PRODUCT: The Vemar Taku is brand new to the lineup and has many of the features of the higher-end Vemar VRX-9 but at a dramatically lower price point. It is engineered and manufactured in Italy and meets the ECE standard along with the DOT criteria. There are two sizes to the ABS shell, which cover six helmet sizes, and the mid-oval shape offers a more generous fit front to back and is snugger ear to ear. The liner is removable, washable and uses a special fiber that fights against odor and bacteria while having strong-wicking capabilities. It has a five-year warranty (from the manufacturing date), has multiple internal vents and channels for additional cooling, and it comes with a helmet bag and visor tool. It weighs in at 3.1 pounds for a medium and sells for $99 for solid colors and $129 for graphics.
OUR TAKE: We never take our helmet for granted, and because of this, we really tend to lean towards higher-end protection. Generally, the fit is better, the venting seems to flow properly, and because of the price, it feels like you’re getting more protection. But, the bug in the ointment is that helmets must meet standards of protection, and Vemar made certain that the Taku met the guidelines. Last year we wore and enjoyed the Vemar VRX-9 for the entire year, and dropping down from their $500 helmet to the new Taku, which is $129 with graphics, felt like a huge gap. The good news is that the Taku fits and feels like the higher-end lid. The weight is slightly higher (2.6 versus 3.10), but the vision port is excellent, the liner is comfortable and it wicked sweat quite adeptly. Weight-wise, we’re impressed; on several long rides its heft did not bring on neck twinges, and we love the look.
NEGATIVES: We can’t really find a downside other than a lack of colorways. It’s either black and white, black and fluorescent yellow/green or matte black.
BOTTOM LINE: The Vemar Taku has made its way into our gear bag by virtue of fit, feel, being light enough and is adorned with good looks. Oh, and the one with graphics sells for $370 less than the old VR-X9—that makes this helmet worth the price of admission.
PRICE: $99 (solid), $129 (graphics)