Custom motorcycles are all about an individual’s taste of their style of riding, customised to suit their commuting needs in a way that a stock motorcycle cannot offer. Be it a cafe racer, scrambler or a tracker build, the whole point is to acquire a machine that offers the precise styling that an individual has always fantasized about. But just the same way a well tailored suit is incomplete without a matching tie, the styling that carries with a custom built motorcycle is as important as the motorcycle itself. The whole idea is to be as period correct as one can, only then is complete justice made to the custom build motorcycle and its rider. In this whole equation, there is no piece of accessory more important than the helmet. A custom helmet can do wonders as well, however, they are difficult to get and may harm the safety criteria during customization. However, a great vintage style motorcycle helmet can be your choice which can have the right period correctness to compliment the overall style of the motorcycle and the rider, it is of equal importance that the correct safety standards are met, that pertain to modern standards.
Open Face Helmets
Shoei RJ Platinum-R
The RJ Platinum-R offers a mix of modern styling and protection with old-school looks. Coming in at a lightweight 1300 grams, the helmet features an Advance Integrated Matrix Plus (AIM+) shell with a soft, washable and removable 3D liner. The helmet is compatible with Bluetooth communication systems and has a has a 2 layer upper liner that allows smooth passage of air keeping the insides well-ventilated. The RJ Platinum-R is also one of the best noise cancelling open face helmets currently out there.
The Bitwell Bonanza cafe racer helmet is perfect for someone looking for the cool cafe racer styling. This cafe racer helmet are available in a variety of paint finishes, each featuring a perfectly soft hand-stitched quilted liner that incorporates moisture wicking brushed Lycra panels to provide great breathability and comfort. The open face style is complemented by DOT safety standards, while the D-ring strap adds to the helmet’s safety. The Bonanza range can be customised even further to get the full-blown cafe racer look by the addition of a bubble visor that is sold separately.
The Nolan N21’s polycarbonate shell style takes inspiration from jet pilot helmets while offering a proper DOT safety certification. Additional styling comes from the metalized side plates that hold in the UV400 coated quick-change shield. Like the other helmets, the N21 too has a removable and washable inner liner with moisture-wicking capability.
Full Face Helmets
The Bullitt helmet has its inspiration laid out from the golden era of motorsports, the 1960s, when the first Bell Star helmet was launched. The Bell Star was the world’s first full face helmet that revolutionised motorsport safety. While old-school from the outside, the construction and safety that the Bullitt offers is at par with any modern vintage helmets of current times. The helmet features a removable vintage style brown liner that is washable. For ventilation, the Bell Bullitt features 5 front mesh intake vents and one rear exhaust vent that allow smooth airflow through the helmet keeping the rider’s head cool and dry. The internal padding and chin strap feature subtle hints of leather to add to the additional vintage styling. If one is looking for a premium look and feel vintage-style full face helmet, the Bell Bullitt with it’s wide range of colour options and special editions is the best bet by far.
Bitwell Gringo S
The Gringo S offers similar styling to the Bell, but comes in at almost half the price. Featuring Bitwell’s injection moulded ABS outer shell and shock-absorbing EPS liner, the Gringo S promises light weight construction and high levels of safety. Similar to the company’s open face helmet, the Gringo S also features a hand-sown diamond quilted inner liner, while the whole package offers a DOT safety rating as standard.
The New Kid
Nexx is a newer brand by comparison. Started in 2001, the Portuguese company has recently launched a brand new range of full face vintage style motorcycle helmets under the X.G100 series. These helmets feature a fibre glass shell construction while promising to keep the overall weight of the product down to a very impressive 1200 grams. The helmet gets DOT and ECE certification while featuring an adjustable, removable and washable inner liner like most modern helmets. The X.G100 series offers a distinct look with its slightly thick and protruding chin section that features a single vertical air vent that gives it’s styling a mix modern-vintage appeal.