Date reviewed: July 2018 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: From £129.99 | www.tri-motive.com
Priced at £129.99 for plain colours and £149.99 for graphics, the Vemar Zephir is at the higher end of the budget price range for full-face helmets. I’ve been using it for several months on a BMW G310GS, KTM 1050 Adventure, Harley-Davidson Fat Bob and a Honda MSX125…
The shell, which is made of a thermoset resin, has very sharp graphics with a really deep gloss shine to this version. The overall look – with the well-finished vents and liner – is one of high quality; this feels like a lid worth much more than £150.
This medium weighs 1666g, which is at the higher end of the weight scale for cheaper lids, but still not heavy in use at all. To put it in perspective, an Arai Quantum ST weighs 1646g. The solid shell inspires confidence, and I’ve certainly not had any feeling that this is a heavy lid.
The top of the Zephir has two independent vents with closed and two open positions. The large chin vent is open or closed, as is the exhaust. All are easy to operate, though the exhaust is easy to knock closed when the helmet’s off.
While the top vents aren’t as powerful as some other (much more expensive) lids I’ve worn, they’re still effective, clearly pushing air across the top of my head. No doubt they’d be more powerful without the fine wire mesh, but I do like it being there, as I don’t seem to suffer with flies getting blown in there and tickling my head.
The chin vent is very effective, blowing up to my brow, and helping to reduce fogging at speed.
The helmet is fairly still inside at speed, thanks to the removable chin skirt, so should be a good option for the winter too.
The visor is deep and wide, with a good degree of vision, and the nose guard is removable for an increased lower view. There’s no Pinlock anti-fog insert supplied, but the visor is ready for a MaxVision one, which gives better peripheral vision than the standard models. I usually have a Pinlock, but do be aware that they’re adding another layer of plastic in front of your eyes. Having used this Vemar for so long, I’m actually starting to think I’ll leave them out for all but the coldest months, when fogging becomes the biggest issue.
A pair of levers release the visor for cleaning – they’re a little stiff to open, but it pops out reasonably easily. It’s a little fiddly to jiggle back into place.
There are thumb tabs on the left and right edge of the visor – a feature I really appreciate as it makes it easier to open with your right hand when holding the clutch in.
The visor locks down over a tab at the front, and can be cracked open over it, but this doesn’t really aid ventilation. The five-position ratchet mechanism is smooth but positive, and the first stage is wide enough to get your fingers in – I’d like one a little more closed, but I’ve no real problem riding at speed with it at this position.
The drop-down sunshield is very well shaped, fitting well over my face, and cutting out almost all of the light – some leave a too-wide band of sun at the bottom that I find very distracting; this one is excellent.
Even in heavy rain, the visor seals out the water very well.
The plush liner is beautifully finished and plush – it looks much more expensive than it should for a helmet of this price, and is easy to remove and refit for cleaning.
While many riders swear by the security of a double-D fastener, I really like the micrometric ratchet design used here – it takes five minutes to set to the correct length when you first try on the lid, then it’s ready for a perfect fit every time… and you can use it with gloves on.
Comfort is of course very subjective, but I’ve been very impressed with this Vemar. I’m lucky enough to wear lids costing four times as much, but I really like this Zephir. Of course, it helps that the colour scheme works great with my custom Africa Grom, but with no pressure points and a good, snug fit, this doesn’t feel like a budget helmet.
I wear glasses, and have no problem at all with the Zephir.
I’ve yet to wear any helmet that doesn’t require earplugs, and the Vemar is no different, but it’s no noisier than any other average lid, and doesn’t suffer any quirky whistles or creaks.
I’m thoroughly impressed with the Vemar Zephir. In the budget price range, you have helmets costing as little as £35; there are many very good options for less than this, and I’d recommend you create a shortlist and try on as many as you can within your budget. If you can afford it though, this well-specified lid is a great option with effective ventilation, excellent water-sealing and great comfort for my head at least. Definitely worth looking at…