What is the best motorcycle helmet for city riding? Here is the question that I have been trying to answer lately by testing different brands. Although some people still think of motorcycle helmets as an object that can free us from a good fine, the truth is that they are absolutely essential for our safety on the road.
But be careful: it is not enough to wear a helmet. It is not about being fashionable or wearing the most original or collectible item on your head.
It is, and is not a joke, to save a life. And the helmet must meet a series of requirements to make it as safe as possible and to protect us in the best way.
Any biker at heart recognizes that he gives as much importance to the motorcycle and its maintenance as the helmet and other elements that protect it from possible blows.
Next, we will explain what are the requirements to take into account when buying a good motorcycle helmet.
What is the best motorcycle helmet for city riding?
1. LS2 Helmets Modular Valiant Helmet: the Best Overall for City Riding
Now we are going to see a modular helmet with a retractable chinrest. It is a model designed primarily for peri-urban use.
Instead, this time we are facing a relatively recent Chinese brand model in the market since the company was founded in 1990. Even so, they have quickly established themselves as world co-leaders in the number of sales, and without a doubt, this is owing to its low prices.
The LS2 Valiant somehow constitutes the brand’s premium class. As for the materials, we find a combo between polycarbonate and thermoplastics, which gives rise to a relatively light helmet for a modular model (around 1700 grams).
The chin is fully retractable. Regardless of the case, comfort must be paramount when driving. The most interesting thing about this chin guard is that regardless of whether you wear it or not, it will not affect the aerodynamics of the helmet.
On the other hand, it must be emphasized that the foams (the filling) are very thick and fit well with the head. This helmet has also been designed to be used with glasses. And although it does not have a hands-free kit, the interior of the helmet, at the level of the ears, is specially designed so that you can at least use it with the headphones on without causing any kind of discomfort.
It is quite well equipped at all levels. As for the visor (which is extra-wide and allows good visibility), it has a retractable lens hood, is anti-scratch, and has the Pinlock anti-fog system (a lens that absorbs moisture to prevent the formation of fog). inside the helmet).
The closure system is a micrometric titanium buckle, which increases its resistance while facilitating its opening/closing.
As for the level of security, it should be noted that it has a double approval (jet and integral), so you can use it without worries.
To conclude, here is a modular helmet that, for a fairly reasonable price, offers a not inconsiderable panel of options, and all without affecting the safety or style of the helmet. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and are a peri-urban user, this is the perfect model for you.
2. AGV Unisex-Adult Full Face K-1: the best cheap
Its a model equipped with a rigid chinrest attached to the helmet. It is the type of helmet that I prefer personally because they are the safest (yes, I still get very stressed when I ride a motorcycle …)
It is a model of the Italian brand AVG, active since 1946 and has quickly made a name for itself among professionals in the sector, such as Valentino Rossi.
In fact, during the release of this model, a replica version of the Rossi helmet was also created.
Launched on the market in 2018, it is the brand’s first comprehensive sports model offered at such an affordable price. Also, the helmet is available in different sizes (something that is more common in fiber helmets).
If we can include it in the category of sports helmets, it is for several reasons. First of all, it has a double-D buckle fixing system, which ensures a good fit of the helmet and excellent support.
It also features a fin (the Aero Spoiler), that is, a part that improves and ensures the stability of the helmet even at high speed. On the other hand, we can verify the presence of 3 air intakes in the upper part, which ensures good internal ventilation, and another air intake over the chin, which helps regulate the humidity of the face.
The visor has an anti-scratch coating but does not have any type of anti-fog or sunshade system.
The interior of the helmet is comfortable, and the lining can be removed for easier cleaning. Whatever the size is chosen, its weight is around 1500 grams, which is already an important weight if we consider that it does not have a parasol, for example.
As for the level of safety, it is more than covered, since it is an integral helmet. In fact, it received a 5/5 in the Sharp Tests, previous examinations carried out in British laboratories where resistance to shocks was tested, yes, according to European regulations. So there is nothing but good news.
To finish, here is a full-face helmet for everyday sports use that, despite its low price, offers comfortable comfort and a good level of safety.
3. Shoei Neotec 2: the best High end
This model is the second version of the famous Neotec modular helmet, from the Japanese Shoei, which saw the light about 7 years ago. It goes without saying that the wait was long … but it has not disappointed!
Although both models look-alike (the second one is a little more compact and once put on, reminiscent of a full-face helmet), we can quickly see the work done at the level of the air intakes, where general ventilation is improved.
So much so that in conditions of low humidity you could use the helmet without the Pinlock system. It also comes with a removable nose cover, which further improves aeration.
And despite its compactness, it integrates a retractable sunscreen whose height can be adjusted very precisely, allowing it to be adjusted according to the position of the sun. In addition, the visor has a UV filter.
The inner pads are composed of antibacterial and odorless foam. The same as the previous HJC, this model fits perfectly head without annoying or reducing comfort.
In fact, it is the model of my selection that offers the best soundproofing, thanks largely to its interior (an aspect in which Shoei has declared to have worked a lot)
With its fiber shell and all its accessories, it has a weight of 1600 grams. Although it may seem a bit heavy, its aerodynamics is such that users generally admit not to feel it once they are on the road.
Like the LS2, it has the double integral and jet approval, although it is recommended to give more priority to the integral helmet for safety reasons. It has a micrometric buckle closure, as is increasingly common in helmets of this type.
Also, if you are aware of new technologies, you will like to know that it is pre-equipped by an intercom compatible with a model specially developed in collaboration with Sena.
Finally, although the first Neotec is still a reference in high-end helmets despite its age, this second version has all the ballots to beat it. It has all the good things from the previous one, but with better ventilation, intercom, and above all, better soundproofing.
4. Scorpion ST1400 Carbon Helmet: the mid-range alternative
This is a Korean brand marketed in Europe since 2007.
Like the AGV K-1, it is a full-face helmet with a sporty design. It is the first helmet of the brand designed with carbon fiber, which gives it a lightness more than appreciated (1250 grams).
It is also very comfortable Like the previous model of the brand, it has the Air Fit system, which consists of adjusting the helmet thanks to air “fillers” for a millimetric adaptation. The interior is removable to allow easier cleaning, and another curious fact, the indentations of the helmet also allow use if you have glasses.
It closes with a double-D buckle system, which is not surprising considering its sporty look. For its part, the visor has an anti-scratch coating, as well as a removable parasol.
On the other hand, although it also has the Pinlick anti-fog lens, the ventilation system could be improved: the Scorpion Exo-1400 only has two openings and the one located on the chin guard is too ineffective.
Fortunately, the minimum opening of the screen can be easily done with one hand, which could quickly compensate for air intake during the hottest days.
In the end, this helmet is distinguished by its material quality, comfort, finesse and style. It is just a pity that your ventilation system is not so good.
Buying Guide – best motorcycle helmet for city riding.
The helmet is probably the most important accessory of motorcycle equipment. It is an integral part of the look, but above all, it is an indispensable security element. For this reason, it is important to choose well.
The first thing we should know before making the purchase is that there are different types of helmets on the market:
- The full-face helmet: It is the model that offers the best safety, thanks largely to its rigid chinrest. On the contrary, what it offers in safety loses it in comfort: they are usually heavier and less ventilated.
- The jet helmet: Generally, this is the most affordable, lightweight, and comfortable type of helmet. Currently, it is very popular with lovers of two wheels, and it is largely thanks to the great variety of different styles and colors, which make them more attractive and, perhaps, original, than the rest of the helmets. However, they offer the least security. If you like speed, I don’t recommend it!
- The modular helmet: it can be described as a kind of a mix between a full-face helmet and a jet. Like the first, it has a chin guard, but it is retractable. In fact, it is the ideal model for peri-urban use: once the chin is lowered, it will effectively protect you in large curves and offer greater comfort. Instead, contrary to what we might think, it weighs more than a full-face helmet.
- The off-road helmet: first of all, you have to know that this type of helmet is designed for sports or competition use, but it can be a great alternative for those who love to drive on any type of terrain. They are characterized by having a reinforced chinrest and a longer visor. They are generally lightweight and offer good ventilation.
In addition, it is necessary to be very attentive to the material used for its manufacture. Unlike popular belief, no one material protects more or less than another. Each has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Polycarbonate: This type of helmet usually has a bad reputation for its first ABS caps, which decreased its shock absorption capacity due to various external factors (UV, hydrocarbons, etc.). Currently, this can be avoided by using certain varnishes and / or fiber reinforcements. Its main advantage is its lower price.
- Fiber: they are more expensive because they are usually made by hand. They are lighter, and generally very comfortable.
- Carbon fiber: if fiber helmets are made of different materials, carbon fiber helmets require a higher degree of technicality in their design, which is why they are usually even more expensive, but much lighter.
Knowing this, we carefully examine each of the helmets paying special attention to the following criteria:
- The size: if it is too small, it will be uncomfortable and if it is too large, it will not offer you the necessary security. To check the measurement you need, take a meter of tape, and measure the contour of your skull about 2.5 centimeters above the eyebrows. Yes! Please check the size in centimeters well, because one seller’s M size might be different from another’s!
- Weight: the type of helmet and the material of manufacture have a great impact on weight, but also other factors, such as certain accessories, or even size. Although it may seem a little insignificant or insignificant aspect, the weight of a helmet directly affects the comfort of the rider. Good aerodynamics can work wonders with a heavy helmet.
- Foam / Internal Padding: A helmet contains padding or foam to protect the skull and cheeks that is covered in fabric for greater comfort. Opt for soft fabrics (the skin of the face is very sensitive) and that can be removed (this makes it easier to wash).
- Ventilation: The ventilation system is inserted into some helmets through the air intakes (or what is the same, practical holes in the helmet). The more you have, the faster the air will renew … But the less the sound insulation will be. It is best to find an excellent compromise between sufficient ventilation and acceptable sound insulation.
- The visor: There are two main types of visor: standard and sports. The second ones differ from the first ones by their greater width and their flatter shape, which reduces the risk of optical deformation. We advise you to check if you also have an anti-scratch coating, which will guarantee longer life for your visor.
- The fastening system: it is better to opt for an easy and fast fixing system. At this level, the simplest thing is to opt for an automatic buckle closure, since it is enough just to hook it. However, over time it tends to loosen up, making it less reliable. Nowadays many manufacturers are changing this system for a micrometric buckle, with spring and zipper, which will offer a fast and precise closure. The double-D buckle system consists of passing the strap through two buckles and passing it through the first one. It takes a little while, but it is the most reliable.
- The additional options: according to your needs, know that there are helmets specially designed to allow the use of glasses with sun protection. Others include a smoked or photochromic visor ( adapts to the ambient light), or a retractable secondary. Other options are anti-fog protection (an anti-fog lens absorbs ambient humidity), or even a hands-free kit.
- Safety Rules: As I said, the first and most important function of a helmet is to protect. In fact, it NEVER occurs to you to buy a helmet that does not have an approval certificate. The last standard that defines the minimum safety requirements is the ECE 22.05 standard.
In conclusion, what is the best motorcycle helmet for city riding?
Our favorite is without a doubt the LS2 Valiant. A well-equipped model, very safe, extremely comfortable, and, above all, very well soundproofed. A great gift for any biker!
The most affordable option is presented by the AGV K-1, which despite its low price, has numerous advantages: excellent protection, good comfort, good aerodynamics. In fact, it doesn’t lack anything, as it also has options that allow you to install a tinted viewfinder or an anti-fog device, which is really good.
On the other hand, the Scorpion Exo-1400 Air Carbon with its carbon fiber design stands out for its lightness (1250 g). It is a perfect full-face helmet for sports use, with a serious but aggressive look, and with a double-D buckle system.
Frequently Asked Questions – best motorcycle helmet for city riding.
In this non-exhaustive list, we present the answers to the most frequently asked questions about helmet choice and use. If you have any related questions that are not listed here, please let us know and our Customer Service Department will search for the answer.
There are many models of helmets. How should I choose mine?
Helmets for motorcyclists are designed with their specific function in mind (for example, going to and from work or walking on the weekend) and the situations they may be exposed to such as impacts, temperature changes, different viewing angles, and comfort.
There are mainly two types of helmets for motorcyclists: the integral (or “closed”) and those of the Jet (or “open”) type.
The integrals, cover the entire head and are the most recommended. You can find a wide variety, some have a folding chin.
The Jet, on the other hand, does not have a part that covers the chin and cheeks. Some of them have a movable visor or screen. Its use is more recommended for high-temperature regions throughout the year.
So, when choosing YOUR HELMET, think about your most frequently used situation to make a decision with knowledge and devoid of emotions.
What size should I choose?
With a tape measure, wrap your head above the eyebrows and the top edge of the ears. The measurement, in centimeters, will correspond to the size of your helmet, that simple. But the best thing is to try it on before buying it, you should feel that it supports your head well, that there are no slacks, that is, that it lightly presses your cheeks, hair, ears.
There are different sizes according to the size of the head:
Is the quality of a helmet distinguishable at a glance?
NO. The aesthetic presentation does not indicate quality, safety, or greater protection by itself. It may be “nice” but insufficient to protect me from a hit. It is necessary to stop to look carefully at the labels where the specific data of the responsible manufacturer, type of material used, guarantees, etc. must appear. Beauty is just one more accessory but be careful to take it as the main criterion for the purchase decision.
The quality is the result of a combination of product design, quality inputs, and controls of RIGOROUS AND FUNDAMENTALLY VERIFY THAT THE HELMET IS APPROVED; FOR IT, IN A LEGIBLE FORM, THESE HELMETS MUST PRESENT A GRAPHIC INDICATING THE NUMBER OF CHAS CORRESPONDING.
How does a helmet work when hit?
A quality helmet receives a blow and distributes the energy that it produces throughout its volume, thus reducing its intensity at a single point on your head….
Then, a very strong blow to the right side of your helmet forks across the entire volume of the interior material (commonly called Styrofoam).
– The external casing: It is the most rigid part. Reduces impact energy and prevents sharp objects from penetrating.
– The internal casing: It is a protection padding whose mission is to absorb the energy of the blow to the maximum. The cushioning padding is the inner part located between the shell and the skull, made of high-density injected expanded polystyrene. The function of this piece is to absorb the energy of the impact. It must be semi-plastic and homogeneous
How often should the helmet be changed?
After an impact it deteriorates and the helmet must be replaced. The impact does not have to be very aggressive, the fall from 1.5 meters is enough. BUT IN GENERAL TERMS, THE LIFETIME OF A HELMET IS BETWEEN 3 AND 5 YEARS, ACCORDING TO ITS USE AND CONSERVATION.
Should the helmet be loose?
It should fit snugly: this means you should lightly press on your cheekbones, 2 ears, and chin.
It should not be baggy because we run the risk of it moving easily in the head, falling on the eyes and damaging the vision.
It is important that the helmet adjusts to the head, without reducing the comfort of the rider.
Does a compliant visor splinter?
Its main mission is to protect the sight of the motorcyclist (the material used in it must not be acrylic since it splinters when it receives an impact). Its opening must not occur accidentally and if it is lifted while driving, it must not exceed an opening angle established by regulations.
Why should the chin guard be perfectly adjusted?
This will allow the helmet to receive impacts in different directions in the event of accidents and as a consequence, it will come off the head. The helmet must always be fastened, and this is VERY IMPORTANT because in the event of a fall the helmet will literally fly off.
How should you put on a helmet?
THE MOTORCYCLIST MUST HOLD THE HELMET, POINTING DOWN, AND HOLDING IT BY THE CHIN BELTS, SEPARATING THEM, EXERCISING A SLIGHT PRESSURE TO THE OUTER SIDES. THEN LOCATE IT ON THE HEAD AND SLIDE IT BACK FORWARD. ONCE PLACED THE TAPE MUST BE ADJUSTED AND THE BUCKLE CLASPED.
In short, before buying a helmet, what should I look at?
– THAT THE HELMET IS APPROVED
– That the helmet fits perfectly to the head, that it does not dance, it is preferable to “tighten” a little.
– Have good ventilation.
– That it is not very heavy, on a long trip your neck can get injured. 1200 gr. it is an acceptable weight.
– Check that the closing system is safe.
– Have good visibility THE VISOR