Everyone who rides a motorcycle understands that safety is first when it comes to protective gear. Before you get on that road for your very first ride, you will likely have invested some serious cash into a host of items that won’t even be attached to your bike. Over the ankle motorcycle boots, protective leather gloves, a wind-breaking and debris shielding jacket, maybe with body armor built-in and the list goes on.
Perhaps the most important item on your safety checklist will be a quality, protective motorcycle helmet. The helmet’s come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Modular helmets, full-face helmets, and skull cap or half shell helmets all will protect your head in the event of a crash and are an essential part of the motorcycle riding experience.
However, helmets can be expensive. With some of the top models maxing out at over $600, it can seem daunting for a first-time rider to consider gearing up safely and appropriately to hit the road. As it turns out, safety doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, those luxury models may have a few bells and whistles, stylish details, or an extra air vent here or there. Many times though you are paying for a brand or a fancy paint job over actual safety.
When it comes to safety, the thing to look for is a legitimate DOT certification on a helmet. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires helmet companies to independently test their helmets and verify that they meet certain safety requirements. Once done, the company applies for certification to the DOT and can now slap that sticker on the back of any approved helmet in their line.
The basic requirements are basic but essential. DOT certified helmets must meet a certain level of impact resistance. Typically, they are formulated with an EPS, high-density shell which absorbs the force of an impact with the ground or another vehicle. They must also have secure strapping mechanisms and not allow any debris or projectile to penetrate through. These may seem like basic requirements, but buying a helmet that has a DOT certification gives you peace of mind.
Now that you know that all DOT approved helmets must meet certain safety thresholds, you can shop with comfort. As it turns out, many inexpensive or downright cheap motorcycle helmets have the same safety ratings as those expensive brands. This means that when it comes to protection, a cheap motorcycle helmet performs the same as helmets that cost significantly more and there is no reason to not find and wear your safety protection on your next bike ride. Here we break down a few of our favorite cheap motorcycle helmets on the market today.
Top 5 Cheap Motorcycle Helmets Reviews
1. Fuel Helmets SH-FF0015 Full Face Helmet
Fuel is well known for making stylish helmets loved by a wide range of riders and motorcycle enthusiasts across a variety of riding styles and experience levels. The Fuel SH-FF0015 Full Face Helmet continues in this tradition. With full-face protection, the DOT stamp of approval, and a stylish, close to the face design, you can rest assured that a Fuel Helmet will keep you looking good and feeling safe.
The SH-FF0015 also adds comfort without tacking onto the price. The thermoplastic shell is lightweight, providing great neck and head feel. The fully padded interior has removable cheek pads, another safety feature that allows first responders easy access to your head and neck in the event of a crash. The venting system is definitely quality, featuring internal channel venting connected to the front and rear exterior vents. This innovative feature enhances airflow to keep you cool and comfortable.
Additional features abound on the SH-FF0015, making it a strong contender for the best cheap motorcycle helmet in its class. Extra snaps allow you to secure the shin strap excess, reducing slap. The removable visor also retracts for full feature interchangeability. Fuel also has a variety of additional accessories, and with the excess budget room, you will have the leftover cash to purchase separately and customize your new helmet.
2. Daytona Helmets Slim Line Skull Cap Half Shell Helmet
Cheap motorcycle helmets can come in a wide range of quality and stylish designs. If you are looking for a slim, head fitting, trendy skull cap style helmet for a budget, look no further. The Daytona Slim Line Skull Cap Half Shell Helmet features all the style at a fraction of the price of other brands. The Slim Line Skull Cap exceeds DOT safety standards. In fact, this Daytona Half Shell Helmet is the smallest DOT approved helmet ever made. Definitely a must-have for the minimalist motorcycle riders out there.
The SlimLine also makes a great inexpensive motorcycle helmet for its customization ability. Unlike some other lower-priced brands, the Slim Line offers three different helmets sizes, sure to give you a proportionate, just-right fit. The helmet secures with the nylon T-strap D-ring retention system that comes with a sliding adjuster for a secure and adjustable fit. The metal rivets add extra style and security.
For comfort, the interior of the Slim Line Skull Cap features moisture-wicking fabric so your head will stay cooler on those warmer rides. The interior is comfort fitting too, with a custom formed lining. Additional, optional accessories include a snap-on mini scoop visor for extra sun-shielding. At this price, the Slim Line half helmet is a skull hugging, stylish motorcycle helmet sure to please budget-minded riders of all levels.
3. Vega X888 Full Face Helmet
In quality motorcycle helmet construction, Vega is definitely a go-to name for comfort, safety, and style. So when Vega decides to completely reinvent its entry-level helmet, we sit up and take notice. The all-new redesigned Vega X888 Full Face Helmet starts with full US DOT certification. The solid shell is constructed out of dual-density EPS foam which enhances the protection for your hide while you ride. You also have to love a full face design when it comes to safety and protection in the face, head, and neck.
Safety is great for a functional cheap motorcycle helmet, but what about comfort. It turns out, the Vega X888 doesn’t skimp in that arena either. Vega’s entry-level helmet features wick-dry fabric technology for an extra layer of comfort in those warm weather conditions. The interior also features a comfort fit liner that cradles the head while providing much needed cushioning.
A common feature that sets the helmets apart on our best cheap motorcycle helmets list is versatility. Vega produces a full line of visors, shields, decals, and other helmet accessories for all of your motorcycling needs. While the X888 comes standard with a clear shield, there are nine other shield and visor options available to interchange with ease. Overall, the Vega is a quality helmet from a solid manufacturer of typically, much more expensive models.
4. 1Storm Motorcycle Street Bike Modular Full Face Helmet
The 1Storm Street Bike Modular Full Face Helmet makes the list of our top cheap motorcycle helmets due to its racecourse inspired styling and its high-end features at bargain pricing. Like all the other helmets on our inexpensive helmet list, the 1Storm is DOT rated and approved with solid construction and a high impact EPS foam comprised shell. In fact, the 1Storm features thermoplastic, a revolutionary technology that takes a beating in a crash so your head won’t.
Style is also definitely not lacking in the 1Storm. While we have a soft spot for the classic matte black design, this helmet comes in a wide range of colors, sure to appeal to even the pickiest fashion-forward rider. The shell is lightweight for added comfort while riding and features a flip-up, dual-lens design. With this innovative design, you can easily interchange between daytime and nighttime riding, without having to make tool using adjustments. Definitely a plus on those long road trips with infrequent stops.
Another plus on the 1Storm is the fully removable and washable lining. Makes keeping your helmet cool, clean, and comfortable a breeze. This motorcycle helmet also comes full Bluetooth ready with interior pockets and grooves in the lining for all your wired needs. Last but not least, you’ll get a full one year warranty included with this brand. We love the 1Storm full-face helmet for anyone looking for a customizable style that won’t break the bank.
5. Bell Solid Adult Qualifier Street Bike Racing Motorcycle Helmet
Everyone who has used a motorcycle helmet knows that Bell helmets are some of the best known, longest lasting and highest quality entry-level helmets on the market. We’ve written about this particular helmet before in fact, and it’s no wonder why. When it comes to a helmet that is tops in safety, reliability and doesn’t sacrifice features, there’s not many that can beat the Bell Solid Adult Qualifier Street Bike Racing Motorcycle Helmet.
The safety and functionality of the Bell Qualifier say street bike, but the styling is all off-road, making for a flashy presentation whether commuting or cruising. The Bell qualifier is fully DOT approved, rounding out our list of cheap motorcycle helmets that won’t sacrifice in the certification department. In fact, many of the features on the Bell Qualifier come directly from Bell’s industry-leading Star helmet model, meaning you get the quality of a high priced helmet at a budget-conscious price.
The interior of the Bell Qualifier helmet features contour cut cheek pads that provide maximum comfort. The interior is fully removable and washable, a must for hygiene, especially in warmer climates. Speaking of comfort, we love Bell’s ventilation system, with chin, forehead, cheek, and neck vents, all fully adjustable. This means you’ll have the maximum airflow possible in a full-face helmet.
Finally, the Bell Qualifier Full Face Helmet comes with Bell’s standard quick-release technology. This means you won’t be carting around extra tools or fumbling with complicated mechanisms to switch out visors in the middle of a ride. The Bell Qualifier is an aerodynamic, comfortable, safe, and stylish helmet and tops the list of our economically friendly, cheap motorcycle helmets review.
When it comes to outfitting yourself for a motorcycling adventure, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice safety or style in order to fit within a budget. There are many inexpensive helmets on the market that fit a variety of needs, and still, come standard with all the features you could possibly want in a helmet.
While the more expensive models may have bells and whistles such as integrated electronics or custom tinted shields, picking up a starter inexpensive motorcycle helmet leaves room for you to add these options on later, as your budget allows. Overall, we hope we’ve given you a quick introduction to the world of cheap motorcycle helmets and have shown you that outfitting yourself comfortably for a ride doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag.