Best Modular Helmets
If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, it is important to know that there are six general types of motorcycle helmets – Full-face, Modular or flip-up, Open face, Half-helmet, Off-road and Dual-sport (check out motorcycle helmet buyer’s guide for more information).
I personally like modular helmets because I’m more of a sport touring, casual type of rider. Modular helmets also offer something that full-face helmets can only dream of: versatility. Have you ever tried eating a sandwich or talking to your friend while wearing a full-face helmet? It’s impossible! With a modular motorcycle helmet, the chin bar can easily flip up on top of the helmet so you can have a decent conversation or grab a bite without removing your entire helmet.
These helmets come with a lot of features, so I tested each one to find out which offers the most amount of features for the price.
Affordable Modular Motorcycle Helmets
I personally did the math, and came up with a list of the 5 most affordable (and high quality) modular helmets that you can buy today. While we’d all love to buy an $800 Arai helmet not all of us have that kind of budget. If you’re an entry level buyer looking to protect your head on a budget then these are the modular helmets for you:
YEMA YM-925 Dual Visor Motorcycle Helmet weighs in at only 3.7 pounds but is DOT certified for safety. The aerodynamic design ensures a quieter ride when travelling at speed, while the advanced ventilation system keeps your head cool while wearing the helmet.
First on the list is the YEMA YM-925. This DOT-certified modular helmet has a shell made from high-grade ABS thermoplastic to provide solid protection, yet it only weighs 3.7 pounds.
The YEMA YM-925 comes with a built-in drop down sunshield to protect your eyes from excessive glare. The quick-release system enables you to easily remove or install the outer visor.
This motorcycle helmet has an aerodynamic design that reduces wind noise, even when you’re travelling at an exuberant speed. The advanced ventilation system on the front-top and rear of the helmet will ensure that your head stays cool, even when things get hot on the road.
But what I really like about the YEMA YM-925 is the fully removable and washable inner lining that is both antibacterial and odor-resistant. If you are searching for the best modular helmet, this is an excellent feature to have. You don’t want to put your head inside a smelly pit, right?
The best part? The YEMA YM-925 costs less than $100.
IV2 Elite Series Modular Motorcycle/Snowmobile Helmet weighs in at a portly 5 pounds but the fiber-reinforced shell exceeds DOT certifications for safety. This modular helmet comes with 10 ventilation ports for maximum air circulation, but it does create a bit more wind noise when the vent ports are open.
I also like the IV2 Elite Series modular helmet because of the fiber-reinforced ABS composite shell. This allows the IV2 Elite series to exceed DOT requirements for motorcycle safety. Want proof? This helmet comes with non-removable DOT-certified graphic printed on the back.
Like the YEMA YM-925, the IV2 Elite Series also comes with a fully removable and washable interior. The inner shell is also lined with high quality EPS Impact Foam for added protection against head injuries.
The single push-button flip-up feature will transform your full face helmet to an open face in virtually seconds. The helmet also comes with quick-access and easy open air vents to provide adequate ventilation. In fact, this modular helmet comes with 10 ventilation ports!
Like most modular helmets in the market, the IV2 Elite Series also has a retractable and scratch-resistant dual inner sun visor so you don’t have to squint when riding head-on in the sun.
For less than $85, the IV2 Elite Series is a no-brainer.
IV2 “The Patriot” Modular Dual Visor Helmet is the patriotic way to protect your head when riding your motorcycle, but there is more to this than the attention-grabbing design. The one-button flip-up system transforms your helmet into an open face in an instant.
If you’re tired of the same old satin or matte black finish of other modular helmets, then the IV2 “The Patriot” helmet is perfect for you.
Since this is an IV2, the helmet meets and exceeds DOT requirements for safety. The shell is made from ABS thermoplastic composite that is fiber-reinforced for added durability and protection.
The design is simply patriotic, if you’ll ask me. The helmet is finished with a stars-and-stripes motif, which actually reminds me of the helmet that Evil Knievel wears in his daredevil and death-defying stunts.
The IV2 “The Patriot” modular helmet comes with the ingenious one-button and one-hand flip-up system to instantly convert your helmet from a full face to an open-face helmet. The button can be easily switched even when you’re wearing gloves.
This gorgeous helmet also comes with an anti-scratch tinted sun visor, fully removable and washable interior, and an advanced ventilation system with 10 venting ports for maximum comfort.
VIPER Modular Dual Visor Helmet is also made from fiber-reinforced ABS composite that exceeds DOT certifications for safety. The interior is lined with EPS impact foam for added safety and comfort.
The VIPER Modular Dual Visor helmet is also manufactured by IV2, so you can expect the same level of quality and comfort as with all IV2 helmets.
The shell is constructed from ABS thermoplastic that is fiber-reinforced to provide maximum toughness and head protection. It also comes with a kick-ass design that exudes toughness. It looks good even when you’re not wearing it on your head!
The interior is also lined with EPS impact foam for an added layer of protection and comfort against all sorts of crashes, so this is a good thing.
The VIPER helmet is equipped with easy open air vents for enhanced air circulation especially when riding at slow speeds. The helmet is also equipped with an anti-scratch sun visor to protect your precious eyes from glare.
This helmet can easily transform from a full-face to open-face helmet in a heartbeat courtesy of the one-button flip-up system.
1Storm Motorcycle Modular Helmet is finished in a glossy and UV protected finish for maximum durability. The shell is made from a revolutionary mix of thermoplastic and alloy to provide maximum protection against head injuries.
The 1Storm Motorcycle Modular Helmet has a beautiful, glossy, and UV-protected finish. This particular model comes in a matte-black finish, but there are a variety of colors to choose from, including glossy pink and glossy red if you are one of those who likes to make a fashion statement while you ride.
The advanced modular and flip-up design allows you to enjoy the protection of a full-face helmet and the versatility of a modular helmet with a simple push of a button.
The lightweight and durable shell is made from a potent mix of thermoplastic and alloy. This allows the 1Storm modular helmet to meet and exceed DOT requirements for safety.
This helmet also comes with a dual lens design, consisting of an inner smoked lens and a clear outer shield. It’s good to know that the inner tinted lens can also be retracted for night time riding. This is an important feature because you don’t want to ride in the dark night with the tinted lens covering your eyes.
Best Modular Motorcycle Helmets
Arai Helmets Corsair V Solid Helmet is one of the safest, high tech and advanced helmets on the market.
It has a cool intercom and bluetooth system that works well and is a real practical featured we loved when we tested this helmet a few years ago.
This helmet is one of the most comfortable helmets we’ve ever worn here at BestBeginnerMotorcycles. It isn’t heavy given how safe it is and it just fits perfectly and is comfortable on long rides like no other helmet.
We found the helmet to be really easy to take on and off (not something we can say for all Modular Helmets). Arai designed a larger bottom opening on the Corsair V to make life a little easier and we can report it definitely works.
The shell is super strong. Arai quotes something like “Hyper-Ridge around the bottom enhances shell strength while providing a larger bottom opening”. I don’t know what that means other than the helmet is strong and the opening makes life easier (per above comment). As always with Arai the venting works great and definitely made this helmet cool during our rides when testing it.
As always this kind of feature set and quality doesn’t come cheap and this is the most expensive helmet on our list of best modular helmets.
The Bell Qualifier DLX Helmet finished in matt black is one of the sexiest helmets on the market. At less than $200 this is a great modular helmet that balances features with reasonable price point. That’s why it is one of the most popular helmets on the market.
In terms of colors and styles the Bell Qualifier has dozens of options to match any conceivable look you’re going for. You can see pretty quickly that this is a helmet that looks way more expensive, they really have nailed the look.
But this helmet isn’t just about looks. The lightweight polycarbonate/ABS shell construction make this helmet tough and lightweight which is especially tough to do well in this segment.
Features we’d like to call out include the anti-fog functionality and the padded wind color which reduces wind and road noise. Both work quite well and make a big difference in day to day comfort and enjoyment. Overall, a great helmet for reasonable money.
The Bell Revolver Evo Modular Helmet is advertised as a versatile helmet that does it all. The advertising is right, this is a great all-round modular helmet.
The helmet looks sleek and modern with a great selection of colors available to choose from.
The helmet fits snugly although we’ve read that sizing can be a bit of an issue in terms of picking the right size, so you may have to try a few sizes to get it right. When you do get it right, the helmet fits well and is comfortable.
A big downside is that the noise level when you are riding is loud. We don’t normally find this with Bell helmets so it may just be this model. We found it didn’t do a great job keeping the noise out.
Great all around helmet for less than $200. Not perfect, but nothing ever is at this price point.
The GLX Modular Helmet is less than $150. I want to get that out of the way because for the money this is one awesome helmet. Sure it isn’t perfect, but for this kind of money I’ll take some shortfalls.
This is one of the most versatile helmets on the market weighing in at roughly 4 pounds equipped with an integrated sun shield, removable liner, advanced ventilation and replaceable shields.
Spec sheet looks good for this price-point and while we haven’t tested this helmet ourselves, we found that most customers who reviewed the helmet were pleased.
Positive customer reviews were all around how this balanced the visibility and openness of an open-face helmet with the practicality and safety of a full-face helmet and that the balance was perfect. Downsides were that wind noise was an issue and that higher speed riding wasn’t fun because the helmet isn’t that aerodynamic.
The HJC IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet is one of our favorites.
The wind noise in this helmet is comparable to other helmets that cost 100-300 dollars more than the HJC IS-MAX II which is pretty impressive. The vents on this helmet are practically useless and I couldn’t tell a difference when they were open or closed.
One thing that stood out about this helmet is how large it is. Even the medium I originally received was slightly bigger than other helmets I was used to trying in that size. The helmet was also slightly heavier than my regular TR-Z that I usually ride with, especially near the top of the helmet.
Let me say that again for emphasis: I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the SunShield!!! I honestly don’t know why more helmets do not do this, I would be willing to pay $100 extra just for this mechanism alone. The SunShield locks firmly into place and once you enter a more dimly lit environment a simple button press retracts the shield instantly. I absolutely LOVE this feature.
Ok so we cheated a little here because this is the same helmet as above. The main difference is the color. We’re including it because most helmets are black, matt black and a few other colors. Rarely do we find a cool pearl white helmet we like. This is it.
Comfortable, very light weight and lots of amazing features this is up there with some of the really high end helmets made by the likes of Arai and Shoei. Construction is advanced, with a premium integrated matrix made of Carbon fiber, Fiberglass epoxy, Aramid epoxy, & Organic fibers. It means a super-strong shell that is extremely lightweight.
The helmet fits and the inner shield does not drop down to hit your nose. The chin bar locks with gentle pressure when closing the lid. We loved the one-touch integrated sunshield which has three convenient positions.
Air leaks are zero and road noise is nicely muted. Comfortable, very lightweight and chock-full of features, this helmet is worth the money.
The HJC CL-17 Motorcycle Helmet is a budget helmet that is well-equipped and balanced.
Made of an advanced polycarbonate composite shell that is pretty lightweight even when compared to the more exotic helmets we’ve tested, this is a great beginner motorcycle helmet. Priced at under $150 it is affordable.
The HJC CL-17 Helmet hits the same safety ratings as the big boys yet comes in at hundreds less. This is a helmet designed to keep you cool. Advanced ventilation channels do most of the work but a moisture wicking interior liner is there for backup.
Out of the box this helmet comes with a Pinlock-ready face shield. Adding on a Pinlock lens gives you the most fog-free riding experience out there. Shield changes are a breeze thanks to the tool-less RapidFire Shield Replacement System. Replacement shields are available in virtually every color of the transparent or metallic rainbow so you can fight the sun, match your bike or match your mindset.
The Nexx Helmets brand isn’t known to most newby motorcycle riders. We’ve included the Nexx X30.V Plain Helmet in our top modular helmets for 2017 based on its innovative take on helmet design.
This is the first flip up with chin protection which essentially gives a rider significantly better versatility, especially important for newer riders. We found this concept worked well and the design clearly benefit ergonomic a lot. Really easy to use helmet.
In addition to the innovation on the shell design we found that the interior was nicely appointed and comfortable. Nexx says that their lining has anti-allergenic and anti-sweat properties. We didn’t ride it long enough to know for sure, but we do know that the lining is easily removable and washable; the cheek pads are equally removable and washable which means that you can always have a fresh helmet.
The Nolan N44 N-Com Outlaw Helmet is priced around the $300 mark and for that kind of money it is a great modular helmet to buy. Its defining feature is the crossover design with quick-change accessories. We found it to be more comfortable, have better visibility and feel lighter than other helmets in this price range.
The Nolan N44 comes with clear shield, integrated sun shield, peak and the removable chin bar and pinlock insert. Pinlock works great and it’s nice to see a lot included in a helmet like this. The faceshield is optically correct and fitted in an exceptionally large eye port.
Overall a great all-round helmet for the money and a recommended buy for the beginner motorcycle rider looking to balance price with features and safety.
High-End Modular Motorcycle Helmets
This is where helmets get very serious, exotic, technically advanced and where material science is at its best. High-end modular motorcycle helmets retail for north of $500 and are dominated by Arai, Shoei and Schuberth, some of the most well-known and quality motorcycle helmet brands on the market.
These high-end helmets aren’t just about style over substance (although these helmets all look awesome), they are constructed by more advanced materials that are stronger and more lightweight than helmets in lower price points. Things like venting and comfort “just work” at this price point and that can make a big difference. While we don’t think a beginner motorcycle rider can just drop $700 on a modular helmet we do recommend that you take a look at these helmets and think hard about what your safety and comfort are worth to you and decide whether it is worth the money.
With that, here are the best high-end modular motorcycle helmets you can buy in 2017. Note we cheated a little here and included some full-face helmets because we didn’t want to create a standalone post just for full faced helmets.
The AGV Corsa Soleluna Qatar Helmet is a serious race helmet so it isn’t for everybody. This is the kind of helmet that you expect to see on Valentino Rossi on race weekends.
The AGV Corsa helmet range comes in a number of cool designs and colors but we loved this one (definitely check out the others). We love the look of the triangles, squares and circles on a yellow background, with blue, green, orange and fuchsia tones, while the sun rays extend from the front to the back of the helmet. Looks awesome.
This helmet balances extreme performance road-friendly features such as adjustable ventilation and comfortable lining that is made of a breathable Lycra®micro-porous material that has dry-comfort fabric with sanitizing treatment. The liners are also fully removable and washable.
The helmet has a Five Star SHARP certification and meets every safety standard you can imagine. This is serious helmet for the serious rider.
In true Arai fashion, the Corsair-X Helmet has taken helmet technology and rider protection one step further by engineering a helmet that not only guards against direct impacts, but is specifically designed to minimize the effect of “glancing off” impacts as well.
Arai has created a stronger shell and smoother shape that is more likely to redirect impact energy than absorb it (therefore decreasing the amount of force transferred to the body). To increase this potential to glance off impact energy, the VAS (Variable Axis System) side pod, pivot cover is smaller in size and its position on the shell is lower.
The Arai Corsair X Motorcycle Helmet features a chin curtain that helps to block air intrusion from the turbulent air underneath the helmet, as well as increases negative pressure to enhance the exhaust ventilation performance. The interior lining includes Arai’s signature 5mm peel away ear pocket padding and ear pocket recess to accommodate communicator speakers.
The Arai Quantum-X Full Face Helmet is a purpose-built helmet for the street and it’s good, like really good.
Like most Arai helmets it comes in 6 sizes and this model has 9 colors to choose from, mainly greys and blacks with some white and bright yellow thrown in for good measure.
The Quantum-X is a full face helmet (despite the title of this post) and does a great job at being really balanced. What we mean by that is that it combines comfort, quiet, stability, ventilation and safety really well without one area being over or under represented. Like the Porsche 911, this really a great enhancement over previous models, tweaks that make things better without re-inventing the wheel.
The Variable Access System shield mechanism was developed to enhance the shape of the shell, but the easy to learn changing mechanism is what we love the most. So easy to use. The ventilation ducts look familiar but offer more adjustment and better flow through performance. The Anti-Microbial liner material on the Quantum-X resists the build up of bacteria and as a result allows your helmet to stay fresher, longer, between cleanings.
Overall, this helmet goes to show that refining and improving on an existing formula works.
Arai Signet X Full Face Helmet is a properly built, highly reliable and super-stylish helmet.
Users will love customizable fit system as it allows them to adjust things according to their own convenience. The price may be an issue, but when it comes to comfort and visual clarity this helmet provides, bike riders are going to opt for this amazing product coming straight from the house of Arai. This is a superb helmet that will enhance the excitement of bike riding.
We love the fantastic face shield that has the smoothest mechanisms currently available in the market. Its adjustable and has a great defogging vent that works really well.
Arai pays special attention to the comfort of the head and the face when users wear helmets. The Arai Signet Q helmet is so spacious and comfortable from the inside that users don’t feel as if they are wearing a protective gear. There is no feeling of suffocation or irritation after wearing the helmet.
One of the major concerns of the bike riders is the proper flow of air within the helmet. Arai has given a chin vent, two vents at the top and one rear spoiler vent. There is a unique provision to maintain the flow of air on the forehead and temple. The face shield covers can be opened into the directed ducts to provide a spectacular sensation to the entire face.
This has to be one of the most aggressive and awesome looking helmets we’ve ever seen. We’re smitten by the carbon look with the cool gold accents. The aero shape also elicits speeds.
Bell says that this is a first-of-its kind, three-layer impact liner designed helmet. The idea is that it is optimized to take impact at low, mid and high-speed.
This is a serious race helmet. It has a carbon fiber shell and it is extremely strong and lightweight. We like the easy removal of inside pads for washing so that serious riders don’t have stinky helmets.
This helmet meets or exceeds Snell M2015 and DOT certifications.
Overall, this is a strong, lightweight and well vented helmet that is super comfortable. Sure it is a little pricey for a Bell helmet but it is well worth it.
Schuberth C4 redefines the flip-up helmet and represents the new benchmark for touring and sports riders. This is one serious helmet.
We love the clean design and simple lines. It is a clean, modern and compact design that is refreshing given some of the trinkets we see on other high end helmets.
The C4 also comes with Bluetooth and radio reception with an integrated antenna, pre-installed speakers and microphone. In our tests we found it to work really well (better than most of the best Bluetooth helmets we’ve tested before).
The creative design and extra large anti-fog lens meant that visibility is pretty awesome on this helmet.
Low weight and high speed stability are other benefits of this cool aero-optimized design and wow, it makes such a huge difference. I don’t ever remember reviewing a helmet that felt this stable and smooth at speed. Simply awesome.
As expected at this price point, things like ventilation, inside lining and comfortable fit are all exemplary. Take cooling as an example. Cooling is handled via a complex multi-channel ventilation system on the inside of the shell to ensure a comfortable air flow rate. It even has air intakes in the forehead and chin areas. That’s the difference between an $800+ Schuberth C4 helmet and something at $300. It is the details and level of engineering.
The Shoei Neotec road race helmet is one of the best helmets that you can invest in. Great helmet, good visibility, good ventilation, comfortable.
We love the beautiful and functional design, it has a gorgeous sleek design that is very aerodynamic and lightweight. Perfect for long riders and/or high speed runs.
The helmet is considered to be the most progressive flip-up helmet on the market. It is fashioned with a large lock release button to improve handling with gloves on.
The design has been altered for a taller field of vision so you can glide through traffic easier; it has reduced wind noise and an internal sun shield to protect your eyes from harsh sun rays.
The inner shield is 3D injection molded and has an easy locatable switch. The inner shield provides the user with protection from the sun and blocks out 99 percent of harmful UV rays.
The lining is soft for a comfortable fit and made from breathable fabric to help reduce sweating. The lining is also removable for easy cleaning. The lightweight chin bar and face shield rotates smoothly and precisely on a single axis point.
Overall, this is one of the best helmets on the market. Period.
They key to the Shoei RF-1200 is that it does everything well. However, it is important to point out where Shoei has focused. Safety is one. The helmet comes with the DOT and Snell certifications which is what helmets are primarily about. Big deal.
In addition, the other area the company has focused on when making the Shoei RF-1200, these are; the shell structure, the aerodynamics, and the EPS liner. The company has taken care of both technical and cosmetic aspects of the helmet because Shoei wanted to manufacture a helmet that stands out in all the parameters.
Shoei is known for its lustrous paint and spectacular graphics. The combination of both can be seen in the Shoei RF-1200 helmet. The selection of colors and graphics has been unconventional, but the end result is mind-blowing. The presence of the solid colors along with elegant lines are quite phenomenal.
While you can save a decent chunk of change by going for the flat black RF-1200, the paint job on the Shoei Indy Marquez RF-1200 or Shoei Graffiti RF-1200 Street version of this helmet is worth every penny of its more expensive sticker price. The pictures on the internet really do not do this helmet justice. In general I have always been a fan of the minimalist look, and I think some helmets go a little crazy with the graphics. This Shoei however, is a thing of beauty.
Why Choose Modular Motorcycle Helmets?
Modular helmets may not offer the same level of protection as full-face motorcycle helmets, but it gives you an added dose of versatility and style.
Since the chin section can flip-up on top of the helmet, you can enjoy friendly conversation with other fellow riders without removing the helmet from your head.
Although it is quite dangerous and ill-advised to ride your motorcycle in the open-face or flip-up position, casual riders and sport touring folks will certainly enjoy the convenience and versatility of a modular helmet.
Want to Buy a Modular Helmet? Here are the Features You Should Consider
Before making a purchase, here are the features that you need to consider in a modular motorcycle helmet:
- DOT certification – Safety comes first, so you should only buy DOT-certified modular helmets.
- Sturdy construction – Your helmet will be protecting the most important part of your body, so it better be tough.
- Removable and washable inner linings – For hygienic purposes, a removable inner lining will keep your helmet smelling clean and good even after repeated use.
- Push-button convenience to flip-up the chin section – Modular helmets are popular because of this feature.
- Dual visors for an added dose of eye protection – It helps to have dual visors (tinted and clear) so you see clearly in both day and night.
- Advanced ventilation system – This will keep your head cool while you ride.
- Inspiring design – Modular helmets come in a variety of shapes and colors to suit every style.
- Price – The trick is to find the best helmet with a full complement of features without spending a lot of cash.
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