Riding a motorcycle is about more than just transport — it’s about embracing freedom, exploring the open road, and expressing individuality. One crucial component of this unique lifestyle is the motorcycle helmet. While it primarily serves as a safety measure, over time, it has also become a strong personal statement about the rider’s style and attitude.
Recently, we’ve seen a resurgence of retro aesthetics in the motorcycling world, and one of the standout trends is the return of 70s-style helmets. This guide will explore the allure of these vintage-inspired helmets, delve into their features, and recommend the best products on the market in 2023. As we journey through the past to influence the present, let’s ensure safety and style coexist, celebrating the bold spirit of the 70s and its enduring influence on the world of motorcycling.
Background and Evolution of the 70s Style Motorcycle Helmets
Description of 70s Style Motorcycle Helmets
The 70s was a vibrant decade, known for its bold and iconic styles that are still adored and replicated today. When it comes to motorcycle helmets, the 70s style is distinctive with its versatile features and reasonable average helmet cost. Most 70s-style helmets are open-faced or have a 3/4 design, which means they cover the top, sides, and back of the head but leave the face exposed. Often adorned with vibrant colors and striking patterns, these helmets exude a classic charm that mirrors the free-spirited culture of the 70s era.
Comparison of 70s Style Motorcycle Helmets with Modern Helmets
Modern helmets, while prioritizing safety, often focus more on technological integrations and aerodynamics. They typically include features such as inbuilt Bluetooth systems, ventilation systems, and advanced protection materials. On the other hand, 70s-style helmets, while meeting necessary safety standards, prioritize vintage aesthetics and simplicity, focusing less on high-tech additions.
The Reason Behind the Popularity of 70s Style Helmets
There are several reasons why 70s-style helmets are enjoying a resurgence. Firstly, they represent a sense of nostalgia and a hark back to the golden era of motorcycling. They allow riders to express their unique style while connecting with the history and culture of motorcycling.
Secondly, there’s a certain minimalist appeal to these helmets. In today’s world, where technology is omnipresent, these helmets provide a simplistic alternative for riders who prefer an uncluttered, classic look.
Thirdly, the 70s-style helmets are versatile. They fit perfectly with different kinds of motorcycles, from modern sportbikes to classic cruisers, demonstrating that style is timeless and easily bridges the gap between past and present.
Features to Consider to Choose 70s Style Motorcycle Helmet
When selecting a 70s-style vintage motorcycle helmets, there are several key aspects you need to consider to ensure you’re making a safe, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing choice.
Safety Standards (DOT, SNELL, etc.)
First and foremost, the helmet should comply with safety standards. In the United States, the Department of Transportation (DOT) standard is a minimum requirement. However, other standards such as SNELL or ECE provide an additional level of assurance as they involve more rigorous testing.
Fit and Comfort
A helmet must fit properly to provide effective protection. It should feel snug around your entire head, and shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. Additionally, it should be comfortable to wear for extended periods, with good weight distribution to avoid neck strain.
Material and Weight
The material of the helmet directly affects its durability, impact resistance, and weight. Typically, high-quality helmets are made of materials like polycarbonate, fiberglass composite, or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is light and absorbs impact well, but it’s also more expensive.
70s-style helmets often come with detachable visors or are designed to be used with goggles. Consider the type of visor that comes with the helmet, as it can affect your vision, particularly in adverse weather conditions. An anti-fog and anti-scratch visor would be a good choice.
Design and Aesthetics
The design is a significant part of the appeal of 70s-style helmets. Whether you prefer vibrant colors, unique patterns, or a more understated look, there is a wide range of options available. Choose a design that aligns with your personal style and the look you want to project when you’re riding.
Remember, while aesthetics are important, they should never compromise the safety and comfort aspects of the helmet. The ideal 70s-style motorcycle helmet should be a perfect blend of retro helmets style, comfort, and modern safety standards.
Review of the Best 70s Style Motorcycle Helmets
Here is a review of the best 70s-style motorcycle helmets:
TORC T50 Route 66 Helmet
The TORC T50 Route 66 helmet is an excellent embodiment of a 70s-style motorcycle helmet. This open-face helmet carries a retro charm while integrating modern features to ensure safety and comfort. Its vintage design, complemented by a range of classic and modern graphics options, is certain to turn heads on the road.
One of the key features of the TORC T50 is its advanced thermo-polymer alloy shell. This construction provides the necessary toughness and durability without adding unnecessary weight, making it easy and comfortable for long rides.
The interior of the helmet is lined with a removable, washable, and anti-microbial ultra-suede liner that provides additional comfort. The helmet also comes with a removable sun visor that’s useful for those sunny day rides.
The TORC T50 meets the DOT FMVSS 218 certification, which ensures it offers a standard level of protection.
- Style: The TORC T50 excels in style with its 70s look that blends perfectly with both classic and modern motorcycles.
- Comfort: Its lightweight design and ultra suede liner enhance comfort, making it suitable for longer rides.
- Maintenance: The removable and washable inner liner allows easy maintenance and hygiene.
- Variety: The helmet is available in numerous colors and designs, allowing riders to choose according to their preferences.
- Safety: It meets DOT safety standards, ensuring it provides a minimum level of protection.
- Lack of Full-face Protection: As it’s an open-face helmet, the TORC T50 does not offer the same level of facial protection as full-face helmets. Riders may need to use goggles for better eye protection.
- Noise: Open-face helmets, including the T50, tend to be noisier than their full-face counterparts due to increased wind noise.
- Lack of Advanced Features: While its simplicity is part of its appeal, riders looking for high-tech features such as integrated Bluetooth or ventilation systems might find the TORC T50 lacking.
In summary, the TORC T50 Route 66 helmet is an excellent choice for riders who are drawn to the classic style of the 70s era with a classic design such as baseball motorcycle helmet. It offers a perfect blend of vintage aesthetics and modern safety features, though it may not satisfy riders seeking advanced technological features or full-face protection.
TORC Unisex-Adult T-1 Retro Helmet
The TORC Unisex-Adult T-1 Retro Helmet is a full-face helmet that combines vintage styling with modern safety standards and comfort, making it a delightful blend of old and new. This helmet truly captures the essence of the 70s and is a great choice for riders who are fond of the full-face retro look.
This helmet features a shell made from a fiberglass tri-composite blend, which is light yet durable, providing excellent protection. It also boasts an anti-fog & anti-scratch shield, ensuring clear visibility under various conditions.
Inside, it has a multi-density EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) for additional impact resistance. The liner is removable, washable, and made from a faux suede fabric, providing comfort and easy maintenance.
It also comes with an integrated drop-down sun visor, providing additional eye protection without the need for sunglasses or goggles. Importantly, this helmet meets the DOT and ECE 22.5 standards, ensuring a high level of safety.
- Full-face Design: The full-face design offers better overall protection compared to open-face helmets, including a higher level of noise reduction and protection from the elements.
- Build Quality: The helmet’s shell is made of a strong, lightweight fiberglass composite, and the interior has multi-density EPS for added safety.
- Comfort: The faux suede liner is designed for rider comfort and is removable and washable.
- Safety Certified: It meets both DOT and ECE safety standards, offering a higher level of safety assurance compared to helmets that only meet the DOT standard.
- Retro Aesthetics: The TORC T-1 successfully merges 70s aesthetics with modern design, making it an attractive choice for retro-style lovers.
- Size: Some users have reported that the TORC T-1 runs a bit small, suggesting potential buyers should consider buying a size up.
- Ventilation: While the full-face design has many advantages, it might not offer the same level of ventilation as open-face or modular helmets, which could be a concern on hotter days.
The TORC Unisex-Adult T-1 Retro Helmet is a fantastic option for those who want the vintage look of a 70s helmet but don’t want to compromise on the safety and comfort provided by modern full-face designs. As always, potential buyers should consider their own needs and preferences when choosing a helmet.
TORC T50 Open Face 3/4 Helmet
The TORC T50 Open Face 3/4 Helmet represents the vintage 70s style beautifully, bringing together a retro aesthetic with the benefits of modern safety standards. It is a well-crafted helmet that offers a unique blend of style, comfort, and protection, making it a worthy choice for riders who appreciate the open-face design and nostalgia of the 70s.
Constructed with an advanced thermo-polymer alloy shell, the TORC T50 ensures robust protection while maintaining a light and comfortable feel. Its low-profile design adds to its vintage appeal while avoiding the ‘mushroom head’ look that can sometimes occur with other 3/4 helmets.
Inside, it features a comfortable, removable, and washable ultra-suede liner that helps improve fit and can be easily cleaned. One of the standout features of this helmet is its removable sun visor, which is not only practical but also contributes to its classic appeal. The helmet meets DOT FMVSS 218 safety standards, ensuring reliable protection.
- Style: The helmet’s vintage 3/4 design is a true ode to the 70s, offering riders an opportunity to showcase their unique style.
- Comfort: With its lightweight thermo-polymer alloy shell and ultra suede liner, the TORC T50 ensures comfortable wear for extended rides.
- Maintenance: The removable and washable inner liner facilitates easy cleaning and upkeep.
- Safety: The helmet is DOT certified, providing a fundamental level of safety for riders.
- Versatility: Available in a range of colors and designs, the helmet caters to different aesthetic preferences.
- Lack of Full-face Protection: As with other open-face helmets, the TORC T50 doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a full-face helmet, particularly for the chin and face area.
- Noise Level: Without full coverage, riders may experience higher wind noise when traveling at higher speeds.
- Absence of Advanced Features: Riders seeking modern technological features like integrated Bluetooth or advanced ventilation systems may find the TORC T50 lacking in these areas.
In conclusion, the TORC T50 Open Face 3/4 Helmet is a fantastic choice for riders looking to blend classic 70s style with modern safety standards. However, those seeking full-face protection or high-tech features may need to explore other options.
VCAN VX Lightweight Full Face Motorcycle Helmet
The VCAN VX is a full-face helmet that manages to combine a sleek, modern look with the classic appeal of the 70s style. It’s an excellent choice for riders seeking extensive protection and comfort without sacrificing style.
The helmet features a tough yet lightweight thermoplastic ABS shell that provides an impressive level of durability and impact resistance. Its design is aerodynamically stable, even under high-speed conditions, reducing wind noise and buffeting.
One of the standout features of the VCAN VX helmet is its multi-channel flow-through ventilation system, providing superior airflow and keeping riders cool on warmer days. Additionally, the helmet includes a removable and washable comfort liner and cheek pads, ensuring an optimal fit and easy maintenance.
The VCAN VX helmet also has a quick-release, scratch-resistant visor, making it easier for riders to adapt to changing weather and lighting conditions. Importantly, it meets the DOT FMVSS 218 safety standard, ensuring riders are well-protected on the road.
- Full-face Protection: The VCAN VX helmet offers comprehensive protection, reducing wind noise and safeguarding against elements.
- Lightweight Design: Despite being a full-face helmet, the VCAN VX’s lightweight thermoplastic ABS shell ensures it remains comfortable even during longer rides.
- Ventilation System: Its advanced ventilation system enhances comfort, especially during warmer weather.
- Easy Maintenance: With removable and washable liners, maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of the helmet is convenient.
- Safety: The helmet is DOT certified, providing a solid assurance of safety.
- Style: While it incorporates elements of the 70s style, it leans more towards a modern design. Purists looking for a true retro look may find this a bit off.
- Size: Some users have reported that the helmet runs a bit small, so it may be a good idea to size up when purchasing.
In essence, the VCAN VX Lightweight Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet is an excellent option for riders wanting a full-face helmet with a modern take on 70s style. Its combination of safety, comfort, and design makes it a versatile choice, though those seeking a fully retro aesthetic may prefer other options.
LS2 Helmets Rebellion Motorcycle Half Helmet
The LS2 Helmets Rebellion is a classic motorcycle half-helmet that embodies the rebellious spirit of the 70s, while integrating it with modern comfort and safety features. It’s an exceptional choice for riders seeking a balance between an open-air feel and sufficient protective coverage.
The helmet features a kinetic polymer alloy (KPA) shell that provides a solid level of impact resistance while remaining lightweight. It comes with an adjustable, drop-down sun shield that’s easy to operate and offers protection against sun glare.
One of the unique aspects of the LS2 Rebellion helmet is its comfort padding, dubbed as the “technical fabric liner,” which wicks away moisture, keeping the rider cool and comfortable. This liner is removable and washable, promoting better hygiene and longevity of the helmet.
The LS2 Rebellion helmet is equipped with a micrometric quick-release chin strap for easy adjustments, ensuring a secure fit every time. Importantly, the helmet complies with the DOT FMVSS 218 standard, ensuring it meets essential safety requirements.
- Open-air Feel: As a half helmet, the LS2 Rebellion offers a sense of freedom and a connection with the environment that’s a significant draw for many riders.
- Comfort: The technical fabric liner not only provides comfort but also wicks away moisture, making it great for warmer weather.
- Adjustable Sun Shield: The drop-down sun shield can be easily adjusted to suit various lighting conditions.
- Ease of Use: The quick-release chin strap ensures easy and secure fitting.
- Safety: This helmet meets DOT safety standards, providing the necessary protection.
- Limited Coverage: Being a half helmet, it offers less protection compared to full-face or 3/4 helmets, especially for the face and the back of the head.
- Noise Level: With its open design, riders may experience more wind noise and exposure to the elements.
- Lack of High-Tech Features: Riders looking for features like integrated Bluetooth or ventilation systems might find the LS2 Rebellion lacking.
In summary, the LS2 Helmets Rebellion Motorcycle Half Helmets is a great option for riders who want to enjoy the feeling of the open road with a touch of 70s style. While it offers less coverage than full-face or 3/4 helmets, its combination of comfort, style, and basic safety features make it a strong contender in its category.
Here is a chart summarizing the performance comparison of all the helmets reviewed:
|Helmet||Safety (DOT Certified)||Comfort||Style||Noise Reduction||Advanced Features||Overall|
|TORC T50 Route 66 Helmet||4||4||5||2||2||3.4|
|TORC Unisex-Adult T-1 Retro Helmet||5||4||4||4||3||4|
|TORC T50 Open Face 3/4 Helmet||4||4||5||2||2||3.4|
|VCAN VX Lightweight Full Face Helmet||5||4||3||5||4||4.2|
|LS2 Helmets Rebellion Motorcycle Half Helmet||4||4||4||2||2||3.2|
This chart should give you a clearer picture of how these helmets compare in terms of safety, comfort, style, noise reduction, advanced features, and overall performance. The TORC Unisex-Adult T-1 Retro Helmet and the VCAN VX Lightweight Full Face Helmet stand out in terms of overall performance, but the choice ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences.
How to Maintain and Care for Your 70s Style Motorcycle Helmet
- Remove any detachable parts, such as the visor or inner lining, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use a mild soap or helmet cleaner and warm water to clean the helmet’s outer shell, inner padding, and visor.
- Gently scrub the surfaces with a soft cloth or sponge, avoiding abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the helmet.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
- Allow the helmet to air dry completely before reassembling the parts.
- Store your helmet in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight can degrade its materials.
- Avoid placing heavy objects on top of the helmet, as this can cause damage.
- Consider using a helmet bag or carrying case to protect the helmet from dust, scratches, and accidental impacts during storage or transportation.
When to Consider Replacement
- Replace your helmet if it has been involved in a significant impact or crash, even if there are no visible signs of damage.
- If you notice any cracks, dents, or deformations on the helmet’s shell, it’s time to replace it.
- The inner padding and lining should be checked regularly for wear, tears, or deterioration. If they are significantly damaged, it’s advisable to replace the helmet or get new padding.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the lifespan of the helmet. Most helmets have a suggested replacement period, typically around five years, due to normal wear and tear, as well as potential degradation of the materials over time.
Remember, proper maintenance and care of your 70s-style motorcycle helmet will help ensure its longevity, performance, and effectiveness in providing protection while riding.
Frequently Asked Questions
|Frequently Asked Questions||Answers|
|1. What are the safety certifications to look for in a helmet?||The two most common safety certifications are DOT (Department of Transportation), which is required in the U.S., and ECE (Economic Commission for Europe), which is recognized internationally. Some helmets may also have a Snell certification, which is a voluntary standard with more rigorous testing.|
|2. How should a motorcycle helmet fit?||A motorcycle helmet should fit snugly without causing discomfort. Additionally, for the safety of your helmet, you can consider one of the best helmet locks available in the market. It should not move when you shake your head and should not press into your forehead or cheeks too much. Always refer to the manufacturer’s sizing guide before purchasing.|
|3. What is the lifespan of a motorcycle helmet?||Generally, a helmet should be replaced every 5 years or so. However, if the helmet gets damaged in any way, such as after a crash or a fall that leads to visible cracks or dents, it should be replaced immediately.|
|4. What are the differences between full-face, 3/4, and half helmets?||Full-face helmets provide the most protection, covering your entire head and face. 3/4, or open-face helmets, cover the top, back, and sides of your head but leave your face exposed. Half helmets, also known as “brain buckets,” provide minimal coverage, protecting only the top of your head.|
|5. Are more expensive helmets safer?||Not necessarily. While higher-priced helmets often offer additional features like advanced ventilation systems, superior comfort, and integrated communication systems, safety depends primarily on the helmet that meets certified safety standards like DOT and ECE.|
|6. Why do some helmets lack advanced features?||Helmets designed in a retro style like the 70s often aim to maintain the simplicity and aesthetic of that era, which may not include modern advanced features like integrated Bluetooth or advanced ventilation systems.|
|7. Can I wear glasses with these helmets?||Most helmets are designed to accommodate glasses. However, it’s best to try on a helmet with your glasses to ensure a comfortable fit.|
In conclusion, finding the perfect 70s-style motorcycle helmet involves balancing style, comfort, safety, and functionality and these helmets are available in a bigger sizes such as 5xl helmets. While full-face helmets like the TORC Unisex-Adult T-1 Retro Helmet and the VCAN VX Lightweight Full Face Helmet offer maximum protection, open-face and half helmets like the TORC T50 and the LS2 Rebellion provide a greater sense of freedom and connection to the road, all the while encapsulating the classic 70s aesthetic.
Each helmet we’ve discussed brings a unique blend of features to the table. Factors such as the extent of coverage, level of comfort, noise reduction, and presence of advanced features all play into the helmet’s overall performance. In the end, the best helmet for you depends on your individual riding habits, style preferences, and comfort needs.
Remember, regardless of the helmet style you choose, safety should always be a top priority. Always ensure that the helmet fits properly and meets at least the minimum safety standards. After all, the primary purpose of a helmet is to protect you on your riding adventures.
So, whether you’re cruising down the highway or darting through city streets, the right helmet can make your ride not only safer but also more enjoyable. With this guide, we hope you’re now well-equipped to find a 70s-style German motorcycle helmet that suits your needs and complements your individual style.