In recent years, geek culture has risen from dank, poster-covered basement bedrooms and toy collection-strewn garages to stake its place in mainstream popular culture and even fashion. Everywhere you look, hipsters are wearing t-shirts that say things like “dork,” “dweeb” and “geek.” Nerds, it seems, have never been cooler. And what’s cooler than a nerd on a motorcycle? Why, a nerd on a motorcycle wearing one of these 15 incredibly geeky custom motorcycle helmets, of course.
15. Gollum – Frechette Artwork
This custom Gollum motorcycle helmet by award-winning Maryland-based artist Peter Frechette is pretty special. In fact, one could almost call it… precious. While looking for a unique voice as an artist, Frechette fell in love with airbrushing by chance. Tired of being told how to draw by his Montgomery College of Art and Design lecturers, he happened across an airbrush magazine and didn’t look back. From the eyes to the missing teeth and thinning hair, the level of detail Frechette has achieved with this helmet design is pretty incredible. And to be honest, if we saw it coming down the freeway, we’d stash our rings in our pocketses, pronto, and hit the gas back to Hobbiton.
14. X-Wing Pilot – AirGraffix
“This is Red 5, I’m going in…” The battle-damaged X-wing-pilot motorcycle helmet design pictured is bound to get any Star Wars fan’s heart racing. Instead of simply heading to your local hobby shop to stock up on modeling glue, you’re an elite member of Rogue Squadron on a mission for the Rebel Alliance. The AFX 42A model helmet was airbrushed by Missouri-born artist Lonnie Fourman, who started AirGraffix to combine his “love for motorcycles and anything custom.” Fourman ships his stunning custom helmets all over the world, and according to his website, he’d be “more than happy to start yours today” – as long as you’ve got $649 to spare.
13. Batman – Helmet Dawg
This slick, stylish Dark Knight-inspired custom helmet was created by Tampa, Florida-based company Helmet Dawg. Unlike most of the helmets on this list, the “HD100” isn’t just limited to airbrushing. Starting with a Department Of Transportation (DOT)-approved GMAX GM48S Platinum full-face helmet, the Helmet Dawg team added handmade, superior-quality polymer-based Batman ears, and a tinted visor completes the Caped Crusader look. This motorcycle helmet is available in a range of sizes from the official Helmet Dawg website for $325. So, next time Commissioner Gordon activates the Bat-Signal, Alfred won’t have to worry quite so much.
12. Alien vs. Predator – Frechette Artwork
Imagine seeing this in your rearview mirror. Arnie said it best in original 1987 action sci-fi classic Predator: “You’re one… ugly motherf**ker.” Frechette Artwork’s Peter Frechette really outdid himself with this custom-airbrushed motorcycle helmet design; Stan Winston – the designer of the original Predator – would be proud. Inspired by the Alien vs. Predator franchise, Frechette went all-out, capturing the subtle details and awesomely hideous features that have made the Predators such iconic and celebrated figures. The gaping mouth and piercing eyes will make sure no one messes with you as you cruise the highway to Yautja Prime. Just don’t be surprised if someone asks, “What the hell are you?” in a mock Austrian accent.
11. Spider-Man – Dony Custom
South Korean customizer Dony Custom is way out in front when it comes to style and presentation. Everyone loves a bad boy, and black Spider-Man is way cooler than his boring old red counterpart – unless, perhaps, you’re talking about Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3, because that’s not so cool. Starting with an HJC CS-R1 motorcycle helmet complete with smoke visor, Dony Custom has created a stunning homage to everyone’s favorite neighborhood web slinger that is available in black, red or blue for $432.20 plus shipping costs. Web fluid is sold separately.
10. Homer Simpson – Frechette Artwork
“D’oh!” You’re bound to crave a box of donuts and a six-pack of Duff Beer while wearing this fun Homer Simpson custom motorcycle helmet by Peter Frechette of Frechette Artworks. Once again, Frechette has lovingly recreated one of pop culture’s most beloved characters with an attention to detail that’s quite staggering. The back of the helmet features a mural recreating Homer’s chili-induced trip in classic Simpsons season eight episode “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)” – even the Johnny Cash-voiced Space Coyote is on there. Frechette’s creations are totally unique and made to order, so if you see something you like on his site, get in touch.
9. Optimus Prime – AirGraffix
It was only a matter of time before a Transformer made our list, and who better to get the mechanical ball rolling than fearless Autobots leader Optimus Prime. This slick custom creation is another Lonnie Fourman/AirGraffix design and is available in three individually-priced helmet models from the official AirGraffix website: Z1R Phantom ($749), Icon Alliance ($849) and Shoei Qwest ($1,049). There’s definitely “more than meets the eye” to this stylish, Decepticon-vanquishing motorcycle helmet. Some of Fourman’s other standout geek-inspired designs include Metroid’s Samus Aran, the Joker, the Power Rangers, Family Guy’s Evil Monkey and Sonic the Hedgehog.
8. Stormtrooper – Dony Custom
South Korean company Dony Custom created this classy-looking stormtrooper design using a DOT-certified SparX helmet. As with the rest of the company’s motorcycle helmets, there’s nothing DIY-looking about this polished custom piece. Wearing the helmet, you’ll get to experience what it’s like to be a stormtrooper, because according to Dony Custom, you can only see out of the eyes – so you’ll have to be prepared to sacrifice visibility for style. Additionally, the helmet carries the slightly unsettling warning, “We do not responsibility (sic) about your safety accident on road.” Still, if you’re willing to take the risk, the Dony Custom stormtrooper helmet costs $475.55 plus shipping and is available in a range of sizes.
7. Darth Maul – Frechette Artwork
With its glowing eyes and “what’s-a-toothbrush?” grin, this Darth Maul custom motorcycle helmet is another Peter Frechette creation that’s bound to strike fear into the hearts of your fellow commuters. Let’s face it: nobody’s going to mess with you when they see you coming over the hill wearing this awesome design. Darth Maul didn’t get much big-screen time in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace before he was cut in two by Jedi badass Obi-Wan Kenobi, but with his strong signature look and dual-blade lightsaber, he has become a cult figure and popular Halloween costume choice – and this helmet is bound to please his cult fan base.
6. Leonardo – Austin Airbrush Artworks
Carolyn Smith Salazar of Austin Airbrush Artworks created this radical, battle-worn Leonardo Ninja Turtles helmet for her son, David. Salazar used automotive primer and paints and added a glossy clear-coat finish to complete the look – and don’t worry, the visor has a covering of perforated vinyl. David posted the helmet on image-hosting site Imgur, where it was met with almost universal approval. “You’re going to go on some epic pizza runs,” wrote one commenter. “Nice shellmet,” added another. It’s a striking custom motorcycle helmet made with love, but to be honest, we prefer Raphael. Still, cowabunga…
5. Iron Man – AirGraffix
This stunning, Stark Industries-inflected Iron Man helmet is bound to be popular with geeks and general movie fans alike. Instead of just being a regular Joe, you’re destined to feel like a rich, crime-fighting man of leisure in this stylish custom creation. Like most of the AirGraffix designs, the helmet is available in three individually priced models – Z1R Phantom ($499), Icon Alliance ($599) and Shoei Qwest ($799) – and represents another fun, personality-filled alternative to traditional motorcycle helmet designs. Iron Man is a popular choice with helmet customizers, but this AirGraffix take on the iconic superhero is the most realistic and coolest-looking interpretation we’ve seen.
4. King Leonidas – Frechette Artwork
Based on the fearless King Leonidas from 2007 blockbuster 300, this custom motorcycle helmet is bound to part traffic with it’s “go on, I dare you” grin. If you can put up with people yelling, “This is Sparta!” at you, it’s another classic Peter Frechette helmet design that will show off your fun side and protect your head with style as you ride. It could also double as a last-minute Halloween costume should you rip off your shirt – as long as your body looks like a “condom full of walnuts,” that is. Frechette’s helmets are made to order; all you have to do is contact him with your specifications and he’ll take care of the rest.
3. Boba Fett – AirGraffix
Dead Mandalorian bounty hunter Boba Fett is arguably the coolest character in the entire Star Wars saga. We’re not quite sure what it is that makes him such a geek-worshiped figure. Perhaps it’s a combination of his cold-bloodedness, his rogue status, his untimely demise and his stylish signature look. And as that look includes a pretty iconic helmet, it’s no surprise that he made our list. This slick custom design is another Lonnie Fourman/AirGraffix creation, and Fourman has even painstakingly included telltale signs of Fett’s infamously hard-knock life; the only thing missing is the antenna. The motorcycle helmet is available in three models: the Z1R Phantom ($599), the Icon Alliance ($699) and the Shoei Qwest ($899).
2. Venom – Dony Custom
Venom – a.k.a. Eddie Brock – is among the most celebrated bad dudes in the world of Spider-Man: people love a dark, sharp-toothed villain who can kick whiny Spider-Man’s ass. Fittingly, this design by South Korean company Dony Custom is one of the most badass helmet customizations we’ve seen. Put it on and you’re bound to feel like you’re wrapped up in the Venom Symbiote, speeding along like an adrenaline-fueled bat out of space in touch with your mean side. With his iconic look, Venom is a popular choice for motorcycle helmet customizers, but this incredible Dony Custom design is an alien goo-slathering tongue above the rest.
1. Predator – Nlo Moto
Like the Batman helmet from Helmet Dawg we mentioned earlier, this Predator-inspired creation by Nlo Moto takes motorcycle helmet customization to the next level. Again, this helmet isn’t simply about airbrushing; oh no, there’s much more than that. Named the Dredator 3, the ultra-slick design is sure to please any sci-fi-loving, motorbike-riding dude interested in fashionable accessories. Based on a DOT-certified Nolan Grex helmet, the Dredator 3 costs $780 from the official Nlo Moto site, and optional extras include a “laser-controlled aimer,” “carbon dreadlock spearheads” and “canines.” So you know you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck.