A revolutionary change in full-face helmet design
Reviewed by Glenn Roberts
Some people zig while others zag, and it’s no different for companies. Vozz Helmets, an Australian company, is one that zags and is taking a different approach to designing what it claims to be a safer motorcycle helmet than the traditional pull-on, pull-off full-face helmet. Let’s face it, in its most basic form, the traditional full-face helmet has not changed in several decades – you pull it on and do up the chin strap until it’s tight, then reverse the operation to remove it.
Starting from a clean slate, Vozz Helmets has redesigned the full-face helmet in a staggering way by creating a rear-access, dual-locking helmet, and hopes to make the chin strap-equipped, pull-on, pull-off helmet extinct.
The design process began in 2005 – John Vozzo was working in his garage on a rear-opening sky-diving helmet when he met Mark Bryant. Bryant immediately realized the potential for other applications, and so began the process of redesigning the motorcycle helmet. Today, the Voztec System has secured a global patent on the design and holds DOT, ECE and AS/NZ certifications.
Now that I have your attention, let me explain how the Vozz helmet works.
You’ll first notice when holding the helmet that the neck opening is considerably smaller than normal and there is no chin strap. By opening the visor and grasping the chin bar portion of the helmet, you’re able to push a small recessed lever on each side with your thumbs. This action unlatches the back of the helmet. With your thumbs holding the lock levers, hold the helmet on top of your head; a slight pull forward opens the helmet back, allowing your face to slip into the helmet. Wiggle your face into the helmet and your chin into the chin cup. The chin cup is easily adjustable with a slot screwdriver by removing the cheek pads and adjusting to fit (this is a one-time fit adjustment that won’t need to be done again).
Once the helmet is fitted to your face, move your thumbs to the back portion of the helmet and gently squeeze the back to the front until you hear a click on each side. That click means the back is now locked to the front. There isn’t any ear folding over or scrunched-up faces while trying to squeeze your melon through a foam liner designed to fit as close to your neck as possible.
To remove the helmet, lift the visor, hold the helmet and push the locking levers. Then just roll the helmet forward and down. And that’s it. It might sound awkward because it’s unconventional, but once you try it a couple of times, it’s very quick and easy. Go to vozzhelmets.com for a video of how the helmet works.
It literally takes about five seconds to put the helmet on, and two seconds to take it off. Remember that when your buddies catch you off guard and start to leave while you’re still fumbling to frantically put your helmet on and cinch up the chin strap. You can even put this helmet on or remove it while wearing eyeglasses, and while wearing your gloves. Try that with your regular full-face.
Instead of using the same shell and thicker or thinner padding to adjust for different helmets sizes, Vozz uses three different shells and three different EPS liners to ensure a proper fit regardless of the helmet size. Venting is standard chin and forehead vents, and the visor is one of the easiest on the market to remove and install.
My medium-sized RS 1.0 weighed in at 1,850 grams. It’s not the lightest helmet in our stock, but it’s one of the most comfortable and quiet. In addition to the Vozz, I randomly selected three street-riding full-face helmets to compare and I followed the same route back to back. The Vozz had no “hot spots” and fit with even pressure over my whole head – it fits like a glove and continues to be very comfortable. Without a sound meter jammed in my helmet, the Vozz RS 1.0 seemed to be the quietest of the four helmets. The company claims that because the neck hole is smaller and the chin bar portion of the helmet rolls considerably under the chin, when compared with a traditional full-face, there is less wind getting up into the helmet, which also means less lift. And that makes complete sense. Vozz also claims that this design is less prone to buffeting – I didn’t feel any during my riding with it.
In accidents where the rider has been unconscious, EMS personnel have had to cut the traditional helmet off the rider’s head in some cases, but not so with this helmet. The Vozz Safety Release System consists of two red plugs at the top of the helmet that conceal two screws. With a flathead screwdriver, emergency responders simply remove the screws and then move the levers for the locking mechanism, allowing the front and rear of the helmet to completely separate, leaving the head lying on the helmet back while the front rolls off, giving full access to the patient’s face. A QR code is even affixed to the helmet explaining the emergency removal procedure.
The Vozz RS 1.0 retails in Canada for $849.99, which includes a very stout, padded helmet bag and both clear and tinted visors. Go to vozzhelmets.com for dealers and contact information for Vozz Canada.