|If you looked at the picture on the left and surmised that I am utterly lacking in fashion sense then you surmised correctly. Around the office I manage to avoid most fashion faux pas like black socks with tennis shoes, but out on the trails I firmly believe that form follows function. Out in the boonies I am not looking to impress chicks; I just want comfort and protection.
Let’s take my way-cool, helmet, for instance. This plain, white, open-faced helmet was selected for comfort, not for looks. I liked this uncomplicated and unadorned helmet because it was cool (from a temperature standpoint, obviously). Since it was an open faced model it was light, well ventilated and I didn’t have to take it off to get a drink of water.
Well, I got called Ponch or Marvin the Martian one too many times so I went in search of a new helmet. If you are too young to know who Ponch is just Google “CHiPs and Erik Estrada”, then you’ll understand.
The helm that replaced my beloved brain bucket had a lot to live up to. It would need to be comfortable, lightweight, well ventilated and yes, I conceded, it would need to look cool too. It would, quite simply, have to be one of the finest helmets money could buy to convince me to ditch the top to my Marvin the Martian costume. Knowing that I needed a great helmet, I knew that I needed to start by looking at Shoei’s off-road lineup. Having grown up with Shoei’s on-road motorcycle products I suspected that their off-road products would live up to the same high standards. I am pleased to say that the search ended with the Shoei V-Moto.
As soon as I pulled the V-Moto out of the box I could tell that it was a well made helmet. The vents opened and closed with a solid precision and felt like they would last the life of the helmet. The rubberized strips that cover all of the edges fit well and don’t leave gaps that collect mud and dirt. The slick graphics are protected by a thick clear-coat to deter branches and rocks from giving it additional and unwanted pin striping.
Inside the V-Moto, all of the pads are easily removable for cleaning. They are a little clumsy to reinstall, but once you have installed them a couple of times, you can do it pretty quickly.
The V-Moto is an exceptionally comfortable helmet. The padding is thick and well placed and it fits snugly in all the right places. One problem I have with some helmets is that after a long day of riding the top of my forehead gets rubbed raw by the thin padding at the top. Not so in the V-Moto. The snug cheek pads keep the helmet from moving around while riding and, as a result, my forehead is chafe free.
One of my biggest concerns about switching to a full face helmet was ventilation. My old helmet lacked vents in the back since, well, there was a gaping hole up front. The V-Moto didn’t disappoint here either. Riding around with all four vents open on the V-Moto was like riding with an air-conditioner on your melon. As soon as you start to move and air begins its journey through the V-Moto, the helmet becomes instantly cooler. I easily rode all day in 90 degree weather with a black Shoei and didn’t need a single “helmet break”.
Another thoughtful touch on the V-Moto is the easy to reach visor adjustment screw. Rather than burying this screw under the visor where it is impossible to reach with gloved fingers, Shoei had the foresight to move this screw to the top rear of the visor so you can adjust it with gloved hands while riding. Nice touch.
So what’s not to like about the V-Moto? Well, it’s not cheap. Solid colored helmets start at $325 while the Pulse and Holeshot lineup will set you back about $425. But hey, if you have a cheap head, then buy a cheap helmet. If you want this level of comfort, engineering and safety you are going to have to pony up the dough.
The V-Moto is an easy helmet to like. It is lightweight, comfortable, well designed and yes, it looks cool. So cool in fact, that the wise-cracks about my fashion sense have become less frequent, chicks now dig me and I even saved a bunch of money on my car insurance. OK, well the second two aren’t true but the first one is.
If you are on the market for a helmet, you should take a look at the V-Moto. You won’t be disappointed.