A $150 helmet that is DOT and Snell certified will protect you as well as a $600 helmet. There are several good helmets out there that you don't have to give an arm and a leg for. One is the KBC VR-1. It is both Snell and DOT certified, is light, well ventilated and cost around $150. My favortite is the Bell M4. It runs around $170. If you decide to get one of these you might want to be sure you chin doesn't touch the face bar.