Radical Vozz helmet tested
The Vozz RS 1.0 is a crash helmet like no other. But is it any good?
VOZZ RS 1.0
Cost: £595 Where from? www.vozz.co.uk What is it? A hinged, rear-entry crash helmet that locks around a rider’s head, doing away with the traditional chinstrap.
What am I looking at?
The Vozz RS 1.0 — a crash helmet you put on and take off in a completely new way. Instead of pulling it down over the top of your head and securing it underneath with a chinstrap, the Vozz hinges open at the top and clamps around your head, the two sides latching together just behind your ears. This is not a prototype or concept — it’s a real, road-legal lid that’s on sale now.
What’s the point?
Vozz claims its design has several advantages. On a practical level, glasses-wearers can put the lid on and take it off without having to remove their specs. The curved chinbar and closer fitting around the neck claims to improve aerodynamics. And pushing your face into the helmet means your ears can’t ever get folded over on themselves.
Then there’s the safety aspect. Vozz say the smaller neck opening reduces the chance of the helmet coming off in a crash. But most intriguingly, the hinged design offers paramedics the ability to unscrew the front half of the helmet and remove it, safely gaining access to a patient’s face and airways — unlike with a conventional lid, where there’s the concern that removing it may worsen (or cause) a neck injury.
Where has it come from?
It was invented by Australian skydiver Johnny Vozzo (hence the name) and has been on sale in its home country for two years. It now has a UK importer and distributor and, the firm hopes, a growing number of dealers here too.
What are its features?
The Vozz is made in two halves. The rear section is ABS plastic while the front is a three-part composite (fibreglass, carbon fibre and Kevlar). It comes in eight colours, with six sizes (S-XXL) using three shell sizes. Once you’ve got your correct fit, there’s also an adjustable rubber chincup inside to ensure it’s held on securely.
The Vozz meets ECE 22.05, the European standard for crash-helmet legality. It hasn’t yet been Sharp-tested in the UK, nor has it received an ACU Gold sticker (meaning trackday firms may not allow it). Vozz’s UK distributor say it has plans for both.
The Vozz has a simple and effective quick-release visor-change system, with a dark-tint visor a £40 optional extra. The standard clear visor in the box has an anti-fog treatment but there’s no compatible Pinlock insert — Vozz says it is working on a Pinlock visor but doesn’t have a release date. The curved chinbar means if you want to fit a Bluetooth unit, you’ll need to attach it using a plastic mounting clip (included in the box).
How does it feel?
Surprisingly normal. The only unusual feeling is a snugness around the chin — the chincup needs to be a tight fit as it helps hold the lid in place on your head. It’s something you notice more if you try to talk or chew gum while you ride or squeeze a scruffy beard in the chincup. The fit, padding and non-removable lining all feel fine, though despite Vozz’s claims, wind noise is on the average to slightly noisy side of things. This Large size feels hefty too, weighing 1740g.
The Vozz has fantastic visibility, with an enormous visor aperture giving a great field of vision — especially of the area down towards your bike’s clocks. Venting has proved okay so far and misting hasn’t been a problem, though we’ve not yet seen how it copes with challenging wintery conditions.
Where can I try one?
Vozz hopes to have a network of 10 dealers by early 2018. Until then, if you want to try an RS 1.0 you’ll need to head along to an event (including Motorcycle Live) listed on www.vozz.co.uk.
Huge visor aperture gives superb vision
The Vozz’s radical design is sure to ‘split’ opinion… QR codes link to emergency removal video on Vozz’s website The Vozz is secured by the tight neck aperture and chincup, so no strap Substantial catches on either side ensure the two halves are secured