Vermar Motorcycle Helmet Review
It’s handmade and Italy, and there’s no doubt about its styling. These were my thoughts when I first witnessed the Vemar Eclipse in Metha Red at an AMA Pro Racing event.
But throughout my years of riding, I’ve never had any first-hand experience with one, nor had a friend who used one. Then I remembered that Andrea Dovizioso donned a Vemar during his years on the Repsol Honda RC212V. If a MotoGP rider used a Vemar, it has more than merit.
With these thoughts in mind, I ordered a medium-sized Eclipse, the older version (Vemar revamped the Eclipse late last year). And over a few months, I put the Vemar Eclipse through every type of riding possible, from track days in the sweltering heat to sport-touring days with temps dipping into the 30s. Short of actual crashing, the Vemar Eclipse witnessed all likely riding situations.
The Eclipse is Snell, EC, BSI and DOT certified, and arrived with a five-year warranty from manufacturer date. The certifications speak for themselves, and the warranty basically covers the helmet for the normal five-year timeframe, the exact amount of time a rider should use a helmet before tossing it.
Slipping on the Vemar Eclipse, the mid-oval shape fit my head comfortably, and very snug, which I prefer. And though a bit heavy in today’s standards at around 4 lbs. in a medium, the helmet feels extremely lightweight when riding (the revamped Eclipse is said to weigh just over 3 lbs.). This is due to an aerodynamic design of the exterior shell, which is constructed of a carbon fiber/aramidic fiberglass blend.
What’s particularly unique about the Eclipse is that the inner liner provides comfort unlike others. The polyurethane cheek pads are made of memory foam, and molded to my face within a few miles. And this mold stayed, even after riding over 4,000 miles in the helmet.
The plush feeling of the technical fiber inner liner not only provides a unique comfort, but is also created from a technical fiber that has wicking capabilities and is created to prevent odor, fungus and bacteria. Throughout use in hot weather, I didn’t encounter any helmet stink. And of course, the liner is removable and washable, which I performed after an extremely hot track day. The liner was removed, washed, and installed without any issues. A nice feature also is the removable chin curtain, which helps seal out bugs and cold air.
Although extremely comfortable, the Vemar Eclipse is a bit noisier than other helmets in its category, especially with the vents open (think whistling) and while at speeds on the track. This is easily cured with some good ear plugs, and I found myself wearing my EarPeace units more frequently while riding with the Eclipse.
As for a major quirk, the Eclipse’s shield is odd to use at first, the lift tab not in the usual location found on most other helmets. Due to the location of tab, which is farther to the left side, the helmet’s face shield seems to twist while opening. But it’s just a matter of feeling; the shield opens without issues, and locks effortlessly and securely into place, though the lock is also in an awkward location near the shield’s lift tab.
The face shield also has a unique removal design. It’s not quick release like many of the competitors, and requires the turn of two clips that hold the shield in place. The 2.2mm shield is anti-fog and scratch free, although I was able to scratch the clear shield not once, but three times, and I had some issues with anti-fogging properties during some colder weather.
And when the shield is down, the field of vision is excellent, especially from side-to-side. Top to bottom vision is about average.
One thing Vemar has really achieved with the Eclipse is optimal ventilation. Even on the stuffiest of days the “Vemar Klima” adjustable ventilation system kept my head cool. The system features four open/close intake vents on the top shell (two on top, two above eye port), and two large exhaust vents that always remain open.
As for the chin vent, the open/close lever is hard to locate with gloves on. The vent only blows air on the face shield, though, and isn’t as affective as the top ventilation system.
The UltimateMotorCycling.com verdict:
Regarding design and feel, the Vemar Eclipse is ahead of the competition. Although the paint wore off the vent openings above the eyeport, the styling and finish is very inspiring.
And if you use ear plugs, and don’t mind a quirky face shield system or a bit of extra weight, the Vemar Eclipse will provide you with many miles of riding pleasure. And don’t forget, Vemar has revamped the Eclipse, which may just have addressed all the issues listed above.
Vemar Eclipse Details:
- Sizes: Small – 2XL
- MSRP: $475
For additional information, log onto motonation.com.