The Lightest Motorcycle Helmet For Pain Free Riding


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Last Updated: 3rd December 2020

Having a lightweight helmet can make difference to touring riders, couriers or anyone with a long commute.

It isn’t the only factor that contributes to neck muscle fatigue, wind buffeting, riding position and incorrectly-fitting gear also play a part.

But, having a light helmet can make a huge difference over time and we’ve rounded up eight of the best for your consideration.

Our Top Pick

Shoei Glamster

Light, Sleek and Understated

Shoei’s Glamster model has a sleek, classic look – but packs the features, comfort and safety that we’ve come to expect from this manufacturer. Check SportsBikeShop

Budget Pick

Scorpion Exo 1400 Air

Scorpion Exo 1400 Air

Light, Affordable, Safe

The Scorpion Exo 1400 Air is a lightweight, high-quality helmet that will keep you safe and comfortable for many years – without breaking the bank.

Check SportsBikeShop

Lightest Motorcycle Helmet Reviews

Lets dive into our top picks.


Shoei Glamster

Weight: 1200g

This is a retro-inspired helmet from Shoei, built without compromising the comfort and safety we expect from modern equipment.

It uses the same AIM construction as the other Shoei on our list, and to the best of our understanding it’s some kind of fibreglass with organic fibre composite.

Going back to these designs, it’s easy to see what made them popular in the first place. The lack of lines or angles on these types of helmet really does create very little in the way of noise or buffeting.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Great peripheral vision, padding, top and bottom vents and three shell sizes mean this will be a comfortable experience for most people.

We think they’ve hit a sweet spot here. Getting the balance between “retro” and “ridiculous” can prove tricky for companies.

This helmet functions very well and looks classic without being too pretentious.

See full Shoei Glamster review

Pros

  • plus iconComfortable
  • plus iconLooks great

Cons

  • minus icon Matt black model marks easily

Scorpion Exo 1400 Air

Weight: 1200g

Scorpion make excellent gear at its price point. This full-face, drop-down visor helmet uses both carbon fibre and thermoplastic construction to cut down on cost and stay relatively light.

The customisable pad set-up, 3 shell sizes and proprietary, removeable, machine washable lining make this genuinely comfortable.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Scorpion Exo 1400 Air

Indexed (they click into place) front and rear vents and a chin curtain keep this helmet quiet, but breezy when necessary.

Noise and buffeting are generally not a problem here. It might be the advertised “aero-tuned spoilers”, or it might just be overall good design. Either way, this is a good choice for someone after a light and quiet helmet.

Pros

  • plus iconCompetitive price
  • plus iconQuality construction

Cons

  • minus icon Not as light as full carbon construction

Shark Spartan Carbon Skin

Weight: 1290g

At its price, the Shark Spartan is an excellent proposition. As the name suggests, they’ve trimmed back a lot of the “extra features” here to deliver a helmet that’s light, relatively affordable and safe.

The five year warranty gives some idea of how confident Shark are in their carbon fibre/fibreglass construction, and the army of riders online who’ve crash-tested these helmets validate that confidence.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

The features that are present – drop down visor, double D retention system and Pinlock anti-fog – all work well.

Shark are known for extensive aerodynamic testing, and in our time with this helmet we noticed very little noise or buffeting.

Pros

  • plus iconAffordable
  • plus iconSafe
  • plus iconLight

Cons

  • minus icon None

Shark Race R Pro Blank

Weight: 1250g

This line represents Shark’s efforts at bringing race-level tech to the consumer market. Racing pedigree is evident in the aesthetics, aerodynamics and construction.

The marketing copy states “multi-composite construction”, but further investigation reveals this is carbon fibre with aramid fibre (often used in ballistics).

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Shark Race R Pro

All the features we’d expect from Shark are present – great vents, double D straps, two shell sizes, magnetic strap ends and an easy-extraction system in case of an accident.

The unit ships “Sharktooth-ready” – which is Shark’s proprietary version of Bluetooth. Fitting a generic Bluetooth intercom device shouldn’t be any hassle either.

Pros

  • plus iconLightweight
  • plus iconAerodynamic
  • plus iconTwo shell sizes

Cons

  • minus icon None

X-Lite X-502

Weight: 1400g

The X-502 has the ultra wide viewing angle, adjustable visor, breezy vents, emergency release system and compatibility with goggles that we’d expect from a motocross helmet.

All these parts and features can contribute to overall weight, but lightweight carbon fibre construction keeps this under 1500g

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

X-Lite X-502

We like the removable liner and pads. Motocross is a sweaty, muddy business, and it’s nice that everything can be taken apart and machine washed.

There are reversible pads in the temple area which contain a groove for spectacle wearers. A nice little touch.

We tried a few different pairs of goggles with this and everything felt comfortable. It’s ready for a camel bag to be fitted too – for the more serious motocross riders among us.

Pros

  • plus iconSafe and relatively light
  • plus iconGood ventilation
  • plus iconWorks with lots of goggles

Cons

  • minus icon Raw carbon finish not for everyone

Nexx X.WST2

Weight: 1290g

Sports touring helmets, as the name suggests, try to keep the comfort and features of touring helmets – without sacrificing too much weight.

By this metric, the Nexx X is a success. Carbon fibre construction keeps the weight down, while features like a drop-down sun visor, effective vents, chin curtain, emergency release and generous padding have all been retained.

Check Prices on Amazon

We found this helmet to be pretty quiet too. The chin curtain is there to eliminate the chill and noise created by air entering the helmet – and it seems to do just that. Wind noise is affected by a variety of factors, so your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • plus iconGood helmet at this price
  • plus iconDrop down visor
  • plus iconQuiet

Cons

  • minus icon Aesthetic not for everyone

AGV Sports Modular Aero

Weight: 1295g

This is AGV’s hybrid sports touring modular helmet (flip-up front) with internal sun visor.

In trying to tick so many boxes and with so many moving parts, we had expected this to come in heavier than its 1295g. They’ve achieved this magic with full carbon fibre construction and a compact, lightweight chin bar.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

AGV Sports Modular Aero

Other features are what you’d expect from a sports touring model. It’s comfortable, well-ventilated and warm when necessary.

Being a flip-up helmet with chin curtain, this thing is as quiet as we expected.

Three shell sizes are included as well as a groove for glasses. The locking system for the visor works particularly well and is something we’d like to see implemented in other helmets.

Pros

  • plus iconFull-featured
  • plus iconLight

Cons

  • minus icon Expensive

Shoei Ex-Zero

Weight: 1141g

Shoei’s Ex-Zero model takes a lot of inspiration from classic helmets, but adds modern safety features and material tech.

The construction is hidden behind the terms “matrix construction” and “AIM composite fibre”. From what we can tell, this is a fibreglass build with some organic fibre and other materials Shoei are unwilling to name.

Either way. This is a lightweight helmet.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

The visor is an internal drop-down type. We thought it looked like a gimmick at first, but it actually works pretty well.

The Ex-Zero is also compatible with most goggles, as it’s heavily inspired by motocross designs of the past.

Features have been omitted here to create a light and streamlined looking helmet here, and we think it’s a success.

See full Shoei Ex Zero review.

Pros

  • plus iconLight
  • plus iconWorks with goggles

Cons

  • minus icon Might be cold in winter

Buyer’s Guide

Considerations and research


What is a light motorcycle helmet?

the average weight of a motorcycle helmet is around 1.5 kg so we have set our cut off point at about 1.4 kg for this article and most are coming in considerably lighter.

Obviously, this number changes depending on the context. For commuters and weekend enthusiasts, shaving of that final 200g might not be worth the extra cost.

Light is only desirable if it doesn’t compromise safety.

 

Material

Cheaper helmets tend to use injected thermoplastic to achieve similar safety ratings to their more expensive composite fibre and resin counterparts.

The corner that must be cut here is weight.

Thermoplastic construction requires larger amounts of material to achieve similar strength to carbon fibre and resin construction. So, though they can be comparably safe – cheaper helmets are heavier.

 

Shell Sizes

If a helmet ships with multiple shell sizes, it’s more likely you can dial in a perfect fit. It costs the company slightly more money in shipping and blowing the extra foam, but it can make a real difference to your comfort.

More about motorcycle helmet sizing.

 

Helmet Type

This makes sense – an open-face helmet will be considerably lighter than a full face, and a ‘pudding bowl’ lighter than an open face.

If your helmet uses less material, it’ll weigh less. But it’ll also leave parts of your face and head open to injury in a crash.

Modular helmets often weigh more than full-face helmets made of similar materials because they contain a hinge mechanism and moving parts. Likewise, accessories like visors, Bluetooth headsets, retractable sunglasses etc. can all contribute to your overall weight.

See here for more about the different types of motorcycle helmet.

 

Considerations

You need the helmet that’s most suited to the kind of riding you intend to do. If you’re riding motocross, safety is the feature you want to take care of first – before even thinking about weight.

In fact, we’re going to go ahead and say that safety is paramount no matter what kind of riding you’re doing. Shaving a few grams off your weight means very little if your head is not correctly protected.

Helmets get lighter with cost.

Premium models can use the latest in material technology to achieve helmets lighter and safer than their cheaper alternatives.

It’s worth remembering – you can buy an affordable, safe helmet. You can probably even buy an affordable light helmet. But we don’t believe you can buy a helmet that’s affordable, light – and as safe as a premium one.

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking into buying a lighter helmet, it might be that you’ve already experienced some muscle fatigue or soreness in your neck and shoulders. A lighter helmet can help.

Just make sure you don’t sacrifice any safety features to bring that weight down. Consider cheaper, simpler solutions too. Adjusting riding position and staying warm play a huge role in our experience of comfort on the bike.

Related

Quietest motorcycle helmets