Date reviewed: July 2018 | Tested by: Simon Hancocks | Price: £59.99 | www.bikeittrade.com
At just £59.99, the GSB XP-14A Adventure is a very affordable adventure-styled lid, complete with a peak that helps shield your eyes from the low sun and provide protection from stones and mud thrown up by bikes in front of you… if you’re really getting adventurous! I’ve been using it for commuting on my Ducati Multistrada…
This ABS plastic helmet has a matt-black finish that does look rather plasticky, though that’s to be expected at the price. The vents are a little roughly finished and the mesh inside some of them is easily damaged, though it does stay in place.
The peak is very stable and well positioned – it doesn’t try to lift your head up, even at motorway speeds.
At 1551g for this medium, the GSB is a fairly average weight in the budget helmet market – it certainly shouldn’t cause you any undue fatigue.
The two top vents are independently closeable, though they’re a bit tricky to find and operate with gloves on. They roll sideways to open, which is a bit odd, but you get used to them.
Unfortunately the top vents make no noticeable difference when opened, likely not helped by there being very little channelling in the interior polystyrene. The two exhaust ports on the rear are always open – there are more below this, but they appear to be decorative only.
The chin vent is also always open, and feeds to your mouth via small holes in the lining – I couldn’t really feel these working, but there’s no chin skirt, so the helmet is always very airy. Great in the summer, but cold in the winter.
The large visor gives a great view, though the high centre means you need to look down to check the clocks, rather than glance; no big deal.
It’s a bit of a faff to remove the visor, requiring a cover to be prized off either side, then a Philips head screw taken out to get it out for cleaning.
There’s no option to fit a Pinlock anti-fog insert, though fogging will be less of an issue due to the airy nature of the lid, and the fact that you can crack the visor open a little thanks to friction in the first stage of the fairly smooth four-position ratchet mechanism.
There’s no drop-down sunshield, but the peak does help. Sadly the visor doesn’t seal at all along the top edge, allowing water to pour in on the top edge during heavy rain.
The lining is easy to remove and replace for cleaning. Interestingly, it reveals a large patch of dense foam stuck to the polystyrene, which seems something of an afterthought.
The lining did bobble up quite quickly, but I’d only grumble about this if the helmet were much more expensive.
The micrometric ratchet adjuster can be set up for your neck / throat size in a few minutes then gives a reliable fit every time, even when wearing gloves.
I found the GSB to be a fairly good fit for my head size and shape. The padding on the forehead area is quite thin, but is still okay for a couple of hours riding.
Comfort is of course very subjective, so ensure you try any helmet on properly before buying, and feel for any pressure points.
I don’t wear glasses but did try on some thin framed Ray Bans and found them to sit fairly securely when riding – again, if you wear specs, give them a go with the lid to be sure.
Overall the GSB is noisier than my Arai Chaser X, and the peak whistles a little at speed. Any helmet requires ear plugs, but the airy nature of this GSB does mean it’s that bit noisier.
Overall I’m fairly impressed with the GSB XP-14A Adventure – it performed much better than I expected. It’s unlikely that many people looking to do a big trip would be buying at the real budget end of the market, but if I had a friend who wanted to spend a minimum amount of money on an adventure-style lid for general riding, I’d happily recommend the GSB.