DEALER EXPO, Indianapolis, Ind. -- One of the larger categories of products on display at Expo are helmets.
Except for color, vent and visor features, many models are pretty much the same. Voztec (Booth 705), a new company out of Australia, is using the show to introduce a truly unique and innovative helmet design.
Unlike conventional helmets, the Voztec Snakehead helmet has no retaining strap; instead the helmet is hinged at the top and swings open like a clam shell. You open the hinge, lift the rear section of the helmet, and insert your face into the front part of the helmet, then close and lock the rear portion. This can be done without having to take your glasses off.
According to Mark Bryant, president, the innovative design affords several advantages over the conventional helmet, including head retention, comfort, vision, turbulence, wind pressure and, most importantly, safety.
In the event of an accident, the front portion of the helmet can be removed, leaving the rear portion in place without disturbing the head -- unlike conventional helmets where the strap needs to be cut or released and the helmet removed from the top of the head. This feature alone may reduce the number of injuries encountered when the conventional helmet is removed, according to the company.
The close fit of the helmet combined with its streamlining not only reduces turbulence but aids in “directional visor stability,” as the close fit allows for no slack when the head is turned. The helmet and head turn as if locked together.
The lower edge of the helmet is rounded, providing a smoother surface in the event of an accident that causes the head to scrape along the pavement, reducing the chances of the helmet catching on something and jerking the head around. The rounded surface tucks underneath the jaw and behind the neck, clamping the helmet firmly and comfortably to the head and literally eliminating the possibility of the helmet coming adrift.
Construction is “Tri-Composite,” consisting of carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass, with a multiple density foam liner. The adjustable chin cup adds to the helmet’s comfort and is a simple “fit it and forget it” process once the initial adjustment is accomplished.
The name, Snakewind, is derived from the helmet’s snake-like profile, with its large flat, forward facing intake vents, matching the skull of a snake.
The helmets being shown are prototypes and the plan is to have the helmets available for sale by January 2014. There will be three models available with price points of $300, $500 and $800.