You’ve just bought yourself a shiny new sports motorcycle and no doubt are keen to get out on the road and put it through its paces. Before you do, you’ll want to make sure you’ve invested in some decent gear, especially a helmet.
With sports motorcycles being high-performance machines, capable of high speeds, it’s important the helmet is up to the task. Unfortunately, that often means you are going to be looking at the top end of the market, particularly if you’re looking to spend some time on the track in the future.
The following five helmets recognize five of the top-performing helmets available on the market today. They are all high-performance and designed with those traveling at high speeds in mind. Our choices include:
Four of the Best Sports Motorcycle Helmets
1. AGV Corsa R
The AGV Corsa R is a composite fiber (carbon. aramid, fiberglass helmet designed to be a slightly cheaper version of their top-of-the-line Pista GP RR, developed with Valentino Rossi. It’s perfect for the sports motorcycle enthusiast who enjoys the thrill that’s associated with riding at high speeds. It isn’t as aggressive as the Pista and is a little more rider friendly.
The wide optically correct 3.3 mm visor is a standout feature, as is the excellent ventilation the helmet offers. Weighed just 1.35 kg, and that’s with the additional (4th) layer of protection built into the helmet, which contributed to the helmet receiving top marks in SHARP safety testing.
The lining can be removed for washing and can be adapted with foam inserts and Velcro straps to ensure a good fit. With only a limited number of graphic designs available, the help of Valentino Rossi and Guy Martin’s racing colors have proved popular, as has the plain gloss black and white version.
The AGV Corsa R retails for $799.
2. Shoei X Spirit III
The Shoei X Spirit III is a top-of-the-range, performance helmet designed for sports motorcyclists and track racers. It was designed with the assistance of Mark Marquez and Bradley Smith of the Moto GP circuit and has quickly become a favorite among the other racers. Like the Corsa R, it performed extremely well in safety testing and is Snell M2015 certified.
The helmet is made of a six-layered composite; however, Shoei has not disclosed beyond fiberglass the materials it contains. Inside the shell, there’s a multi shock-absorbing EPS liner. This is a lightweight, extremely stable helmet that offers great head protection.
For someone not familiar with high-performance helmets, the noise factor may be off-putting, but rider reports suggest the helmet is quieter than several the other options at the top end of the scale. A feature of note is the line of turbulators that run alongside the visor, which are designed to reduce buffeting and noise by breaking up the airflow. The X Spirit III is priced at $
3. Corsair X
The composite fiber Corsair X aims to provide riders with a round, smooth outer shell. The theory is that it glances off surfaces better than any of its competitors in the event of an accident. It comes with the Snell M2015 certification and five stars from SHARP. While it is lightweight, the helmet is heavier than many of its competitor’s offerings in this category.
A wide visor adds to the rider’s peripheral vision, making it easier to identify riders and other motorists coming upon them. The visor comes with Pinlock Max vision. There is also a whole heap of internal lining features available, including EQRS, to ensure the helmet is a nice snug fit, regardless of the head in it.
The Corsair X comes in a carbon fiber model. The Corsair X RC comes with a hefty price tag of $2,499. Unless you are looking to get out on track, the Corsair X is more than adequate coming in at around the $750 mark. Some of the helmets (depending on the size) are FIQ approved, so can be used on the track if required.
4. Scorpion EXO R1 Air Carbon
The Scorpion EXO R1 Air Carbon helmet is the street version of the GP helmet of the same name. It’s made of 3K carbon fiber. Although previous versions of this helmet used fiberglass and aramid weave. The carbon fiber used is the same as that used in the manufacture of aircraft, making the helmet incredibly strong while retaining its flexibility which allows it to dissipate some of the force in impact.
The ventilation system doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some of the competitor’s products, but it is nonetheless very efficient and more than adequate. Its bell shape aims to cut back the wind resistance by slicing through the air rather than ramming through it. This makes the helmet a lot quieter than many of the others on the market.
Like the other helmets, Scorpion’s offering has inflatable cheek pads allowing a secure fit and helping ensure the helmet remains on in the event of an accident. One of the standout features of the Scorpion helmet is the visor which is one of the largest available currently. Several visors are included to ensure you find the one that best suits your needs.
The Scorpion EXO R1 Carbon is priced at $549.
Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative Government, educational and nonprofit organizations:
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, total he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. In addition, he functioned as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.
In 1985 he is the founded AGV Sports Group in cooperation with AGV Helmets
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