MCN’s top 5 rated helmets

By Marc Abbott -

Helmets

 17 December 2010 09:54

At MCN we pride ourselves on rigorous road testing of a wide range of motorcycling products, and helmets are no exception. 

Yes, certain lids seem to fit certain shapes of head, so with helmets more than any other product, trying before you buy is important (see how here).

But once you’ve done that, you can order your chosen lid through www.mcnshop.com at a bargain price.    

The five helmets below are a selection from the elite group of lids to have been rated five out of five by MCN staff in the past two years.

Shoei X-Spirit II

Shoei X-Spirit II -
£480 (free delivery)
MCN says: “Just as comfortable as the previous top-end X-Spirit, and the vents work much better. The increased visor aperture is a revelation, giving wider peripheral vision and allowing you to see more in a racing crouch, too. Slots in the lining for spectacle arms also seem better positioned than before, and the excellent Pinlock visor means there’s been zero misting, even on the coldest of morning rides.”

 

HJC HQ-1 Spies

HJC HQ-1 Spies - £284.99 (plus £10 p&p) (or from £169.99 for other designs)
MCN says: “Crash protection with this HQ-1 has been proved – I lent it to my younger brother to use for racing, rather than the cheap lid he had. An embarrassing new-tyre highside fired numbnuts straight up, then down on the back of the helmet. It was a slow crash admittedly, but he landed hard enough to break his scaphoid and dislocate his hand. His head was protected perfectly. Before the crash he found the fit perfect for him, and the the CoolMax liner wicked sweat effectively.”

 

Davida Jet

Davida Jet - £215 (free delivery)
MCN says: “I have never owned a helmet that looked quite this cool straight out of the box. It’s also incredibly quiet – really quite frighteningly so. In fact, I’ve not once had to wear earplugs with it. A neck tube, yes, but if anything this has just increased the comfort, rather than become a hindrance to enjoyment, making it much easier to slide on and off. The lining is satisfyingly robust and, unlike the fabric lining of a sports helmet, has not picked up that hint-of-laundry-bin pong. If you’re in the market for an open-face helmet you can’t go far wrong with this British-made beauty, especially at this price.”

 

AGV S4

AGV S4 - £129.99
(free delivery)
MCN says: “Pretty much everything is brilliant. It’s lightweight, well ventilated and the design is absolutely eye-grabbing. The lining is supportive, comfy, hasn’t become at all baggy in nine months of riding and it’s removable, too. Best of all it’s extremely quiet and you can easily listen to an MP3 player on extended motorway blasts. Being AGV you can rest assured it’ll be safe in a crash (it received the maximum five stars in the government’s SHARP helmet tests, too). The S4 is a perfect blend of sports and tourer performance and as the S4 SV has now superseded it, you’ll probably see prices falling, making it an excellent bargain.”

  • Buy an AGV S4 helmet in the MCN Shop

 

Ruby helmet

Les Ateliers Ruby Belvedere, £607 

MCN says: “The helmet equivalent of an Aston Martin DB5. Hand crafted, hand painted and upholstered with the softest red leather, the quality and detail of the finish is without equal. Perhaps surprisingly, the Belvedere's function is as impressive as its form. Other motorcyclists' reaction to the Belvedere is distinctly Marmite with the majority hating the helmet's quirky style and outrageous cost. But this isn't a cynical exercise in charging a high price for something that doesn't deserve it. Unlike a typical mass produced helmet, the time, effort and craftsmanship is clearly visible.”