Carbon fibre offers some of the best protection available at an extraordinarily low weight.
This material’s durability and scratch resistance are higher than fibreglass or thermoplastic resin, making it the premium option for motorcycle helmets. Some people love the look too.
We’ve made a list of our favourite carbon fibre helmets available in the UK. And we’ve included a short guide on what to look for in this kind of protection.
AGV Pista GP-RR
AGV’s Pista helmet is a replica of their Moto GP design. It offers the highest level of protection, passing the FIM homologation standard, offering superior protection against impact and twisting. Its roll-off design minimises rotational acceleration.
In plain English, this means it’s designed to stop your head from spinning around violently in an accident.
The EPS shell comes in four sizes to help you find a perfect fit, and the helmet is cut with a collarbone profile.
This helps avoid collarbone injury from the helmet in a crash – a common problem with standard helmets. The design of the lower edge of the helmet also allows for maximum head movement.
Five durable, metal vents at the front take in air while two at the back allow it to flow. The moisture-wicking 2Dry material helps to keep things cool. The three-piece, adjustable crown pad and Shalimar cheek pads also contribute to the plush, ultra-comfortable feel.
The Max Vision visor gives a fairly wide view (not as wide as a touring design) and comes fitted with a Pinlock insert for anti-fog. Overall, if you want the best protection at the lightest weight, this is worth a close look.
- Excellent protection
- It’s the price of a secondhand motorcycle
HJC R-pha 11 Carbon
This lightweight helmet from HJC uses a carbon shell optimised for aerodynamics and comfort. The shell is designed to perform at high speeds without buffeting. It also uses ventilation ports with front intakes, rear extractors, and unique side vents to stay breezy and fog-free.
The wide viewport here helps with peripheral vision and it ships with installed dark smoke visor.
HJC’s proprietary RapidFire ratchet system makes removal and installation quick, simple, and tool-free.
The Multi cool material used for the crown and cheek pads is anti-bacterial and anti-perspiration. These removable pads are comfortable with an excellent level of density. They give the helmet a snug feel without being too tight. We like the groove for glasses in the liner too. (Read more about helmets for glasses.)
The helmet ships with a clear HJ-26, Pinlock ready visor, an anti-UV visor with a Pinlock insert installed, and a dark smoke race visor. A dual visor locking system ensures these will stay in place at high speed.
- Good aerodynamics
- Excellent ventilation
- Premium build quality
Bell Race Star DLX Flex
The swept-back, sci-fi aesthetic of this helmet won’t be for everyone. But for those who are into the futuristic look, the Race Star DLX is an excellent, race-style helmet in carbon fibre.
The Race Star is an evolution of Bell’s racing range that traces its roots to the first full-face helmet used in competition. This is a full-featured sports helmet with a race-oriented view. But subtle pin lines and an Ace Cafe logo are nods to London’s cafe racer scene of the 1960s.
In terms of construction, this helmet is top of the line. It uses 3K carbon (this refers to the number of carbon fibre filaments per tow – 3000 in this case) for the shell. It’s built for the kind of shock deflection required in high-speed racing situations.
The liner is made from three different materials, each with a different density. EPO protects in low-speed impacts, EPP in medium-speed impacts, and EPS in high-speed impacts. The helmet uses a rotational management system to limit twisting in the event of a crash. Five shell sizes are included to help you get a perfect fit.
The removable magnetic cheek pads and the anti-bacterial fabric feel comfortable if not overly luxurious (it’s a race helmet). The Virus Cool Jade Power mesh liner is an interesting and compelling choice. It’s infused with recycled jade and is fast wicking, cooling the skin down rapidly.
- Top build-quality and materials
- Looks unique
- Excellent protection
- Looks won’t be for everyone
- Noisy for some riders
Caberg Ghost Carbon
The Darth Vader factor is probably the first thing to mention here. It might be a turn off for some or a bonus for others, but this is a quality helmet either way.
The goggles and chin bar are modular, similar to Shark’s Raw helmet. This kind of design can feel flimsy if incorrectly implemented. Here the goggles, chin bar, and mechanism feel quality while remaining lightweight.
The padding around the goggles and nose feels comfortable. It stays comfortable too. Sometimes this kind of foam padding can compress at high speeds and lose its comfort or create space for wobble. Not so here.
Ventilation is good too. Even the goggles feature a small vent to help with fogging.
The liner is removable and washable. An anti-scratch Max Vision Pinlock visor comes installed, helping this helmet remain fog-free in most conditions.
This helmet is a good match for those who wear glasses. Grooves are present and can accommodate most styles of glasses comfortably.
- Jetfighter mixed with Darth Vader aesthetics
- Quality, ultra-light helmet
- Looks won’t work for some people
HJC F70 Carbon
The F70 from HJC is a lightweight helmet designed to offer maximum protection. But unlike some of the helmets on our list, this isn’t racing equipment.
The broad view, integrated sun visor, and chin curtain are more typically found in touring helmets.
Two shell and two EPS sizes are available to help you find the perfect custom fit. The F70 also uses variable density foam to perform equally well under different speeds. The Multi cool interior is comfortable and can be removed for washing.
Cheek pads are just as comfortable. HJC have included these in various sizes to help you dial in an even closer fit. The chin curtain does a great job of dampening down road noise and preventing airflow up into the helmet.
The Advanced Channeling Ventilation System flushes air through the helmet rapidly. This helps with cooling you down and with avoiding the build-up of fog.
The helmet also features eyewear grooves and worked great with any glasses we tried. Thankfully, the integrated sun visor did a decent job for us, and only wearers of prescription lenses will need to bother.
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Wide viewing angle
- Suitable for touring/commuting
HJC Rpha 70 Artan
This high-end carbon helmet from HJC is lightweight, comfortable, and has excellent impact deflection properties. It’s also been thoroughly tested in a wind tunnel. Like the other HJC helmet on our list, this features many quality of life touches.
The enlarged viewport offers better peripheral vision and keeps you more engaged with your surroundings. A sun visor coated with ant–fog and anti-scratch properties are deployed using a switch on the helmet’s bottom edge.
The regular visor uses HJC’s Rapidfire system. This allows for quick, tool-free removal and installation of visors. The visor features a multipoint locking system, which should stay in place even at high speeds.
The removable Multi cool interior features antibacterial fabric that’s quick-drying and offers enhanced moisture wicking. It’s finished with Polygiene technology which helps to keep things odour free.
- Excellent protection
- Track certified
- Designed with the road in mind too
- Sizes came up large for some people
Care, considerations and cost
Why Carbon Fibre?
Apart from quietly screaming my time is more valuable than yours, carbon fibre helmets offer excellent protection. And they do this at a much lower weight than their fibreglass or thermoplastic resin counterparts.
Carbon fibre has several key advantages over competing materials.
Older riders with neck problems often switch to carbon fibre helmets for one simple reason – weight.
A lighter helmet immediately reduces neck, back, and shoulder strain. These high-end helmets are generally also extensively tested in a wind tunnel. This means they will have less drag and cause less buffeting than cheaper designs.
For its weight, carbon fibre is particularly strong.
A helmet made of carbon fibre can offer the same protection as a cheaper helmet using less material. This results in a lighter, more comfortable helmet that performs as well in an emergency as heavier examples.
The critical area of strength that concerns us as motorcyclists is shock deflection – the ability of a material to distribute impact evenly across its surface. Cheaper materials don’t do this nearly as well as carbon fibre.
A carbon fibre helmet is a good investment for several years of protection.
The material offers much higher resistance to scratching and cracking, meaning your helmet is aesthetically sound for longer.
But the protection lasts too. A quality carbon fibre helmet can last you up to 5 years before needing replacement. There aren’t many cheaper helmets built with this time frame in mind.
Premium Everything Else…
If the manufacturer has spent the money to use carbon fibre in the construction, the rest of the helmet will probably be decent.
Typically, these kinds of helmets will have better noise and weather protection and more premium features all-around compared to helmets made with cheaper materials.
Carbon fibre is also relatively easy to bound to other high-end materials like Kevlar, making it a popular choice for premium helmet construction.