Don’t you just love the style of those old school motorcycle helmets? Don’t you like that classic, vintage look that has just the right amount of bygone era style with today’s functionality and safety? Don’t you miss the golden years of classic motorcycles, cool hipster bikers who defined the look we all remember so fondly? We do. That’s why we decided to put together our list of the best old-school and vintage motorcycle helmets you can buy this year.
What You Need To Know Before Buying an Old-School Vintage Helmet?
Old school motorcycle helmets are most often open face or half helmets. While occasionally you can find full-face or modular helmets they are rare. This matters because off the bat these vintage helmets won’t be as safe when they are open face or half helmets. Sure they will be made of the latest and greatest materials and be strong as sh*t, but lets be serious for a second and realize their shortfalls.
Open faces or three-quarter helmets protect the base and top of your head, as well as the sides. They do not however protect your jaw or your face. The problem is that you will then be open to the elements, to the wind and the sun and if you ever come off a bike there is nothing there between your face and the ground.
On the plus side these helmets have great visibility. Your face is open so you can see the full road ahead, without any obstructions. It also gives you nice mobility since you can move your head in most directions and the lightweight nature of these helmets also makes them very comfortable. This also eliminates fatigue and minimizes the chance of creating neck issues.
Half helmets only cover the top of your head. They are an extreme version of the open face helmet, giving you the same, but better, advantages, and the same, but worse, disadvantages. As it only covers the top of your head it provides minimum protection. The area along your neck and the base of your head are exposed.
Vintage and Old School Helmets Should Still Meet Helmet Safety Standard
Now, we all want and love cool motorcycle helmets. We especially love that old school retro look. Still, there are a few more things you need to keep in mind. Don’t buy a helmet on eBay that is an original vintage helmet from decades ago. Sure they are cheap but they are probably close to useless from a safety perspective.
Buy a helmet that is tested and carries the seal of approval from either DOT, ECE or SNELL. These certificates guarantee that during a crash you helmet you are wearing will have a higher likelihood of protecting your skull.
The DOT is a standard started by the US Department of Transportation. The ECE is based in Europe and is determined by the Economic Commission of Europe. The SNELL standard has been created by the Snell Memorial Foundation. Every one of these certifications makes a helmet undergo a battery of tests, trying to figure out its structural integrity, how it transfers impact force and in general tries to find any weak spots in the helmet itself. If the old school motorcycle helmets you want have passed these tests, then you’re good to go.
Best Old-School Motorcycle Helmets
Now, in our opinion, these are the best old school motorcycle helmets money can buy:
Goggles Vintage German Style Half Helmet
This stylish, WWII style half helmet will certainly turn heads.
It comes with goggles, ear muffle and is colored in a deep, old-timely brown, with the goggles being brown and copper/brass color. Some can say that it even has a somewhat steam punk design.
You can remove the ear muffle, because of hot weather, and keep it on when it’s cold, or when you can’t stand the noise while riding.
A downside to this product is that the leather can make you sweat a lot more during hot days.
Are you a fan of the film Easy Rider? Then this is the perfect helmet for you. However, what really makes this helmet special is the padding. It has a breathable nylon interior, which makes it really comfortable and doesn’t need to be washed as most helmet lining types need to be.
Another added benefit is the visor giving it that classic look. The helmet itself is coated with premium automotive paint, making it very scratch resistant.
However, some have complained that the color of the helmet can disappear after an extended period of use.
When we first wrote this post a few years ago the amount of selection from mainstream motorcycle helmet manufacturers in the vintage or old-school category were pretty weak. Things have changed a lot which is why we update this post every year with our new favorites.
It got to the point where we felt we weren’t sharing enough vintage motorcycles helmet love by limiting our list to the top six vintage helmets. Thus this new section where we broaden our list. We haven’t tested every helmet on the below list, but we did spend time researching, reading customer reviews and then sharing on the old-school vintage helmets we thought were good enough for our readers.
The helmets needed to look really old school but also be modern in terms of features and safety standards. Sit back and enjoy our list of the coolest vintage motorcycle helmets we could find:
Bullitt Carbon Lightweight Classic
The Lightweight Classic Vintage Helmet
Inspired by the very first Bell Star helmet, the Bullitt is a modern take on the original.
Featuring an exceptional fit and ultra-high quality details, the Bullitt is the perfect helmet for riders looking for a vintage look with full-face protection.