World-class eyewear: Best motorcycle goggles

Many riders like open-face helmets with motorcycle goggles for a variety of reasons; they like the feeling of air on their face, the bike they ride looks best with an open-face or they are off-roaders and a motocross or enduro-style helmet works best.

And while some open-face helmets may include a visor, for those that don’t, some form of eye protection is essential, like motorcycle googles.

There are numerous styles of googles around, notably for MX or enduro helmets. But there are also lots of retro-style goggles though finding a set that will look after your eyes is trickier than you might think.

And there are goggles that include a mask to not only keep insects and debris out of your eyes but your mouth too.

Like helmet visors, goggles should conform to British Standards EN 1938 which is the UK standard that sits alongside the EU regulations and as such, should be CE marked or wear a BS kitemark. This ensures they won’t shatter in an impact and harm your eyes.

In addition to construction standards, there are also standards regarding light transmission and tinted goggles and like visors, any that transmit less than 50% of the light are deemed unfit for use on UK roads.

In addition to goggles, there are also various sports sunglasses, with changeable lenses that will help keep your eyes safe in an open-face helmet. The choice, as they say, is yours…

These retro flying-style goggles are Amazon's Choice for 'Motorcycle goggles' and with the reviews they get, it's not hard to see why. There is no mention of whether they are CE approved, so it's best to assume not but if that doesn't bother you, then these will look great on a retro bike with an open-face lid.

The lenses are optically correct and ‘impact resistant’ and the wide PU leather face-frame looks very comfortable. Also available in yellow and tinted.

CE certified: Unknown
Price: £15.74 (was £20.99)

Aimed at younger riders, these motocross-style motorcycle goggles are designed for open-face off-road helmets and come in a variety of colours, including plain black to lairy orange.

The polycarbonate lens is optically correct and is both scratch-resistant and anti-fog, with foam ventilation sections. The lens also offers UV protection and comes with dual posts for tear-off covers for racing and a storage bag.

CE certified: Yes

A fairly basic pair of goggles from kit giant Oxford but with all the right spec; TPU frame and three layers of foam for a soft and comfortable fit against the face. The lens is scratch-resistant and anti-fog and cuts UV light and the goggles come with a storage and carry pouch.

They also come with a clear tear-off lens protector for use in muddy or race conditions and they are also ready for roll-off lens-clearing systems. Various colours of frame and lens are available.

CE certified: Unknown
Price: $27.99

The manufacturer describes these goggles as 'Red Baron' style and they are definitely minimalist. Halfway between sunglasses and proper motorcycle goggles, they look more like swimming eyewear and come with wide headbands for a comfortable fit.

You get a regular pair of tinted goggles and a pair of yellow ones for night-time or poor weather. They are described as ‘shatterproof’ and cut UV light to the eyes.

CE certified: Unknown

Not strictly motorcycle goggles but these sports glasses from Daisy come with very close-fitting interchangeable lenses, including polarising, mirror, yellow and clear so you can choose what to wear depending on the conditions.

They also come with a carry case to store the extra lenses, a strap and a cloth. I have these and they work well, though the mirror coating is a bit fragile.

CE certified: No

If, like Nicolas Cage, you're a huge Ghost Rider fan (he had to have a tattoo of the Devil's bounty hunter covered up to play the character in the 2007 movie), then this skull mask may be for you.

The description says they are motorcycling googles but it will make a statement as you cruise around the mean streets of Chipping Norton looking for sinners.

CE certified: No

About the author: After qualifying as a mechanical engineer, Jim Blackstock began working on magazines in the early 1990s. He remains passionate about product testing to ensure readers know what products offer good value and why. He relishes torrential rain to see if riding kit keeps water out and an hour or two to tinker on a project bike in his workshop.

Be the first to know what’s coming in the latest issue of MCN, plus the latest road tests, recommendations, and competitions. Sign up to the MCN newsletter.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.