The under £200 category is probably the sweet spot in terms of value vs quality when buying a new motorcycle helmet.
All the big manufacturers are featured and you will find lots of top line tech which has filtered down from the high end lids.
Listed below are the best of the mid-range that will keep you protected, and looking the part.
Best Motorcycle Helmets For Under £200 Reviewed
Lets look at our top recommendations.
AGV K5-S Mono
AGV are a brand associated with Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi – who better to follow in the tracks of?
This helmet is as stable and secure as they come, because it has been rigorously tested in wind tunnels to prevent it from wobbling around at high speeds.
With excellent ventilation and sporty characteristics, this lid will keep you feeling cool in more than one way.
Don’t let the price tag scare you, adding this lid to your collection for under £200 is nothing short of a bargain – consider it money well spent!
See full AVG K5-S review.
- Super lightweight, at 1350g
- Chin curtain to prevent noise
- Effective fog shield
- Aerodynamic design to reduce wind turbulence
- A stretch for the budget, but ultimately worth the extra couple of quid
- Thickly padded chin strap is good for comfort, however it can be a hassle when fastening the D-ring
HJC IS-Max 2
Most competitively priced helmet in the range, with a wide choice of style options.
As a new rider, and owner of this helmet myself, I can highly recommend it from personal experience. I didn’t know which style to go for to begin with, but the HJC IS-Max 2 allows me to flip it up if I get too hot, or pull it down when I’m on the motorway. Two thumbs up!
With the addition of a sun visor, and closable air vents, you’re able to ride in comfort whatever the weather brings.
See full HJC IS-Max 2 review.
- Convenient quick release chin strap
- Fully removable Nylex interior
- Flip front easy to operate and faff free
- Multiple adjustable features such as vents, visors and flip front
- Prone to fogging up in cold temperatures
- Sun visor switch is hard to find at top of helmet
Shark S900 Dual Special Edition
Topping the best seller lists every year this thermoplastic resin helmet ticks all the boxes. Outstanding value combined with impressive safety stats makes for lots of happy users.
During the standard flat anvil tests run by SHARP, it scored the maximum protection rating for areas on the top and front of the head. It achieved an overall rating of 4 out of 5.
The oval shape of the S900 Dual Special Edition provides extra space in the upper half, making it feel ‘roomy’ for the rider.
Whilst its not the most exciting lid to look at, this is a solid and dependable choice that will get the job done with minimum fuss.
See full Shark S900 review.
- Quality construction and mechanisms
- Anti-scratch and anti-fog visor
- Fully removable and washable microfibre interior
- Quick click visor removal
- Drafty through air ducts, which is bad on cold days
- Less premium feel than others in range
Nolan N87 Rapid N-Com
Boasts a solid polycarbonate shell, available in a vast array of mono or multi colour schemes.
This helmet is known for its comfort. The secret? A newly designed inner padding, made with double density micro-perforated fabrics.
The innovative visor allows you to see more of the environment than your average helmet, a very useful feature in city traffic.
- N-Com intercom system compatible
- Extra large visor for improved peripheral vision
- Rated highly for comfort in all sizes
- Good coverage from internal sun visor
- Noisy at high speeds, but this can be counteracted with earplugs
- Lack of air flow through air vents, which can cause stuffiness and fogging
Scorpion Exo 490
An understated helmet, bang on budget for a first or a spare.
The conservative appearance of this helmet may not scream style, but it does make it ideal for mounting a helmet camera, if that’s your sort of thing.
A well built visor with a thumb tap on the right side, makes it easy to lift when stuck at a light and holding the clutch. It’s the little things that count.
The micrometric ratchet fastener attached to this helmet gives a secure fit to head shapes of all sizes.
- Triple density foam cheek pads for extreme comfort
- Cheaper than most mid-range lids, without much compromise
- Understated, minimalistic look
- Easy to fasten, even with gloves on
- Interior only semi-removeable
- Disappointing breath deflector causes fogging
Caberg Duke II
High caliber helmet offering outstanding value, comfort for long periods of time, and great ventilation.
A maximum SHARP safety rating has been awarded to the Caberg Duke II, for its excellent performance during their testing procedures. It achieved the best results possible for the front, back and sides of the head. Overall rating, 5 stars!
Wind tunnel tested, which enhances the aerodynamics and noise reduction capabilities.
See full Caberg Duke 2 review.
- 5 star SHARP rating
- Large visor for enhanced field of vision
- Premium appearance without the price tag
- Powerful noise isolation for a quieter ride
- Top heavy and bulky
- Tight around the chin bar
This flip up is sure to make you stand out, with an aggressive style and plenty of attitude.
Versatile appearance to suit all riding styles from touring to adventure.
The advanced LG polycarbonate shell is designed especially to disperse impact for added protection, and it is a trademark of Scorpion.
- Shell composed of polycarbonate exclusive to Scorpion
- Removable face shield allows racing goggles to be worn
- Sun peak gives distinct adventure style appearance
- Can be used for multiple riding purposes ie. on or off road
- Pressure around temple area
- Whistling noise over 60mph – not ideal for motorway riding
Bell Custom 500 DLX
Comfortable, and guaranteed to make you look the bee’s knees.
A custom-quilted liner adds to the lightweight aspects, making this open face almost unnoticeable to the person wearing it.
This helmet offers excellent protection as it is made of fibreglass, which is more shock absorbent than thermoplastics, and more robust.
- Fashionable retro look, complete with synthetic leather holding bag
- Comfortable chin strap
- Lightweight, easy to take on and off
- Snap on peak included
- Low brow not suited to all face shapes
- Tearing possible on base rubber lining
Nolan N21 Visor Classic
This helmet is especially suitable for scooter riders, the helmet lock ring allows you to secure the helmet to your scooter with ease.
The pull down visor provides plenty of shielding from the wind, and the sun visor is also a luxury feature uncommon to open faces.
Air flows freely through micro-perforated zones and ventilation holes, keeping you cool as you zip around town.
- Exceptional face coverage for an open face helmet
- Retractable sun visor
- Superior ClimaComfort interior, designed to give a closer fit similar to full face helmets
- Helmet lock ring, for safer storage when you’re out and about
- Unavoidably noisy, but this is to be expected
- Not the most attractive helmet
Considerations and Cost
The key factors to consider when purchasing a helmet are:
- All helmets sold in the UK must comply with the UNECE Regulation 22.05, and carry the BSI Kitemark. This can usually be found on the back of the helmet, in the form of a yellow, square shaped insignia. All the helmets in this review meet these requirements.
- SHARP are a branch of the Department for Transport, and they run various tests on helmets to establish a star rating, with a maximum score of 5. Tests include impact resistance and shock absorption, among others.
- Shells are constructed using thermoplastics, fibreglass, composites or Kevlar. These materials get stronger and more expensive in this order.
- Ventilation and air ducts are essential for ensuring air moves through your helmet. This prevents fogging, and discomfort from heat.
- Effective noise control will eliminate the distraction of high pitched whistling while riding at faster speeds. See our guide to the quietest helmets if noise is a concern.
- Inner padding and the lining of your helmet should provide a close and snug fit, without being overly pressurising.
- Lightweight helmets put less strain on your neck, and on longer rides they will cause less fatigue.
- The three most common helmet styles are full face, flip front and open face. Flip fronts offer more flexibility and practicality, but tend to be heavier.
- The design on your helmet can range from subtle to outrageous, based on personal preference. Bright colours are easier to see, so are worth considering to increase your visibility to other road users.
Cost vs. Compromise
Budget helmets are made of cheaper materials, and in short, are less safe than their more costly competitors. As a rule, always look for the BSI Kitemark to ensure they meet British safety standards.
Fancy colourways and graphic designs usually cost more too, and may have you questioning your expensive taste. Plain colours may look less snazzy, but will save you some cash.
Mid-range helmets, between £100 – £200 will last for up to five years, as long as they are stored correctly, and remain undamaged. An accurate measurement for the quality of the construction can be determined by the SHARP rating, although they do not currently test open face helmets.
Ringing up at one penny under £200 is the top all rounder helmet, the AGV K5-S Mono. Its well-built, multi-composite shell and stylish appearance grant it the best of both worlds.
For the best priced helmet, look no further than the HJC IS-Max 2. This is an advanced polycarbonate composite lid, with ample ventilation, and changeable styles to suit any ride, on any day.