Riding your motorcycle can be a dangerous and noisy affair.
On a motorcycle, you’re directly exposed to wind and traffic noise, which can easily exceed agreed safety standards. Having a well-fitting helmet is important to protect your head during an accident and to prevent hearing loss.
When it comes to reducing wind and traffic noise, all helmets are not created equal. We’ve therefore compiled a list of the eight quietest motorcycle helmets. This will help you narrow your search and find the perfect one.
So let’s get to it and take a closer look…
- 1 Top 8 Quietest Motorcycle Helmets On The Market In 2020 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Shoei RF-1200 Helmet (X-Large) (White) – Quietest Small Profile Sports Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.2 2 HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet (Matte Black, Large) – Quietest Polycarbonate Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.3 3 Shark Unisex-Adult Flip-Up Helmet (Matte Black, XL – 61-62 cm – 24-24.4”) – Quietest Modular Motorcycle Helmets
- 1.4 4 Bell Bullitt Helmet (Gloss Black – Large) – Quietest Retro Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.5 5 Shoei Neotec II Helmet (Large) (Matte Black) – Quietest Lightweight Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.6 6 Bell Qualifier Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Solid Matte Black, X-Large) – Quietest Motorcycle Helmet for Big Heads
- 1.7 7 Shoei GT-Air 2 Helmet (Large) (Matte Black) – Quietest Touring Motorcycle Helmet
- 1.8 8 1Storm Motorcycle Street Bike Modular/Flip up Dual Visor/Sun Shield Full Face Helmet (MattBlack, X-Large) – Best Budget Motorcycle Helmet
- 2 Quietest Motorcycle Helmets Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for more superb products for your motorcycle?
- 4 So, what are the Quietest Motorcycle Helmets?
Top 8 Quietest Motorcycle Helmets On The Market In 2020 Reviews
1 Shoei RF-1200 Helmet (X-Large) (White) – Quietest Small Profile Sports Motorcycle Helmet
This is a high-end helmet aimed at the sports rider. It is an oval-shaped helmet that’s designed to fit the majority of riders’ heads. If you have a football or round-shaped head, you need to skip ahead right now. This one is not for you.
It weighs just over 1,500g, and a lot of effort has gone into refining this latest model to decrease the external size. The result is a helmet with one of the smallest profiles and functions as one of the slickest through the air. The improved aerodynamics, as a result of extensive wind tunnel testing, has produced a helmet with exceptionally high levels of noise isolation.
Even at speeds greater than 150mph, there’s only a minimal intrusion of wind rush.
Well-ventilated and super comfortable…
It does all of this while still being well ventilated. With all the vents open, you get plenty of airflow without excessive noise. With the vents closed, you get maximum isolation from noise and the elements. On a warm day, you don’t feel unduly hot. And on a cold day, your head feels warm and comfortable.
The integrated vents do a great job of preventing any fogging. However, the helmet also incorporates a Pinlock Anti-Fog lens as a further precaution against misting.
Smooth operation, with safety in mind…
The hinges on the visor and the vents are some of the best in their class. They operate smoothly like a well-oiled machine. But when locked into place, they do so with a reassuring click, and you know they’re going to stay put.
Finally, the removable cheek pads are well-marked with highly visible red slashes. This makes it easy for emergency service workers to quickly identify for rapid helmet removal. We‘re sure you’ll agree that this is an essential feature for any motorcycle helmet.
- Small helmet profile.
- Easily identifiable removable cheek pads.
- Pinlock Anti-Fog system.
- Inner cheek pads must be purchased separately.
2 HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet (Matte Black, Large) – Quietest Polycarbonate Motorcycle Helmet
The HJC helmet has a polycarbonate shell. It has a larger profile than the Shoei RF-1200 and weighs in heavier, at 1,800g. Despite the extra weight and size, the good news is that it still feels relatively light and comfortable.
Only one hand needed…
The helmet is modular, so the chin bar can be flipped-up above the visor. The chin bar can be flipped up by pressing the red button under the chin. It’s an easy one-handed operation.
When the chin bar is fully down and locked into the position, it’s difficult to see the joint even from a short distance. It’s very neatly done, and it would be easy to mistake this for a standard helmet.
Vented and fog-proof…
At the front of the helmet is a large chin vent. This helps to increase airflow over the back of the visor and helps to prevent fogging. Other anti-fogging measures include the Pinlock face shield. In combination, they work well to prevent fogging and without the need for letting in airflow through the visor.
The top of the helmet has a three-way vent that channels air over the top of the helmet and out through four rear exhaust vents. These are good enough to keep your cool on the hotter days.
Come rain, come shine…
Other great features include the integrated slide down sun shield. This is lockable and can be fully retracted by just one push of a spring-loaded button. For motorcyclists who either wear eyeglasses or don’t want to carry around sunglasses, it’s ideal.
This is an affordable helmet that, despite its price, and the fact it’s a modular helmet, still does a good job of insulating the rider from excessive external noise. The inclusion of a removable chin insert and a well-fitting neck roll helps to reduce noise in what is already a quiet helmet.
All in all, it’s undoubtedly one of the quietest motorcycle helmets in its price bracket and class.
- Easy to operate chin bar.
- Good venting.
- Pinlock Anti-Fogging face-shield.
- Integrated sun shield.
- Chin insert.
- No quick-release straps.
3 Shark Unisex-Adult Flip-Up Helmet (Matte Black, XL – 61-62 cm – 24-24.4”) – Quietest Modular Motorcycle Helmets
This is another flip-up modular helmet. It’s a mid to higher-priced helmet and is DOT certified. It also scores a full five stars on Shark’s own crash test rating system.
Chin bar mechanism…
The chin bar moves back in one super-smooth and easy motion. One of the great features is its patented chin bar mechanism. When you flip-up the chin bar and back down again, the visor automatically lifts up and down. How cool is that?
Even better is that the chin bar flips right back to the rear of the helmet. This means it doesn’t sit at the top of the visor, acting almost like a sail if you’re riding with it open.
Multi-faceted design turned into low noise levels…
A lot of effort has gone into keeping down noise levels. The clever design of the cheek pads, neck roll, flip-up chin bar, and vents, together with extensive wind tunnel testing, have made this as quiet as possible. We were impressed with the noise isolation of the HJC modular helmet, but this has taken things to another level.
The helmet has three vents that are smooth to operate but have a solid click when in place. They’re an improvement over the outgoing model. What’s more, they’re also easy to use when you’re wearing gloves, which would probably be all of the time!
Scratch-resistant sun shield…
It has a high-quality integrated slide down sun shield with an anti-scratch coating. This fits underneath the equally high-quality clear visor that can be used with a Pinlock face shield.
The fact is that if you choose this helmet, you will pay a lot more than for other models, but you will get less noise than a lot of similar helmets. You will also get better levels of venting and protection. We think that if you have the extra cash to spend, and you’re doing a lot of high speed riding, the higher price tag is more than warranted.
- Patented chin bar mechanism.
- The chin bar will retract to the back of the helmet.
- DOT certified.
- High levels of noise isolation.
- High-quality lenses.
- Sizes are small.
4 Bell Bullitt Helmet (Gloss Black – Large) – Quietest Retro Motorcycle Helmet
Get your flares from the back of the cupboard, check that your mustache is up to scratch, and set your time machine to take you back to the 70s. OK. So, the Bell Bullitt may scream design cues from half a century ago, but happily, it now comes in an updated and very much improved package.
The Bell Bullitt has an unmistakable classic retro shape and overall style, coupled with a massive visor. The peripheral view afforded is unparalleled in any make of modern helmet.
Lightweight, fiberglass construction…
This is a lightweight and premium helmet. It has a fiberglass composite shell that gives it superb strength as well as weight reduction. It’s DOT certified and comes backed with a five years warranty.
There is a single chin vent and four small round wire mesh vents above the visor. The four small vents are vented at the rear, after passing over the EPS liner and exhausted out of the venturi vent. This ensures great airflow and will keep you cool during summertime riding.
This is a big helmet, and the retro style doesn’t do it any favors when it comes to cutting out wind and other unwanted noises. At speed, it will get noisy. It’s better than a lot of other retro helmets. But realistically, it can’t compete with modern CAD wind tunnel tested designs.
The visor comes as a flat shield, or you can swap it out for a bubble shield if you want to play the imaginary game of astronauts or deep-sea divers. There are also tinted visor options available.
Magnets used for sealing, and a removable liner…
To keep the visor in place, Bell uses a leather-coated magnet that pulls itself onto the outside of the helmet. It creates a perfect seal and takes retro-cool to a whole new level.
The inside of the helmet has a modern removable liner and cheek pads. The helmet is also designed with a more up to date oval interior that suits the majority of head shapes and ensures a tight and secure fit.
If you want a helmet that affords modern protection and comfort but with a throwback style, this has to be it. For a retro helmet, at this premium end of the market, there’s nothing else out there to match it.
- Super-cool retro looks.
- Choice of visors.
- DOT certified.
- Quality breathable liner.
- Visor scratches easily.
- Less noise isolation than a modern-designed helmet.
5 Shoei Neotec II Helmet (Large) (Matte Black) – Quietest Lightweight Motorcycle Helmet
Next, in our reviews of the Quietest Motorcycle Helmets, we have a premium lightweight helmet that comes in an extensive range of sizes, so getting a good fit should be easy. Happily, the sizes run true, which is not something we can say for a lot of helmet manufacturers.
Lightweight and strong…
This is a modular flip-up helmet. The main shell is made from fiberglass and a mixture of other materials. These include high performance 3D layered materials together with organic materials. The exact composition is not disclosed, as Shoei wants to hold onto their trade secrets.
You can be assured that this is one of the strongest and lightest helmets on the market. It’s also one of the most expensive.
Newly designed vents, and nicely designed cheek pads…
There’s no doubt that a lot of care has been taken to reduce wind noise. The helmet has newly designed vents at the chin and on the top of the helmet. These have been made to be easily adjustable and have also undergone rigorous testing to ensure maximum noise isolation.
Additionally, there is a large thick chin roll and specially fitted cheek pads. These all work well to fill a potential space that can induce wind noise. The result is a quiet helmet, even at high speeds.
Easy-operation, even with one hand…
The flip-up chin bar can be operated one-handed and is as smooth as you could wish for. As you move the chin guard up and down, the visor will automatically adjust accordingly. It’s a welcome feature that makes life on the bike appreciably easier.
The quality of materials, including the vents, liner, strap, visor, slide down UV sun shield, and padding, are amongst the very best you can buy. If you want a quiet and quality made modular helmet with high levels of protection, then look no further.
- Large selection of sizes.
- Easy to operate flip-up chin guard.
6 Bell Qualifier Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Solid Matte Black, X-Large) – Quietest Motorcycle Helmet for Big Heads
The Bell Qualifier is an affordable full-face helmet. It comes in an excellent choice of sizes and colors. Happily, this also extends to an XXXL size, which is unusual for most helmet makes and brands.
This is the latest update of the Bell Qualifier. It still has the same polycarbonate hard shell, but there have been a lot of changes to make this an all-round improved budget helmet.
Good for oval-shaped heads…
The first change, and is immediately noticeable, is that it has a smaller and narrower profile. The helmet has been redesigned to fit oval rather than round-shaped heads. This is part of a complete overhaul of Bell’s range.
The venting has also been improved. Now low-profile chimney vents sweep back to a contoured spoiler via venturi vents. The upshot of the new shape and venting is a helmet with better aerodynamics and therefore improved noise isolation over the outgoing helmet.
Even more improvements…
Other improvements include a new face shield. It is 100% UV protected and additionally has an anti-scratch and anti-fog protective layer. Even better, the face shield can now be swapped straight out for one of Bell’s photochromic face shields. But possibly better still is the tight-fitting gasket that helps keep out wind noise.
On the inside, the neck roll, cheek pads, and liner are made from micro-bacterial material. They are all excellent at wicking away sweat and also can be easily removed to put in the washing machine.
Good for the price…
The quality is reasonable at the price point. But you don’t get the same kind of quality and as you do with a helmet-like the Shoei Neotec II or the Shark Unisex-Adult Flip-Up Helmet.
- DOT certified.
- New aerodynamic design.
- Improved vents.
- New face shield.
- Clunky face shield ratchet.
- No mesh covering the vents.
7 Shoei GT-Air 2 Helmet (Large) (Matte Black) – Quietest Touring Motorcycle Helmet
This is a premium full-face helmet that’s primarily designed for long-distance touring. It comes in a good range of sizes and a conservative choice of seven colors.
The latest version has pads added on the side to allow integration with the Sena SRL 2 intercom. This means that rather than having an intercom hanging off the side, a more seamless fit can be achieved. In turn, this significantly reduces wind noise. This is a welcome feature during long rides.
Now you can install those speakers…
The helmet also has indents on the inside to allow for mounting dedicated speakers. Additionally, there is space for the battery back at the rear of the helmet. Plus, there’s a channel under the chin bar to run the wires from the Sean SRL 2 system. This eliminates the possibility of the wires pushing into your head.
To help you keep you cool, there is an adjustable large vent sat on top, with two passive exhaust vents at the rear. This creates a more streamlined profile over the back and rear of the helmet to further improve aerodynamics and reduce noise.
Scratch resistant drop-down sun shield, and intercom compatible…
The helmet has a drop-down sun shield that can be operated with one hand. The main face shield is scratch-resistant and has a quality anti-fogging coating. The position of the face shield on this model can be left open in a wider ‘cracked’ position to increase airflow to prevent fogging at lower speeds.
The liner, neck roll, and cheek pads are removable, can be machine washed, and have high levels of wicking. Together with the strong ventilation, this should ensure you don’t overheat on those long rides.
A superb touring option…
This latest model has lots of new features and design changes that make it much more suitable for touring with an intercom. For riders who don’t use an intercom, the previous model is perfectly suitable and will save you a few bucks.
- Added side pads for fixing Sena SLR 2 speakers.
- Internally-cut channels for mounting speakers, battery packs, and wires.
- Improved ‘cracked’ face shield position.
- Improved aerodynamics.
- High cost.
8 1Storm Motorcycle Street Bike Modular/Flip up Dual Visor/Sun Shield Full Face Helmet (MattBlack, X-Large) – Best Budget Motorcycle Helmet
The last helmet in our review is the most affordable. It’s DOT certified, and it comes in a range of sizes. And most surprisingly, it also comes in the largest range of colors.
This is a flip-up helmet. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, at the price, it is a two-handed operation to flip-up the chin bar. What’s more, it also feels clunkier. And once it’s in the closed position, it feels less tightly in place than most modular helmets.
Some design annoyances are compensated for…
This lack of smoothness carries through to the operation of the vents and the visor. It’s not bad, but it’s no match for helmets like the HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet. Considering the huge disparity in prices, this is hardly surprising.
On the plus side, the 1Storm Motorcycle Street Bike helmet does give you plenty of features and functionality for your money. It has a flip-down sun shield, adjustable vents, removable and washable padding, plus a quick release face shield system.
Even more impressive is that it also has cut-out channels for speakers. Very useful if you intend to do some touring or need an intercom for work.
A little noisy…
All in all, it offers lots of value at the price point. However, it does lack a lot of refinement. It tends to crack and creak, and it does not insulate you particularly well from external noise.
- Flip-down sun shield.
- DOT certified.
- Removable and washable padding.
- Likes refinement.
- Creaks and squeaks.
- It’s noisy.
Quietest Motorcycle Helmets Buying Guide
Many considerations go into buying a helmet. The level of noise isolation from the wind, the motorcycle’s engine, and traffic are all undoubtedly important. However, although we will go on to look at this in more detail, there are plenty of other features that should also be considered.
These include the cost, quality of materials, outer shell composition, strap type, ease of operating vents, color choice, and so much more.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s now focus on what to look for in a quiet helmet…
A good aerodynamic helmet will be quieter than a non-aero helmet. That’s a fact. So, what exactly makes a helmet aerodynamic, and what should you look for when you’re looking to buy one?
This is the 64 million dollar question. A lot of the aerodynamics comes from its initial modeling, which we will look at more closely in the Wind Tunnel Testing section. But there are a couple of other features you can easily spot.
A smaller helmet will always be more aerodynamic than a larger one of equivalent shape. If you can get a helmet that’s small at a good price, and with the features you want, then this is the way to go. The…
…is an example of a helmet that’s shed some of its size and reaped the benefits with lower noise levels. At the other end of the scale, the…
…may look super cool. But it’s big and has the aerodynamics of a brick. Sadly, it’s not quiet. But something that the guys and girls buying them probably won’t care about.
Finally, another feature you can look for is a tight closure at the neck. If you can still comfortably pull the helmet on and off, a tight fit around the neck will reduce wind and external noise.
Wind Tunnel Testing
Wind tunnel testing is a painstaking and expensive business. Modern helmets are made for the air to easily slip over the top. But before any new design can come to the market, there will be numerous modeling and testing days ahead.
A well-designed aero motorcycle helmet can significantly reduce external noise. However, the cost of modeling and testing means the very latest designs are most typically reserved for higher-end helmets made by the big players like Shoei.
Sizes and Fit
If your helmet doesn’t fit properly, it will leave space for it to move and wobble around. This, in turn, will cause buffeting and plenty of wind noise. You, therefore, need to pay very close attention to the manufactures size charts,
Look for helmets like the…
…which has a full range of sizes. You should always check in the review section as to whether or not the sizes run true. Sadly, all too often, sizes can run small. An example is the Shark Unisex-Adult Flip-Up Helmet. Or they can run large too. Helmets like the Shoei Neotec II Helmet run true to size.
A final point to consider is your head shape. Most helmets are now made to best-fit people with oval-shaped heads. This is because it’s the most common head shape amongst the majority of riders. However, if you have a round head, check carefully that the internal profile of the helmet you buy will conform to your shape.
Rolls and Cheeks Pads
A good fit doesn’t always just come down to choosing the right size of helmet. A helmet with good quality and snug-fitting padding is also important in ensuring a good fit. It also makes a significant difference between riding with a noisy or quiet helmet.
This is because the padding works to seal the excess space between the neck and the head. The cheek pads also form part of this barrier. The best motorcycle helmets are often the ones that have a good seal.
Looking for more superb products for your motorcycle?
If so, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Motorcycle Tank Bags, the Best Fender Eliminator, the Best Motorcycle Disc Locks, the Best Motorcycle Shocks, as well as the Best Motorcycle Rain Gear on the market.
Or for storage, maintenance, and safety needs, check out our reviews of the Best Motorcycle Covers Review, the Best Motorcycle GPS Trackers, the Best Motorcycle Tire Changers, the Best Motorcycle Storage Sheds, or the Best Motorcycle Cleaners you can buy in 2020.
So, what are the Quietest Motorcycle Helmets?
So, there you have it, a selection of the eight quietest motorbike helmets available today.
We love riding motorcycles. And we also love to do so without a ton of noise buzzing in our ears. Hopefully, there was a helmet on our list that does this as well as suits your budget and your style of riding. We like them all. But our top pick is the…
The Shoei RF-1200 is a quality helmet throughout. And weighing just 1,500g, it’s one of the lightest helmets you can buy. It’s small profile, carefully designed vent system, and extensive wind tunnel-tested shell also makes it one of the quietest and best quality helmets in its class.
Enjoy your bikes, and enjoy your rides.