Airoh GP 500: a carbon/kevlar racing motorcycle helmet
It’s a reasonably no-compromise helmet that’s been designed alongside riders in some of the world’s toughest competitions including MotoGP, Superbikes and Supersports. They’re environments where features like noise-suppression and sun shields are dropped in favour of light weight and great aero.
So if on-track performance is only part of what’s you’re after in your next helmet, then you might want to look elsewhere (either see our alternatives section at the bottom of this page or click through to our sportsbike helmets page).
- Composite carbon/kevlar shell
- Track-focused full face helmet
- SHARP 3 star safety tested (out of 5)
- Not Snell tested
- Light weight – 2.6 lbs (1.2Kg)
- Three shell sizes
- Pinlock and Tear off ready
- Double-D ring fastener
- Expect to pay around $360
Looking to buy an Airoh?We don't have any US recommeded retailers who stock Airoh, but we do recommend Demon Tweeks (UK) for competitive prices and good service, FC-Moto (Ger) for good prices and the widest range, or Motoin (Ger) for quality service and decent prices (even with the current $-€ exchange rate). Please see our UK site for more info on these retailers including shipping information, or click the links to go straight to their Airoh helmet pages where you'll find the latest helmet designs and deals.
SHARP has tested the safety of the GP500 in their labs – where it scored three stars (out of a maximum 5).
That’s a middle of the road performance – and while it scored well for front to back impact protection, it was let down on the side impact tests.
However, as of 2019, size XS has been tested/homologated by the official MotoGP and international motorsports body, the FIM, under their new racing homologation scheme. Only size XS has been certified, I guess because manufacturers only submit a helmet for a particular rider to get approval. Still, it’s probably comforting to know that it’s passed the FIM’s safety test to be used in pro-racing events on track.
As always, your priority when buying a new helmet is to get a helmet that fits well and is comfortable to use. After that, a Snell certified or decent SHARP score is what we look for. So three stars is a bit of a disappointment when there are plenty of SHARP 4 & 5 star helmets around. But that FIM score is a big thumbs up – for the XS helmet at least.
The GP 500 has Airoh’s most advanced helmet shell to date and it’s made in three different shell sizes – the more shell sizes the better for both comfort, sizing and, arguably, for safety too.
Another thing that contributes to safety is the overall weight of a helmet – not just making the helmet easier to live with but reducing pressure on the neck during an impact. And with the Airoh GP 500 coming in at a feather weight 2.65lbs (1.2 Kilos), that’s one of the lightest helmets we’ve seen to date.
Finally, Airoh have fitted their equivalent of an emergency quick release system (EQRS) that Airoh calls AEFR. A system like this on a track-focused motorbike helmet is pretty much a must these days, enabling emergency services to quickly remove the cheek pads from the bottom of the helmet and so helping remove the helmet without upsetting the neck.
Like most track-focused helmets, Airoh has designed the GP 500 to be as aerodynamic as possible to reduce wind resistance and cut down on rider fatigue – as well as make it a better helmet to use in a race where the last thing you need is lots of buffeting to kill your concentration.
Good aero qualities can also make for a quieter helmet as there’s less of the helmet sticking into the air flow to create turbulence.
However, that’s not what most race helmet designers are about. Their focus is operational efficiency, light weight and comfort before any real focus on noise suppression. And that’s especially true with the GP500 as the designers have added exhaust vents just by a rider’s ears. That’ll help with cooling and helping a racer hear other bikes approaching – but it’s pretty certain it’ll also mean it’s a noisy helmet.
We’ll not know for sure until we take a more in-depth review of the helmet, but don’t expect it to be quiet because race-bred helmets rarely are and we very much expect the same from the GP500.
The Airoh GP 500 has masses of inlet and exhaust vents. There’s four vents on the chin guard to direct air onto the face and rear of the shield with switches to open/close them on the inside of the chin guard.
There’s also a couple of brow vents set just above the shield in the shell of the helmet (again, these are closeable) and a couple of vents on the crown. These vents direct air through holes in the helmet shell, through channels in the lining and around the scalp. The warm air then exits the helmet via a pair of vents on the rear of the helmet underneath the spoilers, and a couple of side exhausts.
With this many vents, we’d expect the GP 500 to be a nice cool helmet for your track day.
The shield on the GP 500 is both Pinlock Max Vision-ready and tear-off ready. It has opening tabs on both sides of the shield and there’s a shield lock too to stop it opening while riding (or during an accident).
The shield itself operates on a ratchet – although there are only three positions and there’s no ‘cracked open’ or city mode which some riders might find a bit inconvenient. It’s not a quick release shield either – although it is toolless. Just rotate the large plastic panel near the shield pivot, remove both panels, then pull off the shield.
Most GP500s come with a 50% tinted shield.
Comfort & Sizing
Inside the GP 500 you’ll find a removable and washable lining that’s antimicrobial and breathable and it’s supplied with a breath guard as standard. It’s available in sizes XS-XL.
Looks & Graphics
The GP 500 has been out for a while now so you’ll find a wide variety of graphics on the market as Airoh continually update them. If you’re after a plain version in solid paint, then Airoh is currently listing a matt black version and gloss white. They used to support a few higher profile riders (such as Dovi) but their sponsored riders now only ride in smaller country-based championships so there’s no race rep versions on the books.
However they do produce the Sectors and Scrape graphics and you’ll find Cosmos, Rockstar, Drive and Check in stores too – and you’ll find examples of each of these up and down the page.
As always, to see the latest available graphics, please click the links to our recommended retailers below where you’ll find the latest deals too.
Best place to buy an Airoh crash helmet?We've found three great online stores to check out if you're looking to buy an Airoh helmet or any other biking gear. Note, they're all in Europe so you'll have to factor in shipping charges too - click the recommended retailer links for more info on that.
Or, for an excellent range of Airoh helmets and good prices (even with the current $-€ exchange rate), we also recommend FC-Moto (Germany). At the time of writing they score a decent 8.7/10 on Trustpilot too, though note: FC-Moto do quote despatch times of 5-7 days, so only order from here if you're not in a rush for your order.
Please click any picture/link to drop onto their Airoh helmets pages. If you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site). Click here for more info on our recommended retailers.
Airoh GP 500 Video
Here’s a pretty comprehensive 36m review by an owner of a GP500.
Other stuff – fastener, warranty
The Airoh GP500 comes with a double-d ring fastener (as do most track-focused helmets). It comes with a 2 year warranty.
If you’re looking for a racebike helmet but don’t want to pay top dollar, then the Airoh GP500 is worth a look. It’s got a decent spec – including Pinlock Max Vision antifog insert ready, Airoh’s version of EQRS, a locking tear off-ready shield and loads of vents for long days at the circuit.
It might be lacking the brand of the big boys, but it’s lacking their big price ticket too. It’s also slightly let down by its SHARP safety rating too (3 stars out of max 5) but it’s been homologated for racing by the FIM too (well size XS has at least!) so if you’re working on a tight budget but want a track helmet, then the GP500 might well do the job.
Crash Helmet Buying Guides
For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.
Good Alternatives to the Airoh GP500?
OK, so you’re looking for a track-focused helmet at a good price?
Or there’s the Kabuto RT33: that’s slightly less track-focused but still a capable sportsbike helmet that’s SHARP 4 star rated with a Pinlock thrown in. And because it’s a little less extreme, it’s quiet on the road too and can be had for about the same money as the Airoh.
You could also think about X-Lite’s premium sports lid – the X-802R – that’s a comfortable composite helmet that’s SHARP 4 star rated too.
Finally, you might want to look at AGVs GT Veloce. Based on the same shell as AGVs Corsa and Pista GP top race helmets, it’s SHARP 5 star rated but at a price less than the other two as well. It’s less extreme too, yet has a large shield for maximum vision and comes Pinlock and tear off-ready.