Motorcycles featuring quirky paint jobs, attractive decals, stylish motorcycle parts, and quality leather luggage bags have been a popular trend for a while. Riders love to customize their bikes to feel like they are riding a new motorcycle every other day.
More riders have started wearing custom helmets that show off their personalities. Just like motorcycle tattoos and biker patches, helmets have become a stylish part of modern motorcycle culture. For example, outlaw motorcycle clubs wear helmets with their club insignias on the sides. The Hells Angels and Bandidos are two of the most feared motorcycle clubs in the United States are have followers following the custom motorcycle helmet trend. Now you should not get a helmet with a trademarked motorcycle club symbol on it, but you can buy a custom motorcycle helmet with a unique design that will help you stand out.
- Table of Contents
- 1. Custom Motorcycle Helmets Designs
- 1.1 Fighter Plane Style Helmet
- 1.2 Moto GP Racer Style Helmet
- 1.3 Lightning Bolt Helmet
- 1.4 Harley Davidson Helmet
- 1.5 Tribal Skull Helmet
- 1.6 Mandala Art Pattern Helmet
- 1.7 Letter, Symbol, or Slogan Helmet
- 1.8 Smiley Face Helmet
- 1.9 Spiderman Helmet
- 1.10 Floral Patterns Helmet
- 1.11 Flaming Skull Helmet
- 1.12 Motorcycle Club Insignia Helmet
- 1.13 Multi-Color Paint Helmet
- 1.14 Cartoon Character Helmet
- 1.15 Sports Theme Helmet
- 1.16 Graffiti Art Helmet
- 1.17 Motorcycle Parts Helmet
- 1.18 Angel Wings Helmet
- 1.19 World Map/Atlas Helmet
- 1.20 Scenic Landscape Helmet
- 2. Where to Buy Custom Helmets
- 3. How Much Does a Custom Helmet Cost
- 4. How to Customize Your Motorcycle Helmet
- 4.1 Tools Required
- 4.2 Step 1: Clean & Sand
- 4.3 Step 2: Apply Primer
- 4.4 Step 3: Apply Base or Color Coat
- 4.5 Step 4: Apply Clear Coat
- 4.6 Step 5: Acrylic Art
- 5. Rules on Customizing Motorcycle Helmets
- 6. Takeaway
1. Custom Motorcycle Helmets Designs
With so many designs and color schemes available, choosing one design for your helmet can be difficult. Especially if you do not already have a design in mind. To get you started, Viking Bags has put together a list of highly popular custom motorcycle helmet designs to provide inspiration.
1.1 Fighter Plane Style Helmet
Modern American culture has its roots in the motorcycle culture of the post World War 2 era. Motorcycles were not only used as a means of transport but were also considered a symbol of rebellion and freedom at that time. The same trend has continued on and today, riders love to get motorcycle decals and stickers of the American flag and different military insignia. They also enjoy painting their bikes in black, silver, and olive green shades of the WW2 fighter jet and go as far as getting a rust patina finish to create the fake rusty fighter plane look.
But these custom paint jobs can be quite expensive due to the amount of detail involved. Instead, you can get your helmet painted in the same colors mentioned above to achieve the epic look and express your altruism. You can also get an American eagle or an air force insignia airbrushed on the helmet. This helmet paint design will make you stand out in the crowd. You will get respect in the motorcycle community, especially if you have a military background. However, make sure that the design is not offensive in any way.
1.2 Moto GP Racer Style Helmet
A motorcycle enthusiast loves all things motorcycles, including MotoGp racing and other such competitive events. Just like soccer fans love to wear shirts of their favorite teams, motorcyclists can get helmets painted in different MotoGp designs. Each year, you can get a new helmet design inspiration from the racing event. A helmet that has the name or colors of your favorite racer will look cool and make you stand out in the crowd.
1.3 Lightning Bolt Helmet
A relatively simple design, a lightning bolt against a darker base provides a modern and stylish look. The most popular color combination for this design is black and gold. You can create contrasting background colors to help make your helmet stand out in a crowd.
1.4 Harley Davidson Helmet
Most American motorcyclists love Harley Davidson motorcycles. These iconic bikes rule the hearts of riders and the streets of America. Get a helmet sporting Harley Davidson colors, logo, initials and motto. You can also get the number one painted on one side of the helmet and the American flag with the initials “HD” on the other side.
1.5 Tribal Skull Helmet
If you belong to a tribe and want to display your cultural roots, get a tribal symbol or a skull wearing a tribal hat with feathers painted on your helmet. This design is only for individuals with tribal backgrounds and are restricted to “outsiders.”
1.6 Mandala Art Pattern Helmet
A black and white mandala pattern is a minimalistic yet unique helmet design. Riders who have to wear DOT-approved helmets cannot make drastic customizations, but it is possible to add a small mandala design.
1.7 Letter, Symbol, or Slogan Helmet
Letters, symbols, and witty slogans look best on custom half helmets. You can have your favorite catchphrase, last name, initials, or date of birth printed on the sides.
1.8 Smiley Face Helmet
Which emoji do you use most frequently when replying to text messages? A helmet with a smiley face is a popular design that gives off positive vibes.
1.9 Spiderman Helmet
The Spiderman design includes different colored webs, including red cobwebs with a silver silver base or black cobwebs with a golden base. You can also get a spider and cobweb design with a darker theme.
1.10 Floral Patterns Helmet
Female riders who want to show their feminine side can get floral patterns in bright colors or in white with a black base. Female riders with rose tattoos can get the same design painted on their helmets.
1.11 Flaming Skull Helmet
Blue flames surrounding a black skull create an eye-catching image.
1.12 Motorcycle Club Insignia Helmet
If you are a member of a motorcycle club like the Harley Owners Group, Buffalo Soldier, or Rainbow Motorcycle Club, you can get the club insignia, colors, or initials painted on your helmet. Your helmet will match your tattoos and biker patches while showing your dedication to the club. Do not get a motorcycle club insignia painted on your helmet if you are not a member of the club.
1.13 Multi-Color Paint Helmet
Bright swirling color, rainbows, and abstract art on your helmet can be a reflection of your creative mind.
1.14 Cartoon Character Helmet
Do you enjoy comics, anime, and cartoons? Get your favorite cartoon character painted on your helmet. You can also get your a unique cartoon avatar painted on your helmet. Moreover, with AI tools, you can have an image of yourself sprayed on your safety gear.
1.15 Sports Theme Helmet
Getting an image related to your favorite sport painted on your helmet is also an option. A full helmet can be painted to resemble a soccer ball, basketball, baseball, etc.
1.16 Graffiti Art Helmet
From simple words to elaborate paintings, you can add graffiti art designs to your helmet. Create the design concept using MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, or Corel Draw, then send it to your painter for suggestions. You can also use Canva to create a street-style design to paint onto your helmet.
1.17 Motorcycle Parts Helmet
Having images of motorcycle parts painted on the helmet are sensible design. From motorcycle engines to wheels on fire, there are several classic designs on Pinterest you can take inspiration from.
1.18 Angel Wings Helmet
Getting large white and gold angel wings painted on the back of a solid black helmet offers a creative design, especially for female riders.
1.19 World Map/Atlas Helmet
A round helmet with a world map will display your love for traveling and exploration. If you are a globetrotter who loves to ride a two-wheeler, this design is for you.
1.20 Scenic Landscape Helmet
Much like a world map design, you can get a scenic landscape painted on your helmet. For this design, you can take inspiration from your favorite motorcycle camping site, scenic road, or notable destination.
2. Where to Buy Custom Helmets
You can order custom motorcycle helmets online from different custom paint and design shops. You should be able to find shops with a helmet in your size and that fits within your budget. Most custom paint shops have ¾ motorcycle helmets, half helmets, and full helmets from Veratio Designs, AirGraffix, and Censport Graphics. You can also search for local custom paint shops in your area. A motorcycle mechanic may be able to help you find a custom motorcycle helmet paint shop that can help create your design concept.
3. How Much Does a Custom Helmet Cost
On average, a custom motorcycle helmet can cost between $1,000-$3,500. However, the cost of a custom motorcycle helmets can change depending on several factors, including:
3.1 Helmet Size
A full motorcycle helmet is usually more expensive to paint than a half or ¾ helmet due to having a larger surface area. However, some shops charge extra for custom ¾ motorcycle helmets since they can be more difficult to paint.
3.2 Hourly Rate
Most painters charge an hour rate. If it takes five hours to complete your helmet and the painter charges $30 per hour, then the total cost will be around $1,500. It is worth mentioning that the cost of the helmet is not included.
3.3 Custom Design
Depending on the complexity of your custom design, it can affect the cost of the paint job. If you choose a simple design featuring one or two colors, then it will be less expensive. Custom designs with more complexity, detail, colors, and a matte/gloss finish will increase the cost.
4. How to Customize Your Motorcycle Helmet
If you cannot afford to hire someone to apply a custom helmet design, you should consider painting your helmet yourself. Spray and acrylic paints for carbon fiber are readily available on the market, costing between $15-$100.
4.1 Tools Required
- Spray Paint - (Dupli Color Carbon Fiber Kit)
- Acrylic Paint (optional)
- Synthetic Paint Brush (flat, round, angled, filbert, fan brush)
- 400, 800 Grit Sandpaper
- Epoxy Primer
- Clear Coat
- Painters Tape
- Pinstripe Tape
- Stand for Helmet
- Paint Respirator Mask
4.2 Step 1: Clean & Sand
Put on your gloves and place the helmet on a stand. Use alcohol wipes to clean off any dirt or dust on the helmet. Next, use 400 grit sandpaper to remove the current paint and rust. Sanding will also help create a smooth surface to make it easier for the primer and paint to stick. You can use dry or wet sanding, just make sure to sand all the edges and corners equally. After sanding the surface using 400 grit sandpaper, use 800 grit sandpaper to finish smoothing the surface.
4.3 Step 2: Apply Primer
Although this step is optional, applying a primer will ensure the better color and make the paint job last longer. Make sure to wear a respirator to avoid inhaling the primer. Apply at least 2-3 thin layers of primer, waiting 15 minutes in between applying coats to allow them to dry. Leave the primer to dry overnight. If the primer is not sticking to the helmet or is peeling off, sand the helmet once again with 800 grit sandpaper before applying a primer coat again.
4.4 Step 3: Apply Base or Color Coat
Apply the base or color coat evenly covering the entire surface. Make sure the base and color coats are smooth; otherwise, the paint will swell, crack, or peel off. If you see blisters or bubbles in the base coat, sand the paint and then re-apply a lighter coat. Apply at least three coats and wait for 15 minutes in between applying coats. Leave the paint to dry for 12-24 hours before performing the next step.
4.5 Step 4: Apply Clear Coat
The clear coat can have a matte or glossy finish to ensure the custom paint job is long-lasting. Apply 2-3 thin clear coat layers and leave them to dry for 6-12 hours.
4.6 Step 5: Acrylic Art
An optional step if you want to draw lines, patterns, or symbols on your helmet. Apply tape or stickers on the helmet before applying a primer, a base coat, a clear coat, and the paint. After applying the paint, remove the tape or sticker to expose the unpainted areas. Apply acrylic paint with a paint brush or spray can to complete your DIY custom helmet.
5. Rules on Customizing Motorcycle Helmets
Depending on the state you live in, it may be illegal to paint or customize your motorcycle helmet. Many U.S. states require you to wear only DOT-certified helmets. Always check the road laws in your home state and any state you are traveling to before buying a custom motorcycle helmet.
Painting over the DOT stamp is illegal. Also, brightly-colored helmets may distract other riders on the road that can cause a collision. Some paints can damage or weaken carbon fiber motorcycle helmets, making them less effective at protecting the head during an accident. It is best to use cheaper spray and acrylic paints on your helmet to prevent damage to the carbon fiber. Try to avoid painting the helmet frequently to ensure its protective surface does not degrade quickly.
Custom motorcycle helmets are becoming a staple in every motorcyclist's wardrobe. With a number of skilled artists in the United States, you can easily get a custom design painted on your helmet without reducing its effectiveness. Use the designs listed above to create your own concepts and get them printed on your helmet.