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Old 23 Aug 2013
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Posts: 66
Airoh S4 Review - Ride through Europe and Africa

Hey people

We are manically trying to update our website (new one coming to make my life easier - currently we've abandoned our existing site because it's so diabolical back end! But updating still on www.facebook.com/chasinghorizons) In the meantime I thought I should post our reviews/thoughts and experiences of some of the equipment we've been riding with daily for the past 9 months!

First up...

Airoh S4

Helmet Category: Airoh classifies this helmet as “Off Road”
Price Range: Around £80.00

Features and Specs:
Road Legal
Airoh S4 Visor with antiscratch treatment both inside and outside
COOLMAX inner liner with height transpiring netting inserts
Removable and washable inner liner
Removable and washable cheek pads
Helmet quick release retention system
Painted and UV-coated Outer shell
Front air intake
Chin guard air intake
Side spoiler and air extractors
Upper spoiler
Removable peak
ACU Gold Stamped
Weight 1370 +/- 50 grms

Our Rating:
Visor: 5/10 (Sam) and 6/10 (Clare) (let down by the lack of pinlock!)

Field of Vision: 7/10

Noise: 3/10

Fit and Comfort: 7/10

Venting: 5/10

Peak: 6/10

Cleaning: 2/10 

Strap: 6/10

Good Looking?: 6/10 

Pricing: 9/10

Overall Average: 5.7/10 … although dragged down massively by the cleaning and noise!

Our thoughts:
The Visor: 
Specifically chosen for our ride from the UK down to the Southern most tip of Africa we picked these up at a neat price of £80.00 each – bargonious in our opinion! With a variety of features the Airoh S4 tends to lend itself more towards the styling of a motocross helmet, but also has the incredibly attractive feature of a removable visor. Being able to utilise this for additional wind and weather protection for the colder rides through Europe in snowy and torrential rains of December as well as some of the surprisingly chilly days in North Africa and then again when we hit the rainy seasons in Kenya, it proved to be an absolute God send. The visor itself doesn’t come with a pinlock so initially we thought it might be a bright idea to have one installed to help with steaming up issues but to be frank, by our second encounter with a rainy downpour the seal on the pinlocks had popped loose and we were in fog central! Instead we just whipped them out (a Shoei pinlock so perhaps not the perfect fit) and cracked the visor. This… worked tip top! Water didn’t really seep in and our visors stayed nice and clear. That was the nice thing with the visor. It was fairly smooth and easily adjustable by a good sized left hand tab by small nudges yet it held it’s positioning and didn’t slip once you were happy with where it was at. As for the antiscratch treatment, I was always a bit weary of this and figured it was some kind of fluffy extras they said it had to fatten up the specs. However! We had these visors quite literally rammed in the top of my rucksack wrapped in merely a headscarf and up against foodstuffs and all kinds of daily items I pulled in and out for a good few months and yet there were minimal scratches on them when we eventually reattached them. Pretty impressive, especially considering they were being hurled in and out of tents, lent against, endured a couple of tumbles and heavy vibrations against other bits in the backpack when riding ruggered terrains and my general clumsiness!

The Field of Vision:
Despite the Airoh S4 being feature bias towards a motocross style helmet, the field of vision is nearing a couple of inches smaller than your average motocross helmet. Saying that, it certainly has a much wider view than your bog standard full face road one. Sam was absolutely fine when picking goggles to fit his as he had the larger sized S4, however, I had to be a little bit more selective with the smaller helmet and ended up being restricted to a pair of small sized Oakleys which fitted but very snugly. Most others had a tendency to pull away from my face or pinch my nose so from where they were squished in! Something to consider if you’re looking at sizing up to a smaller S4 and want to wear goggles with them.

The Sizing/Fit, Cleaning and Comfort:
Speaking of sizes, the Airoh suggested sizes were spot on for us. For 8 months we wore the helmets comfortably and daily through some rather extreme conditions (minus temperatures and snow to 55 degree celicius heat) and although the inner padding did start to loosen slightly it was not to any raised concern. The lining should really have been fully detachable but it was incredibly awkward and a complete and utter pain to get back in. Not only that but because of our scala headset system they were partially glued in making it even more of a toughy to pull out without yanking all the cables along with it. We managed to clean them a couple of times but in essence they ended up getting a bit scummy by the end and after we had removed the headsets the linings were so fluffed up by the glue we couldn’t really justify paying for them to be shipped back to the UK and ended up disposing of the helmets. To be fair, we were time pressured when tearing out the headsets so not as delicate as we could have been and the helmets had by far done their due and have probably encountered a few knocks to justify their final ousting! So if you do have any kind of headset you would like to fit they’re not particularly headset friendly and very fiddly! Taking time and patience it can be done… but cleaning?! Pain in the buttocks we say!

On the plus side these helmets are very light weight. Not light enough for you to wonder whether you’d be better off with bubble wrap as safety on your head but light in a comfortable way! They also do look pretty cool too. We had the matt black versions so spruced them up with a few stickers but overall a reasonable looking helmet.


Chinny Chin Chin and Venting:
Now, because they have a larger chin space like a motocross helmet and a permanently open vent system, we managed to stay very cool and aerated in those hot sticky countries but naturally when it was wet and cold we had to be sure have thick neck scarfs on to prevent icey cold winds and water intruding and giving us snotty wet noses! The vents didn’t seem to have any leakage in water wise though which is always a plus.

Peak Performance:
Reference the peak, it was easily and fully adjustable and super handy in the scorching sunny days. Yes, it did mean on those windy days we would get a bit of drag and pull but never enough for us to warrant stopping and taking them off. This is partially due to protection from our motorbike fairing though. They’re not like your super strength top end £500 helmet peaks, but were strong enough to endure our lugging about and accidental knocks.

The chin straps are a clip lock type mechanism which certainly made it easy for quickly whipping your helmet on and off at borders or when greeting people. We never had any problems with wearing of the teeth on the lock or it coming loose but Sam still favours the D Lock system if he has a choice.

All in all they are very light, comfortable and a phenomenal quality for their price. I think the word we keep using for them is “decent” – they satisfied everything we needed them to. Ideal for those warmer climates and green laning fun!

If you guys and girls have any questions do let us know Always willing to help out!

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