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Top 5 Best Full Face Helmets Under $500

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The helmet, often regarded as the motorcyclist’s “hat,” has never been as crucial as it is today, irrespective of its style. Undoubtedly, a full-face helmet stands as the ultimate defense against head and facial injuries, proving to be 45.3% safer overall. The inclusion of a chin bar notably decreases the severity of impacts during a crash by nearly 55%, alongside the added advantage of cheek pads and a face shield, offering enhanced protection and noise reduction. The ventilation system promotes efficient airflow, preventing sweat buildup and ensuring a consistently fresh and pleasant interior, enhancing your comfort during the ride.

But as a style-conscious generation embraces riding, many are selecting helmets based as much on aesthetics as on protection. Subdued colors and designs are gaining favor over the Technicolor explosions popular among racers. And everybody is attracted to a lower price.

With these considerations in mind and drawing from nearly 50 years of extensive motorcycling experience, I present my selection of today’s best full face helmets under $500:

Helmet ModelCategoryFace Shield/Visor TypeCheck & Shop Now
AGV K6Best All-RoundGT4-1RevZilla | Amazon
Shoei RF-SRBest QuietCWR-1RevZilla | Amazon
Arai Regent-XBest Race-ReadyVas-V Max VisionRevZilla | Amazon
Bell Qualifier DLX MIPSBest StreetClickReleaseRevZilla | Amazon
Scorpion EXO-R1 AirBest Sport-TouringEverClearRevZilla | Amazon

Before delving into the detailed reviews of each helmet and explaining why I consider them the best, let me first highlight the factors that influenced my selection process.

Key Factors When Choosing the Perfect Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

A full-face helmet provides extensive coverage from base of the skull to the front of the chin and across the entire face, ensuring a safer and quieter ride while allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the surrounding scenery.

With nearly 50% of severe impacts occurring at the front of the helmet during accidents, key features include a chin bar (available in rounded or pointed designs), a built-in yet removable tinted or clear secure face shield, emergency quick release cheek pads, and a ventilation system comprising intake and exhaust vents. Together, they to provide comprehensive protection while ensuring comfort throughout the ride.

And when selecting the best full-face helmet, these are the factors I consider important:

Choose a Helmet Style That Suits Your Riding Style and Preferences

The AGV K1 Winter Test 2017 helmet demonstrates its aerodynamic design, including racing-developed front air vents and an aero spoiler crafted in wind tunnels, which boost performance and stability during high-speed rides. Witness it in action as AGV-sponsored stunt rider Denis Grachev races on a BMW S1000R at the Sochi Autodrom race track in Russia.
The AGV K1 Winter Test 2017 helmet demonstrates its aerodynamic design, including racing-developed front air vents and an aero spoiler crafted in wind tunnels, which boost performance and stability during high-speed rides. Witness it in action as AGV-sponsored stunt rider Denis Grachev races on a BMW S1000R at the Sochi Autodrom race track in Russia.

Your choice of helmet ultimately hinges on your unique riding style. Whether you’re into racing, street cruising, adventure exploring, touring, sport-touring, track-day thrills, or off-road escapades, there’s a full-face helmet designed specifically to cater to your needs.

For example, if you’re into sport riding with a crouched position, you’ll need a helmet that remains stable at high speeds without lifting. In such situations, I recommend choosing a road (racing, track-day, street, and sport-touring) helmet, which typically features a rounded chin bar and a face shield opening angled slightly towards the top. Off-road (supercross, motocross, dirt bike) and dual-sport (enduro, adventure, crossover, hybrid) helmets have a pointed chin bar design.

Pointed chin bars offer greater ground clearance, enhanced ventilation, and protection against specific fall types, reducing the risk of twist injuries. On other hand, rounded chin bars minimize wind noise and turbulence, enhancing comfort and acceleration, while also providing superior impact dissipation and promoting easier sliding on pavement during falls.

That’s why my selections span across different categories, ensuring that you find the perfect match for your riding style.

Perfect Fit

The right helmet should feel snug and comfortable, perfectly balanced on your head without being too tight or loose. I prefer mine to remain securely in place during high-speed maneuvers for optimal protection during track riding. Always opt for a helmet with at least two shell sizes for the best fit and safety.

Measure around your head, just above your eyebrows, to determine the size you need, ranging from extra small to extra large, while considering different head shapes; intermediate oval (the most common), round oval, and long oval. Remember, fit and shape can vary between manufacturers. Here are some tips:

  • Always try on helmets before buying.
  • The chin strap should be snug, allowing only two fingers between it and your chin.
  • Test the fit by looking down and trying to push the helmet upward; if it moves a lot, it’s too big.
  • There should be no gaps, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight.
  • Wear the helmet for a few minutes to assess comfort and mobility.
  • Your cheeks should move with the helmet but it shouldn’t rotate or shift without moving your head.

Proper Ventilation System

In the Arai Corsair-X Nicky Reset Helmet, the top vents are displayed in different states of closure, arranged from left to right: Open, Closed, and Half Closed. The central vent features a port that directs airflow directly to the top of the head, providing noticeable ventilation. However, the other two vents, located on either side of the central one, direct airflow into the interior above the liner, resulting in a less direct sensation of airflow.
In the pricier Arai Corsair-X Nicky Reset helmet, the three top vents are displayed in different states of closure, arranged from left to right: Open, Closed, and Half Closed. The central vent features a port that directs airflow directly to the top of the head, providing noticeable ventilation. But the other two vents, located on either side of the central one, direct airflow into the interior above the liner, resulting in a less direct sensation of airflow.

Effective ventilation is crucial in full-face helmets to dissipate sweat, prevent visor fogging, and maintain coolness while riding. Positioned strategically, intake vents at the front allow fresh air to enter, while exhaust vents at the rear enable warm air to escape. Their positioning (top, brow, chin and rear), size, and number vary depending on the helmet style.

Adjustable mechanisms regulate the opening and closing of vents, catering to varying weather conditions and personal preferences. In warmer months, I prefer to have them fully open for maximum airflow, while during cooler months, I opt for them to be fully closed to retain warmth. For transitional weather, I adjust them to a mid-way position to balance ventilation and insulation, ensuring comfort throughout the riding season.

Enhanced Condensation Prevention Strategies

On the same note, I prioritize full-face helmets that are compatible with Pinlock inserts to avoid issues with condensation, alongside adjusting vents or opening the visor. These inserts, available in various performance levels like Pinlock 30, Pinlock 70, Pinlock 120, and Pinlock Evo, effectively prevent fogging by absorbing moisture from breath. The Pinlock 120 is a popular choice for racing and adventure full face helmets.

Pinlock Type/CriteriaPinlock 30Pinlock 70Pinlock 120Pinlock Evo
StandardStandardEntry LevelMid-RangeProfessional
Lens FitOne FitCustomCustomCustom
Fog Resistant LevelGoodStrongExtremeExtreme
Colored LensesNot AvailableAvailableAvailableAvailable
100% Max VisionNot AvailableAvailableAvailableAvailable

The higher the number, the better they perform. The insert’s design keeps it separated from the visor, creating a double-glazing effect that minimizes fogging, even in cold conditions.

You’ll Need the Face Shield

The AGV K6 full-face helmet showcasing a fully closed scratch-resistant, UV-protected 100% polycarbonate face shield with a 190° horizontal field of view and an 85° vertical field of view, providing high-impact protection (up to 4.3mm thick). Its darkly tinted Iridium Silver color is suitable for daytime riding, as low-light or nighttime conditions may impair visibility, posing a safety risk. For improved visibility in low-light conditions, I recommend using a clear visor.
The AGV K6 full-face helmet showcasing a fully closed scratch-resistant, UV-protected 100% polycarbonate face shield with a 190° horizontal field of view and an 85° vertical field of view, providing high-impact protection (up to 4.3mm thick). Its darkly tinted Iridium Silver color is suitable for daytime riding, as low-light or nighttime conditions may impair visibility, posing a safety risk. 

A face shield, known colloquially as a visor, is an important safety feature protecting against bugs, debris, and other elements while riding. Usually removable for cleaning or replacement, they offer customization with various colors and tints suitable for different riding environments. Some also feature anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings.

For improved visibility in low-light conditions, I recommend using a clear visor.

The Role of Cheek Pads

Alongside the padded comfort liner, cheek pads keep the helmet securely in place on your head while providing a cushion against your cheeks for enhanced comfort and added protection to your face. However, ensure that the cheek pads in full-face helmets meet safety standards. I prioritize helmets equipped with EQRS (Emergency Quick Release System) or emergency quick-release cheek pads.

The EQRS system enables emergency responders to extract the cheek pads from the bottom of the helmet while it’s still worn, creating additional space to safely remove the helmet and reducing head movement that could cause further injury. To identify if a helmet is equipped with EQRS, look for red tabs positioned at the bottom of the lining, serving as grab handles for pulling out the cheek pads. A small EQRS notice may be affixed to the helmet’s exterior.

Cheek pads are also removable for cleaning and can be customized to fit different head shapes, including intermediate oval, round oval, and long oval.

Meets or Exceeds Safety Standards

Your choice of helmet must meet safety standards such as DOT (Department of Transportation), ECE (Economic Commission for Europe), or Snell certification. These standards ensure that the helmet provides adequate protection in case of impact.

Strike a Balance Between Comfort and Protection

The white/black/red graphics Sedici Strada II Forza full-face helmet with a lightweight fiberglass and DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber construction, weighing just 3.3 lbs. It offers strength without sacrificing comfort, allowing for easy mounting of a GoPro on the chinbar.
The white/black/red graphics Sedici Strada II Forza full-face helmet with a lightweight fiberglass and DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber construction, weighing just 3.3 lbs. It offers strength without sacrificing comfort, allowing for easy mounting of a GoPro on the chinbar.

While many riders prioritize lightweight helmets, including myself, which is why all my selections weigh below 3.7 pounds, for enhanced comfort, ensure that the weight doesn’t compromise its safety features. Off-road MX-style helmets, designed for maximum ventilation, are usually lighter than road helmets.

Reliable Retention System/Chin Strap

When it comes to the retention system or chin strap of a full face helmet, reliability is paramount. The Double D buckle has been my preferred choice, being the oldest and deemed safest method of fastening a helmet. It’s versatile and suitable for all riding styles, unlike the Micrometric chinstrap.

For competitive riding, such as in FIM-homologated events, the Double D buckle is mandatory due to its proven safety at high speeds and in the event of a fall. But the Micrometric chinstrap offers ease of use, especially when wearing gloves.

Again, the choice between the two depends on your riding style and preferences.

Additional Features To Consider

Consider additional features such as removable and washable liners, drop-down sun visor, and compatibility with Bluetooth and Mesh communication systems. These features enhance convenience and versatility, allowing you to customize the helmet according to your preferences and riding needs.

By considering these factors, you can choose a full-face helmet that offers the right balance of comfort, safety, and performance for your riding style and preferences.

The AGV Pista GP R Carbon Valentino Rossi Helmet, one of the best helmets ever made

The motorcycle helmets I recommend provide a perfect balance of affordability and unwavering quality, ensuring the utmost value for your investment. These are items I've become well-acquainted with during my more than 50 years of motorcycling experience, where I've led and consulted for reputable companies in over 25 countries, in addition to being an avid rider. They are the very same helmets that have earned my trust and served me exceptionally well during countless adventures.

Top 5 Best Full Face Helmets Under $500

Helmet Model Category Face Shield/Visor Type Weight (Pounds)
AGV K6 Best All-Round GT4-1 2.95 lbs.
Shoei RF-SR Best Quiet CWR-1 3.66 lbs.
Arai Regent-X Best Race-Ready Vas-V Max Vision 3.41 lbs.
Bell Qualifier DLX Mips Best Street ClickRelease 3.57 lbs.
Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Best Sport-Touring EverClear 3.28 lbs.

In carefully curating my selection of full-face helmets, I’ve prioritized firsthand experience over hearsay or online reviews. With 47 years of expertise in motorcycle helmets, as of today, spanning roles as a leader, consultant, and avid rider—from my inaugural full-face helmet, the iconic 1972 AGV X-3000, to my latest addition, the AGV K6—I’ve witnessed the evolution of helmet technology firsthand. My objective is to provide insights that are dependable, well-informed, and customized to suit your requirements. Each recommendation is the result of extensive personal use and exploration over the years.

And to cater to diverse preferences and facilitate easy comparison, I’ve thoughtfully categorized my choices into different categories, making it simpler to find the perfect fit for your specific needs while also enabling straightforward comparisons between items of similar value:

1. AGV K6: Best All-Round

AGV K6 Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet
AGV K6: Buy on RevZilla Amazon

In 2020, during the launch of the K6 helmet, AGV made a bold claim:

Building on the years of refinement in the AGV K series, we have gone all out to make a helmet that’ll work just as well on a touring bike as a sportsbike.

And you know what? It’s as straightforward as it gets, but it’s true! I’ve had the chance to see for myself just how adaptable and dependable the K6 is across different riding scenarios – whether it’s smooth highway cruising, navigating busy city streets, or tackling winding mountain roads. It tackles every challenge effortlessly. With the AGV K6, one helmet does it all!

Lightweight Excellence

That means it weighs 125 grams less than its predecessor, the AGV K5 in XL size, at 1,499 grams versus 1,360 grams, making it the lightest road full-face helmet in the world today. In the small size, on my postal scale, it comes in at just under 2.9 pounds or 1,315 grams, which is 0.2 pounds or 90 grams more than what AGV claims.

Nonetheless, it remains lighter than my already featherweight SportModular (3 pounds, 8 ounces for the SM), thanks to the refined composite carbon-aramid fiber shell, despite its beefier appearance. Beneath the fiberglass and carbon lies a complex structure of five different densities of protective EPS, offering solid protection alongside unparalleled lightness.

Sleek Design and Comfort

In terms of appearance, it offers a less aggressive look compared to the race-oriented Pista GP R, featuring a more rounded visage and a relatively subdued rear spoiler that emphasizes your comfort over pure aerodynamics. A key feature that distinguishes it from the K6 S, which is essentially the same helmet but with a more pronounced, sportier rear spoiler for a MotoGP-inspired aesthetic.

And to ensure the K6 fits each person’s head perfectly, it offers four shell sizes (XS-SM, MS, ML-LG, XL-2XL) and a true intermediate oval fit with a rounded shape that’s low and compact yet wide, resulting in a slight bulge on the sides, reminiscent of the top and bottom being gently squeezed in a vise.

Size Guide and Fit

Using the AGV size guide, I determined that my head size is 56cm, and the SM I ordered fit perfectly. I recommend consulting the size guide, as AGV offers unique medium-small and medium-large options. But with sizing only up to 2XL, those with larger heads may find that the K6 does not accommodate them.

Size Head (In) Head (Cm)
XS 20.9-21.3 53-54
SM 21.7-22 55-56
MS 22.4-22.8 57-58
ML 23.2-23.6 59-60
LG 23.6-24 60-61
XL 24-24.4 61-62
2XL 24.8-25.2 63-64

Superior Ventilation and Reliable Shield Mechanism

On the exterior, the helmet features five intake vents: two on the chin bar and three upper front inlets, all adjustable for precise airflow control. Setting a new standard for safety, the slimmed-down face shield pivot mechanisms feature metal hinges and a quick-release spring tab for effortless shield swaps—an advancement surpassing competitors, including Arai Regent-X and Shoei RF-1400. According to AGV, this quick-release system minimizes intrusion into the protective shell surfaces for improved lateral protection.”

AGV’s Micro-Lock system allows me to secure shield closure, offering five detents for versatile positioning, including the option to keep the shield slightly open for airflow while ensuring it remains securely in place. Even when fully closed, the helmet impressively maintains a noise level of only 86 dB(A) at 65 mph on my naked Yamaha MT-07, positioning it as one of the quietest motorcycle helmets currently available.

While lacking a drop-down sun visor, such as seen on the AGV K5, this omission is understandable for when prioritizing weight reduction and enhanced comfort. But the helmet includes a Pinlock Max Vision 120 insert for superior fog prevention.

Comfortable Interior

Internally, the AGV K6 incorporates three technical fabric types—Shalimar, Ritmo, and Eco Leather—covering EPS liners with waterproof outer layers and breathable, antimicrobial inner layers. Removable cheek pads facilitate customization, with ample space for comm wiring like AGV’s ARK Bluetooth system.

The smooth lining material ensures a comfortable fit, while the padding strikes a perfect balance between snugness and comfort. With the AGV K6, the cheek pads and neck roll are integrated into a single unit. A design that raises questions about the true quick-release nature of the Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS), as removing it might still require some effort and could potentially cause the helmet to move uncomfortably.

2. Shoei RF-SR: Best Quiet

Shoei RF-SR Helmet - Solid
Shoei RF-SR: Buy on RevZilla | Amazon

Shoei has built a reputation for its rigorous wind tunnel tests, effectively balancing aerodynamics, ventilation, and noise reduction—put more vents and it’s not just air that gets in!

Streamlined Refinement

The Shoei RF-SR, succeeding the popular Qwest model, serves as a prime example of this commitment, showcasing a subtle yet discernible improvement in aesthetics compared to its predecessor. Emphasizing a focus on refinement, Shoei highlights the RF-SR’s streamlined design, revamped vents, and enhanced seal on its 3-D injection-molded CWR-1 shield (which comes with a Pinlock EVO antifog insert), identical to that found on Shoei’s acclaimed racer model, the X-14—its successor, the X-15, as well as the RF-1400, feature the new CWR-F2 shield.

Utilizing a constant tension sprung hinge design, the shield, which is 100% UVA & UVB protected and scratch-resistant, securely holds against the eyeport, effectively reducing wind noise—a crucial consideration for protecting against permanent hearing loss during high-speed rides exceeding 65 mph for more than 15 minutes.

Optimal Fit and Weight Optimization

The RF-SR’s handmade fiberglass/organic-fiber composite multi-ply shell, known as Matrix AIM by Shoei, also undergoes wind tunnel optimization to produce four well-fitting sizes (XS-S; M; L; XL-XXL), mirroring the RF-1400. The deliberate sizing strategy ensures the outer envelope remains as compact as possible.

A smaller exterior shell not only reduces turbulence but also diminishes neck strain and results in a lighter overall weight. In the case of the RF-SR, this weight comes in at a mere 3.66 pounds.

Varied User Experiences

But as is often the case, opinions on helmet noise vary. For instance, Kodi M, a verified Revzilla purchaser, remarked,

 

“It was the quietest helmet I’ve owned while riding on a sports bike with minimal noise coming through.”

Conversely, Kandice K, a verified Amazon buyer, noted,

“There was quite a bit of noise coming in from the rear of the helmet, which is unusual.”

In my experience, while riding my MT-07, I find the RF-SR to be somewhere between average and quiet. But, as always, the level of noise depends on various factors, including the type of motorcycle you ride, your riding style, and your previous helmet’s noise level.

Comparable Noise Reduction

Although it may not match the noise reduction capabilities of pricier options like the $619 Shoei RF-1400, $849 Shoei GT Air 3, or the $479 HJC RPHA 71 ST, it is certainly quieter than even the street-riding Scorpion EXO-R1 Air, which registers at 98 decibels within the same price range.

3. Arai Regent-X: Best Race-Ready

Arai Regent-X Full-Face Helmet
Arai Regent-X : Buy on RevZilla | Amazon

It’s an Arai, y’all! When it comes to motorcycle race helmets, alongside AGV and Shoei, Arai is the cream of the crop. Sure, there are plenty of decent options out there, including some great ones from Bell, but these three giants? They’re at the top of the game. That’s always been my take, at least, and I’m sure you would agree, too.

So, when it came to Arai’s Regent-X, their entry-level full-face lid priced under $500, I had high expectations. And I’m glad, it doesn’t disappoint!

Superior Protection and Design

In fact, Arai asserts that the Regent-X is a worthy successor to its predecessor, the DT-X, with protection comparable to their pricier $869 race-ready Corsair-X. They’ve redesigned it with a smooth, egg-like exterior meant to deflect impacts better and allow for smoother sliding, all while meeting or exceeding SNELL M2020 and DOT standards without breaking a sweat.

Unparalleled Comfort and Fit

The comfort and fit are top-notch, too. It’s decked it out with the premium Facial Contour System (FCS)—a set of pads that adjust as you put on and take off the helmet, giving you a snug fit that also cuts down on noise. And speaking of noise, the padding is plush yet supportive, with a silky brushed nylon feel that’s just downright comfy.

Arai claims the new, thinner neck roll reduces weight and provides a quieter experience, but in my experience, I didn’t find the Regent-X to be significantly quieter than the mid-range Defiant-X, possibly due to its wider bottom opening, allowing more air in.

Enhanced Features for Convenience

You’ll also appreciate the added recessed speaker pockets and the removable padding for easy cleaning. As someone who wears glasses, I can attest that the channels within accommodate my peepers perfectly.

Durable Construction for Peace of Mind

But let’s not forget about the construction. Arai’s thrown in a new Peripherally Belted Complex Laminate Construction shell, utilizing a more cost-effective resin compared to its more expensive Signet and Quantum counterparts. Despite weighing at least 0.42 lbs. (191 grams) lighter at 3.41 lbs. (1547 grams) compared to the Signet-X at 3.53 lbs. (1600 grams) and Quantum-X at 3.52 lbs. (1597 grams), it remains exceptionally stiff, providing added strength without any extra weight. It feels perfectly balanced on my noggin.

And with their VAS face shield system, you’ve got a handy demisting feature to keep your vision clear on those foggy rides.

4. Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS: Best Street

Bell Qualifier DLX Mips Full-Face Helmet
Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS: Buy on RevZilla | Amazon

My go-to full face choice for street riding is the Bell Qualifier DLX Mips—an upgraded version of the original Bell Qualifier DLX, now featuring MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology— mainly for that extra layer of protection, specifically designed to address rotational motion during impacts, which is a common shortcoming of traditional EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) helmets.

The MIPS system aims to safeguard the brain from rotational forces, not just blunt impacts, making it an essential safety feature without a hefty price tag.

Advanced Rotational Impact Mitigation

To achieve this, the Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS incorporates a thin yellow, low-friction plastic liner between the EPS layer and the inner cushioning of the helmet. During a crash, this liner allows the helmet to rotate slightly around the head, mimicking the brain’s natural protective mechanism.

By dissipating rotational forces (kinetic energy) as heat, the MIPS technology reduces the risk of severe brain injuries associated with angular acceleration and velocity.

Proper Fit

But with the DLX available in three different shell sizes (XS/S, M/L, and XL/2XL), you may argue that opting for a larger helmet size could provide better results, but you would be misguided to think so. Achieving the precise balance required for the MIPS system to function effectively is a delicate process. Even a slight increase in movement could compromise its efficacy and potentially lead to more severe injuries.

A snug fit is crucial for maximizing the protective capabilities of the MIPS-equipped helmet.

Customizable Communication Integration

Another notable feature of the DLX MIPS is hidden beneath the removable cover on the left-hand side. Once uncovered, you’ll find an optional adapter slot where I can easily install my old Cardo Scala Rider QZ intercom or even Sena SMH10, which supports VOX (the SMH5 doesn’t), allows for smooth integration of communication devices, enhancing the helmet’s versatility and functionality.

Precision Ventilation System

The Qualifier DLX also excels in its ventilation system. The chin vent, brow vent, and top vent sliders offer a satisfyingly solid feel, clicking open and closed with precision. Unlike the versatile Icon Airflite, the vent designs on the DLX allow air to pass directly through, ensuring efficient airflow for optimal comfort.

Enhanced Visibility and Convenience

Furthermore, Bell continues to impress with its commitment to value and innovation. The DLX MIPS comes equipped with the Transitions photochromic face shield, which automatically darkens in the presence of UV light, providing enhanced visibility in varying lighting conditions. The face shield also features the NutraFog II anti-fog coating, ensuring clear vision even in foggy or humid conditions.

The ClickRelease face shield release system, renowned for its micro-click raising and lowering mechanism, makes shield adjustments quick and effortless, further enhancing convenience during my rides.

5. Scorpion EXO-R1 Air: Best Sport-Touring

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Helmet - Solid
Scorpion EXO-R1 Air: Buy on RevZilla Amazon

We can all agree that the more comfortable a helmet feels on your head, the more likely you are to wear it consistently, and consequently, the more protected you’ll be! A sentiment echoed by Quartararo in MotoGP and Bautista in World Superbike, both of whom have favored Scorpion helmets for their reliability and performance on the track.

And after conquering the demands of those intense races, Scorpion is now sharing the love with us by introducing the EXO-R1 Air, a wallet-friendly version of the renowned R1 Air, bringing the same hardened protection trusted by seasoned track veterans to riders on sport touring adventures. 

The EXO-R1 Air Series: Solid vs. Carbon

You may have noticed that there are two versions of the EXO-R1: the Scorpion EXO-R1 Air–Solid (the one I’m reviewing) and the pricier Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon. While both helmets share the same racing DNA, there is one key difference that explains the nearly $150 price variation. The Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon is made of woven carbon fiber and resin-infused TCT-U shell for a lightweight design, whereas the Scorpion EXO-R1 Air – Solid utilizes a multi-layered Ultra-TCT shell combining fiberglass, aramid, and poly-resin fibers for unparalleled strength, prioritizing the safety and protection of your head in the event of impact.

You’ll be astonished by the remarkable lightness of the carbon variant. Upon unboxing, with the smoke visor, pinlock and liner, the helmet registered a mere 2.99 lbs. (1,360 grams) on my digital kitchen scale. According to Scorpion,

“Without the liner and visor, the shell weighs only around 2.65 lbs. (1,200 grams).”

I can attest to that without a doubt!

Lightweight Construction

But despite its robust nature, the Solid remains remarkably lightweight at 3.28 lbs. (1,488 grams), enhancing comfort and reducing fatigue during extended rides. Moreover, Its advanced impact dispersal capabilities ensure that any force encountered is evenly distributed across the shell’s surface, effectively minimizing the risk of injury in unforeseen circumstances.

Intelligent Ventilation System

In terms of the ventilation system, each vent serves a purpose beyond aesthetics. The top vent efficiently channels air into the helmet, ensuring optimal airflow to keep you cool and comfortable, even in sweltering conditions. Meanwhile, the exhaust vents work tirelessly to expel hot air, maintaining a balanced internal temperature. 

Innovative Shield Locking Mechanism

But Scorpion didn’t stop there. They’ve thrown in a nifty central locking mechanism for the face shield, teaming up with their Ellip-Tec ratcheting hinge system to ensure a rock-solid seal, even when you’re pushing the limits. And that visor lock? Much like my go-to budget-friendly full face helmet HJC i10, it’s tucked away neatly, yet it packs a punch – solid click and all!

Comfortable Interior

Inside, things get even more impressive. A multi-density EPS liner guides airflow like a pro, with help from a beefy ram-air intake vent up front and four exhaust ports in the rear. Plus, the AirFit system lets you dial in that perfect fit for ultimate comfort and noise reduction.

Secure Fastening

But it wouldn’t make any sense if the helmet wasn’t securely fastened to your head to prevent it from rolling off. That’s where the Scorpion EXO-R1 Air – Solid’s double D-ring chin strap comes in. With a smooth operation and no moving parts to worry about, you can trust it to keep your helmet in place without any corrosion issues.

To secure the helmet, simply pull the strap through both rings and loop it back through the first ring, then tighten until it feels snug. When it’s time to remove the helmet, you can easily release the strap by pulling both D rings away from your neck.

Oh, and did I mention those D-rings? They’re not your average metal – they’re titanium. Talk about attention to detail!

Michael’s Summary and Conclusion

The AGV K6 S Excite Camo/Italy graphics Hi-Viz helmet displayed in my Maryland office. With its eye-catching red, white, and green color scheme, it ensures high visibility and a strategically advantageous profile.
The AGV K6 S Excite Camo/Italy graphics hi-viz helmet displayed in my Maryland office. With its eye-catching red, white, and green color scheme, it ensures high visibility and a strategically advantageous profile.
The now 4.3mm thick pinlock-ready visor enhances the smooth action of the all-metal hinge mechanism. I appreciate the solidity of the 5 visor positions and the minimal flex when opening off-center with my thumb.
The now 4.3mm thick pinlock-ready visor enhances the smooth action of the all-metal hinge mechanism. I appreciate the solidity of the 5 visor positions and the minimal flex when opening off-center with my thumb.
AGVSPORT Knee and Body Armor

I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!

FAQs — I Have the Answers!

Q: What Is the Best Full Face Helmet?

Priced at $499.95, the AGV K6 is the best full face helmet under $500 due to its versatility and reliability across diverse riding environments, from smooth highways to winding mountain roads. Weighing just 2.95 lbs. (1,338 grams), it’s the lightest motorcycle road helmet on the market today, offering unparalleled comfort and reducing fatigue. Its aerodynamic design also effortlessly cuts through the air, enhancing stability at high speeds.

Q: Which Motorcycle Helmet Brand Is Best?

AGV, alongside Shoei and Arai, is widely acclaimed as one of the best motorcycle helmet brands, renowned for its innovative construction method, Extreme Standards, which prioritizes the protection of the rider’s head—rather than solely focusing on the outer shell of the helmet—in the most perilous conditions.

The brand’s illustrious history is highlighted by endorsements from iconic champions like Giacomo Agostini, a 15-time World Champion (1963-1970); Kenny Roberts, a two-time World Champion and a 22-time World Grand Prix winner (1973-1976); Angel Nieto, who clinched 13 world championships (1969-1985); and Valentino Rossi, a nine-time World Champion (1996-2021). These champions’ remarkable achievements not only validate AGV’s longstanding reputation but also affirm its excellence in motorcycle racing.

Q: How Do I Choose A Full Face Helmet?

When choosing a full-face helmet, prioritize a snug and secure fit, especially if you’re into track days, ensuring minimal movement for maximum protection. While many riders prefer lightweight helmets for comfort, ensure that safety standards are met without compromising durability. Look for efficient ventilation systems to keep you cool during rides, along with a quality face shield for clear vision and protection against UV rays and debris.

Consider additional features such as removable liners and compatibility with communication systems for added convenience.

Q: What Are The Disadvantages Of A Full Face Helmet?

While full-face helmets offer extensive protection, they do come with a few drawbacks. Firstly, they may limit peripheral vision compared to open-face helmets, potentially reducing situational awareness. Additionally, in hot weather, these helmets can feel more confined and less breathable, leading to discomfort during extended rides. Their bulkiness can also pose challenges when it comes to storage and portability. Lastly, due to muffled sound transmission, some riders find it difficult to communicate verbally while wearing a full-face helmet.

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, corporate, and non-profit organizations:

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About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

Click Here for the Complete AGV Helmet & AGVSPORT History

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