If you ride Motocross or off-road whether you're on a dirt bike or ATV, the helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment you can invest in.
Just ask Eli Tomac.
But not everyone can afford a 6D Helmet. Many helmet brands the pros wear can easily push well past the $500 mark and for someone wanting to ride the expense of buying the dirt bike then investing in all the necessary riding equipment can easily put the brakes on their dream.
There is much truth to the fact that you should never skimp on head protection. If money is no object buying a 6D, Arai, Bell or any of the other high-end brands is a yes-brainer.
However, not everyone can afford to shell out the cash for an expensive helmet and if that was a requirement the Moto landscape would look drastically different. Many high quality helmets exist that provide maximum comfort and durability along with state-of-the-art protection approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT), and in some cases certified by the more stringent SNELL, all without emptying your bank account. Some helmets include information on ECE (Europe) and AS (Australia) safety compliance.
The biggest difference between the affordable dirt bike and ATV helmets from their more expensive counterparts is weight and features like the venting system and inside lining. Most of the helmets featured below use an injection molded polycarbonate construction for the outer shell which is heavier than carbon fiber and fiberglass which is often used in the more expensive helmets. In fact, many brands offer a higher-end model line along with a more affordable model line and incorporate the same safety technology.
Just remember, the right helmet for you fits correctly, is comfortable and doesn't hinder or impair your visibility or ability to ride. A $1000 helmet that you hate wearing because it hurts, impacts your ability to ride or keeps you from performing your best is little better than a $100 knock-off.
Check out our Dirt Bike Helmet Buying Guide for more information on choosing a helmet and the safety ratings. The following helmets are all under $200 and we've included some additional details to help with the decision process. More specifications can be found by clicking on the individual links provided.
Written By: AndrewT