PRODUCT: The Leatt 8.5 V21 is an all-new helmet that is ECE- and DOT-certified and features a composite shell with brain-injury-reduction technology built in. The helmet uses 360º Turbine technology, which means it is lined with discs constructed from an energy-absorbing material designed to allow the head to move slightly inside the helmet during a crash, reducing rotational, direct and deflective impact energy. This technology has two key advantages—the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and the absorption of energy upon impact at concussion level. It reduces peak brain acceleration by up to 30 percent at impact speeds associated with concussion and reduces peak brain-rotational acceleration by up to 40 percent. The Pro-Fit elastic comfort liner conforms to the shape of your head. Plenty of venting is offered, with large channels to keep your head cool. The visor now features a unique breakaway function to reduce forces to your head or neck during a crash. The cheek pad also features quick emergency removal in case of a crash.
OUR TAKE: The first thing we noticed and loved about the new helmet was the weight. Compared to last year’s 5.5 Composite helmet, it is almost 100 grams lighter. It’s feathery, and that is a real advantage on a long day on the bike. The new Pro-Fit elastic comfort liner fits snugger at the cheeks and is ultra soft and removable. Good vent channels flow air and help to keep your head cool, and the new visor offers a breakaway function. We wish the visor did not lock into one position, though, because we would have liked the ability to adjust the visor for off-road days when the sun is low and in our face.
Top marks go to Leatt for investing in the science behind your brain’s protection and producing a lightweight, comfortable helmet. As with all high-end helmets on the market, technology and protection come at a price. The Leatt 8.5 V21 isn’t the most expensive helmet, but it is also not the cheapest. How much is your brain worth to you?