Australian importer of Kabuto helmets, Moto National Accessories has just launched the new Aeroblade-5 helmet, promising a great lid at an ultra-competitive price. Words & Images by Kris Hodgson
Moto National Accessories, the Australian importer of Kabuto motorcycle helmets, have just announced the brand’s new Aeroblade-5 helmet, which succeeds the Aeroblade-3, holding the Australian launch in Sydney, with a special appearance by Kabuto’s Executive Director Hiroki Kimura.
Following in the highly successful footsteps of the Aeroblade-3, the next installment (there was no -4) promises to offer greater comfort, protection and usability than ever before, with the helmet, ostensibly a sports-touring offering, to be available in November for under $500 RRP.
That makes the Aeroblade-5 a very competitive offering in that mid-range helmet price bracket, and while there’s no internal sun visor, the helmet offers a super-light option, with great overall features.
We’ll be doing a full feature on the history of Kabuto, which stems from the OGK Kabuto brand and back into the 1950s shortly, however it’s worth mentioning that Kabuto is one of the largest three helmet manufacturers in Japan, and has a long history of innovation and development for motorcycle helmets.
The Aeroblade-5 is in many ways the culmination of this development in a street helmet, and exemplifies the Kabuto ‘Quality of Heart’ creed, focusing on safety and style, striving for the best products that satisfy professionals.
Talking to Ryohei Wada, head of Overseas Operations for Kabuto, it’s easy to see the pride they take in their products. Not pride in just being able to sell them well, but pride in producing something that users genuinely benefit from, and is a great option, with a breadth of research and development backing up every decision.
A big challenge with the Aeroblade-5 was improving on the previous version, with the helmet still featuring the A.C.T. EVO shell. This is essentially a combination of high-tensile and high-modulus fibres sandwiched between hyper glass fibre, with the layers and resin combinations designed for each specific helmet, to ensure optimal protection.
Also featured is the Dual Density Impact Absorption Liner, with Kabuto using Finite Element Method design, along with wind tunnel testing, and Computational Fluid Dynamics when it comes to the overall helmet design.
This means optimal aerodynamics on the Aeroblade-5, which in turn helps reduce buffeting, strain and resistance with doing head checks, and is often forgotten when done right, but far more noticeable when issues arise.
One of the big changes for the Aeroblade-5 is moving to four shell sizes, where the 3 only had two, which means a more compact and lighter shell across the range, instead of the more ‘one size fits all’ approach, where internals make up the difference.
There’s still six actual helmet sizes with XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL, however where the XS, S and M shared a shell, as did the L, XL and XXL, there’s now a specific shell for the XS/S, M, L, and XL/XXL groups. The biggest benefit here will no doubt be to those looking for a XS and Small helmet, and those who wear a L. Overall Kabuto say this means a smaller, thinner helmet.
Looking at the new designs in person they are definitely compact, aerodynamic and aggressive.
There’s also been revisions to the visor system, which is designed to take a Pinlock (anti-fog screen), with a new two-pivot ratchet system on the super easy to remove and replace visor, as well as a 3D molded shield design.
The rubber trim has also been redesigned to offer a better seal, which ties into the new centre-lock system, in the middle of the sheild. Obviously this departs from the traditional one-sided locking mechanism, which may be strange to users at first, but Ryohei-san explained this was to create a more even lock and seal. Makes sense to me, and while I can see this being an early complaint, it’s one you’ll quickly become accustomed to, and sometimes change is necessary to find a better solution. That’s what I remind myself at least, since I’m pretty change-adverse!
As you’d expect from a premium helmet, internals are all removable, meaning washable and replaceable, with detachable ear caps, slits for glasses (that work really well – we tested them), and a breath guard and wind shutter (for the chin) which can help keep wind from bouncing up off your chest or the screen into the helmet via under the chin, or your breath from fogging up the visor.
Naturally you’ve also got an effective venting system, with a wake stabiliser also incorporated into the design. What’s that I hear you ask? It’s a system which basically controls where the disturbed air flow or turbulence is created in relation to the helmet, which reduces vibrations and neck strain, while helping make turning your head easier.
Overall the Kabuto Aeroblade-5 promises to be a great option, with Moto National’s Chris Lynis expecting the RRP to be under $500, with stock arriving in November. There’s a number of graphics options chosen specifically for the Australian market, not to mention a Matte Black option for those after something a bit more subdued or streetfighter themed.
We’ll also be testing out a Aeroblade-5 once they become available, so stay tuned for a full review, as well as our up-coming feature on the Kabuto brand and history.