motorcycle helmets 2017
Motorbike helmets 2017
It's that exciting time of year, when the leading motorbike helmet manufacturers reveal their new motorcycle helmets for 2017. This year, you're in for a treat, because the helmet manufacturers who are known for making the biggest innovations have been super busy! That's AGV, Shark and Nexx helmets. In the last two to three years, there's been a shift in the motorcycle helmet market place. It used to be dominated by Arai and Shoei, but things have most definitely changed. Shoei have released the X-Spirit 3, an evolution of the version 2, but the real action is at Shark, AGV and Nexx.
As we write, the first motorcycle exhibition which will reveal the line up of new helmets for 2017 is about to begin, in Cologne, Germany. Beginning with Shark, they've just announced the Shark D-Skwal, Ridill and a special edition Lorenzo version of the Skwal helmet, plus a new Guintoli graphic for the Race R Pro. These are in addition to the new graphics for the Shark Spartan, which will be a sure fire hit in 2017, thanks to its amazing looks, light weight, internal sun visor and excellent aerodynamics. There are some new graphics for the tremendously versatile Shark Evo One, in the form of the Priya and Falhout graphics. Rather than develop a standard flip front helmet, the Evo One fully transforms from full face to open face, through the complete rotation of the chin bar over, above and to the rear of the helmet. Thanks to its auto up and down system, in one action, you can release the chin bar, move it upwards and over the helmet, then the visor will automatically follow, allowing you to concentrate on the road ahead. This gives you true open face riding, with the option to go back to full face whenever you choose. A great innovation and reason why Shark have become one of the best motorcycle helmet manufacturers in recent years.
Now we turn our attentions to what we think is the highlight of the 2017 motorcycle helmets range, at under £150. Nexx helmets have made some of the best motorbike helmets over the last two years. They have one of the leading race helmets in the XR2 Carbon, then they launched the spectacular Switx SX10, a unique open face helmet which scooped Helmet of the Year and Product of the Year from webBikeWorld in 2014. Then last year, they took the adventure helmet market by storm with the XD1. The XD1 beat all of the competition in the ADV helmet market, winning RiDE's Best Buy award over and above Arai, Shoei, Touratech, BMW, Spada, Held, Shark, Caberg and Duchinni.
For 2017, Nexx have just announced the SX100, the first Nexx full face helmet under £150 and packed full of features including a retractable sun visor and room to perfectly accommodate the Nexx X-Com intercom flush to the shell. They've also added the simply stunning Nexx XG100 Carbon, a 100% carbon version of the beautifully crafted XG100 retro helmet. The XG100 is part of the Nexx X-Garage range, a beautifully styled range of retro helmets, made in collaboration with Maria Riding Company of Portugal, who make equally stunning custom bikes. Words fail us when trying to accurately describe the XG100. It's just beautiful and has to be seen in person to appreciate the workmanship. Like all Nexx helmets, it's handmade in Portugal by a team of 160 expert craftsmen who make every component from their ISO-9001 certified factory. From the perfectly sized visor port, to the quality of the paintwork and the inner lining, we're thrilled that Nexx have made a helmet for the exciting scrambler, cafe racer, custom segment which is every part as good as their award winning helmets in other sectors.
Open face delight
The Nexx XG10 is the open face version and is pure retro. No visor, just beautiful lines, superb quality finish which extends from the paint to the studs and the inner lining. Nexx have been sure to make the shell of the XG10 as compact as possible. There's no inner sun visor, deliberately so, since this would make the profile of the helmet bigger. Nexx wanted a pure retro style for riders of the ever expanding range of motorcycles in this sector, such as the new Triumph Bonneville, Thruxton, the Yamaha XSR700 and XSR900 and of course the Ducati Scramber. Like the XG100, the XG10 has some really special designs, including the new for 2017 XG10 Savage, born out of the collaboration with Maria Riding Company. Finally, Nexx have added four new colours for the XG100 Purist and four colours for the new XD1 Canyon.
Next up is AGV. Perhaps best known thanks to their long association with Valentino Rossi, AGV make a wide range of superb helmets across all motorcycle sectors. They've released a new jet helmet called the Fluid. The AGV Fluid is a compact open face lid, with a full length clear visor, so you can enjoy the open road without getting blasted by the wind or bugs! What's really cool about the Fluid is the wheel on the left hand side of the helmet. Simply rotate the wheel to reveal a retractable sun visor! It's a great little innovation, making operating the sun visor much easier than searching for a button. So if you're looking for a great looking open face lid which is easy on the pocket, check out the AGV Fluid range.
If you're looking for an open face, but want something a bit more substantial than a three-quarter helmet like the Fluid, take a look at the AGV K5 Jet. The K5 full face has been a huge success and one of the best combinations of performance and price we've seen in an AGV helmet. Now, AGV have taken all of the great features of this full face to make the K5 Jet, its open face equivalent. You still get the carbon and fibreglass shell of the full face K5, but now it's an open face with a full length clear visor and integrated sun visor. It's aerodynamically optimised, so it handles wind buffeting well, and has good venting via the adjustable air vent on the top of the helmet. Be sure to check it out if you want a really good, mid-priced open face helmet from a leading brand.
We hope that you've enjoyed this quick round up of the new motorcycle helmets for 2017. You can check out all of these new helmets by clicking on the helmets below, which will allow you to explore every colour and design.
When deciding which motorcycle helmets to stock, the first question we ask is whether we'd be happy to wear the helmet ourselves. As such, ForMotorbikes have selected only motorcycle helmet brands which meet strict safety and performance criteria. We're leading stockists for Nexx, Shark, AGV, Shoei and Momo motorbike helmets and we regularly use the helmets ourselves out on our bikes. The range of motorcycle helmets we sell cover all of the different kinds of motorbike helmet, including full face, open face, dual sport, flip front and modular helmets. Check out the full range below, or if you first want to know what to look for, scroll down the page for our comprehensive motorcycle helmets guide.
Which Motorcycle Helmet?
Welcome to our motorcycle helmets guide, which we've designed to help you choose a correctly fitting, certified helmet, which is fit for the type of riding you'll be enjoying. Buying a motorcycle helmet isn't a straight-forward decision, especially if you're new to biking. To help simplify matters, this handy guide explains how helmets are constructed, how to choose one which fits you correctly and what the different certifications mean.
Motorcycle Helmet Construction
Motorcycle helmets typically have a total of 3 layers; two for protection and one for comfort, as described below:
1. The Shell
The outer layer, the shell, is built for strength and is the primary means of protecting you from impact during an accident. Modern motorcycle helmet shells are commonly constructed from fibreglass, kevlar or carbon fibre, or a tri-composite of the three. The shell is designed and tested to work in tandem with the next layer, the EPS lining, to protect your head from the impact and to spread the resulting energy away from your skull and through the EPS lining instead.
Helmet manufacturers want to achieve maximum strength at minimum weight, a combination which is currently best provided by a shell constructed from 100% carbon fibre. Carbon is woven, then heated in a mould to achieve the desired shape, then allowed to cool, a process which turns the weave into an extremely strong material, able to resist a hard impact. Carbon helmets tend to be the most expensive, due to their strength and weight, then as you move down the price scale, other materials are woven into the carbon, such as fibreglass or kevlar, to provide a less expensive, yet still highly effective shell. The less carbon present in the weave, the heavier the resulting helmet will be. Very recent developments include the introduction of helmets with anti-noise and thermal insulation technology, such as the Nexx XR2 Diablo, which has an extra four layers surrounding the helmet shell, reducing noise levels by 10% and keeps you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
The first picture above shows a piece of woven carbon fibre which is used in the construction of carbon fibre shells. The second photo is of a tri-composite shell, made from a carbon, kevlar, fibreglass blend. Helmets made by Shoei, Shark and non-carbon versions of Nexx helmets use this blend.
2. EPS Lining
Directly beneath the helmet shell is the next protective layer, the EPS lining. The role of the EPS lining is to absorb energy in the event of a crash. It achieves this in two ways, firstly by redistributing the impact over a larger area than would otherwise have been, thereby reducing the impact on the skull.
Secondly, the EPS lining is especially designed to limit the maximum force on the skull. It is known how much force the skull can absorb before sustaining irreversible injury and the EPS lining is designed to crush upon heavy impact, so to prevent this maximum force upon the skull being exceeded. The pictures shows an EPS lining, with this particular helmet being a Nexx X40. This helmet features a two part EPS lining, to both provide energy absorption and ventilation to the head.
3. Inner Lining
The role of the motorcycle helmet inner lining is to provide comfort. It is usually made of of three parts, a lining for the upper head area, plus two cheek pads. More advanced helmets feature removable and washable inner linings. Some also use fabrics such as Coolmax, designed to keep you cooler and others possess anti-allergenic properties. Remember that the inner lining will 'give' over time, so you may want to ensure that your next helmet has a removable inner lining, which can be replaced by a new one, ensuring a correct fit over the life of the helmet.
Motorcycle Helmet Safety & Certification
Motorcycle helmets are required to pass specific safety tests before being approved for road or track use. Different continents have different standards by which helmet safety is measured, resulting in the following motorcycle helmet certifications. Motorcycle helmet certification can be identified through the appropriate sticker affixed to the outer shell, usually on the rear of the helmet.
- Certification for road use:
- Europe - ECE 22/05
- North America - DOT (FMVSS 218)
- Australia/New Zealand - AS/NZ 1698
- Brazil - NBR 7471:2001
There is no agreed view regarding which of these standards is best, although ECE 22/05 requires more tests (6) than DOT. Helmets with ECE 22/05 certification also have to be regularly tested and approved via a sampling methodology. Helmets with ECE 22/05 certication for sale in the UK are VAT exempt (zero rated).
In the UK, there is an additional certification for track use, which must be passed before you can race or take part in a track day. Marshalls will check your helmet for this certification before allowing you on track. Motorcycle racing in the UK is governed by the ACU and for a helmet to be permitted on track, it must possess an ACU Gold sticker.
Motorcycle Helmet Sizing
Firstly, you need to know your head measurement. Follow this guide to find out how to measure your head:
1. As indicated in the diagram, using a tape measure, measure the circumference of your head, just above the eyebrows and above the ears. Use a piece of string if you don't have a tape measure, then use a long ruler to measure the string.
2. Use the helmet sizing chart below to select your helmet size according to your head measurement.
3. If you have very long or thick hair, consider whether this will impact upon your required helmet size.
Motorcycle Helmet Fitting
If you're new to motorcycling, or you've had your existing helmet for a number of years, a brand new helmet will feel very snug. It's meant to. The most common sizing mistake is for people to buy a helmet which is too large for them. Your safety relies on the helmet staying on your head in the event of a crash and if you choose too large a size, your safety is at risk. Remember that the padding of any new helmet will give over time and you don't want to find that after a few weeks, your new helmet is too large for you.
A correctly fitting new motorcycle helmet, should feel as follows:
1. Very snug, yet comfortable, all of the way around your head.
2. The feel should be the same all the way around your head, so you should reject a helmet which gives you discomfort or pain in any area of your head.
3. Leave the helmet on for 10 minutes, to see whether it is still comfortable after this time. If you develop a headache during this time, the helmet is too small for you.
4. Whilst wearing the helmet, stand face to face with somebody and ask them to hold the helmet still, whilst you try to move your head. If you can move your head without the helmet moving, it's too large for you. Get the other person to watch if it's just your skin moving or whether the helmet is sliding over the surface of your skin. You want your skin to move with the helmet, rather than the helmet to slide over it.
5. Whilst wearing the helmet, move around, practice some life-savers and see how it feels. You'll notice whether a helmet is uncomfortably heavy after a few manoeuvres!
6. If your helmet lining gives over time, to the extent where your helmet is now too big for you, you can buy a replacement inner lining, rather than having to buy a completely new helmet.
Don't just use the size of your existing helmet to select the size of a new one, since helmets from different helmet manufacturers differ in shape and sizing. Always go back to your head measurement and select the appropriately sized helmet for that measurement. We have helmet sizing charts on all of our helmet pages, so when you're selecting a new one, use that sizing chart to get your size right first time.