The Best Street Motorcycle Helmets Under $800

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For those of you who want to spend top dollar on a top-of-the-line helmet we present this list of the best/our favorite helmets under $800

Disclaimer: The helmets on this list were chosen for being the absolute best of the best, our favorite in the brand’s lineup, or the best value — which means they may not actually be the most fully featured in the brand’s lineup. Yes, I’m aware the Arai Corsair is their flagship helmet but no, I would not buy it because I think you can get a different Arai helmet that’s 95% as good for 75% of the price. Also, a lot of the higher-end helmets charge a ton for funky colors/paint schemes so I stuck with which one I would actually buy, which was most often the solid color scheme. I just don’t get paying an extra 20% for a tribal star fairy dragons, but feel free if you’re so inclined. Also, for those of you looking for something cheaper, check out our “Best Under $300” list.

Full Face

AGV Corsa – $750

Developed in part by Valentino Rossi, the Corsa is the more practical version of AGV’s new Pista GP flagship. Same new shape, similar big weight saving over the outgoing GP-Tech that this replaces, same huge new visor, vents that close with the much more convenient switches over the Pista GP’s silly rubber plugs. The Corsa should be comfortable, light, very well ventilated, have excellent vision both peripherally and while in a racing tuck and be incredibly stable at high speeds. We’re excited to get our hands on this one; you’ll be able to soon as well, it’s available for preorder now. ECE 22.05.

Arai RX-Q – $530.95

“The Corsair for the street” is the best buy in the Arai line, at least in my humble opinion (although I really really want to get my hands on a Defiant). Priced at almost $200 less than the Corsair, the RX-Q brings a ton of the Corsair features to the street. They share the same wider eye port, same visor, and the shell was based on the Corsair’s. The RX-Q has an intermediate oval shape and should fit similar to their Quantam 2. This helmet is absolutely beautiful, especially in their “frost” paint treatment. Snell M2010.

Bell RS-1 Emblem – $399.95

Wes and I differ on our opinions of the Bell line, so I included them both. The RS-1 is my favorite in the lineup because I think it’s both better looking, nicer to wear, and a much better value. It definitely isn’t as track ready, but I’ve used it mostly for commuting and long trips which I think it’s perfectly suited for. Read more about it from my review here. Snell M2010.

Bell Star Carbon – $649.95

Wes has been wearing one of these around for a while and swears by it. Aesthetically, it’s beautiful, and they’ve really improved it a lot since he reviewed it a few years ago (the carbon makes a big difference). It’s become his go-to helmet pretty much every day, but especially any time we get to get out on a track. Snell M2010.

NEXX XR1R Carbon – $599

The XR1R remains one of the lightest helmets to date at just 1200 grams. NEXX is a small Portuguese brand that managed to make one of our absolute favorite helmets ever. This thing is first class when it comes with weight, aerodynamics, and vision. Read more about it in our review here. ECE 22.05.

Schuberth S2 – $699

Personally, Schuberth is my favorite brand. Maybe it’s that the briefing on their helmets is full of the statement “we heard from our customers __________, so we made it better by __________.” Maybe it’s that they take an hour out of their day to brief you on each of the helmet’s features when you pick one up to review. Maybe it’s that they use wind tunnels and sound tunnels and awesome tunnels to test for pretty much everything you could dream up. It’s probably because all of that shows up in the product. Wes reviewed it here. ECE 22.05.

Shoei GT-Air – $494.99

The RF-1100 was my first “nice” helmet, and they’ve improved a ton with their release of the GT-Air. Better ventilation, less noise, a flip down sun visor, and a beautiful new shell make this helmet a winner. Read more about it in our review here. ECE 22.05.

Modular

Schuberth C3 Pro – $769

Ok, so I’ve already professed my love for Schuberth above. This modular makes all other modulars look massive in comparison. This is my everyday helmet for most of the year and I wrote a review for it, so you should just go read that. ECE 22.05.

HJC RPHA Max – $413.99

Wes crashed in one and then wrote about how much he loved it. This helmet is fully featured and a steal at such a low price point. Read Wes’s review here. ECE 22.05.

Shoei Neotec – $584.09

People absolutely love this helmet. It’s one of Revzilla’s top selling modular helmets and has countless testimonials. I haven’t worn this particular version, but based off wearing their full face and dual sport counterparts and looking at the spec sheet, I couldn’t leave it off the list.

Dual Sport

Arai XD-4 – $539.95

Another helmet I have yet to enjoy the experience of wearing, but one you’ve seen in plenty of Jamie’s videos, the XD-4 is definitely a favorite of pretty much everyone in our line of work. It looks awesome sans beak or with goggles instead of the visor, and is pretty perfect for almost any kind of excursion. Read our review here. Snell M2010.

ICON Variant Big Game – $400

This is one of the few helmets where I would actually pony up the extra dough for some graphics. Partially because it’s only an extra $50 and partially because I like more obnoxious ADV helmets, this thing just looks incredible. Our friends with the Wilderness Collective swear by them for all of their adventures. Personally, I found the Variant to buffet a little more at freeway speeds that most people seem to, but I think it’s top notch for everything else. ECE 22.05.

AGV AX-8 – $419.95

Wes hasn’t stopped talking about this helmet since the day he got his first one. He recommends it to absolutely everyone, so it makes sense we recommend it to you. Read Wes’s gushing report here. ECE 22.05.

Bell Moto-9 Tagger Scrub – $549.95

Yes, I know this is a dirtbike helmet. It’s also the helmet I wear pretty much everywhere, all summer long. I prefer the matte black one, but think the graphics look awesome one these. I love wearing my Moto-9 more than most of my helmets, especially when it’s hot outside. To me, it buffets less than any of the other dual sport helmets mentioned while being lighter, flowing way more air, and lets me wear goggles so I can look like Master Chief. Full review coming shortly. Snell M2010.

  • Zachary Church

    Awesome! Sweet article.

  • Stuki

    Nice overview, but wouldn’t “All street helmets between $500 and $800″ be a more descriptive heading? :)

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      You’re not the boss of me.

    • Guest

      Umm definitely more than that, t

  • HyperRider

    I REALLY want a Defiant but can’t stop comparing it to the XD-4. I figured with the XD-4 if/when I do some adv riding it would be appropriate but I get caught in the rain (and willing ride in it now) so wouldn’t the beak help there too? Any advice is good advice at this point considering I HAVE to buy a new helmet next year (my current helmet is 5 years old)

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      How doe a beak help with rain?

      • HyperRider

        I have absolutely no idea, I was hoping to have someone elaborate on it for me. When I ride in the rain currently with my full face it just seems like EVERYTHING hits me in the shield; I figured the beak could prevent SOME of the rain from hitting my visor (read: prevent the rain from hindering my line of sight)

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Do you mean the peak? The brim-like thing above the visor? If so, those aren’t a huge help. Most rain is coming at you horizontally when you’re at speed.

          • HyperRider

            Thanks, Yeah that’s what I meant. I guess the Arai Defiant is next in line for me instead of the XD-4

  • Brendan

    Great review – will you guys be doing an under $500 article as well?

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      i posted an under 300 article 2 days ago and some of the helmets on the list are under 500. so no.

  • engageit

    No Shark helmets? I own 2 Shark helmets, and a Schuberth S2 helmet, and I find the Sharks to be better quality, better features, and better value than the Schuberth, by far. The Speed-R is a great street helmet, and the Race-R Pro carbon is a great track helmet! My schuberth is about 3 months old, and already being sent back for a repair as one of the fasteners that hold the lining in place popped right out of the EPS shell…

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Are Shark helmets available in America? I’ve never seen one here.

      • engageit

        Revzilla carries all the DOT certified ones. I live in Canada, so I buy ECE ones (more choice of graphics, slightly lighter). In Canada, Yamaha is the official distributor as I understand it.

        • engageit

          I mean to say that I buy the ECE ones from UK or European distributors. In Canada through Yamaha, you can only buy the DOT ones as far as I know.

      • engageit

        And if you like modular helmets, which I don’t, the Shark one is great. I have a buddy who has one. You can ride with it open, as the jaw piece folds back behind the helmet in a sort of weird spoiler fashion, and leaves the visor in place. Other than the fact that it means it has a HUGE jawline, it’s a great idea.

      • HyperRider

        http://stores.sportbiketrackgear.com/Categories.bok?category=SHARK+Helmets+from+Sportbiketrackgear.com

        if they’re not avail in America Brian Van has done a helluva job to get them to consumers in the states

      • jonoabq

        revzilla…just saw it lower down the conversation, nevermind

      • Nick

        They were selling them at the Indy GP last week

      • Mr.Paynter

        Ive shipped myself some from ExtremeSupply out in Cali I think, but as I said on the last thread, they may be shipping direct from elsewhere. Also a shark fan-boy here.

  • Dale Drechsler

    I’d like to hear rideaparts take in the Reevu helmets with the rear vision mirror in them.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Gimmick.

    • Bill

      I actually tried one on today. The image displayed by the mirror isnt very useful. Fuzzy & blurred. And tiny.
      Skully is introducing a helmet with a legit built in rear view camera & integrated hud later this year, check that out.

  • MotoBell

    My quick review based on recent experience. I have mostly owned Arai for last 18 years but switched to a Bell (yes el cheapo RS-1) 10 months. cross hipped most

    Nexx – Purchased the XR1R carbon – stunning on the outside and poor quality on the inside. Like most I was motivated based on fastnastic reviews..and it delivered on first few days and within couple of weeks interior started breaking down and looked like crap. sent a detail email to them and there managing director personally wrote back copying his team and acknowledged that they are woking on improving it. so I hope they have done something.. I tried it this year at Alguna again.. didnt seem any different. unfortunate as this helmet has stunning finish on exterior and is the lightest i have tried on.

    Bell Star – the fit has changed in 2013, it is now a closer replica of the RS-1 the older 2012 ran bigger around the crown and so I didnt buy it – if buying now this is top of list. I am impressed what they are also doing from business perspective and are actually advancing with meaningful innovations – the transition shield alone is worth switching to this brand, but shield mechanism, the magnetic strap retainer, speaker pockets, interior quality, exterior pain or lack of in the beautiful matt black version and pricing means other helmets manufacturers are just plain lazy

    Arai – I still love Arai – the previous 5 times i went shopping for helmets I ended with a Arai. the shield mechanism doesn’t bother me i have lived with them long enough.. but they keep increasing price with very new innovations – after 18 years i defected.. add the transitions shiled i may be back. i stil like the clean round oval shape and weight distribution on this helmet.

    Bell RS-1 Emblem – I couldn’t bring myself buy this helmet as this cheap price. After years of programming my brain that I will only buy the absolute top Arai racing lid i had to convince myself it is ok to not have the “R” or the “S” or “Factory” version of a helmet. I have been very happy – i use it on track, in the canyons and tour – the transitions shield make it awesome for me, my sena headset fits, the multiple cheekpad options allow for adjustability. My wife also switched from Arai to the RS-1. And it helped that my last name is Bell. Here is picture of my helmet at Turn 1 Monaco F1 track ( I did a 4 day ride swapping between a rental Multistrada GT and BMW GS both with dynamic suspension across europe 3 months ago).

    Shoe GT-Air: My friend rode with this helmet across europe with me and it is a fantastic buy too. it wasnt my fit and if you ride mostly on street this is a great helmet – but I did see him struggling a lot with the too dark internal visor and clear exterior shield. transitions shield is the way to go beside it didn’t fit me very wella nd the mechanism added weight. it is good street helmet as mentioned here. and it looks fantastic in the offset racing lines

    If I was buying again today I will get the 2013 Bell Star Track Day with the transitions shield again. If Arai offered the shield, it would make it tempting but not enough – that is coming from a snooty Arai fan

    RideApart team – this is a solid list

  • Tessier

    A Bell Moto-9 over an Airoh Aviator? I know they are difficult to get in the states but there is a reason why just about every European pro rides with one.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Cool story, but we need to cover helmets that are commercially available in North America.

      • Tessier

        Cool story, but apparently you weren’t aware that Airoh America is the North American Distributor and you can even order things on this new fangled thingy call the Internet. It’s amazing they just show right up at your door within a few day’s. Crazy I know!

        http://airohamerica.com/index.php?page=home

        • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

          I haven’t had much experience with their helmets, and I really do love the Bell (it’s honestly the only thing I’ve worn since mid July). It’s incredible around town, on the freeway, and in the dirt.

          I’ll see if I can get in touch with anyone at Airoh and let you know how it compares.

  • Pete

    Schuberth C3 Pro isn’t Snell M2010. I actually don’t believe Snell has approved any helmets with an integrated internal sun visor.

  • http://battlestareclectica.tumblr.com/ Elvis

    As a Corsair owner, I was shocked by the quality and fit of the newer Bell helmets. They make top quality stuff, and now that my Corsair is old, I’ll probably go for the Bell. The star is great, but I’m not sure I can pay the extra over the RS-1 because the RS-1 is really nice enough.

  • Dustin Coury

    Could you compare an Icon Airmada vs Star,RX-Q, S2? Real question is – what am I getting for almost triple the money?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Good question. And, the answer is not a lot. My regular helmet rotation includes the Airmada and S2. They’re both comfy and they’re about the same weight. Both are very aerodynamically stable, but I haven’t worn the Icon at the speeds I’ve worn the Schuberth at. ~150mph max on the Icon, 202mph on the Schuberth.

      The Icon actually vents much better (it’s what it was designed to do) and remains more fog free. The Schuberth has more features — built-in antenna, sun visor — and is made from a tri-composite material rather than the Icon’s plastic.

      If it was my money? I’d buy the Airmada.

  • susannaschick

    What, no Suomy? Princess Concussia rates Suomy far higher than AGV (pictured, bought for the obvious reason), and about as good as Arai. I remember when I got into Suomy (for the graphics) I took comfort in the fact that one of their most famous sponsored racers was Ruben Xaus. He crashed a lot more than most, and wasn’t drooling into a cup, so I figured they must make good helmets. I’ve since tested them and yep, they work. Granted, that AGV I had was a tad large, but still. I am deeply disturbed by how long I was KO’d, (about 2 hours, I’d guess) and counting the MINUTES until the 6D street helmet comes out… I’m so over concussions. 7 is enough, thanks.

    edit- oh, alright. yeah, I know. they no longer sell them here. I tried to get a new visor at my LBS, and had to get an old tinted one because their distribution is kaput.

  • Kr Tong

    Wow and I thought the corsa would be cheaper once it reached the states. I guess the guys that had theirs imported saved a hundred bucks.

  • Stephen Miller

    A similar piece on sub-$200 helmets would be helpful, also. Surely RA doesn’t believe that there aren’t safe, comfortable options in the lower price ranges.

  • jonoabq

    For the long oval heads (Arai Profile) The Arai Signet-Q, is the RX-Q in terms of carryover features from the Corsair but 5mm longer than the discontinued Profile. The venting is slightly better than the profile, though not as quiet and comes with the Pinlock-max visor standard. I’m not really liking the Pinlock with the dark smoke insert as it leaves a bright halo of light around the visor so I’m probably just going to purchase a standard dark smoke visor for summer months, but once the days get short and I start commuting in the dark/cold the clear pinlock rocks. Fit/finish/interior comfort is what you can expect from Arai at this price point…all day comfortable.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      Yeah, the whole dark pin lock in a clear screen thing always bummed me out. Functional, but it just looks ridiculous and I can’t get over it.

  • Ayabe

    I have a Defiant and am very happy with it. It’s light with good ventilation, easy to get on and off, comfortable, well built, stable at speed and when blind spot checking, etc. etc.

    Two things I don’t like, it’s noisy much of which I believe is caused by the visor mounting system which also sucks. I cannot help but think the side bulges cause a whistle in the gap at the top, this coincides with a lot of the noise being concentrated right in the ear area.

    Changing visors gets better with time but you always feel like you are going to break something, there is a lot of plastic creaking and snapping. Schuberths system is far superior with the buttons – at least you aren’t jamming the visor into a plastic mechanical abyss hoping for a snap, crackle, snap and not a crackle, crackle, snap.

    I ride a Honda CB500F and haven’t used the helmet with any other bike, something with a windscreen might deflect some of the wind and lessen the noise. I roll with earplugs 100% of the time anyways so it’s not too, too bad, but if I were to forget them, there would be some ringing for sure.

  • Clint Keener

    I tried on the new AGV Corse today at the D-Store. I wasn’t that impressed, it didn’t feel any lighter than my Arai. The shield mechanism is pretty trick though, you can pop it off with one hand. The inside wasn’t that amazing either, and seems to run smaller than Arai.

    A friend let me try his Nolan / X-lite 802RR and it was amazing. Super plush and super light.

  • Gonfern

    Im having such a hard time choosing between the new Defiant and the Nexx Carbon. Ive been very loyal to Arai and love everything about their helmets (except for price and noise) but that Nexx is no nice as well, feelis like you are wearing a soft ski mask rather than a helmet. Choices Choices

  • Piglet2010

    I liked the look of this Bell Star, and it had a 40% off sticker on it at my local “metric” dealer. Only complaints are the cloth cover holding the strap magnet came loose and I lost the magnet during a track day, and the while lining is turning gray from sweat, even after laundering the pads. Goofy thing is I have a size L, and it fits the same as my XL size Revolver EVO and Vortex lids. The Transitions photo-chromatic shield is great (and the easy to use mechanism makes taking it off or swapping it between lids a matter of a few seconds).

  • Piglet2010

    Good to see you are bucking the snob trend and not dissing Bell simply because is it not an Arai or Shoei. What has kept me with the brand after first getting a Vortex as an “inexpensive good” lid is that the shields are easy to change, and I have the option of the great Transitions photo-chromatic shield, or double-layer and even heated shields from the snowmobile line for winter riding.

  • Alonzo

    Is the Shoei GT-Air actually ECE 22-05? I can’t find anywhere on Revzilla or Shoei’s website that it mentions ECE. Thanks!

  • SHURBHI.in

    Where Can i get LS2 helmets online in India?

  • Master

    Schuberth is the best hands down! I’ve owned a number of helmets and the C3 is by far the best. Comfortable, quiet, extremely well built and the fit and finish is beyond reproach. Amazing product.

  • Mark

    Is the US version of the GT-Air really both DOT and ECE? I know the European is ECE, but are they identical? If so, why doesn’t Shoei note that is also ECE in the US?

    If the US version is not ECE, would you still trust it? (I guess being a Shoei counts for something in itself…)

  • Zac Guo

    Anybody could recommend me a quiet helmet? I have a Qwest, though I see lots of people believe it is quiet, but I think not that quiet.