Take It From The Top

 

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Just another Novelty Helmet

Being the host of a podcast has its perks no doubt, but that’s not why I do it. On very rare occasions someone will meet me at an event and I’m given the celebrity treatment that I do not deserve. I’m just another knucklehead with a face for radio. When I’m not in the studio with my brothers recording our V-Twin Cafe episodes, I’m in my home studio recording an interview with someone of notoriety or an industry professional. Now nearly every time I have a guest on the show I will ask for swag to give away to my listeners.  The majority of the time, a sponsor or guest on the show will offer up some goods to do so, of which I am tremendously grateful. It’s great for the show and the fans love it. 

I never ask for product, that’s just rude and akin to asking a real celebrity for their autograph while they’re trying to choke down a meal at their favorite restaurant. It lacks class and is not the way to get into good graces of those you want in your network. But sometimes, not all the time, the sponsor or guest will say “We need you in our gear, so here, have this”. Again, not expected, not asked for, but tremendously appreciated and I am honored when this happens. And when it does happen, a few days later, the brown truck delivers the latest and greatest of one of their products to try out. Sometimes they want it back, sometimes we give it away on the show and sometimes the item is specifically for me. 

This time, it was for me.

Now I don’t have a lot of liquid cash to toss around, so any gear I buy is going to be of the budget variety. And sadly that usually means that the budget aspect of said product may also affect quality and performance during its existence in my possession. But this gear will get used, maintained and eventually be retired to some other duty within my life. Case in point, any pair of sneakers that starts off as daily wearers eventually gets retired to yard sneakers and just prior to their ultimate death, they are brought to the Ranch where they will live out their remaining days. This, same practice extends to my riding gear, except they don’t become yard tools or go to the ranch. They end up on a wall somewhere.

Of the four helmets I have, two came with my Sportster when I owned that between 2004 and 2015. They weren’t worn at all and they are now 15 years old, collecting dust on a shelf. One is a half helmet that my wife got me 7 years ago and, the newest of my helmets, the one full face helmet I have, my wife also got me 5 years go. None of these helmets cost over $150. I’ve worn them and yes, I’ve worn them out. None of these helmets have removable liners so they do have this…. smell to them that can’t be identified.

My current full face… well…. it’s been an okay helmet. Slightly lighter than bowling ball and for some reason that I cannot figure out, it will not let me turn my head full left or right. It kinda jams up in the collar of my jacket somehow and prevents me from looking fully side to side. So I have to basically turn my body a bit to get a full view. And it is a noisy helmet with horrible ventilation, so most times I have to ride with the shield cracked open a bit, especially in the warmer months. The padding is worn out so the helmet kinda bobble-heads around where it used to be snug. The Shield, thankfully, is in great shape with no scratches or scuffs. While not the greatest, most expensive helmet on the market, it has been an absolute blessing on those chilly days. I can’t say so much for the warmer days.

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What vents, where?
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Sniff-sniff…. what’s that smell?

I knew it was time for a replacement, but two things were holding me back: Which one and how much. The “which one” had me going Oooo and Ahhh at several different helmets from several manufacturers. That was the fun part. Sadly, the “which one” was going to be driven by the “how much”. Ultimately, my final pick was nestled in the $300 range and that spoke “It’ll have to wait”.

former guest on the show had emailed me not long ago and asked if I’d be interested in interviewing someone from Scorpion Helmets. I had been unable to get an interview with a helmet manufacturer up to that point so I agreed and a couple of weeks later, an interview with Chris Martinez from Scorpion EXO Helmets was in the can and went public shortly thereafter.

I received an education on helmets as well as an education on Scorpion Helmets from Chris and I was impressed. Although I have heard of and even looked at Scorpion in the past, they weren’t on my radar. Their least expensive helmets are nice but again, I wasn’t financially prepared to spend any cash on a new lid.

I cannot say enough kind things about Chris or Scorpion EXO without sounding like a blubbering fool, but 5 days after that interview this showed up in the big brown truck.

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Carbon and pretty

This is the Scorpion EXO ST1400 Carbon Helmet. I’ve never owned or worn a helmet of this quality before and to say I am impressed would be the understatement of the decade.

First Impressions:
Lightweight. Very clean design, Simple yet sharp graphics, Large face-shield, huge vents. Impressive padding, very cool AirFit System, Emergency pulls for first responder’s to remove pads, retractable Sunvisor.

Fit:
Now to be honest I was apprehensive when it came to this. I have tried on helmets before, in my size that felt as if my skull was being crushed or that my skin was going to peal off with the helmet. But not this helmet. This helmet fit like a glove. Comfortable padding. Lightweight (yes I know I said this already but wow), Great field of vision, excellent freedom of head movement.

First Ride:
Did I mention this helmet was lightweight? That truly made a difference with ride comfort. There was no stress in battling wind to keep my head from bobbing around. Although I have a tall windshield, I still had to deal with a small degree of wind-sheer, this EXO-ST1400 Carbon Helmet ignored it.

The second thing that really caught my attention was how quiet it was. With my original full face helmet I could hear everything. And when you have a V-Twin with Screaming Eagle Pipes on it, you REALLY hear them and ordinarily I wore ear plugs. Not necessary with this helmet. I could hear my pipes but they weren’t obnoxiously loud. I heard no wind noise either until I opened the face-shield. And when I did open the face-shield, I could hear the engine clearly, not the exhaust, the engine. Amazing.

One of my complaints with my other full face as mentioned was my range of motion was limited, not so with this Scorpion Helmet. Full side to side range of motion with no restrictions. The joy of being able to sit in my saddle facing forward and being able to turn my head to look left or right or nearly fully backwards was nothing short of an extreme joy. In fact, the field of vision was so good that I rarely had to turn my head to look directly left or right. The large face-shield made it very easy to visually take in my surroundings with little or no head movement. That being said, peripheral vision was excellent.

Although the helmet comes with a retractable sunvisor, I did not use it. And to be honest, I forgot it was there. On the left side of the helmet there is a switch which allows the visor to be lowered or raised. I’ve never used one of these before and it might take some time to get myself to that point. I’m just so used to just wearing sunglasses when I ride. Perhaps it’s just a case of “old habits die hard”. But we’ll see.

One additional note about the Faceshield and the Sun visor is that they are both equipped with the EverClear anti-fog coating. Now that I think about it, the faceshield did not fog up at all during the ride or when I stopped at traffic lights. Super plus and kudos to Scorpion for including that feature.

After 25 minutes on the ride, I realized I didn’t have a headache, nor were there pressure points being irritated or an ear going numb from it being pinched by some padding. I was thoroughly enjoying the experience of this helmet.

Cons:
If you can even call this a con…. the Color choices are limited to the grey stripe or yellow. Personally, I think something similar to the Scorpion Moto Fink helmet would be freaking cool. But that’s me, I’m an idiot.

Final thoughts:
You owe your head this helmet. At just over $400, it is well worth the coin and certainly as good, if not better, than all of the other top name-brand helmets I’ve inserted my skull into at events and retailers. Sure, you can spend up to or beyond $1K on a helmet, but when Scorpion offers a carbon helmet like this, at this price point, why would you?

If I had my camera installed on the helmet I would have done some video on it. If I had my Sena installed on the helmet, I would have called somebody and let loose with my praise of this gorgeous thing holding my head. Instead I give you my praise via the written word.

Now before you get all hyped up and insinuate that I am singing praises of this helmet because they are a sponsor of the podcast, stop right there. If I don’t like something, I’m going to say “I don’t like it”. Ones personal input into any review is just that; Personal. I don’t particularly care for Honda motorcycles, but you may. That’s your thing, not mine and that’s okay. But personal opinions being what they are, I love this helmet and I plan to wear it out to the best of my ability and thanks to that removable liner, it won’t smell either.

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Yes…. I have the long hair, not the helmet.

3 thoughts on “Take It From The Top

  1. Scorpion makes a damn good helmet. I upgraded to the EXO-AT950 a couple years ago. I put my budget Gmax 54S back on last week… didn’t realize how much I’d spoiled myself with the Scorpion. Enjoy that Helemt Ted!

    Liked by 1 person

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