Billy’s Crash Helmets Great Motorcycle Crash Helmet Buying FAQ

So you want to buy a new motorcycle helmet but you don’t know where to start?

Well fear not, Billy’s Crash Helmets is here with all the insight, information and intel you could possibly need to make finding and buying the right crash helmet to suit you, your bike and your riding style.

So here’s an FAQ to get you up to speed and link you to some of our excellent guides along the way.

Where do I start when thinking about buying a motorcycle helmet?

Well you could start with by thinking about what type of riding you do – commuting, touring or riding a sportsbike for example.

Or you could work to a budget and check out our cheapest helmets, mid-priced helmets or most expensive helmets.

You could even have a look at our Smartish Filters page where you can tick two or three helmet features you’re looking for and we’ll show you which helmets you ought to take a closer look at.

But aside from that, I suggest you look down this FAQ and see which features should be your biggest priority – such as safety or price or type of helmet. That’s a great starting point, and from there you can start to zoom in on the best helmets out there that’ll suit your particular needs.

Which is the safest motorcycle helmet?

All protective motorcycle helmets on sale in the US have to be DOT Certified – in Europe, the equivalent is ECE 22.05 tested and approved. If you go to a reputable store, all helmets on sale should be genuine, certified, and therefore give a good minimum level of protection.

Above that, in the US Snell safety tests some helmets (at the maker’s cost) and in Europe, SHARP independently safety tests helmets (at their own cost – it’s a state sponsored safety scheme).

all you need to know about helmet safety
Read everything you need to know about helmet safety – click above!

Now you know that, you can visit our safest motorcycle crash helmets section to find all the highest rated SHARP safety tested helmets (and you can find even more information on how to buy the safest helmet here) and if a helmet’s been Snell certified you can visit our Snell Helmets page.

That’s a great place to start your helmet buying journey: find the safest helmets on the market then choose the right one from among those!

Which is the cheapest motorcycle helmet?

When a helmet’s for sale at the lower end of the price range – typically under $199 – then you’ll find them on our cheapest motorcycle helmets pages. You’ll find some great helmets in there too – because price isn’t necessarily a bullet proof guide to buying a great performing helmet.

You might want to visit our smartish filters page too – so you could tick the boxes for cheapest helmet and safest helmet (for example) to find lower priced helmets that also max out on protection.

Overall, the cheapest helmets are polycarbonate or thermoplastic helmets but only because they’re easier (and therefore cheaper) to make. Again, if you choose right, that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on safety either.

How much should I pay for a motorcycle helmet?

I’ll not say ‘how long’s a piece of string’ because that’s lame.

Decide what your budget is, what sort of helmet you want (a quiet helmet or a helmet for your sportsbike for example) then buy the right sort of helmet within your price range.

You can actually buy a excellent helmet that’ll really look after your head in an impact for under $100. But a top-flight (and hyper exclusive) track helmet can cost over a grand.

Are cheap helmets as good as expensive helmets?

They can be. Certainly, there are a couple of Snell approved helmets we’ve come across as well as a few SHARP 5 star rated helmets for less than $100 – either of these approvals will mean they’ve got exactly the same safety rating of the big boy brands made from carbon fiber. And of course they’ll all be DOT certified too.

Here’s loads more information about expensive v cheap crash helmets.

Click to visit our look at cheap v expensive motorcycle helmets.
(Image by Paul

What fastener should my motorcycle helmet have?

D-ring fasteners are tried and tested and require the rider to adjust them every time (that’s a good thing by the way!). As long as they do that, they’re as safe as they come.

Micrometric fasteners are incredibly easy to use (so ideal for learners) – just make sure you readjust them at the main adjuster from time to time.

These are the two de-facto standard helmet fasteners you’ll find on all modern helmets.

Do I need to wear ear plugs with my motorcycle helmet?

Yep. If you’re going any sort of distance and you don’t want to damage your hearing, you really should.

All motorcycle helmets are pretty noisy places. Even though we have our quietest helmets page, noise is always relative. And if you’re riding any distance – especially if you’re riding at speed – we always recommend you use a good pair of ear plugs.

Handily we’ve done a review of the best motorcycle foam ear plugs.

What’s the best helmet for commuting?

Many full face helmets are great for commuting. So too are flip up helmets (sometimes called modular or system helmets).

To quickly find one that’ll work, we’d suggest three places to look.

First there’s our Commuting motorcycle helmets page.

Secondly, our top 10 full face helmets page.

And thirdly, our top 10 modular helmets page.

best new helmet to buy featured
Which is the best helmet for me? click and find out!

What’s the best helmet for a sportsbike?

Funny you should ask.

For a sportsbike, you need a nice big shield, vertically as well as horizontally to give you a good clear view of the road/track ahead when you’re tucked in and nailing it.

It needs to be mega comfy, have good ventilation, probably be light weight and have an anti-fog shield too.

Check our sportsbike helmet reviews and our motorcycle helmets for the track. You’ll find a few duplicates across the pages because many track helmets are excellent for general sportsbike riding too.

What’s the best helmet for a cruiser/naked/retro?


Lots of cruiser riders like half helmets or open face helmets – though we don’t review many of those because they’re inherently less safe the full face helmets.

You might want to find a nice retro helmet to go with your custom ride.

And there’s the occasional helmet released that they say is designed for cruisers – such as the Arai Defiant X (Renegade V in Europe) or for naked bikes such as the Shark Spartan.

But if you go for a sports touring helmet, you’ll probably find most work a treat with your cruiser/naked/retro bike as they’re designed to be all-rounders.

What’s the best helmet for touring motorcycles?

When we review a helmet that’s a great all rounder, we add it to our sports touring helmets pages.

There you’ll find lots of helmets with decent noise suppression, aero, visor with decent peripheral vision and lots of room for bluetooth communicators.

And as always, visit our Smartish Filters page and choose ‘sports touring’ along with another feature or two to zoom in on helmets that have all the features you’ve chosen.

Which is the best full face helmet?

Probably a helmet that’s great value, comes with a Pinlock anti-fog in the box, is quiet and comfortable.

To quickly find our highest rated full face helmets, you should head over to our top 10 full face helmets page.

Or jump here to see all our full face helmet reviews.

Which is the best modular/flip-up helmet?

And if you’re looking to quickly zoom in on the best modular helmets, take a trip over to our top 10 flip-front/modular helmets page.

Modulars can be a bit tricky because that chin bar can be a bit of a weak point. Thankfully, UK testers at SHARP rate how well those chin bars perform (and we mention it in the safety section of our reviews).

Other than that, you should look for the usual combo of comfort, great shield (probably with a sun visor) noise suppression (modulars can be very noisy places) and quick release shield with Pinlock antifog.

See all our modular helmet reviews here or visit our smart filters page to choose ‘flip-up & modular’ along with one or two other features you must have.

Other places for Motorcycle Crash Helmet buying Information?

There’s lots of guides and helmet reviews on this site if you have a nose around.

Try the homepage where we’ve scattered links to some of our most popular sections.

Or here’s a ton of our motorcycle crash helmets buying guides. Whatever your question or query about motorcycle helmets, a pound to a penny you’ll find your answer somewhere in there!

And if you don’t, you’re even more geeky about helmets than we are (and do let us know your question via comments section below). Cheers!


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