In 1914, a British surgeon who was sick of treating patients who had sustained head injuries while riding a motorbike came up with the idea for the very first motorcycle helmet. Even though it consisted of nothing more than stiff muslin covered with shellac, it was nonetheless able to perform its function and prevent a rider from suffering a catastrophic head injury during the 1914 Isle of Man race.
After more than a century of development and improvement, the helmets of today are a significant step up in terms of their level of sophistication. Full-face helmets, on the other hand, can weigh up to 4 pounds and feature a somewhat more solid build. The flip-up mechanics of modular helmets make them significantly heavier than traditional helmets. In addition to it, there are stringent safety rules and attachments, all of which add additional weight.
Manufacturers of motorcycle helmets developed lighter versions of the product to reduce the burden of wearing it. These helmets, which are constructed out of high-tech materials borrowed from automobile racing and aerospace uses, provide sufficient protection without the weight penalty that would normally be expected.
The Engineering Behind Lightweight Motorcycle Helmets
There are three parts that make up a motorcycle helmet: the exterior shell, which is typically constructed of conventional plastics, an interior shell that cushions the rider’s head from physical effect, and a liner that provides comfort.
Materials that are thermoplastic, like polycarbonate or ABS, are used in the construction of the standard helmet’s outer shell. Composite materials, such as a blend of fiber and resin, are used in more expensive helmets to reduce weight while maintaining the same level of protection as traditional materials. In order to achieve the lightest weight feasible, premium helmets make use of unusual materials such as carbon fiber and kevlar.
The majority of producers opt to use expanded polystyrene foam, also known as EPS, for the inner layer (Extended Polystyrene). This layer is intended to crumple upon impact in order to provide more cushioning for the head.
Last but not least, there is cushioning, which makes the ride more bearable and guarantees a more secure fit for those extended periods of time spent riding.
The depth of the innermost EPS layer and the cushioning can both contribute to the overall weight of the case, though not to the same extent as the substance used in the case’s exterior shell.
The Prime Traits Of The Lightest Motorcycle Helmet
How can you choose the perfect helmet that is tailored to your needs now that you are aware of the components that go into constructing a lightweight helmet?
Are you seeking a helmet for use on your daily commute? If you want the highest level of protection, a full-face or modular helmet may be the best option for you. Could it be that you want to prepare yourself for the occasional thrill ride? It’s possible that a touring helmet would serve you better on such extended journeys. More visibility is afforded to riders of cruisers and other bikes that need an upright riding stance by using modular helmets. A dual-sport configuration is ideal for you if you enjoy going off-roading and exploring new terrain.
The average SNELL helmet can be purchased for less than $200, but top-of-the-line helmets with superior lightweight construction can be purchased for up to three times that amount. If you desire an ultra-light bucket, you should be ready to carry an ultra-light wallet. Composite material helmets such as carbon fiber weave and kevlar normally start at around $500 to $600, so be ready to bring along an ultra-light wallet.
Some lightest motorcycle helmets may feature an EPS layer that is either thinner or of a lower density than standard helmets. This is done to shed unnecessary weight wherever it can be. You need to make sure that you do your investigation and look up any Snell certification for the helmet in addition to the DOT rating, the European Standard rating, or the SHARP rating, depending on where you live.
Because the majority of lightweight helmets only include essential features, you should be sure to take into account the possibility of future upgrades. Check to see if it is compatible with new liners and whether or not it has enough space to fit sunscreen, Bluetooth headsets, or hydration packs. It is also important to investigate the kinds of accessories that are available for that particular helmet, such as whether they are market or proprietary additions.
The Lightest Motorcycle Helmet Of 2023
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we’ll get into the finest lightweight helmets that are currently available to purchase, broken down by kind and price point.
There is some crossover between these several categories, and some helmets can be used for more than one thing at a time. Therefore, if you like one of the sports helmets but require a helmet for traveling, the sports helmet will work just well for you in that capacity.
BELL ELIMINATOR CARBON
This helmet, which was designed with auto racing in mind, features a shell made of a 6k carbon fiber composite with a large viewport to provide exceptional peripheral awareness. It has Class 1 optics and a Bell’s Provision anti-fog insert already installed in it. There are five different sizes available for the EPS liner, which ensures a snug but comfortable fit. The chin ducts with reinforced hole valves on the crown of the helmet contribute to the helmet’s exceptional ventilation; however, these vents can be covered with an additional rain shield kit if desired.
SHARK SPARTAN 1.2 CARBON
The weight of this carbon fiber iteration of the famous Shark Spartan is reduced by a whole 100g while the price increases by approximately $50. In addition, it received four out of five stars on the SHARP safety course, which is one point higher than its fiberglass relative received. Plenty of ventilation is provided thanks to the chin vents, the sports-inspired scoops on top, and the two rear exhaust vents.
In spite of its moniker, the Spartan manages to conceal a number of pleasant surprises within its lightweight frame. These features include an inbuilt sun visor as well as a space for a Pinlock Max Vision anti-fog lens.
SEDICI STRADA II
The design for the second generation of the Strada was started from scratch in 2020, and it incorporates a number of upgrades such as an improved fit and ventilation. It has a fiberglass shell that is strengthened by Kevlar on top, which is quite an outstanding composite structure for a helmet that costs less than $200. It features an interior sun visor that is DOT and ECE-certified, in addition to a face shield that is compatible with Pinlock.
AGV SPORT MODULAR CARBON
For the construction of its featherweight shell, this no-compromise helmet utilizes virtually every exotic material that is now available on the market. The exterior is created entirely out of carbon fiber that is of Formula 1 quality. Titanium was used for the production of the D-rings on the chin strap. A Pinlock 120 anti-fog insert, which is the highest-spec visor that the firm offers, is also included in the package. Even though it has a flip-face design, the outcome is the world’s only full-carbon modular helmet, which is lighter than the majority of professional MotoGP lids.
X-LITE X-1004 ULTRA N-COM
The X-1003 has been superseded by this carbon fiber composite headgear, which features an improved air intake design as well as an enlarged chin bar for increased comfort. Inside of the cap is an integrated UV protection system (VPS) sunscreen visor as well as activated carbon liners that provide anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking qualities. Additionally, the padding is designed to accommodate spectacles by providing curves for the temple frames.
SCORPIONEXO COVERT X
This helmet has a very futuristic appearance, and it would not be out of home in the aircraft of a TIE fighter and perhaps an F-22 jet. The fact that it is a 3-in-1 helmet means that in addition to its good appearance, it can perform the functions of a half dome, aspheric lens, or full-face helmet all while maintaining its covert appearance. The exterior is constructed out of polyethylene, and powerful neodymium magnets are used to keep the front face and three-quarters of the side plates in place. It also comes with both clear or smoked visors and has a warranty that lasts for five years.
For a choice in the middle category, we thought this one was on the expensive side. In spite of this, this is among the lines that have been the most successful for Arai. The majority of people in the United States have heads that are roughly the shape of their lives oval featured in the Signet series. This helmet, like its rounder cousin the Quantum-X, features a shell made of a sophisticated laminate. The one-of-a-kind Pro Shade is indeed a hybrid product that combines a smoke face shield with an adjustable sun visor. When it is in the raised position, it blocks the sun’s glare like a motocross peak; when it is pulled down, the tint covers the majority of the visor, leaving only a thin strip of transparent plastic at the bottom.
The Final Thoughts
Every beginner and seasoned rider knows that the helmet seems to be the single most crucial piece of head protection gear they can have. It is your responsibility to ensure that your head is protected against severe injury in the event of any unanticipated accident. However, before you go out and purchase a motorcycle helmet, you have to take into consideration both its size and its weight.
In most cases, helmets are fairly cumbersome and difficult to put on because of their weight. In order to alleviate your concerns, we have compiled a list of the top 10 most comfortable and lightest motorcycle helmets available in 2022. Read everything you can to locate the most suitable headgear for your motorcycle.
Our in-depth guide on the best lightweight motorcycle helmets and how to purchase them has unfortunately come to an end. We hope that you found it helpful. We hope that by reading this article, you will be able to have a better understanding of the various characteristics of motorcycle helmets and find one that is suitable for the motorbike you ride.
What is an appropriate weight for a motorbike helmet?
A response to this query is going to vary according to the brand and style of the helmet you are now wearing. In most cases, a full-face helmet with a carbon structure will weigh anything from three and a quarter to three and a half pounds. They may weigh more if they are fabricated from materials such as stainless steel or even other materials that are designed for prolonged use.
Who makes the most compact and lightweight modular helmets for motorcycles?
Many different manufacturers have introduced motorcycle helmets that are exceptionally lightweight while still maintaining their level of protection. Shoei, X-Lite, or Shark Spartan, all of which have a significant amount of industry experience under their belts, deserve special recognition for their achievements here. However, AGV Sportmodular is clearly the winner when it comes to lightweight modular helmets because the company constructs its helmets out of long-lasting carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber or polycarbonate—which one is the stronger material?
Polycarbonate and carbon fiber are two popular materials used in helmet construction, however, the two are often confused with one another. Polycarbonate is substantially more susceptible to damage from scratches and UV radiation, despite the fact that it is significantly more durable than carbon fiber. On the contrary hand, carbon fiber is incredibly lightweight while still being strong enough to withstand the elements without causing any discomfort to your muscles.