I really got to know the Klim Krios Karbon Adventure helmet during the three days I rode the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike 1120 miles from Los Angeles to Portland. My first experience was utilizing its great visibility to keep myself safe while lane splitting for close to 70 miles until I was free of the Los Angeles Friday rush hour traffic. Then another 70 miles of open freeway to my first night’s layover in Santa Maria. The second day was 380 miles of California coastal scenery to Ukiah. Day three was a whopping 600 miles in 14 hours to my doorstep.
Subsequent to getting back to Portland, I put in three 8-hour days of off-road riding. My overall impression is that the Klim Krios Karbon is quiet, comfortable, provides enormous visibility and massive airflow.
The first day’s focus was on getting to know the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike. What I did notice about the Krios Karbon Adventure helmet is that I didn’t notice it at all. Usually, with a new helmet, I feel for the shield lift knob, adjust the airflow, find the proper tension for the chinstrap, or feel that my cheeks are being squeezed by brand new padding. None of that happened. It was like I had been wearing this helmet for years, but it had only been three hours.
It was about 62 degrees when I started out at 6:30 a.m. on my second leg. As I got closer to California Highway 1 and the coast, the temperature dropped to 52 degrees. Because this is an adventure helmet, the front of this helmet is designed for maximum airflow, and there is no front airflow control. You get all the air hitting the front of the helmet flowing up behind the faceshield.
There is a glove-friendly top airflow inlet vent that I had closed before starting out. Checking airflow when it is cold allows me to feel exactly where it is channeling. The top inlet is a push-open, pull-closed slider. The air exits the helmet out four always-open rear vents—two on the rear top and two on the rear bottom.
With the top intake vent open, my head got cold real fast. I closed it, but the wide-open front vents were still sending the cold, coastal air up my face and along my scalp to the four outlet ports. I could feel the efficiency of the airflow design in real-time.
I was wearing the Klim Traverse jacket and pants, so the rest of me was comfortable. However, the cold, coastal air was chilling my head. It was then that I realized I had the solution around my neck. I parked off the highway and pulled my Klim Tek Sok neck gaiter up over the top of my head and mouth. I immediately stopped feeling the cold inlet air. I was now warmer and comfortable. I had found a simple solution to counter its awesome air channeling.
The Klim Krios Karbon helmet comes with a clear, fog-free Pinlock insert that attaches to the anti-scratch clear faceshield. As I didn’t think I would need it, I didn’t put it on before leaving Portland. As it turns out, the freely flowing air kept the shield fog-free. Klim also includes an anti-scratch, smoke faceshield in the box. Because I had limited space to carry anything besides essentials on the plane and Ténéré, I didn’t bring it on this trip.
The peak is impressively aerodynamic and doesn’t grab the wind much when doing a lane change head check. I did feel a slight downward pressure from it at freeway speeds with the short windshield I was riding behind. For a ride over three hours at freeway speeds on the Ténéré, I learned to remove the peak.
Taking the peak off or changing the shield is an easy no-tools process—you simply twist both locking knobs 90 degrees. There is a plastic washer that backs the knobs, so watch for them.
An optional color Transitions Light Intelligent faceshield ($150) changes tint from clear at night to dark smoke in bright daylight. It is great for street use, but I didn’t like it for riding in the forest. There, lighting changes happen instantly at 30 mph, and there is no way any shield technology can change that fast. Klim also recommends not using the peak with the Transitions shield because it can cause uneven tint changes. The Transitions shield does a nice job of easing eyestrain in varying light conditions while street riding. Having options for shield shading is a feature I appreciated as I started taking different types of rides.
The helmet is so light that, even wearing it for 14 hours on my 600-mile day, it was always comfortable and with no pressure points. The small and medium sizes use the small shell, while the large through 3XL sizes utilize the large shell. The shape is intermediate oval which always works well for me.
Sizing was a bit different for my head. I usually wear a medium helmet, but the Klim Krios Karbon Adventure helmet was too narrow to fit over my ears. I went with the LG, and it fit perfectly. That is why we recommend that you have professional assistance when fitting a helmet. I weighed my size-large helmet with the peak off, and it hit the scales at 3.125 pounds. It makes sense that a carbon-fiber shell helmet would be this light.
The visibility out the eyeport is excellent due to the bug-eye design. It enables you to see downward, close to your front tire. The shield doesn’t fully retract above the eyeport because it would hit the screw-in knob that holds the peak in its half-inch adjustable position.
Because I like to ride with my shield open, wind in the face style, I had to get used to the lower edges of the shield in my upper field of vision. Concentrating on terrain changes made me quickly forget that the bottom edges of the shield were in my view. At freeway speeds, I always had the faceshield down. The already quiet helmet gets quieter with the shield closed. Even when standing at speeds up to 50 mph, the helmet is quiet in the full-on windblast.
It is dusty on the fire roads in Northern Oregon this time of year, and I couldn’t always convince my riding partners to let me lead. Riding in other’s dust clouds for hours with the shield closed, I didn’t end the days looking like a raccoon. The dust didn’t accumulate in my nose or on my face. I don’t have red color, tracing smoke to photograph the helmet in a wind tunnel. My guess from feeling the cold coastal air is that the airflow, and dust, goes up the inside of the faceshield and across the upper air channels at the top of the helmet and out the rear vents.
Even with great airflow, dust and sweat eventually accumulate on the inner, removable padded liner. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the moisture-wicking cheek pads are held in place with a wide area of Velcro—no flashlight needed to find any button snaps. The comfort liner has two easily visible snaps in the rear, and the front attachment is a hard plastic strip that clicks into place. An additional, thin, glued-in liner separates the comfort liner from the shell’s inner polystyrene liner. According to Klim customer service, you can wash the liner by swirling water in the top of the helmet and letting the water run out the exhaust ports.
The manual goes into great detail on cleaning and caring for the anti-fog shield coatings. Evidently, they absorb moisture, so make sure the helmet and liners are fully dry before storing them.
The Klim Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet checks all the boxes for me to fully appreciate the time and effort Klim put in to creating it. I have tested its airflow at low speeds in high temperatures and high speeds in lower temperatures. It is quiet at freeway speeds. It is lightweight and has great visibility. This helmet has the versatility of being convertible to an adventure, dual-sport, off-road, or street helmet. Klim includes a fog-free Pinlock lens and two faceshields. I haven’t even thought about wearing a different helmet since I put this one on 2000 miles ago.
Klim Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet Fast Facts
- Sizes: Small – 3XL
- Colors: Covert Hi-Vis; Fastbak Bronze; Vanquish Red; Twotrak Redrock; Twotrak Vivid Black; Valiance Dune; Valiance Gray; Valiance White; Cover Cool Gray; Gloss Karbon Black; Gloss Silver; Gloss White Element; Matte White
- Certifications: DOT; ECE
Klim Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet Price: $500 MSRP