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Phil's bit

FM F101 KMA
rrp £269.99

Paint finish

FM F101 KMA Wind noise

Visor mechanism

Fastening

Visor

Removable breath guard

Vents

Comfort

I've been happily using this lid for over nine months. Being a bit of an exhibitionist I opted for the Simpsonís K.M.A. (Kiss My Ass) design. The basic version of this helmet is considerably cheaper at around £150. It's BSI type A approved and carries an ACU gold sticker.

Paint Finish
Starting with the paint job - the finish is excellent. From new it looked great and after nine months continual use the quality of the finish is still A1.

One gripe is with the finish of the vinyl type material around the bottom covering the base of the helmet, there are two 'lightening flashes' in a mesh material which have become unstuck from the vinyl. While this is relatively unimportant it is a little disappointing in a helmet of this price and otherwise excellent finish.

Visor Mechanism
The visor mechanism works pretty well, it stays shut at RC42 maximum velocity, it is easy to remove if a little fiddly to replace (though not hair tearing), the ratchet mechanism allows the visor to be held at various positions up to the national speed limit.

Visor
The visor has become a little Ďscabbyí on the outside as there is some kind of thin outer coating that is now peeling away (this is still the original visor) the peeling isnít really visible from the inside but its probably time for a replacement. Scratchwise the visor has held up well, but as mentioned above it looks like the demisting is not what it was so I assume there is also an interior coating that has deteriorated with time and cleaning.

Vents
There are a total of four vents, a large two channel one on the forehead that has two outlets either side, to the rear of the helmet. There is another three position vent in the chin bar (closed, half & fully open).

The forehead and chin vents are easy to operate with heavy gloves though judging between half and full open with the chin is pretty much impossible, reaching back for the exhausts is also rather difficult, I donít have too much of a problem with this as I tend to ride with all vents open all the time. Demisting is also pretty good though it seems to have deteriorated a little over time (see coating above).

Wind noise
I would estimate wind noise as being on the better side of average though on any journey over a couple of miles I wear earplugs which I would recommend to everyone.

Fastening
The F101 uses the seat belt type mechanism that I was initially wary of, however Iíve gotten used to it though I still have a leaning towards what I see as the simpler and therefore safer D-ring fastening. There is also a limit to the strap adjustment due to the press-stud used to keep the free end of the strap from flapping around. If you buy one of these lids make sure you can tighten the strap sufficiently with a little left in reserve, my own isnít far away from minimum strap length, it is also harder to fasten the press stud the nearer it gets to the buckle.

Removable breath guard
My second gripe is with the removable breath guard; it works fine but tends to come loose when you are carrying the helmet. There is also a removable chin curtain that cuts some of the drafts, a little noise and also stays in place no problems.

Third gripe (and getting picky) is the outer shell a little on the large side compared with helmets of the same size.

Comfort and fit
I've left comfort and fit to the end for a reason. No matter how good a helmet is there are going to be a fair number of heads it simply wont fit. Obviously it fits me well or I wouldn't have bought it, the initial fit was nigh on perfect and I was a little concerned it would slacken off, but the fit is still good. The interior is also still in good order, cheek pieces and lining are removable making it easy to keep clean.

One last point is something strange happens when I put it on, it is undeniably fluorescent orange when I'm holding it, but I am sure it changes when I put it on as it suddenly seems to become invisible, work it out for yourself.

Overall I would give a four out of five 'spanner' rating.

If you have any specific questions you can email me at phils.hoose@ukgateway.net

Phil

Phils has done some in-depth product reviews of his riding gear.

Check them out...

FM F101Helmet | Swift Cabon-pro race gloves | CoolViZion visor inserts
Sirius Jeans | Tattoos | GSB Zoom Boots | Sportex Storm Gloves
Power Bronze Belly Pan