Finding excellent riding gear is essential for safe and fun adventures. You want reliable pieces that will keep you comfortable and protected as you ride. One of those is your helmet.
In the vast majority of countries, you’re required by law to wear a helmet. Still, people struggle to find a model that’s quality yet affordable.
Depending on the model and brand, they can cost quite a lot of money. However, you can still find quality and durability with some of the greatest quality motorcycle helmets under $200.
Continue reading as we review them, their features and pros and cons. Stay tuned for our Buyer’s Guide for some additional information on what you should look for.
12 Top-Rated Motorcycle Helmets Below $200
Bell Qualifier DXL Blackout
Bell’s Qualifier is among the most popular helmets on the market. It’s lightweight, durable and aerodynamic. It comes in several sizes and colors to choose from.
The polycarbonate ABS shell is quite strong and scratch-resistant. It accommodates the Bell Senna SMH10 and Card Scala Rider Q1/Q3 Bluetooth headset in the integrated pockets.
On the inside, this one has moisture-wicking interior and countered cheek pads. The padding is removable and washable for easier maintenance.
It’s a full-face helmet with NutraFog II superior anti-fog, an anti-scratch shield that’s also UV-protective. The click-release system makes it easy to change the shields without any additional tools. On top of that, this one has a padded chin strap with D-ring closure.
The Qualifier is DOT approved for having met their FMVSS 218 safety standard.
It’s a vintage looking helmet with a shiny finish. It comes on several designs and sizes although they run a bit large.
The fiberglass tri-composite shell is durable and able to withstand quite some shock. It has DOT and ECE 22.5 certifications for its overall performance and endurance.
The front chin vents along with metal mesh intake and exhaust vents make an impressive airflow system. This helps prevent fogging while it also keeps the air within a bit cooler and fresher.
On top of that, this one also has a removable shield and faux suede liner. These allow easier and more comfortable use, especially on long-distance trips.
The helmet also has a padded chin strap with D-ring closure. On the inside, it features multi-density EPS padding for a more comfortable and secure fit.
This Street Legal, DOT approved helmet is among the best affordable models on the market. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a modern design and reliable construction.
The outer shell is made of HIR-TH that stands for high resistant thermoplastic resin. It’s a durable material that’s quite resistant to scratching and impact.
For sizing, the brand went for two outer shells and four EPS sizes to provide the best fit. Inner shell dimensions are optimized using Finite Elements Method analysis.
This one also features the Integrated Ventilation System with wide ducts in the EPS shell. The manufacturer used wind tunnel testing to optimize the shell with four front vents and two rear extractors. There’s almost no wind noise which is also a plus.
This is a fierce looking model that will for sure attract attention everywhere you go. It comes in black, matte black, white and bright yellow as well as several sizes to choose from.
It’s a modular helmet made of fiberglass and Kevlar. The combination of materials resulted in light weight, strength, and high-quality gloss and matte finishes.
It comes with anti-fog and anti-scratch polycarbonate face shields. Both are quick-release types for easier changes in the shortest time.
The inner sun shield features a convenient drop-down system that’s quite easy to use. For airflow, this one has crown vents and an aerodynamic exhaust. This allows fresh air to flow and reduce the chance of fatigue.
It’s also important to mention that this one is DOT approved for its safety, durability and overall quality.
This full-face street motorcycle helmet has a rounder shape that appears more vintage looking. It still looks quite impressive and fierce, especially in the white finish.
The shell is made of polycarbonate composite and is reasonably lightweight. Thanks to CAD technology, the sizing, and overall fit are pretty accurate and snug.
It comes with an anti-scratch Pinlock-ready face shield along with a 3D design. The side face shield has a locking mechanism for a more secure seal that’s especially useful during high-speed rides.
This one is quite simple in terms of removing and installing the face shields. It features the unique RapidFire Shield Replacement System for quicker and easier maneuver. On top of that, the system allows the changes to be without any additional tools.
If you’re a Marvel fan, this helmet is probably the best choice you can go for. Its unique design is attractive and ideal for all kinds of bikers and motorcycles.
Among the most important things to mention are its certifications. Sizes XS to 2XL are approved by SNELL, while plus sizes 3XL are approved by the Department of Transportation in the USA.
The polycarbonate composite shell is lightweight and allows a snug and comfortable fit. The CAD technology provides a more customized fit regardless of the actual size you go for.
This one features an anti-scratch Pinlock-ready 3D face shield. It provides 95% UV protection. On top of that, the side shield locks with a mechanism that gives a more secure seal.
The RapidFire shield replacement system allows quick and tool-less removal and installation of different shields.
This one looks unique and unlike most other helmets on the market. It’s proven to be the smallest and lightest shell size the Department of Transportation ever approved. It has indeed met and exceeded their FMVSS 218 standard.
It features quick-release straps for easier adjustment and removal. Still, its shape often has people hesitant due to fear of mushroom head. However, the ultra-low profile allows a snug and tight fit, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll end up with a mushroom head.
Though it’s entirely true to size, this one changes over time. In other words, it might even feel a bit too snug once you first put it on. Over time, it will relax, adapt to the shape of your face and be more comfortable than when you first put it on.
If you’re looking for an intermediate oval fit, this one is among your best options. The shape is attractive, and it comes in several sizes and colors to choose from.
The LS2 Stream has a DOT approved quick-release chin strap. It’s easy to use and release even when you’re wearing riding gloves.
Its built-in Twin Shield System with drop-down sun shield keeps your eyes protected from the sun. It retracts with just the flip of a switch which is among the most convenient methods.
The technical fabric liner is easy to remove for washing. This allows you to keep the helmet fresh and clean at all times, especially after long-distance adventures.
Apart from being approved by DOT, it also meets and exceeds ECE safety requirements.
Open-face models are growing more popular by the day thanks to their overall convenience and versatility. The LS2 569 is among the simplest yet most reliable helmets under $200.
It’s an open-face ¾ design that offers a wide visibility field and protection all at once. In most cases, it’s great for people who tend to feel claustrophobic wearing tight-fitting full-face models.
This one features a built-in Twin Shield System Sun Shield that makes it easy to control the airflow. It also allows you to control how much light you want at the simple push of a button.
Its Kinetic Polymer Alloy shell is approved by both DOT and ECE. DOT also approved its quick-release buckle that allows a secure fit at all times.
The airflow is fully adjustable which is great for people who tend to suffer from fatigue or dizziness.
HJC helmets are some of the best options for both beginners and experienced riders. Their CL-17 might be their most popular model due to its affordability, durability and overall convenience.
The advanced polycarbonate composite shell fits snuggly, is lightweight and quite comfortable thanks to the CAD technology.
It also features an anti-scratch Pinlock-ready face shield that rejects 95% of harmful UV rays. The shield lock mechanism provides a secure seal, so the shields don’t wobble or move during rides.
On top of that, the RapidFire Shield Replacement System makes it easy to remove and install the shields without any additional tools.
For ventilation, the manufacturer included Advanced Channeling Ventilation System with full front to back airflow. It keeps the temperature and humidity at appropriate levels.
Interior padding, cheek pads, and liner are all moisture-wicking and removable.
This is probably one of the most attractive designs on the market. It’s matte and all black which just adds to the overall great-looking shape of the helmet.
It meets and exceeds the Department of Transportation FMVSS 218 safety standard. The aerodynamic shell is among the unique constructions you’ll find at this price point. It’s made of lightweight composite poly-alloy.
All of its cheek pads and liner and made of nylon and hypo-allergenic fabric. It’s a firm cushioning that provides a snug and tight fit. In most cases, it relaxes a bit over time.
Another critical thing to mention is its ventilation system. This one features a 7-point system with vents on the forehead, chin and the back of the shell.
The shield covers all the way to the side of your face. It’s optically correct, scratch-resistant and compound-curved.
If you don’t like having your face covered, you should consider this open-face model. It’s comfortable, lean and lightweight even for long-hour riding.
This one is DOT approved for quality and endurance of the ¾ lid. On the inside, the Bonanza has EPS Expanded Polystyrene safety shell and a hand-stitched liner. The moisture-wicking Lycra panels and open-cell foam padding allow supreme breathability.
It features a nylon neck strap and plated D-rings made of steel. On top of that, the injection-molded Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene outer shell features a hand-painted color finish.
It has an adjustable strap and end retainers allowing you to achieve a more customized fit. The overall construction and set of features make this one ideal for casual commuters and people who don’t usually ride at highway speeds.
Buyer’s Guide to Cheap Helmets
What Can You Get in The $200 Price Range?
These are mostly made of fiberglass or polycarbonate which allows the manufacturers to keep the prices low. They’re still quite durable and easy to use.
Pieces under $200 usually don’t have as many additional features and aren’t as customizable as their high-end counterparts. They do have airflow systems, but their vents usually can’t be fine-tuned.
In most cases, these might also weight a bit more due to the materials used in the construction. Another thing you can expect is a trickier sizing system. Affordable helmets might not have such a precise fit although you’ll find several sizes to choose from.
If you want to find out what you can get in other price ranges, check out the following guides:
Safety is crucial regardless of how much money you intend to spend on a helmet. It’s something you shouldn’t overlook.
It might be easiest to just look at what safety rating your helmet has. Some safety ratings are required by law such as the DOT rating for the USA and the ECE 22.5 for Europe and AUS 1698-2006 for Australia.
Still, keep in mind that the DOT rating is quite easy to get and might not actually mean a lot. Instead, look for the one that has SNELL certification. It’s an independent organization that uses stricter and more rigorous methods to test helmets.
A few other considerations you should keep in mind are the helmet’s fit and comfort. Only when it fits you well and is comfortable will it be able to protect you the right way.
Finding the Correct Fit
As we’ve briefly mentioned, your helmet has to fit you perfectly in order for it to work. If it’s too small, it will also be tight and deeply uncomfortable. If it’s large, it won’t protect you at all if it comes to close impact.
For this reason, it’s crucial to find just the right size that fits snuggly but doesn’t take away the comfort aspect.
In most cases, brands put out their own sizing charts. You should measure your head according to their precise instructions and compare the numbers with the chart.
Full face helmets are those fierce-looking models we’ve seen. These are fully enclosed and cover all of your head and face including your chin. As a result, they might fog and cause fatigue unless they have a reliable and functional ventilation system.
Also, these tend to be a bit heavier since they’re typically also larger. To this day, these are the most popular types out there.
Modular type is quite versatile as it’s a combination of full-face and half-face models. It delivers the security of the full-face and versatility of the half-face types all in one.
In most cases, it’s enclosed but allows you to lift the visor. This means you can flip it for some more fresh air at times you’ve stopped for gas or anything else. Still, it’s equally important for these to have a good ventilation system since you don’t want that visor to fog when it’s down.
This one, as its name implies, protects only half of your face. In most cases, it’s the upper half that’s covered while your mouth and chin are exposed.
These don’t need any ventilation since it’s unlikely they will fog. On top of that, they’re more suitable for casual riders and commuters due to their ease of use and slightly lower level of protection.
Helmets have a series of different features you can now choose from based on your preferences and needs. For instance, you might want to consider a model with a communication system if you’re riding in a group. This will allow you to talk to your mates at all times.
Some products also support Bluetooth connection and speakers which is another extra feature you should consider.
It’s also recommended you think about the cheek pads. You should also opt for a cheek pad system you can remove since those are especially useful in case of accidents. Consider the materials used and the overall weight since those can contribute to comfort.
As you can see, you don’t always need a helmet that costs a fortune. Some features and more important than others but they all affect the overall price of the product which is something you should always keep in mind.
To make sure you’ve got the right pick under $200, read our reviews and buyer’s guide with ease and attention as many times as you need to. Hopefully the information there will help you select the best model that suits your needs and preferences.
Consider those as well as the safety of each product since it’s the most important factor.