Rad­i­cal Vozz hel­met tested

The Vozz RS 1.0 is a crash hel­met like no other. But is it any good?

RiDE (UK) - - Contents -

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

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