What this world needs is a good $200 helmet! It’s even better when it’s on sale.
Vemar is based in Grosseto, Italy in Southern Tuscany, so you might think that their products would reflect the beauty of the region. Think that and you might be right. The Vemar Attivo modular helmet presents clean, simple lines that make it seem more expensive than it is. Glossy paint, rich-feeling cloth and a nicely padded Euro-style ratcheting strap all conspire to make the Vemar Attivo a nice looking and comfortable feeling helmet.
The Attivo is a modular helmet, and although it’s a larger helmet on the outside, the contrasting color of the lower protective band does a good job at hiding its bulk, but it will never be confused with a head-hugging slim profile helmet.
The design of the modular visor and rotating chin bar of the helmet is ideal. Using metal pins, the flip-up chin bar has a very solid closing mechanism, and yet the effort to unlatch the chin bar (via a small tab at the very front lower edge of the helmet) is minimal. The only drawback is a bit of a jarring noise when the visor portion is closed, despite some softer gray plastic surrounding the eye port.
I immediately added some small reflective vinyl to the helmet, with yellow and blue in the front and red at the rear. The helmet comes in a nice bag, but without any stickers.
The materials used in the Attivo are mostly of top quality. The various fabrics used in the liner are well specified and executed. The very bottom of the liner is a sort of low pile velvet and features a highly reflective stripe that sits at the perfect angle to catch lights of following cars. The vent holes in the back of the helmet have a black plastic surround and silver mesh inserts that look great (but one somehow got a little dented in my first month of use). The accessories that come with the helmet show signs of a little cost-cutting, but the inclusion of the chin skirt and breath guard is a positive. The chin skirt is particularly effective at covering the additional space in front of ones chin with due to the modular design of the helmet. It is necessary, even in warmer weather as it does cover up the “long nose” of the modular helmet. Without it (the chin skirt and breath guard are removable), there is a significant draft of wind that comes through the bottom of the helmet.
The visor is optically correct and free from any waviness or distortion. And it had better be, because a new shield is $64, or would be, as it is currently unavailable from where I bought the helmet. It’s the first thing that I usually scratch, so I’m going to be very careful with the Attivo.
The large size fit my 59mm head very well and with the usual “mid oval” shape, the Attivo was a comfortable yet snug fit from the first wearing. Over the month of the test, the liner compressed slightly, but the fit is still very good. The ratcheting chin strap is a good one, padded and comfortable. The metal buckle is nicely painted and the part that actually does the grabbing is a heavy contrasting color plastic with a red nylon pull tab to release the spring-assisted closure.
There are some slight indentations for glasses, and they went on easily once the helmet was on. They definitely have to come off when putting the helmet on, but by spreading the lower side edges of the helmet, I can usually manage to get it off without taking my glasses off.
The balance of the helmet is good, with a slight forward lean due to the modular mechanism. The eye port is smaller than the Shoei that I came out of, and takes some getting used to. I maximize the forward and lower vision by making sure that the helmet is pulled down and forward before I move off on the scooter.
I rode in cooler, wet and windy weather and found no major drawbacks other than the generally higher general noise levels found with a modular helmet. It’s not a deal breaker though, as I usually wear earplugs on anything approaching a longer ride.
Ventilation is handled through closable intakes near the top of the helmet along with two very small intakes at the front. None of the intakes seem to provide distinct airflow, but they must be doing something, as fogging was largely controlled. The helmet was neither too hot nor too cold, and I rode from the low eighties down to the low forties. The anti-fog coating on the inside of the face shield is good, better than the old Shoei RF-1000 and Fog City insert that it replaced.
In use, the helmet offers the best of the modular design with a large pivoting lower section and separate or together moving face shield. This means that if you have the shield up and you unlatch and move the modular section up, it will seamlessly meet the face shield, and, if lowered, they will come down as one piece. It’s handy and I now appreciate the convenience of not having to remove the helmet completely in order to use an ATM, get fuel or run into the take-out place to pick-up a pizza.
The independent sun shield comes down with a tiny button being pressed and a quick two inch rotation of the actuation dial on the lower left edge of the helmet. The shield itself is a medium gray, and seems to cover more of my eyes than some other sun shield helmets that I’ve tried. It fits well over my glasses and is highly convenient when riding in changing conditions.
Although the Vemar Attivo modular helmet isn’t the best helmet ever, it is a fantastic helmet for the price. I got mine at Motorcycle Superstore and am convinced that the Attivo is a good balance of features and functionality with a reasonable weight and an attractive, seemingly durable design. As it turns out, it’s perfect for this scooterist.
What’s next: New winter gloves from Corazzo