The bill, advanced by two committees, was voted down 19 to 15 after several senators cited data showing more and worse head injuries for riders who crash without helmets with injuries others end up paying for.
It would allow riders over 21 to decide about helmets. It was amended to apply only to those who had a motorcycle license at least five years or passed a safety program and at have least $15,000 of medical insurance.
Sen. Mike Woelfel, a Huntington Democrat, says the bill is "otherwise known as the organ donor act of 2017."
Sen. Patricia Rucker, a Harpers Ferry Republican, says lawmakers should allow people to live their lives and the no-helmet bill is pro-tourism.