Joe Rocket RKT101 Motorcycle Helmet Review

[This Joe Rocket RKT101 Motorcycle Helmet Review was originally published in the December 2009 issue of Rider magazine]

Now that Joe Rocket has established itself as a power in the motorcycle apparel field, it has branched out into the helmet market. Its first effort is the RKT101 (shown in one of several graphic designs), a full-face lid that the company is having manufactured in Korea by the Hong Jin Crown company, a major helmet supplier that’s better known as HJC.

The RKT101 is composed of a fiberglass Spectra composite weave shell that has been wind-tunnel tested to help achieve its aerodynamic shell shape, while inside is a multiple-density EPS impact-absorbing foam liner. Slip the RKT101 over your cranium and its removable, washable, moisture-absorbent SilverCool comfort liner has a luxury feel like some top-line helmets. The breath guard (which is designed to prevent your breath from fogging the shield on cool days) is large and obtrusive, but snaps out easily.

There’s plenty of airflow from the chinbar vent. On the crown are two controllable vents with sliding controls, which also work well. The rear vents in the aerodynamic wing do not close, which could presumably present a problem while riding in the rain. However, the aerodynamic foil around them should prevent rain from entering while the rider is in motion, and because the vent openings are raised above the surrounding surface, it’s also unlikely much moisture will enter while you’re stopped. Therefore, venting is constant and I could feel a slight breeze at the back of my head while riding. Airflow increased as I tilted my head forward. Personally, I found that slight breeze annoying on cooler days (there’s not much hair up there to block it), and have always preferred systems on which airflow could be closed completely.

Raise the shield and slide a lever on each sideplate toward the rear of the helmet; the shield pops off. To replace it, simply push the shield mechanism into its holder and twist; it pops back on and is really a slick system. A unique feature is the little button on the left side of the face shield; pushing it when the shield is down locks it in the closed position so it will not open under most impacts. A large selection of optional shields is available.

Wind noise is light to moderate on an unfaired motorcycle, but I would suggest wearing ear plugs while riding. The RKT101 weighs 3 pounds, 13 ounces, meets or exceeds the DOT and current Snell standards, and sells for $269.99-$274.99, depending upon graphics. Please note that the Snell standard will change slightly for 2010, and the RKT101 will be replaced by the RKT201. It will be essentially the same helmet with several tweaks. It will look nearly identical to this helmet but will be slightly lighter, have a chin curtain to reduce noise, the breath deflector will be smaller and it will have a new eyeport gasket.

For more information: Visit Joe Rocket or call (800) 635-6103


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