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.