6 Best Dual Sport Helmets

Best Dual Sport Helmets

When deciding on the best dual sport helmet to suit the type of riding you do, there are a few factors to consider.

If you’ve ever worn a motocross style helmet and goggles for any distance on the road, you’ve realized that Moto/off-road helmets aren’t designed for high-speed road use.

You’ll get a neck workout if you ride for too long due to the peak (or visor), and there is the extra noise that comes through due to the large eye port and extra ventilation needed for off-road use.

Enter the Dual Sport and Adventure helmets, designed specifically for use both off and on-road.

The obvious addition to the purely off-road helmet is the face shield, something that is essential on the road but can be too hot and claustrophobic on tight lower speed trail riding.

Traditionally a Dual Sport or Adventure helmet is not going to be as well ventilated as an MX style helmet, they are going to have a little more weight, and they are not going to be as comfortable on the street as a purely street bike helmet.

So you are giving up a little of the creature comforts on either side to achieve a compromise of a helmet you can use for both.

Quick Summary

Pushed for time? Here’s a quick look at the Top 6 Best Dual Sport Helmets being reviewed here:

1. Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet with MIPS – Top Pick
2. Arai XD4 Dual Sport Helmet – Best Of The Best
3. Fly Trekker Dual Sport Helmet – Best Bang For Buck
4. Klim Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet – Best Lightweight ADV helmet
5. O’Neal Sierra 2 Dual Sport Helmet
6. Scorpion EXO-AT950 Dual Sport Modular Helmet

Prices range from $140 to $550, so we have the best budget helmet through to the best of the best.

How to choose The Best Dual Sport Helmet For You

One of the first things to ask yourself is: how much of your riding is on road, and how much off road?

A good dual sport helmet is designed to do both, but there are features to look for when selecting a dual sport helmet that will be more suited to one than the other.

Top 3 Things To Consider:

1. Impact Protection:

Obviously, the first requirement of any motorcycle helmet is to protect your brain – you only get one. The good news is that with the latest technological advances in safety and design, you get a lot of the features of the top-of-the-line helmets filtering down to the entry level helmets at around the $200 mark.

A good example of this is the Bell MIPS technology in the MX-9. (At No. 1 in this review)

2. Ventilation:

Something that is very important in off-road riding with slower speeds and more physical exertion. Generally the more vents the better for dual sport helmets, and closable.

Having said that, if you live in a warmer climate, and most of our riding is off-road you will probably never close them. I never have.

3. Weight:

The lighter weight helmet is something that is desirable for off-road use. For some riders this is a top priority, others not so much. The Klim Krios Karbon (at No. 4 in this review) is the lightest dual sport helmet available today.

You have to take into account though, what sacrifices in safety have been made to achieve the weight saving?

Other Desirable Features To Look For:

  • Padding on the inside of the chin guard
  • Cut-outs in the lining to accommodate a Bluetooth communication system
  • Vents that can be opened and closed
  • Large eye port for good off-road visibility and to fit goggles
  • Good sound insulation at highway speeds
  • Built-in tinted drop down sun shield
  • Emergency Cheek Pad Release System

Here are my 6 Best Dual Sport Helmets, compiled from my experience of over 30 years of racing and riding dirt bikes of all types.

1. Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet with MIPS

Bell MX9 adventure helmet

Bell has been making top quality motorcycle helmets for decades. They introduced the first full-face helmet back in 1966.

I’ve owned Bell helmets since the early ’80s with the Bell Moto 3. (Recently re-released – see my Bell Moto 3 Helmet review for more on this classic retro).

The MX-9 Adventure is Bell’s first foray into dual sport helmets and is designed for riders that spend an equal amount of time on the road as they do in the dirt. It’s a 50/50 dual sport helmet that draws technology from both their street and off-road lines.

The MX-9 now comes with the revolutionary MIPS. MIPS is an innovative Multi-Directional Impact Protection System that is designed to allow small amounts of shell movement in rotational and angular impacts and reduce the sudden stopping motion of the brain within the skull.

In other words, it’s basically a low-friction membrane between the helmet liner and the helmet foam that allows for a controlled amount of rotation, which helps disperse some of the energy that would otherwise be directed into your head. More about it in the video below.

MIPS is a truly revolutionary step forward in technological advances in helmets.

The newly designed MX-9 comes with other new features like the polycarbonate shell which replaces the old composite materials.

The Velocity Flow Vent system gives good ventilation, vital for off-road roading.

An EPS-lined chin bar and padded chin-strap are other nice features.

Bell MX9 adventure helmet rear

Swapping the face shield is easy, just remove the two toolless visor screws and it pops right off. It can easily be done trailside if you wanted to switch to a different tint or use goggles. Bell offers 10 different shields in a wide range of colors and tints.

The face shield is thicker to compensate for the large eye port and fairly flat to avoid distortion in vision around the chin guard.  This has meant that there is a small return at the bottom of the shield to seal against the helmet. This only becomes an issue with the shield partially raised but has made the shield more rigid. There are two part-open indent positions.

The helmet comes with a clear shield. Goggles can be used without having to remove the face shield.

The visor has two positions of adjustment by removing a top screw and is in a good neutral position which allows plenty of airflow between the visor and helmet.

But like any dual sport helmet, can create some buffeting at high speeds. It can easily be removed for street riding if you are doing a long street ride.

The channeled moisture wicking liner is removable for washing and keeping the helmet fresh, essential and common on most helmets now.

At 1,680 grams (3.7 pounds) it is not as light as a motocross helmet, and about 40 grams heavier than the Arai XD4, but doesn’t feel heavy when riding.

The new MX-9 reminds us that Bell is still a powerhouse in the industry, and proves that a quality dual sport helmet doesn’t always have to come with a huge price tag.
The low $200 price range makes this entry level helmet excellent value for money.

Sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large, XXX Large.

Bell MX-9 Helmet Size Chart

Features:

  • MIPS Multi-Directional Impact Protection System for dramatically improved rotational impact energy displacement
  • Lightweight polycarbonate shell
  • 3 shell and EPS sizes
  • Integrated face shield for more comfort when road riding with 2 stop positions
  • Velocity-flow ventilation system for cooling and comfort
  • Moisture-wicking, removable/washable air channeled comfort liner
  • EPS-lined chin bar
  • Adjustable mouth vent to regulate your air-flow
  • Padded chin strap with D-ring closure and strap keeper
  • Five-year warranty
  • DOT and ECE certified
  • Weight: 1,680 grams (3.7 pounds)

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • MIPS
  • Large eye port fits most goggles

Cons:

  • Slight distortion in vision on the lower edge of the shield
  • Only the chin vent is closable. All others are always open

2. Arai XD4 Dual Sport Helmet

Arai XD4 Dual Sport helmet

The Arai XD4 is widely regarded as the best street/dirt crossover helmet that money can buy. It’s at the upper end of the price range, but you know you’re getting the best in terms of features, and safety.

The new Arai XD4 is best suited to the intermediate oval head shape. The new shell shape provides better aerodynamic stability at higher speeds, an important factor for the road riding section of your adventure rides.

This can be a problem with a lot of other dual sport helmets while road riding. They’re not so comfortable on the higher speed road sections.

The ventilation of the XD4 is excellent. The airflow has been nearly doubled with the new top-diffuser-vent ports, the new side cowl vents and a new chin vent which has more intake ports.

Combine this with the new brow vents at the top of the XD4 face shield and you have all the airflow you need, especially important for the off-road riding at slower speeds. All vents can be opened and closed easily with gloves on.

The face shield is a good quality and props open in a couple of positions. It is relatively flat compared to a lot of helmets, which means there is less distortion of your vision.

The peak can even be adjusted up or down while you’re riding. No screws to mess around with for adjusting the position. It can be removed completely with a coin inserted into the 4 screws.

The viewport is large enough to be able to wear goggles if you choose while riding off-road. A good option to have when riding at slower speeds in some tricky terrain.

A unique feature is the ability to customize the fit with the patent-pending FCS (Facial Contour Support) cheek pad design. It uses an exclusive 5mm peel-away custom fit layer.

All the internal lining is removable and replaceable and made of a wicking material which draws sweat away from your skin.

The weight of 1642 grams means it isn’t the lightest helmet available, but Arai would argue that it needs to be this weight to offer the safety levels that they demand. The helmet doesn’t feel heavy because the weight is well balanced.

There are recesses at the sides internally to fit a Bluetooth communication system if you choose.

The XD4 is now debuting the Emergency Release Cheek Pad Release System. It is the very first emergency release cheek pad design, developed to allow easier access to an injured rider.

The cheek pads slide out easily via the integrated pull-tabs built into the underside of the cheek pad. This makes helmet removal much easier for trained medical personnel.

Sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large.

Arai XD4 Helmet Size Chart

Features:

  • New exhaust ports added to the top diffuser vents which nearly double the airflow while using the same (4) 10mm vent holes in the helmet shell
  • New shell shape for better aerodynamic stability at higher street speeds, which works with the high flow peak and new larger sculpted side cowl vents
  • New chin vent with more intake ports
  • New 5mm peel-away temple and cheek pads which add another level of customization of fit, providing a little extra width if needed
  • Fully removable replaceable and washable interior: Comfort head liner, cheek pads, and chinstrap covers
  • ‘Dry-Cool’ technology to keep you dry and cool for greater comfort
  • New FCS (Facial Contour Support) cheek pad design
  • Now comes standard with the visor fitted with Pinlock Posts
  • Brow vents to the new XD4 face shield which provide airflow to the temple area of your head
  • Weight: 1,642 grams (3.62 pounds)

Pros:

  • Well vented
  • Quiet
  • Large Port to fit goggles
  • Emergency release cheek pads
  • Snell & ECE rated

Cons:

  • Pricey but top of the line

3. Fly Trekker Dual Sport Helmet

Fly Trekker Dual Sport Helmet

The Fly Trekker Helmet is an entry level helmet for the Dual Sport and Adventure Touring market. Fly Racing is not a name familiar to street riders but off-road and motocross riders have been familiar with the name for years. They sponsor many top riders and events.

Fly Racing started out manufacturing motorcycle handlebars and helmets and have grown into one of the leading apparel brands for competitive racing protective gear, helmets, boots, jerseys, goggles and much more. They also produce apparel for street, snow, water, a line of luggage, vehicle accessories and casual wear.

The Fly Trekker is their entry into the Dual Sport and Adventure scene in the sub $200 price range.

It is a well-constructed helmet with many of the features found in much higher priced helmets.

What makes this helmet special is the ability to ride with any combination of the shield, visor, and goggles. The face shield is designed to accommodate goggles and goggle straps even when in the closed position.

Shield changes are quick and easy and need no tools. The shield has a durable scratch resistant coating and offers 100% UVA/B protection. The multi-position ratcheting means you can just open the shield a crack to prevent most fogging.

Ventilation on this helmet is exceptional with 8 intake and 8 exhaust vents. Airflow is forced through aligned vent channels in the EPS liner and exits out of multiple rear exhaust vents.

Naturally, the Trekker meets or exceeds DOT and ECE 22/05 safety standards.

Sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large.

Fly Racing Helmet Size Chart

Features:

  • Dual Density EPS liner helps reduce the shock of impact by creating a more progressive impact absorption zone
  • DOT & ECE Approved Advanced Poly Alloy shell construction which combines high-strength poly materials to create an aggressive design that is durable and lightweight
  • The newly redesigned face shield comes equipped with a new shield lock system and features multi-position ratcheting and can be fully hidden from your line of sight in the up position. The design also allows for goggles to be worn, and you can still lower the visor, great feature when it starts raining.
  • Now included for the face shield are the new side plate covers for use when the peak is removed and the face shield is kept on for that full face street look
  • The new ‘Coolmax’ inner lining is fully removable and washable, a must to keep it smelling fresh. The ear pockets are roomy. They are not lined at the shell. There is provision to allow the fitting of a Bluetooth speaker communication system.
  • The multi-port ventilation system with 16 total vents: 8 intake vents and 8 exhaust vents. An essential feature for summer and winter riding.
  • Adjustable vents include: 1 mouthpiece, 2 brow, and 2 rear
  • The peak has a single screw on the top allowing about 1 inch (25mm) of adjustment.
  • 3M Highly visible reflective stickers
  • Weight: 1,795 grams (3.96 pounds)

Pros:

  • Large eye port will fit most goggles
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Quiet on road
  • Good price

Cons:

  • Face shield curvature at chin guard can cause some distortion in vision

4. Klim Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet

Klim Krios Adventure Helmet

The Klim Krios is the lightest dual sport helmet on the market. Its 1,500 gram (3.3 pounds) weight is achieved with the use of a full-carbon fiber shell which features a wide carbon weave which has been hand laid for a perfectly consistent shell thickness and integrity.

Aerodynamics of visor equipped helmets at high speeds is always a huge challenge. Klim has developed an aerodynamic visor with large airflow vents and spoiler attributes to help stabilize the rider’s head while at speed.

You can quickly transition the Krios from street to off-road use or any four riding modes quickly and without tools. The quick release shield and visor system requires only a simple 90-degree quarter turn to lock/unlock.

The liner is made of ‘Klimatek’ fabric over ‘adaptive smart foam’ which has anti-microbial/bacterial and moisture wicking properties. Removing it is straightforward, but can get a little tricky getting it back in and aligned.

Klim Krios Adventure Helmet rear

The ventilation is very good. The chin bar inlet gives a good airflow, but it can’t be closed. The forehead vent flows well and can be closed.

It’s not necessary to remove the visor to use a pair of goggles, simply flip the face shield up.

A handy notch in the left side neck roll allows you to tidily wire a Bluetooth unit. The helmet is reasonably quiet for an adventure helmet. It is necessary to cut the liner foam to accommodate your speakers.

Sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large, XXX Large

Klim Krios Helmet Size Chart

Features:

  • A hand-laid full-carbon shell which features a wide weave and gives the helmet its super light weight
  • Aerodynamic visor and spoiler which works to stabilize the riders head when at speed
  • Klimatek Fabric liner systems which utilize adaptive smart foam technology for a comfortable fit, and anti-microbial/bacterial fast wicking textiles to draw sweat away from your skin
  • Quick release shield and visor system which requires only a simple 90-degree quarter-turn to lock/unlock
  • Intelligent ventilation system which ensures you keep cool in hot conditions
  • Airflow through the chin vent and closable top vent
  • Includes chin curtain
  • Quickly transition from street to off-road or to any of the four riding modes without needing tools
  • Klim Radius goggle compatible
  • 2 shell sizes: SM-MD, LG-3XL
  • Pinlock-ready Polycarbonate anti-scratch face shield
  • Meets or exceeds ECE and DOT standards
  • Weight: 1,500 grams (3.31 pounds)

Pros:

  • lightest ADV helmet on the market
  • Pinlock no-fog equipped
  • Carbon fiber construction

Cons:

  • Very thin visor
  • Thin padding at top of the head area may be a pressure point for some
  • Chin vent always open

5. O’Neal Sierra 2 Dual Sport Helmet

O'Neal Sierra 2 Dual Sport Helmet

O’Neal has been around since 1970, founded by Jim O’Neal and is well known for manufacturing quality motorcycle accessories.

The company grew from the back of Jim’s van with 120 products back in 1970 to over 12,000 products today. O’Neal has a deep history with racing and still today they continue to develop new technology to put into their gear.

The O’Neal Sierra 2 Dual Sport Helmet is an entry level dual sport helmet in the sub $200 price range, and certainly gives you a lot of ‘bang for your buck’.

The Sierra 2 is a very edgy design which lots of people love at first sight.

Made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) it is very tough and can take a drop or two and still be OK.

A great feature of the Sierra is the built-in drop-down tinted sun shield. It saves you having to try different tints of the main shield, or if you like to wear sunglasses with your helmet, you no longer need to bother.

New improvements over the Sierra 1 include a new face shield, visor, chin vent, and drop-down shield actuator switch.

The new visor (or peak) has massive vents to reduce lift when riding at speed on the street and the two screws give it good rigidity. They must be removed to remove the visor and face shield.

Ventilation is good. Three intake vents to the front, and two exhaust vents on the rear of the helmet, which can be opened and closed. Passive jawline vents also create a nice airflow.

The internal EPS liner has large channeled cut-outs from the front to back which help the airflow push from the front to back. There are no cut-outs for speakers if you wish to use a Bluetooth communication system.

The weight of 1590g (3.51 pounds) is almost as light as the Klim Krios (at 1,500g) which is the lightest Dual Sport helmet on the market.

It is a Neutral Oval fit, which is between the round and intermediate Oval shape, so will suit most people.

Sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large.

O’Neal Helmet Size Chart

Features:

  • Shell is constructed with ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
  • Moisture-wicking, removable/washable air channeled comfort liner
  • Combines a full clear face shield & visor with a tinted drop down shield
  • Vented for optimal air flow
  • Height adjustable helmet shield
  • Padded chin strap for comfort with Double-D safety lock
  • Meets DOT & ECE 22.05 safety standards
  • Replacement parts available
  • Weight: 1590g (3.51 pounds)

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Integrated sun shield
  • good price

Cons:

  • Sun visor actuator can be a little stiff to use
  • Can be noisy at highway speeds
  • No holes for Bluetooth speaker. You have to cut them out of the foam

6. Scorpion EXO-AT950 Dual Sport Modular Helmet

Scorpion EXO-AT950 Dual Sport Modular Helmet

Versatility is key with the Scorpion EXO-AT950 Dual Sport Modular Helmet. The modular design allows you to completely open the chin guard giving you the benefits of an open face helmet.

This allows you to open it at a gas station or red light, take a quick drink or snack, ask directions or just let some fresh air in.

The visor and faceshield can be quickly removed by simply removing one screw on each side using a coin or flat blade screwdriver. Two cover plates can be fitted to keep a clean look with the visor removed. The visor position is not adjustable.

The Polycarbonate shell comes in 3 sizes so that you can get the best fit possible, and there is a spoiler at the rear of the helmet to help reduce buffeting at speed.

The eye port is large enough to suit almost any goggles and give you a good peripheral vision.

Scorpion EXO-AT950 Dual Sport Modular Helmet open

The face shield is optically correct, meaning that there is no visual distortion due to the curvature of the shield. There are 3 indent positions for partial opening, and the surface has an anti-scratch hardened coating and has 100% UV protection.

Both the face shield and drop-down sun visor have an anti-fog coating. The drop-down sun visor can be lowered with the chin guard in the up position.

The ‘KwikWick II’ Anti-Microbial liner is moisture wicking to draw the sweat away from your skin, and it is removable and machine washable to keep it fresh.

Speaker cut-outs are provided in the liner for a Bluetooth communication system. No cutting required by you.

Sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large, XXX Large

Scorpion Helmet Size Chart

Features:

  • Advanced LG Polycarbonate Shell which comes in 3 sizes for the best fit for you. It has been developed exclusively by Scorpion and engineered to minimize weight and disperse impact
  • Dual density EPS liner helps reduce the shock of impact by creating a more progressive impact absorption zone
  • Aero-Tuned Ventilation System: Dual position mouth vent and a large intake port at the top of the helmet to force airflow through flow channels in EPS liner to 2 large exhaust vents at the rear of the helmet
  • ‘Everclear’ No Fog Faceshield which is optically correct with an anti-scratch hardened coating. 100% UV protection
  • Oversized Eyeport for greater peripheral vision and downward visibility. Can accommodate most off-road goggles
  • ‘EverClear’ Speedview Drop-down SunVisor that eases eye strain in varying light conditions without having to change faceshields. ‘Everclear’ No Fog coating to both sides
  • ‘KwikWick II’ Anti-Microbial Comfort liner which is easily removable and washable
  • ‘Kwikfit’ cheek pads allow easy on and off if you wear eyeglasses
  • Easy-Use Flip-up Chin Bar operated with a red button at the bottom of the chin bar
  • Communication system Speaker Pockets
  • Removable Block-off plates for visor fitting
  • Removable Chin Curtain
  • DOT Approved
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Weight: 1,723 grams (3.80 pounds)

Pros:

  • Bluetooth speaker cut-outs incorporated
  • Integrated tinted drop down shield
  • An optically correct face shield

Cons:

  • Not as vented as some other helmets
  • Drop down shield actuator can be hard to operate with gloves on
  • Chin Curtain best removed when using a communication system

Summary

Top Pick: Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet with MIPS
If safety is your top consideration, and you don’t want to spend $400 to $500, then look no further than the Bell MX-9. With the new revolutionary MIPS technology, it’s top-level safety at an entry-level price.

Best Of The Best: Arai XD4 Dual Sport Helmet
It’s top-of-the-line when you simply want the best, no compromises, and don’t mind paying the price.

Best Bang For Buck: Fly Trekker Dual Sport Helmet
At under $200 and full of features you find in helmets double the price.

Best Lightweight Adventure helmet: Klim Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet
Has a huge following in the Adventure riding world, especially for riders looking for a lightweight helmet as a priority.

There are heaps of reviews on Amazon about these helmets and almost all are overwhelmingly positive. Click the links to read what users are saying about them.

Related Posts

Fly Trekker Dual Sport Helmet Fly Trekker Dual Sport Helmet Review

 

 

Bell Moto 3 Helmet

Bell Moto 3 Helmet Review – A Classic Retro

 

 

Best Boots for Enduro & Dual Sport Riding 10 Best Boots For Enduro and Dual Sport Riding

 

 

Dirt Bike Body Armor

10 Best Body Armor For Dirt Bikes

 

 

Have you used any of the helmets in this review? Are there any that should be included? Please share your thoughts below.

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8 thoughts on “6 Best Dual Sport Helmets

  1. Hello,

    This is very interesting and informative post about sport helmets and what thinks to consider when buying one. I didn’t know there were so many different types and the ones you recommended seem very sophisticated. I can assure you that you may help so many people choose a helmet with all the details you provided.

    Great work with your website,

    Mariana

  2. I can defintley see the benefits in having a dual sports helmet. Assuming the performance is roughly the same as having a specific sport helmet, why not save some money? I personally play hockey, so I don’t think there are any dual sports helmets for that. What would you say the biggest benefit of a dual sports helmet is, besides saving money? Thanks for putting out such a quality article too by the way!

    1. Hi Kohl. I would say the biggest benefit of a dual sport helmet is that it is designed to be customized to whatever use you have that day. On or Off-road, with or without goggles or visor. Remove the visor for that street racer look, or remove the face shield and use it as a dirt riding helmet. It is several helmets in one.

      I haven’t seen any used for hockey, there are specifically designed helmets for that.

      Thanks for stopping in.

      Greg

  3. Hi Greg!

    Wow I didn’t know that the visor will give us an extra workout if we ride for too long though I have noticed the whistling sound from the gaps of my visor whenever I’m on speed but man, Fly Trekker looks super rad! Out of curiosity, where’s the 3M reflection sticker usually added? It’s for the helmet vinyl right

    1. Hi Riaz. You could put the stickers anywhere you want, but if they’re reflective, I’d at least put one on the rear of the helmet for visibility for vehicles following if on the road.

      The Fly Trekker sure looks cool, and a good price. You can’t really avoid a bit of wind buffeting from the visor at speed, that is why they are well vented and can be removed if you want to do a long road ride.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Greg

  4. Hi , I have read through this article a number of times to see if there is a catch. Arai XD4 Dual Sport Helme looks very nice and the features are cool, the cons and pros are reasonable. 

    I find the involvement and support offered by the company very encouraging, and I also don’t see any quotation for a a discount or use of coupon? It has varieties of sizesThanks for this information.

    1. Hi Labulo. The Arai XD4 is the top of the line, no compromises. Any of these helmets would be a good choice, depending on your budget.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Greg

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