So a few times now I have gone riding and wore my new Simpson (Norix) M30 that I imported from Japan. So I figured a proper review was in order.
My main helmet for comparison is a Shoei RF1100, which is a fantastic helmet with so many online reviews I needn't waste more Internet space with another. Suffice to say, the RF1100 is a superior helmet in every way. Very comfortable, cool and classic in matte black, and full of customizable features like top head vents and a chin/neck cover for colder weather. Now onto the M30. This helmet, is a licensed replica of the 1970s era Simpson M30, without a doubt, one of the coolest looking full face helmets ever made. The company manufacturing these helmets is called Norix, and they are based out of Canada. Unfortunately, these helmets are only available in Japan at the moment, and therefore DOT and Snell approvals have not been attached. That said, this helmet is no joke. It is not a novelty helmet, and judging by the strictness of the Japanese motorcycle licensing system, this helmet is a fully functional and hopefully tested crash helmet of the highest quality. It certainly feels that way on my head, and it felt that way when I bought it. The helmet is right around $500 USD, which puts the M30 in the upper price range for any motorcycle helmet. At first I was a little unsure of the comfort, as the helmet tended to press a little on my forehead, but after wearing it I can honestly say it is as comfortable as my RF1100. And the visor is phenomenal. I have both a clear (stock) and a smoked visor, which is what I have on the helmet now. The smoked visor is so dark, that in bright daylight your eyes will remain very happy, but you had better get home before sunset, otherwise you will be either riding blind or with bugs and wind in your watering eyes. Yes, it is that dark. But dark is what we are going for. The matte black version was the only option for me, and the finish is really nice and seems quite durable. The front vents in the mask portion of the helmet let plenty of fresh air pass right into your mouth and nose, which makes fogging minimal and lets breathing feel very normal. The chin strap is easy to lash and tuck away so it is not flapping while you are riding. Another nice thing about this helmet, is that all the stickers come off readily, so you are not left with the obnoxious SIMPSON logo spoiling your Darth Vader from hell look. Living the USA, the best option to get one of these helmets is through a Japanese auction site, like www.Noppin.com or Yahoo Auctions. You will pay through the nose, but you will be happy in your Simpson M30. Hopefully soon Norix will get them tested and licensed in the USA. I even think they look cool in white...if that is your thing.