Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Helmet Review [Stormtrooper Style]

For more than 40 years, the Lucasfilm Star Wars franchise has been a force in the entertainment world. Related spin-off motion pictures, television shows, and a nearly endless range of products all owe their existence to that enduring science fiction classic. Now, Ruroc Limited, based in Gloucester on the eastern bank of England’s River Severn, extends Star Wars’ reach to its range of premium motorcycle helmets. Ruroc offers three graphic colorways inspired by Star Wars characters: Darth Vader, intergalactic bounty hunter Boba Fett, and the ubiquitous Imperial Stormtroopers. Each adorns the top-of-the-line Atlas 4.0 Carbon full-face helmet. I tested the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Stormtrooper edition.

Though the Star Wars livery is beautifully done and pure fun, the Atlas 4.0 Carbon is all business when it comes to physical performance. It carries dual U.S. DOT FMVSS 218 (compliance independently verified by ACT Labs) and ECE 22.06  safety certification (independently verified by VIAS Institute in Belgium).

The company indicates that the Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet exceeds all physical performance requirements by a minimum of 20 percent. The company explains that claim: “The statement around ‘exceeding by a minimum of 20%’ was taken from the average peak acceleration results achieved at VIAS Institute, Belgium, versus the required pass figure.” To ensure it can back up that claim, the company maintains an in-house test lab at the corporate HQ in Gloucester.

The clear face shield included with the helmet meets U.S. VESC 8 performance standards and is ready for the optional Pinlock anti-fog insert. The tinted faceshields and stylish photochromic shields are not marked as VESC 8 or ECE-compliant. Ruroc says those shields are “not warranted shatterproof, daytime use only” and are for “track use only.”

Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Helmet Review: fit and sizing
The Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon’s fit is spot on using the sizing chart, and its actual weight proved to be less than the claimed weight.

There are seven detent positions for the faceshield, and the hinge action is smooth and easy. Contradicting its ease of movement, the shield stays in the position you select and locks on to a small tab on the chin bar of the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet when fully closed.

Changing shields is tool-free, requiring only a quarter-turn of the hinge pins on each end of the shield to release and easily attach the optional shield. The how-to video on the Ruroc website shows a shield change accomplished in fewer than 30 seconds. It took me about two minutes to install the tinted shield the first time because one hinge side kept binding, despite appearing perfectly lined up for installation.

Installing the optional photochromic Transitions shield ($185) on the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet went more smoothly, with the shield snapping into position readily. The shield color changes from clear in low light to moderate tint in about 15 seconds, and darker in 15 to 25 seconds when moving into direct, full sunlight. In use, the response is so subtle, yet effective. You almost don’t notice it until you raise the shield in bright light and experience the difference. The photochromic shield comes with its own cloth carry bag, as does the standard tinted shield provided with the helmet.

There are seven additional shield color options ($70 each) in addition to the photochromic Transitions shield. The eyeport is particularly wide, with the horizontal range of view spanning 215 degrees and the vertical range 100 degrees.

Inside the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet’s carbon fiber shell is an impact-absorbing multi-density EPS layer. The removable and washable comfort liner includes Rheon protection technology. This is perhaps the most important, yet invisible, innovation the Ruroc product offers.

Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Helmet Review: Rheon liner
This is the side of the Rheon comfort liner facing the rider’s head.

Unlike designs that focus on approaches involving the external shell or the EPS layer, Ruroc uses the Rheon product to make the comfort liner a third level of impact attenuation. Using 48 engineered polymer structures that act as a reactive suspension beneath the shell and between the comfort liner and EPS layer, Rheon technology is described as protecting your brain “by shearing and strengthening on impact.” It is also described as effective in controlling the force of both linear and rotational impacts. According to Ruroc, the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet is the first road-going helmet to offer Rheon technology.

The comfort liner includes cheek pads constructed of multi-layer foam designed to enhance fit, suppress noise, and increase safety. There are quick-release pull loops on each side to facilitate easier, safer helmet removal by emergency personnel. A removable chin curtain is installed to reduce wind noise.

Rheon imact liner inside look
With the comfort liner in the helmet crown turned over, part of the Rheon impact liner becomes visible.

The Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet interior is quiet in clean air—no windshield in use—even at Interstate speeds with all the vents open or closed. In turbulent air—with a short windshield in use—there is minor buffeting but minimal increase in sound.

Ventilation is provided by twin intake vents on the chin bar; both are controlled by a single slide shutter on the inside of the chin bar. When the shutter is closed as far as airflow into the eyeport, the incoming air gets vented up toward the faceshield as a demist function; when in the alternate position, the shutter allows airflow into the eyeport.

The vertical chin bar vents direct air into the eyeport or up onto the shield, but the control is on the inside of the chin bar. The crown vent is actually two smaller openings with a single slide control.

The crown vent appears to be one huge vent across the top of the eyeport. However, there are two inlets under the black grille controlled by a single slide-type shutter. Dual exhaust vents under the rear spoiler of the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet move the air out of the shell.

Airflow volume into the eyeport is excellent, though not wanting into the crown. The vent, being directly above the eyeport, places perceptible cooling airflow on the brows for a noticeable cooling effect. In the closed position, it effectively shuts down airflow without leakage or noise.

Fidlock clasp
The Fidlock buckle has a magnetic latch that practically closes itself and opens instantly with a pull on the red tab.

Another welcome innovation is the use of the magnetic Fidlock chinstrap buckle. The Fidlock buckle eliminates the traditional double D-ring, which is tough to manipulate with gloves on—somehow, MotoGP racers manage it. Once you get accustomed to using the Fidlock, it practically buckles itself. Having used the Fidlock buckle previously, the technique is familiar. Once buckled, it stays buckled, yet quickly releases with a pull on the red release tab. The operation of the Fidlock buckle is well-illustrated and explained in the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet manual available online.

The Stormtrooper graphic treatment is slick and detailed. It is so meticulous that it includes lines representing cracks and scratches from interplanetary combat damage—not to be mistaken for actual damage to the helmet. The graphic scheme also has shadowing effects to mimic the contours of the on-screen Imperial stormtrooper helmets.

The helmet’s actual weight as reviewed in size L/XL is 3.82 pounds (1736 grams). That is slightly less than the weight noted on the helmet (1750g), something I don’t recall happening before.

Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Helmet: Shockwave audio system
At the bottom rear of the helmet, a small panel is provided to allow installation of the optional $200 Shockwave audio system.

There is an optional $200 Shockwave Bluetooth sound system by Harmon Kardon, though it is not included in this review. The Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet is designed to accommodate the system.

The fit, using Ruroc’s sizing chart, is spot-on, and the comfort level on my head is excellent; remember, however, that every skull is different, so you should always get a helmet professionally fitted. Overall performance of comfort features for day-long riding—weight, stability, fit, view area, buckle, and shield operation—is excellent and places the Atlas 4.0 Carbon helmet among the best I’ve tested.

In terms of physical performance credentials, the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon motorcycle helmet may be one of the safest full-face helmets on the market. With dual homologation, the addition of Rheon impact protection technology, claimed test values exceeding all performance requirements by a minimum of 20 percent, and emergency quick-release cheek pads, the stars certainly seem to align—sorry, I couldn’t resist that. Add a comfortable fit, available photochromic faceshield, effective ventilation, quick-on/quick-off Fidlock chin strap buckle, and cool Star Wars graphics, and you have a unique combination of fun form and serious function.

2023 Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Fast Facts

•  Sizes: XS; SM; ML; L/XL; XL/XXL

• Weight: 3.85 pounds (L/XL size)

• Certifications: DOT FMVSS 218; ECE 22.06

• Faceshields: Clear, tinted, photochromatic (Pinlock optional)

• Colors: Various graphics, including Star Wars, Marvel, and DC characters

 2023 Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Price: from $475 MSRP ($575, as tested with Stormtrooper graphics)

2023 Rurocc Atlas 4.0 Carbon Helmet Review Photo Gallery