Best Touring Motorcycle Helmets – 2020 Complete Review

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There’s something magical about riding on the open road, but the longer the trip and the faster you travel, the more important it is to wear a helmet. One of the best things you can do is choose the right helmet to protect yourself without compromising the joy of the ride. 

We understand that, and we’re here to help you decide on the best touring motorcycle helmet.

Our Top Picks for Best Touring Motorcycle Helmets

  • Many colors
  • Safe in sunlight
  • Strong, reliable
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  • Very strong
  • Safe airflow
  • For all seasons
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  • Best for the Money
  • Strong shell
  • Comfortable to use
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Comparison of the Best Touring Motorcycle Helmets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Comes with a CNS-1 faceplate included
  • Shell is made from durable and strong material
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  • Shell made from advanced polycarbonate material for durability
  • An Areo-tune ventilation system for better airflow
  • Anti-fogging faceplate used for your safety
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  • Best for the Money
  • Very strong and lightweight ABS plastic used for shell
  • Double-D safety lock used on the padded chin strap
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  • New design exhaust ports for improved ventilation system
  • Cheakpad comes with emergency release system for improved safety
  • Comes in a many colors for your convenience
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  • A superior shield system that can be used in all light conditions
  • Made with a full-carbon fiber shell for improved safety
  • Quick and easy fitment and release buckle
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What is a Touring Motorcycle Helmet Used For? 

When you plan to spend a long day on your bike, it means having a helmet on your head just as long. A touring motorcycle helmet offers comfort, breathability, and most importantly, protection. Most touring helmets provide some sort of visor to shield your eyes from the sun.

What Makes a Helmet Great For Touring? 

You probably put some time into selecting your bike, right? If you’re going to spend time on the road, then you probably want to commit some time to choose a safe, comfortable helmet to protect your head and make your ride better.

Fit

When you plan to wear something on your head for hours at a time, it needs to fit well. If it’s too big or heavy it wears you down, but if it’s too small or tight the helmet can impact your airflow and comfort. Either way, you won’t want to wear an ill-fitting helmet, so your priority is to find the best fit for your needs.

Safety

Again, a helmet protects your head from injury. Helmets that have proper padding and construction is critical, but there are other considerations, like the ease of removal. Look for helmets that have certifications like DOT, ECE, or Snell.

Special Features

Though most helmets accomplish the shared goal of protecting your head, they aren’t all created equal. Check out the special features on different helmets to find one that fits your needs.

  • Visors for sunny days,

  • Full face shields to protect against bugs and the elements.

  • Vents and exhausts to enhance airflow

  • Bluetooth capability

  • Noise reduction design

Quick Take - Best Touring Motorcycle Helmets

Hoping to cut to the chase? Below are the three best touring motorcycle helmets:

  1. Shoei GT-Air 2
  2. ScorpionEXO-AT950 Solid
  3. O'Neal - 0817-C14

Review of the Best Touring Motorcycle Helmets

With so many helmets to choose from, how do you know which is best? We understand that it is a challenge whenever you have to consider function and safety in equal measures.

After serious research, we felt these five motorcycle helmets are your best bets. 

Best Overall:
Shoei GT-Air 2

Shoei GT-Air 2 Helmet (Large) (White)

PROS

  • Sleek, aerodynamic design
  • Convenient, internal, flip-down sun shield
  • Removable interior is machine-washable and replaceable
  • Multiple vents and wind-tunnel optimization for improved airflow
  • Noise-reduction tech to reduce external noises, including road noise

CONS

  • Some quality control issues
  • Bluetooth compatible, but it’s a pricey add-on

Specs

  • Type of Helmet: Touring

  • Materials Used: fiberglass, organic fibers, resin, nylon, multi-density EPS material

  • Brand: Shoei

  • Type: full-face

  • Certifications: DOT-certified

  • Clasp Type: micro-ratchet chinstrap with patented interlocking mechanism

  • Weight: 5.9 pounds

What Types of Activities is the Shoei GT Air 2 Best For?

The comfort and aerodynamic design make this helmet an excellent all-around option, but it’s an especially solid choice for sport-touring. As a full-face helmet, you get optimal protection that can accommodate high speeds and the retractable visor means the sun isn’t an issue, so you can truly enjoy the ride on extra-bright days.

Safety Features of the Shoei GT Air 2

Shoei put thought into the safety features for this helmet. The micro-ratchet chin strap keeps the helmet secure but not difficult to remove. Shoei also incorporated EQRS (emergency quick release system) to allow for quick, easy, and safe removal by emergency medical personnel.

What Are the Components of the Shoei GT Air 2?

This helmet is sleek and sporty, but when it comes to a day on the road, we can’t just worry about how we look. It certainly helps to know you look awesome, but let’s talk about the components that make this helmet.

  • Outer Shell

The GT Air 2’s shell features a unique, multi-layer design. It’s sleek and aerodynamic, but protective and sturdy.

  • Vents

The upper air intake shutter pulls fresh, cool air your way while exhaust vents expel air to maximize airflow and improve negative air pressure in the helmet. The shell shape is compact and aerodynamic to enhance airflow.

  • Liner

Internal padding creates comfort and support while drowning out road noise. The liner is removable, machine-washable, and even replaceable.

  • Cheek Pads

Multi-layered for comfort, the cheek pads keep the helmet stable without irritating your face. The cheek pads in the GT Air 2 are also removable in the event of injury.

  • Face Shield 

The CNS-1 shield on the GT Air 2 gives you a wider, taller field of vision that doesn’t distort your vision and blocks 99% of damaging UV rays. It also has a Pinlock EVO fog-resistant system. Bonus: there’s an additional internal sun shield that’s fast and easy to activate.

ScorpionEXO Unisex-Adult Modular/Flip Up Adventure Touring Motorcycle Helmet (Matte Black, X-Large) (EXO-AT950 Solid)

PROS

  • Unisex design with neutral color options
  • Several adjustable components for maximum versatility
  • Removable, washable KwikWick II liner for comfort in all weather conditions
  • Face shield is fog-free, has an anti-scratch coating, and blocks 95% UVA & UVB
  • Oversized eyeport increases visual field and accommodates goggles when you remove the faceshield

CONS

  • Sizing runs small
  • May be too much helmet for some riders

Specs

  • Type of Helmet: Touring

  • Materials Used: polycarbonate shell

  • Brand: Scorpion

  • Type: full-face with removable external peak visor

  • Certifications: DOT

  • Clasp Type: flip-up chin bar

  • Weight: 5 pounds

What Types of Activities is the Scorpion EXO-AT950 Best For?

This helmet is excellent for sport and all-terrain scenarios, but comfortable and versatile enough for touring and street use. It’s sleek enough to handle high speeds but provides enough protection against highway and all-terrain settings, including bugs, sun, and mud.

Safety Features of Scorpion EXO-AT950

Safety is a primary concern, and ScorpionEXO doesn’t skimp on their helmets. The advanced LG polycarbonate shell is strong and minimizes the effects of an impact by displacing energy. Additionally, the KwikFit cheek pads create an easy on-and-off fit for medical personnel.

What Are the Components of the Scorpion EXO-AT950?

Let’s breakdown the individual features and discuss what sets the Scorpion EXO-AT950 apart from the rest.

  • Outer Shell

Scorpion developed a special shell using advanced LG polycarbonate. It’s lightweight but incredibly strong and protects in case of impact.

  • Vents

The aero-tuned ventilation system features intake vents on top and exhaust vents to release hot air. Additionally, this helmet has dual position mouth vents that serve as defrosters and provide ventilation.

  • Liner

Using KwikWick II comfort lining means better temperature regulation regardless of the weather. You can also remove and wash the liner as needed. Some of the pads are removable, to accommodate accessories, like eyewear.

  • Cheek Pads

Speaking of removable pads, you can take out the cheek pads to accommodate goggles. They are easy to remove and replace.

  • Face Shield 

The EverClear face shield is anti-fog and features an anti-scratch coating to protect it. Additionally, though it’s a clear shield, it blocks 95% of UVA and UVB rays.

Best for the Money:
O'Neal - 0817-C14

O'Neal 0817-504 unisex-adult full-face style Sierra II Helmet Flat Black L (59/60cm), Large

PROS

  • Extra-lightweight but extremely durable
  • Integrated face shield offers UV protection
  • Padded chinstrap with a Double-D safety lock
  • Features an adjustable, dropdown helmet shield
  • Moisture-wicking liner that’s removable and machine washable

CONS

  • No setup for Bluetooth
  • Doesn’t minimize road noise as much as others

Specs

  • Type of Helmet: Touring, sport

  • Materials Used: ABS, synthetic materials

  • Brand: O’Neal

  • Type: full-face

  • Certifications: DOT and ECE

  • Clasp type: Double-D safety lock

  • Weight: 3.5 pounds

What Types of Activities is the O’Neal Sierra II Best For?

Like other O’Neal helmets, the Sierra II works well for street, sport, and endurance rides. Adventure bikers and off-roaders may appreciate the comfort and protection.

Safety Features of O’Neal Sierra II

The Sierra II meets DOT and ECE safety standards. It is a lightweight helmet featuring a sturdy shell constructed with ABS. O’Neal also uses a padded chin strap with a Double-D safety lock, so you don’t have to worry about it flying off in the event of a collision. 

What Are the Components of the O’Neal Sierra II?

There is nothing especially flashy about the Sierra II. It’s sleek and chic but doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that others on our list have. However, it’s affordable and sturdy.

  • Outer Shell

The outer shell is ABS, a high-grade thermoplastic polymer that reduces weight without compromising strength. 

  • Vents

The Sierra II features seventeen vent holes positioned to optimize airflow and keep riders cool and comfortable. You can open or close vents as needed to manage your temperature.

  • Liner

In case you do end up sweating on a long or active ride, the liner is sweat-wicking. You can remove it and wash it up for your next ride. 

  • Cheek Pads

You may find the cheek pads a little snug to start, but they aren’t uncomfortable. You can expect them to hold the helmet on without interfering with airflow.

  • Face Shield

The integrated face shield offers wind and UV protection. There is an additional drop-down tinted shield.

Editor's Pick:
Arai XD4

Arai XD4 Helmet (Fluorescent Yellow, Small)

PROS

  • Chin vent improves airflow
  • High-end, sleek outer shell
  • Interior is fully removable and washable
  • Extensive size selection ranging from 2XS up to 3XL
  • Peel-away padding at the cheeks and temple for a custom fit

CONS

  • One of the more expensive helmets in class
  • Top ventilation leaves something to be desired

Specs

  • Type of Helmet: Dual-sport

  • Materials Used: Super Fiber, Resin, AR Mat, Zylon

  • Brand: Arai

  • Type: full-face

  • Certifications: DOT and Snell

  • Clasp type: Strap and buckle

  • Weight: 4 pounds

What Types of Activities is the Arai XD4 Best For?

Arai markets the XD4 primarily as a dual-sport helmet. It’s made to handle heavy performance and sustain you through long-term use.

Safety Features of Arai XD4

Aside from Arai’s patented technology that creates a customizable helmet, they carry DOT and Snell certifications. Additionally, the XD4 features easy-release cheek pads for emergency medical professionals.

What Are the Components of the Arai XD4?

Let's take a look at the breakdown of the essential components of this helmet.

  • Outer Shell

Arai uses a proprietary material to create the outer shell. Though all of their helmets have a slight oval feel, you can choose from three configurations to get the best possible fit. Plus, there are multiple exciting color-combinations.

  • Vents

Though the top vent is disappointing, the side cowl vents are large and functional, especially at high speeds. There’s also a chin vent to keep you cool and comfortable.

  • Liner

Arai uses its Dry-Cool technology on the pads and liner for awesome comfort. The best part is that it’s all removable so that it can be washed or replaced. The side-temple pads also feature the 5mm peel-away feature in case you need a little more space.

  • Cheek Pads

Features patented FCS cheek pads for exceptional comfort and support on long rides. Arai also uses its exclusive 5mm peel-away layer for a custom fit. In case of emergency, the cheek pads are easy-release via integrated pull tabs.

  • Face Shield 

Though a clear shield comes standard, there are dozens of accessories and upgrades to choose from to create a custom look.

Honorable Mention:
KLIM TK1200 MD Illumino

KLIM TK1200 MD Illumino Hi-Vis ECE/DOT

PROS

  • Liner is removable, washable, and hypoallergenic
  • Ultra Vision shield performs well in all light conditions
  • Aerodynamic and aero-acoustic design for an enjoying ride
  • Chin bar breaks away in case of an accident to protect the head
  • Carbon-fiber shell provides exceptional protection that’s lightweight

CONS

  • Taking it on and off can be difficult for some people
  • Chin vent creates a whistling sound if you look side to side

Specs

  • Type of Helmet: Grand touring

  • Materials Used: carbon fiber, synthetics

  • Brand: KLIM

  • Type: full-face 

  • Certifications: DOT and ECE

  • Clasp type: micro-metric buckle

  • Weight: 4.7 pounds

What Types of Activities is the KLIM TK 1200 MD Illumino Best For?

KLIM markets this helmet as a grand touring style. It’s lightweight and sturdy for long rides with a sleek design that handles various weather.

Safety Features of TK1200

Not only does the TK1200 meet ECE and DOT standards, but it also has a break-away chin bar and quick-release cheek pads in case of an accident. 

What Are the Components of the TK1200?

The TK1200 is on the list because it’s an up-and-comer with a lot of promise. Unique design elements and an array of accessories and upgrades to enhance the helmet make it a viable option.

  • Outer Shell

TK1200s start with a sleek, lightweight carbon fiber shell. Choose from six color combinations and five different sizes.

  • Vents

KLIM uses “intelligent ventilation” with intake and outtake ports set to keep you cool. It’s a unique system that directs airflow out the top of your helmet.

  • Liner

The liner is removable and washable along with the padding. It’s ergonomic and hypoallergenic.

  • Cheek Pads

The TK1200 cheek pads mark a source of trouble for some users. Pulling the helmet on and off is problematic, in part due to the cheek pads. That said, you can choose different sizes of cheek pads (small through 2XL).

  • Face Shield 

One of the key features of this helmet is the face shield. KLIM face shields feature Transitions  adaptive lens technology to reduce eye fatigue and adjust to variations in light while protecting your eyes from damaging rays.

What to Look For When Buying a Touring Motorcycle Helmet

Buying a touring motorcycle helmet often comes down to price for many people, but there are some other significant factors to consider. While you may not want to exceed your budget by much, you definitely don’t want to skimp on these areas when choosing a helmet.

Fit and Comfort

A helmet should be comfortable enough that you don’t mind wearing it long-term. It should fit snugly and conform to the shape of your head.

Safety Features and Certifications

Helmets that feature special safety features are important because you want that security in the event of an accident. That said, you may want to look beyond the listed features to find certifications, like from the DOT (Department of Transportation). Certifications let you know the helmet endured testing and met at least minimal safety standards.

Visibility

Can you see enough to drive? If your helmet inhibits your vision, it’s not effective, or safe. Make sure you have a wide, clear field of vision in whatever helmet you choose.

Dual Sport vs Sport Touring Helmets For Adventure Motorcycle - Comparison Overview 

How in the world do you know what type of motorcycle helmet to choose? Beginners may be confused by the difference between a dual-sport and sport touring helmet.

Dual-sport helmets, also known as hybrids or crossovers, offer enhanced eye protection with a visor. However, the visor is usually movable to allow enough room for goggles. Airflow is an important aspect of dual-sport helmets and the chin bar is generally shorter for better sound-proofing.

Sport touring helmets are similar in terms of prioritizing ventilation, aerodynamics, and sound-proofing. They tend to be pricier because they use high-tech materials and cutting edge technology.

Conclusion 

Choosing the best touring motorcycle helmet for you depends on personal preference because you won’t want to wear it if it doesn’t feel right. Make sure you consider safety features and certifications when shopping and discount helmets that lack safety certs.

People Also Ask

Just in case we didn’t answer all of your questions about touring motorcycle helmets, we compiled a few questions that popped up frequently during our research. 

How Much Does a Motorcycle Helmet Weigh?

Helmets vary in weight, usually between three and seven pounds, depending on the design and materials used. While a lightweight helmet doesn’t necessarily protect you less, the heaviest helmet may cause safety issues. It’s important to choose a helmet that you can comfortably wear for long periods.

Are Touring Helmets Worth it?

Possibly, touring helmets often feature safety certifications and special features that improve comfort for longer wear. However, you can find a non-touring helmet that works just as well.

How Much Does a Touring Helmet Cost? 

At the low end, you can find a helmet for a couple of hundred dollars, but if you want a full-face helmet with safety certifications and comfort features, you can expect to pay $500 or more.

Can Touring Helmets Be Used For Other Purposes Too?

Absolutely! Lightweight, durable touring helmets are versatile enough to use for almost anything.