Few feelings are better than the power revving beneath you as you accelerate and negotiate turns on an agile, top-of-the-line sport bike.
However, this power comes with its share of risks.
That’s why I made this list of the best sport-bike helmets, specifically choosing models that give you extra protection while still letting you cut through the air with grace.
Best Sport Bike Helmet – Quick Picks
Sport Bike Helmet Reviews
The RF-1400 has topped a number of my lists, including the best full-face motorcycle helmets overall. It's a great model, and here it is once again as one of the best helmets for sport riding.
One of the reasons it's number one on this list is its aerodynamic design that includes vortex-generating technology. This deflects wind away from the front of the helmet, which means you can accelerate and ride at high speeds more comfortably and more agilely. This has the added effect of reducing noise inside the helmet.
Additionally, if you're going to be hitting the throttle, the RF-1400 gives you added safety and security. On top of the dual EPS foam liner that absorbs and dissipates so much shock that the helmet receives the SNELL M2020 safety rating, I love the emergency quick-release system. Paramedics can use this to remove the helmet without disturbing your neck in case of an accident.
Finally, the RF-1400 is a particularly comfortable full-face helmet, so you can focus more on the ride. It has some of the best ventilation on the market, which is adjustable for year-round riding, and the interior is sweat-wicking, removable, and washable. This is great for the summer and hot climates.
- Aerodynamic, vortex-generating design
- SNELL M2020 rating
- Adjustable ventilation
- Removable, washable sweat-wicking interior
- Four shell sizes
- Top-shelf price
This helmet looks cool and fits a wide range of heads all while providing an aerodynamic ride at a fraction of the price of other models.
Just looking at the EXO-R420, you can see it has the aerodynamic shape, wide field of vision and, frankly, cool look that you want on your sport bike. It's unique and gives you a style that stands out on the street or track.
This model also has a couple of features that make it stand out, even against more expensive models like the Shoei RF-1400. For one thing, it breaks in a lot faster and more comfortably than other helmets, so you can start riding with it sooner. It also comes in extra large sizes up to 4XL, so if you have a big head and ride a sport bike, chances are this is the helmet for you.
Of course, I can't forget to mention the price. At a small fraction of the cost of top-shelf models like the RF-1400, you get a helmet that's super safe (SNELL M2015 rated in this case) and comfortable with multiple airflow vents and a KwikWick II interior.
- Unique style
- Breaks in easily
- Up to 4XL
- Budget price
- SNELL M2015 rating
- Only two shell sizes
- On the heavy side
- Few color options
This helmet's claim to fame is its integrated Sena Bluetooth system. While often a more important feature for cruiser and adventure riders, it's still a good idea to have a Bluetooth system on your sport-bike helmet. You can listen to music or take phone calls while you ride.
Okay, but the Bluetooth isn't actually why I picked it as a top sport-bike helmet. Rather, I love how lightweight it is at 3.3 pounds, and the highly streamlined design helps you cut through the air as you accelerate.
The reason it's so lightweight is that it's constructed of fiberglass and Kevlar, the same material used in bulletproof vests. In other words, it's extra safe too. It even has reflective inserts on the neck roll to make you more visible at night.
- Integrated Bluetooth
- Aerodynamic design
- Kevlar construction
- Reflective inserts
- Extensive ventilation
- Wind noise
- Face shield fogs easily
When I was younger, I always thought of Bell as a budget manufacturer, but helmets like the Race Star have definitely changed my mind. This is a top-of-the-line model designed for racing with extensive features you won't find on other helmets. Granted, it's going to run you even more the Shoei RF-1400, so I primarily recommend it if you regularly hit the track or ride frequently.
One of the main reasons I chose this helmet is its Panovision viewport that provides maximum visibility. This lets you see potential danger or obstacles to the side, even in a tucked position, and it just makes your ride more enjoyable since you can see more.
Plus, the Race Star is highly aerodynamic, featuring a rear spoiler, while still protecting your noggin at high speeds. Made of 3K carbon, it meets M2015 standards.
One last thing: Note that the Race Star has five shell sizes. I actually don't know of another helmet with so many shell options, and this lets you get a shell that's better tailored to your head, which is ultimately safer in case of an accident.
- Panovision viewport
- Racing design with rear spoiler
- 3K carbon shell
- SNELL M2015 rating
- Five shell sizes
- Mesh liner
- Very high price
Sport-Bike Helmet vs Other Styles
You might notice that a lot of these helmets also appear on other lists of mine. That’s because helmets that are good for riding sport bikes have a considerable amount of overlap with other motorcycle purposes. As a result, I want to clear up what makes a good sport-bike helmet and what I looked for when choosing the five above.
- Aerodynamic design: You likely ride a sport bike because it has a forward-tucked sitting position that allows you to take full advantage of your sport bike’s high acceleration. You want a helmet that does the same, minimizing air resistance. Some may even have features like spoilers that help you cut through the air even better.
- Wide field of vision: The tucked riding position of sport bikes can often make it harder to see other vehicles to your sides. Therefore, you want a helmet with a wide face shield so you can see as much as possible.
- Full-face protection: You might notice that all the helmets on my list are full-face helmets. While cruisers often wear open-face or half helmets for added comfort, this isn’t a good idea if you’re going to be zipping through traffic in the city. Full-face helmets, particularly those with extra-protective shells, are a better idea for sport bikes.
- Sport style: There’s a specific sport bike aesthetic that most sport-bike riders like, and that’s part of the reason they chose a sport bike in the first place. A lot of this aesthetic comes from functional necessities, like an aerodynamic design, but if you’re concerned about looks, I’ve specifically picked out helmets that match the modern sport-bike style.
If you’re riding a sport bike, especially if you take it to the track, you should be doubly concerned with the safety of your helmet. You should look for helmets with tough shells made of materials like carbon fiber, fiberglass, or Kevlar.
Additionally, you can easily get an idea for the level of protection provided by a helmet by checking the safety rating. If you’re in the US, there are two ratings to look for:
- DOT: This stands for Department of Transportation and is the government’s sticker of approval for helmet safety. Many states require your helmet meet this standard.
- Snell: The Snell Memorial foundation puts helmets through rigorous tests, and helmets that meet the standards get its approval. The ratings look like this: SNELL M2020, reflecting the set of standards the helmet met. For example, M2020 is a more recent rating than M2015.
Although safety should be your primary concern, you still want your helmet to be comfortable so you can enjoy the ride. The main things to look for include:
- Ventilation: Vents in the front and back allow air to pass through the helmet and cool you off. The more vents the better, and you want them adjustable, too, so you can direct the air or close the vents if it isn’t hot outside.
- Interior lining: The helmet’s interior lining should be soft and flexible so that it adapts to the shape of your head. It’s a nice bonus if you can take it out and wash it, too, since this prevents sweat odor from building up.
- Head shape: Helmets are classified into three head shapes: round oval, intermediate oval and long oval. Intermediate oval is the most common, so if you have a round oval or long oval head shape, pay close attention to the helmets to make sure yours will fit right.
If you ride a sport bike, you need an aerodynamic, safe, and stylish helmet to match. That’s why I highly recommend the Shoei RF-1400 Helmet for sport riders. It’s admittedly a bit of an investment, so if you’re on a tight budget, I also suggest checking out the Scorpion EXO-R420 Helmet.