Best retro motorcycle helmets

Complete the classic biker look with a retro-style helmet

Riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in an open face retro helmet

by Jim Blackstock |

The recent rise in popularity of retro-style motorcycles – machines with classic, old-fashioned looks but with bang-up-to-date mechanicals and performance, such as Triumph’s 1960s-influenced Bonneville, Kawasaki’s 1970s-inspired Z650RS and even 125s such as from MASH and Bullit - has also led to a rise in retro-style motorcycle helmets.

After all, nothing spoils your classic image as much as riding in modern high-tech clobber. And that applies not just to helmets, but to leather jackets, gloves and bike boot as well. It's a lifestyle look that's just as relevant if you ride a café racer or cruiser.

And now there are more retro-style helmets available than ever. Legendary US brand Bell, who invented the first ‘full face’ helmet back in the 1960s, led the way when it introduced its retro Bullitt full face in 2014.

Since then, however, there has been a flood of retro offerings from all the leading manufacturers; some full face, some open (which obviously don’t offer as much protection) and some even motocross style.

Nor do you have to worry about retro helmets providing retro-standard protection, either. All are built to the same exacting manufacturing and safety standards as any other, including modern structures, fastenings and visor openings and offer protection to match the best – just in more retro styles and colour schemes.

But what’s out there? What can you get for your money and what’s included? Here’s our pick of some of the best.

1. Shoei Ex-Zero


The Ex-Zero from Shoei is a retro off-road style helmet aimed at scrambler buyers but with all the

Shoei Ex-Zero

2. Bell Custom 500


Bell is the original king of classic helmets with the famous logo being used by the likes of Steve

Bell 500

3. Shoei Glamster


OK, so the name may be slightly cringe-worthy but the Glamster, in being the purpose-designed,

Shoei Glamster

4. AGV X3000 Sheene


Retro motorcycle helmets probably don't get any more recognisable or arguably desirable, at least

AGV X3000 Sheene

5. Premier Trophy


A great looking, 1970s-style retro full-face helmet from a legendary brand (that rose to

Premier Trophy

6. Bell Moto-3


Alongside its Custom 500 open face (above) and its pioneering Bullitt full-face, one of Bell's

Bell Moto-3

7. Arai Freeway


Arai of Japan has a long history of producing fastidiously crafted, high quality and, yes, pricey,

Arai Freeway

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