A motorcycle helmet is the most important purchase, second only to your motorcycle. Many helmet manufacturers have focused on styling but neglected the main feature of each helmet – safety. This list of the top 10 safest motorcycle helmets includes helmets that have been safety tested and certified, rated in terms of comfort, value for money, features, and noise.
The helmets are ordered by a helmet with the best overall review score first. The latest survey, using updated data from 2016-22, shows which are the safest crash helmet brands. If you’re looking to buy a shiny new helmet in 2023, consider one of these brands.
The UK SHARP crash helmet testing data is used to determine the safest motorcycle helmets for 2022/23. The freedom of motorcycling comes with the responsibility to ride with suitable, safe motorcycles and safety gear. Motorcycle helmets emerged because safety was an increasing concern for many riders. In our previous post, we told you some of the most expensive motorbikes in the world. You should check it out for an interesting read!
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
There are three main types of motorcycle helmets: Full Face, Modular, and Open Face. Full Face helmets have a solid chin bar for premium protection, while modular helmets have a chin bar that flips up for wider sightlines and conversation. Open Face helmets, popular among Cruiser and Bagger motorcycle riders, are mainly 3/4 helmets and caps. These helmets are not suitable for sportbike or ADV riders.
Top 10 Safest Motorcycle Helmets 2023
1. AGV K6
Produced by the Italian helmet maker, AGV has been a top choice for helmets since 1947. Three of their six helmets earn a maximum of five stars. The AGV K6 is their top-flight sports touring helmet. It features a lightweight carbon-aramidic fiber shell, aerodynamic design, and well-thought-out ventilation system.
The AGV K6 meets ECE 22.05 and DOT standards, providing comprehensive protection for riders. The K6 is built from a carbon/aramid composite. It has a ventilation system that maximizes airflow through multiple vents and reduces turbulence.
Also, it has a visor which is easily removable, and a Pinlock insert is included to keep the visor fog-free. The pressure-free liner and cheek pads are removable and washable.
The K6 is versatile for both track days and back roads, with four different shell sizes and a five-density shock-absorbing EPS liner inside. AGV aims to make the helmet super comfortable, well-ventilated, and quiet, making it an excellent choice for riders. You can find out more about AGV helmets here.
2. Shoei RF-1400
Shoei is a top-end helmet brand and has consistently scored an average of 4.14/5 in safety reviews across all 14 helmets tested. Their RF-1400 Helmet, known for its Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus (AIM+) shell, offers high-speed impact safety and is certified by DOT and Snell.
The dual-layer multi-density EPS liner enhances impact absorption, making it a top contender for those prioritizing safety. The helmet is an evolution of the old 1200, with a slightly redesigned shell and improved aerodynamics.
The RF-1400 uses the same AIM+ fiberglass-based composite fiber tech as the previous helmet. Shoei hopes the RF-1400 will be their top sports-touring, all-rounder road helmet. The helmet comes in sizes XS-XXL, weighs 3.75lbs (1.7Kg), and comes with a 5-year warranty. It is among the most versatile motorcycle helmets.
Recommended: Top 15 Most Expensive Pokemon Cards (2023)
3. Shark Race R Pro
Shark Helmets, a French helmet manufacturer, has received an average score of 4 stars from SHARP in the last six years for their 10 helmets tested. The Shark Race-R Pro Carbon is a carbon fiber full-faced helmet with a wide shield aperture, good ventilation, and a SHARP 5 star safety rating. It is comfortable, reasonably quiet, and aerodynamic but not the cheapest. The Shark Race-R Pro GP FIM is available at prices between $999-$1200 and $600-$750.
Originally designed for pro racers like Stefan Bradl and Scott Redding, the Shark Race-R Pro is suitable for full faired, head-down sportsbike riders. The helmet is FIM tested/homologated for racing, with all sizes from XS-XL being homologated. The helmet’s carbon fiber shell is built from carbon and aramid fibers, making it light and strong.
The inside of the lid uses bamboo fibers to fight bacteria, preventing sweat retention and keeping the helmet relatively stink-free. However, it is not recommended for high mileage riders as it may not be effective after a sweaty day.
4. Scorpion EXO-R420
The Scorpion EXO-R420 is a budget-friendly full-face helmet that meets Snell M2015 and DOT safety standards. It features a sturdy polycarbonate shell and an EverClear no-fog face shield for added convenience. Despite its budget-friendly price, it provides solid protection and is aerodynamic, ultra-lightweight, with great ventilation and low noise. The helmet weighs 3.75lbs (1.7 kg) heavier than average and comes in sizes XS-XXXL.
It is DOT-certified, passing the Snell M2015 stamp, making it one of the world’s best testing standards for motorcycle helmets. The helmet has a clear shield, EQRS quick-release cheek pads, an anti-fog coating, a shield lock, and decent peripheral vision. The helmet is available in sizes XS-XXXL. Although not as premium as some of its counterparts, it provides solid protection at a budget-friendly price.
5. Shoei NXR 2
Claiming the next spot on our list of the top 10 safest motorcycle helmets is Shoei NXR 2 Helmet with ECE 22:06 certification and a 5-star SHARP rating. The Shoei NXR 2 is a pure performance-focused motorcycle helmet. Its mixed organic fibre and multi-composite construction ensures strength and is lightweight, making it the lightest and most compact helmet in the range.
The helmet features a multi-density EPS liner with 2 layers for maximum impact absorption, double-D ring strap retention, and a front locking system for visor protection. It comes with a Pinlock visor, designed to prevent distortion and increase vision. The helmet has been wind tunnel tested for excellent aerodynamic properties and a performance-focused ventilation system. It comes in four shell sizes for optimal fit.
Although it lacks features like an internal sun visor or built-in communications, the NXR 2 excels in providing protection at every design point. It offers great value and is available in four shell sizes.
6. Shoei X 14
Shoei has introduced the X-Fourteen, their top racing helmet, replacing the X-Twelve in 2016. The new helmet is a significant upgrade, focusing on usability, aero, stability, and ventilation. It is Snell M2015 certified, SHARP 5-star safety rated, FIM Homologated for racing, and DOT and ECE certified. The X-Fourteen features four shell sizes, great ventilation, extremely stable fitment, and a D-ring fastener.
The X-Fourteen’s shell is made from Shoei’s AIM+ shell, a complex 6-layered composite. Four of the five AIM+ helmets tested by SHARP have scored maximum safety ratings, while the other (the NXR) still managed a four-star rating. The helmet shell construction, multi-density shock-absorbing EPS liner, four shell sizes, and double-ring fastener create a helmet that should look after the head in an accident.
7. Arai Signet-X
Arai, a lowly rated helmet brand, has recently introduced the Signet-X which has gained a reputation as one of the best motorcycle helmets. It is a replacement for the Signet-Q helmet range and is designed for riders with longer, narrower heads and offers more comfort and potential protection. It is DOT & ECE certified, Snell 2015 approved, and SHARP 5-star safety rated.
Available in sizes XS-XXL, it is expected to cost around $615-$870. Arai has made several improvements to the Signet-X, including using multiple shell sizes, a separate shell for every two fitment sizes, and the same shell used in Arai’s top-of-the-range sports bike/racing helmet, the Corsair-X. This ensures optimal helmet fitment and appearance and improves helmet fit.
Despite Arai’s commitment to quality and performance, they have not performed as well in SHARP tests as other brands.
8. Nolan N1000-5
Nolan is a leading brand in the helmet industry and produces some of the safest motorcycle helmets in the world ever. The N100-5/Plus is Nolan’s top-of-the-range flip-up/modular helmet, designed to be all things to all riders. It features P/J dual homologation, a patented chin bar raising mechanism, a microlock 2 fastener, ESS brake light capacity, and is ready to accept Nolan’s N-com communicators with pockets and spaces for easy integration.
Available in sizes XXS-XXXL, it is polycarbonate, dual homologated for open/full-face riding, and has a SHARP 4-star safety rating. The helmet comes with a pin-lock antifog pre-installed, an ESS system ready, and integrates with the N-com Bluetooth kit. Nolan has an excellent reputation for helmet safety, scoring four out of a maximum of five stars for every single tested helmet. They have a perfect 100% record for their chin guards staying locked and closed during testing.
9. Shark Skwal 2
The Shark Skwal 2 helmet, a French-made helmet, has been tested by SHARP and has scored four stars for safety. It features LED lights, an integrated battery pack, a quick-release micrometric fastener, and a Pinlock Max Vision insert for fog-free vision. Shark claims to have improved the ‘auto seal’ shield system and revised aerodynamics for better stability and quietness.
Available in sizes XS-XL and weighing 3.3 lbs, it comes with a 5-year warranty and is expected to cost between $260-$299 depending on the graphics.
10. HJC C70
Completing our list of the top 10 safest motorcycle helmets is HJC C70. HJC has remained in the top 10 for the fourth year in a row, thanks to their focus on lower-priced helmets. The HJC C70, which replaced the IS-17, is the most affordable motorcycle helmet, offering features like an internal sun visor, Pinlock visor, and speaker pockets.
The helmet also features a lightweight lid with excellent visibility from the eye-port. HJC is known for creating helmets that fit most head shapes, with the C70 offering a 5-star SHARP rating, advanced polycarbonate construction, an internal sun visor, advanced ventilation, and great visibility.
However, the C70 has some drawbacks, such as its price point and the need for a credit card to cover the cost.
The top 10 safest motorcycle helmets are based on safety testing, comfort, value for money, features, and noise. The UK SHARP crash helmet testing data is used to determine the safest helmets for 2023. Helmets are essential for safe motorcycling, as safety is a growing concern for many riders. The top 10 helmets are ranked based on overall review scores.