Buyer’s Guide: Expensive vs Cheap Motorcycle Helmet

Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Stephen Paul Robertson

The prices of motorcycle helmets will range from about $50 to $1000. This is usually due to branding, special features, or type of helmet. The varying prices of motorcycle helmets bring a bucket load of confusion for all buyers.

Expensive VS Cheap Motorcycle Helmet–Which Is Better?

Are expensive motorcycle helmets really worth it? How can cheap helmets be as safe as expensive ones? Do expensive helmets last longer? What are the differences between cheap and expensive helmets?

Before purchasing a helmet, it is always better to engage in proper research and find all necessary answers. So, take some time to read our article; find out all you need to know!

Cheap Motorcycle Helmet

Cheap Motorcycle HelmetCheap motorcycle helmets pass the standards set by the law, meaning they do protect your head. Some cheap motorcycle helmets arguably work better than their expensive counterparts. So why are they worthless?

When it comes to producing a motorcycle helmet that is low priced, manufacturers choose to spend money on making sure it is safe. Comfort factors are neglected along with looks. This is because a helmet that is not good-looking or comfortable has customers. Anyone tight on money will opt to buy them. However, a helmet that offers no protection is just a mere decoration piece. It is not something anyone will choose to invest in.

Inexpensive motorcycle helmets do not feel snug and cozy. They have inner linings that deteriorate easily and ventilation is limited. Visors can fog up vision too, which will drive most motorcyclists to ride with the face shield up. Users end up feeling rather agonized during long rides due to the weight around their shoulders.

Anyone short on money can opt to purchase a cheap motorcycle helmet. It will diligently protect your head on the road and thus serve its purpose. If you have money to spare though, then it’s best to choose something expensive or somewhere in between. Remember that comfort also brings safety!

Expensive Motorcycle Helmet

Expensive Motorcycle HelmetExpensive motorcycle helmets are worth figures between $150 to as far as $1000. Manufacturers of such helmets give equal importance to comfort and protectability. Users are guaranteed a helmet that work hard to keep them away from head injuries.

Other than that, the helmet is lightweight and causes no strain on the shoulders. Vents are available that increase the helmet’s breathability and visors have built-in anti-fog systems. Visors in such helmets tend to be tinted too. This makes sure that the rider’s vision doesn’t face hindrance due to the glowering sun.

Despite offering good ventilation, these helmets will also block out wind noises. Hence, it manages to protect users from permanent hearing damage. Long rides wearing such helmets leave a pleasant feel in the rider’s mind.

Other than comfort and safety, expensive motorcycle helmets have looks that stand out. They have aerodynamic styles that improve riding conditions and make the motorcyclist stand out on the road.

Pricey motorcycle helmets will cushion your head during accidents with style! They allow the riders to feel at ease which improves focus. However, people do not always have the huge sum of money that manufacturers demand. This acts as a big drawback.

Differences Between Cheap and Expensive Helmets

Expensive vs Cheap Motorcycle Helmet

Besides the difference in pricing, there are several other factors through which cheap and expensive helmets vary. Grab a look to see which type will suit you better!

Difference In Comfort

Expensive helmets come with padding and inner linings that cushion the head properly. This makes them less likely to create pressure points. The ventilation system in such a helmet is advanced so that riders do not get sweaty.

Cheap helmets, on the other hand, do not factorize the user’s experience. They focus solely on safety and thus, lack cheek pads or lining. Riders are very likely to get headaches when they use such helmets for a long ride. Face shields are likely to fog up as there is a lack of proper ventilation, making them extremely uncomfortable to wear on hot days.

Difference In Weight

Expensive helmets are made of materials that are durable yet lightweight. They are significantly lighter than cheap helmets, which are made of hard plastic. This makes them the ideal choice for a long ride. Wearers will not have any neck strain and can enjoy the ride to its full extent.

Cheaper motorcycle helmets tend to create pressure around the neck. They are unsuitable for riding long distances and the discomfort can cause riders to lose focus.

Difference In Noise

When going too fast, wind noise might be a little too extreme and get over 85 decibels. This might end up causing damage to one’s hearing.

Expensive motorcycle helmets manage to block out wind noises. They will protect your ears and make sure the wind does not irritate you altogether.

Cheaper helmets usually provide no resistance against this. Open face helmets or half helmets completely let the wind in. Although many tend to enjoy this because it increases the feeling of freedom, long-term exposure will create permanent damage to the ears.

Difference In Style

A motorcycle helmet that is cheaper will focus less on style. Users are provided the bare minimum, which is safety. They do not look ugly but do not have much of an appeal to them either.

Expensive motorcycle helmets on the other hand, are pretty stylish. They come in various colors and make the rider seem attention-grabbing. Some even have sleek aerodynamic styles that will assist motorcyclists on the road.

Difference In Safety And Durability

Although there is no stark difference in safety, the material difference manages to cause a little rift.

Expensive motorcycle helmets have outer shells made of polycarbonate or fiberglass – both of which have amazing impact resistance properties. This also makes the helmet more durable.

Cheap motorcycle helmets are made of hard plastic. This does protect your head gravely in crashes but is also not up to the par with polycarbonate. Such helmets are considered being less tough.

Difference In Accessories

Accessories for expensive helmets are always expensive. Replacements of certain parts will cost you a lot, so keep that in mind before making a purchase. For cheaper helmets, accessories are extremely budget-friendly. This is why they end up causing less damage to your pocket in the long term.

Are Expensive Motorcycle Helmets Good for Casual Motorists?

Casual riders are those who usually use their bike to make short trips to places. If you are a casual rider who is tight on budget, then do consider buying a cheap motorcycle helmet. It will shield your head efficiently in crashes and serve its purpose.

However, if you have the option to choose between a pricey and low-cost helmet, it is best to choose the expensive one. This is because an expensive motorcycle helmet will provide comfort on many levels while providing improved protection. Not only your head, but your face, eyes, and ears are also protected. Such motorcycle helmets are also more durable and will last you till the expiration date.

If you are interested in something that is not too expensive or too cheap, you can check this guide to find some amazing ones!

What To Expect From Expensive Helmets?

When you choose an expensive motorcycle helmet over cheaper ones, there are some things that you can expect. These features will protect you and provide your comfort.

Higher-Quality Material

When purchasing a costly motorcycle helmet, users are gifted with durable materials. Polycarbonate, fiberglass, carbon, etc. are commonly used to make the outer shells of such helmets. These materials compress upon impact and protect the wearer’s head. A big plus point is that helmets made with such materials are lightweight.

EPS foam linings are also present on expensive helmets. These have shock-absorbing properties that manage to decrease the energy of blows caused to the head. Your head faces less of a force in the unlucky event of an accident.

Manufacturing Process

Usually, you can expect full-face helmets, modular helmets, dual face helmets, and dirt bike helmets are more costly. This is because the manufacturing process is harder and requires more precision. More material needs to be used to cover all parts of the wearer’s head.

In contrast, open face helmets or half helmets are cheaper as the production process is easier. Due to the absence of chin bars, less material is used.


Expensive helmets are more likely to have passed several tests. They will be certified by DOT, Snell Foundation, SHARP, etc. These tests are vigorous and thorough. They reassure buyers that the particular helmet offers crash protection.

Extra Features

Hinge systems, retention systems, intercom systems, pin-lock, anti-fog systems, tinted visors, etc. are some features that you can expect from expensive helmets. These will bring you more convenience and benefits on the road.

How Can Cheap Helmets Be As Safe As Expensive Ones?

Many are surprised to find out that cheap motorcycle helmets manage to get high scores on the SHARP helmet test. A lot of times, they even manage higher numbers than some expensive ones. Are cheap helmets safe?

The answer is yes!

Cheap motorcycle helmets are made of plastic materials that can compress and flex upon impact. Doing so during a crash helps in reducing the energy, meaning the amount of force transferred to the rider’s head and brain is reduced. Besides that, most cheap helmets also have an EPS foam lining which manages to suck out some of the shockwaves.

So, to sum it up, although cheap crash helmets don’t offer tons of features, they keep the rider safe. So, if you are short on money and can’t get yourself an expensive helmet, then do consider getting a cheap one. It will hopefully save you from mounting hospital bills.

A helmet that is not flexible and has a rigid structure will not be able to protect its owner. It will not bend or compress, meaning most of the energy formed in the crash is transferred to the head. This increases the chances of getting head injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

Do Expensive Helmets Last Longer?

Expensive helmets are more resistant to wear. They are made of high-quality materials that are resistant to UV and weather damage. Inner linings and chin straps are also resistant to tear. This usually makes their lifespan a little longer than that of a cheap helmet.

A cheap helmet has a good outer shell. However, manufacturers do not focus as much on inner linings, paddings, or straps. The materials used are not always up to the mark and can deteriorate with time.

With that being said, you should also keep in mind that no matter how expensive your helmet is, it will come with an expiration date. This expiration date is the same for all helmets, regardless of their worth.

A helmet needs to be swapped out for a new one as soon as it passes five years from the manufacturing date. After about three years, a motorcycle helmet’s quality starts to decline. The outer shells deteriorate and the EPS foam hardens. At a certain point, it becomes nothing more than a decorative piece that doesn’t protect your head. Hence, most experts emphasize the need to replace helmets once they expire.

More FAQs

Why don’t we make motorcycle helmets out of metal?

Using metal to make motorcycle helmets will increase your chances and scale of injury. A big amount of the energy produced due to a blow will be transferred to the head.

Why is AGV so expensive?

A lot of research goes into manufacturing the AGV helmets. They always use the best quality products that will doubtlessly benefit users.

Are Axor helmets good?

Axor helmets have DOT and ISI certification, meaning they are safe for usage. However, several experts have mentioned that they are built only for roads and not for tracks.

What is the best material for a motorcycle helmet?

Polycarbonate, fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon are considered being some of the best materials for making the outer shell. While making the impact-absorbing liners, it is best to use EPS foam.

Are all motorcycle helmet visors created equal?

No, not all motorcycle helmet visors are created equally. There are differences in material and size. Some are tinted while others are not.

Last Words

So, expensive vs cheap motorcycle helmet, which one is for you?

We have tried to hold up all the differences and benefits of each kind. Hopefully, reading them has helped you reach a conclusion. Have a safe ride!

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