I’ll be the first to admit that, primarily, I’m a touring rider.
I can’t think of anything better than packing the stuff I need onto my bike and chasing the sun from here to France.
Once into Europe, I’m fully content with the twisting tarmac. And I’m happy to play on them all day long, stopping only for food and the occasional photo opportunity in the mountains.
That said, I do enjoy a day of off-roading. Not enough to do an entire off-road trip, but enough to be tempted by the occasional trail whilst out exploring.
And I know from experience what a difference the correct kit can make.
Find Your Style
Sure, you can go off-road wearing a road-going, full-face helmet in the same way you can wear an adventure helmet on the autobahn.
But neither of them are ideal.
If you’re planning on doing a full off-road tour, you’ll be better off investing in an adventure helmet.
Sticking to tarmac? Great, then take a normal full-face or modular helmet.
But what if you intend to do a bit of both? Then maybe a dedicated dual-sports helmet would suit you best.
Either way, here are 7 of the best dual-sports and adventure motorcycle helmets for your 2021 tour!
1. Klim Krios Pro Adventure Motorcycle Helmet, £540
The latest offering from Klim is the Krios Pro. And it sees some pretty major updates on previous models.
In that carbon fibre shell lies some awesome technology! Not only is it constructed from lightweight carbon fibre, but it’s also the first street-going helmet to use Koroyd material.
And that’s a big positive. Because Koroyd is a lightweight composition that absorbs up to 48% more energy during an impact.
On top of that, it ventilates well, which ensures a smoother, more comfortable ride. On the inside, you can expect to find Klim’s Klimatek moisture-wicking liner, which is also antibacterial and removable.
But it’s not just the composites which are beneficial to the structure.
The Krios Adventure boasts fully adjustable forehead and chin vents. And refined aerodynamics improve stability at speed whilst keeping noise levels down.
Out of the box, this is the only helmet that can be converted for four individual uses: adventure, dual-sport, off-road, and street.
Lastly, it’s DOT and ECE rated, and is compatible with multiple comms systems.
2. Arai Tour X4 Adventure Motorcycle Helmet, £450
The Arai Tour X4 is the grandfather of the adventure motorcycle helmet world. But the new X4 now comes with a completely redesigned outer shell which has been engineered for toughness, strength, and stiffness.
And it’s an incredibly comfortable fit, too, thanks to the new Facial Contour System which offers more support and comfort to the lower jaw.
For added comfort, the X4 also comes with a removable 5mm surface foam layer on the cheek pads and temple pads.
Moreover, the triple-density inner shell supports two front ducts and TX4 rear diffusers. And this is enhanced by the side exhaust vents to improve airflow and ventilation.
Patented visor ducts further increase airflow.
The X4 has a removable peak, comes with a pin-lock already inserted, and has emergency release tab cheek pads in case of an accident.
One of the only downsides of this helmet is the removal of the visor and peak as it requires screws.
But when you consider the premium quality of the helmet along with the excellent comfort and incredible ventilation, we can live with a bit of peak and visor faffery!
3. Schuberth E1, £250
There’s a lot to be said about the Schuberth E1, which is the adventure-inspired model derived from the street-inspired C3 Pro.
The E1 is a modular helmet created by Schuberth to be aerodynamically and aeroacoustically optimal.
Constructed from fibre, the helmet also includes STRONG fibre construction. Furthermore, it has gone through Schuberth’s high compression moulding process.
Having been wind tunnel tested, the E1’s design withstands noise and buffeting at high speeds.
And speaking of stability, the spoiler is integrated into the shell to reduce vibration and movement.
On the inside, the E1 makes for a comfortable ride thanks to the conscious effort to reduce seams. The liner comprises of Coolmax and Thermocool materials, is allergen-free, antibacterial, removable, and washable.
The micro lock chin strap ensures easy fitting. And variable venting promotes effective, adjustable airflow. Schuberth state that airflow in this adventure motorcycle helmet has seen an increase by up to 60%
The helmet comes with built-in antenna to support Schuberth’s SRC-System Pro. Furthermore, it has large reflective panels on the neck roll and has an integrated sun visor. Which is always appreciated!
With a visor opening only just wide enough to accommodate a pair of small goggles, the E1 definitely sits on the road end of the road-adventure helmet spectrum.
The benefits of this helmet are the acoustics, it’s quiet to use, and is comms ready. The flip-front is easy to use and it’s a comfortable helmet to wear.
On the downside, it’s a pricey helmet. And it lacks ventilation at the rear which can make it quite hot to wear.
4. AGV AX-9 Adventure Motorcycle Helmet, £255-£440
If you’ve been around a while, you’ll be familiar with adventure motorcycle helmets by AGV. The AX-8 (the predecessor to the current model) has been around since 2011!
And for good reason.
The newer of this adventure motorcycle helmet comes with a redesigned ventilation system on the chin bar which allows improved airflow from the front and back. The front closure can also be completely removed if required.
The basic composite of the AGV is carbon, fibreglass and kevlar. But if you’re prepared to pay a little extra, you can have the full thing crafted from carbon.
The biggest difference between the old and new models is the peak. And the one on the new edition is a bit of a whopper!
But AGV ensures us this increase in visor size has practical benefits. They include protection from bright sunshine and improving dynamics with the new shape and design.
The new AGV is pin-lock ready (which is always a bonus) and comes with cut-outs to accommodate comms.
On the inside, the new AGV is comfortable thanks to the Shalimar materials which give it a premium feel. The generic shaping of the helmet has also changed in comparison to the old one.
As you’d expect, the AGV is DOT and ECE rated.
On the downside, this helmet isn’t the cheapest on the market. And the visor will be loved or loathed depending on your preferences.
We love the comfortable design and the addition of the Shamilar cheek pads. But despite AGV’s good intentions with the visor, we find that it isn’t as sturdy or as aerodynamic as other options.
5. Shoei Hornet ADV Adventure Motorcycle Helmet, £383-£540
As with the AGV above, the Shoei Hornet is the newest in a long line of adventure motorcycle helmets. And it comes with some decent upgrades, too!
The latest model now comes equipped with the EQRS system which allows quick and safe removal in the event of an accident.
A new visor and visor mechanism allows replacement without tools. However, we found it to be a bit of a faff as you have to remove the visor.
Speaking of peaks, the one on this helmet is fixed. But that’s no bad thing; we thought it was excellent.
The helmet is made up of a lightweight AIM+ shell construction. A multi-density EPS liner makes it comfortable for all-day riding.
For those who wear glasses, the cheek pads come pre-channeled. And it also comes with an integrated CNS-2 pin-lock.
Thanks to the wide visor opening, this helmet is goggle-friendly.
6. Bell MX-9 (MIPS), £130
The Bell MX-9 adventure motorcycle helmet is an entry-level lid that is a worthy option for those looking for an adventure or dual-sports-style helmet.
One of the major positives is that it comes with the Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS) which has recently seen further scientific benefits.
As well as being MIPS certified, it’s also DOT and ECE rated.
The MX-9 is constructed from a lightweight polycarbonate shell which keeps the weight down. It also uses Bell’s own Velocity-flow ventilation system to keep you cool on the trails.
The peak can only go to two positions, and changing from one to the other isn’t a quick or easy fix. Removing the visor is a struggle, too.
That said, once the visor is removed, it can easily accommodate goggles.
On the road, we found it to be quite noisy. But with such a great price tag, a 5-year warranty, and it’s light composition, we’re willing to let that go!
7. Scorpion Exo-AT950 Adventure Motorcycle Helmet, £200
Another modular helmet, the Exo-AT950 does an excellent job of combining adventure versatility and flip-front convenience.
The AT950 adventure motorcycle helmet boasts an advanced polycarbonate shell, a dual-density inner liner, oodles of vents, a drop-down sun visor, and integrated speaker cutouts.
The peak is removable which gives riders the option of keeping it on or taking it off depending on the conditions.
It doesn’t come with a pin-lock. However, there is an anti-fog coating on the visor.
Top and exhaust vents promote airflow inside the cockpit, while a dual configurable chin vent allows plenty of cooling options.
As you would expect, the AT950 is DOT rated and comes with a 5-year warranty.
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Top image via Användaren