The fact is that if you ride an older or vintage motorcycle or scooter, wearing a modern helmet will look out of place. They just look wrong. This is why there is such a high demand for retro-styled helmets. And there’s no denying that they look super cool.
One of the advantages of new vintage-style helmets is that they feature better safety designs. Although they may still suffer from some of the shortcomings of older helmets, on the whole, the best vintage motorcycle helmets have been substantially improved.
Happily, the choice of vintage helmets has also never been better, and the prices never keener. To narrow down this rather extensive range, we’ve put together a list of our top ten picks of what’s currently on the market.
So, let’s get to it and find the one that’s right for you and your bike…
- 1 Top 10 Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets for the Money in 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Biltwell Gringo – Most Comfortable Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.2 2 Bell Custom 500 Open-Face Motorcycle Helmet – Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmet for Short Rides
- 1.3 3 Bell Bullitt Helmet Bolt Gloss Yellow/Black – Best Vented Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.4 4 Vega Helmets X390 Retro Open Face Motorcycle Helmet – Best Open Face Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.5 5 Daytona Helmets Motorcycle Open Face Helmet Cruiser – Best Value Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.6 6 TORC T5020PCH21 Route 66 3/4 Helmet – Best Vintage Looking Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.7 7 Westt Rover Motorcycle Open Face Moped Retro Style 3/4 Helmet – Best Budget Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.8 8 Bell Rogue Half Helmet – Best Vintage Harley Davidson Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.9 9 ScorpionEXO EXO Belfast 3/4 Open Face Helmet – Best 3/4 Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.10 10 TORC – T105:25 T1 Unisex-Adult Retro Full-face Motorcycle Helmet – Best Full Face Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
- 2 Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for Something Else?
- 4 What are the Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets?
Top 10 Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets for the Money in 2021 Reviews
1 Biltwell Gringo – Most Comfortable Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
Biltwell is an American company with a strong presence in the world of motorcycles. They make helmets as well as a range of motorcycle apparel and parts. They have a solid reputation for build quality and are therefore a company you can trust.
DOT-certified full-face helmet…
One of the things we love about this helmet is the hand-painted finish. The yellow, orange, and red stripes are so reminiscent of the 70s. Back then, these kinds of stripes could be found on everything from rally jackets to cars, and of course, helmets. The retro paint job is an excellent throwback to the era.
The fundamentals of the helmet are sound. You get an ABS outer shell and an EPS shock absorbing inner liner. The interior padding is all hand-stitched. Plus, there are check pads and a chin bar cushion for extra comfort and protection.
There are an anti-fog shield and a simple hinge mechanism which makes removing or replacing the shield nice and straightforward. The left side of the shield has a snap and tab system that produces a secure speedy closure.
Comfortable, but not very quiet…
It feels comfortable to wear, which is also helped by the fact that it only weighs three pounds. This is one of the best lightweight vintage motorcycle helmets on the market. However, a lack of any venting makes it a poor choice if you live in a warmer climate or intend to go on longer rides.
Like a lot of vintage helmets, it’s not the quietest. Although it’s not as noisy as some of the larger vintage-style helmets, it’s still prone to wind noise at higher speeds. The aerodynamics also make it prone to some buffeting. Bt again, this is nowhere near as obvious in comparison to a lot of vintage motorcycle helmets.
- ABS outer shell.
- Quality EPS liner.
- Retro hand-painted finish.
- Prone to wind noise at higher speeds.
- Lack of venting.
2 Bell Custom 500 Open-Face Motorcycle Helmet – Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmet for Short Rides
This is a classic half-faced helmet from Bell, one of the most respected helmet makers in the business. It has an ageless appearance and will look as good today as it did 50 years ago, and as good as it will look 50 years from now.
The choice of sizes and colors is comprehensive. The sizes go from XS to XXXL. There are also no less than 15 colors to choose from. All of them are super-cool with a real vintage feel. As a result, this is one of the best fitting vintage motorcycle helmets on the market.
So, is this helmet any good?
It has a fairly low-profile, which helps to minimize buffeting and wind noise. However, this is an open-faced helmet, so you’ll have to put up with all the associated noise and discomfort that comes with it. If you prefer a shield rather than goggles, it has integrated snap-on buttons that are compatible with most aftermarket visors.
The outer shell is made from fiberglass, so it will lack the protection of stronger polycarbonate helmets. At this kind of price, a fiberglass helmet is not untypical. On the positive side, it’s still DOT, and ECE certified. The inside of the helmet has a plush EPS liner that’s both snug and comfortable.
For shorter distances around town and at low speed, it’s a viable option. However, the lack of wind protection is likely to make it less than ideal on long and fast rides.
Another minus is the fact that there are no ventilation channels, so things are liable to get hot very quickly. If you already live in a warm climate, this could be a deal-breaker.
- Wide range of sizes.
- Extensive and cool choice of colors.
- Snug-fitting EPS liner.
- DOT and ECE certified.
- Low profile.
- No ventilation channels.
- It’s noisy.
- Fiberglass outer shell.
3 Bell Bullitt Helmet Bolt Gloss Yellow/Black – Best Vented Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
This is one of the most iconic vintage motorcycle helmets you can buy. A glance at one of these will take you right back to the 70s in an instance. It’s another great helmet from Bell.
Although this is a retro helmet, the good news is that it comes in a much more modern form. The use of materials and expertise are very much in this rather than the last century.
So, what are the improvements?
Firstly, the outer shell features a carbon composite construction that makes it strong, lightweight, and tough. It’s not only DOT-certified, but it’s also backed by Bell’s five-year no quibble guarantee. Now that’s a lot of faith in your product.
You also get a modern quality removable EPS liner, cheek pads, and a series of vents that all help to keep you cool. The vents include a chin vent, four round vents over the visor, and a venturi vent at the rear to exhaust the airflow. These all combine to keep you comfortable even on those all too infrequent hotter days.
The visor is held on by magnets that create a perfect seal and keep it firmly in place. The supplied visor is flat. However, if you want to go full vintage, it’s compatible with a bubble shield for that super-cool look. Tinted visors are also available.
But there’s more…
Other modern design features include the internal change of shape. The helmet is contoured to be more oval as opposed to round. This is a much more contemporary shape and is much more likely to fit the majority of riders.
It has a lot to offer and provides plenty of improvements over the original model. However, due to its size, you’re still going to experience terrible wind noise and buffeting. Compared to any new style of helmet, the Bell Bullitt has the aerodynamics of a brick with all the associated shortcomings.
- Hard carbon composite outer shell.
- Removable, washable, and breathable EPS liner.
- Excellent face shield fastening system.
- Good venting.
- Super cool looks.
- Excellent choice of colorways.
- Modern oval internal shape.
- The face shield scratches relatively easily.
4 Vega Helmets X390 Retro Open Face Motorcycle Helmet – Best Open Face Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
Next, in our reviews of the Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets, we have an affordable vintage open-faced helmet. It comes in a huge range of sizes, so you’ll have no problem finding one to fit. The graphics and color scheme are bold and dramatic.
The ‘Never Surrender’ logo and a picture of a lady astride a bomb are undoubtedly going to appeal to the more extrovert rider. However, if this is not quite your style, they do make other colorways, including a rather attractive denim color.
The outer shell weighs just 2.5lbs and is made from ABS thermoplastic alloy. Whilst there’s no doubt that this is a strong and durable material, it won’t give you the same kind of protection as you’ll find on something like the Bell Custom 500. However, despite this, it’s still DOT certified and offers a great deal of protection for not a lot of money.
The liner is removable and features wick drying to keep you nice and cool. This is just as well since there’s no venting on the top of the helmet. Although, since it’s a half-faced helmet, it’s much less of an issue than on a full-faced alternative.
One of the highlights is the drop-down mirrored sun-shield. This is a great addition and makes it possible to ride without having to wear goggles. Since there are no attachment points for a face shield, it’s just as well.
If you prefer a non-mirrored or a clear drop-down sun-shield, these are available by separate purchase. All in all, this is a comfortable and inexpensive option for riders who want to get noticed.
- Drop-down integrated sun shield.
- Removable and washable liner.
- DOT certified.
- No fixings for a face shield.
5 Daytona Helmets Motorcycle Open Face Helmet Cruiser – Best Value Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
If the styling of the Vega X390 is just a little too much, then this is a great alternative. It’s similarly priced with similar features but without all the extrovert graphics.
So, what exactly do you get?
You get a 3/4 face cruiser-style helmet that’s available in a choice of just four colors. These are white black, gloss black, and gunmetal grey metallic. There’s nothing amongst them to raise an eyebrow or draw attention to yourself.
The shell is made from ABS plastic. It’s DOT certified, but we still wouldn’t feel confident in the event of a spill at high speeds. We feel this is more for low-speed riding. Therefore, it’s one of the best vintage helmets for scooters or anyone that wants to take their riding at an easier pace.
The helmet comes with a snap-on visor. Unfortunately, unlike the Vega, there is no integrated drop-down sun shield. However, more positively, it does have fixings to attach a face shield which is a big plus.
Secure and easy to clean…
Another plus is the fact that it also has a chin strap that can be moved backward or forwards. This helps to prevent pinching and makes an already comfortable helmet even better.
As with most of these helmets, there’s no venting. Fortunately, if it does get hot and you sweat, the liner is antibacterial and removable. Once you get home, you can easily pull the lining off at pop it in the washing machine.
- Clip-on visor.
- Fixings for a face shield.
- Removable and machine washable liner.
- The chin strap can be moved backward and forwards.
- ABS plastic outer shell.
6 TORC T5020PCH21 Route 66 3/4 Helmet – Best Vintage Looking Motorcycle Helmet
One of the things we love is the amazing Route 66 graphics. The quality and finish are far above what you expect at this kind of price-point. Plus, what we particularly like is the way the helmet has been cleverly aged to give it that real vintage look.
A superb selection…
If this specific helmet is not your style, not to worry, they have an excellent choice of equally incredible-looking helmets. What’s more, with a wide range of sizes to choose from making this one of the best unisex vintage motorcycle helmets currently available.
The helmet is DOT-approved and comes with a suede-like liner. This is effective in wicking away moisture and feels soft to the touch too. Unlike suede, it’s much easier to clean, though it should be noted the lining is not removable.
A mix of old and new…
Despite the old school looks, happily, TORC has designed it with an internal oval shape. This is a more modern design and is likely to fit more riders than the older round kind of interiors. It’s a very positive upgrade and a great modern take on an old design.
On the outside of the helmet, there are five snap-on buttons for either a face shield or a visor. A useful addition if you don’t intend to wear goggles, glasses, or sunglasses. Overall, it’s a great-looking helmet that we think is likely to appeal to as many scooter riders as motorcycle riders.
- High-quality finish and graphics.
- Easy clean lining.
- DOT certified.
- Five snap buttons for fixing a face shield.
- The liner is not removable.
7 Westt Rover Motorcycle Open Face Moped Retro Style 3/4 Helmet – Best Budget Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
For the highly budget-conscious rider, this is undoubted of the best vintage helmets for motorcycles you can buy and might just be what you’re looking for. This is easily the best cheap vintage motorcycle helmet in our review. And despite the low price, it’s still DOT-certified, street legal, and can offer good levels of protection, though at lower speeds.
So, what do you get for not a lot of money?
You get an open-faced ¾ Polyester helmet with a removable liner. The liner is made from foam to cut down on costs, but it’s still comfortable and easy to clean. It’s also removable, which makes the whole cleaning process much simpler.
One thing we like, and that’s very unusual on this style of helmet, is the fact that there are vents on the top. This makes riding in hot conditions much more comfortable and puts it ahead of helmets at a far more expensive price-point.
We also like the integrated flip-down sun shield though unfortunately, there are no retro-fit options. It’s also unfortunate that there are no snap-on buttons for an external face shield. This is a little limiting, in our opinion.
Slow riders, take note…
A final plus is the removable colored side panels. Different colors are provided and can be easily changed to suit your style and mood.
This is a good helmet for riders of smaller motorcycles and scooters who are not going to be traveling at high speeds. Be aware that you won’t get the same kind of protection as a similarly styled Bell helmet costing four or five times the price.
- DOT certified.
- Flip down sun shield.
- Removable and washable liner.
- Vents on the top.
- Very inexpensive.
- No snap-in buttons for an external face shield.
- No retro-fit flip-down visors.
8 Bell Rogue Half Helmet – Best Vintage Harley Davidson Motorcycle Helmet
Next in our Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets reviews, we have an out-and-out cruiser helmet. The styling screams Harley and long highway rides. The aggressive retro looks have long been favored by riders in just about every motorcycle gang you can think of. This is a Bell helmet, so you can safely assume that it’s one of the best high quality vintage motorcycle helmets out there.
The outer shell features three layers. It has a lightweight carbon composite shell that will afford you the very best protection in the unlikely event of a spill. Likewise, the inner EPS liner uses a mycobacterial material that is washable and removable.
On the whole, it’s a comfortable helmet. It has lots of great padding around the neck and ears. However, sadly it doesn’t have any additional padding around the forehead, which we feel is an omission.
Looking rough and tough…
One of the most recognizable elements of the helmet is the muzzle over the front. It looks mean and aggressive. It can also be customized as there are other options available from Bell and plenty of aftermarket alternatives too.
The muzzle is there to protect against dirt, rocks, insects, and anything else the road might throw at you. It’s not designed to protect your chin in the event of an accident.
The Bell Rogue, although a half helmet, in some ways feels very much like a ¾ helmet. This is because it comes with a removable neck roll. This helps to cushion you if you have a spill and a knock to the back of the head.
A special extra…
One final feature includes the integrated speaker pockets. As a result, it’s one of the best long ride vintage motorcycle helmets. This is because you can connect a smartphone for listening to music or communicating with other riders. It’s a great helmet for Storm Troopers and Hell’s Angels as well.
- High-quality three-layer carbon composite shell.
- Antibacterial washable liner.
- Removable neck roll.
- Attachable muzzle.
- Integrated speaker pockets.
- Polarizing super-aggressive looks.
- Poor forehead padding.
9 ScorpionEXO EXO Belfast 3/4 Open Face Helmet – Best 3/4 Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
Scorpion helmets are high-quality and offer excellent levels of safety for the rider. Although they are made in China, they should not be discounted or thought of as in any way inferior to the US or other Western-made helmets. Because they’re not, and this is one of the most protective vintage motorcycle helmets out there.
The ScorpionEXO Belfast is a ¾ faced open helmet with an outer made from hand-laid fiberglass. The outer is tough, strong, and is dependable in the event of a crash, even at relatively high speeds.
The black outer shell is beautifully complemented by the brown soft-touch inner liner. This is washable and has micro-bacterial properties. It looks super cool too.
It has a drop-down sun shield for those days you don’t want to wear glasses or goggles. Maybe you just want to nip down to the shops without putting on all the gear. In this instance, you’re covered.
Hit the road…
For the times you want to go on a longer ride, the helmet has fixings to attach a full-face shield. Even better, you can also fix on bubble shield for the real vintage look. The only moan we have, about the shield, is that the snap buttons are a little on the loose side and can cause buzzing at higher speeds.
Another couple of moans and niggles include the fact that the sizes run small. Plus, there is no meaningful ventilation, so things are liable to run hot on longer rides. This last one, quite frankly, is pretty much as you’d expect.
- Hand-laid fiberglass outer.
- Soft-touch inner liner.
- Drop-down sun shield.
- Fixings for a face shield.
- DOT certified.
- Sizes run small.
- Buttons that attach to the face shield are liable to buzzing.
- No vents.
10 TORC – T105:25 T1 Unisex-Adult Retro Full-face Motorcycle Helmet – Best Full Face Vintage Motorcycle Helmet
The TORC T1 has a very similar appearance to the Bell Bullitt. This should come as no great surprise since both of them are straight out of the 1970s. They are both big helmets, but the TORC T1 differs slightly as it’s fractionally smaller than the Bell Bullitt.
The TORC T1 comes in a huge choice of colors. It has one of the best ranges for a helmet in its class. Two of the choices include a carbon finish. It’s hardly vintage, but if you’re looking for a retro/modern twist, it could still work.
Added comfort and protection…
The outer shell is constructed from tough three-layer fiberglass material. It will stand up well in high-speed impacts and is fully DOT, and ECE certified.
The interior is beautifully padded and has a micro-bacterial liner. It’s made out of faux suede and feels soft to the touch. The only real criticism is that the padding is so snug it can make wearing glasses feel a little uncomfortable as it pushes the frames into the side of your head.
Although it’s a vintage-style helmet, like the Bullitt, it has a modern oval-shaped interior. This, together with a wide selection of sizes, means most riders will be able to get a good fit.
A few downsides…
This is all good, but again like the Bullitt, it falls down on its outdated design, the very reason why people choose it in the first place. The main problem is awful aerodynamics, so wind noise and buffeting are a real issue. The other problem is that the venting is sub-optimal, so it could leave you feeling overly hot on long rides or warmer days.
- High-quality fiberglass outer.
- Soft-touch inner.
- Modern oval shape.
- Impressive color choice.
- Poor venting.
- Awful aerodynamics.
Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets Buying Guide
Before you go out and buy a vintage motorcycle helmet, there are some things you should consider. So, let’s go through them…
Size and Fit
Size and fit are one of the most important considerations when buying a helmet. If the helmet is a bad fit, it will wobble around or squeeze your head too tightly. If it’s too loose, it can lead to unnecessary wind noise and buffeting. Too tight, and it will cause a very uncomfortable ride.
When choosing a helmet, you need to pay close attention to the size charts provided by the manufacturer. Always look for a helmet that has a good range of sizes. In this respect, there’s no doubt that the Bell Custom 500 Open-Face Motorcycle Helmet has the best choice of sizes.
Oval or Round Shape
Another consideration is the internal shape of the helmet. Most head shapes are oval, and modern helmets are designed to accommodate this. However, in the past, the internal shape was generally round.
This means that when buying a vintage helmet, you need to make sure the internal shape suits your head type. If you have an oval-shaped head, helmets like the TORC T105:25 or the Bell Bullitt should fit you fine. If you have a round head, then a more traditionally shaped vintage helmet will be a better option.
Aerodynamics is often way down the list of features for vintage-style helmets. This is just as well since many are open-faced and lack much in the way of superior airflow. Older designs also tend to be larger and more round, so lack the aerodynamics of modern helmets.
The upshot is that most vintage motorcycle helmets will be much noisier and cause more buffeting in comparison to their modern counterparts. Two of the worst offenders for this are the Bell Bullitt and the TORC T1. This is not only because of their shape but also because of their size.
This is a hard one to get around. However, in our opinion, one of the best vintage motorcycle helmets for keeping down noise and buffeting at high speed is the Bell Rogue Half Helmet.
This is another area where vintage helmets sadly fall behind the modern equivalents. Most of the ½ or ¾ helmets on our list offer little or no ventilation whatsoever. This translates to uncomfortable and sweaty rides if you travel on hot days or for any great distance.
The reason vintage helmets don’t have venting is that it spoils the lines and immediately ruins their retro looks. Full-faced helmets like the Biltwell Gring and the TORC T1 do have some limited venting.
However, this is still woefully inadequate to keep you cool in most circumstances. The only full-faced helmet on our list that offers anything like decent venting is the Bell Bullitt.
The liner is there to provide comfort and absorb moisture. Liners on vintage helmets are particularly important since, with very little venting, their wicking ability can greatly help to improve comfort.
We’re sure you’ll agree that one of the most important features of a liner is that it can be removed and machine washed. All the Bell, Daytona, and Westt Rover helmets have removable and washable liners. So, you should also look for liners that have antibacterial properties.
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What are the Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets?
So, there you have it. If you ride an older or vintage style bike, it’s comforting to know that you have a great choice of high-quality, safe, and affordable retro helmets to choose from. It’s undoubtedly the case that the choice of the best vintage motorbike helmets has never been better.
We’d be happy to take home any of these helmets and use them on a ride. However, if we had to select just one, it would be the…
We like this helmet because it has a clip-on visor as well as solid button fixings for a face shield. It also has a removable and machine washable liner. Additionally, it has a chin strap that can be moved both forwards and backward for optimal comfort.
So, until next time, let the road be your guide.