The US Department of Transportation (DOT) takes the safety of motorcycle riders very seriously. That’s why they have implemented a mandatory DOT certification for every motorcycle helmet manufacturer. Today we will learn about DOT-approved Modular Motorcycle Helmets.
How do you Know if a Helmet is DOT Approved?
If you want to tell if a helmet is DO- approved at a glance, just look at the back. All the helmets that meet the safety requirements set by the Department of Transportation feature a DOT sticker on their back. But there are other things to look out for too, as counterfeit stickers are quite common.
DOT Certificated Brands
Arai is a well known and trusted name on the motorcycle helmet market. Arai Helmet Limited is a family-owned business. Established in 1926 by Hirotake Arai, it is now run by his son Michio Arai. The company has spent nearly a century in this business, so you can trust them to have the most durable, safe, and time-tested helmet models.
The modular helmets by Arai are well designed. They feature the signature Arai oval head shape. Once you start using an Arai helmet, you will find the shape so comfortable that you won’t be switching to others any time soon. They are durable, lightweight, and well-ventilated. But this also means that they are not necessarily quiet.
All Arai units are packed with the most advanced and innovative technology. You can feel the superior quality feel from the shell to the core. They are the preferred safety gear for motorcycle sporting events. The comfortable fit, combined with a durable and well-ventilated design, certainly makes them stand out from their competitors.
Another standout feature is that each unit is hand-made. With racing at the heart of their philosophy, they are committed to providing their customers with a helmet that not only exceeds the industry safety standards but also makes the helmet-wearing experience a comfortable one.
The name Shoei is synonymous with inventive, premium helmets. The Japanese company started as a polyester manufacturer in 1959 but soon started producing helmets around 1960. Since then, their focus has been on providing quality and safety. On average, Shoei usually scores four or more in the SHARP test.
In today’s revolutionized industry, you won’t find a multitude of premium products that are expertly handcrafted by the master craftsman. Shoei is proud of its long tradition of handcrafting. All the workers are trained to hand-build each and every product in-house without compromising a bit on quality.
When it comes to modular helmets, Shoei is not far behind. The aerodynamic design is well sorted. You won’t feel a bit of weight even after an entire day of wearing. They are very comfortable while riding and cut through the wind perfectly. Also, the quality of the fit and finish is immaculate.
Shoei helmets come in a vast range of fits and sizes. So you are more likely to find your fit here than in any other brand. Also, while riding, you need your eyes and ears about you to be alert. A Shoei helmet will do that for you by remaining fog-proof. Also, the padding inside is very comfortable. Shoei is a reliable name for modular helmets. Having a warranty claim with a Shoei is extremely unlikely.
Bell is a famous name in the world of motorcycle racing. The company was known for its considerable pedigree for motorsports. But now it is also producing high-quality helmets that are suitable for a multitude of riding applications. From a casual BMX to a heavy-duty racing helmet, you will find everything you need at Bell.
Having been in the business for around 70 years, the company has established a name for itself. They have produced a variety of open-face, full-face, and modular helmets. While their full-on track helmets are certainly something, their modular helmets are not far behind as well.
In the modular helmet market, Bell helmets are some of the most preferred units. The reason is their fantastic protection and decent ventilation. The interior lining is very smooth and comfortable. The shape is great and aerodynamic. They are great at dispersing moisture and heat, which may lead to the development of a hotspot at any particular area of your head.
Bell helmets are certainly not cheap. But what else can you expect from a manufacturer that is known for producing crash helmets? But don’t worry; the quality, protection, and comfort you are getting are definitely worth, if not more, of its price.
Shark is a Marseilles-based French company. They have been producing reliable and safe riding headgear for about 30 years. Sure they may not have been around for as long as some older brands on this list, their strong blend of outstanding quality, and a French flair for design has certainly earned them a spot in the ranks of the best helmet manufacturers.
It was founded in 1986 by two professional racer brothers. Through their experience on the track, they identified what the riders needed and came up with helmet designs that met and exceeded safety standards. Today, the company is a heavy investor in research and development. Their motto is “Design for Function.” And truly all of the components on their helmets serve in one way or other to protect their wearer.
Their modular helmet range is one of the most celebrated ones. The reason behind this popularity is its innovative design. The unique design has prompted them to be DOT-certified as full-face helmets once the visor is closed.
Unlike an average modular helmet, Shark modular helmets are lighter. The shape is also very aerodynamic. You can easily ride along at any speed with any adverse aero affects pulling on your neck even when the chin bar is up. With such amazing features, you cannot go wrong with a Shark helmet.
While looking at DOT-certificated brands, you will notice that all of them are expensive. To break the pattern here is an affordable yet reliable helmet brand. Saving lives for around 50 years, HJC is a popular name in the helmet industry. They are known for producing premium products that too at an affordable price range.
While their full name may be easily forgotten, the performance of their crash helmets is certainly unforgettable. They have opened manufacturing plants around the world to meet the increasing demand, yet they have not ignored the safety of their users. They conduct extensive and rigorous testing of all their products before sending them out for sale. All their helmets are DOT and Snell-certified, so there is no doubt about their high-quality protection.
Their modular helmets are crowd favorites. The more popular designs are regularly upgraded over the years to keep up with the changing times. They are lightweight, practical, and very comfortable. The one-touch chin bar release is easy to operate with a gloved hand. The venting is good, and the interior is supplied with a plush moisture-wicking material.
It also does not hurt that you can find a model in Pixar, Marvel, DC, and Star Wars-licensed graphics. Cool right? What else can any motorbike rider possibly ask for?
The name G-Max is amongst the pioneers of the motorcycle helmet industry. Though it is relatively new, the company is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the low-budget brands that offer exceptional quality. That’s why more and more buyers are choosing to buy their helmets from G-Max.
Its solid reputation rests on the production of the best snow helmets in the industry. From light snow to freezing temperatures, their helmets can withstand the extremities of the coldest weather. And it’s not just the snow helmets, their motorcycle and dirt bike helmets are also very good.
Their modular helmets are some of the sturdiest ones on the market. They are not only well-constructed, but an experienced and professional rider individually tests each unit. They don’t leave any space for error. Each of their products is unique and impeccable.
The lightweight helmets provide premium venting and a Coolmax interior that allows the rider to keep it on without feeling suffocated. Aside from the DOT certification, G-Max also stands out for offering splendid fitting helmets. We think this is the main reason it is gaining public favor.
AGV is an Italian motorcycle helmet manufacturing brand. Gino Amisano established the company in 1947. Today, it is owned and run by InvestCorp. The brand has a solid reputation for producing heavy-duty yet stylish helmets that are known for protecting the heads of many famous racers.
Their modular helmets are designed to protect their wearers, but they don’t burden them down with additional weight. The aerodynamic shape reduces noise and helps shift the weight that wind loads onto the shoulders.
They have everything that DOT approves of. The shell is sturdy, the inner liner is thick yet warm in cold temperatures and cool in the hot season, and the chin straps are as solid as they can be. All these combine to provide maximum protection, and that’s what the Italian brand strives for.
Modular Helmet DOT Features
As we already mentioned above, the easiest way to tell if a helmet is DOT approved is to look at the backside for the DOT sticker. We also told you that the sticker could be easily faked. So how can you really tell if the helmet is DOT approved? Here are some other things to look for.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes any helmet equal or less than one pound in weight as unsafe. Be sure to check the weight of your potential purchase. A DOT-approved helmet weighs equal to or a bit more than three pounds.
Chinstrap and rivets
Checking the chinstrap is also a way to determine if a helmet is DOT approved or not. Tug it and note how it feels. A loose or flimsy chinstrap is not a good sign. A solid, sturdy, and tough chinstrap is a sign of quality. Every DOT-approved helmet boasts these features in its chinstrap. It does not tear or loosen during the ride. Also, the rivets are placed in such a way that you can’t tilt the helmet forward off your head with the strap buckled.
Thick Inner Liner
The interior liner of a helmet also gives away whether it is a genuine product or not. All DOT-approved helmets boast an inner liner that is at least an inch thick. While it is not always visible, you can still feel around the inside of the shell to assess its thickness. Cheap helmets usually have a thin layer of foam to serve as a liner or have no lining.
Modular helmets are becoming more popular with each passing day. And let’s face it, who can ignore a versatile piece of gear that can give them the advantage of both its full and open-face counterparts? If you are also interested in purchasing a modular helmet for yourself or your loved one, be sure to invest in a DOT-approved unit. The certification does not only mean high quality, but it also means protection. We have also presented you with the brands from all price ranges so you can make a better decision according to your needs and budget.