Best Motorbike helmets of 2020
Need a new motorcycle helmet? MCN can help. Our testers are constantly trying the latest new gear to let you know what it's like.
In this article we're going through the best motorbike lids on sale. We'll let you know how much each costs, and where you can buy them. Check out our MCN spec secrets to see how you can save some cash along the way...
The best motorcycle helmets in 2020
- Bell Star MIPS
- HJC i70
- Arai Debut
- Shoei GT-Air II
- AGV K1
- LS2 Challenger HPFC
- AGV AX9
- Spada Storm
- Caberg Drift Evo
- AGV Pista GP-R Soleluna
RRP: £424.99 (£399.99 plain colours)
Launched in 1967, the original Bell Star was the world’s first full-face helmet. Now it’s at the forefront of helmet technology again as the first road lid with the Multi Impact Protection System (MIPS). The integrated slip plane sits passively between the liner and shell and on impact prevents rotational energy being transferred to the brain. It also has a tri-composite shell, integrated speaker pockets and glasses recesses.
MCN says Forthcoming safety standard updates could see more lids adopting MIPS.
RRP: £199.99 (£179.99 plain colours)
All-new budget sports-touring lid aims to deliver even better performance-per-pound than the popular IS-70 it replaces. Whilst still a polycarbonate construction, the new i70 has a more compact, streamlined shape with a revised top and chin vent for even better ventilation. Like the IS-70, the i70 features an internal drop-down sun visor, however the lever is now on the left-hand chin bar rather than on the crown of the lid which should make it easier to use and also help reduce wind noise, which was our only real criticism of the model it replaces.
The new lid uses HJC’s HJ-31m visor which is both wider and broader than that of the previous model. It’s also Pinlock ready and comes with an insert in the box. There’s also a micrometric buckle and removable washable lining. It comes in two shell sizes – one for XS-M and another for sizes L-XXL. Available now in a choice of 19 designs and colours.
MCN says: "Not fussed with the latest lid? Save a bit of money and get the out-going HJC IS-70 from just £119.99, while stocks last."
This is currently the cheapest way into the 2019 Arai range. While the rest of Europe’s entry point is the new £379.99 Profile V (not available until May), Arai’s UK importers have given British riders an £80 cheaper alternative in the form of the new Debut. With its handmade fibre shell, fixed internal lining, wide-aperture SAI visor and simple-but-effective vents, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the now discontinued Axces II. Unlike the Axces, the Debut comes complete with a Pinlock Max Vision insert and is only available in black, white, matt black and matt grey. While the spec is pretty basic, it still oozes with Arai quality. However, if you want the updated visor release mechanism, removable lining and a bit more choice on colours, the more expensive Profile V might be more to your liking.
This is the updated version of Shoei’s first integrated sun visor touring lid, the GT-Air. The sports-touring design has been a big hit for the Japanese brand, with our testers praising it for the effectiveness of its vents as well as its quietness, which is why Shoei have opted for evolution rather than revolution with the new GT-Air II. The rear vents are now permanently open in order to boost stability, the external visor can now by cracked open slightly for a blast of fresh air whilst riding, and there’s also a 5mm larger internal sun visor for even better UV protection. The GT-Air II also now features a micrometric buckle rather than a double D-ring strap, which has been positioned further forward to prevent chin/throat discomfort. There’s also full integration with a Sena SRL intercom (£259.99).
New entry-level sports helmet from Italian helmet supremoes, the K1 features an aggressive shell shape and spoiler, aping that of the firm’s range-topping, £1000 Pista GP-R. With effective ventilation, removable wicking liner and a double D-ring strap, the K1 would make an ideal helmet for budget-conscious track riders. Beneath the thermoplastic shell there’s a multi-density EPS for impact absorption, as well as a shape that’s been aerodynamically optimised for being tucked in a racing crouch.
At this price point, there’s a whole range of Valentino Rossi-inspired and more subtle graphics for £159.99, or for £139.99 you can pick up a plain black or white one. Available in two shell sizes across XS-XXL.
MCN says: "Although not as aggressively styled as the K1, the K3 it replaces is still available in limited numbers, with prices starting at just £99.99."
Stylish and beautiful quality, the composite fibre shelled Challenger mixes light weight and sports styling with practical touring features such as a plush removable lining, drop-down sun visor, Pinlock Max Vision visor insert, chin curtain and breathguard. There’s a multitude of vents at the chin, brow, crown and rear, and the huge visor aperture features a scratch resistant A Class shield complete with tear-off posts. The Challenger also comes with a proper helmet carry bag and inflatable service stand. There are three shell sizes across XS-XXL range. Plain colours available from £249.99, and two Foggy replica versions cost £299.99.
Wear it as an adventure-touring, MX or an urban jet-style lid, this upgrade to the aggressively shaped AX8 adventure lid has a more road-biased shell shape designed to boost stability and noise reduction. As well as a panoramic visor and Pinlock Max Vision insert, the AX9 also has a redesigned peak which stands off from the multi-composite shell in order to prevent lift at speed. The technical fabric linings aim to boost comfort in all conditions and are also removable and washable. The peak, visor and chin vent can all be removed as per the rider’s preference. Available in XS-XL across two shell sizes. A pure carbon-fibre shell version is also available (£469.99).
Designed for urban riders of naked bikes, the new storm features a removable chin section and peak allowing it to be worn as an open face lid too. Beneath the ABS plastic shell, there’s an internal drop-down sun visor, removable comfort lining and a quick-release chin strap fastening. Available in sizes XS-XL. Plain colours £89.99.
With all the styling of a full-on race lid, the composite-shelled Drift Evo is ideal for sporty riders looking for a bit of practicality. There’s a drop-down internal sun visor as well as a Pinlock Max Vision external visor, double D-ring fastener, neck roll, breath guard, and it’s ready for an intercom. Also available as a carbon-composite shell version (£309.99).
As worn by Valentino Rossi, the Pista GP-R is the pinnacle of AGV’s range. Designed for track use only, the Pista GP-R features a full carbon-fibre shell, in-built hydration system, permanently open vents, and a class leading super-wide visor system. For this year’s Soleluna 2018 the Pista GP-R gets a tweak to its aerodynamically sculpted shape with the inclusion of the revised Pro Spoiler. This new-shape spoiler can be retrofitted to older Pista and Corsa helmets for around £80.