The best vintage-style motorcycle helmets: Biltwell, Bell, Shoei


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Vintage style and motorcycles go hand in hand. From Italian styling to luxuriously reconditioned rides, there’s raw, utilitarian beauty to be found on two wheels. The superfluous is kept to a minimum and styles of yesteryear echo a time when motorcycling had a philosophy and felt good to it – individualistic and raw with an attitude that was a natural outflow of the two-wheeled renegade spirit.

And that spirit lives on today, as more and more motorcycle gear manufacturers see the value in vintage styling. More than just leather jackets and boots, helmets also imbue riders with retro aesthetics and modern safety.

So, with all that said, it’s time to grow out the beard, tune up your adorable little cafe racer and get your vintage style ready for a Sunday jaunt.

The best vintage-style helmets

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The Best Vintage Style Motorcycle Helmet

Biltwell Gringo S ECE Helmet

While the Gringo S doesn’t have the most flattering name, its 70s feel – with the kind of stripes that make you look like you’re looking train of souls on a Saturday morning – more than made up for it. The full-face helmet has a simple, no-frills shape but wears a hand-painted finish and inner liner with hand-sewn diamond quilted padding. Comfort is enhanced by an internal BioFoam chin guard. DOT approved.


Bell Bullitt Reverb Helmet

  • Low profile composite fiber shell
  • Removable, washable and antibacterial interior
  • 3D cut-out cheek pads with speaker pockets
  • DOT and ECE approved
  • Five-year warranty

Bell released its iconic star, the first full-face helmet in the 1960s. The Bell Bullitt – yes, it’s named after Steve McQueen – pays homage to that classic style while adding the latest modern technologies, like a fiber composite shell low profile, multi-density EPS liner and 3D cut cheek pads with speaker pockets.

  • Magnetically mounted muzzle for easy removal
  • DOT Approved
  • Lightweight composite shell
  • Speaker compatible

This dome is clearly the badass of the bunch, looking a lot like an extra from Mad Max: Fury Road. But the tenacity is not quite visible. It’s a half helmet with a matching adjustable muzzle to keep debris and other road junk out of your pretty face. Plus, the muzzle is magnetically mounted, making your reveal or concealment a snap. The matte black composite shell cuts the wind and protects your skull, and the overall look will scare the dicks off of almost anyone except law enforcement. DOT approved.

Shoei RJ Platinum-R Helmet

  • Double layer lining for better cooling
  • DOT and SNELL approved
  • Removable and washable interior

If you want the wind in your face, but hate noise and drag, the RJ Platinum R helps by incorporating front-end intake and exhaust vents (which also help reduce rider fatigue), as well as ‘a removable visor that allows the use of an additional protective face shield and windbreaker. The profile is enhanced by a ridge at the back, and tapered temple sections slim it down and even give your glasses a place to rest. It is both DOT and SNELL approved.

  • Moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial lining
  • DOT Approved
  • Adjustable smoked sun visor

The IS-Cruiser takes the basic half helmet and adds a handy (and protective) visor and smoked sun visor, which can slide up or down as needed. This allows freedom in the great outdoors, with added road and weather protection when you need it. The advanced polycarbonate shell is light and strong, and the lining is both moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial. The Darth Vader tribute part is free. DOT approved.

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