Best Modular Motorcycle Helmets
Like most things in life, we can’t always have everything we want. The same principle holds true with motorcycle helmets. For ultimate protection, full-face helmets are the way to go. But sometimes the ease and convenience of an open-face is really hard to pass up. What’s a motorcyclist to do if he or she wants both? Thank goodness modular helmets exist. Offering both full-face protection with open-face convenience, modular helmets are a compromise everyone can live with. Here, we’ve gathered some of the top modular helmets available today from a variety of manufacturers. They represent every point in the price spectrum, and if you can’t find one you like within this bunch, chances are nothing’s going to make you happy. Presented in alphabetical order, they are:
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A game-changing modular that could easily pass as a sport helmet if you didn’t know better, the AGV Sportmodular is built entirely from carbon fiber. This makes it one of the lightest helmets on the market, modular or otherwise. It fits tight like a sport helmet, too, with a removable and reversible inner liner allowing the rider to choose the side that’s best for the conditions. The visor accepts Pinlock 120 inserts for premium anti-fog capabilities, and there’s a drop-down sun visor built-in. The shield itself is interchangeable without tools. Three shell sizes cover the full range of XS-3XL helmet sizes, and five-density EPS helps minimize injury in a crash. Modulars lend themselves well to communicators, and the Sportmodular is no different, as it comes equipped with recessed pockets to accept a communicator. Overall, we’re happy with the Sportmodular’s performance. Read more about it in our full review.
The Bell SRT-Modular (not to be confused with the non-modular SRT) provides nearly all the protection features anyone short of a hardcore racer could want, with the convenience street riders will love. The SRT modular is constructed from a lightweight fiberglass composite shell in one of two sizes, XS-L and XL-3XL. Pockets for communicators are built into the EPS protective layer, and the anti-bacteria comfort liner is removable and washable to help prevent helmet funk that can develop in hot weather riding. The liner is also eyewear compatible, which means you can wear your prescription glasses or your favorite shades without pain. Other features include a drop-down sun visor, Panovision face shield with class one optics, and a price that won’t break the bank.
HJC RPHA 90
HJC has numerous modular helmets in its lineup, but the RPHA 90 represents the cream of the crop within the Korean manufacturer’s modular portfolio. Utilizing the same Advanced P.I.M. Plus fiberglass composite shell technology as HJC’s premier racing helmet, the RPHA 11 Pro, the 90 features a wide eye port, drop-down, anti-fog sun visor, and a sweat-wicking interior liner. Speaking of the interior, it was 3D engineered in an effort to make the quietest helmet possible. Since both the chinbar and face shield flip open, both features utilize a centrally located locking mechanism to operate, both providing a positive click once closed. A Pinlock insert is included, and closure is done via double D-ring loops.
Klim TK1200 Karbon Modular
You might know Klim from its expertise in off-road and/or adventure riding apparel, but the company is making big strides in touring apparel, too. Take the TK1200 helmet for example. Like the AGV, the TK1200 is also constructed completely from carbon fiber for ultimate weight savings. However, it’s constructed in only one shell size. Klim placed a focus on reducing rider fatigue as much as possible, and reducing noise inside the helmet was another goal. Aero testing went into the overall shape, but also the ventilation and liner design to help provide max airflow and little noise. A Transitions shield is included with the helmet, and if the helmet is in the open position, the break-away chin bar reduces force on the head and neck in the event of an accident.
Schuberth’s entry in the modular helmet wars is the C4 Pro, a modular that’s so compact Schuberth says “it barely resembles a flip-up helmet.” A focus on revamped acoustics (compared to its predecessor) has resulted in revised neck padding and improvements on mechanical attachments to achieve a 85 dB rating at 62 mph on a naked motorcycle, claims Schuberth. Comfort also is a big focus and the C4 has groove cut-outs for glasses, multiple ventilation channels, and a removable/washable Coolmax liner. The shield is class 1 rated for no distortion and can be changed quickly. It’s also compatible with the Pinlock 120 insert for anti-fog properties, and a built-in sun visor also helps reduce eye fatigue. If you’ve already bought in to the Schuberth helmet line and own either the SC1 or SC2 communication system, the C4 already comes preinstalled with the antenna, speakers, and microphone to accommodate.
Scorpion’s premier modular helmet, the EXO-GT3000, offers a lot of features for a lot less than many of its rivals. It’s constructed from a proprietary five-layer composite blend of materials to produce a lightweight and aerodynamic shell that’s still affordable. Inside, you’ll find the KwickWick III washable, anti-microbial liner, with 3D designed cheekpads for a more contoured fit. For a further custom fit, the AirFit custom inflation system is also used, allowing the wearer to pump air into the pads for a closer fit to the face. Of course, there’s a drop-down sun visor, no-fog shield, double D-ring chin strap, aero skirt, breath deflector, and cut-outs for communication speakers.
Shark EVO One 2
The name is definitely odd, but the Shark Evo One 2 is also the most unique of the helmets on this list. This is because, unlike the other modulars here, the Evo One 2’s chin bar rotates nearly 180º when flipped open. Plus, when the chin bar is opened, the primary faceshield also rotates to the closed position, resulting in the image you see above. Moreso than any other helmet here, you get the option of either a full-face or ¾ helmet. The shell is made from injected thermoplastic resin and is available in two shell sizes to accommodate sizes XS-XL (sorry to those with big noggins, XL is as high as it goes). Otherwise, the Shark has features you expect in modulars: a drop down sun visor, compact/aerodynamic profile, double D-ring chin strap, integrated chin curtain, and a Pinlock-ready shield. In fact, a Pinlock insert is included in the box. If the Evo One 2 sounds appealing to you, be aware Shark helmets typically favor those with round oval head shapes.
Simpson MOD Bandit
The Shark Evo One 2 may be unique, but the Simpson MOD Bandit is badass with its classic, unmistakable design. Shell options include either a tri-composite blend or carbon fiber, with a polycarbonate alloy chin bar. The chin bar itself has the ability to be locked in the open position, and the locking components themselves are metal for durability. Multiple intake vents along the top and bottom of the helmet promote wind flow, and exhaust vents in the rear help extract warm air. As expected, the MOD Bandit is ready to accept communication systems, and comes equipped with a removable, washable, hypoallergenic/anti-microbial inner liner. A drop-down sun visor is standard, though different tints for the drop-down visor are available. Available in white, black, flat black, or carbon, the MOD Bandit is DOT/ECE certified.
Shoei Neotec 2
Arguably the preferred helmet of our very own Evans Brasfield, the Shoei Neotec II is almost always on Evans’ head. He’s even gone so far as to call it his favorite street helmet. To borrow from his review, “According to Shoei, the Neotec II’s shape was optimized in the company’s wind tunnel to reduce lift and drag at elevated speeds. Since different motorcycles have different riding positions, the Neotec II’s shape was tuned to account for a wide variety of orientations towards the wind. For example, the design of the top air outlet acts as a spoiler, reducing helmet lift, in an upright riding position.” From a construction standpoint, the Neotec employs Shoei’s proprietary five-ply matrix shell with hand-laid interwoven layers of fiberglass mixed with organic fibers and resins. There’s consistent shell thickness throughout for optimum protection no matter which part of the helmet takes an impact. The multi-piece, varying density EPS liner helps save weight and allows cooling air to travel through built-in tunnels directly to the head. Of course, the interior liner is fully removable, washable, replaceable, and adjustable for optimum fit and noise reduction. To that end, the Neotec II employs all-new “noise isolator” cheek pads to fit as close to the head as possible. The faceshield’s air-tight fit keeps air out, and the chinbar’s “Vortex Generator” lip manages helps direct airflow around the helmet instead of inside it. Taking the place of double D-rings, a patented stainless steel interlocking micro ratchet chin strap mechanism keeps the helmet on your head.
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