Six Retro Motorcycle Helmet Reviews

Gear driven
By Landon Hall
May/June 2008
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If you're riding a vintage motorcycle, it's fun to look the part. Here are six retro motorcycle helmet reviews to help you choose the right lid for your old-school noggin:

1. You really can’t get much more retro than this. Yes, straight from the folks at Fulmer Helmets comes the closest thing to that first helmet you had years ago, but it’s new and for sale right now. The three-quarter Fulmer V2, available in gold, blue, red, silver and the stars-and-stripes “Easy Rider” finish, is a throwback to a simpler time. Although light on the thick foam interior padding we’re used to in most full-face helmets, it does provide a secure, comfortable fit, and the lack of padding does make the helmet sit lower on your head, thereby avoiding the dreaded “Spaceballs” look. This DOT-approved open face motorcycle helmet features a plush fixed interior with perforated leather trim, a three-snap visor and UV-protective clear coat on the finish. It also features a loop and snap on the back to keep a pair of goggles in place. All it’s missing is the smell of old sweat. Add yours and take a trip back in time to when minibikes ruled the world. Price: $89.95-$109.95, depending on finish.

2. Another great looking helmet, the Davida Classic is truly in a class of its own: Every Davida is hand built with all the features of a Fifties low-dome racing helmet. Neat and compact in design, it’s an authentic example of the first helmets especially manufactured for motorcycle racing. A great piece of kit, indeed, though it should be noted that it does not conform to any current helmet safety standards. The Classic features a real leather interior with an adjustable two-tier cotton webbed harness plus a quilted leather neck curtain (lined with brushed cotton) that is lock-stitched to the full circumference of the shell. The helmet also features a goggle retainer strap in the back, perfect for holding on a pair of Aviator Retro Standard goggles. These goggles are the ideal complement to the Classic, and even feature an adjustable-screw nose bridge to ensure an individual fit and an effective, airtight seal. Shaped to give maximum peripheral vision, the goggles come with clear, smoked and yellow lenses, along with a protective carrying case. Price: $294.95 (helmet, two-tone), $145 (goggles).

3. The N-30 Flashback helmet from Nolan is a fun, retro, DOT-approved helmet that’s loaded with features. The lid has a fully removable and washable interior, an optically correct light-blue face shield that offers UV400 protection, Nolan’s Microlock adjustable quick release retention system, and a velour removable neck curtain and padded chin strap. A comfortable helmet, we also liked its shield hinges, which feature nice action that doesn’t feel cheap like on many less expensive helmets. Also available in flat black/cream, metal lava/grey, flat azure (baby blue)/cream, and flat pink/cream, all with the great old-school Nolan logo.  

4. A classic three-quarter helmet, the Jimmy Retro Stripe from Z1R Helmets is a DOT-approved throwback gorgeously finished with white and silver stripes over an orange base color. It features dual forehead vents, a comfortable brushed nylon interior with a padded chinstrap and a three-snap bubble visor. A comfortable, well-made helmet, its five snap design will also accept most face shields (not included). It’s also available in black/silver and white/red, and in typical Z1 fashion it’s well-made, good looking and surprisingly cheap.

5. The CL-31 Racer II helmet from HJC is a new-school helmet with an old-school paint job, providing both safety and good looks. This three-quarter lid is Snell and DOT approved, and features HJC’s Advanced Channeling Ventilation System, providing full frontto-back airflow to flush heat and humidity up and out of the helmet, along with a Nylex crown pad that is comfortable, removable and washable. It comes with a three-snap visor. Price: $99.99 (XXL and XXXL, $104.99).

6. Hand-made in Italy and one of the most unusual designs on the market, the MOMO Design Essenziale helmet features an attractive yet minimalist design that almost looks like it belongs in a museum. It features a removable, optically-correct scratch-resistant visor mounted on a Guilloché steel frame wrapped with stainless steel and laser-etched with the MOMO Design logo. This steel frame gives the visor butter-smooth action, and the DOT-approved helmet also has a soft, comfortable liner. Available in orange, black and baccarat (baby blue) matte rubberized finishes, the Essenziale was designed with safety, comfort and low weight in mind. Price: $395.

Read more motorcycle helmet reviews:
Eight Road-Tested Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
Seven Motorcycle Helmet Reviews for Touring
A Closer Look at Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets
Seven General Motorcycle Helmet Reviews  


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