Adventure riding, or ADV riding, is a pastime that can provide some fun, and even wild moments. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind when climbing on the back of a bike. The best ADV riders understand the significance of finding a helmet that provides both comfort and protection. While fashion is not often a top priority, many popular ADV helmets offer impressive features to improve the riding experience. Some are even versatile enough for street riding on cruisers, as well as trail riding on an ADV bike.
This list includes some of the top ADV helmets currently on the market. Prices range from over $650 to as low as $144 to fit a variety of budgets. Since they are not brand-exclusive, many of these helmets include features for all kinds of riding, including detachable visors and extra vents. Some of the most impressive features include removable anti-microbial cheek pads, internal sunshields and broad, scratch-resistant visors for great optics. Each helmet on the list is made from quality materials, ranging from carbon fiber and fiberglass to Kevlar and specially designed multi-fiber mixes. Riders can use this detailed list to find an affordable and worthwhile helmet to fit their riding needs.
1. The Arai XD4
The sleek Arai XD4 helmet tops the list for several reasons. To begin with, this option offers a stylish but easily removable peak visor, and comes in four colors for ultimate customization. More importantly, the aerodynamic design allows for top-of-the-line performance. This helmet uses a combination of exhaust ports, diffuser vents and specially sculpted cowl vents for superior ventilation.
A favorite among riding experts and enthusiasts, the Arai XD4 does not sacrifice comfort for performance. A unique facial contour support (FCS) design, along with the Dry-Cool and micro-fit technology ensures that each rider receives the best fit.
With these deluxe features, it’s no surprise that this helmet has one of the highest prices on this list. The Arai XD4 is currently available for $659.99.
2. The Icon Variant
To create an extremely aerodynamic helmet, the Icon Variant was tested in a wind tunnel for peak performance. In addition to high-speed stability, this option also offers prime visibility. The helmet’s anti-lift visor provides an extended eyeport, as well as zero distortion optics.
The removable liner with HydraDry wicking technology makes this an especially great option for ADV riders. The exterior shell includes a combination of Fiberglass, Carbon and Dyneema on top of the EPS core with dual-density.
The price tends to vary by retailer, but riders can generally expect to pay between $300 and $350 dollars for an Icon Variant. A version of the Icon with carbon-fiber is also available, which runs between $520 and $550.
3. The Shoei Hornet X-2
One of the best options for all-around riding is the Shoei Hornet X-2 Seeker. This helmet has a lot to offer riders, whether they prefer riding on- or off-road. An improvement upon the Shoei Hornet DS, the X-2 comes with great protection for a variety of weather conditions. The result is a helmet with capability and design to fit both street and trail riding.
The small design makes this helmet lightweight, with a shell of Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus Multi Fiber for strength and stability. To provide comfort for all types of riding, the X-2 also includes improved ventilation and air intake for riders. The price for this versatile helmet is currently $644.39.
4. The Nexx XD-1
Nexx is not quite as well-known as other top helmet brands, but the XD-1 design easily measures up when it comes to versatility and added features. The most exclusive perk is the internal sunshield, which drops down to provide an 80-percent tint. It also comes with a face shield made from polycarbonate Lexan and a peak, which are both removable. The camera mount is another noteworthy feature for adventurous riders to appreciate.
As a less common brand, Nexx is able to offer a helmet made with quality materials at a more affordable price. The XD-1 is a lightweight helmet constructed of 3D organic fibers, multi-axial fiberglass and carbon fiber, with additional reinforcement from aramid fiber. Riders can currently purchase an XD-1 for $450.
5. The AGV AX-8 DS EVO
The DS EVO offers an improvement on the already well-liked AX-8 DS. Notable upgrades include a better visor and visor mechanism, with a larger opening than other popular helmets. A supplemental vent on top of the EVO provides increased air flow for reduced moisture and heat buildup. The interior padding was also increased, but this does not take away from the helmet’s lightweight feel.
More importantly, the shell of fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon make the EVO strong without weighing riders down. Improvements made to the base edge provide extra protection from neck injuries, and help to accommodate riders with back protectors, as well. This impressive helmet is currently available at the competitive price of $399.95.
6. The AFX FX-39
AFX is known for offering basic helmets at a bargain price, but the FX-39 is a worthwhile contender. The helmet’s full face shield boasts improved optics from previous designs, including UV protection and a scratch-resistant surface. The interior liner is made of anti-microbial and hypoallergenic material, which is removable for easy cleaning. Other features include dual-lift tabs on the face shield to provide riders with extra leverage. Overall, the FX-39 is a sturdy, affordable helmet for ADV riders, available for $144.
The Honorable Mention: The Bell MX-9
The Bell MX-9 was first introduced at last year’s AIM Expo, where it immediately began to attract positive attention. Like other ADV helmets on the list, the MX-9 is built for versatility. In other words, riders can enjoy this helmet for street riding, as well as off-road adventures. This generally includes the option to remove the visor for a street bike appearance. It is expected to weigh roughly three pounds, adding another lightweight and affordable option to the mix. Introducing new designs and technology, the MX-9 is expected to become a favorite in the community.