The American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) was the place to be for those looking to see the very latest in motorcycle helmets. We saw all the big hitters as well as a lot of smaller brands and a few that are just cracking the North American market, all using the biggest industry show in North America to display their very latest.
Here are six new helmets that caught our attention at AIMExpo 2015!
1. 2016 Bell Pro Star
Bell introduced its new Star range at AIMExpo 2015. The company has taken the Flex Impact Liner from its off-road line and put it into its flagship street/race helmet, the Pro Star. This liner uses three different protective materials designed to address low, mid and high-speed impacts as well as rotational impact. A special carbon material is used on the outer shell for light weight and strength, while six EPS liners and five shell sizes ensures fit and performance. Bell claims it’s the most comprehensive level of protection the company has ever offered.
The new Panovision viewport offers increased peripheral and lateral visibility, making shoulder checks easier and increasing vision in a tucked race position.
The Pro Star is the top-of-the-line street/race helmet from Bell and is accompanied by the Race Star and Star in the company’s 2016 motorcycle lineup. Pricing starts at $1,199 USD. Visit www.bellhelmets.com for more.
2. Premier Helmets Vintage
You may not have heard of Premier Helmets, but the Italian brand that was started in California in 1956 is breaking back into the North American market. What caught our attention at AIMExpo was the Vintage helmet. A classic, no-frills open-face retro lid, what makes the Vintage so neat is the huge array of beautiful graphics available. The Vintage comes in 34 different styles if you can believe that, including higher-end carbon fibre models and several graphic styles that we thought were custom-painted. The designs are hip and trendy, right on the mark with the current retro moto trend.
Premier takes pride in offering a protective product, and all helmets are ECE 22.05 approved. The company is still in the early phase of breaking back into the NA market, so pricing and distribution info is yet to be determined.
3. Schuberth E1 Adventure
German helmet maker Schuberth introduced the industry and the public to the highly-anticipated E1 Adventure helmet at the AIMExpo, the company’s first dual sport/enduro-specific helmet offering. What sets it apart from most adventure helmets is the fact that it’s a modular, flip-up helmet, utilizing Schuberth’s success in modular lids from its street range.
Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics were a priority when designing the new E1. The peak visor is fully articulating and can be set to three different positions, an internal sun visor allows the rider to further customize the amount of sunlight coming in, and the closable off-road-inspired chin vent features a removable filter. A built-in antenna will connect to Schuberth’s SRC-Pro Bluetooth communication collar system.
Schuberth has never been known for fancy graphics or designs, but the shell (which comes in two sizes) is available in five solid colours and five graphic styles that aren’t flashy but are at least tasteful.
Schuberth expects helmets to be available in early spring of 2016, with an MSRP starting at $829 USD.
4. Arai Corsair-X
Arai isn’t shy about claiming that the Corsair-X is the most advanced helmet the company has ever produced. The Japanese company, which started making helmets in 1949, has put the best of everything into the race-focused Corsair-X. Updates start with a new composite shell that’s smoother and features better materials, making this the strongest shell the company has ever produced. Efforts went into focusing on ‘glancing’ – the act of the shell bouncing off a surface at speed – rather than direct impact. In this way the helmet disperses the impact rather than having to absorb it, which decreases force to the head.
A new shield system is easier to use and better protects the temple areas by allowing Arai to increase the shell size. New ducting is said to increase airflow by 11 percent. Graphic options are slick including race-replica Pedrosa, Hayden and Freddie Spencer models.
Protection, thy name is Arai. Prices on the Corsair-X range from $996-$1,169 CAD.
5. Sena Smart Helmet
Sena Technologies, known for its Bluetooth communication gear for motorcycling and extreme sports (helmet communication systems and action cameras are their bread and butter), introduced its first helmet at AIMExpo. And true to the company’s strength, this ain’t no ordinary helmet.
Sena has designed an Intelligent Noise Control system within its helmet that uses a pair of muff-style headphones to block out ambient sound for a quieter ride on the road. The company claims that sounds below 100 dB are quelled significantly, while important noises like horns and sirens are still audible. Listen to your music and receive phone calls through the built-in speakers, and if you need to hear your external surroundings, an ambient button allows you to do just that.
Sena farmed out the building of the helmet itself (nobody would tell us who built it), but of particular note is that the carbon fibre shell is standard. The design looks slick. Sena expects the Smart Helmet to be available for purchase in early 2016. Pricing has yet to be announced.
6. 6D Helmets ATS-1
6D is bringing its one-of-a-kind shock absorber helmet technology from the off-road world over to the street side of things with the new ATS-1. Three years in the making, the ATS-1 is highlighted by 6D’s ODS system (Omni-Directional Suspension), which uses several isolation dampeners that sit between two EPS liners (see cutaway of helmet below). The two layers can compress while the dampeners act as a ‘suspension’ between them to manage and disperse energy on impact.
The ATS-1 is DOT and ECE 22.5 certified, the shell is made up of ‘aerospace carbon’ according to 6D, and the company paid particular attention to ventilation and aerodynamics in building its first street-focused helmet. Pricing starts at $895 USD and helmets are expected to ship to dealers in March.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 00:46 Published in Products