Open face helmets aren’t my thing! Wearing a helmet is all about safety – at least, that’s what I think should be the case. So, riding a two-wheeler with an exposed chin, jaw, and nose invariably makes open face helmets a bit of a compromise. Having said that, I must add that there are some riders who find open face helmets appealing and safe at the same time. To each his own, I guess, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Plus, there’s no denying that wearing a good quality, stylish open face helmet while riding a cruiser or café racer definitely bumps up your cool factor.
A couple of weeks ago, we were sent one such unit to review by Steelbird. The helmet in question is called the Brat. It’s made by American firm Blauer HT, and it’s brought and sold in the country in collaboration with India’s Steelbird.
First impressions? Well, the Brat looks and feels quite premium – something that we haven’t experienced with any Steelbird unit before. The test unit that we received had a matte black-titanium reflex colour scheme. The Brat has a sturdy and rich feel to it and definitely looks like a high-quality and ‘expensive’ product. And it’s designed in Italy, so, of course, it’s not short on style.
But what about substance? The Brat has an ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) thermoplastic outer shell instead of the more expensive and lighter polycarbonate shell. In terms of safety, the Brat has good ratings though – it meets both European (ECE22.05) and Indian safety (IS:4151) standards. You get a quick-release micrometric buckle, an anti-scratch clear visor, and top air and side air vents for ventilation. In terms of size, it’s available from XXS to XL. The one we tested was an M size.
The Brat weighs around 1,050 grams, which is quite light for a helmet of its kind. On the move, it doesn’t feel heavy on the head. For me, size M was a snug fit, which is how a helmet should be. During the first few days, however, it was a little uncomfortable, especially the cheek padding. The liner is of great quality, and once the break-in period is over, it’s quite comfortable. When you pull the visor all the way down, it surprisingly reduces wind noise to a great extent. At night, the visor offers a distortion-free and crystal-clear vision, which really was a pleasant surprise. Additionally, you get excellent vision.
Overall, the Brat surpassed my expectations. It’s a damn good and solidly built helmet. Not to mention, it’s well priced too – the official price is `5,149; however, as I am writing this, I can see it available for just `3,100 on amazon.in. So, if you want a good quality, stylish, and comfortable lid on your head for cruising around, the Brat offers not just good value but also style, both in abundance.
Price: Rs. 5,149
Pros: Study & premium look and ECE Rated
Cons: Open face helmets aren't the safest
X-factor: Stylish, sturdy & well-priced, the Brat is a quality product that also meets global safety standards.