This Year’s Top Retro Helmet List
If you are in the market for the best vintage motorcycle helmet and you don’t have a lot of time to spare, you’ll be glad to know that you have ended up in the perfect place. After several weeks of scouring the market for you, we came to the conclusion that the model that you should first take into account is Bell’s Custom 500 Helmet. Available in sizes ranging from 2X-Large to Small, this unit boasts a thin-profile shell that allows it to sit lower on the head. Designed after a model first released back in the 1950s, the looks of this helmet will definitely draw the attention of male and female bywalkers. Top everything off with the fact that the item comes with an anti-bacterial interior made of genuine leather and you’ve got yourself a winner. In case this unit is no longer available, have a look at the Nexx SX60.
This is a fiberglass composite shell helmet we’re talking about, so you needn’t worry about safety. With 5 shells and 5 different EPS, you can just select the right size that you need and make sure that it is the one designed for your physical attribute. While it is not communication-ready there are some things that make this unit stand out from the crowd - from the genuine leather antimicrobial interior to the multitude of visors and shields it is compatible with.
If you have an oblong head, the low profile can be a con.
This well-designed helmet works great even for motorcyclists that wear glasses.
While vintage in appearance, this model ensures that you will get the protection you need. The Advanced Thermo Resin used for the shell keeps the weight of the helmet to a minimum and ensures the necessary protection in the case of an impact. The inner lining is made from a moisture wicking material, and it can be removed for cleaning. There is an inner visor to protect your eyes from the sun, and an outer visor that covers the face and protects it from the wind.
People say that this model’s sizes run really small.
A lightweight, yet sturdy and reliable helmet in the case of an accident.
Details can make or break a motorcycle helmet, and you’ll be pleased to learn about how much attention was invested in this particular model. The inner shell made from expanded polystyrene provides extra comfort, while the exterior shell is built with durability in mind. The interior lining is made from brushed Lycra, and it is hand-sewn. The open cell foam making the padding doesn’t lose its shape, no matter how many times you’re wearing the helmet or for how long.
The sizing seems to be off, according to some reviewers.
A great helmet for anyone looking for outstanding comfort and durability.
10 Best Vintage Motorcycle Helmets (Reviews) in 2020
Picking the right helmet to provide you protection while riding your motorcycle is an important aspect, so make sure you know which products will best suit your needs. If you’re a fan of vintage and retro helmets, there are plenty of viable suggestions for you available nowadays. Below you will find our top picks so you can decide easily which one is right for you.
- 1. Bell Solid Custom 500 Touring Motorcycle Helmet
- 2. Nexx SX60 Vintage Open Face Helmet
- 3. Biltwell Gringo Full Face Helmet
- 4. Core Vintage Open Face Helmet
- 5. Vega Helmets Unisex-Adult Open Face Motorcycle Helmet
- 6. TORC T50 Route 66 3/4 Helmet with ‘Flying Tiger’ Graphic
- 7. LS2 Kurt Military Bobber Motorcycle Helmet
- 8. Woljay Leather Motorcycle Goggles Vintage
- 9. Woljay Leather Motorcycle Goggles Vintage Half Helmets
- 10. Nexx Vintage X60
- This Year’s Buying Guide
- Frequently asked questions about vintage motorcycle helmets
1. Bell Solid Custom 500 Touring Motorcycle Helmet
Described by some of the people that have given it a try in the past as ‘a sofa for your head’, this low profile helmet will take your riding experience to a whole new level. Best of all, you’ll even look cool on your street bike, for a change.
Furthermore, the Custom 500 model from Bell is compatible with a wide array of accessories manufactured by the same brand, from shields to visors. Since it is a ¾ helmet, it is a little noisier compared to a full face one, but this doesn’t seem to be a deal-breaker – at least judging by the feedback that the unit has received over time.
For cruising and commuting, this product seems to be highly recommended, but even though it comes in as many as 5 different sizes, you might still find it unsuitable for your physical attributes if you have an oblong head. As a general tip, the Large weighs in at 3.5 pounds.
This Bell helmet is an excellent choice if you are looking for something that feels as comfortable as a sofa but that is specially designed for your head.
Besides the comfort that it ensures, this model also keeps you safe thanks to the high-quality materials used in the fabrication process.
You might also want to know that this unit is compatible with a wide range of accessories offered by the brand, so you can personalize your entire experience as you want to.
This Bell model comes in various sizes so that you can find the one that best fits you.
This is a ¾ helmet, which means that compared to a full-face one it tends to be noisier when you are riding your motorcycle.
Some of the previous buyers have had issues with finding the right size, so make sure that you check the measurements and details provided by Bell for this model.
2. Nexx SX60 Vintage Open Face Helmet
This product is available in five different sizes and three color options so you can pick the style and size that best defines and suits you. What we liked the most about this helmet is its super lightweight design that only weighs 2.3 pounds.
Thus, wearing it will almost feel like a second skin while also providing maximum protection against shocks and accidents. The shell is made of advanced thermic resin that provides maximum protection against impacts and shocks, so you can rest assured you will remain safe in case of unhappy events.
This helmet is equipped with an inner sun visor that is 80% tinted for maximum visibility, while the outer visor of PC Lexan will cover your entire face to keep you shielded from shocks and harsh weather conditions.
According to some of the customers, this helmet runs a little bit smaller, so we advise you to pick a size bigger if you want to ride comfortably and safely.
Available in various sizes and colors, this Nexx helmet is made of high-quality materials to ensure your protection and allow you to choose the option that fits your style.
One of its characteristics that sets it apart from other helmets is the fact that it weighs only 2.3 pounds, which means that you won’t be uncomfortable while wearing it.
Given that the shell features a sturdy thermic resin construction, the user is protected against shocks and potential impacts.
The inner sun visor it comes with ensures great visibility thanks to the 80% tinted design, and the rest of your face will be protected by the outer visor.
This helmet can run a bit small so make sure that you read the details provided to pick the right size.
For those who are used to full-face helmets, such a model can feel a bit weird at first.
3. Biltwell Gringo Full Face Helmet
This item is available in six different color choices, including a vibrant gloss orange. You can also choose from six different sizes to make sure you pick the right one for your body shape.
The outer shell is made of injection-molded abs and features hand-painted finishes for an authentic retro design. The inner shell is made of qualitative expanded polystyrene to provide increased protection against crashes and absorb potential shocks. The item is quite lightweight, weighing only 3 pounds, so you can easily wear it without adding extra pressure on your body while riding.
The internal bio-foam chin pad features hand-sewn contrast stitching to provide a more pleasant design to the helmet while still being extremely durable to resist against shocks and harsh weather conditions.
The helmet is specifically designed to meet all national and international safety standards, so you can rest assured you are not only purchasing vintage and good-looking helmet, but also a durable one that will keep your head protected.
Biltwell took the user’s preferences into account when it created this model, so you can choose from many different sizes and colors to pick the one that feels comfortable and goes with the rest of your gear.
Given that the helmet has an overall weight of only 3 pounds, you don’t need to worry that it might turn out to be uncomfortable during longer rides.
In terms of the safety it ensures, you’ll be glad to know that the inner shell features expanded polystyrene for added protection against shocks.
Moreover, the interior chin pad comes with hand-sewn stitching for a bit of extra style and comfort, while the helmet itself can face rough exterior conditions.
According to some reviews, the helmet runs a bit small because of the thick padding, so you might want to order a size up.
There is rather little ventilation ensured, so during summer days, the helmet might get rather hot.
4. Core Vintage Open Face Helmet
This vintage helmet is available in six different color choices, including a black leather design for a more sophisticated touch. It also comes in six different sizes, ranging from X-small to XX-Large. This way you will be able to perfectly match the size of your helmet with your head for increased protection and a tight fit.
Keep in mind that this is a vintage open-face helmet mainly designed to keep your head covered and protected at low and high speeds. Thus, it is not intended to keep you safe while riding powerful motorcycles. It comes with five snaps that accommodate a flat shield, as well as a three-snap bubble visor for increased visibility.
The outer shell is made of an injection thermoplastic allow that provides enough safety and comfort for you to get behind the wheels. The vintage finishes include a premium automotive paint for extra durability and protection against scratches and shocks.
This Core model is available in various colors and, if you want to go for a more sophisticated look, a black leather design one is available as well.
With an outer shell made of thermoplastic, this open-face model ensures the rider’s safety, especially for those who are riding within cities or for a commute.
This helmet can also be accessorized with a shield and visor for added visibility, which is surely a good idea if you want to enhance your safety.
The premium automotive paint used for the finish will withstand the test of time against shocks and scratches.
Even though it ensures the necessary protection, this type of open-face helmet should not be used when riding very powerful motorcycles.
In some cases, the helmet ran a bit small, so make sure that you take a closer look at the details regarding the various sizes.
5. Vega Helmets Unisex-Adult Open Face Motorcycle Helmet
If you’re looking for a killer vintage helmet with an awesome retro design, this is probably one of the best options for you. The item is available in three different sizes, X-Small, Small, and Large, so make sure to measure yourself correctly before ordering it.
It comes with three-snap flip shields and a low profile that meets or even exceeds the national safety standards, meaning the helmet doesn’t only look great, but will also keep your head protected against scratches and shocks.
What we liked the most about this product is that it is extremely lightweight. At only 2.3 pounds, this vintage helmet won’t add extra weight or pressure on your body or head while providing the best protection. The item is made of a strong and durable ABS thermoplastic alloy.
The pin-up style design on the front depicts a beautiful woman on a ballistic rocket along with the message “Never Surrender” written in bright red letters.
The first thing that makes anyone notice this helmet is the great retro design it features, so you will surely be visible among other riders.
Available in various sizes, you can pick the one that fits your needs, while the flip shields that can be added by snapping them on ensure additional protection.
Since the user needs to be comfortable, especially during longer rides, it’s a great thing that this unit features a lightweight construction and weighs as little as 2.3 pounds.
The sturdy ABS thermoplastic alloy construction is what makes it both durable and safe to use, meeting and even exceeding national safety standards.
For some users, this unit was a bit small, so it might be a good idea to order a size up.
Being an open-face helmet, it might feel a bit weird at first to those who are used to wearing full-face models.
6. TORC T50 Route 66 3/4 Helmet with ‘Flying Tiger’ Graphic
If there is something that we love more at vintage helmets is that they come in various patterns and designs, each of them more colorful and amazing. This TORC T50 is no exception, so if you’re looking for a helmet with a great design, you should definitely take into account this product.
What we like about the TORC T50 is that it comes in plenty of available designs, as well as the most common sizes, ranging from XS to XXL. This way you will easily find the design and size that fits your personality and requirements the most.
The intermediate oval head shape will provide increased protection against shocks while also making your head look good when riding. The item is manufactured under strict DOT regulations and meets the national safety standards. In other words, this vintage helmet will protect you from shocks and scratches just like any other motorcycle helmet. Except it’ll look better.
The TORC 50 helmet features a very nice retro design and it comes in various patterns and sizes so that you can choose the one that goes with your own personality and that feels comfortable.
Also in terms of design, you might find that the oval head shape is comfortable, besides the protection it ensures against potential impacts.
It’s important to know that this unit meets national safety standards, so there’s not much that you need to worry about regarding this matter.
The overall retro style will surely make you noticeable among your fellow riders, so you shouldn’t hesitate to give this model a try.
This model is not meant to be used when riding very powerful motorcycles, as the large shell and thick padding catch a lot of wind.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to its maintenance, as the finish might not last otherwise.
7. LS2 Kurt Military Bobber Motorcycle Helmet
The item comes in a green color with a classic star and aviator design. We really like the lightweight, low profile of the fiberglass shell which feels like almost wearing nothing. This won’t add extra pressure and weight to your already heavy safety gear but will provide maximum protection against accidents and shocks while riding your favorite motorcycle.
The ¾ open face helmet is designed in an original vintage style which gives you a sense of freedom without compromising any of the safety features. As a result, you will benefit from the exact same visibility and protection while riding but will feel closer to nature and will be able to experience everything surrounding you in a different way.
In addition, this helmet allows you to attach a universal five-snap face shield but you’ll have to purchase this one separately. The item meets all national safety standards and is DOT certified. The majority of the customers claim the item is a good fit so you should order your regular helmet size.
With a low profile fiberglass construction, this helmet is both lightweight and highly durable, which means that it ensures the rider’s comfort as well as the necessary protection.
The classic aviator design is very nice and you will surely get many compliments while using this model, while the comfortable design means that keeping it on for long periods is not a problem.
Even though this is an open face model, it ensures the necessary safety especially for riders within the city or for commutes.
You should also know that this model meets the safety standards, which means that when it comes to your protection, you are covered.
A face shield can be added as well, but this is not included in the package so you will need to purchase it separately.
Do check all the details provided by the manufacturer to make sure that the size you choose is right.
8. Woljay Leather Motorcycle Goggles Vintage
If you were looking for a true vintage design, the new leather helmet from Woljay is everything you were looking for. The item comes in five different leather colors and perfectly resembles the former helmets worn by soldiers and aviators back in the WWI.
Believe it or not, this helmet is actually DOT certified so it will keep your head and ears protected from unfriendly weather conditions, shocks, and mild accidents. However, since this is an open helmet, we suggest you only wear it while driving low-speed vehicles and not powerful motorcycles. Keep in mind that safety comes first and this helmet may not be able to prevent all scratches, bruises, crashes, and shocks that come from an accident.
The adjustable helmet size allows for one item to fit different head sizes, from 56cm to 62cm. This way you won’t have to measure your head and look for the right fit yourself. Included you also have a pair of drop-down sun lenses to cover and protect your eyes.
Featuring a stylish leather design, this helmet brings you the real vintage look you’ve always wanted, if you are a fan of this style.
You can choose from 5 different colors, all in the same style so that you pick the one that fits your own personality and perhaps the rest of your gear.
Given that this model resembles those worn during WWI, it can also be a great gift for someone who is passionate about history.
Since this helmet is DOT-certified, you can rest assured that it protects both your head and your ears from impacts or harsh weather conditions.
In one case, the user felt that the helmet fitted loose, so you might want to take a closer look to the details regarding the size.
It might feel a bit heavy, depending on what types of helmets you are used to wearing.
9. Woljay Leather Motorcycle Goggles Vintage Half Helmets
This item comes in three different colors – black, brown, and pink, all of the designs being made of soft yet durable and strong leather. Despite the open design and the rather vintage form, this Woljay helmet is DOT certified, meaning it respects all national safety standards. In other words, it will keep your head, forehead, eyes, and ear protected from harsh weather conditions and shocks.
The one-touch buckle convenient chin strap allows you to easily put and take off your helmet in just a matter of seconds. The helmet is particularly comfortable to wear and, due to its lightweight design, won’t add any extra pressure on your head and body.
By ordering this helmet, you will also receive a pair of goggles specifically designed to keep your eyes shielded from harmful sun rays, excessive sweat, rain, wind or road obstacles. This way you’ll be able to easily keep your eyes on the road and stay safe.
Available in various colors, all of them featuring the same leather construction, this model is one that allows you to choose the helmet that goes with your style.
In terms of construction, the leather used is both soft for added comfort, but also durable, so you don’t have to worry about this aspect.
Furthermore, safety is paramount and for this reason, the manufacturer created a helmet that meets the national standards, being DOT-certified.
It’s also an easy-to-use alternative, thanks to the chin strap that ensures the process of putting it on and taking it off takes only a few seconds.
In some cases, the helmet did not fit exactly right, which means that it’s a good idea to check the measurements provided by the manufacturer before ordering your unit.
It might feel a bit heavy, but this also depends on the rider’s preferences and body construction.
10. Nexx Vintage X60
The item stays true to the retro and vintage design and comes in a beautiful black color with orange stitches and lining. It is sold in various sizes so it will be easy for you to find the perfect fit. The interior lining features a soft anti-sweat and anti-allergic fabric for comfortable and breathable wear all day long.
The helmet’s outer shell is made of advanced thermic resin or ATR, a powerful and strong alloy that will keep your head protected against shocks without adding extra weight to your already heavy protective equipment. Most of the customers who purchased the product agree to the manufacturer in terms of size and fitting.
Most of the Nexx helmets are true to size and offer a tight fit so it would be best to order your regular helmet size. If you still have trouble finding the right fit for you, just consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart and compare it with your own head measurements.
This is a very nice-looking model that combines retro style with a modern touch, given the colors it features and the stitching design.
For improved comfort, the helmet includes an interior lining with anti-allergic and anti-sweat properties, which makes it a good alternative even if you need to ride in warm conditions.
The shell is also a sturdy and durable one, given its advanced thermic resin construction, so your head will be protected against shocks.
This helmet is also a fairly lightweight one, so if you will need to wear it for longer rides as well, it will not become a burden.
In rare cases, the helmet did seem a bit heavy for some users, so if you have any concerns regarding this matter you can contact customer support for more details.
Make sure that you check the information on measurements as well, to choose the right size.
This Year’s Buying Guide
Whether you’re looking for the best vintage motorcycle helmets or regular ones, it may be quite difficult if you don’t have some previous experience in the field. Luckily, our following buying guide will teach you exactly what to look for and which are the most important features in finding the best vintage motorcycle helmets for sale.
The right size and fit
First of all, you need to take into account the shape and size of your head in order to know exactly what you look for. Most helmets come in various sizes to accommodate plenty of head sizes and provide you a close and tight fit.
It is extremely important for your helmet to fit your head snugly and not be too large or too small. This way you will receive the best protection against shocks without having to worry about constantly adjusting your helmet or improvising until getting the best fit.
Keep in mind that a vintage-looking motorcycle helmet could display different sizes than the ones we are currently used to, especially if the item you are opting for is, indeed, vintage. This way we suggest you always look for reviews of vintage motorcycle helmets and inform yourself prior to buying.
In addition, make sure to correctly measure your head and then compare your results with the ones provided by manufacturing companies to see which size will best fit you. Keep in mind that some of the companies may have products running smaller or bigger, so it is always more convenient to access the size guide before buying and having to return the product.
Some of the products come with an adjustable fit, and these too could be a great option if you cannot find the perfect fit for you elsewhere.
Consider the type of helmet you want
To get the right fit and shape for you, you also have to know which type of a good vintage motorcycle helmet you want. There are five main types of helmet, depending on their shape and size – the full face, the modular, the ADV dual sport, the open face, and the half shell.
Just like the name suggests, a full face helmet is the one that protects not only your face but also your eyes and rear sides of your head. The exterior shell is made of strong and durable materials resistant to shocks and accidents. The full frame visor in front will keep your eyes protected against harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, sun rays, and wind. It also has the role of keeping your eyes on the road and avoid debris or dust particles from falling into your eyes.
ADV dual sports helmets are perfect for when you own a powerful motorcycle or an ATV, hence the dual-sport name. It is a little bit more lightweight but will provide the same protection to your head and eyes.
If you’re opting for a vintage open face motorcycle helmet you should know that only your head and rear and sides will be protected. However, some of these models don’t even come with ear protection but more with lightweight cases or extensions to protect your ears from wind and rain. These are useful if you plan on riding your motorcycle only during the summer time and not at high speeds.
The vintage ¾ motorcycle helmet is the model in-between the open face and the full face and is the perfect item when transitioning from one model to the other. Generally, these products are quite heavy but also provide improved protection almost all over your face, so you can enjoy a hustle-free riding whenever and for how long you want.
If you’re opting for half face or open face models, make sure to buy a vintage motorcycle helmet and goggles set to provide maximum protection for both your head and eyes. It is important to keep your eyes solely on the road and not worry about dust, debris, small insects or rain falling into your eyes.
If you’re interested in buying the best vintage motorbike helmet, you most definitely have to pay attention to the design and the way your helmet was made.
You can choose to purchase directly vintage or retro items or vintage-inspired helmets. The latter only resemble the old ones, and there are plenty of designs to choose from, including a vintage police motorcycle helmet.
If you’re more into the real deal, we suggest directly opting for genuine vintage and retro helmets. Most of these come with outstanding designs, original stitches, and great prints or color options. Some of them are even available in leather, and they are extremely lightweight yet durable.
Keep in mind that true vintage items can come with rudimentary safety and buckling systems, and they may not be the best option if you’re riding a high-speed motorcycle. If you plan on showing off your powerful motorcycle, we suggest to always opt for full face helmets that provide maximum protection against shocks and accidents.
But this doesn’t mean your true vintage and retro-inspired helmets are not safe. On the contrary, the vast majority of them comply with the national DOT safety regulations so you can wear them anywhere you want, as long as you keep a reasonable speed limit.
Frequently asked questions about vintage motorcycle helmets
Q: How to restore a vintage motorcycle helmet?
If you’re the lucky owner of a genuine vintage motorcycle helmet, you must pay close attention to it if you want to properly restore it. Try to find original matching components as much as you can as these may be the only parts that will fit 100%. You should also offer great importance to the paint and the outer design.
Look for natural and resistant paints to restore the item’s original patterns or try to find a true restorer who can bring your vintage motorcycle helmet back to life again.
Q: Are old motorcycle helmets worth anything?
Just like with any other vintage, old or retro item you may possess, its value will only increase in time, especially if it is kept in perfect condition. The same goes with helmets, especially if they are older than fifty years old.
Some of them even come with all their original pieces, so you need to pay close attention to keep them like that for as long as possible. If they are in optimal condition, old motorcycle helmets can still be fully functional, meaning you can wear them and keep your head, ears, and eyes protected.
Q: How much should a new vintage motorcycle helmet cost?
The cost of these genuinely vintage items depends on a series of aspects, including the shape, size, features, design, manufacturer, and age. You can opt for new vintage-inspired items for as little as 30-40 dollars, but a real vintage helmet can easily cost you several hundreds of dollars.
The design, color, pattern, and material are extremely important, especially if we talk about genuine leather helmets. Expect to pay at least 70-80 dollars for an open face leather helmet.
The costs are even higher if you decide to opt for a full face item with plenty of safety features attached. However, no matter how expensive your item of choice is, make sure it meets the national safety standards in order to actually be able to wear it while driving.
Q: Is it safe to get a used vintage motorbike helmet?
This really depends on the type of item you want to purchase and its state. There are some vintage helmets kept in perfect condition so they would have similar features to the perfect new items.
On the other side, some helmets may lack the original painting, design or patterns or, even worse, could lack some of the safety buckles or have the outer shell cracked or scratched. We advise you to only purchase vintage items in a perfect state or to take them to a real restorer who can make them look and feel like new.
Bell Flake Custom 500
If you’re looking to take a step back into the history of motorcycling, this original retro Bell Flake 500 is the right item to start your journey with. It comes in ten different color choices so you can pick the right one for your personality. In addition, it is available in plenty of sizes, from X-small to 2X-Large.
The legendary Custom 500 benefits from a modern twist thanks to the new head form that now fits better while looking smaller on your head. Previous items had a larger fit and weren’t exactly suitable for people with smaller heads. However, thanks to the new thin-profile shell your helmet will fit even better on your head, providing maximum protection against shocks and accidents.
What we also like about this particular product is that it feels smoother and more lightweight than the original model, which can only be better, especially for those who don’t want to burden themselves with heavy protection equipment whenever riding their bike.