmets out there from Eagle helmets to polo style helmets and many varieties in-between, there’s a lot of novelty helmets out there to choose from that are modestly priced.
An important thing to keep in mind, however, is that most novelty helmets are not DOT certified as they are made from fiberglass or plastic. This isn’t to say they’re not safe and that they won’t protect your head from making a mess on the pavement in the event of an accident; these helmets do offer some protection, just not as much as a DOT certified helmet will. Even more important to remember is that a novelty helmet will keep you safer than no helmet at all.
No one really likes to think about it, but sometimes accidents happen. You might take a corner a bit too fast or under-corner a curve. A car might come flying out of nowhere and smack right into you while making a turn because they didn’t see you on your motorcycle. While the freedom of not being boxed in by steel is a wonderful thing, in the event of an accident the lack of steel boxing you in can mean serious injury and sometimes even be fatal.
The vast majority of fatalities from motorcycle crashes are from head injuries. While no helmet can completely prevent head injuries, the use of a motorcycle helmet greatly reduces the likelihood of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can negatively affect your quality of life—to include your ability to ride after sustaining a TBI. While this is a free country and not all states require helmet use while out riding, keep in mind that helmet hair is fixable; brain injuries are not.
For the creative biker who loves to create art but hates messing with paint, a handful of Sharpie permanent markers and a vivid imagination can turn a plain motorcycle helmet into a one-of-a-kind functional work of art. From simple designs that show the world exactly how you feel about the status quo (such as the “One Gun Salute”, to throw an example out there) to turning your helmet into a shrine for your favorite singer or band to intricate tribal or geometric designs, the sky is the limit with what you can create on your white helmet.
While most Sharpie designs are done solely with black, there is a wide variety of colors available to create your masterpiece.Bikers who don’t want to part with their black helmet but do want to customize it this way can use metallic Sharpies, which are available in silver, copper, and gold.Once you have created your wearable masterpiece, spray your art down with a finishing spray (found with paint supplies in hardware stores) so that your work doesn’t fade or get smudged while out on the road.
A close cousin of the Sharpie Helmet is the Smiley Helmet.
Skull Motorcycle Helmets(link)
Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect your brain from injury and your skull from getting disfigured in the event of a crash, as we all know. Why not protect your skull with a helmet that looks like a skull? These fearsome looking helmets are available in three-quarter helmets and full face helmets, either of which make quite the statement while on the road.
Skulls have been massively popular in biker as well as mainstream culture for many years and can be found on almost any accessory or clothing item you can name off.
Whether you favor skulls as a reminder of the fleeting nature of life, as a way to remember those who have passed, or just like how they look, if you like to keep safe while looking fierce on the roads, a skull motorcycle helmet could be your way to go.
Vintage Riding Helmets(link)
For bikers lucky enough to have a vintage bike, having a vintage helmet to match is a must to truly complete the look. Vintage helmets are wildly popular with bikers and collectors alike, and come in a wide variety of styles.
The term “vintage” can refer to the age of a helmet (if it was made during the World War II era, it is vintage by age) or design (a helmet designed to look like helmets from the World War II era, only with modern safety features). If you desire a vintage helmet made in that era, however, be prepared to pay a very pretty penny as helmets from that time are in extremely high demand with collectors.
Bikers who dig the vintage look but want today’s safety features on their helmet as well aren’t out of luck by any means as there are several vintage style helmets available.
Not all heads are the same, and this is especially true with the differences between a man’s head and a woman’s head. Before any accusations of sexism go flying, a woman’s skull is generally smaller than a man’s head, and as such women bikers need a helmet that is designed to properly fit their heads.
As with men’s helmets, women’s helmets can be full face, three-quarter, or half helmets. One common feature of women’s helmets is that the vast majority have pink on them–sometimes a little, and sometimes a LOT. For lady bikers who don’t dig pink, don’t worry, there’s women’s helmets out there without any pink on them as well.
While wearing a helmet may slightly mess up a hairdo, lady bikers can always take a moment once they arrive at their destination to freshen up their hair. After all, far better to arrive alive with slightly messy hair than to not arrive at all.
Wood Motorcycle Helmets(link)
One of the great things about riding out in the country is smelling the fresh air and the soft scent of the grass and trees flying past you on either side of the road. With a wooden motorcycle helmet, you can bring a bit of nature with you wherever you ride.
If an almost entirely wood helmet is what you desire, your options are to either make your own helmet from scratch or seek out custom shops to start the process of having your own wooden helmet created. Keep in mind, however, that helmets that are almost entirely wood are not likely to be DOT certified and that having a custom shop create a wooden helmet for you is not going to come cheap.
To get the look of wood with DOT certification and without the hefty price tag, there are several faux wood helmets on the market. Instead of being made with real wood, these helmets either have a wood grain pattern applied onto vinyl before being applied to the helmet or have the wood grain painted on.
Don’t neglect the Accessories for your helmet!
No matter which motorcycle helmet category or style that you fall into, there is a helmet option for you. The best part about having so many options to choose from is that you can change them up like you change your underwear (or just go without!)