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Top five… motorcycle helmet brands on sale in 2024

Helmet headline

The helmet is the only piece of protective equipment mandated by law but, more than that, it’s arguably the most important and personal thing to the rider, beyond the motorcycle itself. Aside from the safety aspects, the helmet acts as the rider’s face or identity. It is a good way for the rider to express their personality, through the design, graphics and colour schemes and, much like we’re drawn to certain bike brands, bikers are often loyal to a certain helmet brand.

There are many things to look for when buying a helmet, and one of those is the reputation of the brand behind it. Whether you read the reviews, like the racers associated with the brand, like the fit or find the price tag appealing, we all have different reasons for wearing the helmets we wear.

There are dozens of trusted motorcycle helmet brands on sale in the British Isles in 2024 and, after a quick poll around the Insidebikes’ office, we came up with what we think are the five most famous ones on sale today. Here’s what we came up with…

AGV

Italian brand AGV is a very serious player in the world of crash helmets. Founded in 1947, it’s always been regarded as one of the leading race brands, sponsoring top racers like Kenny Roberts, Giacomo Agostini and Barry Sheene in the 1970s. Most recently they’ve been associated with the legendary Valentino Rossi, who wore AGV helmets throughout his Grand Prix career and sold a lot of replicas over the years!

AGV has been part of the Dainese group since 2007 and has been going from strength to strength as they deliver head-to-toe motorcycle protection. Their reputation is still being built on its MotoGP association (top Italian racers Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini are among the sponsored athletes) but the range has also been expanded to include touring-style flip front and scooter friendly jet helmets, giving them a product for almost every kind of road rider.

 

AGV Rossi 

 

Arai

Arai made its first motorcycle helmet in 1952, but the company can trace its roots back to 1900. The transition from hat maker to helmet company was made by Hirotake Arai, the son of the company founder and a keen motorcyclist.

The company became active in the United States in the late 1970s and moved into Europe in the 1980s, when its rise to becoming a really high end brand went into overdrive. It became famed for high end helmets, which were used by top racers including Joey Dunlop, Mick Doohan and Kevin Schwantz in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Today Arai is still known for its uncompromising approach to helmet design (for example, they don’t offer a helmet with an integrated sun visor) and they retain a reputation for protecting some of the very top motorcycle racers including MotoGP star Maverick Vinales, TT legend Michael Dunlop and our own Jonathan Rea in WorldSBK.

 

 

Arai RX7

 

 

Bell

Named after its home town, a suburb of Los Angeles called Bell, the company made its first crash helmet in 1954 and initially focussed on making products for the world of car racing, as founder Roy Richter was an amateur auto racer himself.

Their big claim to fame came in 1968, when they introduced the Bell Star – the first mass produced full faced motorcycle helmet. It was revolutionary and preceded a line up of iconic designs throughout the 1970s in both the road and off-road worlds.

After a tumultuous time around the turn of the century, the motorcycle side of the business has returned to American ownership and has seen Bell become a major player again. They’re one of the best sellers in the off-road world, while rebooted retro designs like the Bullitt and Moto 3 pay homage to the products which made the company famous in the ‘70s and ‘80s. They’re hugely popular with riders of retros and classic motorcycles.

 

 

Bell Bullitt

 

 

HJC

South Korean company HJC’s strapline is ‘#1 in the world’ so we could hardly leave them off our list, could we?

Founded in 1971, they’ve been big sellers for the past two decades now – undercutting the more premium brands on price while still investing heavily in its research and development programme.

HJC sponsor some seriously fast MotoGP riders, including Fabio Quartararo and Brad Binder, and have a wide product range covering everything from open faced touring helmets, through to the full on race lids in their RPHA series (which stands for Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advanced). They’re a mainstream brand with something for everyone. Another reason HJCs are so popular is because they have a range of licenced products. This means they can offer helmets themed with graphics including Red Bull, Squid Game, Call of Duty, Mickey Mouse, Marvel and Batman’s Joker.

 

 

HJC Helmet

 

 

Shoei

Like fellow Japanese manufacturer Arai, Shoei made its first helmet in the 1950s and went on to become one of the leading names in the premium helmet sector.

American racer Wayne Rainey wore Shoei helmets for most of his career and today the company protects no less a star than Marc Marquez, the eight-time Grand Prix world champion.

Like all the major players, Shoei offers a range of products for all kinds of riding. They’ve had a strong reputation as real innovators, for example being one of the first manufacturers to utilise carbon fibre in their helmets and to develop an integrated sun visor.

 

 

Shoei Marquez

 

And what of the others…?

Here are 10 more helmet brands you might have heard of. They’ve all got their fans!

Alpinestars: Famous for their high-end riding gear, A-Stars is now in the helmet game.

Caberg: Italian company best known for its flip up and jet styled helmets.

Davida: Made in Britain open face helmets attract a loyal following.

LS2: Chinese brand has a reputation for a good price/quality blend.

MT Helmets: Spanish brand is massive on the continent and growing over here too.

NEXX: This Portuguese brand is one of the few European made helmets on sale today.

Ruroc: New brand with some unconventional designs and a cult following.

Schuberth: High end German manufacturer renowned for its flip front touring helmets.

Shark: French brand is world famous and supplies MotoGP stars.

Suomy: The helmet of choice for MotoGP champ Pecco Bagnaia, they also provide R&D for KYT helmets, another popular brand.

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