Hedon Heroine Racer Helmet hanging on Thruxton 1200 R Clip-on Bar
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12 Best Retro Motorcycle Helmets – Full-Face

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Just under a decade ago, buying retro motorcycle helmets that met modern safety standards was challenging. The opposite is true these days; numerous helmets combine vintage looks with contemporary protection.

Riders of café racers and modern classic motorcycles have an almost overwhelming choice. As such we’ve created a list of the best retro helmets you can buy in 2024 to cut through the notice.

Skip to the list or read about the selection process below. Also, be sure to check out our guide highlighting purveyors of motorcycle gear from yesteryear.

Best Retro Motorcycle Helmets 2024 – Full Face Protection

Rider on a BMW Airhead Wearing -Nexx XG100R Retro Motorcycle Helmet
Rider on a BMW Airhead Wearing Nexx XG100R – Image: Nexx

Motorcycle helmets are an essential and legally required (depending on where you are in the world) piece of PPE. However, if you’re a retro rider, the clean curves and low profiles of old-school helmets offer unrivalled looks that complement the aesthetics of your bike.

Regardless, without further ado, in no particular order (but with a modicum of editor’s bias) here are the best retro motorcycle helmets to buy in 2024, with full face protection.

How this List Was Compiled & Retro Helmet Idiosyncracies

The retro helmets that appear on this list were selected based on thousands of miles of personal riding experience, coupled with rider feedback and reviews.

If you’re buying an old-school-style helmet for the first time, you should be aware of certain idiosyncrasies.

Hedon Heroine Racer 1.0 at the Bike Shed Show 2018
Hedon Heroine Classic at The Bike Shed Show, London 2018 – Image: Nate Kwarteng
  • Naturally, styling was a key factor in compiling this list. But with safety and protection in mind, half-helmets and open-face helmets have been shunned. The focus is solely on full-face helmets with visors and double-d-ring fastening mechanisms from well-recognised brands.  
  • All helmets conform to ECE 22.05 or ECE 22.06 for the UK and Europe and DOT FMVSS for North America. Some helmets meet both ECE and DOT standards. Others have been Sharp or Snell tested but most have not. 

Note: Keep in mind that only real-world testing and data reveal how well a helmet might perform in a crash. Certification, although increasingly stringent is a minimum standard. DOT relies on self-certification and is less stringent than ECE and SNELL. (The latter is a voluntary certification which is received after testing at a SNELL lab.)

1. Bell Bullit – From £350 / $419 / €399

The Bell Bullitt Helmet Gloss Black - original retro helmet
Bell Bullitt Helmet in Gloss Black – Image: Bell Helmets
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Low-profile vintage-inspired design with smooth curves  
Removable and washable EPS cheek pads and liner offer a highly customisable fit
Carbon versions are super-lightweight
Well-ventilated
Numerous colourways
Excellent field of vision 
Cons
Can be noisy due to the open space around the chin bar
Swapping visors is a protracted affair
Can be chilly in the winter due to the always-open porthole vents
4

It’s only right that this list kicks off with the café racer helmet that launched the vintage-style helmet segment. 

Inspired by a 2011 design concept by Chad Hodges (based on ’60 and ‘70s Bell Star helmets), the Bell Bullitt launched in 2015 to a rapturous response. Since then, it’s encouraged new boutique helmet brands and other major manufacturers to launch helmets inspired by the past some of which you’ll see further down this list.

Featuring an ultra-low-profile chin guard, the Bullitt itself fully embraces seventies aesthetics, offering an exceptional space-helmet-like field of vision.  

Its removable EPS cheek pads and liner are available in numerous sizes which offers a highly customisable fit. Aside, the liners are washable too, meaning sweat and grim build-up are not an issue for very long… depending on how often you wash them of course.

Regardless of all of that, there are plenty of Bullitt helmet variants within the standard collection which also includes carbon versions that are super-lightweight at 1280 g for the M size (give or take 50 g depending on size). You’ll need to spend close to £500 ($700) for the carbon versions.

The Bullitt is well-ventilated with its three mesh porthole vents at the front and a closable rectangular mesh vent in the chin bar. The always-open portholes keep your head relatively cool in the summer months. However, it can also mean a chilly dome in the winter if you don’t wear a balaclava.

With all the accessories tallied there’s a Bullitt for all tastes. Nonetheless, bona fide café racer riders and retronauts will find this Bullitt paired with the bubble shield visor, particularly appealing. If however, the Bullitt is beyond your budget, several Bell Bullitt alternatives or copycats are available at a lower price. They do very little to hide their inspiration and they’re comparable in features to the Bullitt.

  • Head Shape: Round Oval
  • Certification: DOT & ECE 22.05
  • Shell Sizes: 3 Shell and EPS Sizes – XS, S, M, L, XL & XXL
  • Weight: 1.28 kg to 1.4kg

2. Hedon Heroine Racer 2.0 – From £680.00 / $739.50 / €915.00

Hedon Heroine Racer retro Macademia Helmet
Heroine Racer Macadamia 2.0 – Image: Hedon [Hedkase Limited]

Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Exquisitely handcrafted finish feels amazing to touch
Low-profile silhouette with a broad chin guard
Leather trim and anodised brass details are a fine touch
Visor now has multiple lock positions
Customisation service available for unique designs
Cons
Pricey compared to other helmets
Limited ventilation with only two small vents at the front
Changing visors is a little finicky
4.2

A favourite of the DGR crowd is the rather more decadent Hedon Heroine Racer which first came to prominence in 2017. This helmet is very much at the premium end of the segment.
A standard version is nearly twice the cost of the Bell. However, it’s also much quieter than the Bullitt. Regardless this is an apples and pears comparison.

Each Hedon helmet is handcrafted from a composite fibre shell composed of fibreglass and carbon fibre. As such, the Heroine is a lightweight helmet. It’s fashioned with a low-profile silhouette, synonymous with Hedon design.

The helmet’s moniker is the clue to the inspiration behind its classic racing helmet design. Though equally the broad chin guard doesn’t hide the late ’70s influence.

The Heroine Racer is exquisitely finished with leather trim and anodised brass found on the nameplate, double d ring and the broad visor screws on either side of the helmet. Incidentally, the visor screws have been given an upgrade which means the visor now has multiple lock positions. It also addresses the previously slightly finicky process of swapping out the visor.

Aside from the option to purchase and then combine different visors and hardware, Hedon offers a customisation service. That means seemingly infinite possibilities to create a unique design.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: ECE 22.05 and DOT FMVSS
  • Shell Sizes: x3 – S/M, L/XL and XXL/XXXL
  • Weight: 1.2 kg to 1.39 kg +/-50 kg depending on shell size

3. Shoei Glamster & Glamster 06 – From £290.00 / €329.00

Shoei Glamster Matt Black motorycle helmet
Shoei Glamster 06 in Matt Black – Image: SHOEI (Europa) GmbH
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Highly contemporary construction including E.Q.R.S. and EPS liner
UV-protected visor and Pinlock EVO fog-resistant inserts
Three shell sizes and three EPS liner sizes for fine-tuning fit
Good ventilation with grooves built into the inner lining to channel cooling air
Sharp safety rating of 4 out of 5 stars (Original version)
Newly, updated to meet ECE 22-06 standard
Smooth exterior with no spoilers or fins for a clean look
Cons
The name doesn’t do it justice
Visor mechanism can be stiff and hard to operate with gloves on
Some riders report loud wind noise at high speed
4.1

Never has there been a greater travesty in product naming than Shoei Glamster. Clearly, that’s hyperbole. Still, it’s not a great name that belies an otherwise excellently styled café racer helmet with superb safety features.

I suppose when a helmet looks this good it can call itself anything it wants (also hyperbole).

Regardless, this neo-classic lid has it all — it combines its early seventies-like outline with all the modern features you would expect to find on contemporary-styled counterparts, minus all the fins and spoilers.

Those features include an E.Q.R.S. (Emergency Quick Release System), an EPS liner with removable cheek pads and a UV-protected visor that’s compatible with Pinlock EVO fog-resistant inserts. All of that is packaged into Shoei’s lauded AIM shell. For this model, there are three shell sizes to help fine-tune the fit.

There is also plenty of ventilation to be found throughout the helmet – with additional grooves built into the inner lining to channel cooling.

Sharp (the Department for Transport’s motorcycle helmet testing unit) awarded the original version of this brain bucket 4 out of 5 stars in its impact tests. However, Shoei in March 2023 released an updated version to meet and exceed the latest EU standard for motorcycle helmets, ECE 22-06. It’s likely the Glamster 06 will achieve a similar rating, if not higher.

The Shoei Glamster 06 is the helmet for neo-retro riders and those who want super-modern safety features while paying homage to the past.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: ECE 22.05 (Glamster) & ECE 22-06 (Glamster-06)
  • Shell Sizes: x3 – (XS-M/ L/ XL-XXL)
  • Weight: 1.2 kg to 1.39 kg +/-50 kg depending on shell size

4. Biltwell Gringo S – From £187 / $219.95

Biltwell Gringo S ECE R22.06 Helmet - Flat Black
Gringo S ECE R22.06 Helmet – Flat Black – Image: Biltwell Inc.
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Built-not-bought vibe
ABS outer shell and enhanced EPS for impact absorption
Easy snap mechanism for quick ventilation adjustment.
Durable construction, more rugged than Bell and Hedon.
Comfortable, hand-stitched Lycra interior, removable for cleaning.
Visor with PINLOCK® and ProtecTINT™ for fog and glare resistance.
Cons

Only two ventilation holes might be insufficient in hot weather.
Rounder fit might not suit, if you prefer an oval fit.
3.9

For several years the Biltwell Gringo S helmet was road legal only in North America. Modern classic and custom riders in Europe looked on with envy. Not just because of its attractive vintage-inspired proportions – but also its attractive price point.

In 2018 however, Biltwell bit the bullet and upgraded the helmet to achieve ECE 22.05 certification.
Combined with the injection moulded ABS outer shell the Gringo S received thicker EPS shock-absorbing foam in the chin bar. In January 2024 Biltwell upgraded to the latest ECE standard, 22.06.

Its inner EPS shell was also reworked for greater impact absorption. All of that makes it suitable for the UK, European and Australian markets.

Ventilation is limited to two holes in the Gringo S so it’s not the best for staying cool on extra hot days. However, the discreet easy snap mechanism on the left side makes cracking the visor open for cooler air easy.

The Gringo is more rugged than the Bell and Hedon. Nonetheless, the diamond-stitched (by hand) padded Lycra interior offers some air of refinement and definitely comfort. Furthermore, it’s removable for easy washing.

Notably, Biltwell visors (from December 2022 onwards) feature PINLOCK® and ProtecTINT™ which guard against fogging and glare respectively.

The Gringo S is available in two lightweight shell sizes and will suit riders who prefer a rounder helmet fit — as opposed to an oval. Equally, riders who favour customs over modern classics are likely to prefer this lid. It just seems to align more closely with the built-not-bought ethos.

  • Head Shape: Round Oval
  • Certification: DOT FMVSS & ECE 22.05 & ECE 22.06
  • Shell Sizes: x6 shell from XS to XXL
  • Weight: ~ 1.3kg to 1.5 kg

5. DMD Rivale Helmet – From £359.00 / €469.00

DMD Rivale Blade DX - latest motorcycle helmet
DMD Rivale Blade DX – Image: DMD – Ozone S.r.l. 
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Merges 70s-90s motorsport style with modern materials and techniques.
Sleek, low-profile, minimalist design.
Tri-composite shell: fibreglass, carbon Kevlar, and carbon.
Variety in solid colours and graphic-based colourways.
Comfortable, removable, washable, anti-bacterial interior lining.
Option to order with an additional smoked shield.
Cons
Visual similarities with helmets like Shoei Glamster.
Only two shell sizes are available.
Ventilation is limited to two chin vents; effectiveness is untested
3.9

DMD has built a solid reputation with custom and modern-classic riders through its low-profile lids — the Rocket and the Vintage in particular. Both helmets offer classic style, comfort and protection in a multitude of hues and colourways — and, they do it at reasonable price points.

However, the DMD Rivale (which is the brand’s newest full-face offering) is found slightly further upstream at a price point north of £359.

Nineteen seventies motosport is where DMD’s latest helmet gets its inspiration.
Visually, the tri-composite shell (composed of carbon, fibreglass and kevlar) is somewhere between the Hedon Heroine and Shoei Glamster — although closer to the latter. Undoubtedly, there will be comparisons between the two due to their visual similarities.

Currently, the Rivale is available in two shells: XS-M and L-XL. There’s a noticeable difference in sizing between the two shells when placed side by side. However, generally, the minimalist aesthetic means the larger Rivale is still comparatively low-profile although it’s larger than the DMD Rocket.

Two, always-open horizontal vent ports placed on either side of the chin bar form the basis of ventilation. At the time of writing this helmet is new. As such there’s not a lot of feedback on how effective it is at keeping its interior temperature low.

A smoked visor can be purchased for under £60 to replace the standard pin-closed clear visor that comes with the helmet.

In typical DMD style, the Rivale is supplied with a comfortable removal and washable interior. It’s available in several graphic-based colourways and solid colours that will appeal to riders who dig seventies moto style.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: ECE 22.05
  • Shell Sizes: Two Shells – XS-M, L-XL
  • Weight: ~1.2 kg

6. AGV X3000 – From: £179.00 / $375.00 / €279.95

AGV X3000 'AGO' edition
AGV Legends X3000 Ago #1 – Image: AGV [Dainese (UK) Limited]
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Modern AGV replica of Agostini’s 1969 helmet
Modern materials meet yesteryear style.
Lightweight composite-fibreglass shell
Comfortable, removable and washable microsuede & leather liner.
Anti-scratch visor, optional tints, securing mechanism
Adjustable forehead vent.
Smooth exterior, no spoilers or protrusions
Cons
Requires Allen wrench for visor removal.
Easy-to-lose vent plug, unless stored in the cheek pad
Limited ventilation, may not suit hot weather
4.1

AGV, it could be argued, began the popularisation of full-face helmets. MV Agusta’s factory rider Giacomo ‘Ago’ Agostini was the first racer to don the brand’s first full-face creation in 1968.

Since then AGV has become a brand synonymous with excellence in moto crash helmet safety.

In 2018 the brand introduced the full-face AGV X3000. Its silhouette is a painstaking replica of the helmet worn by AGO over 50 years ago.

Designers of the modern helmet have even incorporated a deft cutaway chin into the design. It’s practically identical to the design feature Ago requested back in the sixties. It meant he could tuck closer to the fuel tank thereby improving aerodynamics.

Evidently, great effort has been made to emulate the original. And yet, if you’re thinking this is just a pastiche of an old-school café racer helmet — you’re wrong. The technology fused into the X3000 is thoroughly modern and starkly sets the X3000 apart from the lid that inspired it.

Made from a (1.4 kg) lightweight composite-fibreglass shell available in three sizes it has three EPS liner sizes to help to get a closer fit. That, coupled with a universal shape, means the X3000 should fit most heads.

One prominent feature is the entirely smooth exterior, free from any spoilers as you’d expect. But also it’s missing ventilation holes. They are to be found behind the removable visor seal embedded behind the four-position visor.

The X3000 is hard to resist with its modern tech and true-to-the-past form, particularly for lovers of classic Italian sports bikes.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: ECE 22.05 homologated & DOT
  • Shell Sizes: x3 shells with x3 EPS sizes
  • Weight: ~1.3 kg – 1.4 kg (depending on the size)

7. Davida Koura – From £345.00 / €363.00

Davida Koura Helmet
Davida Koura – Image: Davida [Speed Man Manufacturing Limited]
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
High-performance, yet low-profile
Fibreglass or carbon-fibre shell weighs 1550g (Medium size).
Well-fitting visor, anti-scratch and anti-fog, optional 3mm black version.
Relatively quiet helmet
ACU gold certification allows for track use
Removable, washable, antibacterial fabric & leather liner
Numerous customisation options
Good ventilation
Cons
Some reviews mention noise issues.
Starts at £435, pricier than other helmets in those category.
4

Davida is best known for its range of jet open-face helmets. The low-profile Speedster V3 epitomises café racer style.

It’s perhaps surprising then, to learn Davida’s first full-face crash helmet, the Koura, is not only DOT and ECE certified but also ACU gold certified. That means it can also be used on the track.

It was developed with the expertise of former Italian MotoGP and F1 helmet designers who once took on briefs for more futuristic-looking helmets. And yet the Koura’s distinct silhouette is clearly based on late sixties racing helmets.

In keeping with Davida’s design ethos, the Koura is as low profile as possible. The brand claims it’s the “smallest dual standard full face helmet in the world”.

The shell is available in six sizes in either a GRP composite or carbon fibre which is lined with a three-piece removable, antibacterial fabric interior with leather lining.

That lining is also available in five colours and can be customised with additional cheek inserts for a closer fit.

With multiple vents and anti-scratch & anti-fog visors, you shouldn’t overheat or have your vision obscured. Equally, most owners report wind noise to be low.

Out of the helmets on this list, the Davida (oddly) stands out from others in its close adherence to a period-specific aesthetic. More importantly, it manages to do that with safety prioritised.
This helmet is for riders inspired by imagery from the halcyon days of the Motorcycle Grand Prix.

  • Head Shape: Round Oval
  • Certification: ECE 22.05, DOT FMVS 281 & ACU Gold 
  • Shell Sizes: x6
  • Weight: Not Stated

8. Arai Concept XE – £449.00 or £520.00* / €649.95 * For ECE 22-06 version

Arai Concept XE ECE R22-06
Arai Concept XE ECE R22-06 – Image: Arai Helmet (Europe) B.V.
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Shell packed with advanced Arai technology
Special Fibre Laminate shell absorbs and disperses impact
Unique range of colours, graphics, improved visor mount
Offers a wide field of view, especially horizontally
Quick-release cheek pads for emergency situations
Exceptional quality of materials and finish
Effective ventilation despite minimalist design
Cons
Styling may not appeal to all, especially compared to Shoei
Some riders find Arai visors tricky to use
4

Launched slightly before Shoei’s full-face modern-classic offering the Arai Concept XE takes a similar tac to its main rival, the Shoei Glamster 06. So this helmet is full of the same technology you’d expect to find in the brand’s contemporary-styled range. And yet it’s packed into a sleek neo-classic shell with ERS — updated for 2023 to conform to ECE R22-06.

Within the Concept XE, you’ll find the same Special Fibre Laminate shell which absorbs and dissipates impact energy across the whole dome.

The Concept XE’s old-school looks are more subtle than other helmets on this list though more apparent from certain angles — particularly the squared-off front grill. To place this helmet in time you’ll only have to travel back to the eighties.

The Concept XE’s designers have perfectly captured the retro-futuristic aesthetic of the eighties yet combined it with robust helmet technology.

Ventilation is found in the Concept XE’s closable chin vents located in the plastic mesh-like structure at the front. That, combined with the brow-level intake and rear exhaust vent helps control air circulation. As such you can readily regulate the temperature of this crash helmet.

The Concept XE may lose out to the Shoei in looks, depending on your viewpoint. However, it can certainly match the Glamster in features.

This is one for riders with a penchant for the eighties style bikes… or maybe an XSR900 in the garage. Get the latest version (ECE R22.06 certified) if you want bang-up-to-date safety standards or the ECE 22.05 (the previous standard) if you’re on a tighter budget.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: ECE 22.05 and ECE R22.06 for the 2023 version
  • Shell Sizes: x3 shell sizes – XS-XL
  • Weight: ~1.5 kg

9. Nexx X.G100R – From £199.00 / $389.95 / €253.49

Nexx XG100-R Giant Slayer Carbon Gold MT
Nexx X.G100R Giant Slayer Carbon Gold MT – Image: Nexx Helmets – NEXXPRO, SA
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Mixes 1980s racing cool with 21st-century safety
Boasts a Sharp safety rating of 4
Nexx X-Matrix shell material or lightweight carbon variants
Comfortable, removable hypoallergenic washable liner
Great styling with superior build materials and finish
Design similar to the previous model, with an F1 racing aesthetic
Stunning paint schemes and colour combinations
Cons
Single vent results in less airflow
3.9

Nexx was a relatively early player in the segment. It chose the eighties as its muse when conceiving the Nexx XG100R. This helmet is a perfect combination of 1980s racing cool with 21st-century protection.

With its flat visor and prominent chin guard, it looks like something that might have been worn on the track around four decades ago. It also has a thoroughly modern Sharp safety rating of 4.

Given the brand’s safety rating track record, that’s not surprising. The helmet uses the Nexx X-Matrix composite material for the outer shell of the standard helmet or full carbon for its ultra-lightweight variants.

Inside, you’ll find a comfortable, removable hypoallergenic washable liner, like all other Nexx helmets.

Like the AGV there isn’t a vent port to be found anywhere on the dome. Instead, the XG100R handles ventilation through a vertical chin vent with a closable internal slider.

With just the single vent, the airflow in the helmet isn’t amazing. Nonetheless, the upside is the lack of boreholes coupled with a chin deflector means it’s a relatively quiet helmet.

Within the model range, there’s an excellent mix of bold 1980s finishes from which to choose. They’re balanced with more understated colourways, meaning there’s a variant for most riders.

Aside from its looks and technical features, the starting price points make the XG100R an attractive option for riders inspired by motorsport iconography of the past.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification:   ECE/22-05, DOT and NBR-7471:2001
  • Shell Sizes: Six Shells – XS, S, M, L, XL and 2XL
  • Weight: ~1.2 kg to 1.4 kg

10. Simpson Ghost Bandit (US) Venom (UK & Europe) – From £223.98 / $484.95 / €309.95

Simpson Venom White Flat Black
Simpson Ghost Bandit/Venom helmet in black – Image: Simpson Europe
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Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
Pros
Has a 4-out-of-5 star Sharp rating
Features an integrated drop-down sun visor
Among lightest full-face helmets available
Distinctive vintage Simpson design
Proper bike helmet features including effective venting
Available in composite-fibre and carbon-fibre variants
Cons
Mixed reviews on noise suppression
Mixed opinions on ventilation effectiveness
4

Simpson helmets are immediately recognisable by their distinct flat angular chin bars.
That makes it relatively difficult to distinguish one Simpson from another if you’re not an aficionado.
For this list, I’ve selected the Simpson Ghost Bandit or Venom as it’s known in the UK and Europe.

Three horizontal ventilation groves on either side of the chin bar give the helmet a fast and aggressive countenance, echoing Simpson’s racing origins. Ventilation is supported by smaller vents at the top of the helmet. Exhaust vents are also found at the rear, top and bottom to aid cooling.

Opinions are split on whether ventilation is good or not — and equally so on noise. That probably means that both are not that bad or the best.

One thing that isn’t in dispute however is the Venom’s 4-out-of -5 star Sharp rating. In the US (tested as the Bandit) it’s been Snell certified to the M2020D standard.

A drop-down sun visor is integrated into the Venom/Ghost Bandit. As such, it stands out in a sea of helmets whose clear visors have to be swapped out for tinted versions on bright days.

Riders who prefer American big-v-twin customs, cruisers and muscle bikes are likely to go for this helmet either in the composite or full carbon fibre shell.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: DOT (Bandit) ECE (Venom)
  • Shell Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL & XXL
  • Weight: ~1.40 kg

11. Roeg Chase Helmet – From £135.00 / €265.83

Roeg Chase in Matte Black
Roeg Chase in Matte Black – Image: Roeg Moto Co. – Roeg BV
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Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Minimal branding with a simple design
Affordable, entry-level pricing
Spartan design echoes the late 70s and early 80s race helmets
Two shell sizes, made from unadorned RQ light fibreglass
Multi-density EPS foam liner for comfort and impact absorption
Removable, washable micro-fleece interior liner
True classic styling with current features and high-quality construction
Cons
Lack of vents limits airflow to visor opening only
Not as feature-rich as other helmets in its category
3.9

If you’re looking for a simple unadulterated classic helmet, with minimal branding, the Roeg Chase is it. With an entry-level price point, it bucks the stereotype that all vintage-inspired motorcycle helmets are expensive. And, it does that with perfect old-school cool.

Roeg is a fairly no-nonsense brand, so it follows that the Chase is spartan in design — reminiscent of late seventies and early-eighties racing helmets.

Its two shell sizes are composed of an RQ light fibreglass material entirely free of adornments including ventilation holes and branding. As such you’ll be hard-pressed to find a cleaner, smother-looking lid that meets European and North American safety standards.

Nonetheless, the lack of vents means only an open visor will introduce airflow into the interior. Speaking of which, the lining is constructed from a multi-density EPS foam that offers a comfortable fit and dynamically absorbs impact. The micro-fleece liner that covers the interior is also removable and washable.

Continuing the theme of minimalism, an understated ROEG logo is discreetly placed on the lower rear lip. That’s something that many riders appreciate. Few wish to be walking adverts or more accurately riding adverts.

Just like the Chase’s design, Roeg has kept the colour options simple: JD Green, Vintage White, Gloss Black and Matte Black.

Riders considering the Gringo S on looks alone will likely find the Chase appealing and vice versa.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: ECE-R 22.05 & DOT
  • Shell Sizes: x2 Shells – XS-M & L-XXL
  • Weight: ~1.4 kg

12. Blauer 80s – From: £319 / €359.10

Blauer 80s Motorcycle Helmet
Blauer 80s Motorcycle Helmet Image: Blauer HT [FGF Industry S.p.a.]
Protection
Fit & Comfort
Noise
Ventilation
Value
Style & Design
Riders’ Rating0 Votes
PROS
Old-school racing aesthetic is modernised with resilient materials
Removable and washable micro-fleece liner.
Tri-composite shell is strong and lightweight.
Clear, flip-up visor offers excellent field of vision and protection
EPS foam liner of multiple densities ensures both comfort and efficient shock absorption
Shell consists of tri-composite material: Dyneema, carbon, aramidic fibre, E Epoxy resin
Affordable price point
Cons
Visor’s button clasp system can be challenging to operate with gloves on
Ventilation is limited: only an open visor allows airflow.
3.9

Blauer is better known for the provision of protective outwear to law enforcement agencies. However, that perception somewhat changed several years ago with the launch of Blauer HT (High-Tech) — a range of motorcycle gear within which the Blauer 80s helmet is included. Although strictly speaking, this is the Trophy helmet from Italian-owned Premier Helmets rebadged as Blauer.

There are no prizes for guessing which era inspired the Blauer 80s. And, if its name doesn’t make it obvious enough, the tricolour graphics and its rounded block profile should.

The Blauer 80s is the embodiment of the old-school racing aesthetic and yet embraces modern materials in its construction. Its shell is composed of a tri-composite material which includes Dyneema, carbon and aramidic fibre E Epoxy resin.

This is another super minimalist design that doesn’t have ventilation ports. So, the only way of regulating the interior temperature is by lifting the visor. With that in mind, thankfully all Blauer helmets come with a washable interior lining also found in the 80s.

The branding on the front of the helmet is rather prominent. Nonetheless, it fits incredibly well with the early eighties graphic scheme available in five colourways: White, Black Matt, Black/Titanium, Blue and Titanium Matt.

Like the Bell Bullitt, the 80s helmet has an excellent field of vision and similarly some complaints about high wind noise.

Nevertheless, riders who love peak eighties aesthetics will love this helmet.

  • Head Shape: Intermediate Oval
  • Certification: ECE-22.05 
  • Shell -Sizes: Three Shells – M, L and XL
  • Weight: 1100 gr +/- 50 gr

If you like the curves of the Bell Bullitt featured on this list but the price point of the Roeg Chase, then these similar budget-friendly retro helmets may be right up your street. Also, be sure to read our guide on things to consider when you’re buying a retro helmet. Read on for Editor’s picks.


Retro Motorcycle Helmet: Nate Kwarteng wearing Hedon Heroine Racer Retro Helmet Sitting on Thruxton 1200 R - Image by Nate Kwarteng
Nate Kwarteng wearing the Hedon Heroine Racer on the Thruxton R (Great Orme, 2018) | Image: @motophotonate

I own and wear the Hedon Heroine Racer 1.0 and the Bell Bullitt RSD Carbon and I love both for several reasons.

Thruxton R Rider Wearing Hedon Heroine Racer and Belstaff Trialmaster - Image by D83
Nate Kwarteng on his Thruxton R, wearing the Hedon Heroine Racer and Belstaff Trialmaster – Image: D83

A few of those reasons are: the Bell Bullitt keeps me cooler on warmer days and the field of vision is excellent. However, the plushness and comfort of the Hedon are unsurpassed – plus, it’s nowhere near as noisy as the Bell.

Bell Bullitt Carbon RSD Special Edition Retro Motorcycle Helmet -  - Image by Nate Kwarteng
Everyday use old-school helmet – Bell Bullitt Carbon RSD Special Edition – Image: @motophotonate

The following are the helmets I would consider were I to purchase a helmet today:

  1. Shoei Glamster 06 – for a daily-use lid, as it offers a great combination of looks and protection
  2. Hedon Heroine Racer 2.0 – for looks and comfort
  3. Bell Bullitt – for regular urban use because of its field of vision and overall balance of features.
  4. Roeg Chase – for looks at an affordable price point

So there you have it these four are the best old-school helmets from the above selection. Nonetheless, any of the helmets discussed in this piece will look great on a variety of modern-classic café racers or vintage and custom motorcycles.

More importantly, they offer contemporary protection standards in an attractive vintage-inspired manner… (there’s no excuse not to have both now)!

Hedon Heroine Racer Helmet on a Black Thruxton 1200 R with Clip on Bars
Hedon Heroine Racer 1.0 hanging on Triumph Thruxton 1200 R – Image: Author’s photo

Riding a modern classic motorcycle while wearing a contemporary-looking helmet is jarringly anachronistic at worst or incongruous at best. Regardless, around a decade ago that was the only option open to riders of classically styled bikes.

Back then, helmets with yesteryear looks were non-existent. Unless, you were willing to take a risk with an unapproved, nostalgia-inspired creation or an actual vintage motorcycle helmet, you were stuck with a modern helmet that didn’t match your riding gear or your bike.

Anyhow, that all changed with the launch of the Bell Bullitt in 2015.

Now in 2024, there is a myriad of options when it comes to vintage-inspired brain buckets (or to use another shorthand, café racer helmets). That’s true, just considering the collections from major manufacturers and well-established boutique helmet workshops.

The selection becomes ginormous when copycats and subpar brands found on several giant online marketplaces are included. But we won’t be discussing any of those here.

Are Retro Helmets Any Good?

Black Hedon Heroine Racer amongst Hedon Helmet Display Display

The answer is ‘Yes’. The perception that these helmets are all style and no substance isn’t true in 2023. There are plenty of classically styled helmets that score as well in crash tests and higher than some contemporary-looking motorcycle helmets.

All that aside, let’s get one thing straight – you’ll have to make a few compromises. But not as many as you might think and not on safety, as you’ll see from the list below. 

Nevertheless, to find the right vintage-style helmet to match your motorcycle, concessions on certain functional features may need to be made.