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By Rouen Christopher Home » Key Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Motorcycle Helmets

Key Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Motorcycle Helmets

Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Motorcycle Helmets

Cheap motorcycle helmets provide basic impact protection and may lack features like a custom fit, extra vents, and stylish designs that expensive helmets offer. However, the essential purpose of protecting your head can be achieved with a helmet that fits well, regardless of its price.

Expensive helmets often have better ventilation systems with strategically placed vents to keep your head cool, although this may result in increased air noise. Despite these differences, both cheap and expensive helmets are required to meet safety standards in the US.

In this blog, I explain what makes these helmets different. In addition, this will help you choose wisely based on how much money you have and how safe you want to be.

Cheap vs Expensive Motorcycle Helmets: A Comparative Overview

Here’s a revised version of the comparative table between cheap and expensive motorcycle helmets.

AspectCheap HelmetsExpensive Helmets
PriceLower cost, budget-friendly.Higher cost, premium quality.
Safety StandardsBasic safety certifications.Meets or exceeds advanced standards.
MaterialsBasic materials, less durability.High-quality materials and improved longevity.
ConstructionSimplified design and construction.Advanced engineering, intricate design.
ComfortIt may lack optimal comfort features.Enhanced comfort, better fit.
VentilationLimited airflow control.Advanced ventilation systems.
Noise ReductionLesser noise isolation.Superior noise dampening.
VisorBasic visor options.Anti-fog, UV protection, wider view.
WeightHeavier due to cheaper materials.Lighter materials, less strain.
AerodynamicsReduced aerodynamic features.Streamlined design for better stability.
Brand ReputationLess established brands.Reputable brands with track record.
Extras & FeaturesFewer extra features.Integrated tech, quick-release systems.
WarrantyLimited warranty coverage.Extended warranty and support.

Remember, while cheap helmets offer basic protection, investing in an expensive helmet often provides advanced safety, comfort, and features for a better riding experience.

Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Motorcycle Helmets

Cheap and Expensive Motorcycle Helmets

Cheap and expensive motorcycle helmets can vary significantly in their features, materials, construction, and overall quality.

Here are some key differences between the two:

1. Material And Construction

When it comes to motorcycle helmets, the material and construction play a crucial role in determining their safety and performance. A cheap helmet may be tempting due to its affordable price, but it is important to consider the quality of the materials used and the durability of the construction.

Outer Shell Material

The outer shell material of a helmet is responsible for protecting the rider’s head from impact. Expensive helmets often use high-quality materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, or a composite blend.

These materials provide excellent strength and impact resistance while keeping the helmet lightweight.

On the other hand, cheap helmets usually use plastic or polycarbonate shells, which may not offer the same level of protection.

EPS Inner Shell

The EPS (expanded polystyrene) inner shell is another important component of a helmet’s construction. This foam layer absorbs the impact energy during a crash, reducing the force transmitted to the wearer’s head.

Expensive helmets often have multiple-density EPS liners strategically placed to provide optimal protection. In contrast, cheap helmets may have a single-density EPS liner, compromising their ability to absorb impact effectively.

Different Outer Shell Sizes

One factor that sets expensive helmets apart is the availability of different outer shell sizes. This ensures a better fit for riders of various head sizes, as each shell size corresponds to a specific range of head circumferences. Cheap helmets, on the other hand, often have a one-size-fits-all approach, relying on adjustable padding to accommodate different head sizes. However, this may result in a less secure and comfortable fit.

Chin Strap

The chin strap keeps the helmet securely in place during a crash. Expensive helmets usually feature high-quality, durable chin straps with double D-ring or micrometric buckle systems.

These provide a secure fit and are less likely to come undone upon impact. Cheap helmets may use cheaper materials and less secure fastening systems, compromising the helmet’s overall safety.

Build Quality

Build quality is an essential aspect to consider when choosing a motorcycle helmet. Expensive helmets undergo rigorous testing and quality control measures to ensure their structural integrity during their manufacturing process.

They are designed to withstand multiple impacts and maintain their protective properties over time. In contrast, cheap helmets may have subpar build quality, with lower quality control standards and possibly weaker construction.

2. Protection And Safety

Regarding motorcycle helmets, protection and safety should always be the top priority. Whether you are an experienced rider or a beginner, investing in a high-quality helmet can make a significant difference in case of an accident.

Here are the key factors differentiating cheap and expensive motorcycle helmets regarding protection and safety.

Impact protection

The level of impact protection is one of the most critical aspects of a motorcycle helmet. Expensive helmets often incorporate advanced technology and materials to provide superior protection to their cheaper counterparts.

They are designed to effectively absorb and distribute the force of an impact, reducing the risk of serious head injuries. Cheap helmets may offer basic impact protection but may not provide the same reliability and effectiveness as their expensive counterparts.

Homologation (P/J)

The homologation of a helmet refers to its certification and approval for use on the road. Expensive helmets typically undergo rigorous testing to meet the highest safety standards set by regulatory authorities.

They are homologated for full-face (P) and open-face (J) use, offering versatility and protection in various riding conditions.

On the other hand, cheap helmets may not always have the same level of homologation certification, compromising the overall safety of the rider.


Aerodynamics is crucial in helmet performance and rider safety. Expensive helmets are meticulously designed and tested to minimize wind resistance and turbulence at high speeds.

However, this enhances stability and reduces the strain on the rider’s neck muscles. Due to their simpler design and construction, cheap helmets may not provide the same level of aerodynamic efficiency, potentially affecting the rider’s control and comfort.


The visor of a helmet is essential for protecting the rider’s eyes from wind, debris, and UV rays. Expensive helmets often feature high-quality visors with advanced coatings to improve clarity, scratch resistance, and fog resistance.

They may also offer convenient features like quick-release mechanisms for easy replacement. Cheap helmets may have basic visors that may not offer the same clarity, durability, and convenience.

3. Comfort And Fit

cheap motorcycle helmet

After all, a helmet that doesn’t fit properly or isn’t comfortable to wear can quickly become a nuisance and detract from the overall riding experience. However, this is where the difference between cheap and expensive helmets becomes apparent.

Expensive helmets often offer a range of comfort features and fit adjustments to ensure a personalized and secure fit.

Let’s explore some of these features in more detail.

Comfort features

Expensive helmets are designed with comfort in mind, and they often incorporate various features to enhance the riding experience. These may include:

  • Padded interior lining: Expensive helmets often have a plush and removable interior lining that provides cushioning and improves comfort during longer rides.
  • Moisture-wicking materials: Some high-end helmets use moisture-wicking materials in their lining to keep the head dry and cool, reducing discomfort caused by sweat buildup.
  • Noise reduction: Expensive helmets are typically better at reducing wind and road noise, thanks to advanced aerodynamic designs and noise-absorbing materials. This helps to make the ride more enjoyable and less fatiguing.

Fit adjustments

One of the key advantages of expensive helmets is the ability to make precise fit adjustments, ensuring a snug and secure fit for different head shapes and sizes. These helmets often offer features like:

  • Multiple shell sizes: Expensive helmets are usually available in various shell sizes, allowing for a more accurate fit. A proper fit is more comfortable and crucial for safety, as a loose helmet can shift or come off during an accident.
  • Adjustable retention system: Many high-end helmets feature an adjustable retention system, such as a dial or ratchet mechanism, that allows riders to fine-tune the fit around the head. This ensures a secure and personalized fit, even at high speeds.

Shoei Personal Fitting System

One brand that is well-known for its commitment to comfort and fit is Shoei. They have developed their own proprietary fitting system that takes customization to the next level.

The Shoei Personal Fitting System allows riders to choose from different thicknesses of cheek pads and headliners, ensuring a tailored fit that suits their needs.

Moreover, this attention to detail sets Shoei helmets apart from cheaper alternatives, as riders can achieve a level of comfort that enhances their overall riding experience.

3. Ventilation Systems

One significant difference between cheap and expensive motorcycle helmets is the ventilation system. Expensive helmets are designed with advanced ventilation systems, allowing optimal airflow and better temperature regulation.

These helmets feature strategically placed vents that allow air to flow freely, keeping your head cool and comfortable during rides.

Cheap helmets, on the other hand, often lack sufficient ventilation systems. They may have limited or poorly positioned vents, resulting in inadequate airflow. Heat and moisture can build up inside the helmet without proper ventilation, leading to discomfort and potentially compromising your safety.

4. Airflow Management

Expensive motorcycle helmets also excel in airflow management. These helmets’ design and engineering focus on maximizing air circulation efficiency. The placement and shape of the vents are carefully crafted to ensure that air flows smoothly and effectively throughout the helmet.

With improved airflow management, expensive helmets offer several advantages. First, they help dissipate heat, preventing your head from becoming too hot during long rides or in hot weather conditions.

Second, the efficient airflow helps reduce helmet fogging, providing clear visibility and reducing the need to wipe your visor constantly.

Moreover, the enhanced airflow in expensive helmets can contribute to better overall comfort. Proper ventilation helps reduce sweat buildup, keeping your head dry and minimizing discomfort.

Additionally, the continuous flow of fresh air can create a more pleasant riding experience, allowing you to focus better on the road.

Moreover, it’s important to note that while expensive helmets generally offer superior ventilation and airflow compared to their cheaper counterparts, more vents can increase air noise. The additional vents allow more air to pass through, which can lead to greater wind noise.

However, many high-end helmet manufacturers have developed technologies and designs to mitigate this issue, ensuring a balance between airflow and noise levels.

5. Price And Value

When buying a motorcycle helmet, one of the key factors to consider is the price and the value it offers. Motorcycle helmets come in a wide range of prices, from cheap options that won’t break the bank to expensive ones that can cost a small fortune.

But are expensive helmets worth the extra cost? And are cheap helmets effective in providing the necessary protection? Let’s dive into these questions and explore the considerations when choosing a helmet based on price.

Are expensive helmets worth it?

Due to their advanced features and technologies, expensive helmets often come with a higher price tag. They are generally made from high-quality materials, such as carbon fiber, which provide superior strength and impact resistance.

Additionally, expensive helmets may have better ventilation systems, with strategically placed vents allowing optimal airflow and temperature regulation.

Furthermore, renowned brands invest heavily in research and development to ensure their helmets meet the highest safety standards.

They undergo rigorous testing and certification processes to provide the best protection in case of an accident. These helmets often have additional features like removable and washable liners, advanced visor systems, and improved aerodynamics.

Overall, while expensive helmets may come at a higher cost, they offer a range of benefits that enhance comfort, safety, and durability.

If you value cutting-edge technology, superior materials, and additional features, investing in an expensive helmet may be worth it.

Are cheap helmets effective?

On the other hand, cheap helmets are often more budget-friendly options that cater to those looking for a basic level of protection without spending much money. While they may lack the advanced features and materials found in expensive helmets, cheap helmets can still provide adequate protection.

Moreover, it’s important to note that all helmets sold in the market must meet minimum safety standards set by regulatory bodies. However, this means that even cheap helmets must pass certain tests to ensure reasonable protection in an accident.

So, carefully considering the quality and construction of cheap helmets is crucial. Some budget-friendly options may sacrifice comfort, ventilation, or durability to lower production costs.

Choosing a helmet from a reputable brand is recommended to ensure it fits properly and is certified by safety standards organizations.

Considerations when choosing a helmet based on price

When making a decision about which helmet to purchase based on price, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Fit: A helmet should fit snugly and securely on your head without any gaps or pressure points.
  • Safety certifications: Look for helmets that meet safety standards set by organizations such as DOT (Department of Transportation) or ECE (Economic Commission for Europe).
  • Materials and construction: Consider the materials used in the helmet’s outer shell, the quality of the interior padding, and the overall construction.
  • Features: Determine which features are important to you, such as ventilation, visor system, removable liners, or aerodynamics.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that you choose a helmet that provides both the necessary protection and the value for your budget. Remember, the ultimate objective is to prioritize your safety while enjoying the thrill of riding.

Cheap vs Expensive Motorcycle Helmet: Must Watch The Video For Better Understand

Watching the below video’s a good idea for a clearer understanding of the contrasts between low-cost and high-priced motorcycle helmets. It will give you useful information about their characteristics, quality, and advantages.

What Are The Similarities Between Cheap Helmets And Expensive Motorcycle Helmets?

Cheap and expensive motorcycle helmets have some important things in common, like following the rules, having straps to keep them on, shields to protect your eyes, ventilation for comfort, different sizes to choose from, and shielding you from the sun.

Both helmets are made to keep your head safe and follow safety rules. They have straps to hold them on, shields or shields for your eyes, and air vents to help you feel comfortable.

Also, they come in different sizes and styles to match your liking. Both try to reduce noise from the wind and keep the sun away.

But expensive helmets are usually better. They use better materials, have more safety features, and make you feel more comfortable. They’re also better at cutting through the air.

Even though cheaper helmets do their main job of protecting your head, spending more on a pricier one can give you even better safety and a better experience because of the better stuff they’re made of and the technology they have.

Are Expensive Motorcycle Helmets Safer?

Are Expensive Motorcycle Helmets Safer

Expensive motorcycle helmets are safer because they’re made with better stuff, put together well, and designed smartly.

But remember, just being expensive doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe. Some important things make pricier helmets work better.

Top-notch helmets follow strict safety rules like DOT, Snell, or ECE. They use fancy stuff like carbon fibre that helps when something hits your head.

For safety, the helmet needs to fit well. Expensive helmets often have ways to adjust how they fit.

They’re also good at letting air in, helping you see well, and not feeling heavy. This keeps you less tired and safer when you ride.

Even though cheaper helmets can be safe if they follow safety rules, it’s smart to choose a helmet that’s certified, fits well, and is right for the riding you do. That way, you’re safer when you ride.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Expensive And Cheap Motorcycle Helmets

Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons of both types of helmets for different:

Pros Of Cheap Helmet

  • Lower cost, more affordable option for budget-conscious buyers.
  • Adequate protection for casual riders or occasional use.
  • Can fulfil the minimum safety requirements set by regulatory authorities.
  • Provides basic comfort and ventilation.
  • Suitable for short rides or beginners.

Pros Of Expensive Helmet

  • Meets stringent safety standards
  • Advanced features and customization options are available.
  • Better ventilation and ergonomic design
  • Streamlined design for improved aerodynamics
  • Longer lifespan due to durable construction.

Cons Of Cheap Helmet

  • Limited impact protection
  • Less durable construction
  • Potential discomfort and heavier weight

Cons Of Expensive Helmet

  • Higher cost
  • Excessive features for some riders
  • Limited availability from certain brands or models.

Finally, I hope you are all clear about the Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Motorcycle Helmets. Choose according to your priorities and budget.

In motorcycle helmets, the price often reflects quality and features. While cheaper helmets may provide basic protection, expensive ones offer advanced safety technologies, superior materials, and enhanced comfort.

A pricier helmet can significantly enhance rider safety and comfort, making it a wise choice for avid motorcyclists.

Frequently Asked Questions For Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Motorcycle Helmets

How Do I Know If A Helmet Is Safe?

To determine if a helmet is safe, the dot, snell, or ECE safety rating must be checked as mandated by the law. These safety standards ensure that the helmet meets the required safety standards.

Is It Worth It To Buy An Expensive Helmet?

Yes, it is worth buying an expensive helmet as it offers superior protection, comfort, durability, and advanced safety features such as ventilation, noise reduction, and aerodynamics.

Can I Use A Cheap Helmet For My Passenger?

No, using a cheap helmet for your passenger is not advisable. Passengers also require the same high-quality protection that the rider needs, and using a cheap helmet can compromise their safety in case of an accident.

How Should I Maintain My Helmet?

Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, sweat, and chemicals to maintain your helmet. Clean the exterior with mild soap and water as recommended, and store it in a dry and cool place.
Read- How To Clean A Motorcycle Helmet? 5 Easy Steps To 2023

Final Thoughts

Investing in a high-quality motorcycle helmet is vital for your safety while riding. Cheap helmets may seem reasonable, but they do not provide sufficient protection in an accident.

On the other hand, expensive helmets offer advanced technology, superior material quality, and a comfortable fit for the rider.

Additionally, high-end helmets give you more customization options and can last longer than their cheaper counterparts.

Remember that you cannot put a price on your safety when purchasing a helmet. Always look for helmets that meet safety standards and have passed rigorous testing.

Before purchasing, consider your budget and what features are essential to you. Ultimately, your choice should reflect a balance between cost and quality.

I hope you will be able to understand the difference between cheap and expensive helmets and buy the right helmet for you. Invest in a quality helmet and invest in your safety on the road. Ride safely.

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