The Best Modular Helmets in 2020


One of the most sought after protective gears for motorbike riders is a helmet. A helmet will not prevent the accident, but will surely go a long way in protecting your noggin and reducing the risk of serious head injury. A good sized helmet will enhance your riding experience by blocking the wind and hitting directly onto your face. It also helps in controlling the noise that can be annoying to your ears. It also deflects dirt, bugs and flying debris and shields your head from inclement weather conditions, particularly the unexpected snow or rain. All these aspects collectively help the rider in reducing fatigue and making the ride more comfortable and secure.

One of the helmets that has gained popularity very quickly is the modular helmet. It is a full face helmet that incorporates into its designing an articulating chin bar which the rider can shut and open over the forehead. This helmet is opted quite frequently by the cruisers and touring bike riders as they find it convenient to raise the chin bar to communicate with other riders, or to quickly grab a bite. There are multiple models of these helmets that are compatible with technology related features such as Bluetooth communication devices and specially designed ear pads that have specific cutouts with speakers installed in them. There are purpose built communications system points or microphones as well so the rider can communicate and enjoy the ride, in a safe and secure manner.

This guide aims to provide detailed reviews of some of the best modular helmets available in the market. The idea is to highlight their feature, specifications, pricing and functionalities, and their specific benefits and disadvantages, so you can make an informed decision. These helmets can also be chosen on the basis of changing weather conditions, as they will allow you to enjoy the fresh cool breeze during warmer months, and at the same time, can also provide you with the warmth when the chin bar flap is closed, by retaining the heat inside the helmet.

Here we have shortlisted the best 8 modular helmets that you can choose from. There are specific details with regards to each helmet on factors such as design and aerodynamics, ventilation, construction, and their pros and cons.

1. LS2 Helmets Modular Valiant Helmet

ls2 helmets modular valiant helmet

PROS

The LS2 Helmets Valiant prides itself in offering the most stable “modular to open face” conversion system ever seen (as the chin bar flips up to 180 degrees). It is about 20% smaller in overall size, and for such reason.

  • The aerodynamic outer shell is constructed from LS2’s proprietary Kinetic Polymer Alloy (KPA). It is available in 2 shell sizes so the riders can choose the perfect fitting with the most compact shell possible.
  • It has a full metal latch (with an LS2 exclusive design) which helps the chin bar to stay firm and locked once you close it.
  • The shield is UV and scratch resistant and utilizes LS2’s FogFighter fog resistant treatment that can offer optimum protection in foggy conditions. The helmet has a Twin Shield System drop down sun shield that protects your eyes.
  • The smooth switch is operated through cable and can be easily used with the help of a single gloved hand. The padding in the inner shell is removable, washable and comfortable. It is made from breathable technical fabric that is “Thermo-Formed.”.
  • The cheek pads are specially designed and cut with the assistance of 3D laser technology. These super quality pads can provide the rider with day long comfort and without any hot spots. They are fully adjustable and provides for great air flow for maximum ventilation.
  • The helmet is DOT approved (FMVSS 218 Standard) and meets and even exceeds their prescribed standards. It is also approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

CONS

  • The Valiant is only available in two shell sizes. This limits the options when it comes to fitment and hence, can have a direct impact on the safety aspects when it is worn by someone who doesn’t fall within these two fixed sizes.
  • It can be noisier with the full face open, and you should expect to purchase ear plugs, if you intend to use it with the visor open for prolong durations.
  • Given its internal construction, the air channels can be restrictive and not be as efficient when it comes to ventilation, when compared to other modular models.
  • Sun visors can be lighter and may leave a bright light stripe towards the bottom that can be annoying to some riders.
  • For riders who have a rounder head, this helmet may not be a great fit as it may be slightly tight from the sides.
  • It weighs 4 pounds and hence is not the lightest that you will find, but has reasonable dimensions: 17 x 12 x 12 inches

This helmet provides you with great value for your money and can be purchased for $234.95.

2. ILM Bluetooth Integrated Modular Flip up Full Face Motorcycle Helmet Sun Shield Mp3 Intercom

ilm bluetooth integrated modular motorcycle helmet

PROS

  • This ILM helmet comes standard with Bluetooth 3.0 technology. It gives you 8 hours of talk time and 110 hours of standby battery. It has a fully washable microfiber liner and is also equipped with adjustable vents for great air flow.
  • There is one touch control for calling, answering, ignoring calls and also allows for redialing. The incoming phone call will override the other features such as intercom, music, FM Radio and GPS audio.
  • You can use the intercom with a maximum distance of up to 1000 feet between 2 riders. There are 2 built-in speakers which are of high quality and provide full stereo sound.
  • It guarantees you that it exceeds both ECE and DOT safety standards.
  • There is DSP Echo Cancellation and Noise Suppression Technology for high quality sounds even at high speeds.

CONS

  • When you do not use the helmet’s Bluetooth system, the battery automatically goes into deep sleep mode. When it does, you will not be able to use the Bluetooth feature. You will have to recharge the battery for at least 30 minutes, to make the battery work again.
  • The intercom cannot work the same feature from other brands.
  • There can be potential problems with volume control or the level of sound. The audio is not that audible when you are riding over 50MPH.

The ILM modular helmet can be purchased for $189.99.

3. HJC 980-615 IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet

best modular motorcycle helmets

PROS

  • It is constructed from advanced polycarbonate composite shell and has adjustable polycarbonate chin bar. The chin bar is super light and provides for great fit and comfort – thanks to its advanced CAD technology.
  • There is a single-button chin bar/face shield release feature that can be operated with one hand.
  • The pin lock face shield is visually of great quality (HJ-17) and affords 95 percent U.V. protection. The QuickSlide tool-less shield replacement system is convenient and user-friendly. Please note that the pin lock insert are sold separately.
  • The sun shield is integrated with a single touch (HJ-V5). The Sunshield is smoke-tinted and has 3 adjustments with locking mechanism that is easy to open and close. There are multiple options for the Sunshields that you can choose from.
  • ACS Advanced Channeling Ventilation System allows for full front to back air movement that pushes the heat and humidity up and out of the helmet. Hat sizes include: 7 5/8 – 7 ¾.

CONS

  • The chin strap has D-rings, and for quicker experience for opening and closing the strap, you will need to purchase a release separately.
  • Wind noise is generally fine but you do get a slight rumble at higher speeds.

The HJC modular helmet can be purchased for $187.76.

4. Bell SRT Modular Street Motorcycle Helmet

bell srt modular street motorcycle helmet

PROS

  • Helmet has optional tinted shield.
  • This modular helmet with street orientation has flip-Up style and a drop-down sunshield provides “on the Fly” protection from sun.
  • It is made up of lightweight fiberglass and composite shell construction. It has removable/washable anti-bacterial interior parts of foam and lining.
  • Panavision shield with class 1 optics and eyewear compatible. It also has recessed EPS speaker pockets for rider’s pleasure.
  • It comes standard with 5 Year Warranty.
  • DOT approved gear with FMVSS 218 standard rating.

CONS

  • Back of the helmet prone to scratch marks.
  • Fairly heavy in size.
  • Limited airflow feature.
  • Could be quieter as compared to similar models, particularly at high speeds.
  • It is not PinLock ready.
  • It only comes in 2 shell sizes and hence not much fitment options for the riders.
  • The air vent design isn’t the best quality on a comparative basis with similar models.

The Bell modular helmet can be purchased for $369.95.

5. ILM Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Modular Flip up Full Face Dual Visor Mp3 Intercom FM Radio DOT Approved

ilm bluetooth motorcycle helmet modular

PROS

  • Meet or exceeds DOT safety standards.
  • The ILM helmet is made from quality ABS shell, has dual visor, replaceable liners and great air ventilation system.
  • Bluetooth 3.0 technology has a one touch control for all your calling needs or entertainment purposes. Built-in speaker and noise-canceling microphones come standard with it.
  • Intercom system allows 3 riders to pair with maximum distance up to 500 Meters.
  • 12 hours phone talk time, 8 hours intercom talk time and 110 hours of standby.

CONS

  • There is no pinlock shield.
  • Bluetooth feature may not be able to connect with other branded helmets that are Bluetooth compatible.
  • Audio sound is not that great particularly at interstate speeds.
  • When you do not use the helmet’s Bluetooth system, the battery automatically goes into deep sleep mode. When it does, you will not be able to use the Bluetooth feature. You will have to recharge the battery for at least 30 minutes, to make the battery work again.

The ILM modular helmet can be purchased for $190 approximately.

6. YEMA YM-926 Motorbike Moped Street Bike Racing Flip-up Helmet

motorcycle modular full face helmet

PROS

  • It has an advanced modular/flip up design and comes standard with dual Lens (inner smoked/outer clear shield).
  • It has removable and washable cheek pads as well as comfortable inner lining.
  • The intake of air is fully adjustable and there are purpose built exhaust vents to keep the rider cool.
  • There is reduced noise and drag due to the streamlined aerodynamic design.
  • The helmet is DOT approved.
  • Quick Release Strap gives the rider a much secure and easy fit.
  • The helmet is eye or prescription glass friendly.
  • Ideal for use by dirt bike, snowmobile, quad, or adventure riders.

CONS

  • No cons officially reported yet.

The YEMA moped street modular helmet can be purchased for $119.99.

7. ScorpionExo EXO-GT920 Full Face Modular Helmet

scorpionexo modular helmet

PROS

  • It is constructed from premium polycarbonate shell which is lightweight, strong and has optimum impact displacement.
  • KwikWick II Washable Comfort Liner has anti-microbial fabric that keeps your temperature regulated and controlled for cold or warm weather. Liner can be removed and washed with ease.
  • Dual Density EPS gives the rider higher energy displacement.
  • Anti-Fog Face shield provides state-of-the-art fog-free technology and anti-scratch hardened coating. It has 100% UV-A & UV-B protection for sunny rides.
  • SpeedView Retractable Sun-Visor enables you to flip it up or down with easy-sliding mechanism.

CONS

  • The helmet doesn’t come with a pinlock.
  • It is slightly noisier as compared to its counterparts and you may need ear plugs for interstate speeds.

The ScorpionExo modular helmet can be purchased for $219.95.

8. HJC Solid Men’s CL-MAX 3 Modular Street Motorcycle Helmet

hjc modular street motorcycle helmet

PROS

  • Adjustable polycarbonate chin bar included.
  • Chin Bar/Face Shield release can be operated with a single button.
  • One hand operated and can be accessed even with gloves on.
  • ACS Advanced Channeling Ventilation System provides for efficient air flow to stay you cool and in control.
  • SuperCool Moisture-Wicking interior that helps absorb the sweat in no time, keeping you dry and comfortable during the rides.

CONS

  • No pinlock lens and hence needs to be purchased and installed separately if required.
  • Noise control options could have been better but the current feature is at par with a lot of good helmets out in the market.

The HJC modular helmet can be purchased for $148.49.

What to Consider When You Buy a Modular Helmet?

Now that you know the best brands and options that are available to you when it comes to modular helmets, the focus should now shift to considering the key factors that you need to understand and incorporate into your decision-making. These are safety, comfort and sizing, style, and visibility. Let us look at each of these in more detail.

Helmet Safety

Safety is the primary reason that you buy a helmet. The first thing that you need to ensure is that the helmet should have passed the required safety standards, and must be a legal gear to use, depending on the region where you intend to use it. This is such an important aspect that you must double check this before you buy a helmet.

The concern with modular helmets is that they have detachable and adjustable visors that are based on hinges. These can come off very easily when the helmet gets an impact due to an accident.

In fact, the rider’s chin is meant to be extremely vulnerable during an accident, as compared to any other part of the noggin. That is one of the reasons that high speed riders prefer full-face helmets that have a built-in and firm chin bar, which remains in place post an accident.

Moreover, if you are riding with the visor open and meet with an accident, this can lead to serious injuries to your entire head (particularly the nose and the eyes). This is the reason why you should always keep the visor closed during the rides. Full-face as well as modular helmets are both meant to protect the rider against brain injuries in a similar fashion. It is the effectiveness that makes all the difference, as the full-face helmets are more secure when it comes to protection of the overall head and face of the rider.

There are three levels of helmet safety ratings in North America: ECE (the European standard), DOT, and Snell. DOT rating (which is provided by the manufacturers as opposed by testing bodies) provides the rider with the minimum safety standard in North America region. ECE is the latest standard for helmets (ECE 22.05) which provides for similar standards as DOT, but provides for more robust testing by the authorities. Snell ratings are meant to be the toughest standards when it comes to helmet safety, and is usually a requirement for all types of track work.

Comfort & Size

No matter which type or brand of helmet you choose, your comfort should always be on the top of your mind. You will be wearing the helmet for a long period of time and on a routine basis. For these reasons, you need to opt for a helmet that fits snuggly, without causing too much pressure on your head. A tighter or wrong sized helmet is bound to give you headache or a terrible neck strain which is the last thing you need when wearing a protective gear.

A good fitted helmet can make all the difference between life and death or a serious injury when you meet with an accident. You need to ascertain your head size as a first step, before setting out to purchase a helmet. If the helmet is too loose, you lose all the protection that you were expecting it to provide. You need to follow some simple steps to get the right helmet fitment:

  • Wrap a measuring tape around your head by placing it above your eyebrows and ears and at the back of your head which is at the largest position. You will be well-advised to take assistance from someone when using the measuring tape.
  • Your head size then needs to be compared with the particular bike helmet manufacture’s size to look for a match. These manufacturers provide different sizing charts for helmets so you can match and compare the sizes, depending on your preferred helmet type and brand.
  • Always try the helmet on before buying or using it on the motor bike. It should fit squarely on rider’s head and with the helmet’s eye port placed just above the eyebrows. A good fitted motorcycle helmet will be hard to put on during first attempt, but will loosen up with continued usage as it gets broken in.
  • If you can fit your fingers easily between your face/head and the helmet or if the helmet is wobbly or lose, then you clearly need a smaller size. The fitting you are aiming for is a snuggly fit around the head and face region without any pressure points. The cheek pads can also be adjusted as required, to get the right fit.
  • The last factor you need to consider is your head shape. What is snugly and comfortable to one rider may be tight and uncomfortable to another. Head shape has the same significance as head size. Helmet shape has a direct impact on the overall comfort and safety of the rider. If you found a helmet that is the right size but doesn’t fit your head nicely, and is tighter and uncomfortable, then that will not be able to offer you the same level of protection as you would expect from a good sized and fitted helmet. It isn’t uncommon to see manufacturer’s including different shapes in their designing, such as:

Long Oval – For oblong heads with longer front to back and narrower side-to-side fitting.

Intermediate Oval – For round head that have shorter front-to-back and wider side-to-side as compared to Long Oval shape. This is the most commonly designed helmet that most manufacturers assemble.

Round Oval – For oblong heads and round faces with longer side-to-side.

Style

Once you have considered the safety and comfort related elements of a helmet, you can now focus on the styling aspects that are compatible with your personal style and liking.

The aesthetics of a modular helmet will enhance you overall physical appeal and make a personal statement to the public, each time you wear your stylized helmet. It will also work wonders for your self-confidence, as you will naturally feel more comfortable and mentally at peace when you wear what you think looks good on you.

Your personal style or fashion statement is expressed through colors, patterns, stickers, and other similar features that will complement each other when placed on your helmet.

There are other items that can enhance the appearance of your helmet, once you have bought it. These need to be used carefully though, as they shouldn’t impede your view or obstruct your view or comfort whilst riding.

Visibility

Your modular helmet is meant to assist and protect you whilst riding. If it is obstructing your view or impacting the way you look around, then it is counterintuitive, and must be addressed instantly.

With a good modular helmet, you should be able to see external threats, obstacles and hazards instantly. The sizing of your eye ports is an important aspect. The larger the ports, the better the viewing space, but this shouldn’t be at the cost of a good fit (and eventually, optimum protection). There should be a reasonable amount of space, which shouldn’t be big enough to accept any flying debris that may get in and hit your face. Your visor will certainly help to block it out but cannot provide you the same level of protection that you would expect from a full-face. Another important consideration is for those riders who wear eye or prescription glasses. You should always check that the specific helmet is appropriately structured to accommodate those added items within it, without any fitting related issues.

You can maximize your visibility by using reflective neon elements that are in conformity with the modern safety standards, and are reflective enough for you to be seen from a reasonable distance, particularly in low or bad light conditions. These are also called hi-viz helmets and can be found in varying shapes and sizes. You can also use customizable stickers and reflectors to suit your style and enhance your visibility, and hence the protection.

Conclusion

Modular helmets have peaked in popularity due to their versatility and technological advancements in designing. However, with so many brands offering a variety of modular biking helmets, choosing your favorite helmet can quickly turn to be a daunting and confusing task. This is the very reason why we have compiled this guide for you – so you can have all the relevant information about the best modular helmets available in the market, as well as the different considerations that you need to factor in before you purchase one.

First and foremost, you need to focus on the safety, fitment and comfort related aspects of the modular helmet. Once you have made up your mind on these key features, you can then move on to secondary aspects which are also important in your decision making – colors, styling and specific designs.

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