Best Full Face Motorcycle Helmets of 2017

Hello! I’m RyanF9 and if I’m buying a full face, it will be one of these four. Correction! If I’m buying a full face, and I ride a naked bike, it’ll be one of one – this one. The Arai Defiant Pro-Cruise. This helmet was specifically designed for use on fairingless motorcycles and that’s a rare thing. In an upright position and facing an unadulterated blast of wind, the Arai Defiant transmits the least amount of wind noise and turbulence. Perfect for naked bikes.  This lower spoiler deflects air away from the neckroll, which is where the majority of wind noise would otherwise sneak in. Also, we have Arai’s pull down chin curtain, which seals that same gap and the style is technically aggressive with all these vent cowlings and – Tada! – the Sun peak. This was born from Arai’s desire to pass Snell ratings, by the way. See, Snell doesn’t like internal sunvisors because they create a discontinuity in the shell and the EPS foam where that inner visor would retract, so Arai beat the problem by designing an external drop-down visor that doesn’t mess with inner safety structures at all; and it worked! Snell had to suck it up and slap a sticker on here, but that still doesn’t mean the sun visor is any good. Coverage is fine from the front but Arai trimmed it way too high at the side so a lot of glare leaks in. Of course, I have almost no alternatives when it comes to Snell helmets with sun shades so don’t complain too loud. Other pros and cons: Pro: these visor vens actually flow air into channels that run back to the temples which cools your blood better. Pro: this sliding lock lets you open the visor by just a crack to defog the lens, which is cool. and Con: the liner is unusually scratchy for $750 helmet. Fitment-wise, the Arai Defiant is a neutral head shape with 5 millimeters of peel-away foam on each pad, so pretty much anyone can get a good customized fit. This size large ways 1765 grams which is really too much for fancy aerospace fiberglass shell, but some of that weight undoubtedly comes from the wider and heavier lower bottom lip which Arai did on purpose because it makes the helmet easier to pull on and it lowers the center of gravity for stability. Now obviously, I could fill this list with thousand-dollar buckets, but that would be too easy, too boring, and totally disregarding for any sense of value. So, instead, I chose a budget alternative to every premium helmet on this list and for the Arai Defiant see Icon Alliance GT. This is an upright or slightly tuck touring and commuting helmet just like the Arai, but it costs $300 or less. The Alliance GT has that aggressive look, too. Icon’s famously funky graphics help with that; same with the gilded sunvisor. Bling bling. And, unlike the Arai, this sun shade actually shades all of your eyes from the Sun. If you prefer having a dark face shield to a drop-down visor, then you can get the Icon Alliance Dark for $100 less. This one does come with two different face shields in the box and it is a killer deal although it did take me about five minutes to swap the dark one for this clear visor while I can do this in half a second, so for me, goodbye Alliance Dark. I love how the Alliance GT screws with premium competitors like the Arai Defiant. It’s a basic Polycarp shelling yet somehow it manages to weigh nearly a hundred grams less. The inner lining is Hydradry, it’s one of the softest and nicest in the industry which puts the Arai Defiant’s liner to shame. And while Arai was busy molding expensive visor vents and designing that fog-learing slide lock, Icon just cut a big freaking hold that flows an equal amount of air. Also, the Alliance GT has a similarly precise fit and I could barely tell that it was any louder. I’m gonna get crucified by the Arai army for saying that but it’s the truth. Of course, Icon did get caught with their pants down in other places. This shield log could have been designed by a caveman. It’s just a peg in a hole. I can’t imagine why Icon thought that was a good idea; it’s really difficult to open. I think the Alliance GT is one of the best motorcycle helmet most versatile faces for my money only problem is that it’s a long oval head shape and that’s not gonna work for round noggins. Also, there is no speaker cutouts in this helmet and on a narrow lid, that means it’s actually damn difficult to install a comm system. So, we’ve seen two bread-and-butter full faces but now let’s get specific with the sport category. On the premium side I choose the Bell Race Star because it’s [FortNine] gorgeous. Que that montage.
[Funky Music] Alright, cool down. Two-tone carbon fiber, glittering gold, and an Ace Cafe patch aren’t the only reasons I picked this lid. The real reason I love the Race Star is because it is the perfect middle ground in Bell’s family. You have the basic Star for $500, this Race Star for $850, and then the Pro Star for $1300; and I can say with full confidence that the Race Star gets all of the important upgrades and none of the useless expensive ones. Let me explain: the Race Star has “raceview” ergonomics meaning it’s meant to be used in the full tuck position and eye-port has been hugely extended both vertically and horizontally since the old Star model. You really want that when you got Johnny track day hanging over your shoulder. The Race Star has it, so does the Pro, but the base Star model is more of an upright touring viewport so forget about it. This helmet also gets a three-layer impact liner. Look at it here: light density for small impacts, medium for medium, and heavy density for big crashes. This is one of the safest racing helmets on the market, thanks that triple density foam, and of course the Race and Pro Star’s get it while the base Star does not. Next. This liner is called virus Jade power mesh. Why you name an antibacterial fabric virus is kind of beyond me, but it does do an amazing job of keeping you cool in the heat of the race. There’re Jade minerals embedded into the fabric itself and that has a natural cooling effect. As you probably guessed, the Race Star gets this system as does the Pro, but the base Star misses out again. So, obviously, the Race Star is worth the $300 over the base model, but should I spend another $450 for the Pro Star? Noooo! The Race and Pro Star both get full carbon shells, so you’re just paying for a slightly thinner type of carbon fiber by choosing the Pro; but listen guys, the Star was never going to be a light helmet to begin with. This long profile weighs something, the aerodynamic spoiler weighs something, the triple density foam weighs a lot of something; so shaving a few grams on a $450 shell upgrade with an already pretty heavy helmet is shtupid. A few last things I like about the Race Star: these emergency cheek pads are held in place by magnets. The medics certainly won’t struggle with them and neither will you if you knock them out by accident. The chinstrap snap is magnetic, too; and this duffel helmet bag is included, which is nice. I mean Bell could charge $50 for this on its own and they do. Fitment-wise, the Race Star is snug snug snug. My 58 centimeter head puts me in a medium and I can barely get it on. Of course, I do want that precise fit when I’m taking this helmet to the track, and since it has a Snell sticker all those tracks should be open to me. You might remember that the old Star helmet was loud as hell, well know that this new generation is not. Just the face shield whistles like a banshee when its open, but nobody really rides like that anyway. Now, a cheaper alternative to the Race Star would be HJC’s new RPHA 11 Pro. $500 might not sound like a budget choice, but it really is when you consider the league this helmet plays in. 1420 grams makes it one of the lightest sport helmets out there – far lighter and slimmer than the Race Star, which is wild because it’s only partially carbon fiber. PIM Plus means HJC filled in the rest with fiberglass and air beds. In terms of ventilation this helmet is in a league of its own. The RPHA 11 Pro is a tornado machine. More airflow than almost anything I’ve worn. The eye-port is decently large, too, and has been extended vertically to improve my field of view in that full tuck position. It’s also a centerlocking visor, just like the Race Star, which is nice because lefties always seem to get screwed on that. The only downside is these tear-off tags. They are enormous and they totally annoy my peripheries. In general, though, yeah, the optics are premium level and HJC even threw in a tinted visor in the box. Ergonomics are in the elite class, as well. Oriented for a full tuck, HJC also cropped the shell up at the sides to aid in shoulder checks. You might remember that from Shoei’s legendary RF 1200 and now that we’ve brought up the elephant in the room, yeah, the RPHA 11 Pro is essentially an RF 1200 that costs $100 less. Only difference is that this HJC is loud as shit, but you sport riders should be using Best full face motorcycle helmet earplugs anyway. That and it misses out on a Snell sticker, which is a bummer for some tracks that require it. Oh, I almost forgot: order a size larger than usual because the RPHA 11 Pro fits way too small. So, naked helmet, cheapest helmet, safest helmet, lightest helmet, casual helmet, sport helmets – collectively, my favorite, lovely to wear full-face helmets. Thanks for watching.

100 comments on “Best Full Face Motorcycle Helmets of 2017”

  1. Corey Castledine says:

    Hey FortNine , any way you can manage to do a review of the ruroc atlas sport? I really want that helmet to be good.

  2. naftis6690 says:

    Hey, i enjoy your videos a lot. Whats your opinion on shark spartan carbon??? Will you have a video review for that helmet?? And in comparison with rpha11??

  3. Riley Keehr says:

    Every retailer out there is saying to order a size bigger on the RPHA 11, but don't. I wanted a proper fit on my helmet once I decided to buy a serious helmet, so I went against all suggestions and got a small that fit HJC size chart for my head size. Yes it was tight the first day but less than a week later it was soooo comfortable to wear and is very quiet, I think this is why there are complaints for how loud it is. After a year of riding (roughly 12k miles) I almost wish I would have ordered an XS to see if I could fit my head in it because the padding wore in and there is a slight amount of room around my head now.

    Always buy the smallest size you can fit your head into.

    CON: the Riberte graphics fade after a while. I got the black/hiviz and the yellow/green is almost white on top, which pisses me off. Helmet is freaking awesome other than that though.

  4. Saul Ruiz says:

    Hi Ryan I have a quick question, did you recomend the HJC RPHA 11 Pro Helmet only for the sport bikes? I ask because I have a Kawasaki versys 650. Thanks in advanced. ohh and other thing I like your opinion about the new HJC RPHA 70 OCTAR MC1 and the same question. Kind regards.

  5. Hungry Nomad says:

    Have you ever heard of steelbird helmets? I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on them compared to bell or shoei.

  6. White Wheels says:

    Hello @fortnine, what would you recommend between the Shoei RF 1200, RPHA 11 and AGV GT Veloce or the pricier AGV Corsa? I am riding a yamaha R6, but mostly through the city and some longer rides during the weekend.

  7. uramalakia says:

    I enjoy Your content quite much. Thank You for all the hard work. I do have a question, if You don't mind: Would the Bell Race Star be viable for cruising? Thank You again. Cheers!

  8. Ezra J says:

    I bought the alliance GT for the head shape and to save money, but regretted my decision within months. The rubber lining at the bottom was peeling, the top comfort liner was falling apart, the base plates for the shield had to be replaced, it was hot and it was extremely loud. I went back to Arai helmets.

  9. Tal Leron says:

    In what means the Bell is safer than the ARAI? Thanks.

  10. Claudy_Focan says:

    Still no Schuberth

  11. Paolo Bottari says:

    No more V Strom backdrop

  12. TomSexBombJones Wright says:

    Who's payroll is Ryan on?

  13. Shakil Khan says:

    DK-120 Matte Black best motorcycle helmet in 2017 review

  14. Jared S says:

    4:20 F U L L Y E R E C T

  15. Dylan Crawford says:

    Here's a hefty alternative to the dark alliance, that actually sports better everything (except that uber interior.)

    It comes with 2 visors, a removable neck guard, comfy interior padding, space for a com system, wind channels that actually work, very, VERY little wind noise (better than most expensive helmets I have), and the protection? Well. I fell off going about 35 when hooning around, and the cracked, but it saved my life.
    Compared to the pricey helmets I have, I actually prefer this one, believe it or not. The only grief I have is the chin strap – the reigns get in the way and push into the neck. A little DIY and boom, perfection.

  16. Hugo Galiza says:

    O capacete da Bell é muito bonito e parece muito confortável também. Aqui no Brasil não tem, infelizmente.

  17. EnderMatch says:

    is the HJC RPHA 11 pro helmet waterproof?

  18. James Dukes says:

    Thanks for this video
    I already bought one for me, from here: if you are looking for one, don't miss it. (Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet)

  19. Want To Learn says:

    Hey, welcome to my best helmets review.Have you little confused about Full Face Motorcycle Helmet ??. Don’t worry it’s ok, now your all confused solve a few minute. Kindly keep reading and decision yours.
    To Know More Details

  20. crazyrebl says:

    Hay man whats the best anti fog?

  21. DominicanOps says:

    This list is trash. No Shoei or AGV helmets?

  22. mithat üzmez says:

  23. Leo Perdue says:

    They should have a product that allows you to carry your helmet hands-free. Oh wait, they do but no one knows about it. I know where you can find it.

  24. Mack G says:

    Ryan, now that it's 9 months later, do you still recommend the icon alliance gt for that price range? I'm now in the market for a new helmet, preferably with a sun shield, but my pockets are shallow. Any others you recommend in that price range? Keep up the good work.

  25. Muhammad Alfatih says:

    where agv corsa?

  26. Jason Najm says:

    $750 for that first one? Fuck that

  27. BleaKrytE says:

    take a look at the mt revenge, it is very cheap and 5 stars on sharp! very comfortable too

  28. Johnny Boutin says:

    4:43 how many eyes do u have

  29. Rohan Dheman says:

    Would you recommend the Rapha 11 for use on a Street Triple RS?

  30. Auto blipper says:

    Hey Ryan, i was looking on your website for helmets. Bell Star MIPS (red n black colour) is it the base model?

  31. Karan Desai says:

    I love the way he says shtupid

  32. Shakil Khan says:

    Top 9 Best Motorcycle Helmet Reviews In 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
    If you searching a motorbike helmet? in 2018 Bhoom! CHeck out here.

  33. M_Auto_Detail • says:

    Just bought the Bell star 👌

  34. Chason Rabitaille says:

    5 minutes ? I pop mine on and off in about 30 seconds

  35. Brad says:

    I'm new to riding. I just bought a Honda XR650L. What's the safest helmet under $300??

  36. chris s says:

    I would take the racestar if it wasn't such a narrow headshape :'(

  37. Anita Shan says:


  38. MrStitty26 says:

    What would you say is the best helmet for riding a cruiser.

  39. Gray Filtered says:

    This guy always keeps his bike inside ?

  40. shiverme timbers says:

    Basically if you spend more than 600 it is a waste.

  41. ArthurAlcantara says:

    The cheapest helmet is priced roughly the same as my bike, oh well.

  42. Daniel Haab says:

    Can I use the rpha 11 for straight up riding in a harley? How will that affect ventilation?
    You could make a video for best cruiser helmets…
    Congratulations on the channel.

  43. James Underwood says:

    The Arai Defiant Pro-Cruise Helmet link in the description takes you to revzillas website…

  44. medicwine says:

    this might be the first hobby ive gotten into where the astronomical pricing of the pro equipment is like naw i get it

  45. Abel Babel says:

    There's a whole class of viruses that infect and kill bacteria – they're even called bacteriophages for that reason. Theoretically, you could keep a helmet liner or whatever sterile that way.

  46. Anime Alpha says:

    A $200 HJC gets Snell, top of the line RPHA 11 pro doesn't. *smh*

  47. Hendrik Novoa says:

    BMW? Why do the BMW helmets never ffature on the ‘best helmet’ lists. I’m in the market for a new helmet and am considering the System 7 (or 8 – dunno – the new one)

  48. inthu ajith says:

    arai good helmet

  49. Jason Holloway says:

    Whats up with the HJC getting only 3 stars on SHARP? ouch.

  50. Daniel Mccormick says:

    Any 2018 reviews yet?

  51. Mark Barry says:


  52. Checo Espinosa says:

    maannn… 4:17 dope! music please?

  53. Mark Anthony Chin says:

    Bell Race Star or Shoei x14???????????

  54. Dave C says:

    I like the shoei nxr its quiet.great view and only weighs 1330grms plus it looks cool. I got the parameter with the black and white digital camo

  55. Jad Ben says:

    Awesome review as usual Ryan, discovered your channel by mistake a few weeks ago when shopping for backpacks. Not only i'm in Canada too, you just have a new subscriber ! I tend to always go to Revzilla when looking for gear reviews, but now you guys are a game changer !

  56. bgm1911 says:

    I enjoy your videos; I can see you in a 2018 version of a Monty Python movie.

  57. Имя Фамилия says:

    Хуйли он такой упоротый

  58. Bo Ismono says:

    I have just seen that all the Bell helmets do not use pinlock. I live in rainy Hamburg therefore visors fog up real fast, so how are these visors compared to pinlock equipped visors?

  59. luis8bgt says:

    DO you think that only expensive helmet are good?

  60. Marris Supaman says:

    Dude… Your videos are the best. There is something to be said about informative videos in an entertaining format… I am yet to find a video of your I don't like… Trust me, I'm looking hahaha. 👌🏾👍🏾 keep up the premium work my friend… No one compares

  61. Dom Hawtin says:

    Annoying that there is only one like button. One of the best reviewers on YouTube….along with Anthony!

  62. Dom Hawtin says:

    Everyone says order a size larger with the RPHA11. I’m a medium 57cm in both the IS17 and the RPHA11. Yeah the RPHA is slightly more snug but that snug reduces wind noise and frankly feels better and more safe. My RPHA11 is by no means an uncomfortable squeeze in the same size. Glad I didn’t order a size larger. Definitely go try them on.

  63. Rob Vespa says:

    No Shoei helmets? …like the RF-SR?

  64. Tech sir says:

    Wanna throw down some appreciation, your videos are not only informative but funny too. Bought the HJC RPHA 11 because of your strait forward info, as I live in Arizona I can vouch for this helmets excellent air flow for those 100 plus days.

  65. Joe Testerman says:

    Virus is a clothing company, they make moisture wicking workout clothes. Solid stuff. Their application makes sense in a helmet.

  66. Ionescu George Alexandru says:

    What is your opinion about Sharp rating? I'm looking for a new helmet and i don't know if to take into account or not the rating. I'm leaning twords 5* helmets like HJC IS-17/FG-ST and MT(really cheap for 5* rating and really good construction and comfort for the money).

  67. Xabier Burgos says:

    I'm surprised the Shoei GT Air didn't make your list

  68. David Gamble says:

    What is the country on the map in the back? 🙂

  69. Max says:

    I would like to know if you knew about the sharp rate of the rpha 11.. Cus it sucks
    Edit: at the time of this video of course.

  70. bergmul says:

    Great video! @FortNine how does the rpha do for neutral position people on naked bikes?

  71. pls dont click says:

    Can you review the Kawasaki Vulcan s?

  72. victor alvarez,jr says:

    how about reviewing upright riding position helmets since I'm too fuckin old to tuck….grrr.

  73. repsol_rr says:

    Here's the objective SHARP rating (which meets and exceeds ECE) for each helmet found at
    Arai Defiant 3/5
    Icon Alliance 3/5
    Bell Race Star 5/5
    HJC RPHA 11 3/5

    Shoei RF-1200 4/5

    "the RPHA 11 Pro is essentially an RF-1200 that costs $100 less"…. If by essentially you mean the lack of Snell, one star lower SHARP rating, and side impact rated as POOR compared to Shoei's AVERAGE. Not to mention Shoei's legendary quality control.

    Actually, I really like your channel (and love motorcycles) or I wouldn't bother to comment. Anyone can mimic Shoei's design (or in Arai's case not even bother) but I think we should be very careful not to confuse features with quality/safety. I couldn't in good conscience recommend an HJC over Shoei without a serious caveat on safety.

  74. Crown Moto says:

    I couldn't agree more with your review, especially of the Bell Race Star. I had the first gen Star, and although it was a great helmet, the fit wasn't great and it was pretty loud. Flash forward to Gen2 and WOW, they have addressed those issues and more. The new models fit like a glove and they're quiet and pretty light. Ventilation is good too. I compare the Bell Race Star to my Shoei RF1200, but to be honest, the Bell fits better, has better visibility and ventilation. It also costs a bit less. I think I'm sticking with Bell for a while

  75. Jérôme Morespeeder says:

    Hello, what’s about eyewear with the Bell race star flex please ?

  76. Kurgan100 says:

    What's the difference within Bell race star and Bell star MIPS??

  77. Paul O'Neal says:

    My price range for a motorcycle helmet would be >$150, <$350.

  78. OverFoucs says:

    I like you man …

  79. SPY45 says:

    No Shoei X-14? Surprised!

  80. Erikh Wrigley says:

    how to change that inner visor ?

  81. EXATTIC says:

    Thanks for putting up with all the spinning!

  82. Ryan Matheson says:

    OMG, I just clicked on the Arai and it was discontinued so I was redirected to the revzilla site that has the updated model. If FortNine did this on purpose thats awesome. Very Miracle on 34th street of them. They just won me as a customer for life!!!!!

  83. G Man says:

    I can only wear Arai I got a block head..

  84. Tenaciousdomi says:

    My Race Star Ace Cafe is in the mail!

  85. Tenaciousdomi says:

    What does the Bell weigh anyway? How heavy is it really?

  86. VR 46 says:

    This guy remember me Ruperstinski from Shrek!!!

  87. stormfront says:

    Hey, badass bluetooth motorcycle helmets at, I talked to the guys there, plus they gave me a great deal I'm also a big fan of RedBeardLeather best cruising bike seats you will ever see.. great experience Motorcycles Club Store, two thumbs up… you can hi-five me later

  88. stormfront says:

    Hey, great unique helmets at, I talked to the shop guys there, plus they hooked a wicked good deal I'm also a big fan of Red Beard best cruising bike seats you will have the pleasure of puttin you man pads on.. great experience Motorcycles Club, two thumbs up… you can hi-five me later

  89. DoramaRx says:

    Would be cool if he did helmet giveaways since most of the helmets he recommends are $500 or more and he has tons of them

  90. Kaustubh Ingle says:

    One of the best motorcycle guide chanel on YouTube.

  91. GRRB says:

    The Hjc rpha11 has a 3 star rating on sharp, thats not something you recommend. I mean its great that it ventilates well and looks cool, but its maine or only function is safety, and that should be the maine criteria, yet every review and “top” helmet list never consider the safety tests…

  92. Mr TriL says:

    I have a Scorpion which is the quietest but also heavy with drop down sun visor . I also have a Nolan with a ridiculous drop down sun visor but is much lighter than the Scorpion . Sun visor on the Nolan was made for pinochio as it has this huge nose cutout in the visor and it makes me go crosseyed so its completely useless . Going back to my Scorpion which is quieter and has a useful sunvisor

  93. Justin says:

    Bell could charge an extra 50 bucks for this on its own. And they do! 😂😂😂 Hilarious

  94. yes sir says:

    Just bought a race star. Woop woop

  95. Filipe Castelo says:

    how about this – HJC

  96. louis hétu says:

    Clicking the links gets me to Revzilla !? Why ?

  97. KB Eightyseven says:

    The bell race star is actually 1250gm, it marketed at this weight too in the UK but in the US they list it at 1400gms? I weighed mine and it weighed 1256grams

  98. hawkrider88 says:

    Bro, love your knowledge, production values and your entertaining style. But, you really don't need the swearing to be cool or relevant. You're already better than most.

  99. Charles Stone says:

    I like your gear review episodes very much as I have been away from riding for an extended period of time

  100. Trevor Best says:

    I just learnt a couple of features of my Arai Rebel, thanks.

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