06/08/2015

GEAR REVIEW, NEWS

Touratech Aventuro helmet review

While we were in Germany recently on our European tour we visited the Touratech headquarters for their annual Touratech Travel Event. This is an annual celebration of the adventure travel lifestyle that Touratech is synonymous with. We met with Robin Box the Australian distributor of Touratech while we were there and Robin introduced to a few of the Touratech crew. Our first stop was in the impressive showroom, which is a massive candy shop of adventure gear. Have you ever seen the size of the Touratech catalog book? It’s huge right? Well this showroom was like someone had grabbed the Touratech catalog, turned it upside down and shaken all the products out! It was awesome.

 

We checked out the full range of gear available but one of the products I was most interested in was their new Aventuro Helmet. This helmet has been designed from the ground up by Touratech with adventure riders in mind and was released onto the market earlier this year.

Robin was keen to get some feedback on this new helmet to gauge how Aussie riders might take to it. So, knowing that I was about to spend 16 days riding through the European countryside, Robin asked if I would test it out. I gladly accepted this offer!

Now currently this Touratech lid does not have the Australian stamp of approval (AS1698) but I’ve heard the approval process in Australia costs something like $20,000 to get a helmet certified so you can understand why not every helmet makes it onto the shelves in Australia. Of course this helmet has DOT and more importantly ECE 22-05 approval for certification in Europe. I say more importantly because earlier this year Queensland, and just recently Victoria, updated their road rules to allow the use of helmets marked with the European standard. It is understood other states are reviewing this law as well so in time all Aussie riders may have a broader choice of lids.

So the challenge then was to pick from one of the 7 colours. Now I love the look of finely crafted exposed carbon fibre and Touratech obviously do too because you can see the beautiful weave of the black fibre in most of the shells. For safety reasons I tend to go for light coloured helmets so I went for the “Rallye” colour scheme, which has a white base with the trademark Touratech black and yellow highlights.

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The next thing was to check sizing. My previous helmets have been Shoei and a medium fits me like a glove. When I put on the size medium in the Touratech it felt big with a heap of space around the back towards the bottom. I tried on the small and it felt good but I thought that was odd. This is the thing; we all have different sized and shaped heads. Helmet manufacturers have to make a choice about what shaped head they are aiming for. The good thing with the Touratech helmet is they include extra foam pads that can be used to customise the fit; they call it the “ergo padding” system. In hindsight I should have stuck with the medium size and padded out the cheek pads with the supplied pads. So my advice if you are buying this helmet (or any helmet) is of course to try it on and if you need to tweak the fit then try inserting the foam pads between the liner and the shell.

So how did I find it? In a word, great.

It’s light, quiet, looks good and despite me perhaps choosing the wrong size, comfortable. I wore it everyday for two weeks around Europe in temperatures up to 35c and on the German autobahns up to 200kmh and I couldn’t fault it. It just worked great. I have no doubt if it was put to the ultimate test that it would protect my precious noggin too.

Nowadays many adventure riders have all kinds of tech gizmos hanging off their helmets and I’m no different. I fitted a Sena 20S bluetooth intercom and Sena Prism camera to the helmet and they both fitted easily. A neat trick is the inclusion of a couple of “holding fixtures” that allow easy mounting of cameras etc. They are basically flat plastic parts that attach to the top of the peak or to the side of the peak giving solid flat platforms to stick things to.

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One thing I did notice which relates back to the shape of the shell is that the shell does hang lower than others and I found the cheek pad fabric catching on the velcro of my jacket collar. I’ve not had this happen with other helmets so it gives you an indication of the difference in shape.

Features

This helmet is loaded with features with some of my favourites being:

  • Fog free pinlock visor.
  • Quick tool less removal of peak and visor for easy visor cleaning.
  • Recessed ear ports for intercom speakers.
  • Emergency remove cheek pads and of course a removable liner.
  • I thought the goggle strap holder at the rear of the shell is a bit of a gimmick but then I did lose a pair of goggles once that I had stretched over the top of my helmet so maybe it’s not a gimmick!
  • Effective venting.
  • A goodie bag full of extras including; extra pads to go under the lining to adjust the fit, a bag to store the visor in, plates to enable fitting of helmet cameras.

How about the price? Well we can’t talk Australian pricing yet but European pricing of this helmet is €576 ($845 AUD) for the graphic models and €524  ($770 AUD) for the plain versions. This pricing places it higher than helmets like the AGV AX-8 but similarly priced to the Japanese made Arai and Shoei helmets. This makes for a very compelling proposition.

I hope I’m not talking out of school here but one of the Touratech staffers told me that their sales had gone well beyond expectation for this helmet. Their sales forecast for the first 12 months had been exceeded after just 4 months of the helmet being on sale in Europe! I think that is a great testament to how well thought out this helmet is. I’m sure it has answered the prayers of many adventure riders.

Summary

So if this helmet makes it to Australia should you buy one? Hell yes! Touratech are to be congratulated for the amount of effort and innovation they put into their first entry in the helmet market. It is a great helmet ideally suited to adventure riding in Australia.

Pros

  • Good price.
  • Light weight.
  • Quiet with low wind resistance.
  • Lots of thoughtful design considerations.
  • Lots of configuration options and accessories included.

Cons

  • No tinted visor available – yet.
  • No Australian Standards compliance.
  • Cheek pad retainers aren’t the most secure. This relates to the emergency release system and is not a safety concern.

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