A versatile helmet for commuting
A modular helmet for our photographer, crash-tested gloves, and a high-tech HUD.
THE FIRST TIME I squeezed a motorcycle helmet over my noggin I was suddenly overcome by claustrophobia. Cheek pads pushing in tightly, chin guard only an inch from my mouth, the face shield down, narrowing my view of the world. I wanted that thing off ASAP. So when it came time to buy a helmet I went modular, thinking the flip-front would give me more room to breathe and the ability to chat with fellow riders at stops. Fast-forward a dozen years and modular helmets like the Klim TK1200 Karbon Modular Helmet are even more desirable.
As the resident photographer at Motorcyclist, I’ve discovered flip-face helmets are super handy for shooting photos from a bike, which is where the Klim has proven itself especially useful. Made of carbon fiber, Klim also claims this helmet is lighter than any other helmet in the modular category. At 3.26 pounds, the versatile Karbon weighs up among full-face helmets, so even after a lengthy freeway commute aboard a naked bike my neck doesn’t ache from fighting a heavy lid. Wind noise is reasonable, especially for a modular.
Klim claims an intermediate oval fit, which suits my skull just fine without detectable hot spots or gaps in the padding. Visibility out the face shield scores well for peripheral vision, but top-to-bottom visibility could be better. Here it appears Klim made an appreciated compromise between visibility and chin protection.
Equipped with a quick-release “micro-metric” buckle, users set the length of the chin strap of the TK1200 and the buckle offers eight teeth to make micro adjustments from there. For better or worse, this means no D-rings to deal with. The system is convenient until you realize there’s nothing to hook on an under-seat helmet lock.
At $600, the TK1200 Karbon is priced in line with the top of the modular market, a price appropriate for its high-quality fit and finish and convenience on and off the bike. I’ve long since overcome my helmet claustrophobia, but the TK1200 is so comfortable and versatile that it has quickly become my go-to helmet for everyday riding.
A versatile helmet that’s lightweight, comfortable, and relatively quiet. A great buy if you have the cash.