A Rundown of the Best Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

Let’s face it, as a motorcycle rider one of the most important accessories you’ll ever purchase will be a helmet.  We all know how great it feels to the wind on your face and experience the freedom of riding bareheaded.  More and more states are adopting helmet laws these days and we’ve all had that near brush with an oblivious or inconsiderate auto-driver that makes us realize just how important a helmet can be to our daily riding experience.  But a helmet doesn’t have to put a damper on your moto-experience.  With improvements in technology and innovation, many brands are putting out quality helmets that look awesome, feel great and protect your head.  Here we break down our opinion of what makes the best full face motorcycle helmet.

A Rundown of the Best Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

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Why a Full-Face Model

It’s an age old debate: open-face brain bucket type helmets vs full-face varieties.  There’s really only one reason to prefer the full-face helmet designs, and that’s safety.  Turns out that in the event of a crash there’s a 20% likelihood of you taking a hit to the chinstrap area.  Given the number of aggressive car drivers on the road nowadays, we’ll take our chances with the full face designs.  The good news is that modern improvements in the design and materials mean that you won’t be suffering with a full-face trapped box on your head.

Important Features to Look for in a Helmet

When shopping for the best full face motorcycle helmet, there are a few important features to watch for.  First and foremost, make sure your helmet is DOT (Department of Transportation) approved.  The DOT has specific requirements for crash performance that standardize the safety of helmets across the board.  Non-DOT approved helmets may be cheaper, but there’s no guarantee they’ll perform any better than bubble-wrapping your noggin in the event of a crash.  Many states that have helmet laws require that you use DOT approved models.

We also like innovation and technology, and with that in mind, consider looking into Bluetooth enabled helmet varieties.  While distraction is never a good idea while riding, the ability to communicate with your riding buddy, passenger or listen easily to GPS directions certainly comes in handy when cruising on two wheels.  Bluetooth motorcycle helmets will end up costing you a little more in the wallet, but it’s one of those added features we think is certainly worth the money.

Other things to consider include ventilation, padding, external noise control, visibility and a host of other comfort and safety features.  Each helmet will have its particular pros and cons, and there’s a wide range of quality brands and models to choose from.  With that in mind, lets break down a few of the best full face motorcycle helmets in a variety of different price ranges to get you started on choosing your next head protection.

Top Best Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

While this list certainly isn’t exhaustive, below are a few of what we think are the best full face motorcycle helmets across a variety of price ranges.  Keep reading to see why one of these may be the perfect match for your noggin.

Bell Vortex Motorcycle Helmet

Bell Vortex Motorcycle Helmet

Bell Vortex Motorcycle Helmet

Bell is known for making some of the best full face motorcycle helmets on the market, and the Bell Vortex lives up to the reputation.  There’s no need to sacrifice comfort and style for safety.  The Bell Vortex is a sleek, stylized performance beast of a helmet.  We love the lightweight polycarbonate helmet shell, which makes this full face helmet feel almost weightless on the head and neck.  The clear visor shield also locks down solid with Bell’s Click Release shield feature.  The overall look is a streamlined and smooth curve which performs as good under air currents as it looks.

Speaking of air, the ventilation system on the Bell Vortex just may be our favorite feature on this helmet.  Bell’s patented Velocity Flow Ventilation with Flow Adjust features numerous adjustable vents in important locations across the face of the helmet.  This feature provides for amazing ventilation and temperature control in a variety of riding environments.  The interior lining it well padded, which is a plus on long grueling trips or in the event of a crash.  While not Bluetooth equipped, Bell has thought ahead and there are integrated speaker pockets in the interior, compatible with many helmet speaker accessories which you can purchase separately.  A great beginner level or introductory helmet, the Bell Vortex is also DOT approved.  The Vortex is a quality entry level full face helmet.

HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet

HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet

HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet

HJC is well known for its higher end, innovative and tech-ready motorcycle helmets.  With the HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth ready Modular Full Face Motorcycle Helmet, they’ve also proven that they can put out a quality intro level full face helmet as well.  We love the V protection on HJC’s Optically Superior Faceshield, which blocks out 95% of UV rays but still allows for a clear and distortion free viewing experience, a rare combination in stock helmet visors. If you want to change out the visor though, no worries.  The CL-MAXBT II comes with HJC’s QuickSlide Tool-less Shield Replacement system, which means no fumbling or lugging around extra tools for gear changes on the go.  The adjustable snap and go chin bar is the modular element on this helmet, and makes taking on and off a snap.

Like the Bell, the CL-MAXBT II is Bluetooth ready and fully compatible with HJC’s acclaimed helmet stereo systems, which can be purchased separately.  The HJC is also well ventilated with a front to back airflow system, which allows the heat to follow the contour of your head in, up, back and out.  For added comfort, the interior padding is anti-bacterial and moisture wicking, perfect for warm days in the saddle.  Another DOT approved model, the CL-MAXBT II is another great entry level motorcycle helmet suitable for daily use at a great price point without a ton of bells and whistles.

Shark RAW Blank Motorcycle Helmet

Shark RAW Blank Helmet

Shark RAW Blank Helmet

If you want the safety and protection of a full face motorcycle helmet, with the styling and aesthetic appeal of a fighter jet helmet, look no further than the Shark RAW Blank full face motorcycle helmet.  While the design of the Shark RAW hearkens back to the WWII fighter jet era, the technology and design is all modern.  First, the optics.  The Shark RAW features a double anti-fog visor, which was designed by the acclaimed optics guru, Carl Zeiss.  A smoke visor comes standard, adding to the stylish looks of this full face helmet, but still allowing for impeccable low light vision quality.

The Shark RAW isn’t just a pretty face.  The injected thermoplastic resin is incredibly impact resistant, and the helmet meets all DOT safety standards.  The shell comes in two sizes, both designed to fit the contours of your skull to provide extra wear-ability and comfort.  The face protection mask adds safety and ventilation comfort.  The interior padding of the Shark RAW is made out of natural fiber, bamboo to be exact.  The bamboo lining is comfortable, antibacterial, anti-moisture and naturally hypoallergenic.  Definitely the complete package of comfort and utility.  This is a solid helmet at a mid-level range, definitely built for the experienced rider or someone looking for style and looks while not sacrificing the safety elements that are part of the appeal of full face helmets.

Shoei Neotec Modular Motorcycle Helmet

Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet

Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet

There are certain motorcycle helmet brands that scream quality and offer huge value in exchange for the slightly higher price tag.  When it comes to quality and performance, Shoei full face motorcycle helmets is synonymous with a luxurious performance that returns far more than it takes out of your pocket book.  A premium modular helmet, the Shoei Neotec Modular Motorcycle Helmet gives all the protection of a full face helmet with the added convenience of a flip-up chin piece and face shield, which allows for easy on-off and extra ventilation at rest on warm days.  The body of the Shoei Neotec is an engineering marvel featuring a lightweight AIM shell which, get this, had been tested in a wind tunnel for the ultimate in reduced lift and drag.

We also love the lining on the Neotec full face helmet.  The Dual layer EPS liner has a great impact absorption and is fully removable, washable and offers built in chambers for air ventilation and for future blue-tooth build out through Shoei’s optional add on Bluetooth helmet accessories.  The liner is also specially shaped to match the contours of the rider’s head, not just mash up against your skull.  We also love the vents on the Neotec, featured on the upper and lower portion of this quality full face motorcycle helmet, and specially designed to be easy to operate even when wearing riding gloves.  The wind tunnel technology comes in handy here, helping the helmet engineers determine the optimal placement for maximum comfort and coolness while riding.  The Shoei Neotec is definitely one of the best full face motorcycle helmets out there and a must for experienced riders or those who value quality, comfort and protection that are willing to shell out just a little more for these enhanced features.

Arai XD4 Motorcyle Helmet

Arai XD4 Helmet

Arai XD4 Helmet

If you’ve ever had a hard time finding a helmet that actually fits your head, the Arai XD4 Full Face Motorcycle Helmet might be just the one for you.  The oval shaped is based on an eggs design, a classic form known for durability and impact resistance.  Definitely a contender for one of the best full face motorcycle helmets, the XD4 borrows its styling from the dirt track, but is all street when it comes to safety, performance and streamlined air diffusion.  The brand new XD4 features redesigned diffuser vents on top and lower portion of the helmet, as well as side vents for the utmost in air circulation.  The vents are also designed to prevent air drag, increasing stability of the helmet at high speeds.

Let’s talk about the interior on this helmet.  Like the Neotec, the XD4 features fully removable and washable high quality padding with cool-dry technology designed to wick moisture away from your face and keep you cooler on longer rides.  What the Arai XD4 also has though is the Arai patented Facial Contour Support (FCS) in the cheek pad design which provides the maximum amount of comfort and cushioning in the event of a crash.  Speaking of safety, the Arai cheek pads are also designed with innovative pull-tabs built into the lining.  These pull-tabs allow emergency personnel easier access to your neck and head in case of injury.  Arai is the first helmet manufacturer to include safety technology standard.  With these added features, it’s easy to see what makes the Arai XD4 one of the best full face motorcycle helmets available.  If you don’t mind the ding to your pocketbook this higher end brand will bring, we definitely recommend the XD4 to riders concerned about safety, comfort and the ultimate riding experience.

We hope our roundup has shown you that when it comes to the best full face motorcycle helmets, you don’t have to sacrifice style and comfort for safety.  There are excellent full face helmet options out there for every budget, many even ready for that Bluetooth technology install.  Try one or more out from our list above and be secure and stylin’ in your next motorcycle adventure.

About the author

Steven

Hello everyone! I am a Mechanical Engineer and the founder of motorcyclecentral.net. I love motorcycles since my childhood, so I started this blog website to share this passion with you all.

1 comment
Lorem G - February 29, 2016

Fullface type helmet is the safest to wear compare to other types of helmet. They also considered to be the best motorcycle helmet types for providing the rider of highest percentage of head protection.

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