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 Post subject: Jafrum Helmets
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 12:56 pm 

Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:42 pm
Posts: 1
Last year, information about a Jafrum modular-style helmet, model 810, came across the local instructor mail list. The mention that this (then) $59 helmet had an internal, retractable sun shade was intriguing, so I eventually bought one, to see if a helmet that low in price was a worthwhile product. That is, was it inexpensive, or just cheap?

Well, I can not give a very thorough review of the model 810. I spent some time finding out just which version was available in my size (2XL), finally having to "settle" on gloss black, the only one actually "In Stock". What I can say about it is:

The sizing is quite a way off from other manufacturers. The "2XL" fits my head like the "Large" in a Bell helmet. The helmet had a number of nice features, like the chin bar being able to lock in the "up" position for riding, and it does not block your view.

But the flip-down shade is not very dark, and it does not extend down very far.

And, the latch mechanism arrived with one of its covers broken, necessitating a return for replacement. Jafrum's customer service does really work well, but they can sometimes be a bit dense.

In any case, I will not be able to review the 810 further, because they can not supply me with a replacement. UPS eventually brought its replacement, a model 608 modular. It doesn't a shade. And the size chart shows that it should fit me better than the 810. But it doesn't.... although it looks nice.

Like the 810, this "XXL" size is too small for me, despite being on the "low end" of the XXL sizes for other helmet manufacturers. The small "manual" that comes with the 608 calls the chin bar a "mouth holder", and that's exactly what it is, for me. The helmet is VERY well padded, though; it would appear that it could provide good protection, if you can fit into it. Definitely for "round" heads, though, without protruding jaw lines.

The latching mechanism is rather simple - two retractable plastic bars going into slots. They do not both reliably engage if the helmet is not ON a head, but, they would resist a side blow disengaging them, because they slide into a "box". The pivot for the hinge is metal, with a plastic bushing controlling the limits of "swing" for the chin bar and visor. The visor can swing up further than the chin bar, so it is possible to pull the chin bar down without the visor following it.

I have spent some time since its arrival last fall actually wearing this helmet while riding. Yes, I can fit in it, but, as I said, the chin bar rides against my chin. It is not padded, as such, but the part that contacts the jaw is covered in a moderately-soft rubber "plate". It looks like solid plastic, but it does flex quite well. But you don't want to wear this without shaving... :roll:

If the chin bar is up, this helmet does fit me "OK". But it is noisy, bar up OR down. The cut-outs in the padding for the ears are about 1/4" below where my ears actually start, which is a minor (for short rides) irritation, much less than the chin bar.

The skirt around the bottom of the helmet has some surprising gaps... it lets (cold) wind up into the helmet right at the ear area, which is a contributing factor to the noise level. But, it isn't the only factor. The edges of the chin bar and the visor generate significant turbulence, which equals noise. (note: remember to wear ear plugs)

Which brings up a positive factor - the thick padding means there is LOTS of space for earplugs. If V-CAN (the brand name on the helmet) uses this same shell for their smaller helmets, there's got to be a large cavern there... Big enough for some proper helmet speakers, maybe.

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