Leatt Introduces their first dirt bike helmets, the GPX 6.5 and 5.5 and DirtRider magazine is having a closer look.
We’ve known for a while that Leatt has been developing a new off-road motorcycle helmet. In fact, some prototypes have been at our offices a while back, but they were not ready for us to keep and wear. Yet that wait is over and we headed out to LACR Motocross Track to test out the new lid.
First off, some exciting news for Leatt is that they have pro motocross and off-road rider, ISDE Overall Winner, and 2015 Dirt Rider Of The Year Ryan Sipes wearing the GPX Helmet in this year’s races.
Now to the helmet and we’ll go through each of the features that set this helmet apart from the rest of the market. The GPX comes in a carbon version called the 6.5 ($599) and a composite version called the 5.5 ($399-$449).
With many helmet brands addressing rotational energy, Leatt’s version are these 360 Turbines placed inside of the foam, after the liner. They are about the size of a quarter and are made with Armourgel, a non-Newtonian material that absorbs more energy as forces increase. The turbines are fixed to the foam by their centers, but the outer circle can move slide a small amount, which is how they slow down the rotation of the head in an impact.
Outer Shell Size
When compared to nearly all other helmets on the market, the overall size of the GPX is smaller. Leatt’s engineers claim that the smaller the size of the helmet, the less rotational force is transferred to the head in a crash. Also, smaller is lighter which should reduce fatigue.
The foam is a multi-density construction that is supposed to deflect energy sideways via the V shapes where the two foams meet, rather than just crushing. The foam is also in-molded into the shell like a bicycle helmet reducing the size and eliminating the gap between the shell and foam.
When you look at the GPX it is easy to see the massive vents on the top and sides. Engineers took inspiration from mountain bike helmets for ventilation rather than street bike helmets because riding motocross and especially off-road, you are not traveling in one direction at a high rate of speed. A lot of vents have intakes and exhausts that require forward motion to work. But the vents in the GPX are like large open windows that let out tons of hot, sweaty air.
Obviously, not having foam in these areas raises concerns of impact, yet the GPX has passed DOT and ECE requirements which includes the spike drop test. This test includes dropping a heavily weighted metal spike from 10 feet directly on the vents. The helmet passed in all cases.
This is a cool detail that shows that Leatt is paying attention to off-road rider’s needs. There is a channel along the bottom of the left jawline that allows for a hydration tube so you don’t have punch a hole in the front.
After one day of wearing it on the track, it is noticeably lighter and smaller than most helmets we’ve tried. We even had to tighten up our goggle strap because of the smaller overall size. Leatt threw a ton of details and innovation in the GPX helmet and their biggest job now is to convince people that it works. Along those lines, they are one of the only companies to share its helmet testing data, just go to leatt.com to see both the DOT and ECE test data. Now that we have one in our hands we’ll be wearing it and putting together a full review soon.