If you’ve done a Google search for “best motorcycle helmet brands”, you’ve probably seen the majority of results returned focus on the best motorcycle helmets to buy.
Wait a minute. What about the best motorcycle helmet brands? That’s what you’re interested in isn’t it. You didn’t search for specific helmets, you were looking for the best brands.
Let me help you. I’m going to cover the best motorcycle helmet brands available to you today, and outline some of the pros and cons of each brand.
That’s what you’re interested in right?
Know Your Head
Before we get into the best motorcycle helmet brands, lets talk about your head.
Every persons head is a bit different, and I’m not just talking about what size hat or helmet you wear. Did you know every head is shaped a bit differently? If the helmet you are buying doesn’t fit the shape of your head, it’s not going to offer you the protection you think you’ll be getting.
The shape of your head can be classified into these 3 broad categories:
Some helmet brands, or specific helmets within a brand, are specifically tailored to the shape of ones noggin. So before you go off investing in a motorcycle helmet, be sure you understand the shape of your head.
Best Motorcycle Helmet Brands
So this is kind of a subjective topic. What might be a top motorcycle helmet brand for one person, may be overrated or trash to someone else.
Think about it. How many helmet brands can you think of off the top of your head? Perhaps names like:
- and a list of many others
How in the world does one select a motorcycle helmet brand over another? That’s the problem right. Analysis paralysis.
The best motorcycle helmet brands we’ll cover in this post are based upon research I’ve done, reviews received on other sites, and my opinion. Hopefully, this will arm you with enough data to help with your next helmet purchase.
So here in no particular order, are the 5 best motorcycle helmet brands that you should be looking at for your next helmet purchase.
Arai is a small family owned Japanese company, that has been passed down through the generations. Three generations of riders to be precise. And they know helmets. That’s what they’ve been doing since the 1920’s.
Achieving a safety rating like DOT or SNELL is their baseline not their goal. Those safety ratings are their minimum standards. Their motto is good enough is never enough.
The thing I like about the Arai helmet lineup is they have a helmet that fits every head shape. You can also further customize the helmet fit, or micro fit as they call it, if you need a little more or less padding to get that perfect fit. There’s not a better helmet manufacturer in existence that pays more attention to the shape of your head than Arai does.
Arai currently has 12 different models of motorcycle helmets, all of which come in unique colors and styles. Each of these models have different price points.
So what don’t I like about the Arai helmet brand?
The cost! Granted you get what you pay for, but this is definitely not a budget helmet. Their most expensive helmet is almost $4000, while their cheapest is just over $500.
If you have the budget, you can’t go wrong with Arai, and is a no brainer for my list of best motorcycle helmet brands.
Bell doesn’t just do motorcycle helmets, they cover all aspects of power sports. Scratch that, why stop at power sports, they also make a line of bicycle helmets. In short, Bell knows helmets.
The Bell brand is by far one of my favorite line of motorcycle helmets. Why? How about 20 different helmet models to choose from that cover pretty much any price point.
Looking for a budget helmet, Bell has you covered with the Qualifier that costs just over $100. Need a more robust helmet? How about the Pro Star Flex at just under $12oo. Looking for something in the middle? Yep, they’ve got another 18 models to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for a full face, half, or three quarter helmet, you’ve got options with Bell. Did I mention the styles? Spot on. Bell has some fantastic artwork with their motorcycle helmet designs.
What about safety? All Bell helmets are DOT certified, and many of their models cover ECE or SNELL certification as well.
One cool thing to mention about Bell helmets is their quick release function for the visor. If you want to swap about your current clear visor for a dark smoke visor, you can do it in under a minute without any tools.
So what don’t I like about the Bell helmet brand?
You don’t know what head shape a particular Bell helmet model is geared towards. Unlike Arai, the Bell website makes no reference to head shape for each of their helmets. Sure you can find this information if you do the appropriate research. But Bell missed the mark by not calling this information out on their site.
HJC has been manufacturing motorcycle helmets since 1971, and claims to be the #1 helmet brand in North America.
HJC has a high degree of quality assurance in their helmets as they conduct testing in both the lab as well in real life situations. One innovative feature of the HJC brand is they have their own wind tunnel, so they put a particular focus on aerodynamics, noise, and ventilation.
They have a wide range of helmets to choose from and endless possibilities when it comes to graphics and colors. A number of their helmets are both DOT and SNELL certified, and at a minimum will be DOT certified.
HJC makes a high quality helmet at a very affordable price. So if you are on a budget, be sure to take a look at the HJC brand.
By the way, if you’re into the themed helmet look. HJC has exclusive partnerships to officially license both Marvel and Star Wars motorcycle helmets.
So what don’t I like about the HJC helmet brand?
The HJC website. The site is difficult to navigate, and has limited information on each helmet. Similar to the Bell brand, you’re left guessing as to what helmet fits what shape head.
Nolan is an Italian company, and all of their helmets are manufactured in Italy. This is great news for those that are concerned with purchasing something from the Far East that’s protecting your brain.
If you’re looking for a high-end helmet at an affordable price, look no further than the Nolan brand.
Every part of the helmet is manufactured in Italy, which gives them complete control of their product. With their own research and test lab, they ensure every helmet meets or beats the different safety standards around the globe.
You’ll find at least 8 different helmet models that Nolan offers, in a wide variety of colors and styles. Most of their helmets are full face, but they also have a number of three-quarter (open face) helmets to choose from.
You’ll find their helmets meet the DOT safety standard, as well as ECE in Europe.
Nolan helmets are also covered by a 5 year limited warranty.
So what don’t I like about the Nolan helmet brand?
Same story. You’ll have trouble finding what helmet fits what shape head on their website. The safety standard information is also hit or miss on the various helmet models. While they say each helmet meets the appropriate safety standard around the globe, not each of their helmets identify that (at least on their own website).
Nolan also seems more concerned with letting you know which of their communication systems fit with each helmet. I’m more concerned about sizing and safety than being able to talk to another rider.
Shoei is another Japanese helmet manufactured that makes premium helmets. I’m seeing a trend here, as both Shoei and Arai make top line helmets.
Like Arai, the Shoei brand focuses on active safety. Meaning the DOT and SNELL safety standard is the starting point, and they identify further improvements to ensure safety and comfort.
The Shoei brand is known for their quality, ventilation, noise reduction, and comfort.
They offer 9 different helmet models, most in the full face category, but also have 2 open face models to choose from. Two different models for off-road or all-road use are also available. Each helmet model has a number of colors and styles to choose from.
This is a premium helmet, so you can expect the price point to reflect that. While not as expensive as the Arai brand, expect to cough up at least $500 for this helmet brand, unless you can find it on sale (like you can here).
So what don’t I like about the Shoei helmet brand?
Again, no focus on sizing for your head type, at least on their website. I don’t know why helmet brands do this, given the importance of proper fit. Of all the best motorcycle helmet brands I’ve reviewed here, Arai is the only manufacturer that lists this information on their website.
Shoei is also a bit pricer than the other brands, except for Arai, so if you are on a budget this may not be the right helmet for you.
Wrapping Up The Best Motorcycle Helmet Brands
Those were my top 5 picks for the best motorcycle helmet brands.
The winner for the best motorcycle helmet brands? Arai gets my vote on this. The primary reason being their focus on helmet fit to your head shape. If you have the cash, check out the Arai brand.
Now I’m certainly not saying that you should avoid any of the other top brands that I may not have called out. All offer great motorcycle helmets, assuming you stick to the major helmet brands.
If you elect to purchase a brand that’s not in my list of best motorcycle helmet brands, just be sure to do the appropriate research.