Best Motorcycle Half Helmets
Half helmets lack a face shield and only cover the top of your head, leaving your face, neck, and ears vulnerable to impact. Still, they're a rider's favorite, as they offer unrivaled ventilation, a terrific view, and attractive aesthetics, which you can match to your bike or personality. Wear sunglasses, goggles, a headband, or a bandanna for a swankier style and extra eye protection.
Here's a list of the best bike half helmets:
If you're in the market for a well-balanced helmet with a ton of functionality crammed into a minimalist design, the GMax GM65 is the one you're looking for. The helmet sports a premium-painted outer shell, which is an excellent representation of both the comfort and performance you should expect from a half helmet.
In fact, there aren't many half-helmet models on the current market that could match the level of comfort offered by the GMax GM65 helmet, which is renowned for being among the most comfortable ones available. This is partly due to the comfort lining, which incorporates Coolmax moisture-wicking material, keeping your head dry and cool, even when riding in a warmer temperature.
To ensure that the helmet fits you snuggly and comfortably, GMax GM65 features a double-D helmet retention system. Paired with the aforementioned cozy interior, the helmet won't exert any pressure or strain on your forehead. Additionally, a good ventilation system incorporated into the helmet will keep your head cool while riding, which adds to the comfortability of this particular mode.
And while it offers plenty in terms of customization, the comfort and adaptability of GMax GM65 are its main selling points, and you'll hardly find a more comfortable half helmet than this one. It comes with two visors, one for daylight riding and the other for nighttime or cloudy weather.
The drawbacks associated with this helmet are related to noise issues, so skip this one if you're looking for something quiet and the fact that it, unfortunately, doesn't accommodate all head shapes.
If you're interested in GMax GM65, you can find it RevZilla — with free shipping included — or at Amazon.
- Great airflow
- Washable and removable liner
Bell Pit Boss
Bell Pit Boss is a half helmet for riders who prefer the least amount of protection possible so that they maintain a high level of visibility while riding. This is a wonderful helmet for those who want to put on something comfortable and hit the road without much fuss.
Bell Pit Boss provides the most ventilation and visibility possible while also being exceptionally comfortable. It features a tough exterior and carries a DOT and ECE certification for the highest levels of safety.
The extremely lightweight design of Bell Pit Boss is another major selling point for this helmet, as it weighs only 2.5lbs, making it comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. In addition, the D-ring strap and snap make it incredibly simple to put on and adjust to the ideal level of comfort.
The liner is made from an antimicrobial microfiber that does an exceptional job of keeping your head comfy while preventing the growth of bacteria and microbes. It's also moisture-wicking, which will keep your head cool and dry while riding. In short, this is one of the best half helmets for weekend riders.
Although Bell has done a wonderful job enhancing Pit Boss's comfort, the company hasn't neglected its safety features, despite the helmet's minimalist aesthetic. The company is known for maintaining a minimalist design while maximizing safety. But with that said, this model's aesthetics took precedence over safety, so that's something to keep in mind.
If you're interested in Bell Pit Boss, you should also know that, while there's a variety of fits, the design is really poor on color choice. But if you don't mind the color, you'll find this helmet available at RevZilla and CycleGear.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Hard outer shell
- Adjustable straps
- Form over function
Rogue is another Bell half helmet on our list, and this one is aimed at those seeking a distinctive aesthetic since the included muzzle separates the Rogue from the rest of the crowd. On top of looking absolutely badass, the muzzle has a practical purpose: it prevents excessive wind and debris from directly hitting your face.
The Bell Rogue's reputation for being among the market's quietest half helmets is another noteworthy feature, as its snout and ear pockets work together to reduce wind and other external noise. The ear pockets are also roomy enough to accommodate the majority of intercoms, and they are beautifully padded, which adds to their comfort.
Thankfully, the muzzle and the rear pockets' design won't prevent you from wearing glasses or any other type of eye protection. Bell Rouge shines when it comes to safety, as its minimalist design goes very far to protect the user — which is why it's both DOT and ECE certified.
As for the overall impression, this is a scary-looking helmet with pretty decent levels of protection, great comfort, and excellent noise reduction. However, there are two downsides to this particular model, and that's the weight and the price. This is actually one of the heaviest half-helmets in our article and one of the most expensive half-helmets on the current market.
However, if you want to look mean and don't mind the price, this helmet is available at RevZilla and CycleGear.
- Fantastic aesthetics
- Quality build
- Good protection
Sena Calvary is a retro-looking, rock' n' roll-styled half helmet for fans of vintage motorcycles and aesthetics. Despite its looks, this is very much a modern-day helmet, which perfectly captures the history and passion of vintage riders and enthusiasts.
The Calvary features a sleek, unadorned design with plenty of breathability, which will keep your head cool during long rides. Additionally, by incorporating a Bluetooth speaker system into the helmet's design, Sena modernized this vintage-looking helmet, thus equipping the rider with a variety of entertainment and communication options.
As for the safety features of Sena Calvary, the helmet features a shell made of protective and lightweight fiberglass composite materials, with cushioned yet simple internal lining, which makes it cozy and quite breathable.
This DOT-approved half helmet is strapped securely to your head by using a D-ring retention mechanism, with the aforementioned Bluetooth speaker — a really wonderful enhancement in this helmet — sitting right where it's supposed to. The optional earpads on Sena Calvary are also exceptionally useful in lowering background noise and shielding your ears from the wind.
Calvary's shortcomings include its entirely open-faced construction, which has innate design drawbacks. Additionally, it's DOT-rated-only, which isn't necessarily the safest standard. Lastly, the helmet's glossy coating is particularly susceptible to scratches. However, if you don't mind a scratch or two, the helmet is currently available at Revzilla and CycleGear.
- Minimalist design
- Prone to scratches
Skid Lid Original
There's hardly a half-helmet enthusiast who hasn't heard of or doesn't enjoy wearing the Skid Lid Original helmet. It has a traditional, understated half-helmet design that works well in warmer temperatures due to its excellent airflow, which allows you to ride comfortably throughout the sweltering summers.
One feature that's highly appreciated among the owners of this helmet is that it can accommodate almost any set of goggles you'd want to wear. Skid Lid is an all-occasion helmet and works great both during the day and night, as well as on weekends — the comfort it provides is particularly suitable for weekend riders due to its relatively low weight.
In fact, Skid Lid Original provides riders with the highest level of comfort possible. Its interior is lined with an internal lining and EPS foam that's excellent for draining moisture and keeping your head cool. Besides being comfortable, this is one of the most affordable half helmets available on the current market. With its DOT rating, the Skid Lid Original half helmet enhances your safety.
Riders owning this model appreciate Skid Lid Original's availability in distinct colors, patterns, and finishes. It suits a wide range of head shapes and features a D-ring strap, making wearing and adjusting quite simple.
The drawbacks associated with Skid Lid Original include the absence of airflow over the top of the helmet and a higher profile and noise — though the latter is usually a drawback associated with this type of helmet overall. The Skid Lid Original helmet is currently available on Amazon.
- Great lining
Scorpion Covert Helmet
Scorpion EXO Covert sports one of the most unique and original half-helmet designs on the current market — though it looks rather aggressive. The EXO Covert features a modular design, and you may wear it as either a full-face or half-helmet. This is fantastic, as it packs two helmets in one — a half-face helmet for warm weather and a full face for riding during the cold.
However, the modular design, while space conserving, might make the installation and maintenance challenging for new owners. There's a steep learning curve, for sure, but once you've mastered its design, disassembling and reassembling the helmet becomes quite simple.
As for safety, the multi-layered shell composite combines fiberglass, aramid, and poly-resin fibers, which reduce the helmet's overall weight while maximizing its strength and impact dispersal. The shell is lined with a polystyrene foam lining with carefully thought-out channels for streamlined airflow for improved comfort. The cherry on top is the removable and washable interior liner material, providing the final layer of comfort and softness.
The visor provided with the helmet is of a simple pull-down design but features anti-fog sunscreen features with an additional anti-scratch coating. As for the aesthetics, the joints of the modular design are seamless and rather secure — the chin bar even has a gasket for the visor to prevent the wind and rain from entering the fully-assembled helmet.
Put simply, it's an ideal piece of gear if you're looking for ample protection paired with fantastic aesthetics. With that said, the protection offered by the fully-assembled helmet isn't up par with the full helmets. In fact, it only offers half the protection. Other drawbacks include limited sizing. You can check this helmet out at RevZilla and CycleGear.
- Modular design
- The sleek and futuristic appearance
- Great visor
- Not as protective
The HJC CS-2N is a straightforward helmet with a minimalist style that is ideal for hot summer days and any rider looking for a simple, minimalist piece that's easy to strap and ready for a ride. Besides its straightforward design, the HJC offset a ton of options regarding the eyewear and eye protection.
It boasts a shell made of a lightweight injection-molded thermoplastic alloy that offers exceptional protection while riding. The shell's interior is lined using a simple, lush brushed Nylex material with moisture-wicking properties that will keep your head dry and comfortable.
The HJC CS-2N employs a nylon strap retention system to secure your helmet firmly. Snapping it on is quick and simple, allowing you to enjoy your ride immediately. In fact, the helmet's overall design's simplicity makes it stand out among the rest of the half-helmet market.
However, compared to other minimalist, half helmets, the HJC CS-2N is really quiet due to the incorporated ear covers. They are pleasant to wear and effectively reduce unnecessary noise without hindering you in any way.
The helmet has front vents that provide ventilation for your head and throughout the helmet's interior. This is a nice feature if you're riding in warmer climates. Other than that, the advantage of the HJC CS-2N compared to most other helmets on the market is its accessible pricing and minimalist design.
The drawbacks of this helmet are associated with its simple design; it provides the bare minimum of protection, as it doesn't offer any face cover to shield the user from road debris. With that said, if you're interested in purchasing this helmet, it's currently available at RevZilla and CycleGear.
- Great ventilation
- Removable neck curtain
- Great eyewear support
- Minimal protection
Though the price tag attached to this helmet may suggest otherwise, the LS2 Rebellion actually has a lot to offer in terms of safety and aesthetics. The sleek, fashionable shell of the LS2 Rebellion is made of Kinetic Polymer alloy molded into a lovely retro design. The material is exceptionally lightweight, allowing you to wear it without tiring out your neck muscles.
Additionally, the inside is lined with exceptionally comfortable, removable, hypoallergenic, and moisture-wicking cotton liner, which is surprisingly easy to clean when the time is due. This helmet also has a lot of other useful features, such as enhanced flow-through ventilation and an adjustable twin shield system drop-down sun protection.
The aforementioned sun protection is easily adjusted in two different positions, allowing you to either lock it halfway down to enable more airflow or wear it in full-face mode, depending on the surroundings and driving conditions.
The ability to combine it with the LinkIn Communication System rounds out the list of useful capabilities, promoting good communication between riders or between riders and passengers. So, you get a pretty respectable model that comes in at a low price and offers you all the convenience of a more expensive model.
The Rebellion boasts a lighter construction than the similarly priced Bell Pit Boss, effectively making it the thinnest DOT-approved helmet. This reduces its stability at high speeds but doesn't lessen its protective characteristics, which is probably what most riders care about. The drawbacks include the visor's interference with writing sunglasses and a rather thin shell.
If you're interested in purchasing this particular model, you'll find it at RevZilla and CycleGear.
- Great comm options
- Two-position visor lock
- Not sunglasses friendly
- Thin shell
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley