Picture this: You’ve been involved in a motocross accident and are admitted to the hospital with traumatic brain injuries.
The doctor’s prognosis for ever leading a normal life is zero—such a shame.
Now, if given a chance, would you pay $500 right now to go back to leading a normal life?
Of course, everyone would.
Personally, I wouldn’t even think twice about it. I would even fork $1,000 to lead a life without a life-altering injury in a heartbeat.
And this got me thinking, how often do we ignore the need for a good quality bike helmet at the expense of our well-being?
See, I’ve been riding for a couple of years now, and the blatant disregard for head safety is alarming. You can tell cycling safety awareness isn’t a big concern for most people.
Sure, you can have all the mad bike handling skills in the world, but all it takes is a simple slip for your head to hit the concrete or some bloke in a car to run you over, and you’re a vegetable.
I don’t want to sound harsh, but that’s the reality; sometimes bad things happen, some of them resulting in life-altering injuries or even death.
Of course, I know there’re no guarantees in life, but having a quality dirt bike helmet might be a savior, especially during split-second emergencies.
It’s the classic “better have a parachute and not need it, than need one and don’t have.”
So, I suggest you pay the money now for a good motocross helmet before we create a Go Fund Me for your hospital bill.
And the good thing is I’ve listed some of the best dirt bike helmet brands in the market. These should provide sufficient protection while remaining comfortable and easy to use.
Table of Contents
The Best Dirt Bike Helmet Brands For The Money
#1 Fly Racing Kinetic Straight Edge Helmet - EDITOR'S CHOICE
I wanted a helmet I could use for more than dirt bike riding for our top pick.
The Fly Kinetic Straight Edge Helmet seemed like a great option.
I’m obsessed with this safety equipment because it’s more of an off-road helmet and quite universal. When I’m not using it on my dirt bike, it serves me pretty well on my ATV, snowmobile, UTV, and mountain bike.
But multi-functionality isn’t the only selling point with this helmet.
Fly Kinetic Straight Edge Helmet is also a great option for users getting into off-road riding. The helmet also works well for those who have been riding for a while but only a couple of times around the year but still want a lightweight and protective dirt bike helmet without spending a ton.
Features and Benefits
The first thing that attracted me to this helmet was the modern design.
It takes off from the traditional all-rounded-looking designs of the ’90s. Instead, it has a cool, fresh design with good-looking angles.
The shape isn’t a true modular helmet, but it has a close resemblance.
It’s chic to look at but more importantly, the aerodynamic shape is helpful, especially when riding at speed. It doesn’t catch the wind or pull your head on the freeway.
Wind gusts don’t push the helmet either.
Protection- DOT Approved
I chose the Fly Racing Kinetic Straight Edge Helmet because I wanted more head protection.
I was particularly interested in buying motocross helmets with a DOT certification. But Fly Kinetic has exceeded my expectations since it has a DOT and ECE certification.
It’s the best protection you could ever get on a dirt bike helmet, and I feel more confident using it for my dirt biking.
The dual-density EPS liner, which is by the way cool for such an entry-level helmet, does its job of reducing the amount of energy transferred from the dirt bike helmet into your brain.
Simply put, the helmet will keep you from any type of head injury or concussion even when you wipe out.
Fly MX Helmet is made out of poly-alloy material, which is robust.
But usually, the material come with a lot of weight.
The good news is this headgear isn’t hefty like most brands. I’ve several carbon helmets, and I can’t feel a difference in weight.
It comes as a measly 2.95 pounds and one of the lightest dirt bike helmet I’ve come across. I barely feel its presence.
More importantly, it has saved me from neck issues. I no longer get sore or pain in the neck on long rides.
The padding inside is also comfortable and cool. It holds my jaw pieces closer than my other motocross helmets, so it doesn’t even feel like I’m wearing a dirt bike helmet.
And the good thing with the washable comfort liner is they’re completely removable for a snug fit.
Fly Racing has done a nice job with the ventilation.
The aggressive venting on this headgear is probably better than any other helmet at this price point.
Several ports on the exhaust, chin bar, and flying bridge visor ramp the cool air in and pull the hot air outside. Your head won’t feel drenched in sweat during the hot summer rides or even feel claustrophobic.
The airflow is also sufficient enough to keep my sunglasses from fogging.
Using the Fly Kinetic Straight Edge Helmet has been a pleasant experience.
First, I can’t get enough of the unobstructed view. The large eye ports are of great size, and I’ve even tested them with fairly big goggles, and they fit nicely.
I’m also happy with the adjustable sun visor. It comes in handy, especially during the long afternoon rides when facing the sun.
My only markdown has to be the D-rings. While they remain functional at securing the headgear, I personally dislike them, and I would have preferred some modern alternative such as a chin pad.
The true dealbreaker probably has to be the size.
Fly Racing Helmet doesn’t run true to size. I referenced their size chart, measured my head, and came in too tight.
I’d recommend you order a size up.
Otherwise, everything else on the Fly Racing Kinetic Straight Edge Helmet is simply amazing. I’d recommend it.
#2 Fox Racing Proframe Helmet Matte - Best Budget Dirt Bike Helmet
The Fox Racing Proframe Helmet Matte is my second dirt bike helmet, and hopefully, my last.
See, I bought this headgear because it was affordable; it’s the best dirt bike helmet on a budget.
While I didn’t think much of the helmet, it has become everything I could ask and more.
I’ve been dirt biking Fox Racing for several seasons now, and I don’t feel like I would want to look for an alternative.
It feels comfortable now that I’ve broken in, and I love it. The breathability of the helmet is awesome, and the looks are nice.
I would highly recommend you go for this helmet, especially if you’re on a budget and looking for a great helmet.
Features and Benefits
Out of the box, you can tell the Fox Racing Proframe Helmet Matte is an awesome piece of creation.
It would be hard to believe the dirt bike helmet comes at a fraction of most helmets on the list.
The construction doesn’t look flimsy as most budget picks. It’s strong and has given me a lot of confidence when going out for adventures.
It doesn’t seem like it’ll break down on me and will take all the punishments of dirt bike riding like a champ.
Fox Racing Proframe Helmet Matte is my go-to helmet when I need the protection of a full face.
My previous Proframe model saved my butt (or, more accurately, my face) and performed exactly as expected.
The new helmet isn’t any different. It has some nice padding and safety protection system to keep me from facial trauma, head concussions, and jaw injuries.
Of course, after motocross crash scenarios, expect the dirt bike helmet to crumble to a total loss. But you’ll be glad to walk away with a few cuts and bruises. It does great to protect your melon.
Fox Racing Proframe Helmet Matte takes comfort to a whole new level.
The removable paddings on this thing feel plush on my head and help absorb impact energy and everything from crashes.
Plus, it is well-ventilated and more breathable than the regular full-face motocross helmets. It’s a real game-changer, especially when riding climbs and lats in between hills.
I’ve had no issues feeling suffocated or wrenched up in my sweat on the long steep climbs.
The 24 exhaust vents strewn across the whole helmet won’t allow you to get hot during rides.
Fox Racing Proframe Helmet Matte feels light and opens like a lid.
It’s among the lightest motocross helmets, and I barely feel its presence, and my neck doesn’t get sore or feel pain, even after riding the helmet for hours on end.
Plus, using this dirt bike helmet is as convenient as it gets. In particular, I’m glad there’s space between the ears and helmet if you prefer glasses over goggles.
The buckle is also well made and will effortlessly secure the off-road helmet on my melon.
Simply put, this is the lid I was looking for.
#3 Shoei Neotec II -- Premium Helmet
I must admit I was hesitant to get this dirt bike gear- I mean, spending this much on a helmet has never been in my budget.
But I guess the older you get, the more valuable your head becomes 😊
Anyway, I’ve always felt the need to protect my head, and after reviewing the available options, I decided to bite the bullet and go for the Shoei Neotec II.
It’s an expensive purchase, but it’s outstanding, and I’ve no regrets.
Features and Benefits
One of the best features of the Shoei Neotec II MX helmet is the understated yet quality appearance.
The helmet looks sleek but doesn’t look out of place. I’m a fan-favorite of the dark matte blue that is reflective and goes perfectly with just about everything.
But the signature safety feature, at least in my opinion, is the modular design.
It has outstanding aerodynamics and high speeds; I’ve not experienced buffeting, whether looking straight ahead or turning at 90 degrees.
While there’s no such thing as a noiseless motocross bike helmet, I find the modular design a real benefit for quieter operation.
I’ve retired my earplugs and given my ears a break now.
Plus, it has saved me from the hurting that came with wearing the helmet. Now, the issue is gone.
Shoei Neotec II also excels in this department, and I’ve no doubt that it’ll protect me in case of an accident.
The motion energy distribution system, an impact release system hardly found in any helmet, comes in handy at transferring the impact from the helmet to your brains.
Personally, the affirmative “click” you get when you close the visor is comforting.
Meanwhile, the thick EPS head and cheek pad are also critical at keeping my head shielded from impact and crashes. The padding absorbs the impact energy and won’t transfer it from the helmet into your brain.
Simply put, I wish I had spent some big bucks on a new motocross helmet sooner.
Shoei Neotec II makes me want to put on the dirt bike helmet.
Unlike other options that feel like trying to jam my head on a soda can, this one is comfortable, feels high-grade all around, and to my surprise, it goes on and off easily.
Fit is also nice, and considering I’ve an ova head, it slips into my head like it was designed for me.
Nowadays, I generally knock off a couple of hundred miles a day, and the motocross bike helmet has never been the reason to call it a day.
It’s so comfortable that I don’t want to bother taking it off after a stop.
Along with the comfort, the ventilation also seems pretty good.
Not the best theirs is, but it’ll definitely provide some extra fresh air, prevent your goggles from fogging, and keep your head from wrenching in sweat.
The Shoei Neotec II works pretty well and is a joy to use.
It’s actually one of the few motocross helmets I’ve owned with D rings.
The visor on the helmet also works well and has a reliable system (plastic visor screws) that keeps it pretty secure, regardless of how high you raise it. It’s a useful feature, especially if you need to crack it and get some extra fresh air without exposing your face.
An intercom function also integrates well with a Sena SRL II BT communicator.
Overall, the Shoei Neotec II is a nice purchase, and while the price is a little hard to swallow, it’s, in my opinion, a no-compromise option.
You can pay 2-3 less, but you’re always compromising one thing or the other. The Shoei Neotec II has everything in spades.
#4 Troy Lee Designs GP Helmet – Value Motocross Bike Helmet
I’ve always wanted a killer Troy Lee Helmet, but I could wrap my head around spending upwards of $300 to $400.
The good news is Troy Lee has designed a helmet with killer graphics, tons of safety features, and great performance for a price that most of us will feel comfortable with.
Troy Lee gives us a polycarbonate outer shell, the Troy Lee Designs GP, that keeps the price down. However, the GP incorporates some incredible safety features such as the magnetic visor release system & emergency release cheek pads from its bigger and more expensive brother, the SE4.
Features and Benefits
What we’ve here is a truly multi-functional motocross helmet made for off-road vehicles such as dirt bikes, ATV, motocross, and side by side.
But I want to clarify that Troy Lee Designs GP isn’t your standard “price point” helmet.
Instead, it’s a reliable and well-made helmet that will serve you in the best way possible.
The research and development that has gone into creating this masterpiece is unlike any other.
For example, the shape is thoughtfully designed for proper fit. The intermediate oval-internal shape is elongated from front to back, then on the side to side, so it perfectly it’s the American market quite well.
The shell is also durable and made to withstand the abuses of riding motocross. What’s more, Troy Lee Designs stand behind the motocross helmet with a one-year warranty- how could you lose?
As we mentioned earlier, Troy Lee Designs GP MX helmet has a similar DNA to the more expensive SE4 and carries the same protection philosophy.
Simply put, this helmet will give you similar protection to some of the high-end options in the market.
Using the Troy Lee Designs GP gives me the confidence to handle the rough dirt bike endeavors without worrying or risk of a head injury.
One of the protection highlights with this purchase of the extra foam around the crown area.
Remember, most impact takes place on this area, and having a helmet that shields the most prone part is definitely a bonus.
A dual-density EPS liner is definitely another welcome, as it helps to transfer the impact energy from the helmet from reaching your head.
And finally, the helmet is DOT and ECE certified, so it’s something I’m confident using on the streets or the racing track.
One thing that again sets this motocross helmet apart from another helmet in its price range is the ventilation.
It blows the competition out of the water, thanks to the 16 air intakes, including a brow intake that blows air into your head and goggles.
There’re also vents at the back of the dirt bike helmet that pulls the hot air right out of the helmet and cold air in.
In a nutshell, it’s unlikely your head will ever get wrenched in sweat on this helmet. The experience is so much cooler, and you’ll have a pleasant time, even when riding in the summer heat.
Three pounds is not bad considering the price point.
Of course, I would have loved to see it lighter, but at this price point, I’m certainly not mad about it.
I barely feel the helmet’s presence, and it has eliminated the neck soreness and strain.
Fit is also spot on and true to size.
But because of the extra cushioning on the crown, I did want to mention that there’s a little bit of pressure on the forehead area. It’s not enough to justify me going to a larger size or something like that. But it’s worth noting you’ll feel some snugness in the area if you decide to check it in person.
#5 O'Neal Unisex-Adult 2SERIES Helmet (SPYDE) - Most Versatile Dirt Bike Helmet
Our final pick of the best dirt bike helmets is one of the most versatile options around.
I bought this helmet for my outdoor trips with my buddies, and it has worked great. We ride ATVs and bikes from remote centers, and most of the time, we don’t make the smartest safety decision.
The O’Neal dirt bike helmet has turned out to be a life savior.
Features and Benefits
I was attracted to the O’Neal Helmet because of the aggressive looks of the body lines.
The helmet definitely stands out from the basic styles and shapes around.
Plus, the colors and finish are nice and will capture attention.
Along with the aesthetics, the construction also feels solid. It’s well-made and designed to handle the rough abuses and punishments of motocross riding.
Protection on the O’Neal Helmet is top-shelve, and I’ve more confidence using the helmet even for the most daring dirt tracks.
With an added layer of soft padding, the hard Styrofoam is sturdy and reliable at transferring the pressure away from the helmet to your brain.
And the good thing is the padding is easily removable for proper maintenance and helps in a bad crash.
Comfort was a priority when selecting the helmet, or I knew I wouldn’t wear it.
The good news is that the O’Neal Helmet has nice comfort. The helmet fits me just right and is lightweight enough to allow full head articulation, up, down, and ide movements.
I’ve also used it to ride for extended periods, and I can’t complain so far. I’ve not experienced any pain, neck soreness, fatigue, or anything. I’m happy with the purchase.
And the best part is the dirt bike helmet lets me wear eyeglasses or sunglasses without any issue whatsoever. I can’t last for a few hours with other motocross helmets without pain in my ears and ears. The O’Neal Helmet, however, is quite comfortable.
Airflow on the O’Neal Helmet is also pretty nice.
There’re plenty of air vents, some on the mount area and others at the back.
The vents allow the free flow of air inside the helmet, wicking away the excess moisture and preventing the claustrophobic feeling.
Overall, I’m happy with the O’Neal Helmet.
While there’re definitely better options out there, this one is great for a start, and for what I paid for, It’s a great deal.
Best Dirt Bike Helmet Brands Buying Guide
Choosing the best dirt bike helmets can be nerve-wracking with such plenty of options to pick from.
The good news is I’ve prepared a comprehensive guide to help with your next selection.
I’ll share everything you need to know about selecting the right dirt bike helmet for your needs in the section below.
But first, let’s look at the popular motocross brands in the market.
Top 5 Motocross Helmet Brands
Fly Racing is a popular brand committed to producing only the highest quality dirt bike helmets.
Their motocross helmets are safe to use in any condition, but more importantly, they have all the safety features a motocross rider would want on a motocross helmet.
The brand also has a complete range of sizes to cater to all dual sport riders, from youths to adults.
MMG has been in the industry for close to two decades.
Their products are DOT-approved, so they assure users of optimum safety. In addition, their helmets are also known for comfort and lightness.
YEMA is renowned for producing top-of-the-line motorcycle headgear.
The brand has been in the industry for over two decades, and they’re best known for their quality and confidence-inspiring track record.
ILM is an all-around brand that caters to the needs of dirt bike enthusiasts.
In particular, their choice of headgears is streamlined and designed for optimal performance.
The brand pushes the limits of safe riding and meets all the minimum safety requirements, such as DOT certification.
Our best dirt bike helmets list can’t be complete without mentioning the infamous O’Neil.
They’re a true definition of a classic brand and have been in the industry for more than fifty years.
Under their belt, they’ve an extensive wealth of experience and knowledge.
O’Neil’s team is renowned for pushing the boundaries and setting standards in the dirt bike world.
AHR is focused on producing some of the safest dirt bike helmets.
They also take a multi-faceted approach to their production and cater to other disciplines such as UTV and ATV.
Their dirt bike gear is lightweight, comfortable and features upgraded ABS material for more safety.
Of course, other helmet brands, including Bell Helmets, Fox Racing, and Shoei helmets.
Types of Dirt Bike Helmets
In the section below, we’ll look at the different designs or variations that motocross helmets come in.
1) Full face helmet
The full-face helmet is exactly as it sounds. It’ll provide full-face protection.
A distinct feature on a full-face helmet is a visor or a face shield that keeps the dust away, rainwater, and harmful UV rays.
The full-face helmets are among the safest helmets as they provide much-needed protection in case of a face slam.
2) Open face
Open face covers our entire noggin, except your face.
It leaves your eyes, chin and forehead exposed.
While not as protective as the full-face helmet, it offers better visibility and hearing capacity.
3) Touring motorcycle helmet
The touring motorcycle helmets are designed for long-distance off-roading.
Most of them have extra features such as sun visors, vents, ports, and chin protection.
4) Modular helmets
Modular helmets are hybrid-type of helmets.
They’re a cross between the open and full-face helmets.
One of their strongest suits is versatility. They allow you to flip down the lower section and use it without the chin bar protection.
Factors to Consider when Selecting the Best Dirt Bike Helmets
Size and Fit
Size is important for comfort, superior protection, and ease of use.
A loose-fitting helmet, for example, feels bulky and may even chaff your neck from the constant movement and friction.
On the other hand, a tightly-fitting helmet may feel restrictive and even result in numbness.
So, either way, an enduro rider should avoid the ill-fitting dirt bike helmets because they’ll definitely hamper your performance.
Ideally, a helmet should offer a snug fit. It should fit just right and feel comfortable to wear for extended periods.
How to Determine the Right Helmet Size
A sure way to determine whether a new helmet fits your needs is by trying it.
Alternatively, use a tape measure to determine the circumference of your head. Ideally, the tape measure should be once an inch above the eyebrow or slightly above the ears.
From there, compare the measurement with the helmet’s sizing charts.
Even then, you might still find the helmet doesn’t fit your needs. For example, users with unique head shapes might find it challenging to find the right size for their helmets.
This is where customization helps.
Does Customization help with Fit?
Customization is important, especially if you want a specifically designed helmet to cater to your needs.
Customized helmets offer a snugger fit than the regular dirt bike ones, but keep in mind that they’re generally more expensive than comparable models.
After size and fit, the next crucial feature to consider is weight.
A heavy headgear will negatively affect your riding posture. It may result in drooping of the head and even cause irritation and soreness on the neck.
The perfect dirt bike helmet should be lightweight, ideally anything less than 3 pounds.
Some lightweight helmets even go as low as 1.5 pounds, provided the strength and integrity of the helmet aren’t compromised.
The choice of material for a helmet largely determines the degrees of protection. Also, the material influences the overall strength and longevity of a helmet.
Some of the common materials for the best dirt bike helmets are:
Polycarbonate is a high-grade injected mold plastic.
It’s a lightweight yet robust material, and it’s not a surprise it’s commonly used in jet fighter windows.
Polycarbonate also passed DOT and Snell safety ratings.
The only markdown with this material is the lower resistance levels, so it’s prone to cracking under heavy impact.
Fiberglass has a better finish and resistance than polycarbonate.
The only downfall with this material is it’s weighty.
As its name suggests, tri-composite mixes three materials; fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass.
The blend has extra strength and is lightweight.
However, the production process of tri-composite helmets is expensive, which consequently raises the price of the tri-composite helmets.
4) Carbon fiber shell
Carbon fiber is ultimately the best material for dirt bike helmets, at least in my opinion.
The carbon fiber shells are lightweight but extremely strong. Even better, the carbon fiber helmets have a high safety standard rating, so much that they’re popular with Formula 1 cars.
But like the tri-composite frames, the carbon fiber frames cost higher.
Minimum Safety Standards
Most off-road riders will always assume that any helmet will protect the rider’s head, either out of ignorance or misinformation.
The best way to determine whether a helmet will come to your rescue in case of an accident is by checking on its safety ratings.
You simply need to pay attention to the sticker on the inside the helmet or the packaging box. It’ll tell you what safety rating the helmet conforms to.
Ideally, your choice of dirt bike helmet should meet the safety test by the US Department of Transport and the Snell Memorial Foundation.
Understand that even the cheapest brand should have a minimum safety requirement.
MIPS helmet safety system
Along with the minimum safety standards, consider a helmet with a MIPS certification.
It’s a recent specification and a new safety system seeking to reduce rotational energy transfer and rotational acceleration.
Simply put, the Magnefusion Emergency Removal System redirects the impact and other energies from low-speed linear and rotational forces in your brain. It’s a handy safety system, especially when riding at speeds and in a circular motion.
A MIPS-rated helmet will keep your brain from severe damage.
Full-face helmets can feel uncomfortable to wear, especially in the scorching summer sun.
Consider investing in a helmet with proper ventilation to avoid suffocation, claustrophobia, and overheating.
Ideally, a ventilated helmet should come with exhaust vents (air passing technology) to allow proper airflow to keep away the sweat, excess moisture and heat build up.
Along with the exhaust vents, consider the interior construction to determine the overall comfort.
A heavily padded interior enhances the comfort, helping keep your noggin plus and displacing the energy after an impact.
The interior padding should also wick and absorb the excess moisture and sweat.
A good interior cushion shouldn’t also tear after use.
I would also recommend picking a removable and washable interior to help with the maintenance.
The exterior of a helmet is usually the first contact with the surface or object.
Therefore, it should be reliable and durable.
The exterior should stand up to rough usage and not break down easily.
Of course, if you care about aesthetics, consider an exterior with a nice finish.
Dirt bike helmets come in a range of prices to cater to different users.
It’s possible to get a helmet with any budget.
But I would recommend you stay away from the cheap dirt bike helmets. Most of these helmets usually compromise their quality and may put you at risk.
Ideally, choose a helmet for 200 to 300 bucks.
And whatever model you choose, I strongly suggest you keep an eye on the safety rating and avoid options that lack a minimum rating.
Helmets to Avoid
Along with the cheap bike helmets we’ve discussed above, there’re other dirt bike helmets classes I’d suggest you stay away from. Some of these include:
1) Non-DOT rated helmets
Wearing a non-DOT-rated helmet is equal to not having a headgear on.
In case you’re involved in an accident, the non-certified helmet will do little to help with injury protection.
2) Broken helmets
Using a broken helmet is equal to not having one.
It has already lost its protective element and won’t offer any protection.
In fact, you should always replace your helmet after a crash.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best dirt bike helmets is the Fly Racing Kinetic MX helmet.
It’s a hands-down awesome dirt bike gear that will keep your melon protected on dirt bike adventures.
It has DOT and ECE certification, exceeding my safety expectations, especially for the price. In particular, dirt bike riders wearing neck braces will appreciate the soft-filled clavicle zones that reduce clavicle injuries.
The gear is also nice to wear and looks cool. The angular designs are nice and don’t buffet or get drawn in the wind.
Overall, I don’t think you can get any more awesome motocross gear than the Fly Racing Kinetic helmet for the price.