Fly Racing Tourist Motorcycle Helmet Test
Jackets have long been rider-customizable for changing conditions, with zip-in vests to help brave the cold, while keeping the jacket light enough for warmer days. Helmets do their best to emulate this with vents, though that function has its limits.
The new Tourist helmet from Fly Racing, which is taking the plunge from dirt-only products to a wide variety of street offerings, takes the adjustability of a helmet to a new level.
In its standard mode, the Tourist is a traditional three-quarters open face helmet with a drop down face shield. Set up in this way, the Tourist is simple, but works well. The visor is easily replaced without tools for changing lighting conditions.
Everyone has different fit and feel preferences, and the Tourist appeals to the rider who likes a bicycle-helmet style head/liner interface, where there are plenty of air channels to go with the generous closeable vents on the plastic outer shell. The standard D-ring chinstrap is nicely padded, and a button collects the loose end.
If you like a full plush liner, this is not your helmet. The Coolmax liner is removable for washing, though an array of tabs, rather than snaps, makes it a bit of a pain. Optional cheek pads are available for a personalized fit.
Without any doubt, it is the slip-in jaw protector that makes the Fly Tourist especially appealing to the rider who is in a variety of weather situations. Installation requires no tools; it snaps right in and a release lever simplifies removal. Keep in mind that Fly considers the jaw piece to be a protector from the environment, not crashes – this is not a full-face or modular helmet.
Built into the protector is a permanently installed chin curtain that also encloses the mouth and nose, with hook-and-loop tabs allowing a bit of personalization in fit. Still, it sits on your nose and close to your mouth, which some may find annoying. I wasn’t thrilled at first, but started to like it as soon as it did its job of keeping my face warm and the visor fog-free.
The Fly Tourist helmet is something different, as well as something practical. Touring riders who have a place to store the jaw piece will find it handy when the weather turns. The rest of the time, they will simply have a comfortable helmet to wear.
For additional information, visit Fly Racing.
This story is featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine — available on newsstands and good bookstores everywhere. The issue is also available free to readers on Apple Newsstand (for iOS devices) and Google Play (Android). To subscribe to the print edition, please visit our Subscriber Services page.