Top 10 Best Sport-Touring Helmets Which One Came Out On Top?


Sport-touring helmets are one of the most popular types of helmets. However, when we look at premium sport-touring helmets, we still get a wide range of performance, particularly when it comes to noise, which is important on longer rides.

The Shoei GT Air 2 is the best sports-touring helmet overall for the quality of the materials, safety, comfort, ventilation, noise levels, weight, and features.

In this post, we will look at the top ten sports-touring helmets together with the materials used, the comfort, and more importantly the price. The first thing we will look at is the materials used for each of our top ten sports-touring helmets.

If you want to jump to our summary to find the best Sprots-Touring helmet click here

Best Sport-Touring Helmets

Materials

We begin with the helmet’s outer shell because it is one of the most important features that will affect weight, comfort, and safety. Next, we will use our matrix to understand better how we arrived at our conclusions.

The more helmet shells a helmet has, the better, resulting in a more proportional fit and less weight. In addition to helmet shells, we consider the material from which the shell is made, with carbon being the highest quality material.

Let’s see how the helmets compare in terms of material. The Bell Star DLX is visible at the top. The Bell Star DLX MIPS is made of carbon, aramid, and fiberglass, but what sets it apart from the competition is available in six different outer shell sizes.

The HJC F70 and the Icon Airflite can be seen at the bottom. The HJC F70 has a fiberglass composite shell available in only two shell sizes.

The Icon airflite, on the other hand, is made of polycarbonate and comes in three shell sizes. For the material aspect, both helmets receive three stars.

Furthermore, there are no obvious outliers in this section, and they are all fairly evenly distributed. In general, we see good results, but will they last?

Materials Ratings

 

BrandStar Rating
Bell Star DLX Mips4.5
AGV K64
Scorpion EXO 14004
Shoei NXR 24
Shoei GT Air 23.5
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon3.5
Shark Spartan GT Carbon3.5
Arai Profile-V3.5
HJC F703
Icon Airflite3

Weight

You can see how the scores are constructed in our weight matrix. The more stars a helmet receives, the lighter it is.

We weighed all of the helmets in a size M to make a good comparison for the weight component. 

We use bandwidths here, and a helmet gets more stars as it loses weight. Sport-Touring helmets are generally lighter than System helmets because they do not have a flip-up chin piece.

However, because most of these helmets have an integrated sun visor, they are often a little heavier than racing helmets. 

Let’s take a look at the results now. Most helmets weighed between 1400 and 1500 grams, earning them four stars. However, no fewer than four helmets stand out in this category, each with a perfect 5-star rating.

Regarding weight, the AGV K6 is the most striking helmet in today’s review, weighing only 1330 grams. This is the lightest helmet we’ve weighed for this segment. 

As a result, the helmet receives the full 5 stars for weight. The RPHA 70, Exo 1400, and NXR 2 are also lightweight contenders in this category.

However, the K6 retains its lead as the lightest helmet to date, especially since it is still 60 grams lighter than its nearest competitor, the HJC. 

At the bottom, we see the Icon Airflite again, this time with a 3-star rating due to its disappointing weight of 1720 grams. 

Weight Ratings

BrandWeight
Bell Star DLX Mips1525 gms
AGV K61330 gms
Scorpion EXO 14001450 gms
Shoei NXR 21367 gms
Shoei GT Air 21486 gms
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon1390 gms
Shark Spartan GT Carbon1420 gms
Arai Profile-V1495 gms
HJC F701450 gms
Icon Airflite1720 gms

Visor

The results are very close when we look at the visor, but I’ll explain how we arrived at our scores before revealing them.

We consider a variety of features when assigning a score to the visor. Examples include whether the helmet is pinlock ready or not and whether the pinlock lens comes standard in the box or must be purchased separately.

The helmet earns extra points if the lens is a Max Vision Pinlock. We also investigate the visor mechanism. Is this a simple lever, or does it have a sophisticated spring mechanism?

Furthermore, we want to know if the helmet has an integrated sun visor, what the field of view is, if it comes with a free dark visor and if it comes with any other accessories.

But, of course, one option is not the same as the other.  As a result, some options are rated higher than others. First, let’s take a look at how our helmets performed.

On top is the Shoei GT AIR 2, which stands out from the crowd thanks to its advanced visor mechanism. The visor on this helmet earns it a well-deserved 5 stars. 

Furthermore, this section has no major outliers, and everyone is reasonably matched. Most receive 4 stars because of their integrated sun visor or dark smoke visor, a solid visor mechanism, and a pinlock lens in the box. 

Almost at the bottom is the AGV K6, which receives 3 stars due to a slightly weaker visor mechanism and the absence of an integrated sun visor. 

So, where the K6 excelled in weight, it falls short in the visor department. Finally, at the bottom, we see the Icon airflite, which has so far posed no threat to its competitors in any way. 

Now that we’ve gathered all of our data for the visor, we can put our helmets to the test on the road to see how they perform in terms of noise and how well the ventilation works.

Visor Ratings

BrandStar Rating
Bell Star DLX Mips4
AGV K63
Scorpion EXO 14004
Shoei NXR 24
Shoei GT Air 25
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon4
Shark Spartan GT Carbon4
Arai Profile-V4
HJC F704
Icon Airflite3

Noise Level

We gave the helmets to our rider and sent him on his way with all of our measuring equipment on the bike to arrive at the scores for this section. 

Sound is an important consideration, especially when sports touring helmets. After all, you want to be able to go on longer rides in comfort and good silence, free of noise and wind. 

We use a decibel meter mounted on our bikes to measure sound during our road tests. This is linked to a microphone placed near our rider’s ear, allowing us to see the noise as it occurs on the bike. 

Our rider has ridden long straights on the highway to determine the average decibel score with each helmet. These measurements were taken at wind speeds ranging from 115 to 130 km/h. 

A decibel difference may appear insignificant at first, but every decibel difference is audible at these levels, so every decibel does matter and is heard!

We also use a scoring matrix that we created specifically for the sound insulation section in this section. We’ve established bandwidths in this matrix to map performance (or lack thereof) for you.

The lower the decibel count, the quieter the helmet is, and the higher the number of stars the helmet receives. According to our matrix, fewer than 98 decibels earn the highest possible score of 5 stars.

All that remains is to answer the question, “How did our helmets perform on the noise component?” Let’s take a look…

The Shoei GT AIR 2 and the HJC RPHA 70 Carbon stand out right away, with average decibel levels of only 97 decibels on the decibel meter. These are exceptional results. 

These are the two quietest helmets in this category, but they also have the lowest scores we have ever measured. No helmet has ever been tested at less than 97 decibels. 

And we’ve tested dozens of helmets by now, so these are some exceptional results from the GT Air 2 and the RPHA 70 Carbon.

The Shoei NXR 2 with a score of 98db and the Scorpion EXO-1400 with a score of 100db also perform admirably in this category. 

Furthermore, we can see that the other helmets scored well, but there is a difference between the quietest and the mid-range. 

To put this into perspective, a 1-decibel difference may not seem like much, but with these kinds of values, each decibel makes an audible difference and is thus noticeable to the rider. 

And, as we’ve come to expect, we find the Icon Airflite at the bottom with a disappointing result of 110db, earning the helmet only 1 star.

Noise Level Ratings

BrandStar Rating
Bell Star DLX Mips3.5
AGV K63.5
Scorpion EXO 14004
Shoei NXR 24
Shoei GT Air 25
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon5
Shark Spartan GT Carbon4
Arai Profile-V3.5
HJC F702
Icon Airflite1

Ventilation

One of the most important aspects of a good sports-touring helmet is ventilation. 

You want to stay nice and cool, especially on long rides and in the summer, to stay comfortable while riding.

Therefore, we compare the temperature inside the helmet to the outside temperature to determine the ventilation component’s score. 

A well-ventilated helmet efficiently dissipates heat and maintains the inside and outside temperatures. Again, a brief explanation of how we arrived at our conclusions. 

We use bandwidths to determine our score when looking at our ventilation matrix. We’re talking about excellent ventilation if it’s no warmer inside the helmet than outside.

The greater the temperature difference, the more stars the helmet receives for ventilation.

Let’s see how our helmets fared now. Most helmets are approximately 1 degree warmer or equal to the outside temperature, which is excellent. 

This is not particularly noteworthy, given that we are discussing the best sport-touring helmets available today. 

So there’s a lot to look forward to. However, what is remarkable and worthy of mention is that the Icon Airflite finally competes and does not finish last. 

The helmet earns 4 stars for ventilation with a temperature difference of zero. The Arai Profile-V, on the other hand, disappointed us and managed to take the Icon’s place in this section.

Unfortunately, this helmet was at least 7 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. This is a huge letdown.

This helmet performed admirably in the other categories, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect much ventilation on hot summer days if you buy it. But, overall, the data shows that the vents are effective.

It’s worth noting that the Bell Star DLX is the only helmet in which the temperature inside the helmet was 1 degree lower than the temperature outside.

As a result, the helmet receives a well-deserved and excellent 5-star rating, giving it the lead in the ventilation component.

While noise and ventilation are two of the most important aspects of a helmet, we’ll also look at the comfort and features. 

Ventilation Ratings

BrandStar Rating
Bell Star DLX Mips5
AGV K64
Scorpion EXO 14004
Shoei NXR 24
Shoei GT Air 24
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon4
Shark Spartan GT Carbon4
Arai Profile-V1
HJC F704
Icon Airflite4

Comfort

The only subjective aspect of our Road Test is comfort. We call it comfort, but it is so much more than that.

This section evaluates subjective criteria such as comfort, road wind resistance, the feel of the inner liner, finishes, and overall helmet feel. These are difficult criteria to capture in hard data. 

As a result, we rely on our Test rider with more than 15 years of riding experience for this section.

What’s nice to know is that our test rider also tested all of the helmets, so he can compare them like no other and make an honest judgment about how they compare to each other. 

These helmets have been thoroughly tested in an individual review, and a score for comfort has been assigned. 

Because these are the best helmets available, we can already reveal that their liners are all removable, washable, and anti-bacterial. 

Bell, Shark, Arai, HJC, and the Shoei NXR 2 all received 4 stars in this category because they felt extremely comfortable and behaved very well on the road. 

However, the GT Air 2 is the helmet that stands out here because it has a comfortable liner, but it is also exceptionally well finished.

The liner feels very comfortable, you can tell that the helmet has been wind tunnel tested, and the overall feel of the helmet is just really strong. 

As a result, our test rider chose the GT Air 2 as the most comfortable helmet, and the helmet received a full 5-star rating for comfort.

He also mentioned that the inner lining behind the ears was made of a slightly softer material, which was done because this is a more sensitive area. He said this was indicative of the overall comfort and finish of the helmet. 

This was fascinating to witness. Our rider mentioned that the 4-star helmets were very difficult to find flaws because they were so good, but one part was still not optimal.

On the other hand, our rider couldn’t find any flaws with the GT Air 2. 

Furthermore, we see that the Icon Airflite has returned to its previous position, with a dismal 2.5 stars for comfort.

Our rider mentioned that the lining felt a little basic and that the helmet’s behavior at higher speeds on the highway was a little tiring and less streamlined; additionally, the lining’s finishing left something to be desired.

Comfort Ratings

BrandStar Rating
Bell Star DLX Mips4
AGV K63.5
Scorpion EXO 14003
Shoei NXR 24
Shoei GT Air 25
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon4
Shark Spartan GT Carbon4
Arai Profile-V4
HJC F702.5
Icon Airflite2.5

Features

This section will look at the extras that come with the helmets. In doing so, we considered the options that riders had requested the most frequently.

Of course, one option is not the same as the other, so more emphasis is placed on the important options that contribute the most to a pleasant riding experience.

A helmet gets half a star if it has speaker pockets. It also receives a half-star for Quick Release and a quarter-star for Glasses Preparation. 

A quarter star can be earned for the finish, including the paint, screws, stitching, glue, and other materials used. A half-star can be earned for communication options.

Levels here range from (1) built-in speakers to (2) the ability to conceal the communication system within the shell to (3) a built-in microphone.

Then we look into interior lining options further: consider the ability to customize the lining, the included pads in the box, etc. 

Then there are the other options, which include additional safety features such as the Schuberth’s anti-roll-off system, drinking options, special materials used, and special features that a shell provides. 

Next, we have homologations, which are very important because they are safety certificates that indicate how safe a helmet is and how thoroughly it has been tested. 

Also, beginning in 2023, all newly introduced helmets must be ECE 2206 certified but consider an FIM certificate, which many circuits require.

Manufacturers must spend a lot of money to obtain additional certificates because more testing is required. 

This is an important component that is frequently overlooked by inexperienced riders. As a result, our helmets can earn a full star in this category.

Helmets can also earn a full star if they have been wind tunnel tested. But, again, this is an expensive testing method for manufacturers, and wind tunnel-tested helmets are frequently at the top of the list. 

Other helmets are tested using simulation software, which produces a much cheaper and less effective result. So much for how the helmets are graded.

Most helmets received 3 stars in this category due to their strong liner options and safety. But it is the Shoei NXR 2 that manages to outperform its rivals with a score of 3.5 stars. 

The NXR 2 received this rating because it has been wind tunnel tested, has Quick Release, a good

Communication System preparation, and is the only helmet on the list with the new ECE 2206 certificate. And that last one was the deciding factor.

Features Ratings

BrandStar Rating
Bell Star DLX Mips3
AGV K63
Scorpion EXO 14002
Shoei NXR 23.5
Shoei GT Air 23
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon3
Shark Spartan GT Carbon2.5
Arai Profile-V3
HJC F703
Icon Airflite1

Which Helmet Came Out On Top?

The answer is the Shoei GT AIR 2! It is the rightful winner, with an overall score of 8.8. 

That scored well in every area was singled out by our rider as the most comfortable and offers an extraordinary amount of options for a very reasonable price. 

The Shoei’s advanced visor mechanism and comfort made a minor difference. So it’s an extremely narrow margin. 

Pricing

Please note prices shown are correct as of writing this review. Always check prices before you buy.

BrandRankingBuy USA & CanadaBuy UK & Europe
Shoei GT Air 21From $599.99From £407Opens in a new tab.
HJC RPHA 70 Carbon2From $399Opens in a new tab.From £383Opens in a new tab.
Shoei NXR 23From $749Opens in a new tab.From £382Opens in a new tab.
Bell Star DLX Mips3From $549Opens in a new tab.From £337Opens in a new tab.
Scorpion EXO 14005From $149Opens in a new tab.From £248Opens in a new tab.
AGV K65From $499Opens in a new tab.From £279Opens in a new tab.
Shark Spartan GT Carbon7From $399Opens in a new tab.From £408Opens in a new tab.
Arai Profile-V8Not AvailableFrom £284Opens in a new tab.
HJC F709From $279Opens in a new tab.From £209Opens in a new tab.
Icon Airflite10From $265Opens in a new tab.From £191Opens in a new tab.

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