10 top open face helmets
An open-face lid means seeing much more of the world, if you can accept the obvious compromise
Bell Custom 500 RSD Check It £159.99
Bell were in right at the beginning of jet helmets and that gives this helmet instant credibility. The shell has a top-quality feel and the chrome edging, faux leather frontage and gold/carbon-effect design are all impressive. The interior is plush and accurate to the period and the goggle strap retainer feels like quality. Shame about the D-ring strap, which has the test certificate label stitched to the outer surface for unnecessary visibility.
Sizes XS-XXL Colours Matt or gloss black, white, blue, brown, nine multicolour designs Starting price £139.99 More info www.bellhelmets.co.uk
Scorpion Belfast £129.99
One of the best-value options here, with a light composite fibre shell and plenty of quality detailing, as well as a half-visor – and it still ends up towards the bottom of the price range. The interior has a quality feel, though it isn’t removable, and the leading edge is made from faux leather for an extra touch of class. The visor has a smooth operation and the screws that hold the mechanism in place are nicely detailed. The strap is secured with a micrometric buckle rather than D-rings. Sizes XS-XL Colours Matt black, black/green/white/red, white/ purple/black/pink Starting price £119.99 More info www.tranam.co.uk
Arai Freeway Classic Freerider £274.99
Has the quality feel (and cost) you’d expect from a premium brand like Arai. The lining is plush and well fitted, with a partial faux leather section on its leading edge, and both the strap and securing D-rings have a reassuring quality to them. There’s a goggle retaining strap at the rear and the helmet comes with a peak. Sizes XS-XL Colours Matt or gloss black, four different graphics Starting
price £219.99 More info www.whyarai.co.uk
AGV RP60 Blackboard £169.99
No bells, no whistles. The design is just how AGV’S open-face lids were back in the 1960s and 70s, but with the faux leather leading edge to the interior and a softer lining than there would have been back in the day. There’s an Agv-branded goggle strap retainer and the stitching through the edging trim adds a neat piece of authenticity. It comes with a push-on peak. Sizes XS-XL Colours Black, white/red/ black, white/black, white/chequered Starting
price £149.99 More info www.agv.co.uk
HJC FG-70S Heritage £119.99
HJC are known for value and they’re among the most affordable lids in this gathering, with a composite-fibre shell, moisture-wicking removable lining and an integrated half visor. The visor action is quite sudden but this is a decent, basic helmet with the right look. The leading edge of the lining is fabric not faux leather. Sizes XS-XL Colours Black, black/ white, black/orange, black/white, white/black, red/white/green Starting price £99.99
More info www.oxfordproducts.com
Davida Jet £298
Davida have to take the credit for being the first people to this party – classic-styled open-face helmets were their staple while other manufacturers had dropped them. The British-made helmets show the love that’s been put into them, with classy leather lining and stitching detail, rubber visor seal, velcro goggle strap retainer and lustrous paint finish. Not cheap. Sizes XS-XL Colours 13 plain colours and 84 combinations Starting price £259.99 More info www.davida-helmets.com
X-lite X-201 Ultra Carbon Willow Springs £259.99
Has a classy and very lightweight feel that few helmets here can match, the carbonfibre in the shell is real and contributes to the strength. The lining, D-rings, strap, labelling and all rivets add to the class feel. The subtle branding is for X-lite’s parent company Nolan (because it has more 1970s heritage). Sizes XS-XL Colours Plain black, plain carbon, carbon/chequered Starting price £179.99
More info www.motogear.co.uk
Nexx XG10 Garage Muddy Hog £179.99
The lid from Portuguese people Nexx has a composite-fibre shell and removable, washable, anti-allergenic lining. The edging is faux leather and the rivet that holds the strap has impressive detailing. Where others have faux leather on the leading edge of the lining, this one is fabric so it will be harder to clean.
Sizes XS-XXXL Colours White, black or seven multi-colour designs Starting price £159.99
More info www.factoryagencies.co.uk
Shoei J- O £299.99
Aimed squarely at the popular urban classic rider, it lives up to the quality associated with Shoei with impressive touches like the subtle redesign of the logo, and Shoei-embossed pop stud on the goggle retainer. The slide action on the integrated visor is very slick. It’s among the most expensive helmets in this gathering, but the class is evident. Sizes XS-XL Colours Matt or gloss black, grey, white, red/black/ white, grey/black/white Starting price £259.99 More info www.shoeiassured.co.uk
Roof Cooper £129.99
French lid firm Roof pride themselves on innovation and their Cooper is quintessentially quirky. It stands out for its rounded shape and twin visor – the clear base visor is conventional while the tinted visor slides over the top. The strap fastens with a micrometric buckle. It’s also unlike other lids here in that it has slide-open vents at the forehead and rear.
Sizes XS-XL Colours Matt black, white/black, red/black Starting price £124.99 More info www.neodistribution.co.uk
Goggle strap retainer Most lids here have one to stop goggle straps slipping off, even though most straps now have silicone grip-strips. Press studs These allow either a peak or separate visor to be attached to the lid. Leather front Having this made from genuine or faux leather gives the right look and makes it easier to clean off bugs. Trim Plenty here have a traditional look to the trim around the shell edge – either stitched faux leather or chrome-effect.
Visor If helmets have an integral visor, we’ve pictured it with the visor down. No visor in the picture = no visor on the lid.