I finally got to have a good look at, and test ride of the new VOZZ RS 1.0 helmet. I also ended up having a good chat with one of the men behind it, Mark Bryant. I think it is fair to describe the VOZZ as a revolution in helmet design and the benefits could spread well beyond motorcycles. Any form of motorsport that requires a full-face helmet will certainly want to adopt this technology. It has taken a decade of development to bring the VOZZ RS 1.0 to market and it is very impressive. Like the first version of anything, there will be improvements and fine-tuning as feedback from the market dictates and re-investment allows. The big and unique selling point of the VOZZ is the way you put it on and take it off. It is a bloody good point. Putting it on and taking it off is incredibly quick once you have done it a few times and you can do it with or without gloves on. For a bit of fun, Mark challenged me to a race; how quickly could I put on my Bell helmet while he put on his VOZZ. I’d barely started threading my chinstrap through the D rings in the time it took Mark to put on the VOZZ properly and take it off again. I reckon he could have had that helmet on and off one or two more times before I’d finished with mine. The concept seems so simple but there has clearly been a lot of engineering and design time put in to make it work. The location and angle of the split, the size and fitting of the closing mechanism (it is similar to a car door closer where a pin goes into a slot and drops a claw to hold it in place), the way the chin cup pulls your head into the back of the helmet but still allows you plenty of jaw movement, the clever aerodynamics and the lack of snag points. The shape of the VOZZ helmet is different to any other helmet I’ve seen. On your average helmet, the widest part is around the visor. On the VOZZ it is at the lower part of the chin bar. The closing mechanisms (one either side) requires the extra space but it also moves the chin bar further forward. This has the additional benefits of improving ventilation and safety. The bottom of the helmet is curved to keep it on your head but it also reduces turbulence. However, you won’t easily be able to fit a current generation communications system. The extra distance between nose/mouth and visor along with the air coming up from under the chin supposedly mitigate fogging problems. That is something I couldn’t test but would like to. I tend to run a bit hot and fog up visors in other helmets very quickly. The VOZZ visor doesn’t have a mechanism to crack it open by a tiny amount like many other helmets to reduce fogging. There are also no plans to add pinlock to the visors for anti-fog or tinted inserts. Speaking of visors, the VOZZ comes with a clear and an 80% tinted visor. I rode with the tinted visor. The optics were excellent and I can’t say I noticed the visor opening intruding into my field of vision anymore than my other helmets. Mark mentioned they are looking at adding a transitions visor to the range. I love the transitions visor on my Bell helmet. They aren’t cheap but they work well and it saves carrying extra visors. Changing the visor is very quick. A spring-loaded clip on either side is pulled down to release the visor and a new one simply pushes back into place. In this respect it is similar to my Bell and a lot of other helmets. Opening and closing the visor and holding it in position utilises a fairly familiar ratchet system. It takes more effort than my Bell but you can be confident the visor isn’t going to change position if you have it open. I have to admit that I really like the infinite visor adjustability of my Arai helmet but at speed the visor can slam shut. Do you wear glasses when riding? What about sunglasses? Some helmets, like my Bell, make it almost impossible to wear glasses as they are just so tight around the temple. Other brands have a groove in the padding for sliding the arms of the glasses through after you have put on the helmet. With the VOZZ, you leave your glasses on and fit the helmet over the top. As mentioned previously, there is good airflow up from the bottom of the helmet. Overall ventilation seems pretty good. The “angel wings” design of the vents may not be to everyone’s taste but it is hard to see them on a black helmet. The mechanism for opening and closing the vents felt a bit stiff but not awkwardly so. There are a couple of exhaust ports on the back of the helmet for sucking through air. Noise. This is the one area the lets the helmet down. It is probably one of the noisier helmets around. Mark believes is due mostly to the helmet release catches acting as a bit of a venturi and covering those catches does make a significant reduction to the noise. For a 20 minute commute it is probably okay, anything more and I’d be using ear plugs. Wind noise is also likely to vary according to bike types, screen heights etc. Another thing I noticed was that I could hear a bit more of my bike and other external noises. I don’t know if that was coming up through the chin area but I didn’t have a problem with it. The helmet feels very aerodynamic which made the wind noise seem more out of place. It didn’t matter how I moved or positioned my head at speed, I didn’t feel any turbulence or pushing/pulling from the wind catching the bottom edges of the helmet. Those lower curves really seem to help here. The lower curves also have several safety advantages. No hard corners or edges to snag anything and, according to Mark, they are less likely to break collar bones etc in an accident. Your chin sits in a cup that needs to be properly adjusted. This keeps your head properly positioned within the helmet. I can’t say how this might feel after a couple of hours on the road but for my test ride I barely noticed it. In fact the only time I really noticed it was when I was testing for talking and chewing movements and the cup presented no impediment. The cup pivots on the adjustment points in a very natural way. Would a bushy beard affect the fitment? Possibly. Similarly, a big afro might make fitting and closing the helmet a bit more awkward, especially if it catches around the latches. Regular long hair doesn’t seem to be an issue and most of the ladies I know with long hair ride with it tied in a ponytail or braided anyway. Sizing - My Bell is a snug M and my Arai is a slightly loose L. For the VOZZ I had to go to an XL. I could get an L on but it was too tight around my forehead. Sadly all of the stock in the country at the moment is the mid-size shell covering sizes M and L. These are also DOT and AS/NZS standards compliant. The ECE compliant versions are lighter and the full size range should be available in a couple of months. Despite being heavier than my Bell or Arai, the better load distribution meant the VOZZ didn’t feel any heavier. If you reckon you have a $10 head, the VOZZ RS 1.0 definitely isn't for you. With an Australian retail price of $888 it is at the upper end of the market. Racers would be used to those prices and I think the helmet will sell strongly to that market. For people who ride daily, I think you could justify the expense. If you are an occasional rider, probably not. This is the first generation of this technology, so expect refinements, improvements and more models in the future. Mark Bryant would like to have off-road and car racing versions in the marketplace as well. That would be great. Mark also mentioned that several bike manufacturers are looking at bespoke version of the RS 1.0. VOZZ seems to be rewriting helmet standards around the world. According to Mark they have shown up limitations with old testing standards. It will be interesting to see if or how that flows on to the rest of the industry. VOZZ holds a number of patents associated with the helmet and with the Australian taxpayer as a development investor, it would be good to see the intellectual property benefit everyone. Police forces in Australia and internationally are looking very closely at the RS 1.0. It could easily replace the flip-face helmets that many forces currently use. Have a look at the VOZZ website for further information and videos. THE HELMET | Vozz Helmets If there is sufficient interest, Mark mentioned the potential for a gat together at the company's Frenchs Forest headquarters to have a look at the helmets.