CHOOSING THE RIGHT UTV HELMET

CHOOSING THE RIGHT UTV HELMET

For us, wearing a helmet when driving a UTV is second nature; we feel naked without one. Beyond head protection, some of the basic benefits of a helmet include sound-deadening, sun, eye and wind protection. Furthermore, the right helmet can provide fresh air and driver-to-passenger or car-to-car communications, along with cell-phone connectivity. If you think you don’t need a helmet, think about this: smacking your unprotected head on a rock or roll-cage tube in the event of a crash is like hitting a watermelon with a baseball bat. You must wear a helmet at all times while your UTV is in motion. Choosing the right UTV Helmet will get you the comfort and features you want.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT UTV HELMET
A simple open-face helmet can still protect your head from accidental impact. They can be easily used with sunglasses or goggles, and the GMAX ($50–$79) helmet can accommodate communications as well. They also have the skull cap style for $79 with pull-down eye protection and $55 without.

Choosing the right helmet doesn’t have to be a complicated process. A couple of things you want to consider are the kind of riding you do and your budget. If you already own a full or open-face helmet for ATV or dirt bike riding, that is fine for now. Use the helmet with a good pair of goggles; however, keep in mind that helmets with visors grab a lot of wind when sitting in a UTV versus standing in an attack position on a bike. After a long day, you will notice a sore neck or at the very least be tired of the wind and noise. So, when it comes time to choose a new UTV helmet, this guide will help.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT UTV HELMET
For kids, having a lightweight lid with some sort of eye protection is a must. The GMAX is the best we have found for kids. This full-face, DOT-approved helmet is 2.9 pounds and comes in 10 different colors. They also have lightweight MX helmets (2.2 pounds) if you would rather go that route. Get them at any Western Powersports dealer.

KIDS

Choosing the right UTV Helmet for kids is a must. You wouldn’t believe how many photos people send us with kids not wearing helmets, and yet the parents in the photos are wearing them. How crazy is that? Safety should be your first priority when it comes to your child, and besides that, a helmet with goggles or a shield will keep wind, dust, sun and bugs out of a child’s eyes. The best helmets for young drivers or passengers are from GMAX. This is a house brand for Western Powersports, so these helmets can be purchased at any WPS accessory shop. The GMAX youth products are made with smaller shells and are lighter than adult helmets. On average, the GMAX MX helmets for kids weigh under 3 pounds, and the full-face helmets weigh just over 3 pounds. The $89.95 Youth GM-49Y comes in green, blue or orange with cartoon graphics and red, blue and yellow without, or black for $79.95 in small, medium and large.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT UTV HELMET
Klim has the ultimate UTV helmet. It features dual shields, an air inlet and dust skirt. It can be used with or without a pumper system. This and all helmets can be wired for Bluetooth or wired communications. PCI Race Radios sells this exact helmet wired for $325. Klim sells the R1 without wiring for $200.

OPEN FACE

We know there are times you don’t need the full protection of a race-style helmet. A simple open-face helmet can still protect your head from accidental impact. It can be used with sunglasses or goggles, and the GMAX helmet can accommodate communications as well. All the top helmet makers have a line of open-face helmets with pretty cool designs.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT UTV HELMET
Dual-sport helmets work well if you drive at slower speeds where wind resistance isn’t an issue. Also, the shield takes in dust, so you would want to avoid group rides wearing this style.

DUAL-SPORT

These helmets, which feature a visor and a full shield, were made popular by dual-sport adventure motorcycle riders. Like normal MX helmets, they catch a lot of wind, as the shield pushes the wind up towards the visor; however, they are good for people who want to wear sunglasses or RX glasses while they ride. Also, if you don’t have a roof on your machine, the visor will help block the sun. These helmets work better for slow-speed driving and less dusty conditions.

A modular helmet works like a full face, but the front can be lifted up out of the way to talk or drink a beverage. GMAX keeps their weight to around 4 pounds, but these are typically a bit heavier than others. These start at $140.

FULL FACE

In the last decade of testing UTVs, we’ve come to prefer full-face helmets over all others for fast driving. They have minimal wind resistance, and the modern DOT versions are lightweight and super comfortable. In this category, you can choose from a street bike helmet, car racing helmet or a modular design. A modular design is typically worn by snowmobilers and has lots of features, such as heated shields, extra pull-down smoked shields and comms. But, the biggest asset of a modular helmet is that the front of it flips up out of the way, so you can talk without screaming or take a sip of your favorite tasty beverage.

Pumper systems have been around for decades, and there are lots of helmets that accept them besides the Klim R1. They typically clamp to a roll cage, and one or two tubes run up to the driver and/or passenger. They are wired into the machine’s battery and turn on with a flip of a switch. This is the most economical way to pump fresh air into your helmet at $70. They can be purchased at Racing Plus by calling (951) 360-5906. Tell them UTV Action magazine sent you.
Parker Pumper’s new $499 Xtreme air is the latest in pumper technology. This system uses centrifugal fans designed to output the highest-pressure airflow within a ducted system. The PP Xtreme is the only helmet pumper on the market that incorporates this design to provide the max CFM output you can feel.

FRESH-AIR SYSTEMS

Choosing the right UTV helmet for group rides and/or rides in dusty conditions means getting one equipped with a fresh-air port. Klim has a DOT-certified helmet with a clear outer shield and a drop-down, 80-percent-darker inner shield. A lower dust skirt comes with it and helps keep the dust out, whether or not you are hooked into a fresh-air system. We have a complete buyer’s guide of fresh-air systems here:
www.utvactionmag.com. PCI Radios offers this helmet wired for communications. It works with most radio/intercom setups for an additional $150.

Safety for everyone on board your UTV depends on the driver first and proper safety gear a close second. Helmets not only provide that safety, but they can be outfitted with communication systems so you can talk to all of them.
Solid is a brand new helmet company developed exclusively for the UTV driver. Their line up will range from youth and open face products all the way up to high-end carbon fiber, full face models available with or without a fresh air-port. All styles will be available with or without a communication system as well. See www.solidhelmets.com or dial directly to (928) 302-1244.
There are a variety of helmet communication systems out there. This is one of the more complete setups from PCI. With a radio, intercom and headsets, you can talk to the passenger sitting next to you, as well as other cars nearby if they are equipped with a similar setup.

CONTACTS:

GMAX: www.gmaxusa.com, (800) 999-3388

Klim: www.klim.com, (208) 552-7433

Solid: www.solidhelmets.com, (928) 302-1244

Racing Plus: www.racingplus.com, (951) 360-5906

PCI Radios: www.pciraceradios.com, (800) 869-5636

See UTV Action’s test on Arai’s XD-4 helmet here: https://utvactionmag.com/arai-xd-4-helmet/

You might also like

Comments are closed.