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FOCUS – Helmet Suppliers Reveal New Models, Updates

December 20, 2004
Filed under Features

RAI
Arai’s 2005 helmet line features 10 street and off-road models harboring 52 graphics and colors.
At the top of the line, Arai’s RX-7 Corsair has 10 new racer graphics, including a new Colin Edwards in three different colors, a new Nicky Hayden Limited Edition, new Nakano-2 in Kawasaki Green to match his MotoGP bike, a Noriyuki Haga Aztec, and a Garry McCoy Corsa in Ducati colors.
The Arai Quantum-2 model comes in a new Twisted graphic in three different colors, as well as a distinctive new Frost color treatment in Black, Silver, and Grey, and two Retro designs. Arai’s Astral-X model also offers the three Frost colors along with a new Wing graphic and three colors in a new Thiery Van Den Bosch design for the World Supermoto champion.
Two new Jay Springsteen Springer colors – Red and Blue – highlight the 2005 Arai Signet-GTR model. (The “R” designation represents the current Signet’s fully-removable liner.) The unique XD crossover street/off-road model adds the Bosch replicas along with a Motard Black and Motard Silver.
For Arai’s three open-face street helmets, the limited SZ-Ram II has the three Frost colors, an Aluminum Silver and Aluminum Grey. The flip-shield SZ/m adds three Forte graphics and colors and a Retro Black. And the traditional Classic/m adds new touring colors.
Off road, the one-piece VX-Pro model adds a Narita Camo Silver and a Camo Orange to its five existing Kevin Windham-2 colors, while the two-piece Arai MXC-Pro dirt model gets a new Barbed Wire graphic in five different colors.
Arai helmets are distributed by J&D Walter, Sammy Tanner, Tucker Rocky and Western Powersports in the U.S.; and Full Bore and Steen Hansen in Canada. Or contact Arai’s North American corporate office at: Arai Helmet Americas, Inc., P.O. Box 9485, Daytona FL 32120-9485.

SHOEI
Shoei currently offers four full-face road helmet types, two off-road types, an open-face, a cruiser style, and a modular. For 2005, the company has big plans for its already broad line-up.
Shoei says the TZ-R, retail priced from $289.99 to $305.99, is the most affordable model it offers.
Outfitted with a spoiler to optimize aerodynamics, the TZ-R is available in three shell sizes and four corresponding sizes of twin-layer EPS; comes with interior cheek pads and chinstrap covers that are removable, washable and replaceable; and utilizes the 100% UV-proof CX-1V shield, which is now wider to increase peripheral vision. It also features the Shoei QRBP quick release system, which holds the shield closed with the simple turn of a pre-set lever.
The TZ-R is available in eight solid colors, including six metallics.
Shoei’s top-of-the-line X-Eleven, available in sizes XS-XXL, will come in eight solid colors ($559.99-$571.99) as well as new Norick 5, Vermeulen 2, Byrne and Bostrom replicas ($659.99).
Another full-face, the Z-II, comes in RYU and Strada designs as well as nine solid colors. Available in sizes XS-XXL, the RYU and Strada cost $519.99 and the solids cost between $422.99 and $438.99.
The RF-1000 full-face is available in four designs – the Buckmaster, Diabolic 2, Badge and Nerve – and 11 solid colors. Sized XXS-XXL, the patterned versions retail for between $452.99 and $489.99, the solids sell for $349.99 to $366.99.
Shoei helmets are available exclusively from Helmet House, which has warehouses in Calabasas Hills, Calif. and Memphis, Tenn. For more information about the Shoei product line-up, call Helmet House, 800/421-7247, or visit www.helmethouse.com

HJC
HJC has specialized in manufacturing motorcycle helmets exclusively since 1971. With a stated goal of providing quality product at a reasonable price, HJC is now one of the largest manufacturers specializing in motorcycle helmets in the world, with product distributed worldwide in over 50 countries.
HJC set a company milestone in 2004 by offering the largest new graphic introduction in it’s history with the introduction of 14 new graphics, including the unique CL-14 “Graphite” series and the Flat Chromium AC-X2.
While HJC’s 2005 model line hasn’t been revealed, the current line-up includes 12 models of open face street helmet, 23 full-face models, and 17 off-road models, including four designed specifically for youth.
The Symax is HJC’s newest helmet. Featuring a modular design, the Fiberglass shell is combined with an adjustable polycarbonate chinbar; the DuPont CoolMax interior is removable and washable; and the adjustable, tool-less shield system is available with multiple shield options including RST colored shields. Available in sizes XS to 2XL. M.S.R.P.: Metalics, $249.99; Solids, $239.99 ( XXL price is $5.00 higher).
In the U.S., HJC distributes through Castle Sales of Green Bay, Wis.; Helmet House of Calabasas Hills, Calif. And Memphis, Tenn.; and Sullivans of St. Hanson, Mass., Bessemer, Ala. and Sparks, Nev. In Canada, it works with Parts Canada.

FULMER
Fulmer sold its first helmet is 1969. Now celebrating its 35th year, the company offers four full-face helmet models, nine open face models, and four off-road models. The AFC 1 is the company’s sole Youth helmet. Three of the four full-face models feature quick-release shields – the fourth, the AFM Modus, is a modular unit.
For more information, call Fulmer headquarters in Memphis, Tenn., 800/489-2300.

SIMPSON
A company built on vehicle operator protection, Simpson introduced its first drag racing parachute in 1959; designed a firesuit in 1964; added a Pre-Air Breather Hood to the suit in 1965; introduced its RX-1 automobile racing helmet in 1979; opened a 10,000 sq. ft. factory for shoe production in 1993; nearly doubled capacity at its suit and restraint factory in 1995; opened a 80,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in New Braunfels, Texas, in 1997; and introduced the Child Car Safety Seat in 2000 and Platinum Series Safety Belts in 2002.
Today, in addition to its long list of products for the auto enthusiast, Simpson offers a number of helmets for motorcyclists. Models include the half-sized Shorty, open-faced Cruiser, full-face Euro and off-road Horizon.
The new Horizon MX helmet is made of Carbon, Kevlar and fiberglass. Lightweight and well ventilated with a removable and washable moisture wicking liner, it also features front and top ventilation system with shut-off’s, non-slip goggle grippers, and an adjustable non-glare visor. It’s Snell, DOT, and ECE certified, and offered in white, matte black, Eagle graphic, and Old School Graphic; sizes XS-XXL. MSRP $249.00
For more information, contact Team Simpson Racing, 2415 Amsler St., Torrance, Calif. 90505; 888/872-7848

BELL
The Bell helmet brand returned to its U.S. roots in 2002 after 11 years with the Bieffe group of Italy.
The first Bell helmet, the 500, came from the garage of auto parts supplier Roy Richter in 1954. Two years later he formed the Bell helmet Company. In 1971, Richter sold the company to Wynn Oil Company of Arizona, which owned it until 1980, when William Zimmerman and James Marshall Galbraith purchased the company and renamed it Bell Helmets, Inc.
By 1991, Tom Doran, a company vice president, purchased the motorcycle, snowmobile and law enforcement products and entered into an exclusive manufacturing and licensing agreement with Bieffe. Ten years later, Bieffe sold the rights back to Doran, who transferred them to Bell Sports, Inc., which created a new division called Bell Powersports based in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Today, Bell offers a completely updated line-up of powersports helmets, and says dealers can see margins of up to 50%. The company’s Moto-7R has a lightweight Kevlar-composite shell and integrated roost stop and goggle grabbers, offers a five-year warranty and retails for $255.95 in solids, $275.95 with standard graphics, or Metzger or McGrath replica graphics, $299.95.
For road riders, the Sprint features a lightweight, composite shell; a quick release shield; adjustable flow-through forehead and rear exit ventilation, with chin vent; a removable and washable liner; and a padded chin strap with competition D-ring closure and strap keeper. DOT, Snell M2005 approved, it is available in Blue Multi, Red Multi, Silver Multi, Black Solid and Silver Solid; sizes XS-XXL. MSRP: Black/Red “Wicked”, $159.95; Graphics, $149.95; Solids, $139.95
Bell helmets are distributed dealer-direct. To contact Bell, call 800/456-BELL or visit www.bellpowersports.com.

SCORPION
When Eric Anderson founded Scorpion Sports, Inc. in October 2003, he wanted it to operate in a unique manner with unique product. He decided to distribute dealer-direct, outfitted the lids with the SpeedShift Shield System, and came up with a number of flashy accessories, including a number of mirrored shields, patterned replacement liners, and tinted vent sliders and shield latches.
The company’s first public appearance was at the 2004 Dealer Expo in Indianapolis.
Now, Anderson says, “Sales are currently restricted by the production capacity at the factoy. No bones about it, we can sell every one we get.”
He said the trick is growing production capacity at the same rate as growth in the dealer base. “It’s a balancing act because the last thing we want to do is disappoint a dealer by not being able to fill his or her re-order.”
Scorpion’s under-$200 helmet line features four model numbers, the polycarbonate VX-14 and fiberglass VX-17 off-road helmets, and the polycarbonate EXO-400 and fiberglass EXO-700 full-face road models.
Models come standard with the SpeedShift Shield System (patent pending) which allows tool-less faceshield changes in ten seconds or less; an optically-correct, anti-scratch EverClear no-fog faceshield; KwikWick moisture-wicking removable and washable helmet liner and cheek pads; and adjustable front and rear vents with aero-tuned rear spoiler. As previously mentioned, the liner and cheek pads can be swapped out for a variety of optional colors and patterns.
Snell and/or DOT Certified, Scorpion helmets come in sizes XS- 2X. Prices range from $119.95 for the solid colored VX-14 to $199.95 for an EXO-700 with graphics.
Scorpion Sports, Inc. can be reached at 888/672-6774

M2R
M2R helmets are distributed through Motorcycle Stuff and Parts Unlimited. M2R’s product line includes the Revelation X2, Revelation X2Jr, SX Pro/Jr, SX 90 and 704/709 Jr. off-road helmets; the MR 1500, MR 10, MR 600, MR 8, 901 and MR 15 Jr. full-face lids; the MR 1, MR 9, 504, 503, 325 half-face models; and the 227 Deluxe and 225/223 Jr. open face helmets.
The new MR1500 street/racing helmet uses M.I.T. (Multiple Inclusion Technology) Kevlar/Fiberglass layering process. It features a removable interior that is hand washable; adjustable cheek pads; FLOTEC ventilation system; and a push-button style quick release shield. DOT, Snell M200, AS1698, and is ECE certified; available in sizes XS-XL. Graphics: (choice of 5 designs), $169; Chief, $189; Replicas (choice of 5 designs), $179; Solid colors: White, Black, Flat Black, Blue or Red, $159
For more information, contact M2R Helmets / Made 2 Race, 4670 Pony Express Trail, Camino, Calif. 95709; 530/644-7200; www.m2rhelmets.com

KBC
KBC was established in 1992. It entered a distribution contract with Tucker Rocky in 1993, incorporated KBC America in 1994 and, in 1995, designed and manufactured its first OEM (private label) helmets and apparel, past and current clients which include Harley-Davidson, Polaris, Fox Racing, O’neal, MSR, Answer Racing, Thor, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha.
Today, with the head office based in Los Angeles and a design and development center in the United Kingdom, KBC helmets meet and exceed SNELL and European standards. It deals in the Street, MX, Snow and Cruiser markets. The company’s product is distributed by Tucker Rocky, Motorcycle Stuff and Motovan.
The new FFR from KBC is a multi-functional helmet featuring a lightweight, uniquely contoured, high-impact alloy PC shell and a completely redesigned fitment platform. Designed in conjunction with a leading headset manufacturer to be completely “headset friendly,” making do-it-yourself headset installation a breeze, the FFR also has a flip front faceshield that can be worn in an open or closed position with a single button opening for safe and easy use. Starts at $249.95 retail.
For more information, contact KBC America, Inc., 2830 N. Ontario St., Burbank, Calif. 91504; 818/526-7771

Gmax
Gmax offers helmets for motorcyclists, snowmobilers and quad riders.
The new flat chrome GM26X full-face motocross helmet is a lightweight injection molded polycarbonate helmet that is DOT and Snell 2000 approved. It features a removable and washable liner, a highly effective venting system, clear-coated graphics, plush interior and details like goggle strap grips and a padded chinstrap. In stock and ready to ship, the helmet carries a MSRP of $119.95 and comes in Red, Blue and Black multi-colored graphic models.
Distributed by Marshall Distributing, 989/872-2109

SCHUBERTH
German owned and operated since 1922, Schuberth became a helmet maker in 1953 and now is among the leaders in pioneering new helmet technology. Engaged in driver head protection with Ferrari and BMW Formula One teams, the company’s product line-up consists of the RF1, QF1 and LeMans automobile helmets, five motorcycle helmets, and a variety of head protection for industrial services.
Schuberth’s motorcycle helmet line includes the C2, Concept, QM1 Street, Speed and S1. The company invented the flip-open helmet in 1978. You may remember the Concept as the multi-award winning modular. This year, Schuberth says its new S1 manages to achieve the lowest noise rating of any helmet. The trick, according to the company, was implementation of a new “bag molding” pressing process during which glass fiber, put under pressure, injected with special resin and vacuumed, is molded to form an exceptionally firm, strong helmet shell, which is then filled with a modular EPS inner shock liner.
The S1 also features Schuberth’s Anti-Roll-Off-System (AROS); a retractable sun visor (available in two tints); adjustable crown pads and sweat bands; and it’s approved for professional racing competition in all racing organizations including FIM, AMA, and WERA. Available in sizes small – 2XL; MSRP for white, black, and silver is $699.95.
Fairchild Sports (888/258-2120) is the licensed U.S. importer and distributor of Schuberth product.

SUOMY
Suomy’s Spec 1R Replica helmets feature a lightweight shell; a Dynamically Variable Resistance Crush Zone designed into the EPS; removeable, washable 3D cheek pads and liner with Ultralure; and a fully integrated Ram Air duct with exhaust channels. Race-approved by every major U.S. motorcycle race organization.
MSRP $499.95
Distributed by Van Leeuwen, 800/333-1239.

NOLAN
The X-1002 is the latest offering in Nolan’s X-Lite line featuring Vision Protection System (VPS) – a short, dark shield located on the outside of the shell that ratchets up and down to replace sunglasses. Based on a composite fiber shell, the X-1002 features a Smart Lift one-hand visor mechanism; new seals to reduce wind noise; new vents designed to operate with gloves; a chin curtain to prevent air and moisture intake; and a Pinlock antifog insert. Available in three colors – black, platinum and titanium – sizes small to XXL. MSRP: $399
Call CIMA International at 866/243-5638 for more information.

WINEX
Shock Racing has moved into a new 20,000 sq. ft. facility in response to demand for product from its Winex Helmet division.
The company says the 2005 Winex SRXIII is totally new yet still retains the attractive features of the previous SRXII.
Featuring polycarbonate construction and an EPS inner shell, the SRXIII exceeds DOT and Snell M2000 ratings. The interior features an easily removable and washable plush headliner and snap out interchangeable cheek pads. There’s integrated goggle grips, and the adjustable visor helps direct cooling air into the forehead vents, while the low profile aerodynamic design and top flow-through vents help reduce lift keeping the helmet stable at high speeds. The arched chin bar is lined with EPS for additional protection, the mouth vent features a cloth filter, and the mouthpiece is chromed. Decals are clear coated with a UV protective finish for durability.
Priced at $99, the SRXIII is available in adult sizes XS-XXL, and youth sizes S, M, L.
Shock racing also offers other MX products, including goggles, gloves, stands and a variety of accessories.
For more information, contact Shock Racing, 1401 N. Daly St., Anaheim, Calif. 92806-1503; 800/636-0440; www.winexhelmets.com.

AFX
Started in 1995, AFX North America Inc. is a wholly owned and operated company specializing in the design and production of motorcycle, ATV and snowmobile helmets. The company continues to grow its presence in the U.S. and Canada, but says it seeks to enter Europe and Australia.
AFX introduced 13 new models for 2005, including it first flip-up full-face, first three-piece off-road helmets, and first Snell-approved youth-sized lid.
For snowmobilers, the company introduced it new FX-87X – a helmet that is DOT and Snell M2000-approved, and is available in both Youth and Adult helmet sizes – placed its popular “Freedom” graphic on both the FX-10 Multi and FX-12 Multi snow helmets, and added an optional smoke-tint dual-lens face shield.
The company’s total line-up includes five full-face models, four half-helmets, eight off-road lids, six open-face models and seven youth-sized helmets.
The flip-up FX-97 is a DOT/ECE approved helmet constructed of thermo-plastic poly alloy and features removable and washable cheek pads and hypo-allergenic nylon liner as well as recessed chin and forehead vents. Priced at $109.95 retail, it is available in black, flat black, white, silver and wine red; sizes XS-XXL.
Constructed using the same thermoplastic poly-alloy as the AFX motorcycle helmets and featuring a coated EPS styro chin bar for durability, the FX-87X snow helmet meets Snell and DOT certification. Features include an off-road style 3-screw visor; Flush-fit head vents; a Replaceable chrome chin vent; removeable, washable cheek pads and liner; and a hook-and-loop-attached breath guard. Ships with a double-lens shield installed and off-road visor in the box. Priced at $99.95 retail, the FX-87X is available in black or orange; adult sizes XS-XXL.
AFX also offers a variety of replacement shields for its helmets. Tints include light smoke, gold mirror, silver mirror, clear mirror, blue mirror, green mirror, purple mirror, amber gradient, blue gradient, smoke gradient, dark smoke and orange. AFX product is available through Parts Unlimited, 608/758-1111. For additional information, call AFX directly at 877/686-6477, or visit www.afxhelmets.com.

ZEUS
The Zeus 508WS (Liftech) Modular Helmet features an all new shell, interior and graphics; dual adjustable forehead vents, an adjustable chin vent and dual rear exhaust vents; a one button latch system; a neck roll; removable cheekpads; a foam airdam along the forehead; and an available “E-Shield”, all at a bargain price.
Available through Automatic Distributors, 800/341-1658.

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