The 13 Best Helmet Graphics For Summer 2013

Gear, Hell For Leather, HFL -



On motorcycle helmets, tired star and ghost-flame-skulls are finally giving way to truly credible designs. In no particular order, here’s the RideApart staff’s pick of 13 graphics that will make this summer brighter.

AFX FX-39 Dual-Sport Camo Helmet ($119)

Finally, real tree camo on a motorcycle helmet. No, seriously, when you really need to look like a redneck, or just want to blend into your forest surroundings, nothings as effective as this life-like print. The FX-39 is a popular, low cost, ADV-style helmet with both a peak and a visor, meaning you can comfortably wear it on and off-road. ECE 22.05 certification to boot.

AGV Diesel Full-Jack Prism Helmet ($220)

This collab between AGV and Diesel applies the fashion label’s Prism graphic to AGV’s value-priced full-face K3 helmet. An affordable, comfortable, safe way to wear fashion-cred on your motorcycle. Fit an irridium silver visor for the complete effect.

Arai Signet-Q US Flag Black Frost ($675)

Black, gold and grey are always a good combination. We dig the subtle patriotism of the mono-color flag graphic on Arai’s top-tier sport touring helmet.

Arai Corsair V IOM TT 2013 LE ($908)

Big Isle of Man TT fan? This homage to the race is limited to just 274 editions and features the Isle’s flag along with black and white checkers. Makes sense that it’s on Arai’s flagship racing helmet too.

Bell Custom 500 Panel ($140)

The Bell Custom 500 is probably the nicest-looking DOT 3/4 helmet out there by virtue of a low-profile shape that sits low on your head, novelty-style. Add matte black paint and some simple, striking colors and you have a real winner.

HJC RPHA 10 Ben Spies III ($450)

Did you know that, when he’s not crashing MotoGP bikes or flipping burgers, Ben Spies moonlights as the voice of Sponge Bob Square Pants’ sidekick Patrick? No? Well this range-topping, partially hand-made race helmet celebrates the famous starfish in red-white-and-blue style. Buy one and you’ll eternally be the coolest dad at daycare.

Icon Airframe Sauvetage ($375)

Feline provocateur combined with a shark’s aggressiveness might not sound like a great combination on paper, but on Icon’s top-tier sport helmet, the juxtaposition is loud and aggressive, while not taking itself too seriously.

Icon Airmada Stack Hi Viz ($260)

Bold, simple and vibrant, this is our favorite helmet graphic out there right now, applied to our absolute favorite (regardless of price) sport helmet. Any of the colors are good, but this hi viz green is particularly striking. Fit a black visor immediately.

Icon Variant Big Game ($400)

Icon’s “construct” exposed tri-composite weave is already pretty neat, but apply Zebra stripes and a bright red slash and it’s elevated to something completely unique and striking. As an added bonus, lions and hyenas won’t be able to judge your direction, size or speed.

Lazer Kestrel Carbon Light Rich ($379)

Pairing exposed carbon weave with graphics is something few helmet makers get right. But Lazer does here by keeping things simple. Subtle grey spots on the chin mimic a golf ball’s dimples for a little added depth.

Lazer Mambo Wizz ($120)

Light hearted, vibrant and fun, the Wizz is exactly what you want from a 3/4 riding experience. Pair this one with your Deus Ex Machina custom and surfboard as you ride to the beach.

Shoei GT-Air Journey ($604)

A strikingly contemporary design from a maker not traditionally known for good graphics. The GT-Air is also a little special in that it’s ECE 22.05-certified, even in the US market, so it’s actually a little lighter than their own Snell M2010 X12 flagship. The sport-touring lid includes a flip-down sunvisor.

Shoei Neotec Borealis ($678)

Shoei’s new Neotec is much improved over the impossibly heavy flip-front it replaces. As are these simple “Borealis” graphics, which add hi viz safety in a visually appealing manner.

  • Ceol Mor

    I was not aware the Shoei GT-Air met ECE 22.05 specs. My helmet simply has a DOT sticker affixed to it and Shoei’s own website mentions nothing about meeting ECE Standards – just DOT.

    • Wes Siler

      It’s rest-of-the-world spec.

      • Ceol Mor


        • Keith

          I use a nolan n44 in white with the Italian stripes … Lots of venting …. Both my motorcycle and scooter are Benelli’s … So it goes hand in hand … Plus hard to get anything else in China which is not a knock off.

      • atgatthd

        Is (insert classified site here) the only way to get a “rest of the world spec” helmet?

        • Wes Siler

          No. Many manufacturers like Icon, AGV, Schuberth, Nexx etc believe in giving Americans the safest possible helmets and build all their lids to ECE 22.05.

          • atgatthd

            Man, homologation sucks when our standards blow.

            I know you prefer ECE 22.05. What about something like the Arai RX-7 GP That is SNELL M2010 and ECE 22.05 certified? Would you rather have a helmet that just carried the ECE spec? Do they compromise the benefits of an ECE spec helmet by including the SNELL spec too?

            • Modest Husqvarna

              To the best of my knowledge, snell spec requires a slightly stiffer construction which can transfer more force to your cranium especially for lower speed impacts. Essentially sacrificing low speed safety for greater impact absorption at high impact velocities. I know HFL did a thing on this dichotomy a while back…

              • the antagonist

                That was true of the Snell M2005 standard. After the “Blowing the Lid Off” controversy, Snell brought their M2010 standard more in line with the ECE standard, which I assume is why the same helmet can now meet both standards. I don’t believe that was possible before.

                • atgatthd

                  Thanks, that makes sense.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Nothing says San Francisco Castro District like the Lazer Mambo Wizz

  • motoguru.

    The Variant Big Game is the lone graphic in a sea of matte black and silver on my lid shelf. That being said, I’ve been eyeing that Hi-Viz stack colorway for a while now!

  • Tuscan Foodie

    The only decent graphic is the Shoei Neotec Borealis. Perhaps also the AGV prism. The rest are fugly. Really fugly.

  • AlexKnolly

    For “awesome looking hi-viz” may I submit the Bell RS-1. I recently got the hi viz version after coming from a Shoei RF-1100 and Nexx XR1R Carbon and it is my favorite helmet EVER. Paired with the transitions visor it is the most handy street riding helmet you can think of.

    • grb

      Really like this design

    • alex

      I’ve been using the transitions visor for awhile and while it’s the best visor I wish it was cheaper and came in a polarized option

    • Regder

      Bell is doing some decent graphics these days, where most manufacturers just produce ugly ugly crap. Their Air Trix and RSD helmets all look pretty good.

      I’ve got the RS-1 Air Trix

  • Tessier

    I liked the Airoh Aviator Caption so much I bought one!

  • grb

    all good choices, except, and no disrespect intended, the US flag is tacky

  • Konstantin Chachanidze

    bell custom or lazer mambo wizz, please :D :D :D

    • Lee Scuppers

      So I’m not the only one.

      I sent the Airframe Sauvage to my girlfriend because she has bad taste.

      • Konstantin Chachanidze

        that lucky girl :D :D :D wanna be my boyfriend too? :D: D :D just kidding, want that helmet badly :D :D :D

  • Reid
    • Brian

      it is a little too anime russian tanker looking to me.

      • Lee Scuppers

        I’m gonna say it’s just anime Russian tanker looking enough.

        Not for me without a chin bar, though. Darn it.

        • Brian

          maybe a Nolan N43E Trilogy helmet then? I like mine a lot.

      • stever

        anime russian submariner

    • roma258

      Whoa that’s awesome! Just put it on a regular full-face and I’d be tempted.

  • HammSammich

    I usually stick with plain Gloss black helmets, but I’d seriously consider several of the graphics schemes used on the Bell Custom 500…if only it was available in a full face…

  • alex

    For submission to the “Harley that can’t corner gangdroid pusher” category

  • Clint Keener

    I wish Troy Lee made street helmets, or teamed up with Arai.

    I do really like that variant big game helmet though. But I risk being ostracized by my peers, haha!

  • the antagonist

    Screw the graphics. It’s hot out! Which helmets have the best airflow?

  • Davidabl2

    Since the helmet is the most easily seen part of the rider/bike combination at a distance and in traffic
    (i.e. only thing anybody can see in a sea of automobiles) a bright color for same is a very good idea.
    And a graphic that doesn’t turn into camouflage at a distance-which even some bright colored designs do.
    Another overlooked factor is that some designs easily show when the rider turns his/her head, which is also a GOOD thing. Especially as a cue to other motorcyclists. That last Shoei Neotec probably scores 100% for all these factors. As would a white helmet with a 3″ wide racing stripe..

  • Bryan Woody Wood

    How did you miss the Icon Armada Colossal Kraken edition?