Best Motocross Helmets – Great Features For Reasonable Prices
So you just bought a dirt bike? Congratulations! Dirt bikes are totally awesome and versatile rides, and we figured that modifying your bike is next on your agenda, right? But instead of spending more money on aftermarket off-road parts, we’d suggest you spend some time getting some good safety gear, especially a dependable motocross helmet.
Although the number of choices is bewildering we talked to riders and did a bunch of our own research to find the four best motocross helmets that you can buy in 2017. Below we rank them and then do a deep dive to understand the the pros and cons of each motocross helmet so you can intelligently choose the best brain bucket for your dirt bike.
Things To Look For In A Motocross Helmet
Not all helmets are created equal and some tend to be more expensive than others. However, price should not be an indicator of quality, because there are some great helmets that offer more features for less money. Here are some of the things that you should look out for when choosing a motocross helmet:
Good Motocross Helmets Should Have DOT &/Or SNELL Certification
If you live in the United States, don’t even think about wearing a helmet that is not DOT-certified. If you live in Europe, you should only buy helmets with an ECE rating (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe).
When choosing the best motocross helmet, ultimate safety should be your utmost concern. You’ll be depending on these things to protect your head in a crash, and you don’t want to put your life in the hands of the lowest bidder – specifically nonDOT-certified helmets.
The Best Motocross Helmets Are Low In Weight
Motocross helmets can be made from fiberglass, polycarbonate, or carbon fiber. When choosing a motocross helmet, lighter is usually better. Carbon fiber is lighter than fiberglass or plastic but it’s more expensive as well. However, thanks to advanced construction techniques, even fiberglass or plastic can be made as light as carbon fiber without the price penalty.
Remember that lighter helmets are more comfortable to wear. Most motocross helmets will tip the scales from 1400 to 1800 grams. Anything more than 1800 grams will put more pressure on your neck and shoulders, which will inevitably cause fatigue.
Removable Liners And Chin Pads Are A Must on Good Motocross Helmets
Motocross is an exhilarating yet grueling sport. You are guaranteed to sweat profusely after a quick round at the dirt track. This means that your helmet is going to smell like rotting meat after a while, so it is a good idea to buy a motocross helmet with removable and washable liners.
Dirt Bike Riding Gets Dirty, Look for Excellent Ventilation
Motocross helmets with multiple ventilation ports will keep your head cooler so you can focus on the task at hand. This will also reduce fatigue when you’re attacking those demanding dirt tracks.
Motocross Helmets Should Have Aggressive Styling And Design
Motocross helmets will come in all sorts of shapes and colors, but keep in mind that helmets with brilliant and eye-catching graphics are typically more expensive than helmets with a plain finish.
A Deep Dive Into the Top Motocross Helmets
The Bell Moto-9 Motocross Helmet benefits from the patented Tri-Matrix shell construction, which keeps the helmet nice and light without compromising safety. Weighing in at approximately 3.5 pounds or 1587 grams, the Bell Moto-9 is one of the most comfortable and lightest motocross helmets in the market. This is impressive considering the Bell Moto-9 is DOT-certified and it costs less than $200.
This motocross helmet is also equipped with the Velocity Flow Ventilation system that uses multiple vents on the front and rear of the helmet to enhance the airflow around your head. It also comes with a fully-ventilated EPS-lined chin bar and an integrated vented roost guard. This helmet also comes with a removable and washable X-Static XT2 silver liner for hygienic purposes. Simply remove the liner and throw it in the washing machine so you don’t end up smelling like a farm animal each and every time you ride
Other features of the Bell Moto-9 are magnetic cheek pads for a more comfortable and secure fit, padded chin strap with D-ring enclosure and an impressive 5-year warranty. Perhaps the only caveat of this helmet is the price. It is not the most expensive dirt bike helmet in the market, but it is certainly one of the priciest helmets in this test.
Upon close inspection, fit and finish is the first thing you will notice in the Bell Moto-9. It feels light and comfortable, yet it also feels sturdily made. The coolest part? This helmet is available in a wide range of colors and designs.
- Lightweight yet sturdy design
- Extremely comfortable
- Properly integrated ventilation system
- Removable and washable liner
- DOT-certified for safety
- Price is a bit steep
The shell of this DOT-certified motocross helmet is made from an injected polymer composite compound for maximum lightness with advanced crash protection. The Bell MX—9 Adventure is also fitted with an integrated (and removable) face shield and moisture wicking liner that is both removable and washable as well.
Tipping the scales at a svelte 3.5 pounds, the Bell MX-9 Adventure also comes with velocity-flow ventilation ports for a more comfortable fit. It has a padded chin strap with D-ring enclosure and an EPS-lined chin bar with an adjustable mouth vent.
What I love most about the Bell MX-9 is that it offers more visibility and a wider field of view, provided that you buy the perfect size for your head. With that being said, the Bell MX—9 comes in 3 shell and EPS sizes for a more personalized fit.
I did have a problem fitting my glasses while wearing this helmet, but it is a simple caveat that I can live with. After all, for relatively less than $200 (and less expensive than the Bell Moto-9 I tested earlier), this full-face dirt bike helmet offers impressive features, lightweight construction, and a sleek aerodynamic design.
- Offers great visibility and a wider field of view
- Fantastic fit and finish
- Integrated and removable face shield
- Removable and washable inner liner
- DOT-certified construction
- Good ventilation ports
- XL size feels a bit too large
- Wind noise is noticeable at higher speeds
The TMS Motocross Helmet is a bit heavier than the previous Bell dirt bike helmets that we tested. Weighing in at 3.8 pounds, this DOT-certified helmet is made from a durable composite shell with a beautiful UV-protected finish.
The TMS Motocross Helmet has a heavily cushioned and padded interior with a removable and washable inner liner. Ventilation ports on the chin bar and on the side of the helmet will help keep things cool and comfy even when riding in hot and humid weather.
But the unique selling proposition of the TMS helmet is the price. Registering at less than $50, TMS helmets provide good looks, maximum protection, and riding comfort for less than a fraction of the price than other brands.
The TMS Dirt bike helmet feels very well made, except for the plastic visor screws. This makes the visor assembly feel a bit flimsy because some examples had visors that didn’t fit properly.
If you are in the market for a cheap dirt bike helmet with DOT-certified safety, the TMS Motocross helmet should be on top of your list.
- Affordable price
- Impressive fit and finish
- Cleverly integrated ventilation ports
- Removable and washable inner liner
- DOT-certified for safety
- It’s a bit heavier than the usual
- Visor feels flimsy
Planning to take the kids to the dirt track? Don’t leave home without the TCMT Youth and Kids Motocross Helmet. This DOT-certified helmet comes with a matching pair of riding gloves and goggles so you don’t need to purchase these items separately.
This TCMT off-road helmet is both strong and light. Lightness is the most important factor here because kids don’t have strong neck muscles compared to adult riders. In fact, the TCMT feels the lightest among the other helmets built for kids.
The sleek and modular design comes with integrated vents, perfect for both summer and winter use. The hard plastic shell is also coated with a UV-protected finish to preserve the beauty of those awesome graphics.
The thickly-padded interior offers a snug and reassuring fit, although it tends to be a bit tight to be quite honest. The trick is to carefully measure your child’s head and buy a size that is bigger than the actual measurement.
- Low price
- Nice graphics with UV-coated finish
- Lightweight construction
- DOT-certified for safety
- Package includes gloves and goggles
- Tight fit
- Neck strap is a bit too long
Dirt Bike Helmet Maintenance
Here are a couple of tips on dirt bike helmet maintenance so you can always ride in safety, comfort, and style.
- Yes, I know it’s tough to keep a motocross helmet clean, but periodic cleaning is essential for both hygienic and aesthetic purposes. The best way to thoroughly clean a dirty bike helmet is to use a power wash. Remove the inner lining of the helmet before power washing. Also, do not point the tip of the power wash nozzle too close to the outer shell because too much water pressure can severely damage the magnets located under the EPS foam on the inner shell.
- If your helmet has a gloss finish, it is best to wax or polish the finish at least twice a year. You should wax it more often if your helmet is constantly exposed to mud, sand, dirt and harmful UV rays. This will not only keep your helmet looking brand new, but the waxed surface will make it easier to remove mud and dirt later on, making your helmet easier to clean.
- Do not carry your helmet by clutching the chin bar. This will cause premature wear and tear on the foam interior of the chin bar. Simply do up the chin strap and carry your helmet like a handbag or use the carrying case that came with the helmet.
- Do not store your gloves inside your helmet. The dirty and stinky sweat from your hands will eat away into the inner lining of your helmet.
- Don’t use harsh cleaners on the outer shell of your dirt bike helmet. Chemicals from these cleaners can penetrate into the shell of your helmet, making them structurally weaker over time. Use mild soap and water instead.
- If you drop your dirt bike helmet, or if you get involved in a crash, it is best to have your helmet inspected by the manufacturer or replace the helmet altogether, even if there are no visible cracks on the shell.
- Change your helmet after 3 years regardless of the condition (maximum every 5 years).
Conclusion, Which Is Our Favorite Motocross Helmet?
Choosing a winner from the 4 best dirt bike helmets is like choosing between a Honda and Yamaha: it is hard to choose just one because they all have good features for the price.
I love the low price of the TMS Motocross Helmet, and I like the fact that the Bell XM-9 is priced a bit lower than the most expensive helmet in this test. However, if you are on an extremely tight budget and you don’t want to compromise safety, you should definitely check out the TMS dirt bike helmet.
But the winner is the Bell Moto-9 Off-Road Helmet. This helmet comes with a horde of advanced features for the price, and it is also the most comfortable helmet in this test. I also love the color combinations of the Bell Moto-9. This makes it easy to choose the best color and design that fits your personality.
Yes, the Bell Moto-9 is close to $200, but you get your money’s worth in terms of looks, safety, features, and overall comfort.