Welcome to the Best Motorcycle Touring Helmets Guide! This article explains what touring helmets are, what to look out for when buying one, a bunch of tips and a selection of the 10 best helmets on the market today with their features, pros, cons and our three winners.
What is a motorcycle touring helmet?
Motorcycle touring is motorcycle travel with a focus on road riding. Touring bikes tend to lean more towards a blend of long-distance comfort with the ability to ride hard and quick enough to enjoy carving up asphalt.
So, unlike adventure bike helmets which also need to focus on off-road riding with extra large vents, wider visors, peaks etc. touring helmets only need to concentrate on being good for road riding. But they must also offer a wide range of features to cover anything a long motorcycle tour could throw at it. Namely, they need to be all-day comfy, have plenty of ventilation and be easy to use. And if you’re touring in a group or abroad for example, then cut outs and inserts for Bluetooth headsets and Sat Nav devices are also important.
If you’re on the fence about which type of helmet you might need, then take a look at our Gear guide below as there’s a helmet explanation section in there, and also take a look at our best adventure bike lids guide too.
There aren’t hard and fast rules about which helmet you should use on your bike trips – there are only suggestions and helmets designs that work well on specific types of trips. Ultimately it comes down to what you like, feel comfortable with, what’s in your price range and what fits the best. And most importantly, choosing a helmet that’s safe and conforms to regulations and safety standards. If you are going down the touring helmet route, then here’s a selection of criteria we feel are important to consider when choosing your lid, and our top 10 recommendations.
What makes a good touring helmet?
Here are some things to look out for when choosing your touring helmet:
As with any biking gear that you’ll wear on a long motorcycle tour, your helmet needs to have an excellent ventilation system. Good ventilation will keep your head cool in hot weather and can also help keep your visor fog-free in wet or cold weather.
It’s also worth going for a helmet that is pinlock ready or one that comes with a pinlock insert. This extra shield that clips inside your visor will stop it from steaming up and are very important for those who ride all year round.
You’re going to be wearing this helmet for a lot of hours each day, so it’ll help if it’s easy to use. Good vents are great, but not if they’re difficult to open. The same goes for the visor. Check these components are easy to operate with a gloved hand. If you can’t get to a helmet shop, you will have to order one and try it on at home.
Some helmets are single-minded like those designed primarily for track use. A good touring helmet should give you options. These options include the ability to take Bluetooth speakers or a Bluetooth device such as with a removable collar or cut outs for headphone inserts inside the helmet.
A dropdown sun visor is also another massive plus for a touring helmet as are easily removable cheek pads for drying so you can wash and dry them out after a long day of riding.
While all of the above are great additional features, the most important thing to remember is that the best helmet will always be the one that fits your head properly.
You shouldn’t be able to move your head around too much inside the helmet and there should be no pressure points or pain. You can buy the fanciest, most expensive helmet available, but if it doesn’t fit your head, it won’t work properly in the event of a crash.
The 10 BEST Motorcycle Touring Helmets
Schuberth C3 Pro
Quick info: from £359.99, integrated acoustic collar
Schuberth helmets are known for being quiet, and that trend continues with the C3 Pro. The C3 Pro features an integrated acoustic collar which keeps noise to just 82dB at 100km/h on an unfaired motorcycle. The C3 Pro also features an integrated sun visor, removable Coolmax lining, and is ready for Schuberth’s communication system, the C3 Pro SRC.
Nolan N87 N-Com
Quick info: from £179.98, N-Com intercom ready
Constructed from a lightweight polycarbonate, the Nolan N87 N-Com helmet comes packed with features that make it a great motorcycle touring helmet. There’s an integrated sun visor, removable lining, plenty of ventilation and side grooves for extra comfort for glasses wearers. The N87 also comes ready for Nolan’s N-Com intercom system, and their Emergency Stop Signal system.
Shark S900 Dual Special Edition
Quick info: from £129.99, drop down sun visor
The Shark S900 sits on the slightly sportier side when it comes to touring motorcycle helmets. Constructed from injected thermoplastic resin, the S900 features multi-element internal shock absorbers with different densities to ensure maximum protection. The S900 has a 2.2mm thick quick release anti-scratch and anti-fog visor, which accepts pinlock inserts. There is also an anti-scratch internal sun visor. There are vents at the forehead and chin, while the helmet is secured via a quick release Microlock fastening system.
- Shell construction: Injected thermoplastic
- Chin strap: Quick release Microlock
- Integrated sun visor: Yes
- Removable lining: Yes, fully removable
- Pinlock ready: Yes, insert included
- Extra features: Anti-turbulence system, quick-release visor
Scorpion Exo-1400 Air Carbon
Quick info: from £249.97, Airfit system
I know what you’re thinking – this helmet looks rather racy and not at all like a touring helmet. But despite appearances, the Scorpion Exo-1400 Air Carbon is packed with features that make it a great touring helmet. It’s made from carbon fibre, which means it’s incredibly light and will reduce fatigue. Inside the helmet features Scorpion’s innovative Airfit system, which allows the rider to adjust the fit of the helmet via air adjustable cheek pads.
Not only does this alter the fit, it also helps reduce wind noise. Other features include a removable, hypoallergenic lining, chin cover to reduce wind noise and plenty of ventilation.
And of course, if you don’t like the lightweight carbon, then you can always opt for the matt black option.
Quick info: from £309.94, optional ear pads
Much like the Scorpion, the Shoei NXR is a slightly sportier helmet, but it still has plenty of features that make it great for touring. Firstly, the NXR is covered in vents with four at the front, which make it a great helmet for rides in warmer countries. The NXR also comes with a breath deflector and chin curtain as standard, as well as a second set of ear pads to reduce noise even further.
Quick info: from £251.99, compatible with AGV share system
The AGV K5-S is designed to be more comfortable than previous models, thanks to an absence of stitching in sensitive areas, and a pressure-free fit on the cheek pads. The AGV K5-S is compatible with AGV’s intercom and media system, and also features an integrated sun visor, enhanced ventilation and chin curtain for reduced noise.
Shoei GT Air 2Quick info: from £440.64, emergency quick release system The GT Air 2 is Shoei’s top of the range touring helmet, so as you’d expect it comes packed with features that make it great for tours and long rides. The GT Air 2 features a lengthened internal sun visor, and a “first position” visor opening for quicker demisting and improved air flow. The ear pads are designed for improved noise reduction, and the helmet comes ready to be used with the Sena SRL2 communication system.
Quick info: from £669.99, speaker pocket in cheek pads
For a long time, the Arai RX series of helmets has been seen as the benchmark, and the current RX-7V is no different. The RX-7V features an adjustable skull cap for maximum comfort, a 5mm peel away for added room, a chin cover to block turbulent air, improved aerodynamics and improved vision thanks to a taller and wider visor aperture.
Shark Ridill 1.2
Quick info: from £99.99, easy fit system for glasses
Looking at the price of the Shark Ridill 1.2, we understand why you might be a little sceptical, but the Ridill has plenty of features that make it a viable option for a touring helmet. The Ridill comes with a drop down sun visor, easy fit system for glasses, removable and washable lining, a quick release chin strap and Pinlock ready visor.
Caberg Duke II
Quick info: from £118.98, flip front
The flip front Caberg Duke II features an internal sun visor, quick release visor system, and nape shield for decreased turbulence. The successor to the Duke, the Duke II has an improved anti-scratch, quick release visor and a quick release chin strap.
Quick info: from £69.99, one hand opening system
The MT Flux is a flip front helmet that features a one-button, one-hand opening system for ease of use while on your bike. The MT Flux also features a drop-down sun visor, quick release chin strap and a removable liner.
The Best Motorcycle Touring Helmet Winners
The Schuberth C3 is our best all-round motorcycle touring helmet, thanks mainly to the fact it’s so quiet. A quiet helmet can really help reduce fatigue on long days in the saddle. It’s packed with plenty of extra useful features too, and it won’t break the bank.
Nolan certainly isn’t the sexiest helmet brand, but they do make great touring helmets. The N87 N-Com is ready for Nolan’s N-Com and Emergency Stop Signal Systems, features grooves for glasses and has plenty of ventilation.
The Shark S900 isn’t the cheapest on this list, but it balances price and features very well. Despite the price you still get an anti-scratch visor, multi-elemental shock absorbers and plenty of ventilation.
Read more on motorcycle clothing and gear
Thanks for checking out our Best Motorcycle Touring Helmets Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here are a few more articles on motorcycle helmets, clothing and gear that we recommend you read next.
- Motorcycle Gear Guides
- Motorcycle Helmets, Clothing and Gear Reviews
- The Best Adventure Bike Helmets
- The Best Motorcycle Sat Navs
- The Best Motorcycle Bluetooth Headsets
- Motorcycle Touring for Beginners
- The Complete Motorcycle Trip Packing List
- The 6 Best Soft Panniers for Adventure Bikes
- Europe and UK Touring Guides
- The Ultimate Winter Motorcycle Riding Gear Guide
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