Top 5 Best Long Oval Helmets

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Helmets generally fall into three primary head shape categories: intermediate, long oval, and round. In the USA, UK, and Australia, the intermediate oval shape is the most prevalent, characterized by a slightly longer from front to back than side to side. The long oval design suits those with elongated heads, longer from front to back. Meanwhile, the round oval accommodates heads with measurements fairly similar in both dimensions.

Identifying the right fit involves finding a helmet that snugly conforms to the shape of your head without causing discomfort or pressure points. If the helmet is too loose, it can shift around, impacting your peripheral vision and increasing the risk of it coming off during an accident.

Riding with a round-shaped helmet on a long oval-shaped head can also amplify wind noise. Those gaps on the sides? They only make things louder. And when you try to use Bluetooth communication units, you'll likely encounter issues with volume and sound quality because the speakers are further from your ears. It's a whole ordeal that can seriously mess up your ride. Trust me, I've experienced it all during my 52 years of motorcycling, and so, when it comes to finding the best long oval helmets, I know exactly what to look for:

Helmet Model Category Shell Sizes Check & Buy Now
AGV X3000 Best Retro/Vintage 3:XS-MS, ML-LG, XL-2XL  RevZilla | CycleGear
Arai Signet-X Best Race-Ready 5: XS, S, M/L, XL, 2XL/3XL RevZilla | Amazon
Icon Airflite Most Versatile 3: XS-SM, MD-LG, XL-3XL RevZilla | CycleGear
LS2 Stream Best Budget-Friendly 3: XS-S, M-L, XL-3XL RevZilla | Amazon
Fly Racing Revolt Best Street 2: XS-M, L-XXL RevZilla | CycleGear

How To Find a Long Oval Helmet You’ll Love

The AGV X3000 'Ago 1' Limited Edition Helmet: Iconic Heritage in Modern Tricolor ACF Fiberglass Shell
The long oval AGV X-3000 "Ago," expertly made for the esteemed 14-time world champion Giacomo Agostini, is available for sale at the AGV Dainese store in Bangkok, Thailand. My very first helmet was the original AGV X-3000 "Ago," acquired during my time in Paris, France. I paid the equivalent of $900 for it (2024 currency). 

A properly fitting oval helmet is crucial for both comfort and safety. It should feel snug, providing firm, even pressure around your head without causing any pain or creating uneven pressure points. Keep in mind that helmets tend to loosen over time rather than tighten, so it's essential to get the right fit from the start.

Test to Check the Fit

Here are five tests I perform to check the fit of my helmets:

  1. Finger Test: The goal is a smooth connection between your forehead and the padding, leaving no room for fingers to sneak in. Yet when gently nudging the helmet forward from the back with one hand, there should be just enough given to allow a pinky finger to slide up about half an inch (1 cm)—but not a millimeter further!
  2. Mirror Mastery: Take a moment for a visual check-up. When you peer into the looking glass, ensure your eyes sit dead center in the eye-port. If they're peering too high, it's like wearing a helmet that's a size too big. Conversely, if they're drooping too low, you've got a case of the helmet being too snug. Adjust your helmet size accordingly to find that sweet spot.
  3. Mobility Test: Skip the brute force. Instead, gently cradle the helmet over your ears and give it a little wiggle. Your cheeks should stay snugly ensconced in their padding, limiting any unwelcome movement. If you find your gaze drifting perilously close to the edge of the eye-port, it's a sure sign your helmet's too roomy!
  4. Time Trials: Whether your helmet arrived by mail or you're indulging in a bit of in-store shopping, give yourself at least 30 minutes to acquaint yourself with the fit. Wear it around the house to suss out any discomfort or awkward pressure points. In-store, use the opportunity to browse other gear while sporting your helmet to gauge its compatibility. And if store staff stand in the way of this exploration, it might be time to seek out a more hospitable retailer.
  5. Chipmunk Cheek Challenge: Open wide and give those cheek muscles a workout. When you close your mouth, if you're not feeling a subtle squeeze against the inside of your cheeks, it's a telltale sign that either the helmet or its cheek pads are too lax. Stay tuned for cheek pad replacement tips below.

Feeling uneven pressure? It might mean you're in need of a different model or brand, rather than simply switching sizes. For example, if you're rocking an intermediate oval helmet and feeling the squeeze at the front and back of your head, a long oval shape might be a better fit. On the flip side, if the pressure's concentrated on the sides, a neutral or round shape could be your saving grace.

Embrace the journey of exploring different brands and models until you find your perfect match. And for those with less mainstream head shapes, keep an eye out for Arai (think Signet-X) or Icon for long oval fits, while Biltwell or AGV generally cater to rounder contours. An exception within AGV is the X3000.

Customize the Fit

Top 5 Best Long Oval Helmets
An improperly fitted helmet can either sit too high or too low on the head. If it's too high, the cheek pads may rise up under the eyes, obstructing the field of vision. Conversely, if it sits too low, the top of the visor opening may press down onto the eyebrows, potentially causing discomfort, particularly for glasses wearers, as illustrated above by the rider wearing the Arai Sergent-X long oval helmet, paired with and AGVSPORT’ Flannel Classic Shirt lined with DuPont Kevlar.

If you're almost there with a helmet you adore but just need that extra 10% in fit, there are a couple of ways to customize it. But it's crucial not to attempt these adjustments at home. Trust the expertise of those who handle these modifications daily, such as the manufacturer or a reputable retail store. I've never encountered any of them charging for this service.

Switching out cheek pads is a straightforward solution. The best helmet manufacturers offer cheek pads with varying levels of foam thickness, with brands like Scorpion EXO even offering cheek pads with air pumps, allowing for a snug, customized fit that adapts over time as the pads soften.

Top 5 Best Long Oval Helmets

Unfortunately, helmets specifically designed for the less common long oval head shape aren't plentiful, with only a few brands, including AGV, Arai, Icon, LS2, AFX, Fly Racing, Street & Steel, and GMAX, offering options for this particular fit. Yet, even among these brands, the choices for long oval helmets are limited.

For example, AGV, Arai, and Fly Racing each offer just one model, albeit with different graphics. LS2 and Icon have two models each, following the same pattern. All of these options are full-face helmets. But AFX, GMAX, and Street & Steel offer long oval half helmets, and in terms of safety, I'd argue they're more about style than substance and wouldn't recommend them for riding purposes.

Interestingly, my journey with helmets began with the AGV X3000 full face in 1972, a long oval-shaped design that still holds a place of honor in my office. And so, when it comes to choosing the best long oval helmets, I've amassed nearly 50 years of familiarity with this head shape. Couple that with my extensive tenure as a leader and consultant in the helmet industry since the youthful age of 16, and you'll find that my recommendations are founded on considerable expertise rather than mere conjecture:

Helmet ModelCategoryOutstanding FeatureShell SizesWeight (Pounds)
AGV X3000Best Retro/VintageAgostini's Legendary Helmet Shape3:XS-MS, ML-LG, XL-2XL3.06 lbs.
Arai Signet-XBest Race-ReadyVAS-MV (Max Vision) Faceshield5: XS, S, M/L, XL, 2XL/3XL3.53 lbs.
Icon AirfliteMost VersatileHannibal Lecter-Style Face Mask3: XS-SM, MD-LG, XL-3XL3.79 lbs.
LS2 StreamBest Budget-Friendly3D Laser Technology3: XS-S, M-L, XL-3XL3.66 lbs.
Fly Racing RevoltBest Street2 Layers (Soft and Hard) EPS Liner2: XS-M, L-XXL3.96 lbs.

1. AGV X3000: Best Retro/Vintage

AGV X3000 Long Oval Helmet
AGV X3000: Buy on RevZilla | CycleGear

What's old is new again, and I'm talking about none other than the retro revival AGV X3000 (casually dubbed "Ago" by yours truly), designed to pay homage to AGV’s inaugural full-face helmet famously worn by the legendary motorcycle racer, Giacomo Agostini, back in 1969. The fact that Ago himself had a hand in designing the original helmet, upon which the X3000 is based, gives this nostalgic lid a bit more street cred than your average vintage brain bucket—a sentiment shared by many riders, myself included. In fact, it was my first helmet way back in 1972.

AGV chose to retain the shortened chinbar from the original design, a feature requested by Agostini to lower his head closer to the gas tank while in a racing tuck. Despite its vintage aesthetic, the X3000 incorporates modern materials, with its shell made from AFC (Advanced Composite Fiber) fiberglass, ensuring durability, strength, and lightweight performance. 

Among the retro-styled helmets in my collection, including the Biltwell Gringo and Bell Moto 3, each designed for round oval and intermediate oval head shapes respectively, the X3000 impresses me most with its superior fit. Its long oval head shape delivers a snug and secure feel without creating any uncomfortable pressure points. 

And although the padding may not match the luxurious feel of Arai Signet-X's Eco Pure material, it offers sturdy and supportive cushioning. But the X3000 weighs 0.47 lbs less than the Signet-X, tipping my scales at 3.06 lbs versus 3.53 lbs, and it's also lighter than its counterparts, weighing 0.3 lbs less than the Gringo and 0.24 lbs less than the Moto.

The X3000's interior liner features microsuede for a comfortable feel against the face, while the leather lining at the bottom prevents moisture from seeping into the helmet. Secured with a standard double D-ring closure, the X3000 keeps things simple yet secure.

Ventilation is provided by a single inlet vent at the forehead, which can be opened by removing a rubber insert in the shield. While I typically prefer toolless systems for helmet vents, AGV addressed this by adding a small pocket on the right cheekpad's underside to store the vent plug—a thoughtful solution.

The shield is removable, and options include dark smoke, yellow, and silver iridium tints. But removing the shield requires an allen wrench, which may not be as convenient as toolless systems found in other helmets. Nonetheless, the shield features detents and a securing mechanism to keep it securely closed.

The availability of three sizes (XS-MS, ML-L, and XL-XXL) ensures a precise fit for every helmet size. But I would advise sizing up when considering the X3000, as it's the first AGV helmet I've needed to do so with. Normally wearing a MS (Medium/Small) in other AGV helmets—including the track-focused Pista RR, the adventure-oriented Sportmodular, and the lightweight road K6 S (currently the lightest full-face helmet available at 2.95 lbs. for the small size)—I opted for a ML (Medium/Large), and it fits perfectly.

2. Arai Signet-X: Best Race-Ready

Arai Signet-X Long Oval Helmet
Arai Signet-X: Buy on RevZilla | Amazon

If you're part of the Arai long oval (narrow) club, the Signet-X (the third helmet in the Arai lineup to receive the "X" treatment, following the Corsair-X and Quantum-X) is the helmet for you. It shares almost identical features with the Arai Quantum-X, with the main difference being the internal shape: the Quantum-X is designed for round oval heads, while the Signet-X is tailored for long oval heads. Both helmets serve as the slightly less aggressive sport biking options in the VP position.

The Signet-X (QV-Pro in Europe) replaces the Arai Signet-Q (or Quantum ST in Europe) and introduces the Pro Shade system, an improvement over the clear shield for managing bright light by incorporating a drop-down sunshield on the outside face shield. A design choice that ensures there's no reduction in the thickness of the EPS impact liner, as is often the case with internal sunshades. But a lift tab on the edge of the tinted shield would be a welcome addition, as I find it difficult to open once locked down. Thank you, Arai!

The EPS liner, methodically handmade, utilizes 5 varying densities of EPS depending on the helmet area, all with a uniform thickness of 10mm. For example, the crown portion of the helmet, which usually has a larger surface area, utilizes lower-density EPS to effectively absorb energy while minimizing weight. Conversely, areas above the eyeport, with a smaller surface area, incorporate higher-density EPS for enhanced impact protection.

The shell plays a crucial role in helmet weight, impact attenuation, and penetration protection, and the Signet-X's Peripherally Belted – Super Complex Laminate Construction (PB-SCLC) shell is no exception. Hand-laid in a preheated mold, the shell consists of 20 individual pieces of high-strength fiberglass, with additional reinforcement from an AR mat and a Zylon mat for added strength.

The helmet shell's design, inspired by the naturally strong contour of an egg, features a smooth, round shape with a curve radius of no more than 75mm (R75 shape), allowing the helmet to easily glance off objects, which, according to Arai Managing Director Brian Weston,

"Is just as important as energy absorption."

This design, combined with Arai's "hyper ridge" technology around the bottom edge, minimizes rotational forces and enhances impact absorption.

Ventilation is provided through a large closable chinbar vent, faceshield vents aligned with top eyeport vents, and dual closable intake vents in the crown. Exhaust vents at the base and crown allow for efficient airflow, with all controls designed for easy operation, even with gloves on.

With 4 shell sizes available, including XS, SM, ML, XL, and XXL (similar to the Corsair-X and Quantum-X), finding the perfect fit is effortless. For instance, my 56cm head fits snugly in a Medium/Large, ensuring the helmet remains securely in place even at speeds exceeding 70 mph.

3. Icon Airflite: Most Versatile

Icon Airflite Long Oval Helmet
Icon Airflite: Buy on RevZilla | CycleGear

Personally, I appreciate uniqueness, but is it different for the sake of being different, or is it different and better?

Well, Icon's departure from the norm might seem like they're just being different for the sake of it, but when you look closer, you'll see there's more to it. Take their Airflite helmet, for example. It's not your run-of-the-mill design. Instead, it's made with a long oval shape inside, which might not be everyone's cup of tea, especially if you've got a more neutral to round head shape. But that's the thing about Icon - they're not afraid to shake things up. And hey, it works for them!

And while it's constructed from polycarbonate, a material commonly associated with under $300 helmets, Icon puts their own spin on the design, making it versatile for any purpose going, excluding perhaps track use.

One intriguing element is the shield setup, evoking memories of Hannibal Lecter's iconic face mask from "The Silence of the Lambs." And get this, instead of clipping onto the top of the chin guard like we're all used to, the shield, nearly twice as deep as average, attaches underneath. Maybe it's not just for looks. I mean, could it double up as a sun visor or a roost guard? That's what I'm thinking. It's like the designer's playing 4D chess with us, you know?

But Icon doesn't skimp on customization options either, offering the Airflite in a variety of eye-catching graphics to suit individual tastes. Plus, with three shell sizes covering a range from XS to 3XL, proportions remain balanced, avoiding the dreaded "lollipop head" appearance.

Attention to detail is evident throughout the helmet, including the durable polycarbonate material used for vent tabs, preventing premature wear and tear. The HydraDry triple-layer liner ensures comfort, even for budget-conscious riders, while the double D-ring strap system offers a secure fit. It's a personal favorite of mine too.

Practical features, such as the cutout shape at the back to accommodate bulky back protectors, enhance the Airflite's functionality for everyday use. Furthermore, the helmet's airflow is impressive, thanks to strategically placed intake and exhaust ports and exaggerated internal channels in the EPS liner.

But I did notice some minor inconveniences, such as the chin vent lever being obstructed by the chin curtain, a similar issue to the cheaper Airform model. And while the sun visor provides added convenience, it does slightly impede airflow when raised.

4. LS2 Stream: Best Budget-Friendly

LS2 Stream Long Oval Helmet
LS2 Stream: Buy on RevZilla | Amazon

Back in 2015, I purchased the LS2 Stream helmet in my quest to find something as comfy as my Arai Signet-Q (which has been replaced by the Signet-X). And it's been a ride. Literally! See, I had a bit of a helmet shuffle — from the Arai to an Icon Airmada, then landing on the Stream because the new Airmada just didn't hug my noggin right. Turns out, I needed that long oval fit, and the Stream delivers. Even after nearly a decade, it's still going strong, despite the arrival of its successor, the LS2 Storm II.

Now, when I say the Stream fits like a dream, I mean it. It's roomier at the forehead and doesn't squish my cheeks like the Signet-Q did. The funny thing is, my Arai was a medium, but LS2 says I'm a medium-large according to their size chart. Yet, when I try them on, it's a whole different story.

Side-by-side, the LS2 Stream and the Storm II are virtually indistinguishable, with similar appearances and nearly identical weights. My trusty scales clocks in my medium-sized Stream at 1,563g, just a hair's breadth away from the claimed weight of 1,500g (give or take 50g, of course). That puts it right in the same league as the budget-friendly HJC C10. But unlike the original long oval Storm with ECE 22.05 certification, the Storm II is now ECE 22.06 certified and offers an intermediate oval fit.

The integrated sun shield is a godsend on sunny days, while the pin-lock ready visor ensures fogging is kept at bay (just remember to purchase the insert separately). Plus, the quick-release buckle and glasses-friendly liner make life easier.

Aerodynamically, the Stream holds its own, but be warned - crank up above 70 mph and you might feel a bit of wind resistance when you turn your head. Nothing major, though. And while we're on the topic of airflow, let's address the elephant in the room - that lone exhaust vent. Not adjustable, not closable. Could be a bit of a sticky situation, especially on those scorching afternoons.

The visor latch is a nice touch for keeping it securely closed, but why oh why did they slap it right in the middle, above the chin vent? It's practically begging to accidentally close that vent every time you lift the visor. And speaking of noise, get your earplugs, because the Storm can get loud. Especially if you're not cruising in that sweet spot, the 3/4 position. You'll definitely want to tilt it just right to avoid getting blasted with wind noise.

But hey, it's not all bad. The visor offers killer visibility, featuring an impressive 85° vertical visual field and 190° of peripheral vision horizontally, especially in that 3/4 tilt. And if you're into DIY hygiene, the removable liner's antimicrobial, which is a nice touch.

5. Fly Racing Revolt: Best Street

Fly Racing Street Revolt Matrix Long Oval Helmet
Fly Racing Revolt: Buy on RevZilla | CycleGear

The Fly Racing Street Revolt Matrix is where style, safety, and efficiency come together in perfect harmony, epitomizing a sporty essence through its streamlined aesthetics and unique rear spoiler, ideal for urban/street riding. It's also the perfect pick for beginners, offering not just one, but two designs to suit your flashy or "simple is sexy" style.

And true to Fly Racing's promise, the Revolt Matrix delivers with its SNELL 2015 (DOT and ECE 22.05) certification, ensuring top-notch safety standards alongside excellent value for money.. But it doesn't stop there. I find it remarkably comfortable, with effective ventilation and a top-notch face shield system. While its aerodynamic capabilities are decent, what really sweetens the deal is the inclusion of two shields in the box – one clear and one tinted – offering added versatility. You're set for whatever the day throws at you.

The shell, constructed with Polycarbonate ABS Alloy, might be a tad heavier at around 3.96 pounds than all the other helmets in my list, but it's built to last. Its durability ensures it can withstand a wide range of impacts, from light pressure to more severe collisions.

Inside, the helmet features a Dual Density EPS liner, consisting of two layers of Expanded Polystyrene. That means not one, but two layers of impact-absorbing goodness, providing progressive protection from light bumps to heavy hits. The inner lining, categorized as Qwick-dry comfort liners, includes ultra-plush cheek pads with hydrophilic liners for swift sweat absorption and effective ventilation.

The face shield features anti-fogging properties, ensuring clarity with advanced fog-free technology. A removable air guide directs airflow upwards, preventing fogging, while the bonus tinted shield reduces sun glare, enhancing visibility on bright days. Both shields offer UV-ray protection, with the tinted shield providing added comfort during sunny conditions.

Switching between the two face shields is quick and easy, thanks to a secure and tool-less mechanism. And the six adjustable vents – three air intake vents at the front and three exhaust vents at the back – with sliders allow or customizable airflow. An adjustability that ensures optimal comfort regardless of environmental conditions, allowing you to regulate airflow to suit your needs.

Michael's Summary and Conclusion

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

M/A

Picture of 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

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