Don't rule out a cheaper helmet.

Don’t rule out a cheaper helmet.

A few years ago, after an unexpected off (aren’t they all unexpected?) I needed a new helmet.

Funds were low so so I opted for a Nitro helmet for less than £100. It was a decision I regretted straight away, it was so noisy, uncomfortable and poorly built. I’ve been off bikes for a while so upon my return to two wheels I found myself on the hunt for a new helmet again.

One thing that hadn’t changed was my financial situation so I was looking at a budget helmet again. In the few years I’ve been away from motorcycles, things have changed. A budget helmet used to be a pretty poor relation to the big money race replica lids you see but these days they are so much better.

There are a huge number of budget helmets out there. From as little as £50 you can buy a full face helmet these days and I had no idea how to tell good from bad so I read the reviews and then spoke to the team at GetGeared. They have a big range and talked me through them. It turns out that our heads are all different shapes so some helmets fit some of us better than others. There are lots of helmet retailers out there, don’t be afraid of end of line deals either.

Long story short, I went for a MT Helmets Mugello Vapour in yellow. It’s very yellow which is good, as it might help the half-asleep car drivers see me.

Unboxing was a treat. It’s a world away from my old Nitro. The MT feels plush, well built and feels as if it’s worth a lot more money. It was only £60, reduced from £80 and was purchased online, delivered in a couple of days. It even comes with a helmet bag… behave.

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It’s a four-star helmet which means in the Sharpe test (industry standard helmet tests, a bit line NCAP for cars) it did well.

If this is what budget helmets are like, manufacturers at the top end of the market should look out. My new lid fits really well, is comfortable and has useful features like the breath deflector which sits in front of your nose and stops the visor misting up, and the chin curtain, a stretchy band around the bottom of the helmet that stops the wind getting in, really help. It’s got a removable, washable liner and a really useful quick release buckle. Both are welcome features. Trying to undo a sweaty lid with a gloved hand is a pain.

There are loads of features but I won’t bore you. Put simply I’ve done hours and hours in it now and it’s great. I’ve done a race school in a single seat race car, a motorcycle track day and many, many road miles in rain, sun, more sun, so much sun and wind. No complaints at all, it’s proved to be an excellent buy, quiet, comfortable, easy to wear. I can’t believe you can buy a helmet like this for so little money.

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Give the team at GetGeared a shout or better still call in and try a few helmets on, they have hundreds.


About the author: Mark Turner
Journo @ Blacktopmedia & freelance for various digital & print publications & some corporate mags. Big petrol head, particularly bikes!