Akuma V-1 "Ghost Rider" Motorcycle
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
Visitor Comments (Below)
We've brought you some very interesting, unique,
hard-to-find and downright curious products in our
reviews over the last
Finding cool motorcycle goodies is always
a thrill for us and I hope it is
for you, too.
It isn't very often when a motorcycle helmet hits
each of those buttons; in fact, there are only two lids
that I can think of that make the cut.
Surely both the whimsical
helmet and the built-like-a-tank
offer more than just scalp protection.
Well, add one more to the list. Akuma continues the military theme with the V-1
The V-1 was designed by Kerry
Harris, the President of Integrated Helmet Technology, a
manufacturer of interesting helmet accessories like the
rechargeable LED lights built into the the
Shoei Syncrotec Police helmet and the
AFX FX-11 Lightforce.
Kerry was a U.S. Navy pilot and designed the Ghost
Rider as a reflection of that experience and also as a
memorial of sorts to the recently retired F-14 fighter.
The artwork was executed by
Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint.
What can I say other than this thing is cool! The way I
figure it, as long as you're wearing a motorcycle
helmet, it may as well look great, no? The heck
with solid colors and the 1970's-style graphics commonly found on
off-the-shelf helmets. The V-1 is a production
version of a custom painted helmet with some great
detailing and that detailing includes -- get this -- red LED lights in the
That's right folks: flip a switch under the chin
bar and the exhaust vents glow, just like the afterburners
kicked in! That alone is worth the price of
admission, and believe it or not, the rechargeable
batteries, wiring and lights apparently haven't added a
gram to the helmet's weight, because the size large
shown here weighs less than
several other helmets of the same size we've reviewed (more on this later).
Integrated Helmet Technology used their experience
from the powered fan in the
AFX FX-11 Lightforce and the LED light
Shoei Syncrotec Police helmet, but this time it's used for
whimsy rather than function...although there is actually a practical side to the red LEDs in the
helmet's exhaust, as they really do make it more visible at night.
But all fun aside, the Akuma V-1 still wouldn't be worth
its weight in turnips if it didn't perform, and that's
where the added surprise comes in. I'm the only
one around here whose head fits in a size large without
using a shoehorn, and I think the V-1 is a
keeper, with or without the graphics.
Although I can't say that the helmet breaks any
new ground in terms of design and comfort (and, in fact,
I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's made under
contract at one of the big 6...or 8...or 10 helmet
manufacturers), all the parts seem to work together very
nicely. It's comfortable, it flows a ton of air
and -- surprise -- it's actually pretty quiet,
considering all of those cool-looking vents. Let's take a closer
Internal Shape and Fit
The V-1 seems to have a "neutral" fit; by that I mean
that it should fit both long oval and round shaped
heads, and, believe it or not, Rick claims that it
painlessly fits that size XL light bulb between his
shoulders without pain, albeit rather
A neutral fit isn't as easy to accomplish
as you'd think, because many of the big-name helmet
manufacturers seem to get it wrong, falling on one or
the other tail of the normal distribution (aka The
"bell" shaped curve), rather than within the one Sigma
portion of the curve.
The V-1 in large seems to run true to size; that is, it
fits just about how I would expect a size large to fit.
I do think the chin bar and maybe the inside of the
visor are just a touch shorter than normal; there's
enough room for my nose and chin but it's a tiny bit
crowded and the back of the visor tends to steam up just
a bit more
than I'd like.
The V-1's liner is removable and it's comfortable.
I'd say it's about average for the breed, maybe comparable to the
or the HJC CL-SP.
The Coolmax fabric liner is also designed to wick away
moisture, although I always wear a helmet liner anyway.
For more information on choosing and
fitting a motorcycle helmet, make sure you take a look
Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page, which also includes a discussion on head
Our size large V-1 weighs in at 1591 grams (3
lbs., 8-1/8 oz.), which compares very favorably with,
for example, the
size large KBC VR-1 at 1616 grams and the old OGK FF-3
at 1623 grams. The FF-3 was considered to be one
of the lightest helmets available back when it was new,
about 4 years ago.
So the Akuma helmet is surprisingly light in weight,
especially considering the added mass of the
rechargeable battery, wiring and LED lights in the
For more information on helmet weights, see the
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page for a chart comparing
the Akuma V-1 with the other 58 helmets we've reviewed
as of this writing.
Our V-1 came with the Akuma "Super Smoke" dark smoke
visor. As you can see from the photos, this visor
lives up to its name, because it really is dark! Photochromatic (darkens
with sunlight), iridium and clear visors are also
One of these days, I'll have to break
out the micrometer to compare visor thickness, because I
do think they vary. The V-1's visor seems thicker
than normal, which is a good thing. It helps
prevent flexing when opening or closing the visor and it
provides a better seal against the eye port.
The visor snaps shut with authority against the eye
port gasket, which is also good. The dark color
works perfectly with the detailed jet fighter graphics,
which even include tiny little
rivets surrounding the entire eye port, just like you'd
expect to see on a fighter jet.
The visor includes a Shoei-like removal system; raise
the visor all the way up, pull down on a loop and the
visor pops off. It seems slightly fussy to get
everything lined up when it's time to re-insert the
visor again, but this may be due to the dark tint of the
visor, which makes it harder to see what's going on
Venting and Air Flow
The V-1 flows a lot of air; in fact, it probably has some of the
best ventilation of any helmet I've tried. I'm not
sure why this is, because the V-1 has more or less the
"classic" sport helmet assortment of vents.
The top vent is a slider that moves forward or back,
but there's no scoop to catch the air coming from the
front of the helmet. The vent is recessed, covered
by what looks like a section of metallic screen.
There are two intake vents on either side of the top
of the helmet, and I can't see underneath, but I think
the air moving over some holes in the helmet pull the
air through and out the exhaust vents in the back.
These intake/exhaust vents are shaped like the intake
and exhaust on a jet fighter, complete with the outline
of the afterburner blades in the graphics on the back.
The graphics for the exhaust vents even include
airbrushed dark exhaust streaks, which gives the helmet
just one more cool detail and also gives the entire
The chin bar has an open/close vertical slider that
allows air to flow in through what looks like another
metallic screen and on to the rider's face, this time
through two round portholes in the back of the chin bar.
Flowing air from the front of the helmet directly through the back of the
chin bar and on to the rider's face sounds logical, but
for some reason, it's not
common practice in motorcycle helmets. Most helmets take the air in through the
chin vent and duct it up on to the back of the visor,
which is fine for defogging (although not a guarantee).
But I'd rather have the cool air blowing on my face,
The V-1 also has two additional vents on either side
of the chin bar; these open and close with sliders.
The air that comes in through these vents apparently
flows back and out two corresponding exhaust vents on
the lower rear section of the helmet. These also
have "dirty" exhaust streaks in the graphics, again
adding to the jet fighter theme.
Overall, the V-1 flows a lot of air through this
system. A small chin curtain underneath the chin
bar probably helps by either keeping the outside air
from flowing up under the chin bar or possibly by
helping to seal the helmet, which sometimes makes the
vents more efficient.
The curtain is a bit loose on our pre-production
sample and we have to tuck in the tabs once and a while
to keep the curtain in place.
Red LED "Afterburner" Lights
The two exhaust vents in the back up top can be
opened or closed by pulling on a lateral tab. The
red LED lights are hidden up under the exhaust.
There's a small on/off rocker switch up under the chin
bar on the left-hand side, in a very unobtrusive
location. Switch it on and the LED "afterburners"
glow, although the effect is much more noticeable at
The V-1 has a tiny connector hidden under the left
side of the bottom of the liner. The helmet comes
with an electric recharger and power cord. This is
the same power and recharging system found in the
Shoei Syncrotec Police helmet and the
AFX FX-11 Lightforce helmets we reviewed a while
back. Both of those systems were also designed by
Integrated Helmet Technology.
The instructions direct the owner to charge the
batteries for no more than two hours at a stretch.
I haven't run any tests to see how long the batteries
will last, but I think it's a long time, because the two
little LEDs (one in each exhaust) draw very little
You might think that with the large volume of air
flowing through all of those vents that the V-1 would be noisy, but it's
surprisingly quiet. This is all relatively
speaking, of course -- no helmet is quiet; it's more of
of the type of noise, its frequency and its volume that
can conspire to be annoying.
A tight-fitting helmet should, all things considered,
keep out the wind-induced noise from underneath better than a loose
helmet, and the V-1 is a good example. It fits me
in all the right places so there isn't much of an air
gap anywhere. The noise coming through the vents
causes a mid-tone rushing noise, but none of the very
annoying, high-pitched "blowing over a Coke bottle"
sound that plagues most helmets with external wind
scoops and "aerodynamic" gimmickry.
I've been riding with the V-1 on motorcycles with and without
fairings, and the noise levels don't seem to change
much. The V-1's snug fit around my
neck seems to prevent much of the
low-frequency "booming" noises that are characteristic
of fairing-induced turbulence hitting the lower part of
Remember that we always wear correctly
fitted, high quality earplugs and an extra helmet liner
when riding, and we strongly recommend that you always
wear hearing protection also. See the
Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more
information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
And also remember that your experience with noise levels
will probably be different because it depends on many factors, including your
head shape, the motorcycle configuration, prevailing winds
The Akuma V-1 Ghost Rider is both DOT and ECE 22-05 approved,
which may be the best of both worlds in terms of helmet
The V-1 uses a D-ring attachment system and has a
separate snap for securing the loose end of the chin
strap. There's also a "Remove Before Flight" label
that hangs on the D-ring with a safety clasp, just one
more added attraction.
The Ghost Rider is available in either matte or
gloss; the example shown here is the gloss coat, that
includes UV protection to prevent the graphics from
April 2007 - The Akuma Ghost Rider now includes a
front-mounted white LED light that we described in our
AFX FX-11 Lightforce review. This type of LED
light is also used in the
Shoei Syncrotech Police Helmet. Akuma told us
that "All Ghost Riders, Werewolves, etc. come with the
map light. We added a 40,000 mcd LED in the front
and the helmet weight has not changed." Here's a
photo, courtesy of Akuma:
This is a fun helmet that actually works better than
several other big brand helmets I can think of.
Akuma Helmets is just going into production with the
V-1; an initial order was sold out immediately, as you
can imagine, and they don't even have the website going
yet (as of this writing), but you can call 210-882-0361
(San Antonio, Texas) to reserve one from the next
NOTE: The original list price of the V-1 Ghost Rider
was $279.99. This was increased to $399.00.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
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change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
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►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "D.H." (6/09): "I've had my
Ghost Rider (Med, matte finish, clear lens) for a little
more than 1.5 years now and it's still holding up well.
There are probably better helmets out there, but I
consider this helmet to be a solid mid/high
I'm a warm, fair-weather rider and don't commute…only
ride for fun. The first two helmets shipped to me
had defects in the mating of the top vent system, but
Akuma customer service was outstanding and they replaced
them both…3rd time was a charm.
The only issues I've had with the helmet have been the
hot glue used to hold the padding and battery to the
shell…used double stick padded tape to hold battery in
place and new hot glue in places where padding was
coming loose…1 time fix for both.
The battery is still holding a charge well, but I don't
ride that much at night. The Velcro patch used to
hold the tag end of the chin strap has come loose, but
again an easy fix with some thread or just replace with
an appropriate snap.
I have a oval shaped, medium sized head so I found the
fit not be ideal, but OK. I tend to get a pressure point
at the top center of my forehead after about 2.5 hours.
My face is also very close to the chin bar and
windscreen which does create fogging issue for me.
As the linked review says, the helmet will fit round
The vents seems to work pretty well when traveling over
25 mph. Anything less than that and I have to
crack the visor open a tiny bit and have to raise the
visor altogether when stopped to avoid fogging…even in
Cold weather makes the problem noticeably worse and
requires the visor be crack open earlier and sometime
more to get the same result. This can result in a
cold ride, especially since the top front vents don't
As one reviewer mentioned, the top vents can give you
brain freeze in cold weather even with the visor
completely closed. The good news is that the
venting works well in warmer temps and don't seem to
change the noise levels at all.
My oval shaped head doesn't fill the helmet in some
places, particularly behind the ear. That combined
with the fact I don't have a thick neck means I
experience more noise than others and I find this to be
a relatively noisy helmet. Except for 1-mile low
speed trips to the local store, I always use ear plugs
or in-ear foam headphones. Hearing protection is a
must on high speed rides and even then I thought the
I added a
Windjammer collar (review) and it brought the noise
levels way down, but even then anything over 75 mph is
noisy enough to require the volume be cranked up on my
Bose in-ear headphones to hear the music clearly.
The in-ear headphones require some careful maneuvering
when putting the helmet on if a tight seal is to be
maintained, but it's worth the little bit of trouble if
your not making a lot of stops...otherwise I skip the
music and just use ear plugs.
Another little quirk is that the visor whistles when you
have it fully open. I wear prescription sunglasses
and sometimes keep the visor open around town.
The carbon fiber shell makes the helmet a few ounces
lighter some cheaper helmets and the same as a mid
priced helmet I have, so I would consider the value to
be crash strength more than weight savings.
Fortunately haven't had to test it's crash performance
so I can't comment there.
As far as overall impression of the helmet, I found
this video review to reflect my opinion of the
helmet. This helmet would be best for round heads
and warmer temps. I hate to admit that the the
graphics (I'm a pilot) and the lights are what make this
my favorite helmet…shallow I know. Otherwise, my
oval shaped head creates enough fit issues, I'd probably
look for a different helmet."
From "S": "I purchased a large Ghost
Rider in gloss finish, along with the optional dark
After a few days riding with it in cold, yes COLD
Florida weather of 35F in the morning to 55F in the
evening (the drive to and from work of 24 miles each
way) I have a few things to impart to your readers about
Yes, it flows a LOT of air, with all the vents closed
even. The top two intake vents? I GUESS they
run air constantly down the brow vents and onto your
forehead. There is no shutting them down.
NOT a good thing for a cold ride! I practically
got brain freeze as the air continuously hit me atop
both eyebrows. It was NOT a pleasant experience!
I was glad to get it off my head after just 24 miles and
warm up once I was indoors.
Akuma should fabricate rubber plugs for those top
vents, kinda in the theme of a jet fighter that has the
engine caps on the back, but put these on the front
intakes on top. I will probably fabricate a couple
with black RTV. Or maybe even stuff a couple foam
ear plugs into both vent holes. That should stop
the flow for a more comfortable ride on cold days.
The other vents do flow air and I can feel the top
center vent actually moving air through my hair on the
top of my noggin. I can feel the airstream of the side
vents and it is nice, without making any appreciable
noise inside the helmet. In fact, I did not experience
any wind 'whooshing' sounds at all. Perhaps due to the
snug fit. Or maybe because I listen to music when I
ride. It's quieter than my Corsair and my Caberg
Justissimo, and there is little to no booming at the
The dual rear exhausts atop have plastic tabs that
slide in and out to open and close the rear top exhaust.
These tabs are short and close the the ridges of the
rear vents - hard to find with any thickly padded gloves
(I was using my Rev-its). I searched and searched
with my left hand while riding and again while at a stop
and finally applied enough pressure to the tab to catch
it and pull it outward, opening the vents.
These tabs are very thin, almost rubbery, and they
bend upward when you try to push them back in . I was
afraid I had bent them, but I didn't. You have to
get a bit of practice and learn to push them down onto
the helmet and THEN inward. I think this may
eventually scratch the finish of the helmet.
Again, with padded gloves this is a chore.
Fit - A bit snug in size large, but I think it is
going to break in very nicely. As comfy as any
Arai I have owned, which are numerous. This moves
as much if not more air than my Corsair. I like
the fit better.
The padding is very nice and I found no pressure
points to complain about. I have a slight oval
head. I was even able to put on my iTouch with
Skull Candy ear buds and slip the helmet on without them
falling out, but after pulling the chin straps down I
have to reach in and straighten the backs of my ears out
a bit, but that was not hard to do.
Chin straps - The D-ring is too close to the cheek
pad and it is a bit of a chore to slip the strap through
and fasten it. The strap slack is NOT fastened by
a snap, but by Velcro. That side of the strap
could be shortened and a snap would be nice. The
Velcro attachment point is high behind the already
tightly fit D-ring. The padding of the chin straps
is WONDERFUL! VERY comfy!
The chin spoiler/chin curtain is as reported by
WebBikeWorld. It tends to slip out at the sides. I
believe that if it were rubberized instead of the slick
plastic it would hold in much better. It would
slip in place snugly like the nose guard does. No
In the cold weather riding I have done I could NOT
get the visor to fog up AT ALL at a stand still.
Strange, as it is quite short up front and my nose tends
to touch the nose guard a bit at times. A very
The dark smoke visor I bought as an option does not
filter much sunlight in my opinion. I would
suggest sunglasses if you are riding in bright morning
in-your-face sunlight, or at dusk. I am squinting
a lot in the morning and late evening when I am facing
the sun. It may look almost opaque, but in my
opinion it does very little to filter the sun out.
The visor is firm and does not flex when moving it up
or down, but there is no positive click when it's down.
Even so, no air makes it's way through. I rode it in a
hard rain and no water leaked through.
Visor changing was simple, but no instructions are
included with the helmet. I had to practice once with
the clear visor to find out that there is a tab on the
back edge of the visor that 'snaps' into place,
THEN pull the spring back as you push the front of the
visor down in its recess and release the spring.
Once you do it you'll see it's actually easy, but again
instructions would have been nice.
The light switches are low in the chin bar. the left
is for the red LEDs and the right is for the reading
light (when wearing the helmet, not when looking at it
from the front. The chin curtain interferes a bit,
especially when you are wearing thick gloves, but once
you get used to it it's easy. The charger link-up
is cleverly and well hidden between the right side neck
roll and cheek pad. It's tiny and you cannot feel it at
All that being said, I still LOVE this damn helmet!
Finish was flawless. The other vent sliders are
easy to find and use and are not flimsy. I plan to
go out Sunday afternoon to my usual biker hangout up
here and show off the helmet to all the other crotch
Side note - The Photochromic visor will be available
mid-March. It's selling for $179. The TOD (Touch
on Demand) electric tint visor will retro fit all
existing models and is due out in July. I can only
fathom the price! I think for function's sake the
Photochromic will suit my needs just fine, unless the
TOD has a slider type control that you can use to adjust
the amount of tint. I hope that's the case and not
just an on-off choice. I rode home at dusk a few
times with the dark tint visor and did not notice it
being very dark. The clarity is excellent though."
"S.R.": "I just received my Ghost Rider
helmet from Akuma and all I can say is HOLY S&%T this
thing is cool. The helmet came in a very cool
black box with the Akuma name in blue flames and the bag
was very plush with the Akuma name also on it.
Your review was definitely right on except this thing
might flow too much air if that is even possible.
I've never seen a helmet with this much
detail and genuine accents ( I used to be in the Navy).
I've traded in my Shoei X11 for this bad boy and have
been stopped at least three times already so people
could look at it. I rode with it here in Arizona
at night and was stopped by a cop not so he could give
me a ticket but so he could look at the helmet (imagine
that). He said that the red LEDs caught his eye
from about a quarter mile back and he wanted to see what
they were. The interior is very comfortable, the
helmet is very light, and it stays put at speed, and
mine even has a white LED map light in front, I didn't
see that in the review so maybe they hadn't put it in
The "remove before flight" tag that
hangs from the helmet is actually a key ring and is also
way cool. This is by far the best most high tech
helmet I have ever ridden with and believe you me I go
through helmets like crazy and have worn everyone's
brand. Thanks for all of your reviews and honesty,
its refreshing to find a source of information for us
torque crazies who isn't jaded toward one brand or the
other. Keep up the good work."
Several Visitors: We've received several
questions that read something like this: "Is it
just me or is the Akuma V-1 exactly the same as the
Vemar VSR in both shape and vent design?"
Good question: Check out our
Vemar VSR helmet
review and see what you think!