Your Best Motorcycle Helmet Under $100: Top Rated Picks and Reviews

Your Best Motorcycle Helmet Under $100: Top Rated Picks and Reviews

A helmet is necessary if you have a motorcycle, and not simply for the sake of looking cool. A good helmet can save your life in an accident and prevent minor injuries during your commute. The best motorcycle helmet for you may depend on a variety of things, from your bike to your budget to your sense of style.

The cheapest helmets will cost less than $20, for example, but they might not look as cool or protect as well. The most expensive can set you back several hundred dollars, which might be too hard to afford.

Choosing the right helmet is a matter of knowing what fits you best—literally, as the most expensive helmet will be worthless in a crash if it doesn’t fit right. And while everyone loves cool graphics on a helmet, it’s really how it saves your life that counts.

Below are five of the best helmets you can get for under $100. Some of them might be cooler looking, while some might be more comfortable.

But all of them should be capable of doing the job when it comes to the real test of keeping your noggin from going Humpty Dumpty’s way in an accident.

 

Best Motorcycle Helmet Under One HundredPrice RangeOur Score
VCAN V531 Cruiser Half Helmet$3/5 rubber chickens
Matte Flat Black Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet DOT from IV2$$4/5 rubber chickens
Fuel Helmets SH-FF0016 Full Face Helmet$$$4/5 rubber chickens
Vega X888 Full Face Helmet$$$$4/5 rubber chickens
Dual-Visor Modular Flip Up$$$$5/5 rubber chickens

 

VCAN V531 Cruiser Half Helmet
VCAN V531 Cruiser Half Helmet

Overview:

The VCAN V531 Cruiser Half Helmet will obviously have less inherent protection than its full counterparts, but it still offers good security against most accidents.

This helmet is crafted out of a high-quality thermoplastic resin that surpasses the U.S. DOT standards. An adjustable chinstrap and removable visor add to its comfort, as does its size range from XS-XL.

Pros:

  • Good quality for a low price
  • Comfortable when sized right
  • Light

Cons:

  • May not fit some heads well due to the shape
  • Does not protect the ears from wind

Conclusion:

The VCAN V531 is a good half helmet for its price. It may not be the most stylish option (although this is a matter of personal preference) or the most comfortable if you’re given to riding at full speed into the wind, but still, it does work well.

It offers reasonable riding comfort, (relative) ease-of-storage, and DOT-approved durability that many more expensive counterparts do not. It may not be the best choice if you tend to go on longer trips and want something more protective, though—a full helmet would be the best option then.

 

Matte Flat Black Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet DOT from IV2
Matte Flat Black Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet DOT from IV2

Overview:

This DOT-approved helmet from IV2 is a lightweight but full-coverage helmet with two visors (one clear, one smoked) that can be changed as befits the situation. It’s vented for user comfort, is made of lightweight ABS, has removable cheek pads, and has a reinforced shell along with an inner liner designed to help absorb impact.

It is DOT-standards-compliant as well and costs well under a hundred.

Pros:

  • Cheap for a DOT-standard-compliant full-face helmet
  • Light and comfortable
  • Sturdy; has been found to deliver when it comes to rider protection

Cons:

  • Some customers have found its paint job to be easily damaged
  • Non-removable liner is hard to clean

Conclusion:

The Matte Black Motorcycle Helmet from IV2 is a great entry-level or budget buy if you want full-faced protection on your bike. It’s also understated but far from unappealing. Are there full helmets that outdo it in terms of comfort and durability?

Undoubtedly, but most of those will also outdo it by more than double in price. If you cannot afford those, this is a very comfortable way to go, with very few compromises made where it really matters—that is, in saving your life.

 

Fuel Helmets SH-FF0016 Full Face Helmet
Fuel Helmets SH-FF0016 Full Face Helmet

Overview:

The SH-FF0016 is Fuel Helmets’ solution for those seeking full-faced protection on a budget. Made of thermoplastic for durability married to lightness, it boasts dual vents that can be shut and opened as desired, removable cheek pads, and DOT approval. The quick-release shield can be changed with the press of a button.

This helmet costs just a little over half a Benjamin Franklin.

Pros:

  • Very well made for the price
  • Comfortable in use
  • Light and easy to wear

Cons:

  • No option for tinted visor
  • Visor tends to fog when you’re not in motion

Conclusion:

The SH-FF0016 is another of the quality budget options for full-helmet seekers. It suffers from some minor quibbles—besides the visor fogging when stationary, several customers also report the chinstrap button coming off too easily—but it is up to you whether those are sufficiently deal-breaking to steer you clear of its low price.

 

Vega X888 Full Face Helmet
Vega X888 Full Face Helmet

Overview:

Available in six sizes, the entry-level Vega X888 is a multi-vented full-face helmet with a slew of visor possibilities (although you get only the clear one with the initial purchase).  DOT-certified, this helmet is also fitted with EPS foam to enhance its injury-minimizing abilities.

It comes in glossy and matte black color options.

Pros:

  • Very attractive
  • Has the stricter European ECE rating
  • Has a one-year defect warranty from the manufacturer

Cons:

  • Matte version tends to pick up scratches and fingerprints easily
  • Tendency to whistle slightly when you’re traveling at higher speeds

Conclusion:

Coming as it does from Vega, some of the nicest points in the X888’s favor are just what you would expect from an established brand in this industry: a defect warranty, good component replacement options (for the visors and vents), and an attractive—if not exactly flamboyant—design.

There are still things to nitpick, however. It could do with removable (and thus, washable) cheek pads, for instance, and a sturdier vent design.

 

Dual-Visor Modular Flip Up
Dual-Visor Modular Flip Up

Overview:

The Dual Visor is the second entry from IV2 on this list. The modular design allows you to convert it from a full-face helmet to an open one, giving it versatility unmatched by the other entries. It has 10 vents, impact-absorbent and sweat-absorbent liners, a thermoplastic shell, removable interiors, and DOT certification. It comes in sizes S-XL.

Pros:

  • Single-button release makes conversion from full-face to open-face easy to manage
  • Very good (and durable) build
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Sizes tend to run on the snug side
  • Slightly less prevention of noise compared to non-modular full-face helmets

Conclusion:

IV2’s modular offering is a very good buy at less than $100, particularly given its build quality. There are little hitches if you want to be picky about it; it’s definitely noisier than a standard full-face, the visor can be a little sticky when you’re snapping it in place, and there’s a bit of fogging sometimes when you have the chin piece in.

But considering other modular helmet prices and the quality you get for them, this one is far from a bad purchase.

Summary

Of the bargain helmets listed here, the answer to the question of which one is best for you depends on a variety of factors.

If cost were discounted for a moment—all of them are bargain-priced anyway—the IV2 Modular option is best. After all, you get great protection married to unbeatable versatility with it.

However, bringing the cost back into consideration might sway you to look for other options, as it has the highest price of all five products here.

As for the other options, the Matte-Black IV2 and Vega offerings vie for the second-place spot among the standard full helmets. For the most part, Vega ranks higher given its nice service bonuses (a warranty and replacement parts).

With that said, the best helmet here for beginners—those just beginning to get into the biking scene—is the VCAN. It’s the cheapest and least constricting but it’s still sturdy, so it will appeal most to starting enthusiasts.

The full-face options will appeal most to those who already have an investment in the lifestyle.

 

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