From cutting edge tech and a helmet just a penny shy of £1000, to a bargain helmet for less than £80. These are this year's stand out helmets.
AGV Pista GP-R, £999.99
The evolution of AGV’s flagship full carbon racing helmet, the Pista GP-R is the first production lid with a built-in hydration system. As worn by and developed with Valentino Rossi and Andrea Iannone, the GP-R features a plastic tube from the rear up to a removable valve inside the chin bar, to help the rider quench their thirst.
A further development is the new twin rear spoiler, which is said to boost high speed aerodynamics. Vents are similar to those of the previous Pista GP, but scoops are now permanently bonded to the metal trims in order to force a greater volume of air into the open vents.
The new visor is 5mm thick, yet still remains in the Class One optical clarity category. It also uses a top-spec Pinlock 120 Max Vision to eliminate fogging, giving even better protection than the regular Pinlock 70. AGV has retained the previous pre-preg carbon felt outer shell, which ensures the lid is the lightest it can be while retaining consistent build quality.
The Pista GP-R is heading into dealers now, in sizes XS-XL. It’s available in two plain carbon designs (£899.99), two Rossi replica designs and an Iannone replica design (£999.99).
Schuberth R2, £349.99
The R2 is a new full-face sports-touring lid with microphone, speakers and an integrated aerial already built in. To communicate with other riders, listen to music or hear satnav instructions on the move, simply slip the SC1 comms module (£189.99) into the dedicated recess.
The R2 also promises to be extremely comfortable, thanks to the ShinyTex lining with seamless head pad. Made from Schuberth’s Direct Fibre Processing system, the shell is particularly lightweight and compact while still offering maximum impact absorption.
The R2 will be available in spring in XS to XXL. Black, white or anthracite cost £349.99, and a trio of graphic designs are £419.99.
Shark Spartan Fibre, £259.99
Offering riders a slightly lower-cost route to Spartan ownership, the new-for-2017 Spartan Fibre features a full glass-fibre shell instead of the carbon composite of the top-of-the range version released last year.
There’s an internal sun visor and Pinlock Max Vision anti-mist insert, and the strap fastens with an easy-use microlock slide ratchet. The new lid will be available in sizes XS-XXL, which will be covered by two shell sizes, in white, gloss black, matt black and a selection of 17 graphic designs.
Caberg Ghost Carbon, £269.99
Perfect for fans of streetfighter style, the Ghost can be worn in several different ways – with the mask and the visor, or with just the visor – and both can be lifted via the easy-to operate spring-tilting system. The Ghost’s shell is made from a tri-composite of carbon, Kevlar and glass-fibre, whilst the interior features a removable, washable lining that wicks away moisture.
This lid is ready to take Caberg’s Just Speak S comms system. Available in black, matt black, white, white/black, matt black/fluoro yellow and carbon.
Arai Chaser-X, £389.99
Arai’s mid-ranger gets an update for 2017 thanks to technology lifted directly from the brand’s top-flight race lid. The Chaser-X features both the ventilation system and visor-locking mechanism from the range-topping RX-7V to boost the Chaser’s already impressive spec.
It’s also the third Arai helmet to use the new Variable Axis System, said to offer even better protection from glancing blows to the brow and crown of the head. The Chaser-X will be in dealers from April, and will be available in black, white and fluoro yellow, as well as a choice of six designs (£469.99).
Shoei RYD, £349.99
Due in the spring, Shoei’s RYD is one step up from the firm’s Qwest entry-level lid, and costs around £50 more. For the extra outlay, it benefits from a fully removable comfort liner plus the most recent Shoei quick-release visor and mounting set-up, which seals more effectively for a quieter and warmer ride. There are also recesses in the EPS liner to carry comms systems speakers, although extra pads can be fitted instead for riders who aren’t using speakers but want to damp out more noise.
The visor is protected by the high-spec Pinlock Evo anti-mist insert. The RYD comes in white, grey, orange and matt or gloss black, in four shell sizes; M and L get their own shells, S shares one with XS, and XL is the same as XXL.
HJC CS-15, from £71.99
HJC's entry-level lid is brilliant value and looks great with its aggressively styled polycarbonate shell and high-end graphics. It features many attributes from HJC’s more costly lids, such as advanced ventilation, fully removable moisture wicking lining and quick-change visor. It fastens with an easy-use micro buckle clasp, and comes in sizes XS-XL in a range of designs and colours.
Arai QV-Pro, £499.99
This latest version of Arai’s range-topping sports-touring lid uses features that have filtered down from the brand’s flagship racing helmet. It’s quieter, more ventilated and easier to use than ever. Handmade in Japan and featuring a removable/washable liner, it can also take an intercom.
Arai have now revised their visor system, which makes it easier to use, although changing the visor does require ‘popping off’ the two side pods, which can be a bit alarming.
Shoe X-Spirit III, £699.99
The design on Shoei’s current racing range-topper will be launched just as Laverty switches from MotoGP to World Superbikes. The X-Spirit III is worn by both him and Marc Marquez, and uses aerodynamic rear winglets to enhance stability. There’s also advanced ventilation, a new comfort lining and Pinlock Evo anti-mist insert. Four shell sizes across the XS-XXL range.
Schuberth C4, £549.99
The flip-up lid for riders who don’t like the look of modular helmets, the C4 is an evolution of the C3. Redesigned with a sleeker shell to boost looks and aerodynamics, the Schuberth also sets new benchmarks in terms of spec as it has integrated speakers, microphone and aerial, as well as slots to accommodate the optional SC1 comms system.
The C4 also has a large-aperture anti-fog visor, internal drop-down sunshield, removable lining and microlock buckle. It’ll be available soon in six solid colours for £549.99, and two graphic styles for £599.99. XS to XXXL.
Shark D-Skwal, £169.99
Effectively the glow-in-the-dark Skwal without the LEDs, this replaces Shark’s S700, and has a polycarbonate shell, drop-down sun visor and removable lining. Available in XS-XL, in both plain colours and various graphics.
Caberg Xtrace Lux, £159.99
Inspired by the Africa Twin’s paint, this dual-sport lid can be worn with or without the peak and visor, as it has a retractable sun shield. The plush lining comes out, and it has a Pinlock-ready visor and isometric buckle. Two shell sizes, XS-XXL.
Scorpion Exo Combat, £169.99
Wear this urban lid with or without its chin guard. Wind tunnel-honed polycarbonate composite shell gives quietness and stability, and it also has a microlock clasp, adjustable vents and Kwikwick2 liner. Two shells, XS-XXL.