VEMAR VRX9
SIZES: Extra, Extra Small through Extra, Extra Large
COLOR: Trail Red, Trail Blue, Trail Light Blue, Trail White, Trail Orange, Spirt Red, Spirit Grey, Spirit Blue, Night Vision.
PRICE: $349 – $499 ($449 shown)

WHAT IT IS: The VRX9 is Italian helmet brand Vemar’s marquee offering in the off-road and motocross marketplace. Made of carbon fiber/Kevlar/fiberglass blend and built in Italy to meet European ECE 22.05 and American DOT standards, it is an incredibly lightweight and durable lid. While Vemar is almost unknown in the American marketplace, the company is a player in European road racing and has a history of producing quality products. Modern-day motocross helmets follow two styles, the rounded look of an Arai or the sharp edges of a Shoei, with the Vemar following the latter while retaining a European look that sits it apart from others on the market. 17 vents (11 intake, 6 exhaust) channel air through the deep grooves cut in the EPS foam lining and a soft, anti-bacterial liner that can be removed for easy cleaning. An additional safety feature are the pull tabs attached to the cheek pads, which can be used to remove a helmet from a downed rider without inflicting further injury. The helmet is imported by Motonation.

HITS

– At 2.9lbs, the VRX9 is the second-lightest helmets in the 2014 TransWorld Motocross Buyer’s Guide, bested only by the Airoh Aviator 2.1. The three materials used in the construction of the shell (carbon fiber/Kevlar/fiberglass) are incredibly light, yet are strong enough for the rigors of motocross, off-road racing, and both the ECE and DOT.

– By using a “mid-oval” shell shape, the VRX9 has generous fit in the front and rear, yet snug on the sides of the head and over the ears. A mid-oval is a common shape for most heads, and there are no pressure points or tight spots when wearing the VRX9.

The Vemar VRX9 is built to DOT and ECE standards. Any motorcycle helmet sold in the US has to pass DOT testing, but manufacturers can build to meet either SNELL (private US company) or ECE (European government). Each higher-level has their benefits, but with Vemar helmets based and built in Italy, it makes since that they go after the ECE.

– The helmet comes in seven sizes, with two outer shells making for a proportional build. From extra, extra small to extra, extra large, nearly every rider can find a lid that fits their head.

– A dual-density EPS liner is built to take on high-impacts. Material extends to the chinbar of the helmet, which will absorb and disperse energy from a crash.

– Nearly every goggle can fit in the expansive eye port, from the small frames of the current Smith line to the bigger designs of Oakley and 100%.

The massive eye port of the VRX9 can fit nearly any frame of goggle without problem. In this shot, you can also see the plush anti-bacterial liner that can be easily removed and washed.

– Ventilation through the VRX9 is exceptional. The “Vemar Klima” system is comprised of 17 vents (11 intake, 6 exhaust) on the shell and funnel air through the EPS foam. When on the track, you can actually feel the air flow over your head. This could actually be an issue when riding on chilly days, as the helmet can flow too much air.

– The liner is incredibly plush and after numerous rides, has not developed a flat spot from repeated use. The material is anti-bacterial and fends off smell from sweat. Cleaning the liner is an easy task, as it comes out with a few quick pulls and can be washed with a cold water and a mild soap.

The design of the VRX9 is designed after an oval, made to conform to the very common head shape. The cheek pads feature pull tabs, which a medic can use to remove the helmet from a downed rider in an emergency.

– Two distinctive pull tabs on the cheek pads can be pulled so that a medic can remove the helmet from a downed rider. This feature is becoming a safety standard, and we applaud its use.

– Although it is a European helmet and has some design elements that are very Italian, the overall look of the helmet is attractive. The shell looks aggressive and catches the eye, and the paint design of our model is on par with any other lid we have on our shelves. To cater to the off-road market, Vemar has a high-visibility model that uses glow in the dark paint.

– Nearly every accent of the helmet can be replaced. From the liner, to the visor, to the rubber trim, Motonation stocks the parts.

MISSES

– Although the ventilation of the helmet is incredible, it can almost be too much in certain situations. At high-speeds, the wind noise can be a bit loud and distracting. Also, on chilly days, there is no shortage of cold air funneling through the vents.

– While we don’t mind the massive mouthpiece of the VRX9, it can be a miss for some.

The massive mouthpiece is a love or hate feature of the VRX9. It flows plenty of air and matches the rest of the helmet, but some may think it is too “European.”

WHAT WE THINK

When it comes to helmets, we do not settle in terms of safety. We have tested nearly every high-end helmet on the market, and can say that the Vemar VRX9 has earned a place next to the other marquee lids that we have used in the past. The shell is strong, resilient, and lightweight, EPS liner graces every inch possible of the interior to absorb impact, and the ventilation system flows copious amounts of air over the rider. The helmet has a distinctive look when compared to some, but this is just an indication of its Italian design and build. It has earned a righful place in our gear bag.

For more, visit motonation.com