OGK FF-3 (FF3) Motorcycle Helmet
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
OGK helmets are not widely known, but many World
Superbike and Supersport riders swear by them.
webBikeWorld team have been admirers of the OGK brand since we first
tried them. We're definitely of the anti-snob persuasion, and it's nice to
find a somewhat obscure helmet brand that really works. OGK helmets are definitely
contemporaries of the best in the business.
So curiosity finally got the better of us, and who better to supply
a sample for review than the OGK
Shop? They (used to) distribute OGK helmets and other products
worldwide, they're motorcycle riders and racers, and they're probably the
leading champions of the OGK brand.
A short discussion with Steve Sykes at the OGK Shop resulted in an email
on a Thursday afternoon that said the helmet was in the mail that
day. I get occasional packages from overseas, so I figured on a
couple of weeks before I'd see the box. But early the very next
Monday morning, the rural route postal carrier drove up and handed me a
I wasn't even thinking it was the helmet; first off, it was too
soon, and second, the box was too light! But sure enough, there it
was -- it went through customs at JFK and BWI and was hand
delivered to me in under 5 days -- and one of those days was a
Sunday! That's faster delivery than I get from just about anywhere
in the U.S.!
Anyway, I pulled the helmet out of its box and admired this beauty.
Its Fiberglas/Kevlar construction means it's incredibly light (I weighed
it at 1623 grams), and it has what I think is a great shape -- racy and modern.
It really turns heads when you're tooling down the road. I slipped it
on and immediately noticed something different -- this helmet fits like no
other I've ever tried -- and I've tried a lot of helmets in 30+ years of
riding. I now see what a combination of light weight and a perfect
fit does for you -- it really makes the helmet feel like it totally
disappears on your head.
But the proof is in the riding, shall we say. We've been having a
hellish summer here in the Washington D.C. area -- I can't remember the
last time it dropped under 90F, and it's incredibly humid every day, but
we never seem to get any rain. Awful conditions for any helmet (and
rider!), but good for testing airflow.
One of the neat things about modern helmet designs is all the air vents and
air flow technology that have come into play. Unfortunately, there's
still a lot of advancement that needs to be made in this area, as many
(most?) helmets don't live up to expectations for air flow.
So I was
definitely skeptical about how well all the air vents and holes on the
FF-3 would work. By time I got suited up, the thermometer was
indicating 93 degrees F. The only thing to do when it's that hot is
to keep moving, and fast! And surprise of surprises, the air venting
system in the FF-3 really works!
I felt more air flow through
this helmet than most of the helmets I've tried. A nice rush
of air through the filters in the chin vent. Another bit of nice cooling
breeze is felt across the forehead and top of the helmet. I'm assuming the 4
vents in the rear of the helmet do their job of pulling the air through
and out the back, because the system seems to work as designed.
can honestly say that my head was as comfortable as could be, considering
the conditions; more
comfortable, in fact, in the 93 degree weather than other helmets are when
it's cooler. I don't know how they get all that air to
flow through the liner, but it does.
Not to say you can't shut the flow off if
desired. It's easy to shut the chin or forehead vents with a gloved
hand, and they stop the flow when closed. There are pull tabs on the
back of the helmet (red arrows, left) that, when pulled towards the rear,
open the vents that live in the channels across the top of the helmet.
"The vents are superb.... easy to sort out on the grid with a gloved
hand" - Steve Plater, British Superbike Works Kawasaki rider
There are also two small holes (yellow arrows, left) that help vent the
air from the chin. The system of vents, exhaust and the helmet shape
really seem to work as a system that you can tailor to get exactly the
flow you need.
And I think that's the real key to this
helmet's success; it's been designed as a total system, not just a
collection of the latest fad technical features.
with this helmet also brings another revelation; somebody really did their
homework in the wind tunnel, as this is the most stable helmet I've ever
amount of buffeting or side winds seem to affect it. Between the
light weight, the air flow and the stability of the design, you just don't
notice that the helmet is there at all.
The liner (photo left) looks pretty conventional, although it's as
comfortable as the best top-line helmets and goes them one more by
allowing the air to flow through.
The liner is removable, washable
and the cheekpads are "bespoke", i.e., they can be custom
tailored for fit with different sizes.
The FF-3 is fairly quiet, especially considering the amount of air that
gets through. The compromise with race-style helmets is that they
can be a bit noisy. But other than a single toned wind noise that
was coming from the upper vent, this helmet is still quieter than,
for example, the Lazer Century.
wear earplugs anyway, so what little noise got through wasn't a
problem. If you don't wear earplugs, any helmet will
noisy. I do notice that depending upon the angle of your head fore-and-aft, the
noise can increase or decrease.
It seems to be quieter in a more
upright position than in a head down position; this may be due to the
design of the air vents on top, as most of the noise seems to come from
the forehead vents. (For more information on earplugs and their
correct fitment, see the wBW Earplugs
and Hearing Protection page).
One thing I did notice is that no matter what I did, the breath guard
seems to just touch the tip of my nose. It makes the end of my
nose tickle, and I haven't been able to determine if this can be
adjusted. It's a bit annoying having a ticklish nose when
Update #1: I finally got around to
trying the FF-3 on the BMW K75 with the "Buffet-meister"
windscreen. It's generally agreed that this OEM windscreen
can create some of the worst buffeting known to all
motorcycledom! (See the wBW article "BMW
K75 Windscreen Buffeting Fix").
The FF-3 meets the tough Euro EC22/055 and BS6658 British Standard and
is ACU approved for competition at the highest level in the U.K. U.S.
DOT approval is currently being investigated. (Note: The FF-3 is
now Snell 2000 approved). They also come in some of what we think are the
coolest color schemes produced by any helmet manufacturer. It would
be really hard to choose a favorite -- there are so many that are so
nice! But being a fan of Big Dave, I'm partial to his replica.
More facts and features about the FF-3
include: each helmet comes with 3 tinted tear-offs; the standard visor
has the tear-off pegs. You also get a nice protective helmet bag
with your purchase. It's got a hefty double "D" ring
strap attachment and a snap fastener to hold the loose end of the helmet
strap. It's also got a quick-change visor system; press the
buttons on either side and give a tug on the visor and it pops right
of this 'screen is such that the air coming off the lip hits the
helmet right around ear level; with some helmets, the noise is
almost unbearable, even with earplugs. With a side wind
and with certain helmet designs, the buffeting can pummel you
around the head and shoulders and toss the helmet around, which
makes for a very tiring and very noisy ride. The Lazer
Century, for example, does not take to this windscreen at all!
I am pleased to report that our initial findings with the OGK
FF-3 are confirmed; the FF-3 is as steady as can be, even on
this "windscreen of death". I guess this is to
be expected; after all, the helmet was designed for racing, and
the BMW windscreen buffeting is nothing compared to a 175 mph
blast down the straight at Brainerd ... or is it?!
actually a bit weird that the helmet just doesn't seem to care
about how much wind is pouring on it or which direction it's
coming from. I'll wait until the very windy Mid-Atlantic
winter to see if this still holds true, but I expect it will.
Regarding the noise level, which is also usually much elevated
for anything behind this windscreen, the FF-3 is noticeably
noisier than when using it on a motorcycle with no 'screen,
where your head is in clear air. But it's not the really
annoying low frequency pounding noise that sometimes is the case
on this bike; the only thing that's different is that you do
hear more of the higher frequency rushing noise coming from the
helmet's upper air vents.
Again, I always wear earplugs,
so this noise wasn't that annoying, and seems to be a
consequence of this unusually bad windscreen design. When I
tucked down a bit under the air bubble created by the
windscreen, the FF-3 remains very quiet, and my guess is that it
would be a good helmet for touring bikes also -- airflow through
a helmet is almost more important behind a big fairing, because
it can actually get pretty hot back there in the
Review: OGK FF-3 Helmet
From: OGK website
in various colors, patterns, replicas and solids.
Retail Price: Varies - helmet no longer in production
Comments: Nice styling; great air flow through helmet; meets the tough Euro EC22/055
and BS6658 Type A ACU approval standards; very comfortable. The
FF-3 was listed on the Snell
2000 Approved Helmets List. Sizing appears to run
slightly on the large side; slightly noisy; nose guard can tickle.
wBW Motorcycle Helmets Page
| OGK FF-4
FF-3 Crash Test! | Update
- more thoughts on buffeting and noise with the FF-3
Owner Comments: See below
for comments from OGK FF-3 and GP3 helmet owners
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►Your Comments and
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Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
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From "G.P.": "First of
all, I would like to say that webBikeWorld is one of the most
informative sites I have ever come across on the WWW.
Secondly I want to comment about my OGK FF3-GP that I have owned
for almost 2 years. When I got back into motorcycles and
kart racing a couple of years ago, I started looking for a good
quality helmet that could be used for both my motorcycling and
I heard about the OGK helmets from
instructors at the California Superbike schools who had come
from the England school to teach at Willow Springs. The
instructors had nothing but good things to say about them so I
checked for reviews of the helmet and came across webBikeWorld’s
review of the FF3. I was impressed with what I read about
the helmet features and certifications so I decided to purchase
The helmet is very comfortable even though I don’t think I have
an earth shaped head. The air flow is better than any helmet I have ever
tried and it is very light (extremely important for kart racing because of the G
forces that can be generated) so I was planning to continue using it for kart
racing next season.
The only concern I have ever had with the helmet is from recent
news that the kart racing regulations will require Snell 2000 certification on
all helmets used next season. I started to panic a little because I did
not see any Snell decals on or in the helmet, but I saw the note on webBikeWorld
about the FF3 being on the Snell list of MA2000 approved helmets. I
checked the Snell website and to my relief, the FF3 is in fact listed as a
MA2000 helmet as your website states.
I am feeling better, but my question is how do I convince the
officials at tech inspection that the helmet is Snell 2000 approved without the
decal? I can’t expect the officials will know every helmet listed on
Snell’s website so is one of the existing certification labels (Euro EC22/055,
BS6658 British Standard and ACU ) on the helmet considered equivalent to Snell
If you can help me with answering this and more importantly
being able to continue to use my beloved helmet, I would appreciate it very
much. Thanks in advance and keep up the great work on the site."
Editor's Response: This is an interesting problem.
It's my understanding that every motorcycle racing organization in the U.S. will
honor the BSI certification. Nevertheless, the Snell website is the
official source of information for Snell approved helmets, not the sticker on
There have been many instances of forged Snell stickers, and
I've seen helmets for sale that claim Snell approval but are not listed on the
Snell site...First check to make sure the Snell sticker isn't hidden under the
liner; sometimes they are glued to the inside of the shell, as on the early KBC
VR-1 helmets. Otherwise, maybe write a letter and direct the Karting
officials to the Snell website? If anyone else has a suggestion, please
let us know by sending an email to
R.G. Comments One Year Later: "After
reading your article on the OGK FF-3 last year, and
seeing as how they had already passed the English ACU
Gold Standard, (not to mention the number of BSB racers
who were starting to use the OGK) I decided to buy
one. At first I wasn't very impressed with the
helmet. There was a gap between the outer shell of
the helmet and the removable liner.
Also, on the
"FF-3" graphics on the back of the helmet,
there was a crack running through the graphic as though
the sticker had split but was put on anyway. So, I
complained to you Rick. You got me 'tha hook-up' (fo'
shizzle) with the OGK shop and they replied
immediately. We reached an agreement that was very
agreeable and I kept the helmet.
Am I ever glad I did! I have now had the helmet for
almost a year and I couldn't be happier. The light
weight has made my rides much more pleasant as I am not
hampered by the "dead neck" at the end of my
ride. I ride quite hard and the forces generated
in hard cornering force the weight on my neck to
multiply. The once tight cheek pads have bedded in
nicely and the helmet now fits as though it is custom
The air flow through the helmet keeps my
head cooler than my Bell M-4 helmet or my AGV Demon top
vent. I also have an older AGV R1 helmet wich
doesn't come close to comparing to the OGK. Come to
think of it, neither does the Bell nor AGV. The
tinted tear-offs that came with the helmet have proven
invaluable. If the visor becomes covered in bugs,
I just make use of the handy tear-offs.
neatest use so far is when I ride all day and into the
night. No need to change visors, just remove the
tear-off and save it for later. Thanks for introducing
me to the OGK FF-3. It has been a good year."
From "T.B.": "Hi
Rick, I said I would write and tell you how I like the OGK.
Well, lets put it this way, shall we -- I have worn an Arai for
10 years and like the helmet. In the same breath, I have
never seen or felt any thing like the OGK. Riders need to
know about this helmet. It is truly a present from the
helmet gods. My suggestion to any one that doesn't have
one of these is to pray....."
this out --
recently "crash tested" his FF-3!
From "R.T.": "(Got my helmet) yesterday, from the USPS. The
service from OGK-Shop is amazing! My helmet was delivered
from the U.K. in less time than I can get a package from
I ordered the helmet on Friday, and according the the USPS
website, it arrived at JFK airport on Saturday....then 3 working
days to me, here in West Virginia. Preliminary results on
the Black/Gunmetal/Silver FF3 GP3: I LOVE IT!! The lid is
soooo light, if it weren't for the bug strewn shield, I wouldn't
notice I had it on. Graphics and design are right on, fit
is flawless, and again....it's sooooo light. I'm truly
satisfied with my purchase!! So satisfied, that I'll be
ordering the Yellow/Black/Silver one by the end of the
Before reading your review of the FF3 I was undecided as to
whether or not I should invest in an OGK lid.....suffice it to
say, your article convinced me to go ahead and order it.
There is one minor difference in the GP3's and the standard
FF3's: The two small holes you made reference to with the yellow
arrows are not used on the GP3, for whatever reason. No
problem though, because it vents really well without them.
Thanks for the heads up review, it was of great help to me."
From "D.G.": "I have to say
that now that I've had the helmet for close to a month,
I've come to appreciate it more. I definitely love the
light weight. I've also realized that the vents are
working wonderfully. If my hair gets wet from sweat and
then I put the helmet on and ride, I feel the air going
over my scalp. It is very nice even at low speeds. So,
in the end, I give the OGK FF3 a thumbs up."
From "Jesse": "I also
just purchased an OGK Gunmetal helmet. I must say that
it was the fastest shipping that I would have ever expected.
Venting works great and the lid fits superb. If
anyone wants to ask any question from an actual owner, I
will be glad to answer any questions about the
helmet. Again, an excellent purchase for someone
that is tired of Arai, Shoei, KBC, HJC, and so on.
The price was a little shaky at first until I tried it
on and rode with it. Thanks again for the
informative article you helped my decision
From "M.L.": "When
I first saw and heard about the OGK FF-3, I was a little
skeptical when every one was saying that the quality of
the helmet rivaled the Arai RX-7's. I had an Arai
signet and a Shoei RF 900 series helmet but was still
looking for something to match my new leather's so I
became intrigued by the OGK's colors and style of the
helmet. After reading your review and reading what
others had to say I believed that maybe it was worth the
effort to try to acquire one. I figured that good
things that other riders were saying would justify the
expense of this helmet, so I went and purchased one.
After receiving my FF-3 GP helmet, I noticed that the
front top vent door was defective, (wouldn't stay open)
and that the interior didn't feel plush
whatsoever. The comfort and feel of the interior
was that of a cheap 100.00 dollar helmet and the
interior was way too soft to properly support the helmet
while riding near triple digit speeds (this is supposed
to be a racer's helmet).
The padding is so soft
that the visor actually touches my face at high
speeds. There is definitely not enough padding
thickness inside the helmet. And the noise at high
speeds is deafening. I truly believe this helmet
is way over rated and way over priced. This helmet
shouldn't retail for more the 150.00 dollars at
best. And as far as even comparing this helmet to
an Arai or a top of the line Shoei is a down right
Editor's Response: I'm sorry to hear
that you don't like your FF-3 helmet. I can't really comment
about the shell of the helmet in comparison to an Arai, but my
feeling is that the liner is very comfortable.
The FF-3 runs big, as
we mentioned in the review. I'm wondering if perhaps
your helmet isn't fitting correctly, thus causing the
problem of the padding compressing? Because the
FF-3 meets the toughest standards for helmets in the
world, with its Euro EC22/055 and BS6658 British
Standard certification. It is also ACU approved for
competition at the highest level in the U.K., and the
FF-3 is now Snell 2000 approved. So I don't think
there's a problem with the quantity of the lining.
As we mentioned in the review, the FF-3 definitely fits
the round head shape best, not the more common
"long oval" head shape.
Regarding noise, as we
always state in all of our helmet reviews, unless
earplugs are worn, most or all helmets will be noisy.
There's a tradeoff between venting and noise. If the
helmet moves a lot of air, which the FF-3 does (having
been designed for racing where good venting in hot
weather is essential), then there will also usually be a
lot of noise, due to the air moving through the vents.
I find the FF-3 very
comfortable, especially in the hot and humid weather we
get here in the Mid-Atlantic in the summertime, and I
think the excellent airflow is a good tradeoff for the
amount of noise I hear through my earplugs.
But, I understand your
feelings completely. There are so many different helmets
and they come in so many different shapes, sometimes
there are only one or two where everything comes
together and works for you. Unfortunately, it sounds
like the FF-3 isn't doing it for you......