Buying a new dirt bike helmet for motocross, enduro or recreational trail riding is something you’ll be doing often.
Chances are that you’re a little confused as to what to buy. The prices on these helmets range from budget-friendly to super expensive, though pricing maybe isn’t your biggest concern.
Perhaps you’ve had a significant impact and are worried about the structural integrity. Likewise, maybe you’re looking for a dirt bike which is more comfortable and ergonomic given how much technology keeps evolving.
Either way, we’ve got you covered. Frontaer has looked at the very best dirt bike helmets available in the market for amateur and professional riders. Whether you live in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, we’ve found the most comfortable options around.
Best Dirt Bike Helmets – Industry Roundup
We’ve looked for the best options available in 2020. These helmets are ideal for adults, both for male and female riders alike.
The Supertech M10 by Alpinestars is an extraordinary offroad motocross helmet. If you look closely at numerous podium winners, you’ll see them sporting this particular head protector.
It comes with 2 visors with one being regular peak and the other being super high. You’ll find a variety of sizes paired with emergency release cheek pads.
For a seriously good looking bit of gear, it’s hard to go past the Shoei VFX-EVO Helmet. It probably doesn’t surprise you that Shoei is on the list. After all, they have been making some of the best road-based motorcycle helmets for years.
The VFX-EVO isn’t as popular due to its high price compared to many on htis list. However, it’s still worth the inclusion if you’re looking for sheer comfort paired with some technology from the industry leaders in head protection.
You’ll notice that we will mention O’Neal multiple times on this list. Why? Because in the world of motocross, they are well known for their incredible designs that combine functionality with superior protection.
O’Neal are dirt bike helmets which are born to race. There is a lot of airflow paired with their lightweight nature and ergonomic fitment. This makes this one of the most popular within the 2020 lineup.
Fox makes the most popular dirt bike helmets around town, with their V1 series being very well known. Chances are that you’ve seen riders sporting this one before but haven’t realized it.
The V1 is the right blend between affordability, ventilation and style. They have jersey-matching colors paired with styles for men, women and even kids. If you’re looking for the industry standard, then this is it!
For the motocross champion who wants a helmet which has a shorter chin guard, the LS2 helmet is one of the best picks of the bunch. It not only meets DOT approval but also meets the requirements set out by the California Air Resources Board.
While you can use this one if you’re out riding casually on the road, its design is best for those headed for the weekend race track. It’s quite possibly the lightest dirt bike helmet in the market today paired with some excellent front, top and rear ventilation.
Most people haven’t heard of Airoh but it’s one of the best enduro racing helmets that money can buy. If you’re looking for sheer quality and hydration built-in for serious miles in offroad racing, then you can’t go past this one.
Be warned! These helmets aren’t cheap. If you’re not racing competitively then you’ll be absolutely shocked at the prices here. Then again, how much is your head worth?
We really liked the road-based style that has been adopted for the Kinetic Helmet by Fly Racing. It’s certainly more rounded and has less of the storm-trooper look to itself.
It’s certainly one of the listest helmets on this list as they have removed unnecessary weight from the front. Unfortunately, the ventilation isn’t as strong on this one so it isn’t so suited for summer riding.
Let’s admit it: Not all of us are born with silver spoons and sometimes we’re just not that flush with the moolah. If we want to protect ourselves, sometimes we just gotta look in the bargain department. As such, the ILM Adult dirt bike helmet is currently one of the cheapest available int he market.
It’s used not just by dirt bike riders but ATV and downhill mountain bikers too. Being made by ABS plastic, it’s made to be lightweight while being durable enough, all the while meeting DOT standards. The removable visor is basic yet functional.
Senhill’s motocross helmets are also quite affordable paired with good design elements. What makes them sensational is that they include basic gloves and goggles which match the visor opening perfectly too. If you’re just getting started, then this is the way to go.
What’s remarkable is their cool designs. Very much a conversation starter on the dirt bike trails each morning. The reviews on these are quite remarkable despite the fact that they’re made in China. Some of their options also come with matching neckwarmers. The new brand GLX also has a similar offer with good reviews online.
New on the scene are AHR helmets which are similar to the GLX that we mentioned just above. These are fully compliant and meet DOT safety standards for riders of any offroad weapon. The reviews of the AHR helmets online are quite remarkable.
The airflow system is very basic and the buckle could do with a better quality band, but this helmet certainly serves the budget folks. The liners are removable and washable which is helpful, especially as you’ll be riding often with the money you save from buying this one.
Let’s say you had it in your budget to spend a little more than the 2 options we just gave above, but you don’t want to spend a fortune. Well, the Westt Cross Dirt Bike Helmet is a good middle ground into the market.
What’s remarkable is that this one has its own visor built into the front. You simply pull it down instead of strapping it on. This means that you can get instant airflow relief when you’re riding at full speed.
Yema is a newer brand into the world of dirt bike riding, but one that is simply keeping things basic. You won’t see any fluroscent designs here as they focus on keeping things simple. This is one helmet that you can wear any offroad motorcycle, including dualsport and adventure motorbikes.
There are multiple air vents paired with its aerodynamic design to keep you cool on the warmer days. The design is basic and is from their development of road-based helmets. Indeed, it wouldn’t surprise us to see someone riding an Indian while wearing one of these bad boys.
ILM is another one of those Chinese dirt bike helmets which offers great protection without the price. There are two types of helmets that they offer, with one being with a built-in visor and the other without, yet it has MX-inspired looks.
Both models suit a variety of head sizes and the liners are removable. Buying spare liners and visors is a little tricky and so most riders simply replace the whole helmet entirely.
To break up the monotony of strange-looking dirt bike helmets, let us show you the O’Neal Sierra II. This one is a little more pricey but offers genuine value with superior craftsmanship and with a full face protector shield and visor.
You’ll find the design not just suitable to motocross and trail bike riding, but also dual-sport and ADV exploration. It’s just so capable of being worn in different conditions, though the black version would get quite hot in summer.
Who has heard of Raider? Not us, until we looked at one of their helmets recently for an analysis. We found the designs not to be too captivating for our liking, though the comfort levels far exceeded expectations.
These helmets are more-so used by those in the ATV/UTV sector and it’s ideal for hunters and ranch managers for the type of helmet you can simply slip on and ride at slow speed. It’s perfect as a no-frills helmet that gets the job done!
16. O’Neal 3 Series
Earlier on this industry roundup, we mentioned the O’Neal 2 Series which is very popular with enduro, supercross and motocross riders. Well, the 3 Series is almost as popular too with some very striking designs.
These helmets have serious length at the front as a preventative measure against front impacts. Their rear ventilation is very good and you’ll see a strong recession line to stop the helmet strap from sliding up and down. Clearly O’Neal really thought of everything here.
You’re probably living under a rock on the side of the Appalachian Mountains if you haven’t heard of Troy Lee before. He’s been very influential in the world of competitive offroad racing for many years now, and has designed some pretty epic gear to protect riders. His S34 helmet is one such feature.
What we really love, apart from the cool Yamaha-inspired graphics that will suit the WR250R/450R riders just fine, is the use of Polyacrylate. This is more premium than using ABS plastic which means the helmet will fend better in a crash, while the cheek pads can be removed by EMS first-responders.
When you’re dreaming of being an extra in Star Wars, look no further than the 509 Tactical Range. Their Storm Chaser series is very popular and the highest-rated dirt bike helmet that we’ve seen yet.
These are best for when you’re riding your dirt bike in the snow. The ventilation is good but also is the liner which stops the windchill. These are compatible with 509 visors (sold separately) which we highly recommend. Consider the 509 Altitude series if you’re just riding in cold conditions or the Delta R4 Ignite.
While it may have a strange name, buyers are lining up to buy the MotorFansClub helmet. It’s cheap but that doesn’t make it bad especially since it meets DOT approval. These are made in China.
You’ll find a removable and washable padded liner paired with good ventilation from both the front and top. This helmet is best for the casual rider as it isn’t the most comfortable to wear for days and days.
Yes! The 3rd O’Neal on this list and it’s their premium helmet in their 2020 lineup. The 5SRS is one that is built with Polycarbonate paired with ABS in the shell. The construction was based off input from dirt bike riders nationally to develop a helmet that kept riders cool while fully protected.
These helmets meet many standards including DOT, ECE 22-05 (for Europe) as well as Australian Standards and New Zealand Safety Standards. For a rock-solid dirt bike helmet, this is the one we’d simply recommend and the price is quite reasonable.
21. Vega Helmets MCX
Vega Helmets just simply look very cool! They’re perfect if you’re a beginner or more experienced behind the handlebars, and the intake ventilation channels will keep you pretty cool out there while blasting along.
The D-Ring under the chinstrap is padded which means there is less chafe and digging into the skin when riding aggressively. Pair this with its lightweight construction and you’ve got a helmet that’s designed to go many miles.
One of the biggest issues with dirt bike helmets is the lack of viewability. You’ve essentially got some blindspots there and if you’re needing a helmet that is wide open, then you’ll need to consider this beast from Bell.
With these helmets, the goggles are overlayed on to the eye opening and without a strap. This means you’ll have a wider portal in which to see the track infront, while being very much protected from head trauma if you come off at high speeds.
HJC isn’t a new brand and they have actually been in the business of motorcycle helmets for almost 50 years now, but they’r ejust not as well known in the motocross and dirt bike riding communities. Their helmets are certainly functional and worth of a mention on this list.
The opening is quite side which means you can see more of the track in front of you, paired with some good ventilation at the front. What you can’t see is the technology inside the helmet designed to remove excess heat and humidity through the rear portal allowing you to ride dry all day long.
While the Trekker can be used by dirt bike riders exploring their local trails, it’s best used by those in the ADV communities of the world. This helmet just looks better on those wearing an adventure riding jacket paired with a big-bore 4-stroke begging to be ridden.
These helmets are made from a polymer shell and an EPS liner which you can remove to wash. The design allows for great visibility and the feedback from the dual-sport riders who have used these for thousands of miles is very good. Certainly one of the better picks if you’re going camping with your dirt bike.
The last on our list is an Arai. Now, Arai typically wouldn’t be at the bottom of any list, but unfortunately, their helmets just aren’t that popular in the offroad world at all. Many people pass on them in leiu of other brands.
That said – consider the VX-Pro4 helmet as it has some features which are worth the price. We’re looking at lightweight paired with a short snout and ergonomically designed padding. Unfortunately, still outside the budget of most riders.
When buying any type of helmet to wear when riding your dirt bike, it’s important that you think about some of the features that many people overlook.
This is why Frontaer has created this buying guide for beginners who haven’t bought a helmet for offroad riding before. We wanted to make sure you had the advice necessary to find the right helmet for your weekend adventures.
Consider these elements on your checklist when shopping for a new dirt bike helmet:
Getting the right airflow is very important because otherwise you’ll have a hot head pretty quickly and begin sweating it out. This is why we generally shy away from Chinese-made helmets as they use inferior materials.
Look for dirt bike helmets with strong ventilation built into their design. There should be heaps of openings at the chin area as well as at the fore head and on the underside too. Sometimes you’ll find ventilation ports at the rear too which allows hot air to escape more easily.
Bouncing around all day on gnarly terrain is very tiring. This is why a lightweight dirt bike helmet is going to be at the top of your priority list. After all, most people have today a forward head posture due to excessive texting and won’t be able to handle a heavy helmet all day.
The lighter you can find, then generally speaking, the better the helmet will be for wearing all day long. That said – don’t go for something super light as they have less padding and often less features too.
When you first put a dirt bike helmet on your head, you’ll instantly notice just how much less visibility you can have. This is completely normal and a design function to prevent injuries from the front of your face.
If you are racing or riding in areas where you need full visibility, then keep this in mind. You’ll want to make sure that the helmet has a wide opening so you won’t have as many blind spots.
Tying in well with visibility is the goggle fitment. You’ll want to buy some goggles that will fit the visual opening of your helmet. If they don’t fit properly, then there will either be a gap or the goggles will sit too far out. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure there is a non-slip section at the rear of the helmet which will stop the strap for slipping at high speeds, otherwise, the goggles will lose tension and slip off.
Also, when you do have goggles on, then your visibility will be even less than just the helmet itself due to the 3mm to 8mm of thickness surrounding the goggle liner. Essentially, it’s the viewability of the goggles themselves that really give you an indication of just how much you’ll be able to see. Just remember that you’ll just need to be moving your helmet around often to see everything especially with a tinted visor.
We’ve seen a rising trend of some helmets coming to the market which aren’t ADR approved or have a DOT Rating. Motorcycle ratings are very important and DOT is the most basic and well known, while Europe has an ECE rating which is more complex.
You may have heard of the Snell Rating, which is the work of the Snell Foundation. This is for competitive motocross and enduro racing helmets and some helmets on this list don’t meet this rating, though serve just fine for recreational riding.
It’s wise to check if the manufacturer has replacement pads available to buy. As you sweat it out in the helmet for hours on end, you’ll really start to make them smell. Trust us – nothing is more discouraging than putting on a smelly dirt bike helmet in the morning before a big ride!
By purchasing some replacement pads, you can take out one pair and handwash them with some soap while you have a refresh set in your helmet. Your helmet also should be able to be washed internally to remove any dust and mold.
There is a saying that goes “If you haven’t broken a visor yet, then you’re still an amateur dirt bike rider”. Essentially, everyone breaks one visor at some stage during the journey, and often more than one visor. They are simply made with cheap plastic and, being lightweight, don’t serve to protect the rider from injury. In fact, they are designed to break on impact so they don’t cause neck or bad injuries for the rider.
Whichever helmet you choose to buy should have replacement visors available to purchase aftermarket. Otherwise, you can expect to be replacing the whole helmet which is economically quite frustrating to do often. That said, there isn’t anything wrong with riding without a helmet given that they are used for deflecting the morning and afternoon sun, as well as the rain.
Of course, you’re going to want to snap up that footage of you blasting along at full throttle. This is why you’ll want to make sure you can mount a GoPro to the top of your dirt bike helmet. Luckily, most manufacturers have this fitted as standard. Sometimes you’ll need to buy a separate attachment as an additional outlay.
The mounts can either be vertically fitted or side fitted. If you’re riding on the road, then it may be illegal to have a camera fitted to your dirt bike helmet, so do check your local laws and regulations.
It’s not as common to find dirt bike helmets which have Bluetooth built-in given how loud dirt bike engines are. If you’re a beginner, then you’ll want to listen to the engine and not music because the engine will give you feedback as to when it’s time to change gears. Add in the complex nature of trying to dodge an upcoming gnarly section and you’ll soon realize that this novelty isn’t really needed.
But let’s say you still wanted to listen to music through your helmet when riding. Well, most riders simply get some wired or wireless AirPods to stream on-demand, with their phone stored safely in their backpack when riding. Even so, nothing beats the hum of a 4-stroke or 2-stroke engine, whether at idling or at full throttle!
Color and Style
The design is our last consideration of any helmet, but for most riders, it’s their first consideration. How your helmet looks out there on the tracks and trails isn’t really that important. It doesn’t need to suit what you’re wearing, but you do want something that looks reasonably fresh and matching.
One pro-tip we can give you is to go for lighter colors. If you get a black helmet, then it becomes seriously hot when riding in summer. All that heat generates fatigue and you’ll be wanting to head back to the trailhead pretty soon.
There we have it! The Epic guide from Frontaer to help you buy your first dirt bike helmet. Coming up with this guide wasn’t easy but we hope that you’re ablt to find one that not just looks great, but fits snugly and keeps you safe out there for years to come!