best dirt bike helmets

Best motocross and dirt bike helmets: The top 7 choices for all budgets

In gear, safety by darrellsmithLeave a Comment

There's a massive range of dirt bike helmets on the market, some good, and some not so good. With this in mind, you need to be careful about what you're buying, it's your head that's on the line after all! To help you out, I've put this together this list of the top 7 best dirt bike helmets on the market.

This list is designed to suit all budgets, ranging from those looking for a helmet under $100, all the way up to the best helmets money can buy for the competitive rider. You'll also find my choice of the best helmet for dual sport at the end of the page.

This list has been compiled after a ton of research. By speaking to riders at the track, by searching rider reviews online, on forums, and by using website review systems to find the best helmets available, and at the best prices.

If you're new to dirt bikes, you should check out my helmet buyers guide before purchasing your lid by going HERE.

The best dirt bike helmet under $100


best dirt bike helmets under 100 bell

You can be hard pushed to find a good helmet for under $100, but world class helmet makers Bell, have the awesome fully certified SX-1 to offer. The helmet even comes with a five year warranty included in the price for your peace of mind!

The SX-1 features a lightweight polycarbonate shell, weighing in at just under 1600 grams. It's available in nine different graphics and colours, so you can find a style to suit you, and a colour to match your dirt bike.

The helmet is well vented at the chin piece, and it features a roost guard to protect your nose and mouth. It does lack ventilation inside the actual helmet, but the wide eye port will help with ventilation.

There is a single exhaust vent at the rear, which works under low pressure to help pull warm air and moisture out of the helmet. So although it lacks the ventilation of higher priced helmets, you will get a small amount of venting to keep your head dry and cool. The inner liner is also removable, and washable, so you don't have to worry about sweat building up inside the liner.

It's DOT certified, which means it's been through the necessary testing to ensure safety and reliability. And with this certification, you can even use it on the highway, so it will be a good choice for enduro riders looking for a cheaper helmet.

Before buying one of these helmets you should check the size you need against the Bell helmet sizing chart by clicking here.

Best dirt bike helmet under $200


best dirt bike helmets under 200

The entry level, budget friendly Fox V1 gets its upgrade for 2019 with a bunch of new features. Not only does it look great, but it also features the Fox Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS).

This means that the peak is primarily held by a strong magnet, and it will detach in the event of a crash, to prevent unnecessary rotational injuries. MVRS is patented by Fox, so you won't find it on any other helmets for a while!

Although the visor/peak is held on by a strong magnet, it's still very sturdy, meaning it won't get knocked off by dirt, or if you knock it during a race.

It has all new styling, a more breathable shell than the previous V1, and the chin guard has some huge vents to help maximize airflow. There are nine intake vents total, including vents on the eye port, all the way along the chin piece, and on top of the helmet, these all exit from exhaust ports at the rear.

The Fox V1 uses a polycarbonate shell, and can be used for motocross, or on the roads. The liner and cheek pads are easily removable, and washable, and it Exceeds ECE 22.05 and DOT certification.

Before buying a Fox helmet, check your size against the Fox helmet sizing chart below.

XS 53cm - 54cm 20 3/4" - 21 1/4" 40mm 2.75lbs - 3lbs
S 55cm - 56cm 21 1/2" - 22" 35mm 2.75lbs - 3lbs
M 57cm - 58cm 22 1/4" - 23" 35mm 3lbs - 3.25lbs
L 59cm - 60cm 23 1/4" - 23 3/4" 30mm 3lbs - 3.25lbs
XL 61cm - 62cm 24" - 24 1/5" 35mm 3.25lbs - 3.5lbs
XXL 63cm - 64cm 24 3/4" - 25 1/4" 30mm 3.25lbs - 3.5lbs

best vented dirt bike helmet


best vented dirt bike helmet

If you live somewhere warm, or if you find yourself taking off a wet helmet after a good rip around the track, the Subverter from LS2 is just what you need. The shell is manufactured from LS2's own special material known as KPA (Kinetic Polymer Alloy). KPA is super strong and ultra-light weight, but it has some flexibility for the ultimate in energy dispersion.

For those that need a breathable helmet, the subverter has vents in the chin guard, the eye port, multiple large top vents, back vents, and exhaust ports underneath the rear of the helmet. This provides amazing ventilation to keep your head cool during the hottest of temperatures.

The peak also has cut outs to allow more air to pass over the helmet and into the vents. The cut outs also prevent pulling and lift, like you experience with many helmets as you lift your head along the fast straights.

Not only is it well ventilated, it also has a coated interior that allows the liner to move within the shell. This allows for rotational movements to lessen the chance of head and neck injuries. The subverter meets ECE 22.05 and DOT certification for use on and off road. It's hypoallergenic, and is available in some awesome colours and graphics.

With all of this on offer, you'll be forgiven for thinking this helmet will cost an arm and a leg. But the LS2 subverter actually comes in below the $200 mark, which will appeal to a massive range of riders.

Be sure that your head measurement matches the correct size on the LS2 sizing chart below before buying the subverter.

XS 53-54
SM 55-56
MD 57-58
LG 59-60
XL 61-62
2XL 63-64
3XL 65-6

Best dirt bike helmet in the mid price range


best dirt bike helmets under 400

Stepping up to the mid price range we have the Shoei VFX-W in the Takayuki "TAKA" Higashino graphic. TAKA is a Japanese freestyle motocross X games champion, who has worked alongside Shoei to develop this awesome helmet.

The helmet has been developed with the help of wind tunnel testing, to develop a perfectly streamline, well vented design. It's available in the green and black shown above, or in red and black, with an awesome tribal type graphic.

The shell uses a unique blend of organic fibres to produce a strong, lightweight helmet, weighing in at under 1500 grams. The helmet has multiple vents, with a premium liner that is designed to pull moisture away from the face and head, and expel it through the rear exhaust ports.

The VFX-W also features emergency cheek pads. The pads have a lever that can be pulled in the event of an accident to quickly remove the pad to prevent further injury to the rider. The peak/visor will also easily break away after a hard impact to prevent neck injuries.

Be sure to check your head measurement against the Shoei size chart below before buying the VFX-W.

2XS 51 - 52
XS 53 - 54
SM 55 - 56
MD 57 - 58
LG 59 - 60
XL 61 - 62
2XL 63 - 64
3XL 65 - 66

Best of the best

6D ATR-2

best dirt bike helmet

The ultimate in brain protection, the 6D-ATR-2 has an interior design like no other helmet available. The name 6D means 6 Degrees of rotational impact protection. This means the helmet is designed to protect the rider from any impact angle that's possible during a crash.

ATR-2 improves on the ATR-1 after 5 years in the making, with an exterior shell capable of multiple impacts. The inner shell is replaceable providing the outer shell is not damaged. This means you can send the helmet off to 6D, to be rebuilt after a crash for about $150. This is much cheaper than the traditional way of buying a new helmet just because of a single crash, which can get super expensive.

Isolation dampeners are placed beneath the outer shell, which are designed to compress and sheer omnidirectionally. This has been named omni-directional suspension, and consists of dampeners that act like suspension inside the helmet. These dampeners let the inner layer travel and move within the outer shell. This provides maximized protection for the rider from minor to sever impacts.

On top of the suspension dampening, 6D have also added multiple low friction discs that reduce friction under loading. This assists with angular acceleration mitigation, which is generated from oblique angle impacts to the helmet surface. This adds further protection against shearing, stretching, and tearing, of the soft tissues within the brain.

The basic goal of the ATR-2 is to lengthen the amount of time that the helmet is absorbing energy. The greater the amount of time, the less severe the energy transfer to the brain will become.

The ATR-2 is super light considering the complex construction, at just 1480 grams. Its well vented, the liner is removable and washable, and it features emergency release cheek pads.

It's covered by a three-year manufacturers warranty for even more peace of mind, but before buying be sure to measure up, and mach your size to the 6D sizing chart HERE. If you only see the ATR-1 listed on the size chart, don't worry as the sizes are the same for the ATR-2.

Bell Moto-9 carbon Flex
best dirt bike helmet available

Bell make the list again with the fantastic moto-9 flex, which is the most advanced helmet they have ever made. The helmet uses three separate layers for various speed impacts, with an inner liner that can rotate relative to the middle and outer layers.

These layers are made up of an expanded polystyrene (EPS) outer liner, for high protection against high speed impacts. A second expanded polypropylene (EPP) lining is designed for maximum protection against mid speed impacts. And the expanded polyolefin (EPO) liner works against low speed impacts.

As the EPO liner moves independently to the EPS and EPP, forces generated during a rotational impact are greatly reduced for maximum protection.

The Moto-9 flex is also compatible with the eject helmet removal system. This system can be installed to the helmet before use, and, in the event of an accident, air can be pumped into the helmet to widen and loosen it. This means the helmet can easily be removed by paramedics, without causing further injury to the rider.

The helmet features Bell’s Magnefusion Emergency Release System (MERS). This means you can simply pull and release the cheek pads in the event of an emergency. The cheek pads can quickly and easily be reinserted as they are held by strong magnets that keep them in place.

The Moto-9 carbon Flex uses a lightweight, well ventilated carbon composite shell, weighing just 1450 grams. You'll find multiple intake vents, and rear exhaust ports to remove heat and moisture, and to keep you cool while riding.

The Moto-9 flex conforms to DOT, ECE, and Snell M2015 certification. Be sure to measure up, and match your measurement to the Bell size chart HERE.

Best enduro dual sport helmet


best dirt bike helmet dual sport

Bell's done it again, and the MX-9 comes in at a great price for dual sport, and street riders, at under the $200 mark. Being a dual sport helmet, the peak can be removed to give it an awesome street bike look, or it can be left on for enduro, and even motocross riders.

The construction features a lightweight Polycarbonate/ABS Shell, which weighs in at a comfy 1530 grams. There's plenty of ventilation on the chin piece, and on the crown, with exhaust ports to remove moisture and heat at the rear. There's also channelling in the liner to let air flow around your head, to prevent moisture build up.

The integrated anti-fog, anti-scratch face shield has been designed to give a perfect seal, and minimal distortion. You can easily lift it for slower riding, or remove for enduro races, but it does leave enough room for goggles in extreme conditions. You can also choose between a tinted or clear visor.

The MX-9 also features Bell's MIPS technology. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. this means there is a leading slip-plane inside the helmet, designed to reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts.

The liner and cheek pads are anti-microbial, removable, and washable. The helmet is fully certified for on road, and off road use, and meets DOT and ECE requirements.

Choose your dirt bike helmet

So there you have the best dirt bike helmets that your money can buy. You really can't put a price on your brain, so although I have included lower priced helmets for those that really can't stretch the budget, I advise you to spend a little more on a helmet, and buy the best lid possible.

Don't forget to check out my buyers guide to find out exactly what you should be looking for in your dirt bike helmet, and to ensure you always buy the best design possible.

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