Top 10 Motorcycle Racer Helmet Graphics

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In today’s world of motorcycle racing, sponsors and corporations have had so much influence on the way a motorcycle racing team looks that the riders themselves have had very little opportunity to express their own personal style. Helmets are the one area it seems where riders still have the ability to express themselves – and boy do some riders get creative!

In this week’s Top 10, we bring you a very subjective list of my 10 favorite racer helmet graphics. Personally, there are two criteria I took into account for this list. The first is that the lid has to be brash and loud, making it easier to spot on track. Bonus points if the helmet also has detailed artwork, making it fascinating to inspect up close. In the case it doesn’t fall into the first category, if, upon seeing it for the first time, the helmet makes me laugh, then it also makes its way here.

Most of the helmets here are currently in production or were at some point, meaning they have been available to the public. However, there are a few one-offs. Clearly, limiting this list to 10 meant many deserving lids ultimately got left behind. That’s where you chime in with your picks in the comments section. Here, then, are my favorites.

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  • Michael Howard

    Regarding Marquez’ helmet, people really need to lighten up and get a sense of humor. “Imitation” can be racist and insulting but it can also be light-hearted and funny – it all depends on the intent.

  • striderx

    Jimmy Adamo… Simple, awesome. RIP Jimmy
    http://www.highsider.com/textlager/usa_textlager/Adamo_87_01.htm

    • ALM

      You fôôl >,< You're gonna be exclude in no time by the author with this double Motegi style lids selection X , X (and I rea//y mean double X , X )

  • striderx

    And I always liked the Shoei Eddie Lawson. Again, old school, but sharp.
    http://www.highsider.com/textlager/usa_textlager/Lawson_88_08.htm

  • ‘Mike Smith

    I like Jorge Lorenzo’s big red X on his helmet. It’s the only one you can see from a distance or unfocused camera. That big red X let’s you know Lorenzo is about to pass your ass. I’m thinking about doing a similar X on my helmet.

  • Michael

    I owned a Scott Russell shoei helmet years ago, and thought that was one of my favorites. I had a DuHamell as well that I really liked and would have loved a Doohan helmet – except Arai’s don’t fit me quite right. But the Doohan was a great looking helmet. It always seems to me that the paint on Arai helmets seems thicker/deeper than all the other makes.

    • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

      Michael, Arai makes several different headforms that make different Arai models fit different head types. The Doohan was an old RX-7RR which would have made it their mid-round internal shape. They also make a typical full-round shape in the Quantum line and on the opposite end of their lines a long-oval headform in the Signet line. (I suffer from forehead pinch in most helmets, but an Arai Signet is perfect for my freakishly long skull and prominent frontal lobes, even more forehead room than a Shoei.)

      • Michael

        Hi Sean,
        Thanks for all the information. I’ll give some of the different Arai models a try.
        Much appreciated.

  • TonyCarlos

    The problem I see in most racers’ helmets is that they don’t play at a distance. Too much detail. It’s seldom that we get close enough to today’s racers to be able to take in all that their helmets are trying to say., even with the camera-laden race bikes we have now. So the helmets come off as a mish-mash of little somethings that we can’t quite make out. Kinda like that hot tattooed gal that we’d like to study closer, but know we’d better not.
    Give me Nixon’s design, or that of Emmerson Fittipaldi’s auto race lid. Those guys knew that they would most often be seen by fans no closer than 50 feet away.
    That said, you’ve gotta love Valentino.

    • fastfreddie

      Senna’s a prime example of that too.

  • Greg Spice

    Valentino’s “Double Face” best ever. Would like to have one to wear while riding, not putting in a glass case.

    • ALM

      I would have expected Ben’s one from you >,<

  • ALM

    This list is a bit far fucked up ^^ (only 2 !! of mines’ favorite. Divided between 2 riders for the rest ;) but nice to watch.

    It braught me 2 in consideration, 34 and Marc’s (and regarding to it, I don’t know if there was a controversy in the Japanese press specially, I saw some on bike’s magazine sites, but you really need to be a douchbag to see really something wrong. It’s like saying Rossi sun/Moon in Turkey was an offense to Islam. What a chance he didn’t won it’s 9th title there we may then say >,<).