The key for the 25 million Americans who rode last year, says Honda Motorcycle spokesman Bill Savino, is to learn how to ride and dress properly. That's where helmets like the Arai Quantum and Shoei X-Eleven come in. They're ultra-comfortable to wear, have the widest range of vision and offer enough ventilation to prevent sweat-sogged hair on that late afternoon cruise. That pretty much makes them the best helmets any rider can buy.

Our list of the best motorcycle helmets comes from data provided by J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing firm based in Westlake Village, Calif. It measured satisfaction levels by asking 4,600 riders about their helmets' ventilation, face-shield and design and styling, which includes quietness, air flow, de-fogging, ability to keep wind out, ease of replacing the face shield, scratch resistance, color/graphic design, weight, strap fit and comfort.
Safety results weren't tabulated for this particular survey it focused only on customer satisfaction.

Helmets reduce the risk of death for motorcycle riders by 37 per cent, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and they are 67 per cent effective in preventing brain injuries during a crash. But they aren't a one-size-fits-all issue. A helmet like the Icon Airframe excels in the design and ventilation categories, while Harley Davidson received perfect scores for the quality of its face shields.