WHAT IT IS:
GMax’s new GM11 helmet has a flip-up face shield like a street bike helmet, as well as an adjustable visor like a motocross helmet. Helmets with this combination of features are becoming very popular with UTVers and ATVers, including the staff of UTV Action, so we tested the GMax GM11 to let you know how it performs. Quite a few helmets with visors and face shields have appeared to meet the demand, like the $135 Fly Street Trekker, the $165 AFX FX-41, the $200 Bell MX-9, the $660 Arai XD4, the $645 Shoei Hornet X-2 and the $175 LS2 Pioneer, which also features a retractable tinted sun shield behind the face shield. At $120 in solid colors and $130 in multi-color schemes, the GM11 is an affordable way to enjoy off-road riding without the extra expense or inconvenience of dealing with goggles, but it can also be worn with goggles if you like. The GMax G11’s finish and features are also very impressive:
—The DuPont Coolmax interior is designed to keep you dry and comfortable. Coolmax wicks moisture away from your body and dries quickly.
—The visor is shaped to allow airflow to pass uninterrupted across the helmet to virtually eliminate helmet lift at high speeds.
—The flip-up shield is completely hidden under the visor and out of line-of-sight when in the fully raised position.
—The shield can be fully raised or lowered when using goggles.
—Side-shield plate covers come as standard equipment in the box to use when configuring to a visor-less helmet
—100-percent UV400-resistant face shield comes anti-scratch hard-coated for a longer-lasting clear view.
—The large eye port accepts large goggles.
—Integrated speaker pockets provide audio, intercom and phone compatibility.
—Chin curtain minimizes dust intrusion.
—Sizes range from XS to 2X.
Before we even got moving, we noticed that the GMax G11’s face shield has four detents between fully closed and fully open, which is handy if you want to open the shield slightly to defog it or open it more fully. The full open position gets the shield completely out of view, which is useful, and the closeable vents at the front and rear of the helmet flow enough air to offer noticeable cooling and close fully for cold-weather riding.
GMax calls itself the “better-fitting helmet,” and it did fit some wearers better than other helmets we’ve tested, though some found the cheek padding slightly snug. That can be remedied by compressing the expanded polystyrene beneath the cheek padding. The large size matched the large size of other quality helmets, so there’s no need to go up or down a size when shopping for the G11. At 3 pounds, 12 ounces, the G11 is comfortably light—lighter than some helmets without visors that have to be worn with goggles—and is impressively aerodynamic. We had no problem with the visor creating unwanted lift at high speeds.
Helmets with visors and face shields are becoming very popular with UTVers, because they work so well for the riding and the vehicles we enjoy, and the GMax G11 is the most affordable helmet of its kind we’ve tested so far. Surprisingly, there’s nothing at all about this helmet’s fit, finish or performance that even hints that it’s a low-priced model. We’re very impressed.
PRICE: Solid color: $120. Multicolor: $130