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With the hundreds of motorcycle helmets on the market, it can be hard to choose the perfect one, especially with new models coming out annually.
However, sometimes it’s best to go back to the good old days and rock a vintage style.
You can get the safety of modern technology while still enjoying a vintage look with some of the new retro motorcycle helmets.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Retro Motorcycle Helmets
- OUR TOP PICK: Westt Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- RUNNER-UP: Vega Helmets X380
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: ILM 3/4 Open Face Helmet
Comparison of the Best Retro Motorcycle Helmets
Our Top Pick
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Best Budget Option
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What Purpose Does a Retro Motorcycle Helmet Serve?
All motorcycle helmets serve as a protective covering for your head in case of an accident. However, retro helmets add a bit of flair to your generic protective gear.
The main reason that people choose retro motorcycle helmets over other models is the style. Many motorcycle riders don’t like the bulky look and feel of more modern helmets, so they opt for a lightweight, retro model.
Plus, if you ride a scooter or European bike, the retro helmet model often looks much better with those vehicles.
Looks and Safety
Retro motorcycle helmets aren’t only about looks. The new models take the classic vintage style and add modern technology to the shell and lining to ensure improved safety.
Combination of Vintage and Modern
Buying true vintage helmets can prove to be a safety hazard because of the old material and lack of DOT approval. Retro helmets look like vintage helmets but have all the modern comfort and safety features of other helmets, giving you the best combination of vintage and modern styles.
Can You Really Find a Quality Retro Motorcycle Helmet That’s Affordable?
Yes, you can afford a quality retro motorcycle helmet! Just because a helmet has a high price tag doesn’t mean it is superior to the cheaper options.
Most of the retro helmets on our list below are under $75, and they all have quality materials and impressive safety features.
Of course, if you have a higher budget, more expensive options offer multiple safety features and comfort additions.
Still, some cheaper options provide just as many perks and impressive materials for a fraction of the cost. The trick is to find which one works best for you and your budget.
Review of the Best Retro Motorcycle Helmets
If you’re looking for a retro motorcycle helmet with modern safety technology, check out the following options. We have searched for the best products on the market to choose between the top choices quickly.
Keep in mind what style and design you want as you read about the best retro motorcycle helmets available.
Westt Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
Westt Vintage Helmet Specs
Type of Helmet: Scooter, street bike, adventure, cruiser
Materials: foam interior, lightweight ABS shell
Certifications: DOT, street legal
Clasp Type: quick-release safety buckle
Weight: 2.6 pounds
What Types of Activities is the Westt Vintage Helmet Best for?
Westt has approved this helmet for everything from touring to ATV rides. You can also use it with scooters, cruisers, street bikes, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles.
Safety Features of Westt Vintage Helmets
Each Westt Vintage helmet comes with DOT safety certification. Plus, the manufacturers run numerous quality control tests to ensure superior protection.
In case of an emergency, you can easily unfasten the red buckle equipped with a quick-release system. Whether you’re wearing gloves or riding without them, this system makes it easy to quickly remove the helmet.
What Are the Components of the Westt Vintage Motorcycle Helmet?
The Westt Vintage motorcycle helmet comes with a lightweight ABS outer shell and a removable interior lining. You can remove the foam-padded lining and wash it whenever needed.
Since this is a ¾ model, there is a retractable visor that covers most of your face. There is enough room between the visor and your face for you to wear your regular glasses.
There are ventilation points around the helmet for a comfortable fit and a red safety buckle that you can easily open.
Vega Helmets X380
Vega Helmet Specs
Type of Helmet: cruiser, street, scooter, moped
Materials: ABS thermoplastic alloy shell
Clasp Type: padded D-ring strap
Weight: 2.3 pounds
What Types of Activities is the Vega Helmet Best for?
Since it has an open-face design, the Vega helmet is ideal for slower riders on a cruiser, moped, street bike, or scooter. You can also use it while riding an ATV or UTV.
Safety Features of Vega Helmets
With a DOT certification, the Vega helmet has superior safety features. Apart from that stamp of approval, the manufacturers put each helmet through scrutinous safety tests during the construction process.
In addition to the durable shell and padded liner, the D-ring strap has an anti-pulling feature to keep it snug on your head.
What Are the Components of the Vega Motorcycle Helmet?
The Vega open-face helmet has a lightweight shell made of thermoplastic alloys. There are three snaps to add a short sun visor if you desire.
Inside the helmet, you find a plush liner that whisks away moisture for a cool and enjoyable ride. Not only does the liner material reduce moisture, but it also fights against any microbial growth.
Best for the Money:
ILM 3/4 Open Face Helmet
ILM Helmet Specs
Type of Helmet: Cruiser, scooter, dirt bike, ATV
Materials: ABS shell, multi-density EPS
Clasp Type: quick-release strap
Weight: 3.5 pounds
What Types of Activities is the ILM Helmet Best for?
You can use the ILM helmet for simple riding on your cruiser or scooter or for some more intense activities with an off-road bike, dirt bike, or ATV.
Safety Features of ILM Helmets
ILM helmets follow strict safety standards to ensure DOT approval. The outer layer of the shell has ABS plastic, which has the innovative technology to improve the shock resistance. Under the shell, there is an EPS buffer layer that diminishes the impact of a potential accident.
Additionally, the helmet comes with a quick-release chin strap so you can swiftly remove the helmet in case of an emergency.
What Are the Components of the ILM Motorcycle Helmet?
The helmet comes with a cotton interior liner that you can easily remove and wash. The material helps let air in the helmet and remove any moisture build-up.
You also get a short visor that you can attach simply with three snaps.
Best Retro Full Face Motorcycle Helmet:
TORC T1 Unisex Helmet
TORC Helmet Specs
Type of Helmet: street and cruiser
Materials: fiberglass tri-composite shell, suede liner
Certifications: DOT, ECE 22.05
Clasp Type: D-ring closure on the chin strap
Weight: 5.09 pounds
What Types of Activities is the TORC Helmet Best for?
The TORC retro helmet is ideal for cruiser and simple street riding. For more adventurous rides, you may need a different helmet.
Safety Features of TORC Helmets
With a full-face design, this TORC helmet offers protection to your whole head and face. The soft liner and padded chin strap give an extra layer of safety and comfort.
All of these features helped the TORC helmet earn both the DOT and ECE 22.05 safety certifications.
What Are the Components of the TORC Motorcycle Helmet?
While some other helmets only come in one color, you can choose between 17 designs and colors for both men and women. The options range from metallic gold to a black and white American flag design.
The stylish exterior complements the faux suede interior liner and soft chin strap. Additionally, the TORC helmet has a removable shield that can withstand both fog and scratches.
Best Retro 3/4 Motorcycle Helmet:
Westt Rover Motorcycle Helmet
Westt Rover Helmet Specs
Type of Helmet: Street bike, cruiser, scooter
Materials: lightweight polycarbonate shell, foam padded inner lining
Certifications: DOT, street legal
Clasp Type: quick-release safety buckle
Weight: 2.4 pounds
What Types of Activities is the Westt Rover Helmet Best for?
Westt states that this helmet is excellent for using a scooter, UTV, ATV, dirt bike, and street bike. You can also use it for adventure riding, touring, cruising, and exploring the terrain on a snowmobile.
Safety Features of Westt Rover Helmets
This ¾ face motorcycle helmet has comfy interior padding to cushion your head while riding and in case of an accident. The red clasp also has an emergency feature that makes it easy to undo in a hurry.
In addition to passing numerous levels of testing, the West Rover helmet has DOT certification. It has quality safety features, and you can legally wear it in any state.
What Are the Components of the Westt Rover Motorcycle Helmet?
The polycarbonate shell comes with several interchangeable side parts. By merely turning the kit, you can remove the plate and replace it with your preferred color (the options include black, silver, and blue).
The shell also has vents to let air in and out of the helmet. The extra airflow, combined with cushioned interior lining, provides for a comfortable fit.
Some extra features include the retractable sun visor with an anti-scratch coating and a user-friendly safety buckle.
How Do I Choose a Retro Motorcycle Helmet?
Just looking at some of the best retro motorcycle helmet options often isn’t enough to make a decision. There are numerous other factors that you need to consider before investing in a new helmet.
Of course, the main reason for a helmet is safety. Depending on what type of riding you enjoy, make sure you buy a helmet that protects you as much as needed.
If you are only driving on local streets, an open-face model with a thinner shell could be perfectly fine. However, if you want to do any off-roading, make sure the helmet has enough padding and coverage to keep you safe.
A retro helmet’s coverage goes hand in hand with the safety features. If you do light driving, an open-face or even ¾-face helmet will work well. For more adventurous riders, a full-face option would be necessary for your protection.
One of the biggest reasons people choose a retro motorcycle helmet is for the look. Some brands offer slick black styles, while others include various colors and patterns.
As you look at the available options, keep in mind what your dream helmet looks like, and choose a brand that offers that design.
Many helmets run on the small or large side, so look for an option that you can be sure will fit you. Read the reviews of each helmet before purchasing to see if you need to purchase a different size than what you usually buy.
Most Popular Types of Retro Motorcycle Helmets
When it comes to retro motorcycle helmets, there are three main styles that you can choose between.
Open-face retro helmets give you an authentic vintage feel as your entire face remains uncovered. The helmet still provides excellent protection for your neck and skull, but your face is left exposed.
Some open-face helmets come with short visors, but they do not protect your eyes from debris, rain, or sun. Riding goggles pair well with these open-face retro helmets.
Retro helmets that cover ¾ of the face are similar to the open-face style, just with a retractable sun visor to protect your eyes. These are very practical and let you enjoy the feel of an authentic open-face helmet while still ensuring complete visibility as you drive.
The full-face model is the rarest type of retro motorcycle helmets. The structure covers everything from the top of your head to your neck, like many modern styles.
Since an authentic vintage style doesn’t cover the full face, it is harder to find such models in the retro style. However, there are a few available. These are an excellent choice for increased safety as the helmet protects your whole head and neck from injury.
New Retro Motorcycle Helmet vs Authentic Vintage Helmet - Comparison Overview
Why buy a new retro motorcycle helmet when you can get an authentic vintage one? What makes the new ones more appealing to some buyers?
With authentic vintage helmets, you can’t beat the style and feel. They are true retro helmets that reflect the style of decades past.
However, if you buy a vintage helmet, you run the risk of purchasing a safety feature that might not effectively protect your head. Over time, the material may wear out, and if the helmet was ever in an accident, there could be unseen damage to the material.
While a new retro helmet may not be as genuine as a vintage option, it does offer new and improved safety features.
If safety is your priority, a newer retro model would be the better option. However, if you want an authentic vintage product, consider buying and refurbishing an older motorcycle helmet.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Retro Motorcycle Helmets
While not every helmet is perfect, the advantages of a retro motorcycle helmet definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
Who doesn’t want to look cool while riding their motorcycle? Retro helmets offer a fantastic vintage look that you can’t find in modern styles. The helmet design also fits well with many scooters and cruisers, so you have a complete look while riding.
Plus, many retro motorcycle helmets come in various colors and designs, so you’re not stuck with the classic black matte look - unless you prefer the simplicity.
One of the great things about getting a retro helmet is the thick, comfortable lining inside. Some styles come with suede cushions, while others have innovative cotton material that protects you from moisture and bacteria.
The manufacturers also ensure that the chin strap has sufficient padding to make the fit as comfortable and accommodating as possible.
Some retro motorcycle helmets have full-face options, but most styles are open or ¾-face models. This style gives you much more breathability as you ride, letting you enjoy the wind on your face.
While new models completely cover the face and may have a stuffy feel, numerous retro helmets let you breathe and be comfortable as you ride.
The one downside of retro motorcycle helmets is the limited coverage. Because the style usually has an open or half-face, your jaw is often left unprotected.
If you aren’t doing extreme riding, this probably won’t be a problem, but it does limit what you can do while wearing the helmet.
Finding the best realtor motorcycle helmet isn’t just about picking your favorite design. Consider individual styles and safety features to pick the best product to use with your bike.
People Also Ask
As you consider the various options available, several questions will probably come to mind. Here are some common questions people ask about retro helmets. Hopefully, these answers will help you choose the perfect helmet.
Are Vintage-Looking Motorcycle Helmets Safe?
If a vintage-looking motorcycle helmet has a DOT sticker, then it has passed the safety tests. Since there are various styles of retro helmets, some offer more safety than others.
For example, an open-face helmet does not offer as much safety as a full-face option. The degree of safety doesn’t only depend on coverage.
You also need to consider the shell material and layers of padding within the helmet.
Are Retro Motorcycle Helmets Street Legal?
All of the retro motorcycle helmets listed above are street legal. Any model that has a DOT sticker is street legal in the United States.
While most models include DOT approval, some older styles may not include that safety feature. Always be sure to check for the DOT sticker before buying a helmet.
How Much Does a Retro Motorcycle Helmet Cost?
The cost of a retro motorcycle helmet depends on the brand and style. You can find a quality helmet for as low as $40. Of course, there are also more expensive options that cost well over $200 or more.
Are Retro Helmets Sized Differently from Regular Helmets?
While retro helmets have a different fit, the sizes are still very similar to regular helmets. There may be some discrepancies between brands (for example, you could be an M with one and an L with another), so always check the particular brand’s sizing chart.
Of course, each brand is unique, and a common complaint with retro helmets is that they either run too big or too small. Always check the reviews and manufacturer’s notes.