There’s nothing like the feeling of slipping on a new motorcycle helmet before the first ride of the season. Sure, you may have to break it in a little—but considering that break-in process entails a whole bunch of long rides full of sweeping corners and fresh air, that’s not much of a sacrifice.
The first order of business, however, is picking out that new helmet. Considering the number of new helmets available for 2019, it’s easy to fall down a cross-shopping rabbit hole featuring grammatically-incorrect customer write-ups and comparisons that leave that head you’re looking to protect spinning. So to help get you to the whole “breaking in that helmet” part sooner, we at Gear Patrol picked out a few of our favorite new motorcycle helmets to shorten your search.
Fox Racing V1 Weld SE Helmet
For 2019, Fox Racing brought its Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS) to the entry-level V1. That system replaces the visor screws with magnets, allowing the visor to easily detach in the event of an impact but keeping it secure during regular riding. What that means for you: upper-echelon helmet tech and design at a wildly affordable price point.
Biltwell Gringo S ECE Helmet
There’s one problem with many of the vintage-style helmets out there: they don’t actually provide the best of protection. All street-legal helmets have to be DOT-rated, but that’s actually a pretty low bar for entry. (Which is unnerving, when you think about it for more than two seconds). The Biltwell Gringo S ECE Helmet is one of the more popular existing old-school-cool helmets, but for 2019, it comes with an ECE rating—which shows that it provides much more protection than the basic DOT standard. Remember, folks: If there’s one piece of motorcycle gear never to compromise on, it’s your helmet.
Bell Eliminator Spectrum Helmet
With the Eliminator, Bell continues to draw inspiration for new helmets from its lengthy heritage—this time, crafting a vintage-looking helmet brought to you by the early days of its auto racing history. The design clearly boasts a classic style, albeit with modern touches: Bell incorporated recessed pockets for speakers and its anti-fog Pro-Vision dual-pane visor, and the helmet comes with both DOT and ECE ratings. Those old-school looks do come with drawbacks, like the Eliminator’s rudimentary ventilation setup; there’s no direct chin vent, there’s no way to close of the nine gromet intake holes, and there’s no exhaust or passive ventilation. But the simplicity also brings benefits: the Eliminator is one of the lightest helmets on this list, tipping the scales just 2 pounds and 13 ounces.
The AX9 replaces the long-in-the-tooth AX8 as AGV’s top adventure riding helmet for 2019, bringing increased ventilation thanks to five total vents, including a dual-action chin vent that can be operated from either inside or outside the helmet. The peak was redesigned for better aerodynamics at high speed, but also increased in size to provide better protection. The AX9’s party trick, though, is its ability to be worn in multiple configurations depending on where and how you want to ride: The peak and shield are both easily removable, if, for example, if you want to use goggles while off-roading.
Klim Krios Pro Helmet
You should expect a lot from a helmet that costs $700. Luckily for it, the Klim Krios Pro delivers, bringing the sort of premium materials, design, and functionality found in few other adventure helmets on the market. It uses full carbon shell construction and Koroyd technology, which works to help decelerate the head better than conventional materials in an impact. Like the AGV AX9, the Klim has a removable shield and peak; however, if you’re bouncing back and forth between pavement and dirt and want to avoid the headache of swapping eye protection, the shield can actually close over your goggles. It’s an on-the-fly luxury you won’t know you need until you try it.
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