Best Low Profile Motorcycle Helmets – 2021 Complete Review

| Last Updated: January 15, 2022

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Many people like the look of low profile motorcycle helmets. These have an open face design that leaves your face exposed. Some low profile helmets are not legal for highway use.

This article will look at everything you need to know about the best low profile motorcycle helmets in this 2020 complete review.

Comparison of the Best Low Profile Motorcycle Helmets

  • Drop-down sun visor integrated with the helm for better protection
  • Washable and Removable and comfortable inner padding
  • Comes with a double layer outer shells for proper scale
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  • Will fit a variety of head sizes
  • Cushioned inner for comfortable and secure fit
  • Quick release padded chin strap for quick and easy fit
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  • Best for the Money
  • Made from strong and lightweight fiberglass materials
  • Comes with a quick release chin strap for quick and easy fit
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  • Best Low Profile German Motorcycle Helmet
  • Will fit many different head sizes
  • Comes with the DOT approval to make it safe to use
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  • Best Low Profile Full Face Motorcycle Helmet
  • Well-designed and constructed from lightweight and durable materials
  • Win-tunnel facility included for better airflow
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  • Best Low Profile DOT Motorcycle Helmet
  • Made with many safety features included for your safety
  • Comfortable easy release chin strap for easy fitting
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What Do They Mean By a Low-Profile Motorcycle Helmet? 

A low profile helmet classifies as a half helmet, which does not provide as much protection as modular or full-face helmets.

Low profile helmets have many other names, such as shorty helmets, skull cap, open face shorty, choppers, and Skid lids. These names are about the helmet design, which is lightweight, short, and open-faced.

A low profile helmet covers the top of your head but does not offer much protection for other crucial areas like your face, neck, chin, or the back of your head.

Not all low profile helmets pass DOT certifications, so you want to be wary when shopping for a skull cap. Helmets that are not DOT certified are not legal to use on highways in the USA.

How Do I Choose a Low Profile Motorcycle Helmet? 

When picking a low profile motorcycle helmet, there are a few criteria to look for to ensure you get the right one. These features ensure your helmet will keep you safe while riding.

DOT Certified

Half helmets that pass DOT standards will have a thick liner on the inside of the helmet. This cushion will provide extra protection if you have an impact. 

Another crucial DOT standard is the material used in the construction of the helmet. Helmets made of polycarbonate materials are safer than thermoplastic and have more substantial impact resistance.


The shape of your shorty helmet is also essential. Some people have an oval shape head, which makes wearing a rounded helmet more difficult. 

Choosing the wrong helmet won't just reduce your safety. It can also leave you with a mushroom head, which is when there's too much padding in the helmet, causing your head to look like a piece of fungi out of Mario Brothers.


It would help if you chose a helmet that contains a sturdy strap that secures under your chin. This strap keeps your helmet secure, so you don't end up with a wobbling disaster sitting on top of your head.

Some advanced helmets have padded straps that make it more comfortable to wear. Straps may also vary on what type of latch they use. You want one that will disengage quickly and one-handed. 

TORC T55 Spec-Op Half Helmet

Review of the Best Low Profile Motorcycle Helmets 

We’ve completed reviews on the six best low profile motorcycle helmets to get you started on finding the right one for your needs. We’ve included the pros and cons, what other customers say, and what we like best about each piece of gear.

Best Overall:
TORC T55 Spec-Op Half Helmet

TORC T55 Spec-Op Half Helmet with 'Flag” Graphic (Flat Black, Large)


  • Retractable visor for sun protection
  • Slim design keeps helmet low on your head
  • Padded interior to offer additional protection
  • Dual-density shell for extra impact protection
  • Multiple size options and designs to choose from


  • The shield can scratch easily
  • Some customers had trouble wearing sunglasses with shield down

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers of the Torc T55 appreciate the lightweight, short design that can make you look like a tough full-time biker while cruising

The double density outer shell prevents the mushroom head, while the interior padding adds protection and comfort. This helmet is ideal for riders with a slight oval head shape. 

Users also like using the flip-down sun visor, which offers enough shade to block the sunlight without the need for sunglasses. Some users did struggle with wearing glasses with the visor down. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The first thing that stands out to us is the cool dark designs that offer a shadow image or a black matte helmet. You can rock the SOA look with this half helmet.

We also appreciate that this helmet passes DOT standards, meaning it's safe and legal for use on all US highways. 

The padded liner makes this helmet more comfortable and safe. And it's removable and machine washable, so you don't deal with foul smells or deterioration.

Bottom Line

Our final decision is that the Torc T55 is the best overall shorty helmet on the market. With your choice of size and design, you can customize the helmet to your needs.

Bikeraccess Novelty Harley Chopper Helmet


  • Various sizes available
  • The liner on the interior provides a better fit
  • Padded chin strap for a more comfortable fit
  • Fiberglass construction is more impact resistant
  • Quick-release clip makes it easy to get the helmet off


  • Not DOT approved
  • Not meant to be worn for safety

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers said this helmet offered a comfortable, snug fit when sized appropriately. The extra padding on the strap keeps the helmet in place, and the clasp is easy to manage with one hand. 

But customers also said they would not recommend wearing this as a piece of protective gear. The helmet does not absorb impact so your head won't be protected during an accident.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We appreciate the stylish, matte black low crop design of this helmet, making it ideal for wearing for looks during a bike show or when you want something to cover your head.

It is disappointing that this rugged helmet isn't DOT approved, as it would be perfect for a casual ride out on the town. You may get a ticket in states where there is a law regarding proper helmets for motorcycles.

The thin padding is appealing in that it helps your helmet provide a better fit. But it is lacking in terms of adding enough support to be protective. 

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a helmet to wear as a novelty for a bike show or a simple ride, the Bikeraccess Low Profile Harley chopper motorcycle could be the right choice for you.

Best for the Money:
Excelsior Int Gladiator Half Helmet

Gladiator Flat Black Novelty Helmet Skull Cap Skid Lid (S, Black)


  • Straps do not press against your ears
  • Multiple size options for the perfect fit
  • The contoured shape doesn't cover ears
  • Liner interior adds extra suction, so your helmet stays in place
  • Thick Y-retention padded strap is adjustable for custom security


  • Not DOT approved to use on highways
  • The strap may be too bulky for some people

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers appreciated the thick cushion of the chin strap, which helps keep it in place and more comfortable during prolonged use. The Y design is wide enough not to cover your ears, but it is thick, which may be uncomfortable for some people.

Users also liked the lightweight design that gives you the traditional biker look. But this helmet is meant for a novelty item and should not be used for protection.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the classic look of this skull cap helmet. The matte or gloss design has a sleek appearance that doesn't damage. And it's ideal for adding your decals or paint.

We also appreciate that you can adjust the strap to fit over your ears without biting into your flesh. But some people did experience problems getting a comfortable adjustment. 

The interior liner gives enough cushion to make the helmet comfortable, but it's not so padded that you end up looking like a mushroom. But it's also not enough padding to offer any head protection.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a spartan black chopper helmet to wear as a novelty or in states where a helmet isn't required, you're sure to love the Excelsior Gladiator half helmet.

Best Low Profile German Motorcycle Helmet:
Daytona G1-B German Motorcycle Helmet

Daytona Helmets Half Shell German Motorcycle Helmet – DOT Approved [Dull Black] [XS]


  • Lined interior for a custom fit
  • Doesn't create mushroom head
  • Thick padded strap for comfort and security
  • Fiberglass mold for protection from impacts
  • Super lightweight design for extreme comfort


  • Not DOT approved
  • The strap may be too bulky for some

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers who purchased this helmet say they love the low profile design that sits close to your head without affecting your ears. 

The strap is adjustable so you can have a good fit, but it's also thick due to the extra cushion so it may be too wide for some faces. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The first thing that stood out to us about this helmet is the simple black design, which can be matte or shiny. This look gives you an authentic biker look.

The curved sides make this helmet rest above your ears for comfort without riding too high to give you a mushroom head or too low to obstruct your vision.

We do feel the strap release leaves something to be desired compared to other models. The grooves on the clasp slide into the housing and locks in place. 

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a simple, lightweight novelty helmet to give you an authentic biker look, you're sure to appreciate the basic functionality of the Excelsior INT Gladiator helmet.

Best Low Profile Full Face Motorcycle Helmet:
Shoei Men's Rf-1200 Helmet

Shoei Men's Rf-1200 Full Face Motorcycle Helmet (Large, Matte Black)


  • Full face helmet offers the safest travel
  • Cheek pads give a more comfortable, secure fit
  • Meets DOT and Snell M2015 safety requirements
  • Lightweight construction for a more comfortable fit 
  • Wind tunnel ventilation reduces wind noise and cools your head


  • Doesn't cut down on noise
  • Cheek pads may be too thick for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users found this helmet comfortable and lightweight to wear during long road trips. The full face and liner make this helmet safe and pass all safety regulations.

The vents keep the inside of your helmet cool, so you don't deal with stuffy conditions. And it helps reduce some, but not all noise during your ride.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the full face design since this is the safest type of helmet to wear while driving a motorcycle. It has undergone testing to pass DOT and Snell certifications, so you know you'll be safe if an accident occurs.

The cheek pads provide extra comfort for your face and make your helmet fit more securely and comfortably.

A flip shield closes securely, so you're protected from everyday dangers, noise, and weather conditions like rain or snow.

Bottom Line

The Shoei Men's Rf-1200 helmet combines the low profile design of a skid lid and the safety benefits of a full-face helmet, so you get the best of both worlds.

Best Low Profile DOT Motorcycle Helmet:
Daytona Skull Cap D1-BNS

Daytona Helmets Half Skull Cap Motorcycle Helmet – DOT Approved [Dull Black] [3XS]


  • Passes DOT safety regulations
  • Chinstrap adjusts to front or back 
  • Thin design prevents the mushroom look
  • Quick-release one finger lock on the chin strap
  • Contoured shape reduces pinching and cutting into the neck


  • Many felt this helmet wasn't low profile enough
  • Padding inside makes helmet sit higher on head

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers who purchased this shorty helmet appreciated the fact that this helmet comes in different sizes so you can find one that fits your exact needs.

Some customers also had trouble with not being able to position the strap comfortably. But the thick Y strap is easily adjustable and unsnap.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This helmet caught our attention for being a DOT certified skull cap so you can have an ideal look without forsaking your safety. 

We appreciate that this helmet comes in multiple sizes so it can fit a wide range of head sizes and shapes. 

The contoured design makes it more comfortable to wear this helmet for long trips without common nuisances like pinching, digging, or crushing the ears and neck.

Bottom Line

If you want to keep the traditional low profile helmet look while still being legal and protected while riding on the highway, you're sure to appreciate the Daytona Skull Cap D1-BNS.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Low Profile Motorcycle Helmet

There are many benefits of investing in a quality low profile motorcycle helmet over other helmet styles. It helps to know what you're getting before you buy it. 


The most significant benefit of wearing a shorty helmet is that it gives you the traditional biker look. These short helmets cover the top and back of your head but leave your face open.

Many states require you to wear a helmet while riding on highways. A skid lid helps you meet these qualifications without having your whole face covered.


Some people feel low profile helmets are more comfortable to wear because you get more air in your face due to the half shape. 

Many skull cap helmets have a liner on the inside that makes it more comfortable to wear this helmet style for long periods.


Although half helmets like low profile aren't as safe as a full-face or modular helmet, they still offer safety for your head in case of impact.

Riding without a helmet is dangerous, but many people do not want to deal with the suffocating feeling of being completely enclosed. Low profile helmets let you have some safety without the claustrophobic feeling.

Types of Low Profile Motorcycle Helmets

Low profile helmets traditionally come in one of three styles. Which style you choose will depend on your tastes and safety needs.

Half Helmet

Most low profile motorcycle helmets are a half helmet, which means there is little protection. These helmets are usually a sturdy material that helps if there's an impact.

Most half helmets have an interior liner that makes your helmet more comfortable to wear. Some of these liners make the helmet have a more secure fit. 

You have to use caution when purchasing a half helmet as not all of them pass the safety standards to be considered legal for highway travel. 

Three Quarter Helmet

Another style of low profile helmet is the ¾ helmet, also called an open face. These helmets cover your head but do nothing to protect the rest of you. 

Compared to a half helmet, ¾ helmets are safer to wear for riding a motorcycle, but they don't do good for off-roading or dual-sports riding. 

Not having a faceguard means that many riders choose to wear goggles or glasses to protect their eyes. You may also want to wear a mask over your mouth.

Full Face

There are a few full-face helmets labeled as low profile. The purpose of a low profile helmet is to cover the bare minimum, with a sleek design.

A full-face low profile helmet will typically have an enclosed helmet that protects your entire head, including your face, chin, and neck. 

The visor on a full-face helmet keeps dust and debris out of your eyes and mouth. The best models include some liner and ventilation, so you don't get too hot.


Low profile helmets help you stay safe without making you feel trapped inside a tight, enclosed space. These helmets sit low on your head for a simplistic, traditional biker look without covering your face and ears. Be smart and ride safely by protecting your head with a low profile motorcycle helmet.

People Also Ask

People always have additional questions when shopping for a product. We've found a few common questions people ask about low profile motorcycle helmets. Our answers should give you a better understanding of low profile motorcycle helmets.

Are Low Profile Motorcycle Helmets Safe?

Low profile motorcycle helmets are half helmets so they can be safe in most situations, as long as they pass safety standards such as DOT or Snell. However, due to the design, low profile helmets only protect your head and not your face, chin, or neck.

Daytona G1-B German Motorcycle Helmet

What Are Other Names For Low Profile Motorcycle Helmets?

Low profile helmets have many other names. You may hear low profile helmets referred to as:

  • Shorty helmets
  • Skull caps
  • Open face shorty
  • Choppers
  • Skid lids

Can You Stretch a Motorcycle Helmet?

Most helmets have a tight fit when you first purchase them. They should lose some of their stiffness while still fitting snugly after fifteen to twenty hours of use. 

The best way to stretch your helmet is to wear it frequently. Or place an appropriately sized ball into your helmet overnight up to a few days. 

Are Low Profile Motorcycle Helmets Legal?

Many low profile motorcycle helmets are not legal as the Department of Transportation does not certify them. For a chopper helmet to be legal, it has to pass rigorous testing and meet specific safety standards.

Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.