Categories: Ask MO Anything

How Do I Find A Quiet Helmet?

Hey Y’all,

I’m going on a ride with my Harley buddies and they are all about interstates and speed. It’s super uncomfortable over 65 with my 3/4 goggle rig (seen above). My helmet lifts. I need a great full-face that’s QUIET. Suggestions?

Jayson Smith


Dear Jayson,

Indeed, if you’re going to be going cross-country and making more excellent films like this one we shared on MO two years ago, it’s time to step up to something quieter and more noggin-friendly. Rather than a full-face, though, may we suggest something in a modular? We’re all big fans of the flip-front here at MO, simply because they offer nearly all the protection and quietness of a full-face when you’re making time, along with the ability to go open-face when you’re sniffing along at a more contemplative pace. Modulars are also great for shooting photos en route, exchanging repartee and swilling beverages at gas stops without having to remove your helmet every time. You can ask people for directions without scaring their children.

A pair of Shoei Neotec modulars in the wild.

As for quiet, I’ve never worn a helmet quiet enough to cause me to forego my earplugs. Lack of planning means I wear the disposable foam jobs you buy in bulk at the drugstore, and I never go more than a mile or two without them, but a MO search of “earplugs” will turn up several superior, higher-tech alternatives.

The Shoei Neotec tested here is probably the Cadillac of modular helmets, but you’ll pay top dollar for the privilege of ownership. Not quite as much as the Schuberth E1, though, which is more like the Mercedes S-class of modulars. For under $250, I couldn’t be happier with my new HJC IS-MAX II modular. If you’re still attached to your old goggles, you might like the adventurey Scorpion EXO AT-950 we reviewed here.

Dunno why you’d run goggles with your Scorpion EXO AT-950, but you could.

God knows how many more modulars are out there. With helmets, though, it’s all about the fit. If you can find an actual store or stores that stock a few of the helmets you’re interested in, it’s an excellent idea to try them on – and keep them on for a few minutes – before you settle on the one that fits your head and your needs. For sure, though, nobody here at MO would ever set out on a ride of more than a half day in a helmet we didn’t have complete faith in. Life is both too short and too easily ended.

Good luck and send more movies! For anyone unfortunate enough to have missed it the first time around, we’ve placed the marvelous road-trip film below.

Learning to Fly from jayson smith on Vimeo.


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John Burns

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