14 Affordable Motorcycle Helmets That Don't Suck

Safety standards are totally within reach, even on a budget.

There used to be a rule of thumb that motorcycle riders had to purchase a helmet of equal value to that of their head. We have since come a long way and gear manufacturers have been able to up their entry-level gave and offer well-performing helmets that don’t cost an arm and a leg.  

To help you get started, we decided to dig out 14 helmets that meet the following criteria: 

Here are the lids we found for you. 

Bell Qualifier DLX Blackout 

The Bell Qualifier has become a staple of the entry-level segment. Available in seven sizes and three shell sizes, it’s a great starting point, especially for a first helmet. Some of its features include polycarbonate shell, four air intake and two air exhaust vents, and washable padding and lining. 

Sedici Strada II

Sedici is a relatively new player in the helmet game but didn’t take long to establish itself as a respectable competitor. The Strada model (Italian for “Street”) is a road-friendly lid that features a fiberglass and Kevlar fiber shell, drop- down sun visor, two air intake and three air exhaust vents, and antibacterial, moisture-wicking liner that I both removable and washable.  

Biltwell Gringo S

If you like the cartoonish astronaut helmet look, the Biltwell Gringo is right up your alley. The minimalistic retro helmet is the brand’s best-known design. Its features a hand-painted injection-molded ABS shell, a layer of expanded polystyrene, and speaker pockets to add a comm system. The Gringo S features a retractable visor, if you prefer a simpler design, the entry-level Gringo comes without a shield and can be paired with goggles for a really old school style.  

Bell MX-9 MIPS 

In the off-road friendly segment, the MX-9 is a great option to consider not only for its affordable price but also because of the MIPS lining, which is an advanced type of protector that provides additional protection against angle impacts and torsion.  

Icon Airflite 

With over 700 customers raving about the Icon Airflite, it’s hard to deny that this helmet checks most of the boxes. The shell is made of injection-molded polycarbonate and is available in three sizes to accommodate the wide range of liner sizes. It features ample ventilation, a fog-free retractable sun visor, a removable Hydradry moisture-wicking liner, and a quick-change fog-free face shield.   

Bell Moto-3 Blackout 

If you’re looking for a goggle-ready helmet and that you’re a fan of the whole vintage aesthetic, Bell has just the helmet for you. The Moto-3 helmet was first introduced in 1970. A few decades later, Bell brought the model back, unchanged from a design standpoint but with the appropriate, 21st-century safety upgrades. It features a fiberglass composite shell, fixed, mesh-covered air ducts, and a removable sun peak.   

Biltwell Lane Splitter Factory 

Speaking of vintage—Biltwell is one of the few gear companies out there that specializes almost exclusively in neo-retro lids. The Gringo is perhaps its best-known product, but the Lane Splitter offers a slightly more modern design in case the Gringo round surface doesn’t quite meet your style requirements. It features injection-molded ABS outer shell with a hand-painted finish, hand-sewn removable brushed Lycra liner, and even integrated pockets to receive a comm system.   

LS2 OF569 Track Helmet 

If you like to ride with your chin al fresco, then the LS2 OF569 is a strong contender in the ¾ helmet segment. With both DOT and ECE certifications and price point just below the $100 mark, it features a High-Pressure Thermoplastic Technology (HPTT) shell, a removable and washable liner, and a drop-down sun visor.   

HJC i90  

The HJC i90 is a comm system-ready lid for those looking to rack up the miles. It features Bluetooth-ready design for SMART HJC 10B or 20B comm systems, has a SuperCool moisture-wicking, antibacterial lining, and a drop-down sun visor. It’s also offered in the “Snow” version that features a heated visor for the winter riders.  

LS2 FF328 Stream 

The LS2 Stream is a good, simple helmet for the price point. It features a proprietary Kinetic Polymer Alloy shell, available in only one size, a drop-down sun visor, a Fog Fighter System 3D visor, and of course, a washable liner.   

BILT Force Ten

Aside from the obvious Star Wars and Force references, the BILT Force Ten is a good entry-level, everyday helmet. As customers have commented—it does exactly what a helmet at this price point does. It features an injection-molded polycarbonate shell with air ducts positioned at the chin and on the top of the lid to keep a cool head. It also comes with a sun visor and a removable and washable lining.  

AFX FX-50

Here’s another ¾ option for the urban riders who enjoy a little extra ventilation. The AFX FX-50 features a retractable visor and convenient peak to protect from the sun. In case you need extra ventilation, the shell also features four air vents to circulate the air inside the helmet. Other features include a drop-down sun visor and comm system pockets.   

O'Neal Sierra II 

For the adventurous types, the O’Neal Sierra is a good entry point into the dual-sport/adventure helmet segment. It has all the typical features of similar model including a large sun peak, generous air ducts including a large opening at the chin, goggle-friendly face opening but with an integrated shield when you want to hit the road and ditch the goggles.   

AGV K3 SV 

Though it’s not listed as an ECE-compliant helmet on RevZilla, according to the manufacturer's site, the AGV K3 does meet both DOT and ECE safety standards. It’s a versatile, comfortable street helmet that’s also a great entry point into the AGV lineup. It features a High Resistance Thermoplastic Resin (HIR-TR) shell offered in two sizes, a drop-down sun visor, a breath deflector and chin guard, and a removable lining.  
 

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