Best Open-Face Helmets

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

Ride and sip a latte at the same time

Nothing beats the convenience of an open-face helmet for cruising, light touring, or just commuting through your town. If you happen to be riding a scooter while wearing an open-face helmet, you’re just living in the lap of convenience and pragmatism. Like any other helmet, open-face helmets come in all shapes and sizes (though not a whole lot of colors), so here we’ve gathered a few to tell you about. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Table of Contents

Arai Classic-V

Arai gets so much attention for its racing helmets, but the Japanese company makes open-face helmets, too, like the Classic-V. Taking the lessons learned from its racing helmets, Arai has applied some of those techniques here. But first, the style. Arai calls it New Old School, with heritage styling combined with modern luxuries. The Classic-V Helmet brings contemporary technologies like Arai’s proprietary PBcLc (Peripherally Belted, complex Laminate construction) shell, and a hidden ventilation system, which allows fresh air to come in through three intake vents integrated into the liner at the forehead, to an old school look.

Look throughout the Classic-V and you’ll find traditional stitched faux leather edge trim and interior accents. Inside you have a removable, washable liner to help keep things clean and fresh. The Classic-V is DOT and SNELL-2020 approved and meets The FMVSS 218 standard.

Bell Custom 500

Keeping with the modern-retro theme, we have the Bell Custom 500. The Custom 500 is the epitome of a classic three-quarter helmet. With five shell sizes the Custom 500 is sure to give the rider a personalized fit regardless of where you are on the size chart. The quilted, contrast-stitched, plush interior is wrapped in a fiberglass composite shell. Fit and finish are nice and clean, with dozens of shield and visor accessories available (sold separately). There’s a padded chin strap with a D-ring closure and strap keeper to make sure the strap stays closed and out of the way.

The Custom 500 meets or exceeds DOT and ECE certifications, the FMVSS 218 standard, and comes with a five-year warranty.

Biltwell Bonanza

For a quality, no-frills, classic open face helmet, turn to Biltwell. The Bonanza helmet features an injection-molded ABS outer shell with a hand-painted finish and an EPS inner shell. Inside there’s a hand-sewn, removable, brushed Lycra liner. Look closer at the liner and you’ll see contrasting diamond-stitched, quilted, open-cell foam padding. Keeping the Bonanza tight to your head is a rugged, plated steel D-ring neck strap with an adjustment strap end retainer. Along the edges you can choose between rubber or chrome accents. The Biltwell Bonanza is DOT certified.


Turning back to modern interpretations of open-face helmets, there’s the HJC IS-33 II. Instead of the classic rounded style as the last two helmets, the IS-33 has a more aerodynamic shell with a large eye port for greater visibility. The Advanced Polycarbonate Composite Shell is lightweight and designed using CAD technology for optimum fit and comfort. Inside the shell, you’ll find a single-density EPS liner. For added convenience when the sun is low, the one-touch integrated smoke-tinted inner sun shield deploys and retracts quickly and easily, and is adjustable to three positions. To help promote airflow, the Advanced Channeling Ventilation System provides flow-through ventilation with multi-stage intake vents and exhaust vents that allow full front to back fresh airflow.

More comfort features include a moisture-wicking and odor-free interior with advanced SuperCool antibacterial fabric. It’s comfortable, removable, and washable, too. For those who wear glasses, the grooved interior in the temple area lets you slide your shades into the helmet comfortably. The QuickSlide shield replacement system allows for quick, secure, and tool-less shield removal and installation, with an optically-correct face shield that offers 95% UV protection. The IS-33 comes in two shell sizes with two EPS sizes and is secured to your head with double D-rings.

LS2 Track 569 Open-Face Helmet

An updated version of the OF569, the Track 569 open-face helmet from Barcelona-based LS2 comes with a built-in sunscreen that’s optically correct and flips up and out of the way when it isn’t needed. What’s more, the Short-Shift tool-less quick-release system means you can change the main faceshield easily. A super-wide eyeport gives you excellent peripheral vision and allows you to see the road without the typical obstruction of other helmets.

The DOT approved quick-release chin strap makes it easy to get on and off. The plush comfort liner is made of breathable fabric and is fully removable and washable. Like all of the open-face helmets here, the LS2 Track 569 makes a great commuter helmet, touring helmet, scooter helmet, or all-around motorcycle helmet. Safety-wise it meets or exceeds both DOT and ECE standards.

Schuberth M1 Pro

The perfect partner for riding with and without a visor: The Schuberth M1 Pro is at home on cruisers, tourers, naked bikes, or even scooters. With great ventilation, a new interior design, and excellent comfort, Schuberth helmets are known for being one of the most thoroughly-engineered helmets on the market. Compatible with many Bluetooth communicators, you can easily fit whatever system you use and start riding quickly and easily.

As far as safety is concerned: The helmet shell uses Direct Fibre Processing (DFP), which is a Schuberth innovation. It involves an endless spool of fiberglass being cut into pieces by a robot and blown into a mold. A precisely defined quantity of resin is added to the preform and it is then compressed at high pressure in a heated mold to create a high-strength helmet shell. The multi-part construction of the inner shell then allows for outstanding force absorption.

Ventilation channels are already integrated into the helmet shell for excellent air circulation, so the rider can stay less fatigued for longer. In addition, the helmet’s wind tunnel-developed aerodynamics gives it directional stability with no uplift and no buffeting. The integrated sun visor is freely adjustable in seconds, with great visibility offered by the optical class-1 visor.

The micro lock ratchet strap ensures a precise fit to the wearer’s head: Every time you put on the helmet, the ratchet lock makes it easy to fit the chinstrap.

ScorpionExo Covert

This might look like a full-face helmet, but the Covert by Scorpion has a little bit of everything. Here’s how Scorpion describes it: We started with a half helmet and added an integrated drop-down sun visor for protection from sunlight. A rear comfort sleeve allows you to convert the helmet to a three-quarter open-face and then attach the included front mask and you’ve got one, aggressive “badass” looking helmet. So, yeah. It’s an open helmet that converts to give a full-face *look*. (Note: It is not a full-face helmet, nor does it provide the safety of one)

It’s constructed from a polycarbonate shell with a dual-density EPS liner. Ventilation channels are built into the liner, also, for unobstructed airflow. Two drop-down sun visors are included (one dark, one clear) and both feature Scorpion’s Ever Clear fog-free coating on both sides so you can see even in cool conditions.

Inside the Covert, the Kwikwick anti-microbial comfort liner moves sweat away from the rider when it’s warm and helps keep the rider warm when it’s cold. And its antimicrobial properties help fight off nasty funk that can grow inside. The removable front mask is held on with high-strength magnets, but the double D-ring chin strap ensures the helmet itself stays on your head.

Shark S-Drak

Shark is another manufacturer going with the edgy-urban take on open-face helmets, with the S-Drak Carbon Skin you can see the carbon fiber flesh and its gunmetal finished side panels. The S-Drak benefits from the same slim shell design as the X-Drak giving it an outstanding style. Being 2020, the S-Drak Carbon Skin is not only edgy, but it’s also Covid-responsible thanks to its removable mask. And there’s also a retractable sun visor that can receive an optional peak. Inside there’s a high-quality suede interior that feels luxurious against your skin.

Shoei J-Cruise 2

As the name suggests, the J-Cruise 2 is an update to the original J-Cruise open-face helmet. With this new design you get a more compact and aerodynamic shell shape with an integrated spoiler, longer sun shield, and the ability to seamlessly integrate the SENA SRL/SRL2 communication systems.

The J-Cruise 2’s updated aerodynamics allow it to slide through the air cleaner, which means it’s also a little quieter due to the reduced wind noise. The wide neck roll also hugs the neck/bottom of the head a little differently for better noise reduction. Shoei’s fully removable, washable, adjustable, and replaceable 3D Max-Dry Interior System is capable of dissipating sweat two-times faster than traditional nylon interiors.

From a safety standpoint, the J-Cruise 2 features Shoei’s exclusive Multi-Ply Matrix AIM shell and multi-piece/multi-density EPS liner. Additionally, Shoei’s patented micro ratchet chinstrap system provides a comfortable and secure closure.

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Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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