Why Are Motorcycle Helmets So Expensive – Complete Overview with FAQs, Tips, & More

Motorcycle helmets are designed to be highly durable and stylish. However, all these features come at a cost that usually makes you scratch your head. 

So, what makes a motorcycle helmet so expensive? In today’s post, we’ll answer this question in detail along with many others. 

Quick Summary


We’ll discuss the following topics:

  • Reasons why motorcycle helmets are expensive
  • Difference between expensive and cheap helmets
  • Frequently asked questions

Let’s dive right into it. 

Expensive Motorcycle Helmets

Helmets are more complex than they might seem on the surface. There are a number of different aspects that combine to make a durable and long-lasting helmet

So, to ensure all the standards are up to the mark, expensive materials like carbon fiber have to be used. You can argue that cheap helmets can provide the same quality but that is simply not the case. 

What are the main reasons behind the high cost of helmets?

There are 3 direct and 1 indirect aspect that makes a motorcycle helmet expensive. Build material, Certifications, Design, and Endorsements respectively.

Let’s discuss every single one of them in detail. 

Build Material

The main factor that causes high helmets costs is the material used for its production. Materials like carbon fiber, fiberglass, and kevlar are known to be expensive. 

Even though these materials are used in the form of thin sheets, they are still quite expensive to acquire on a large scale. 

Are there any cheap options for the build materials?

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Some companies often go for the alternatives like thermoplastics or resin to reduce the cost. However, it also impacts the durability of the helmet. 

Thermoplastics aren’t nearly as tough as a carbon-fiber structure. A helmet made from carbon fiber can easily take on direct impact without cracking or shattering. 

Whereas, thermoplastics are known to shatter quite easily on direct impact. 

Certification Costs

Companies simply can’t just launch a motorcycle helmet into the market. They have to get it approved by a third-party testing agency first. 

For this purpose, helmets are sent to DOT or SNELL facilities for vigorous testing. These facilities charge companies to test their helmet. 

What happens if companies don’t get their helmets approved?

Department of Transportation keeps a keen eye on these matters. If a product is launched without an official certification it is almost immediately banned for on/off-road use. 

Moreover, the company that does so is heavily fined to discourage such practices. 

Is this cost is added to the final price?

Yes, it is. To cover the expenses of test services, companies add it to the final price of a helmet. So, ultimately this cost was recovered from the customers. 

Design

The resources that go into the design of a helmet are hard to ignore. It takes multiple people to come up with a viable design that is durable and aerodynamic at the same time. Some helmets also come with accessories.

Many companies pour a lot of money into the R&D department to get ahead of the competition with their new helmet design. 

Do different designs vary in price?

Absolutely. In comparison, full-face and modular helmets are hard to design, mold, and produce than open-face helmets. 

Hence, open-face helmets are relatively cheaper than their counterparts. Moreover, this is the reason why half-helmets are the cheapest to design and produce. 

Endorsements and Brand Value

Word of mouth and popularity can also increase the price of a motorcycle helmet. A good example of this case is Bell helmets. 

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Bell helmets gained popularity due to word of mouth. This enabled them to charge high prices for a set standard of quality. 

How does endorsement increase the price of a helmet?

If you see an athlete like Lebron James wear a certain helmet, it creates the desire to get the same helmet. Companies use this desire and sell certain models at a higher rate. 

People often pay the extra bucks for exclusivity and collection purposes. To them, these types of helmets are like trophies. 

Is there any major difference in such helmets?

More than often, you’ll only find minor design changes. Besides that, these helmets are pretty much the same as their normal version. 

Lewis Hamilton, F1 champion, uses many custom Bell helmets with different vinyl. Any model he wears impacts the price of it for the next couple of months. 

cheap vs expensive helmets

Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Helmets

Some people like to save costs wherever they can. This is why they are reluctant to choose expensive helmets. 

However, as it goes for helmets, safety over anything. Expensive helmets come with a set standard level. Each helmet is tested to make sure it is up to the mark. 

Whereas, cheap helmets often save costs by using cheaper materials or leaving some fatal design flaws. 

FactorsCheap HelmetsExpensive Helmets
Build MaterialLow-quality materials like thermoplastic and resinsHigh-quality carbon-based materials
DurabilityLow structural integrityCrack and shatterproof
ComfortLow-quality paddingMemory foam padding
Paint JobFades after months of useRetains the original shade even after daily use
Longevity6 months – 1 year3 years – 5 years

As you can see from this table, expensive helmets are better than their cheap counterparts in every aspect. 

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It is good to pay the extra bucks and keep yourself safe from any harm. 

Which one should I choose?

We suggest that you a one-time investment and buy an expensive helmet. It’ll last longer and provide a number of different benefits. 

Moreover, expensive helmets also make you look cool with their unique designs. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some questions asked by different people from around the web. 

Is it better to buy an expensive full-face or modular helmet?

It depends on your personal preference. However, we recommend that you spend your money on modular helmets. You can get the benefits of two helmet designs at the cost of one. Moreover, modular helmets are the new trend. 

How do I keep my helmet safe?

There are a bunch of different ways to keep your helmet in its original condition. The best way to do this is with the help of a helmet bag. These bags are made from a nylon material that keeps your helmet safe from dust and scratches. 

Should I polish my helmet?

You can polish your helmet at home but only with the right kind of polish. Not every polish is suitable for helmet materials and there is a potential risk it might ruin the vinyl on your helmet. We suggest you buy specialized wax/polish for safer application. 

Do I have to pay the shipping cost if I order a helmet online?

If your helmet is being shipped from a different country then yes. You’ll have to pay the shipping cost. On the other hand, if your helmet is from within the country, you won’t have to pay the extra costs. 

Wrapping Things Up…

With this, we come to the end of our post on why motorcycle helmets are so expensive. We hope this information proves to be beneficial for you.

Motorcycle helmet prices are determined by different factors. These factors are often related to durability and build materials. In most cases, it is good to pay for these factors because, in the long run, they will keep you safe from harm.

Do let us know what is the most expensive helmet you own. VISIT OUR SITE for more.