Transitions SolFX Photochromic Visor and the Akuma Chameleon Photochromic Visor
Exclusive Report by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Just when you thought it couldn't get any better and that it couldn't be done, how about this:
A photochromic visor that turns from clear to...mirrored!
But wait -- that's not all!
The Akuma Chameleon isn't just photochromic; it's a true Transitions SOLFX brand visor -- the best there is!
BUT WAIT -- there's even more!
Why stop there? As long as they were at it, Akuma added their Aegis hydrophobic treatment to the Chameleon visor!
The Aegis hydrophobic coating is designed to repel water and dirt! We reviewed the Akuma Aegis visor treatment when the technology was first developed, and we even included a short video that illustrates how easy it is to remove grimy stuff from the visor surface.
Not enough for ye? Well, there's more: The silver-colored Chameleon photochromic mirrored visor shown here will also come blue, gold, and iridium versions!
And the Chameleon and Shield photochromic visors also meet the elusive (try to find a copy of the actual text) U.S. Department of Transportation Vehicle Equipment Safety Standard No. 8 (VESC-8) for motorcyclist eye protection, referenced by 36 states in the U.S.A.
The Chameleon looks great during the day, but Akuma says the Chameleon
has also been designed for use at night. Blast it with some UV radiation
though, and it quickly transforms to the full mirrored look.
You can see the mirror effect in the photo above. The Chameleon starts with what appears to be about a 50% greater tint than the Shield Transitions SOLFX visor (which is nearly clear when it's in no-tint mode), but it quickly gets the nearly full mirror tint when it's in the sunlight.
In actual use at night, the Chameleon is darker than a clear visor or the Akuma Shield smoke-colored visor, but certainly not as dark as the typical smoke tinted shield. My night vision is pretty bad, so I wear a clear visor if I'm going to be out at night.
There's no doubt about it -- Akuma is on top of it when it comes to motorcycle helmet visor technology. They started with the Sunshift photochromic visor (review), then they developed the Akuma Gemini (review) "Tint on Demand" electrochromatic visor that uses battery power to turn the tint on or off.
Next came the Aegis hydrophobic visor treatment, and now we have a series of photochromic visors using the genuine Transitions SOLFX brand technology.
Here's a photo showing the Shield Transitions SOLFX visor on the left and the Chameleon visor on the right, taken in the studio. You can see that the Chameleon starts out with a darker tint than the Shield, which is nearly clear:
Next are a couple of photos showing the Chameleon mirrored visor on the Akuma Phantom II helmet. We stuck the black and white contrast chart in the visor in the photo on the left; this chart shows black through white with various shades of gray in between, which are repeated on top and bottom.
You can see that the Chameleon visor moderates the contrast and decreases the brightness, as it should.
The photo on the right is the left side of the helmet in the left photo; it shows the trees in back of the helmet reflected in the mirror of the Chameleon visor.
Next is another photo illustrating the mirrored coating on the Chameleon visor on the left. This photo was taken in the studio, with no UV radiation to activate the photochromic mirror. It illustrates the slight mirror tint on the Chameleon. The helmet on the right is the Akuma Ghost Rider (review).
And next is a photo, taken in the studio, showing the Akuma Phantom II helmet with the Chameleon Transitions SOLFX photochromic visor on the left and the Phantom with the Shield Transitions SOLFX smoke photochromic visor on the right.
We had a can of Liquid Performance spray wax (review) handy (which we use to clean up the helmets before the photos are taken) and we placed it inside the helmet to illustrate the starting point of the tint on both visors.
These Akuma guys are full speed ahead, bringing us the latest and greatest technologies. The Chameleon visor is the latest cool product to come out of the Akuma Skunk Works and it's now available for the Akuma Phantom II MFR carbon fiber helmet (review).
|wBW Review: Transitions SolFX Photochromic Visor|
|Manufacturer: Akuma Helmets||List Price (2009): $125.00|
|Colors: Silver, Gold, Blue, Iridium||Made In: Unknown|
|Sizes: Unknown||Review Date: August 2009|