|Fox Racing V3 Dirt bike helmets – Seca Ken Roczen LE||FOX Racing|
|Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex||Bell|
|Shoei VFX-W – Grant 2||Shoei|
|Troy Lee SE4 Factory Carbon||Troy Lee|
|6D Helmets ATR-1||6D Helmets|
|Arai VX-Pro 4||Arai|
Throughout my motocross career, I’ve used many different kinds of dirt bike helmets. One of my first dirt bike helmets was an Arai, which had a removable chin protection piece, so you could ride with your face unprotected if you wanted. While that had the benefit of making the helmet lighter it also made riding quite a bit more dangerous. So back in 1997, when I was only 4 years old it wasn’t long after first getting into riding, that my face was full of abrasions and cuts,.
Today the options are a lot better. Nowadays it is hard to find a helmet that comes with removable chin protection, at least this goes for dirt bike riding. On the other hand, the selection of different dirt bike helmets has grown enormous. So much so, that there are so many different brands and price ranges that it can be really frustrating to find the right one. In this review, I’m going to narrow down on the Best Dirt Bike Helmets of 2017, so that you could make the very best decision about which helmet to buy.
TOP 5 Best Dirt Bike Helmets 2017
1. Fox Racing V3 Dirt bike helmets – Seca Ken Roczen LE
FOX Brand has done an exceptional job with their marketing over past decades and this has put them in first place of motocross gear manufacturing. Their gear is also being used by people like Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey,who are currently the best in the world in motorcross.
The Seca edition was made for the Glen Helen GP as a limited edition helmet. With the V3 helmet series you’ll get the premium quality of protection and lightness and this makes it one of the best dirt bike helmet for the money. Its carbon layer makes the helmet one of the best on the market right now. Besides that, there are materials inside the helmet expertly designed to absorb fluids and keep your head dry and cool.
What makes Fox motocross helmets stand out?
One of the really notable things about Fox V3 helmets is their Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS):
They test cheaper dirt bike helmets by simply dropping them vertically onto firm ground. Unsurprisingly, when you fall on a bike you do not usually land vertically. Instead you fall in an angle which really makes the cheaper dirt bike helmets fairly useless. And what tends to happen, when your head falls on the ground in an angle, is that it creates rotation in your brain, which can lead to serious damage. This is exactly where MIPS comes to aid, as this system will protect your head from impact from any angle by absorbing the rotational energy and greatly diminishing the damage you head takes in a fall. It was worked on and perfected over several years by dedicated Swedish scientists and professionals.
The MIP system works on the same principle as your brain. Your brain is protecting itself with the use of low-friction fluids that absorb shock and therefore protect your brain from damage. MIPS has a similar kind of low-friction buffer built inside the helmet that absorbs shock from any angle and fends off serious damage to your head.
So your brain protection system and FOX helmets MIP system work together to make this one of the safest dirt bike helmets on the market in 2017.
See the Fox V3 2017 Dirt Bike helmet review here: Fox Dirt Bike Gear 2017
2. Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex Helmet
Bell set for themselves the goal of creating a dirt bike helmet that can be used for a long time. Their mission was to come up with a helmet that has the long-term ability to withstand energy from low, mid and high-speed impacts. Succesfully, they put out a helmet with a lot of durability that you can safely ride with any kind of speed, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a pro.
Bell also developed their lining with the purpose of making the helmet as individually fitting to the wearer as possible. On top of that it also offer a lot of neck support. I tested it and found it to be a really clever design and really one of the most comfortable helmets I’ve tried.
Various tests have proven that the Moto-9 Flex helmet is the most advanced helmet that Bell has ever put out. It has the ability to reduce linear and rotational energy to the head from low, mid and high-speed impacts, that vital capacity is in fact the main thing that the tests consistently demonstrated.
I firmly believe that Moto-9 Flex dirt bike helmets will set a new benchmark in the dirt bike helmet industry and this is one of the best value dirt bike helmet on the market in 2017.
Bell helmets – Main technologies
Progressive layering – A revolutionary three-core progressive layering system for absorbing kinetic energy from three different speed levels: low, mid and high-speed impacts
Adaptive fit – The Moto-9 features segmented construction, automatically conforming to the riders head for a better fit and more predictable energy management
Rotational energy management – A “Slip zone” within the impact liner allows for subtle movement between the inner layers and works to lessen rotational energy from angular impacts.
Ventilation – With the new segmented and flexible liner in the Moto-9 Flex, Bell helmets was able to improve upon the already proven Velocity Flow Ventilation system to provide even better airflow in the helmet
Here are some things I really liked about the helmet when I was testing it:
- It fits perfectly. It feels like the helmet has been specifically made just for my head shape, the new lining also does an excellent job at supporting my head and neck, which makes riding really comfortable. Even more, when you happen to buy this helmet from Rocky Mountain, you get a size guarantee, which means that if the ordered helmet does not fit, you get to change it for free.
- Really easy to wash the lining. The magnetic cheek pads in the helmet are effortlessly easy to remove and clean
- Excellent ventilation. The highly impressive cooling system sends an inflow of air onto the chin and forehead. This makes for a steady flow of abundant air passing throughout their dirt bike helmets
- The helmet weighs 3.4 pounds. While not not the lightest helmet on the market it definitely isn’t the heaviest neither. Its safety features and ventilation system inevitably add to its overall weight. But as somebody who has ridden with many different kinds of dirt bike helmets, I can say with confidence that this model is defnitely in the class of lightweight dirt bike helmets.
3. Shoei VFX-W Helmet – Grant 2
So now we’ve made it to the Shoei dirt bike helmets. Shoei is one of the Best Dirt Bike Helmet Brand.This is a company famous for their uncompromising safety standards and the lightness of their dirt bike helmets. Shoei VFX-W is one of the lightest motocross helmet you could find in 2017. This can not really be achieved without using the very best materials that there are, materials competently employed in their patented AIM+ system (Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus),which has made their helmets one of the best on the market right now. If you are looking for a Premium class helmet and are willing to pay slightly more, then keep reading.
Shoei Dirt Bike Helmets – Main technology achievements
Shoei’s proprietary AIM+ is a technology which combines fiberglass with organic fibers into an ingenious composition of materials, that makes the helmet so hard that it can only be cut with a laser. It is also designed to absorb and distribute the force of an impact in a safe and efficient way. The leading idea for them was always to make a helmet that is as strong and as light as possible.
Emergency Quick-Release System (EQRS). This safety feature is one of my favorite things about this helmet. Imagine having an awful crash that puts you in need of immediate medical attention. Your helmet has to be taken off, but it certainly can’t be simply yanked off of your head for danger of causing more damage to your potentially already injured head or neck. Shoei dirt bike helmets has a really cool system (EQRS), that lets you remove the cheek pads aswell as the lining really easily. This way the helmet can be quickly and safely removed and you can be attended to right away. A simple feature that might end up saving your life.
Ventilation System. There are several well placed ventilation canals inside that bring in streams of airflow into your helmet. These canals are part of a system along with the dual-density EPS liner (Inner liner features air channels for efficient cooling), 3D Max-Dry (Proprietary synthetic fiber absorbs and exhausts body liquids 2X faster than conventional nylon) and with numerous interior and exterior vents. All this makes for a comprehensive and a well thought system, that is sure to keep your head cool and comfortable.
More awesome things about this helmet
- Shoei is so assured in their technology that their helmets come with an uncommonly long guarantee. You can get a 7-year guarantee that starts on the date the helmet was manufactured or you get can a 5-year guarantee starting from the moment you bought your helmet. This is a super cool thing that they do. Many riders I know have had Shoei helmets throughout their careers and none of them have needed to use the guarantee.
- Its a pretty badass looking helmet.Their new design and colouring look just amazing, it’s obvious that they’ve done some serious work with it. This particular model is Josh Grant’s, and it’s also one of my favourite ones. You can choose between two sets of colors on it: yellow-blue-black or red-blue-black.
- I really like how this thing fits on my head.Sure, not every head has the same shape, but Shoei has managed to design their dirt bike helmets in away that allows for alot of that variation. Finding a helmet that fits, can be a hard things for me, but this is is one of the few ones that does. I would recommend trying it to anyone, irrespective of your head size or shape. While it is somewhat of a more expensive pick, what kinds of concessions are you really willing to make when it comes to your safety and comfort? Also this is one of the best lightweight dirt bike helmet on the market!
See which dirt bike features are the most important from here: How To Buy a Dirt Bike Helmet in 2017?
4. Troy Lee SE4 Factory Carbon Helmet
First thing to note about this helmet is that it is completely new. Troy Lee’s designers went back to the drawing board, made use of new materials and rebuilt this helmet from the ground up, coming out with something really pretty astonishing. The previous model – the SE3, was for a long time, quite deservedly, their top product, but the SE4 is a whole other animal, the improvements that they made to it have set an entirely new standard. Just as could be said of all the other manufacturers mentioned here, Troy Lee employed all their wits and the sum of their know-how in order to push their limits and develop the safest helmet available on the market.
The SE4 is a Premium class full face helmet. The external shell is made from carbon kevlar which makes it both light and durable. And it really is very light, depending on the size, it comes close to the 3 pound mark, making it the lightest helmet that TLD has ever made. When you’re trying it on, you can immediatly feel that there’s still alot room around the ears. This does a good job at improving your hearing inside the helmet and therefore giving you increased awareness of your surroundings, compared to helmets that are tight around the ears. Another feature to note is the brand new ventilation scheme, that exhibits a clever rethinking of the placements for air intake. More specifically, the chin part is changed, aswell as the forehead part. There are four intakes on the fourhead now, driving the air straight to the area around your goggles, which helps in drying any sweat that could start dripping into your eyes. And on the back of the helmet there are several vents that pump out moist and hot air, all resulting in a perfectly breathing helmet.
To be more specific
Troy Lee SE4 also makes use of the MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) as the FOX helmet (above). The technology is put into the Carbon and Kevlar composite shell, which is a really light shell (2.9 pds / 1.3 kg). The idea of the MIPS technology is to deflect energy from different angled impacts, ensureing protection on all sides aswell as from rotational energy. The lightness of the MIP system also speaks to its quality, making riding easier while still offering outstanding protection to your head.
Furthermore, TLD has a three-layer EPS liner inside the helmet. The purpose of the EPS liner is to handle low, mid and high speed impacts. On top of that it keeps you from straining your neck, eliminates pressure points preventing pain or discomfort and it has an impressive total of 21 ventilation ports, which effortlessly keep your head cool and dry.
Anatomical cheek pads with an emergency release system. This is the same system as Shoei’s (above), very useful in getting your head out safely in the event of a bad crash.
The inside is easily removable. That makes the helmet really easy to wash and to get the dirt out of even the narrowest places. Also comes with a comfort liner composed of CoolMax and Dri-Lex moisture wicking materials, which is an amazing, not to be undervalued, feature in this helmet. I’ve been testing the helmet for two weeks now and I got to say that it really does absorb sweat well.
Top riders like Cole Seely have said that riding in such a safe helmet gives you the confidence required to take your bike to its full potential. I have to agree on this one. Once you have one of the safest helmets on and you know and rightly trust the technology put into it, it really does seem as if its giving you some extra horsepowers.
Like always TLD handles the looks and the design of their helmets really well and the SE4 Factory is another great example of that. Coming in three sizes, the eyeful of bold colors and cool patterns make this helmet look unique and timeless. Buying the Troy Lee SE4 dirt bike helmet is most definitely one of the best choices you can make, if you are looking for a Premium class motocross or off-road helmet, which is safe, comfortable and cool to ride with.
5. 6D Helmets ATR-1
Well, this is certainly something really interesting. For starters, 6D is a helmet oriented company that only manufactures helmets and their stated priority is to make truly safe and durable dirt bike helmets. This makes 6D one of the Best Dirt Bike Helmet Brands in the field in 2017. If a company only focuses on one type of category and also happens to be popular, then they surely must have something worth paying attention to. Even though 6D Helmets is quite a new company, that hasn’t been active on the market for very long they have already well established themselves as a force that is not to be overlooked. Their gear is used by Geico Honda team and all the riders are known to be very happy with their helmet. The one thing that every one of them unfailingly points to is the capacity for providing protection.
6D Dirt Bike Helmets – What they did
As I said, their key priority is to provide the very safest helmets on the market. The biggest achievement of this model is its ODS TECHNOLOGY. The patented Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS), which is made up of the 100% active in-helmet suspension and the kinetic energy managing setup. The function of this technology is to decrease energy transfer to the brain. The system can handle a broad range of kinetic energy, like low, medium and high speed impacts with either linear or angular accelerations. This is the main feature that has made 6D dirt bike helmets one of the safest on the market right now.
ELASTOMERIC ISOLATION DAMPER
The key feature of ODS technology are the 27 dampers in the helmet, that work in unison to isolate the impact energy from the human brain. The dampers are placed between two layers of EPS liners, being also necessary to keep the liners in motion. So if you happen to crash, the isolation dampers instantly absorb the energy, keeping your head from getting banged, even if you were to fall on an angular acceleration.
The system (omni-directional suspension) gives you 6-degrees of freedom. That is also where the name “6D” came from.
Watch more about the technology here:
I have to say that I had heard about 6D Dirt Bike Helmets before, but I sure didn’t know about the technology. In fact it was only two weeks before I started working on this post that I got the helmet for testing.
Lets put the technology aside for a minute and talk a little about the many interesting features that you will notice when you put this helmet on:
This helmet is a bit heavier than the other ones. The weight of this helmet comes to 1590 grams which is about 3,5 pounds But, as they themselves have said, „safety is above everything else“ and you can’t really fault them for that approach. Indeed, the quality of the safety technology easily outweighs (so to speak) the overall weight of the helmet.
- Provides really good air flow when riding. It has 8 intakes, 13 transfers and 4 effective exhaust ports making for a combination that does a reliably good job at keeping you feeling good and cool when riding in hot weather.
- The viser has a great design. Its design is based on recommendations from some of the greatest riders around. Its faceted shape blocks any dirt or rocks that can get kicked up by the riders going infront of you. In a situation like that you are really going to miss it, if your viser doesn’t provide for that.
- I am quite convinced that this helmet brand will be really successful. They launched the system in 2013 and already it has some seriously good reviews from one of the top riders in the world.
6. BONUS HELMET: Arai VX-Pro 4
If you are looking for a top quality full face helmet that will protect your head when riding enduro, cross country, and motocross tracks, take a look at the Arai VX-Pro 4 helmet. This is definitely one of the best dirt bike helmets out there.
The VX-Pro 4 by Arai is the successor of the very well-known VX-Pro 3. Of course, the new version has a few updates to make it an even better choice for riders. The first update is the brand new helmet visor/peak. The new visor is 14mm longer and 5mm wider. This larger shape helps reflect roost and other flying debris much better than the previous version. Since this new version of the peak is much bigger, Arai added larger air outlets to prevent lift. Also included in the updates to the helmet is the new removable neck roll. This device supports the neck in the event of a crash. Making it removable was a great choice by Arai as it allows for the helmet to be easily cleaned.
Arai has been known as a pioneer for different internal shapes of a helmet. The different shapes have been an attempt to make the most comfortable and best fitting dirt bike helmet. The intermediate oval shape used in the VX-Pro 4 offers supreme comfort and is one of the best feeling helmets to wear. Of course, head shape varies from person to person so it may still be worth trying one for yourself before buying. This helmet is definitely recommend though if comfort is on the top of your list.
Visually Arai has created a rather sleek but aggressive look with the VX-Pro 4. The concept was to keep the shell and chin bar smooth and not protruding to prevent catching and dragging on the ground in the event of a crash. The large rear air ducts are what gives the helmet the aggressive look. Of course the air ducts also direct airflow and improve the cooling of the helmet. There are also many color options available that will suit the wants of almost any buyer.
Other reasons that make this possibly the best dirt bike helmet include an emergency release system that works by pulling a tab to release the cheek pads, and then allow the shell to be removed without jarring the neck or causing more damage to an injured rider. A goggle strap locater has been included in the helmets design in order to keep the google strap in the right position, and prevent sliding even during aggressive rides.
If you are looking for the best dirt bike helmet, then the Arai VX-Pro 4 is definitely worth a look. They spared no expense in the design of this helmet and result is safe, lightweight, comfortable helmet that you can’t really go wrong with.
Maintaining your dirt bike helmet is important even if it is brand new and from Premium class. Read how to clean and maintain your dirt bike helmet the right way.
Also see my review about TOP 8 Cheap Dirt Bike Helmets – under 200$