10 Safest Motorcycle Helmets For UK Riders [2023 Picks]



A motorcycle helmet is the most important purchase you will make, second only to your motorcycle.

I used to work in a store selling motorcycle gear, and I always advised customers to allocate the biggest part of their budget, time, and energy to get the right helmet. 

You only get one noggin; it pays to look after it!

I have pulled together 10 of the safest motorcycle helmets currently available.

You can read all about the ECE standards and SHARP ratings we’ve used as part of our process for helmet selection in the buyer’s guide.

Let’s get to it. 

Here are our 10 safest motorcycle helmets.

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Safest Motorcycle Helmet – Quick Picks

Shoei NXR 2: Safest Overall
HJC C70: Safest Budget
Caberg Duke II: Safest Modular
Shark Race R Pro: Safest Sports
AGV Pista GP RR: Safest Race Replica
AGV K6: Safest Sports Touring
Bell Eliminator: Safest Retro
Caberg Tourmax: Safest Adventure
Arai RX-7V: Safest Arai
Shoei X-Spirit 3: Safest Shoei

Safest Motorcycle Helmet Reviews

Safest Overall
Shoei NXR 2 Helmet Shoei NXR 2 Helmet

The Shoei NXR 2 is a straight to the point pure performance focused motorcycle helmet that is ECE 22:06 certified and has a 5-star SHARP rating. 

The mixed organic fibre and multi-composite construction ensure strength while keeping the helmet lightweight. In fact, the NXR 2 is Shoei’s lightest and most compact helmet in the range. 

Shoei has used a multi-density EPS liner with 2 layers for maximum impact absorption at various levels of impact; they have also used a double-D ring strap retention and a front locking system for the visor to prevent accidental opening. 

It comes with a Pinlock visor, with the insert included to keep you fog-free and the visor has been constructed in such a way to prevent distortion, increasing your vision. 

As is the case with most of Shoei’s helmets, the NXR 2 has been wind tunnel tested to ensure it has excellent aerodynamic properties and the ventilation system is also very good and performance focused. 

Four shell sizes ensure optimal fit regardless of your head size. 

While the NXR 2 might lack some added features like an internal sun visor or built-in comms like the Shoei GT Air, it excels in being a simple performance helmet with protection in mind at every point of the design. 

  • ECE 22.06 certified
  • 5-star SHARP rating
  • Mixed organic fibre and multi-composite construction
  • Multi-density EPS liner with 2 layers
  • E.Q.R.S
  • Great value
  • 4 shell sizes
  • Lacks some useful features like an internal sun visor
Best Value
HJC C70 Helmet HJC C70 Helmet

The HJC C70 replaced the IS-17, which a few years ago was the best-selling helmet from HJC; it was also one that I loved to sell. 

For the C70, the shell construction has been improved, and it is 5-star SHARP-rated. 

You get a lot for your money with the C70, such as an internal sun visor, Pinlock visor, speaker pockets, etc., all things you expect to find on more expensive helmets.

Alongside that, however, you get a relatively lightweight lid with excellent visibility from the eye-port, and HJC seems to be good at constructing helmets that fit most head shapes. 

  • 5 star SHARP rated
  • Advanced polycarbonate construction
  • Internal sun visor
  • Advanced ventilation
  • Great visibility
  • Only 2 shell sizes
Safest Modular
Caberg Duke II Caberg Duke II

The Duke II is the only 5-star SHARP-rated modular helmet to make the list. 

It is only one of a handful of modular helmets to receive a 5-star rating from SHARP. 

It is nice to have access to the ease of a flip-front helmet while knowing it has passed the same testing as 5-star full-face helmets. 

The ventilation system is good, and it comes with a Pinlock visor.

One big downside for me is that it only comes in 1 shell size, so the different sizing is made up of varying levels of padding, as opposed to the actual construction. 

  • 5 star SHARP rated
  • ABS shell construction
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Pinlock included
  • Only 1 shell size
Safest Sports Helmet
Shark Race R Pro Shark Race R Pro

The Race R Pro is another race-derived helmet constructed from a multi-composite shell, including carbon fibre. 

By using carbon, the shell is highly durable while remaining lightweight. 

Developed predominantly for Sharks racers like MotoGP and WSBK, the Race R Pro is a helmet perfect for cutting through the air with minimal buffeting.

Protection at high speeds is at the forefront of the construction, so the helmet is a safe choice for road riders. 

  • 5 star SHARP rated
  • Multi-composite, carbon fibre construction
  • Race derived technology
  • Only 2 shell sizes
Safest Race Replica

Originally created for MotoGP and now available for all riders, the Pista GP RR is the ultimate race weapon. 

It is stacked with all the safety features professional riders need to protect them in the event of a high-speed accident. Given most of us won’t ever ride our bikes at that level, it’s safe to say that the Pista GP RR will definitely perform when we amateurs need it. 

AGV has used a titanium D-ring and a carbon-fibre construction, so it’s extremely lightweight. They’ve also produced the helmet in four shell sizes with five different EPS densities, ensuring you can find the perfect fit. 

A three-piece adjustable crown liner and a collarbone profile allow for greater head movement, and a roll-off design provides minimal rotational acceleration. It also comes with emergency-release cheek pads and a detachable rear spoiler. 

While the design is very race specific, features like the 2-dry anti-bacterial removable/washable liner and Pinlock visor are extremely useful in day-to-day riding on the road. 

The only downside is that this helmet is very expensive, as MotoGP levels of safety don't come cheap. 

Safest Sports Touring
AGV K6 - Minimal Gunmetal AGV K6 - Minimal Gunmetal

Along with knowing what helmets need to perform on the track, AGV is good at using that knowledge and filtering it down into their more road-focused helmets, such as the sports touring K6. 

The AGV K6 is ECE 22.05 certified, has a five-star SHARP rating and is built from a carbon/aramid composite. 

Ventilation has been carefully designed to maximise airflow through multiple vents, and the lid has been designed to reduce turbulence overall. 

The visor is easily removed and a Pinlock insert is included to keep your visor fog-free. The pressure-free liner and cheek pads are also removable and washable. 

The K6 is a great helmet for both track days and back roads, making it one of the most versatile options on the list. 

Safest Retro
Bell Eliminator Bell Eliminator

The Bell Eliminator is one of the more interesting additions to our list, as it has a heavy retro style unlike anything else we’ve picked. 

The Eliminator has a five-star SHARP rating and is ECE 22.05 certified. It has a fibreglass composite construction along with contoured cheek pads and a multi-density EPS liner. 

It’s lightweight, looks incredible, has awesome ventilation (with a clip-on piece to waterproof the top vents), and features a ProVision anti-fog visor. 

  • 5-star SHARP rated
  • Lightweight
  • Awesome styling
  • Comfortable
  • ProVision anti-fog visor
  • Not good in cold/wet weather
Safest Adventure
Caberg Tourmax Caberg Tourmax

Another Caberg makes it to our safest list in the form of the Adventure Tourmax helmet. 

A flip-up helmet with an adventure-style peak, the Tourmax has a five-star SHARP rating and can be used in both the closed and open position. Although it’s always safer to ride with the helmet in the fully closed position. 

The Tourmax has a dual visor system with an internal sun visor, and it comes with a Pinlock insert. 

It has been wind tunnel tested to ensure it is aerodynamic with little resistance. It has also been equipped with an anti-turbulence nape shield.

Other cool features include advanced ventilation and a quick release visor, as well as being ready for the Just Speak communication system. 

  • 5-star SHARP rating
  • Dual-visor system
  • Pinlock included
  • Adventure-style modular system
  • Ready for Just Speak system
  • Visor is a little stiff to manipulate
Safest Shoei
Shoei X-Spirit 3 Shoei X-Spirit 3

The X-Spirit 3 is Shoei’s version of the Arai RX-7V, their flagship race helmet mainly developed for the track. 

It features a unique 6-layer multi-composite construction and a multi-layer inner lining.

The 4 shell sizes mean that the helmet is catered to your head size to ensure the right fit; the interior is also adjustable so you can ensure the helmet fits properly. 

It is lightweight, with excellent aerodynamics, and has a rotating interior that can adapt to suit your riding position, i.e. tucked in at speed. 

  • 5 star SHARP rated
  • 6-layer AIM+ shell construction
  • 4 shell sizes
  • Emergency quick release system
  • Excellent ventilation channels
  • Pinlock not included
  • Pricey

Buyers Guide

Considerations, care and cost

There is just one question to think about when buying a motorcycle helmet:

How safe is it?

Sure, they look pretty, and you may want an AGV Rossi replica, but it needs to fit you well and protect your head. If AGV lids aren’t a good fit for your head shape, but the plain Arai is, so be it.

From safety ratings to fit, read through our buying guide to help you get the best helmet for you. 

Here are my top tips for buying a safe motorcycle helmet:


ECE label
ECE label on chin strap

Since 1972 when the No.22 Regulation came into effect from the Economic Commission for Europe, there have been a set of standards that motorcycle helmets have to meet to be eligible for sale in the UK (and 47 other countries).

At the time of writing, the law is in a revision transition from ECE 22.05 to 22.06. 

You can still purchase ECE 22.05 certified helmets until December 2023; however, from January 2024, all helmets will need to meet the updated 22.06 standards. 

All ECE-certified helmets must have the ECE label stitched into the chin strap. 

If a helmet has not got the ECE certification, it is not legal for road use in the UK and, more importantly, has not been tested for its protective abilities and, therefore, should be avoided. 

You can read all about ECE 22.06 in our article explaining the ins and outs here

SHARP rating

SHARP testing was launched in 2007 as an initiative by the Department of Transport. 

The SHARP rating scheme complements the ECE regulations for helmets, and they do their own independent testing procedures. 

The programme is based on the most comprehensive study of motorcycle crashes conducted in Europe in 2001 called “COST 327”

Simply put, the SHARP testing procedures mimic ‘real-life’ road experiences based on the COST 327 data on head injuries, and the helmets tested are rated from 1-5 stars depending on how well they do in the tests. 


measuring head

Above everything, your helmet must fit you correctly. 

A helmet can have a SHARP 5-star rating, but if it is ill-fitting on your head, it doesn’t offer you the level of protection you expect despite the rating. 

The helmet needs to sit low on your forehead, and you need to have excellent visibility out of the visor. 

The helmet should feel like it is cradling your head all the way around with no pressure points or gaps. 

When you try the helmet on, focus on the cheek pads, are they in line with your cheekbones and are your cheeks pushed up nice and firm without being uncomfortable?

Take your time trying on the helmet, and be sure it fits properly before committing. It cannot be stated enough just how important it is that your helmet fits properly. 

See our guide to how a motorcycle helmet should fit

Other considerations


Lightweight helmets are great for riding, they put less stress on your neck, meaning you can keep going for longer, and you don’t get horrible cramps which can be distracting. 

Multi-composite shells mixed with carbon fibre tend to be the lightest helmets on the market while offering excellent protection properties. 


Being seen on the road as a motorcyclist is essential to survival. 

However, it seems no matter what we wear; some drivers are just blind to us. 

Arguably a white helmet or brightly coloured one should increase your visibility on the road, but there is contradicting research about this. 

Double D Rings

Double D rings are considered the safest retention mechanism as opposed to ratchet straps. 

Only helmets that use Double D rings can be used on the race track. 


A helmet with good ventilation will keep you nice and cool and avoid overheating.

If you are uncomfortable inside your helmet, you can get distracted by headaches or the heat\cold, which is best avoided. 

Go for a helmet with a good ventilation system, with exhaust vents at the rear to expel the hot air. 

Internal sun visor

An internal sun visor is great for ensuring you have maximum visibility. 

Nothing is worse than turning a corner and being blinded by the sun. Having a visor you can slide down is brilliant, as it saves you from pulling over and putting on sunglasses.

Race developed helmets

Helmets developed for racers have been built for maximum protection, particularly at high speeds.

It stands to reason that these are the safest helmets in all circumstances, with the best quality materials and latest tech.

However, they lack useful road features that many other helmets have come to have, such as inbuilt communication systems, sun visors, etc. 

This is a balance you will need to decide for yourself; what is most important and apply common sense. 

If you plan on doing some track days and riding a sportsbike heartily on the weekend, then you will benefit from the safety features of a race helmet. 


The Shoei NXR 2 is a well-priced, no-frills Shoei that focuses on safety, but if you want something more extreme for the track, then the AGV Pista GP RR could be the MotoGP lid that you need. 

For more on helmets in general, see our guide to the best motorcycle helmet options and our guide to choosing the right helmet for you.