Leatt: the Dennis Kirk blog reviews Leatt's Helmets - Worth the wait!
Leatt first announced their introduction into the helmet realm back at the 2014 Intermot motorcycle show. The initial impressions of their revolutionary design had interested dirt riders waiting with bated breath to get their hands on them. They were slated to be released in early 2015, but as with many new manufacturing ventures, there were hold-ups, including a fire at one of their foam suppliers. With the delays, some of that initial hype died off and a portion of the riders that were holding out for the new Leatt ended up going with another brand.
The new Leatt MX helmets have now hit the shelves and some of that hype is returning and rightfully so. If you were one of the holdouts or are just in the market for a new lid, these helmets should definitely be on your radar. Not only do they look outstanding and unlike anything else, but the safety and performance features really set the Leatt apart.
Leatt first made their name by getting people to actually wear neck braces and having them perform as advertised when called upon. Because of that, many riders have been spared from serious injuries. They are now looking to use that same mindset by innovating the MX helmet further than it has been in years in terms of reducing brain injury. The features that they have come up with are truly revolutionary and are sure to help save as many, if not more riders as their neck brace technology.
Let’s take a look at what these features are:
360° Turbine Technology: The 360° Turbine Technology is proprietary to Leatt and is something completely new to the industry. These little discs, made of a visco-elastic polymer called Armourgel, are located on the inside of the helmet in a circular pattern to go in between the rider’s head and the EPS liner. The purpose of the soft, rubbery discs is to transfer the rotational energy of the helmet away from the rider’s head. They also work to absorb low energy impacts. The 360° Turbine discs reduce the head impact at concussion level by up to 30%, reduce the rotational acceleration to the head and brain up to 40% and improves protection for multiple impacts.
3D In-Molded V-Foam: Even though the EPS liners in many modern helmets have become very good at absorbing impacts, Leatt has worked to improve on it even further. They have designed their liner to be made up of two layers of multi-density foam that interlock in a V shape. The V shape allows the energy of an impact to be deflected sideways and away instead of being a direct blow. This reduces the G-force that is transferred to the head and brain. The V shape also deforms and compresses better than a standard foam liner to absorb impacts more effectively.
Reduced Shell Size: Because the V-Foam is 3D molded into the helmet, Leatt was able to decrease the size of the outer shell. A Leatt helmet’s shell is about 10% smaller than their average competitors. This not only reduces the weight of the helmet, but it also makes it safer. The smaller size transfers up to 20% less momentum and rotational energy to the head and the brain.
Maximized Ventilation: This helmet is riddled with ventilation. With how efficient the safety features of it are, Leatt was able to include an exceptional amount of ventilation that is effective even at lower speeds. The external vents even add a unique honeycomb design to the helmet that is unlike any other.
In addition to those big features, Leatt has baked in even more that touch on just about every component. The cheek pads feature their own patent-pending zero friction removable design to make it easier for safety crews to access and injured rider. The visor is designed to break away immediately on impact to limit the rotational force to the head. On the inside you will find a removable anti-microbial liner that will stay dry and smelling fresh. And the New Leatt Helmets are even designed to be hydration system ready. A small channel on the side of the helmet will hold the water line in place for easy access while riding.
Leatt is offering their helmets with both composite and carbon fiber constructions. The GPX 6.5 V01 Carbon is their premier and lightest helmet, while the GPX 5.5 models are made from composite, yet are still extremely light.