Every motorcycle enthusiast relishes the feeling of roaring through the streets on their bike. Be it the well-conditioned leather, the glistening chrome coated body, or the well-engineered engine; there's no greater feeling.

But if there's one thing that can complete your look, it's a vintage helmet.

Whether you're looking to pair it with your magnificent machine or simply add a vintage-retro touch to an otherwise modern bike, a vintage helmet is a solid option.

In this post, we've researched, analyzed, compared, and handpicked some of the best vintage motorcycle helmets on the market, so you can spend less time worrying about helmets, and more time out on your bike.


Preview

Product

Shell Material

Type

Weight

Check Price

TORC unisex-adult open-face style T50 Route...

TORC T50 Route 66

ABS Shell

3/4 Open face 

3.2 pounds

TORC T1 Unisex-Adult Retro Full-Face Style...

TORC T1 RETRO

Fiberglass Tri-Composite Shell

Full face 

4.84 pounds

Bell Custom 500 Open-Face Motorcycle Helmet...

Bell Custom 500

Fiberglass Composite

3/4 Open face 

2.4 Pounds

Woljay Leather Motorcycle Goggles Vintage...

Woljay Vintage Leather Motorcycle Helmet

ABS Shell

1/2 Open face

NA

HCI Open Face Fiberglass Motorcycle Helmet...

HCI Vintage Open-Faced Motorcycle Helmet

Fiberglass Shell

3/4 Open face

Lightweight

Biltwell Gringo Full Face Helmet

Biltwell Gringo Full Face Helmet

ABS Shell

Full face 

3 pounds

NENKI 3/4 Vintage Retro Motorcycle Helmet...

NENKI NK-628

Advanced fiberglass composite shell

3/4 open-face 

2.6 Pounds


Helmets: Safety & Style

With great power comes great responsibility, especially on a motorcycle. The importance of a well-made helmet cannot be overstated.  Protecting the head and face could literally be the difference between life and death should you find yourself in an accident.

In fact, studies have shown that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and death by 37%. They are an integral part of the motorcycle experience, and if you spend a little time picking a helmet to complement your style, helmets help to complete the entire look.

If you are vintage-retro aficionado looking for a helmet to keep you safe but keep you looking dapper, you've come to the right space.


Vintage Motorcycle Helmet Buyer's Guide

Helmet Type

  • Open Face Helmets
    Open face helmets are the epitome of vintage, protecting the top, back, and side of your head.Although you can buy modern versions of the open face helmet, many manufacturers offer helmets in a vintage style, usually with a lower profile.Of course, the downside is that there is a higher risk of injury to the face and jaw should you be involved in an accident.
  • Full Face Helmets
    Full face or close-faced helmets include a chin bar and cover your entire face, neck, and head, offering the ultimate protection.Although much safer, the downside of full face helmets is that they reduce peripheral vision and restrict ventilation, which is especially noticeable in the summer months!
  • Modular Helmets
    Modular helmets bring along the best of both worlds as they are a combination of open face and full face helmets. Modular helmets usually come with detachable chin bars, which can be flipped up and out of the way to create the look of an open-faced model.

Helmet Shell Construction

A helmet’s outer shell is arguably the most important feature, as it provides physical protection to your head from shock or abrasion.

The most common materials used in a helmet shell are:

  • Polycarbonate (PC)
    This type is made up of injection-molded, reinforced plastic. It’s tough yet lightweight and also budget-friendly. 
  • Fiberglass
    More expensive than polycarbonate, but also stronger and lighter. Fiberglass is usually made up of a composite of Kevlar, organic fibers, aramids, and sometimes carbon.
  • Carbon Fiber
    The most expensive option is carbon fiber, a blend of materials, and carbon that offers extreme protection in high-impact situations.

Helmet Weight & Size

A helmet's weight and size will ultimately depend on what material it's made of and what type of headgear you decide to choose.

  • Weight
    Average helmet weight is between 3.25 -  3.5 pounds
  • Size 
    Varies from extra small (XS) to extra-extra-large (XXL)

Check out our size guide below to find your size and choose the right helmet.

Road Safety Rating

Safety ratings are important when deciding on your vintage helmet, by offering you the peace of mind that it adheres to the strictest safety standards.

Some of the most common safety ratings include

  • Department of Transport (DOT)
    The US Department of Transportation is a good starting point when picking your new helmet.  Be aware that the DOT doesn't test individual helmets. Instead, they provide their rating to the manufacturer.  On that basis, some DOT approved helmets could be safer than others.
  • ECE
    ECE is the gold-standard for ratings in the European Union.  Standing for the Economic Commission of Europe, ECE approval is considered more thorough and stringent than DOT standards, so it should be your first choice if you are based in the EU.
  • SNELL 
    A vintage helmet that obtains SNELL approval meets the most stringent safety standards and offers the most rigorous testing out of all 3 levels.Prioritize a SNELL approved helmet if you want to ensure you are optimally protected on the roads.

Comfort & Fit

Comfort and fit are crucial when picking your vintage helmet. Spending a little more money on a helmet that offers superior comfort levels is especially important when wearing the helmet for extended periods.  We shouldn't need to tell you the importance of ensuring your helmet fits correctly.

A helmet that is adequately ventilated will keep you cool on the hottest of days. At the same time, the inner padding will help cushion your head from the hard, helmet shell.

Removable padding helps keep your helmet nice and clean, simply remove and wash to remove any sweaty odors.

Visibility & Protection

However cool a vintage helmet might be, it's never wise to pick form over function. A helmet should provide perfect visibility for the rider while protecting your head.  Visors come with a variety of different options, including clear, tinted, or with an anti-scratch surface.

Helmets with visors also help to keep any debris and dust out of your eyes while cruising.

Price & Warranty

When it comes to price, you can find a perfectly good vintage helmet to suit most budgets.  Naturally, as with most things in life, increased quality, features, and enhanced style often attract a higher price tag.

The length and extent of the warranty depend on the brand of helmet you buy, so double-check this first to make sure you are aware of what the warranty covers, but most importantly, what it doesn't.


7 Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets Reviewed

1. TORC T50 Route 66

best vintage motorcycle helmet

Shell Material

ABS Shell

Helmet Type

Open face (3/4) helmet

Weight

3.2 pounds / 1.45 kg

Sizes

XS  to XXL

Safety Rating

DOT certified

Our top pick for stylish yet practical vintage helmets, the TORC T50 Route 66, is, in our opinion, the best ¾ vintage motorcycle helmet your money can buy.

Exceptionally well designed with an ultra-comfortable fit, what's not to like? This helmet is an excellent addition to riders who aren't looking for full coverage, yet are unwilling to compromise on safety.  This DOT certified helmet is comfortable and affordable.

TORC T50 Route 66 helmets deliver that old school relaxed Americana vibe that comes in a choice of two eye-catching shell graphics.  Even though these helmets are lightweight, they are robust with premium build quality.

Since it's open-faced, it's incredibly easy to wear and remove.  A nifty feature is the removable 3-snap sun-visor, which helps keep the sun out of your eyes on those hot, summer days.

Comfort is second to none, with an extremely luxurious faux-suede inner lining to ensure wearing the helmet won't feel like a burden.  The inner material features moisture-wicking abilities, absorbing the sweat from your head and keeping you fresh and cool.

We honestly love the look of this helmet, keep it on your shelf when not in use as it's an equally attractive focal point in your home. Don't forget to pick up a lock to keep this helmet nice and secure when you're out and about.

Pros

  • Stylish vintage look
  • Light-weight - perfect for long trips
  • DOT certified
  • Easy to wear and remove
  • Antimicrobial sweat-wicking faux suede liner.

Cons

  • The size can run a little small relative to other helmets
  • No full-face protection

2. TORC T1 RETRO

best retro full face motorcycle helmet

Shell Material

Fiberglass Tri-Composite Shell

Helmet Type

Full face helmet

Weight

4.84 pounds/ 2.19 kg

Sizes

XS  to XXL

Safety Rating

DOT and ECE certified