REVIEW: Harley-Davidson Skyline Helmet

The first one made specifically for women

By Pamela Collins and Genevieve Schmitt

Though long hair cascading out of a motorcycle helmet, blowing in the breeze, looks sexy and free, the wearers of the mane can tell you its often downright painful as the wind whips their locks and pummels their face. But whats a girl to do? Most motorcycle helmets “if they fit well” dont offer the extra space in which to stuff all that hair.

Pam wearing the Skyline. The side view shows the curvy, swooping lines on the side of the helmet which give this simple black helmet some flair and dimension.

Thats just one of the solutions offered up by Harley-Davidsons new Skyline Helmet, the first helmet designed specifically for women. According to Harley, while meeting with women around the country company reps heard a lot of similar complaints regarding helmets. According to Matt Thompson, Harley-Davidson Category Manager of Riding Gear, Leathers and Outerwear, “Women told us they often have to fit the helmet over more hair than a man which can leave the helmet sitting too high on the head resulting in a poor fit. We determined that a womans helmet needs to be more adjustable both front-to-back and side-to-side.” So Harley developed the Skyline Helmet to solve many of those issues. Does it? WRN Editor Genevieve Schmitt and I each reviewed the Skyline with her comments in quotes.

Lets start with the helmets finer points – the features that set it apart from the rest. The shell and liner are 10 mm deeper than standard helmet dimensions, so its supposed to fit more comfortably on a womens forehead and back of her head. Genevieve says, “I didnt really notice any difference compared to other helmets, although the helmet is comfortable. The deeper shell may satisfy those women who complain that helmets often sit too high on their head making them look like an alien or what I call, a Q-Tip head. You can see by the photos that the helmet is sitting on each of our heads where its supposed to and I dont think we look like Q-Tip heads – so in that respect, the deeper shell may be the reason. The shell is smaller than the other 3/4 helmets I wear, namely my favorite, the Arai SZ/Ram III. It was nice to not feel like Im wearing this big bowling ball on my head. The Skyline shell size feels more like a childs size helmet, I think.”

Genevieve tested the Skyline on her way to and from Sturgis riding 1000 miles.

The Skyline Helmet offers interchangeable inner liner side panels to keep the helmet from being too loose on the sides. Sold separately from the helmet, they slide and snap into the liner in place of the side panels that come with the helmet. Also sold separately are extra pieces of foam to further customize the helmets fit. Genevieve says, “I ordered a size small, the size I normally wear, and it fit me fine. I wouldnt need the extra foam pieces, but its nice to know theyre available.”

A new anti-static liner helps control fly-away hair while a “ponytail notch” cut-out in the back of the helmet allows extra room for that extra gathering of hair. Genevieve says, “I wore the helmet for five straight riding days and never once experienced static fly-away hair and I was riding in the dry western climate. Did I experience helmet hair? Sure I did not too many ways around that, but it wasnt sticking straight out from static when I removed the helmet.”

You can see the ponytail notch at the back of the inside of the helmet.

The Skyline helmet was introduced several months ago in half and 3/4 helmet styles. Just out on the market is a full face version of the Skyline with interchangeable faceshield in case you want to replace the clear one with a tinted one. It features the same deeper shell and features as the other two helmets. The full face also has chin and forehead vents. It retails for $210.

The half-shell version.
Three-quarter-length style. Styling is simple just the Harley logo appears on the front.

Genevieve and I opted to test the 3/4-length style with a clear face shield (with excellent optical quality). This helmet does fit more snugly than other size small helmets Ive used. I have short hair at the moment so I cant attest to the ease of piling hair underneath or the comfort afforded by the ponytail notch, but Genevieve tested the ponytail notch and says, “I didnt have to push the ponytail holder down from the nape of my neck to avoid that annoying bump in the back like I normally do when wearing a 3/4 helmet, because the “notch” allows for the extra bulk the ponytail holder creates so in that respect, the notch is helpful.”

WRN Editor Genevieve Schmitt demonstrates wearing the Skyline with her ponytail. A notch in the padding allows for that extra clump of hair.

The Skyline is available in just one color gloss black. Genevieve concludes, “This is a no-frills helmet made privately for Harley by helmet manufacturer KBC. There are no vents on the 3/4 or half shell and styling is simple. I think Harley is testing the concept of a women-only helmet this year and if women buy into it, well see more color options in the future. For now there is the 3/4 Bling Skyline (thats what its called) featuring a crystal-laden Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo on the front.”

Both helmets come in a wide range of sizes 2XS to 2XL another plus for women with very small heads. The half helmet retails for $175 while the three-quarter length sells for $195. Stop by your local Harley dealer or visit

One last thought from Genevieve: “Unlike some of Harleys other helmets which are Snell approved (the highest crash test rating a helmet can have), the Skyline does not bear the Snell rating. To that end, I think these helmets are a bit pricey. Ive worn and tested many helmets. I would put the Skylines quality in the budget category – easy to wear and comfortable without a lot of bells and whistles. The higher price must be because it has features that make this a womens helmet, the deeper shell, anti-static liner, etc.”

13 thoughts on REVIEW: Harley-Davidson Skyline Helmet

  1. I bought a new Skyline helmet at the Harley dealer and two months later the pivot cam on the face shield popped off while riding and I lost the black plastic pivot piece that holds the face shield on. It’s been two months and Harley has been no help. They say they can’t find parts for it I should just buy a new helmet. Any ideas out there?

  2. I purchased the full face Skyline helmet. Had problems with the face shield popping off. I had taken it back several times. She even made a note on my account. The only help I could get was the girl at the Harley dealer where I bought it would put it back on. This is very unsafe as I ride my own bike and you cannot ride and hold the side of your helmet. The last straw was when it popped off on Highway 1 by the coast. There are no spots to pull over. The last time it was then 1 month past the date of purchase. I was told that the only thing they could do was to sell me a new one. So Harley nor the maker of Skyline stands behind the product. Little costly for a years use. Will not buy another one.

  3. I bought the Skyline helmet and it fit perfectly at the dealership. It had the right amount of movement and felt very comfortable. However, after an hour of riding, it presses into my forehead and gives me a nasty headache. I am very disappointed in this helmet and upset at having to pay Cdn $300 for something I probably cannot wear.

  4. I just started riding this past year at 61 years of age and have extremley fine hair. I use a pillow with a polyester-satin pillowcase to sleep on to keep my hair from breaking. So, I was wondering why couldn't these manufacturers use this polyester-satin as a lining in there womens helmets also. Not only would it keep your hair from breaking it would also keep it looking fairly decent when you took off the helmet.

    1. Be sure to check our review of the Style Save Scarf – which is basically a satin lining. It's in this same section.

  5. I just bought an HJC AC12 full face helmet this season, and I really like it. The only drawback is the level of wind noise, which is probably due to its excellent ventilation system. Because of the ventilation, I've found this helmet to be just as comfortable as any 1/2 or 3/4 helmet I've worn in the summer heat.

    Harley-Davidson helmets have never really interested me because they're over-priced. Also, I don't like black helmets; they're too hot in the warm weather. Even more importantly, black is not the best color for being seen, which equals being safe!

  6. I would like to say instead of going on eBay, support your local motorcycle dealers. They depend on you to buy all your motorcycle accessories from them. We need to support our local economy!

  7. I tried the new Harley helmet for women at the International Cycle Show in Rosemont when it first came out. I was excited to try it, but was not at all impressed. Not only did I feel the fit was uncomfortable but I found it to be more expensive then I was willing to pay.

  8. Go onto eBay and find yourself a helmet. I paid $16.95 and $11 shipping, and have a DOT approved helmet that is comfortable and safe. Go to a store, find what size fits you best, and then eBay can take care of you from there. For a 1/2 helmet that I have, it is very comfortable, and you could put your ponytail back there with no problem. Besides, most women I see with real long hair, braid it in the back when riding.

    Harley-Davidson charges entirely too much money for anything they sell. You can get aftermarket things for a quarter of what H-D sells something for.

  9. I have to agree with Suzy. I started riding many years ago, way before products were geared towards women, and I've never had a problem with anything: from boots to jeans, and shirts/jackets to helmets. In fact, I purchase men's riding jeans most of the time because the women's ones don't fit as good (plus they're cheaper).

    Am I gonna pay more just because it's geared for women? Heck no. Even if it's the same price, I probably ain't even gonna try it on. I think they're trying to cash in on an expanding riding market of women. Although sometimes this isn't bad thing, in this case, it reeks of pure American greed.

    While I'm all for Harley bikes and T-shirts, I don't find this push towards women-only merchandise at all attractive. Let the aftermarket take care of this small nitch, and let Harley pay attention to the bikes.

  10. I just purchased a EXO 100 series helmet by Scorpion — it's a half shell with a retractable face shield. I used it for the first time this weekend and it fit very well and very comfortably over my thick head of hair. And, the price was right.

  11. I tried on the Skyline helmet and found that it just wasn't comfortable. Perhaps I have a big head, but I've never had a problem with other Harley brand helmets geared toward women (I currently wear the Diva 3/4 helmet).

    I have very long, thick hair, and I've also not had a problem with a ponytail in the Diva 3/4 helmet when wearing the ponytail at the nape of my neck. I also wonder about the price of this helmet – I paid $150 for my Diva 3/4 and your article says that this one will sell for almost $200.

    While I applaud Harley's efforts to market women-specific gear, it tweaks me when they seem to be putting a premium price on it just because they can. I would encourage all women to try a variety of helmets before settling on one. There are also some non-Harley brand helmets that are great.

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