Gear / Parts Motorcycle Apparel Reviews Kali Catalyst Motorcycle Helmet Review: Focus On Safety

Kali Catalyst Motorcycle Helmet Review: Focus On Safety

Kali Catalyst Motorcycle Helmet Review: Composite Fusion Plus, and More

Although better known in the bicycling world, Kali Protective’s Kali Motorsports subsidiary makes innovative motorcycle helmets that feature unique approaches to safety.

Though we do extensive test rides in the helmets, we can’t test the impact protection capabilities. Regardless, the safety aspects in the Kali Catalyst motorcycle helmet are certainly of interest.

The Kali Catalyst has two impact-dispersing calling cards—its Composite Fusion Plus EPS liner, and its Low Density Layer (LDL). The two features work in concert, yet have distinct roles is reducing the amount of impact energy transmitted to your head.

Kali Catalyst Motorcycle Helmet Review reviewThe Composite Fusion Plus liner is a multi-density EPS shell. We have seen that many times, but Kali does things a bit differently. Kali uses a softer EPS outer portion of the shell, with collapsible multi-density cones inside it. According to Kali, these interior cones absorb and disperse impacts more effectively than a traditional EPS liner.

Closer to your head is the LDL. Rotational forces are a hot topic for motorcycle helmets. 6D helmets brought it to the fore, and Kali has its method of dealing with glancing lower-speed blows.

The LDL is made up of Armourgel patches—made by a British company—placed in strategic locations in the inner portion of the EPS liner. These patches absorb lower-energy impacts, while also allowing interior movement that isolates your head from twisting forces. According to Kali, the Armourgel reduces low-g impacts by 12 percent and rotational forces by 25 percent.

Weighing in at 3 pounds, 8.4 ounces for a medium helmet, the Kali Catalyst is neither particularly heavy nor light. It’s in the same neighborhood as a Shoei RF-1200 and Arai Quantum-X. The standard Catalyst uses what Kali calls a Tri-Weave Shell, though there is a carbon fiber version of the Catalyst that Kali claims is nearly nine ounces lighter.

Kali Catalyst Motorcycle Helmet priceFit is personal, of course, though the Kali Catalyst matched my Arai– and HJC-friendly skull nicely. The washable interior is a scalloped style, a common theme from bicycle-related helmet companies. Yet, the overall feel of the soft liner is plusher than you would expect from looking at it.

The faceshield is optically correct, with three heavily detented positions between fully up and closed. The faceshield doesn’t lock down, and an easily manipulated tab on the left is adequate for positioning the faceshield when underway.

For urban riding in humid coastal areas in the city, we did have fogging issues with the faceshield, which doesn’t have a Pinlock system. The chin guard has closable vents via an interior switch. Even with the vent open, the vents have a foam filtering system that hinders intake. The chin curtain was installed, so that also limits airflow to the inside of the face shield. Lifting the faceshield to the first open position was the only cure.

In general, venting is minimal on the Kali Catalyst. The main shell only has a single intake vent array near the top of the helmet. Airflow is encouraged by permanently open exhaust vents in the back. We did ride on warm days and the helmet felt fine, in part because the design of the soft liner allows the moving air easier access to your scalp.

Kali Catalyst Motorcycle HelmetPutting the helmet on is one of those leaps of faith—it seems like there is no way your head is going to fit in the opening. However, it does, and your head feels secure once it is inside. The chinstrap is a tradition double-D ring with an easy-to-find snap button to retain the strap.

The Kali Catalyst is a motorcycle helmet for the rider with a focus on safety technology. At $350, it is a mid-priced helmet with high-end energy dispersion capabilities. The rest of the helmet is basic, so you are putting your money into what really counts—the protection of your head.

Kali Catalyst Helmet Fast Facts

  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Colors: Gloss Black; Matte Black; Matte White
  • Graphics: Eclipse, Matte Blue; Eclipse, Matte Red; Eclipse Matte White
  • Weight: 3 pounds, 8.4 ounces (medium)
  • Kali Catalyst Helmet Price; $350 MSRP

Kali Catalyst Motorcycle Helmet Review | Photo Gallery

Don Williams
Don Williamshttp://www.ultimatemotorcycling.com
With 45 years of riding experience, Don Williams is a fan of all kinds of motorcycles. He enjoys sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, touring bikes, adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, and rideable customs. Ask Don what his favorite bike is and he will tell you, "Whatever bike I'm on."

2020 Dakar Rally Results: Honda’s Brabec Claims 1st Win for USA

For the past 18 consecutive years, KTM has dominated the Dakar Rally, winning each event in dominating style. Two legendary names are associated with...

2020 Triumph Thruxton RS Review (17 Fast Facts)

The new top-spec 2020 Triumph Thruxton RS is the latest addition to the British marque’s storied line, which also includes the standard Thruxton and...

America’s Brabec Leads 2020 Dakar Rally with 1 Stage Remaining

Though he struggled to a 10th-place finish during stage 11 of the 2020 Dakar Rally, Monster Energy Honda Team's Ricky Brabec holds the overall lead with one stage remaining.

2020 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Buyer’s Guide: Specs & Price

When it comes to ADV, there is no shortage of motorcycles with liter-plus size engines. It's much less crowded in the small displacement division,...

2019 Ducati Motorcycle Sales Tops 53,000 Worldwide: ‘Nudges’ 2018

When Ducati Motor Holding announced its 2018 motorcycle sales, numbers were down 5.1 percent over 2017, with a total of 53,004 units sold. The Borgo...

Get Out & Ride: 2020 AMA National Adventure Riding Series Schedule

Looking for great commodore and some of the best ADV riding - both on- and off-road - across the country? The 2020 AMA National Adventure...