The risk of head impact is the same regardless of how much you’ve spent on a motocross helmet. Despite the challenge of a limited budget, you deserve a cheap dirt bike helmet that will provide solid protection in the event of a spill.
Updated March 27th, 2023
With so many budget imports available online, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest dirt bike helmet you can find. Here at Motocross Advice, we urge all of our readers to budget as much as possible when purchasing all dirt bike safety gear, especially for your helmet. Safety is arguably the most important part of riding & racing, and a tighter budget should yield the same sound advice as the high-end market.
The budget end of the cheap mx helmet market is chock full of different choices, and it’s our job to highlight the best of these options. Off-road rides require robust safety gear, so we won’t recommend a cheap motocross helmet that would be compromised in these conditions.
As such, second-hand cheap off road helmets or cheap imports are potentially dangerous. A second-hand dirt bike can be negotiated down with cash, or your dealer can tweak a new bike finance deal to include a proper dirt bike helmet. Allow yourself a little more money for both your helmet and proper dirt bike boots regardless of the dirt bike you’re riding. Your safety isn’t worth sacrificing for a few extra bucks!
When considering the best cheap motocross helmets available for 2023, we have taken safety features, cost and manufacturer reputation seriously when making our choices. We’ve selected the best dirt bike helmets for the money in various price ranges and even test drove them ourselves for good measure! Whether you want to spend $100 at the low end or $400 at the high end, we’ve got a reliable cheap mx helmet for you to try.
Considering that premium dirt bike helmets usually price at $600 plus, we are providing you with the widest choice of affordable dirt bike gear for 2023. We’ve also updated the information on motocross helmet safety ratings at the end of this article to ensure you’re fully prepared for your next day out. Keep reading to learn more about the safety aspects of your chosen cheap dirt bike helmet!
TOP 8 Cheap Dirt Bike Helmets 2023:
1. Suomy MX Speed cheap dirt bike helmet
We’re stoked to include the Suomy MX Speed in our 2023 ultimate cheap motocross helmet guide. The MX Speed is an all-new cheap dirt bike helmet from a manufacturer that has carved out a substantial name for itself in the road racing world. Suomy has had an off-road presence throughout the 2019 season, and the MX Speed has its DNA rooted in their former MX Jump.
Suomy has opted for a contemporary carbon, Kevlar and fiberglass composite on the MX Speed cheap dirt bike helmet, and this combination weighs in under 1200gms. This lightweight design is obvious when compared to other, bulkier options, and we can say it didn’t weigh us down on our rides.
The six inner EPS sizes are split between two outer shell helmet sizes to provide an industry-standard range. The MX Speed cheap dirt bike helmet does run a half-size small, so consider grabbing an inner EPS liner that’s a size up from your measurement on the standard chart. Our team found this larger liner to provide more of a comfortable fit when you know you’ll be out the whole day.
You can also fine-tune your fit accordingly with Suomy’s full range of replacement helmet liners when yours has finally worn out. The included cheek pads have a neat finger grab for safe & quick removal trackside, and all inner linings are washable. The venting system is robust and none of our team had any complaints about feeling stuffy or hot.
While the visor system is a standard three screw style without any fancy tech to speak of, this basic setup is to be expected for only $400.
Why we chose the Suomy MX Speed cheap motocross helmet
While the Suomy may tick the box with its venting, we found that it really excels with the internal channeling included on this cheap mx helmet. The well-designed EPS liner follows the design standards set by premium dirt bike helmets, and this is obvious when you’re whipping around.
We also like that Suomy is allowing for modern motocross goggle trends. Goggles have grown in size over time, and this ultimately means that some goggles now fail to sit comfortably on older budget dirt bike helmet designs. Tight-fitting goggles have the effect of reducing airflow via the port, and this is especially inconvenient on hot days. The Suomy MX Speed allows you to use larger goggles and still achieve maximum air intake, and our team found that to be a huge selling point.
Part of the design upgrade from the MX Jump includes the introduction of a MIPS liner so that you can ride with complete confidence. MIPS is an industry standard for dirt bike helmets, and you won’t have to worry about protection if your moves don’t exactly go as planned. We stick by our pick of the Suomy MX Speed and the protection it offers.
Suomy MX Features:
- Suomy MIPS System
- Removable and washable liner
- Tri-composite shell
- Extensive venting system
- Oversize goggle aperture
- Traditional D-ring strap design
Suomy MX Speed Safety Certification
- ECE Rated
2. Just1 J12 cheap dirt bike helmets
Italian company Just1 started producing dirt bike helmets back in 2011, and their products are the brain child of motocross and off-road enthusiast Tony Amoriello. Just1 was launched with the intent of making the best motocross helmets across several price points. Having worked alongside many leading riders, Tony heard various complaints about their budget dirt bike helmets and the features they lacked. These insights led Tony to start Just1, and the rest is history.
Since their launch, several world-class major title winners have sported Just1. These shining stars include Tim Gajser, winner of the 2016 MXGP and the 2015 MX2 FIM Motocross World title, as well as Klemen Gercar, who won the 2013 MX3 title. With riders of this caliber trusting Just1 equipment, they’ve set themselves apart for our consideration.
Just1 J12 main features:
The J12 cheap dirt bike helmet has an adjustable visor with an Allen screw system and an elongated peak. This extra length allowed our riders both a wider range of adjustment and protection from mud and roost on messier rides.
Three large chin bar vents, five brow vents, as well as two top vents kept us cool in warm conditions. Airflow easily travels through the EPS liner on this cheap mx helmet, and this pushes warm air towards the rear ports. The included venting design is easily on par with other premium helmets we’ve test driven.
The J12 has a removable wicking liner that is anti-microbial and fully washable, which is perfect for nastier days in the saddle. The cheek pads have a quick release ring strap on each side to allow for safe removal in an emergency, and the redesigned inner padding led to a comfortable ride with a well-fitting cheap motocross helmet.
The J12 has a wide range of 19 color options, and two shell sizes are available so you can pick your perfect fit on this cheap dirt bike helmet. The small ranges from 53 to 58 centimeters, while the large fits 59 to 63 centimeters.
Why we chose the Just1 J12 cheap motocross helmet
The new J12 12k boasts a full carbon fibre shell for under $450, and it weighs in at just 1100gms. While anything is possible, we think this is just about the best deal you’ll find on carbon fiber construction.
A neat design feature that the J12K integrates is their signature Neck Brace Front Fit (NBFF). Just1 has considered how a cheap motocross helmet interacts with a neck brace in the event of an accident, compared to many import helmets we’ve tried that do not have this level of design.
Finally, the sub $450 price point makes the J12K incredible value for money. There are a ton of cheap dirt bike helmets in the $350 to $450 price range, but few combine the weight and comfort of the J12. We see this cheap mx helmet as a starter helmet for any rider with a larger budget. The safety technology is somewhat limited, but for a weekend rider who wants a lightweight carbon lid with proper venting, this is a great choice.
Even if you don’t want to fork over the full $429 for the premium version, a 3k carbon fiber equivalent is available for just over $300 with NBFF included. We think the J12 cheap dirt bike helmet is a solid choice for riders who want the best on a budget.
Just1 J12 features:
- Full carbon external shell
- 2 shell sizes
- 2 EPS sizes
- Emergency cheek pad removal
- Traditional double D strap system
Just1 J12 Safety Certification
- C.E. Certification
- DOT & ECE Certification
3. Fly Racing F2 MIPS cheap mx helmet
Fly Racing overhauled their F2 cheap motocross helmet in 2018 by redesigning the chin bar, reducing the weight and then dropping the price! The inclusion of a carbon & Kevlar composite at this price is, frankly, an absolute steal.
Our riders reported extreme comfort on their rides with the F2. Part of this comfort is thanks to the removable & washable interior padding, as well as the low overall weight of this cheap mx helmet. We can easily say that you won’t be bogged down with this budget option.
Standard fixing keeps the visor in place, but Fly has upped the game yet again by retaining an adjustable peak on this cheap dirt bike helmet. The Fly Racing F2 also offers plenty of color schemes, and with the recent upgrades, it’s hard to find reasons to spend more money.
Why we chose the F2 MIPS cheap dirt bike helmet
Fly has thought hard about the features versus the cost on the F2 since they know there are plenty of cheap motocross helmets on the market. While many riders may have a favourite manufacturer or specific requirements when helmet shopping, the Fly F2 is tough to beat purely on value for money.
We are big fans of the Fly Racing True-vent system. It not only allows for excellent airflow, but the intelligent design actually promotes the demisting of goggles and recycles air through the peak. This recycled air is pushed back into the dirt bike helmet to help draw heat away from the head when things get sweaty. Very neat, not to mention convenient on warmer days!
While other cheap dirt bike helmets by Fly exist, the F2 makes the cut for our best cheap motocross helmet guide 2023 because of the integrated MIPS system. The lower density EPS used by Fly not only saves weight, but also retains a shock absorption design for increased dissipation of energy. Our riders felt both comfortable and protected in our time out, and we can say this cheap mx helmet did not have a budget feel despite its price point.
Fly Racing has created a value option by really thinking about what riders want and how much they have to spend to get it. If you are a new rider, or a rider who is moving into racing, the F2 MIPS helmet is packed with features and should be on your shortlist.
Fly F2 2023 Features:
- Carbon fibre and Kevlar composite construction
- Dual-density EPS inner
- CoolMax comfort liner & cheek pads
- Removable and washable interior
- Ten air intakes with four exhaust vents
- Four demisting vents to draw air away from goggles
Fly F2 Safety Certification
- SNELL 2015
4. Fox Racing V1 cheap mx helmet
Fox has the full off-road spectrum covered from dirt bike gear to cheap dirt bike helmets. The Fox V1 is a great starter helmet, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s under $200. The V1 underwent a full redesign a few seasons ago and it’s a capable cheap dirt bike helmet that certainly looks the business.
Even at entry-level, we still see features like adequate air venting, removable interior padding and the enhanced impact visor system. These highlights set the V1 apart from other cheap motocross helmets.
We expect to see some sacrifices at sub $200, and this translates to the V1 being a heavier model. It is certainly not the heaviest in its class, though.
Why we chose the Fox V1 cheap dirt bike helmet
We consider the V1 to be one of the best entry-level cheap motocross helmets you can buy. The V1 features Fox’s Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS) to manage rotational forces. This pro-level feature replaces traditional visor screws with magnets, and thus allows the visor to release from the helmet in the event of a crash. Fox has listened to the feedback on the original and strengthened this system so that it is more robust at speed. Though we can’t speak on crashing, our riders did note that this visor system was dependable when catching excessive roost.
In the process of Fox redesigning their entry-level lid from the floor up, they also massively improved the airflow. A cooler cheap dirt bike helmet means a higher level of comfort when riding hard in warm conditions, and aside from the weight, our riders agreed with that assessment. Fox has also introduced four specific shell sizes for a more true-to-size fit and feel.
The V1 cheap mx helmet comes complete with a removable and washable liner, as well as cheek pads for comfort after repeated use.
Fox V1 Features
- MVRS – Magnetic Visor Release System releases in the event of a crash
- Lightweight injection moulded polycarbonate & ABS shell construction
- Four shell sizes, and four EPS sizes for a precise fit
- Removable and washable comfort liner and cheek pads
- Nine intakes and four exhaust vents for optimum airflow
Fox V1 Safety Certifications
- Exceeds ECE 22.05
- Exceeds DOT
- Meets ACU Gold for competitive riding in the UK
5. O’Neal Hexx 5 budget motocross helmet
O’Neal has over 49 years of racing experience, and this legacy puts them firmly into our ranks for the best budget dirt bike helmet. The Hexx 5 helmet is an example of their value range of products. Constructed from a light polycarbonate material with essential features you want to see on a cheap dirt bike helmet, it is one for your shortlist.
Even though ratings are subjective, we can’t help but take notice of the high number of reputable certifications it has. Not bad for a budget option.
Why we chose the O’Neal Hexx 5 cheap dirt bike helmet
Our riders backed the claim of an excellent venting system on the Hexx 5. There are enough vents front and back to create a good airflow through this cheap mx helmet. The shell liner is O’Neal’s patented CoolMax liner, which is designed to draw moisture away from your face and head on warm days.
The inner liner of the Hexx 5 cheap dirt bike helmet is very well padded, making for a firm and extremely comfortable fit, not to mention the protection it provides. An adjustable visor comes standard on the Hexx 5, and this is always a selling point with our team both for crash safety and roost concerns.
As a bonus, the Hexx 5 features several replacement parts, making long term use and servicing an easy job. We have no problem recommending the Hexx 5 as a budget motocross helmet for both safety and comfort.
Hexx 5 Features:
- Lightweight ABS shell construction
- CoolMax® liner, removable/washable
- Adjustable visor design
- Multiple air vents help keep you cool and dry
- Replacement parts available
Hexx 5 Safety Certificates:
- Meets DOT
- Meets ECE 22-05
- Meets AS/NZS
- Meets ACU Gold for competitive riding in the UK
6. Airoh Twist cheap MX helmet
Italian helmet manufacturer Airoh has some popular budget dirt bike helmets that have gained traction amongst road and trail riders, some of which are on TeamMA! Their Twist helmet falls nicely into the category of cheap dirt bike helmets, and while it’s not quite carbon fiber, the high-resistant thermoplastic shell design is reliable and notable on the starting line.
Standard front and rear venting, adjustable peak and a wide field of vision make the Airoh Twist a contender for the best budget dirt bike helmet for 2023.
Why we chose the Airoh Twist cheap motocross helmet
As is standard with most other cheap mx helmets, the removable and washable lining on the Airoh Twist is easy to maintain and remove after a long, sweaty ride. The double D chin strap stood out for being easy to secure, and our team liked the removable dust filter for even more protection from debris. Especially in drier climates, this feature can go a long way.
The inside of the Twist offers Airoh’s signature ASN (Airoh Sliding Net) for both impact sliding and ventilation, and our riders found that it covers the ventilation part pretty well. A neat rear spoiler is also included to reduce draft and keep the Twist stable even at high speeds. With its safety certification and a robust design standard, the Airoh Twist is one cheap dirt bike helmet you can buy with confidence.
Airoh Twist Features:
- Thermoplastic shell
- Adjustable peak
- Removable and washable liner & filter
- 1200-gram weight
Airoh Twist Safety Certificates:
- Meets ECE 22.05
- Meets DOT
- Meets ACU Gold for competitive riding in the UK
7. H.J.C. i50 cheap dirt bike helmet
HJC has been manufacturing quality helmets since the early ’70s, and they’ve built an enviable reputation with riders all over the world. They are one of the few manufacturers to have developed their own in-house wind tunnels, and as such, their commitment to safety and design is unmatched.
These wind tunnels are even used by other helmet manufacturers to test new models and achieve solid results. HJC are renowned for their contemporary designs and innovative ideas, and the i50 budget motocross helmet brings these concepts to life.
Why we chose the H.J.C i50 budget motocross helmet
With their budget dirt bike helmet, our team loved the tough and aggressive looking product that HJC has designed. HJC are no slouches when it comes to technology, and this is obvious with their shock-absorbent EPS liner and patented SLID system to maximize impact protection.
The i50 is very contemporary and it features an oversize goggle port for today’s larger goggles. There is an expected level of airflow and venting that’s standard for current helmet design. While this cheap mx helmet isn’t exactly light at 1450 grams, our team could feel the high-quality design and comfort once the helmet was on.
The mentioned impact liner and SLID system show how serious HJC are about crash protection. A dedicated rotational impact feature at this price point is very welcome. Should you be unfortunate enough to receive a sideways blow to the head, this system will reduce the amount of rotational acceleration that your head and neck experience. TeamMA always advocates for thoughtful safety, and the i50 cheap dirt bike helmet has got what we look for at a budget price.
H.J.C. i50 Features:
- Advanced polycarbonate shell
- Dual positions for goggle band to provide comfort
- Superior ventilation with nine intakes & four exhaust channels
- Sliding Layer Impact Distribution (SLID) reduces rotational acceleration
- Aerodynamic and adjustable shatterproof peak visor
H.J.C. i50 Safety Certification
- Complies with ECE 22:05
- Complies with DOT
8. Fly Kinetic cheap dirt bike helmets
Fly Racing is another brand that we see a lot of in the off-road, dirt bike and motocross communities, and they have a solid reputation for exceptional products. This is Fly’s second appearance on our best cheap dirt bike helmet list, and we can’t say we’re surprised.
Why we chose the Fly Kinetic budget mx helmet
The Fly Kinetic is an entry-level, polycarbonate lid for those who want maximum performance from a minimal budget. Even though this budget dirt bike helmet is the cheapest on our list, our riders insist that it still does the job more than adequately.
The Kinetic is a great starter cheap mx helmet for any self-respecting dirt bike rider, and it’ll both protect you and keep you comfortable. Basic features include an EPS liner for shock absorption and a washable interior padding system. The included helmet bag is a nice touch for keeping your gear safe off the track, too.
The venting is solid for such a cheap dirt bike helmet. All Fly helmets have TFV (True Functional Ventilation), meaning air is forced through multiple air intake vents, passed through aligned vent channels in the EPS, and exited via numerous rear exhaust vents. Our riders didn’t report any issues with staying cool, and that’s how we like it.
The most significant win here is dual-layer EPS. For such an affordable helmet, this is a critical safety feature which will increase the rate of shock absorption when you experience an impact. This feature sets the Kinetic apart from many mass-produced cheap motocross helmets, and ultimately makes it a helmet we can recommend as one of the best motocross helmets under 200 dollars.
Fly Kinetic Features
- Durable and lightweight polymer shell
- Dual-density EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) liner
- True Functional Ventilation (TVF) with multiple intakes & exhausts
- Removable and washable comfort liner and cheek pads
- Replaceable high-flow mouthpiece
- Custom molded rubber trim & nose guard
Fly Kinetic Safety Certifications
- Exceeds DOT
- Complies with ECE
Necessary steps to follow when buying a cheap dirt bike helmet
There is little room for compromise when protecting your head, and your helmet is one of the most critical safety items you will ever buy. Head impacts are all too easy to sustain, and the resulting injuries can have serious consequences. Spend as much as you can spare from your budget on a reliable budget mx helmet! If a budget needs trimming, then try taking it from less important areas like dirt bike gear or gloves. Whereas sales happen all the time, you shouldn’t discount your safety!
While there is a considerable array of cheap dirt bike helmets in this price category, many are not up to the demands of dirt bike riding, ATV riding, Enduro, motocross and the like.
When compiling this list, we have tried to suggest cheap motocross helmets that we would feel comfortable using on a weekend off-road ride with friends. The cheap dirt bike helmets in this review would also be suitable for a rider who is looking to start competing in entry-level classes. We recommend stepping up to a more robust helmet for any other serious use or competition.
Safety Ratings for cheap dirt bike helmets
Safety is relative, and there are several safety standards which are used to classify a cheap motocross helmet as safe. A helmet that is safe for a short ride to the shops may prove to fall short for anyone riding off-road in a local competition or on more challenging terrain. Therefore, a certificate of safety is not always enough to prove fitness for purpose.
When choosing the best budget dirt bike helmets in this guide, we have made sure that all of the cheap motocross helmets have a minimum level of safety classification. Ultimately, it is up to you to make sure that the cheap mx helmet you buy is right for your intended use. To help you do that, we’ve included a few basics about helmet safety certification below.
The D.O.T. Rating for cheap dirt bike helmets
The DOT rating is somewhat outdated, and it’s considered to be a minimum level of protection. A DOT rating is applied to a product by the manufacturer, and self-certification has obvious integrity issues since it’s not too difficult for a manufacturer to make sure their product passes.
Also, the DOT rating does not include any testing for the chin bar. This is problematic, since the chin bar is one of the most essential areas of a budget dirt bike helmet when riding off-road. A rider cannot automatically assume that a cheap motocross helmet with a DOT rating is safe for motocross riding, and we recommend doing more research to ensure the helmet is ideal for its intended use.
Sharp Helmet Rating for cheap motocross helmets
The Sharp Helmet Rating was introduced in 2007 by the U.K. government as a supporting standard to the European E.C.E. rating. This controversial standard has been questioned by many in the industry, largely because of its star rating system. A well-made budget dirt bike helmet can hold the same rating as a $600 helmet, and some riders feel that this is misleading.
However, it is essential to note that the Sharp system does analyze cheap dirt bike helmets that the department has bought off the shelf. Sharp also analyses data from real-life incidents, and this helps to eliminate unwanted manufacturer influence, unlike the DOT certification. Again, when purchasing a cheap mx helmet, a Sharp rating should be taken into consideration along with other vital factors to make your best decision.
E.C.E. Rating for cheap dirt bike helmets
The ECE rating is one of the more stringent test standards, since the European standard takes a more extensive range of factors into account. These considerations include visor strength and the field of vision available to the rider. ECE can be viewed as a good indication of helmet safety when buying a cheap motocross helmet.
However, ECE is not without its criticisms. The fact that the piercing test is always carried out on the same zone of the budget motocross helmet is viewed as problematic by some, since technically the manufacturer can beef up the protection in just that area of the helmet and get a pass. With that being said, the ECE is one of the most reliable safety metrics out there, and we consider this to be a minor gripe.
A.C.U. Gold Standard (UK Only)
The ACU is the Auto Cycle Union for competitive motorcycle racing in the United Kingdom. To compete in the U.K., your budget mx helmet must reach this standard and have their distinctive gold sticker on it. An ACU standard is a mark of race-proven quality.
Other points to consider when buying cheap dirt bike helmets:
- Testing Standards – Any test standard will have its critics, and there are a few standout systems like ECE and ACU that are quite reliable. However, it’s important to do your research and see if the safety mechanisms and metrics on your budget dirt bike helmet are sufficient for you and the riding you intend to do!
- Brand Reputation – Motocross, dirt bike riding, ATV and Enduro are a tight-knit family of sports, and reputations are important. Check out which brands of helmets the top riders are wearing, and see which brands are investing in sponsorship or have a strong presence within the scene. Which companies are spending money on the development of cheap dirt bike helmet safety features? These are the type of dirt bike gear brands that will ultimately have a solid reputation. It doesn’t hurt to ask around at your local track and find out what your mates are recommending as well.
- Head Measurement – Finally, and perhaps most important of all, be sure to have your head size measured before you purchase a cheap motocross helmet! Test the helmet once you get it to ensure the fit of your helmet is right.
To Sum Up Cheap Dirt Bike Helmets:
- Always make sure you have your head measured accurately before buying your first budget mx helmet.
- Check with your local race association (if racing is your intended use) to find out what they require in terms of safety certification for cheap dirt bike helmets.
- Certification is only a guide. It is best to research yourself to make sure the cheap motocross helmet you are buying is fit for its intended use.
- Consider ventilation, safety features and the materials used when evaluating a budget dirt bike helmet for dirt bike riding.
There we have it! I hope our article has given you a clearer idea of what to look for in a cheap dirt bike helmet. If this article has made you think about your budget and you’ve decided to spend more, check out our Premium helmet guide for even more ideas!
We will be back with more motocross advice soon.
Have fun out there!