By Hannah Elliott

Handle Bar

The 10 best helmets for every type of rider

Posted on May 10, 2017

IF YOU RIDE a motorbike, or plan to, you’re going to need a good helmet, which most experts recommend replacing every two to five years. If you’re due for a new one or are craving an upgrade, here are 13 stylish options to covet.

Veldt Copper Foil Full Face
You can buy one already made, such as this carbon-fiber shell in hand-applied copper, or you can make your own by choosing among the options on the company’s Web site. DoT and ECE certified.

Bell Bullitt Moto-3
The long-awaited remake of a dirt-bike original. This modern version has a fiberglass shell, plus a removable and washable terrycloth liner. It comes in seven vintage colors with the BELL MOTO III insignia along the bottom.

Bell Bullitt Stripes
The look is pure Bell Star vintage, but with modern upgrades -- micro suede lining, metal mesh intake vents, leather trim and 3D-cut cheek pads that allow for speakers if you want them. It’s also named after Steve McQueen’s character in Bullitt. DoT and ECE certified.

Biltwell Bonanza Bright Silver
Loaded with disco reference, including in the options it allows, like mirrored or curved face masks. Comes with a hand-sewn brushed Lycra liner and a D-ring neck strap. DoT certified.

Hedon Epicurist
The large-face shield is the main selling point here, hand-made to two millimeters thick in Europe and attached with two raw copper and brass screws. The shell is full carbon-fiber, with a natural calf leather trim and lining. ECE certified.

AGV Pista GP R E2205 Replica Iannone
AGV claims it’s the most advanced MotoGP helmet ever created, and that may be right: It even has a spoiler tested in a wind tunnel and a hydration system. The shell is pure carbon-fiber, the paint job mimics that of Italian moto racers. DoT and ECE certified.

Shoei RF-1200
Shoei sets the standard for premium full-face helmets. This one has four air intakes and outlets to facilitate aerodynamics and ventilation, plus a wide-wrapping face shield and fully removable, washable and adjustable interior padding and lining system. Snell and DoT certified.

Schuberth E1 Crossfire
Best-suited for adventure riders, the E1 Crossfire is one of the quietest helmets on the market today. The fully articulating peak visor can sit in three different positions to shield the sun and can be removed with or without the additional face shield. DoT and ECE certified.

Arai Defiant Pro Cruise
Comes with Arai’s unique “pro-visor” system and anti-microbial lining; it’s well-suited for upright riding. There is additional room in the ear pocket for communication speakers. Snell and DoT certified.

Vespa VJ1-946
Vespa offers a distinct shape and color with chrome trim, leather lining, and movable visor. Made in Italy, of course. ECE certified.

Buying a brain bucket? Answer these:

How and where do you ride?
Riding at high speeds on a track requires aerodynamic, quiet, and durable helmets with solid eye protection, whereas puttering around town you could get by with better style and a more relaxed safety rating. On a dirt bike, goggles are fine, but they will prove uncomfortable and distracting if you’re on a sport bike; for that, you want a helmet with a full face mask (bonus points for the aggressive look).

Long-distance rides are much enhanced by helmets with the ability to include radios and Bluetooth connectivity, and they’ll go better with sun visors and extra padding, too. Plenty of hog riders wear skull caps -- the bare minimum needed to uphold the law -- while café racers can tend toward open-face caps. You’ll want to choose something for your head that matches the style of your machine.

Is it certified?
If it’s not, move along. Focus on DoT, ECE, SHARP, AUS and Snell certifications. Snell concentrates on anti-puncture strength in a one-time crash, is voluntary and more rigorous than US DoT certification, the mandatory benchmark in the US. Other helmets may have ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) certification, which is the common internationally recognized safety badge. Suffice to say that any crash immediately renders a helmet ineffective, at least in theory, and necessitates its replacement.

How does it fit?
Does it pinch your temples? Does it wiggle around your chin? Those are not for you. Instead, a good helmet should fit snugly around your forehead and skull -- without giving you a headache after 10 minutes of wear.

How does it ride?
Test the helmet on the street. If a shop doesn’t let you, shop elsewhere. You’ll want to feel how quiet it is when you ride. Open-face helmets allow the wind to buffet your ears much more than a helmet with a visor and chin guard, for instance.

What is it made of?
High-quality components include leather, chrome and microfiber (you can feel quality when you touch it); some people love the mean face of the Shark helmet, for instance, but the front chin guard has been criticized as inferior for being made of plastic. Also, is there an interior lining removable for washing? If you’re using your bike right, it’s going to get dirty, sweaty and stinky.

What’s it cost?
Trick question. Price doesn’t correlate with safety when it comes to motorcycle helmets, as a $160 DoT helmet has the same level of safety as a $600 DoT helmet. Where the pricing comes into account is with the styling of the helmet -- the paint, the venting, the integrated flip shield, the padding, whether it’s microfiber or has leather trim. Some of the most expensive helmets have special-edition designs or tribute graphics. -- Bloomberg