After nearly 15 years with my KBC Force RR helmet, it was finally time to retire it as my main headwear. Not only is the rating going to be expiring in the next couple of years, it was also a Snell “M” rated helmet. Not all sanctioning bodies will allow M rated helmets for trackdays, so it was prudent to replace it with a new SA rated helmet.
That being said, I am very impressed with how long my KBC lasted. I purchased it in 2007 on clearance for maybe $110 shipped. As an autocross only helmet, it certainly worked well for my needs.
When searching for a new helmet, I was absolutely shocked by the lack of information, reviews, and pictures of different helmets on the market. Just trying to find a picture of the inside liner was almost too much to ask. So for this post, I am going to do my best to document all aspects of the helmet with detailed information and pictures.
Old KBC Force RR Dark (left) and new Pyrotect Pro Airflow (right).
For my new SA rated helmet, I chose to move to a more reputable motorsports helmet brand, Pyrotect. This is their SA2015 Pro Airflow model which boasts a very lightweight composite shell for an MSRP of $369. I purchased it on sale from MAPerformance for $288 shipped, and added a gold-chrome shield to help with visibility on bright days with the top down. Which was another $62.
My medium sized helmet weighs just 3.6 lbs, which is extremely light for this pricerange. The other helmet that I was considering was the HJC AR-10 III, which I think Will from the blog is planning to get. So in the spirit of data, I thought it would be cool if we both got similar sub-$400 helmets to compare.
The helmet comes with a bag, that is like a soft, thin sweatshirt material. The shield has a protective film on it to prevent scratches. Its a cling material, so ill probably try and re-use it between events for as long as I can to prevent the shield from getting scratched up. Especially on my chrome shield.
The air vents have stainless steel mesh inserts nested inside of them.
The inside padding is made up of a soft, jersey-like material. It feels like it would wick perspiration efficiently, and keep you cool and comfortable on the track. The cap padding is designed with airflow channels to help move hot air out and bring cooler outside air in.
The cheek pads can actually be swapped out for other sized pads in order to better suit the shape of your face. If you are test fitting this helmet new, I would actually suggest removing the cheek pads to help you get a better idea of the fitment around your head. The cheek pads are pretty thick and could give you the initial feeling of a tight helmet. This was the biggest difference in fitment from my old helmet, and it threw me off a bit when I first tried it on. I actually thought that the head fitment may be a tad tight, but upon trying it on later, and also while the cheek pads were removed, I confirmed that the fit around the cap of my head was spot on. I think the cheek pads will also compress a small amount after wearing it a few times. In these pictures I also tried to do a better job capturing the inside material.
In the mouth area, you have a tiny vent to breath through. So far in my test fitting I feel like this is a slightly inadequate breathing vent, and creates some fog when the shield is down. There is also no rubber piece above where your nose is, which would also help to keep some of your breath away from the shield. However, this is just my test-fitting in my basement and real world driving may yield different results.
The chin strap is lined with the same material as the inside of the helmet. It is a good length, and has a nifty little red tab that make loosening it a breeze.
My biggest gripe about the helmet is probably the shield operation hardware. While it is a simple, no frills design that likely is a lot more reliable than a separate plastic hinge (like my KBC used to have, which broke), i felt that it was slightly difficult to operate. Moving it up and down also felt kindof like a two-handed chore, which no positive lock when the shield is all the way up. The hardware holding the shield also seems a little cheap. At least the top screw does. I think its plastic. Im still not sure what the little knob with the arrow does. I think its supposed to make the shield go up/down with more/less force, but i messed with it for a while and couldnt tell a noticeable difference.
Overall, the helmet feels lightweight and comfortable, and I think it will be a great helmet for the track. It also gives me room to grow for NASA with radio, since it has extra space in the ears to have it fitted in. Outside of the shield hardware, my largest concern is probably over the shield fogging up during an event, but I imagine that there are some sprays or something that will help to reduce/eliminate that.
To see the installation of the gold-chrome shield, click here.