Fulmer AFS7 Helmet
Fulmer Helmets started making motorcycle helmets
in 1969. A very good year, indeed.
Easy Rider, the Honda 750, Woodstock and the end of the
first longboard era.
If I recall correctly, a Fulmer helmet was an inexpensive
lid that met the legal requirements and that's about it.
I had pretty much forgotten about Fulmer, but on the
suggestion of a couple of wBW
visitors, I went to the Fulmer website to learn more.
I'm not sure if Fulmer helmets were ever manufactured
in the U.S.A., but Fulmer rather plays up being an
American company. This AFS7 is made in Taiwan, which
is probably where all the Fulmer helmets are sourced.
It's interesting to note that Fulmer Helmets are not
available for purchase via mail order or Internet purchase.
Fulmer seems proud of the fact that their helmets are only
available through authorized dealers, although I'm not sure
If they had a dealer training program to teach sales
personnel how to answer questions about buying and fitting
a Fulmer helmet, or about motorcycle helmets or helmet safety
in general, I could understand it.
But there seemed to be no such thing at the motorcycle
shop where I purchased this Fulmer AFS7, their top of the
line full-face helmet.
The shop had a small, medium, large and extra-large size
example of each Fulmer model on the rack, but the sales
person had neither information nor support to offer.
The helmet came with no box, no bag and no owner's manual.
Pick it up off the shelf, pay for it and walk out with it
in your hands.
I'm not sure if this is typical; it probably isn't, and
the dealership is more to blame than Fulmer for sure.
It just makes me wonder why the strategy for dealer-only
sales? I've had better service and support on a website!
As far as I know, Fulmer has always had what might euphemistically
be called a "value pricing" strategy. In
other words, the helmets are inexpensive. This isn't
necessarily a bad thing, to be sure.
We've always maintained that comfort, safety and quality
are important, and should take precedence over cost.
If you can find a comfortable, well-constructed helmet that
meets your safety envelope requirements and if it's within
your budget, you're golden (See the
Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page for more information).
The Fulmer AFS7 actually comes pretty darn close.
At least two out of three aren't bad. Unfortunately,
if only just a few dollars more had been spent on upgrading
the helmet's hardware, this would probably be one of the
all-time helmet bargains.
The top-of-the-line AFS7 retails for $159.99 (as far
as we can tell). That's right about near the lowest
price you'll ever find a full-face, DOT and Snell approved
motorcycle helmet. The DOT and Snell approved
Scorpion EX-700 we
reviewed recently lists at $179.99, and the quality
of that helmet seems a definite step above the Fulmer.
That's what 20 bucks, give or take, can buy.
Let's start with the cons and then move to the pros.
Our Fulmer AFS7's chin vent has one of the balkiest switches
we've ever used on a helmet. I'd say it was an aberration,
but I tried several other AFS7's in the shop and they all
seemed to have the same problem.
think it's supposed to be a two-position switch that opens
the chin vent. Pull it down to close, push up to open.
But it's so stiff and has so much play that it's hard to
tell what it's doing, and it definitely feels like it's
going to break off in my hand.
The top vent isn't much better. A sliding cover
is pulled back to uncover the top vent. The switch
has no detent, so tilt the helmet down to spread the
straps when you go to put it on and the cover closes the
The top vent sliding cover is difficult to feel when
wearing leather gloves, and the chin vent switch is so balky
that it takes two hands to get it to function correctly.
I can pull it down by hooking my thumb under the chin for
leverage, but to push it up, I have to open the visor, hook
my thumb onto the helmet and pull with all my might to get
it to move upwards to open the vent.
It hasn't gotten much better over time, either.
Why motorcycle helmet manufacturers have to reinvent the
wheel every time they design a helmet is beyond me.
Most vents provide barely noticeable levels of air anyway.
Why not just use a moving window on the chin that directly
opens and closes a vent? Why create something so complex
that it's just about guaranteed to break?
The same goes for top vents. Helmet manufacturers
have become way too fond lately of placing all sorts of
questionable aerodynamic plastic junk on a helmet, supposedly
in the name of better venting. Most of these protuberances
stick out in the air stream and act primarily as noisemakers
that break off the first time the helmet is dropped.
Simpler is better when it comes to helmet design, as far
as I'm concerned.
The reason this is so annoying is because it's a shame
to have such an easy to solve problem basically ruin what
is otherwise a decent helmet, as we shall see.
The AFS7 in size extra-large fits my round head perfectly.
The liner isn't bad - not as comfortable as the
but the Fulmer is about 20% of the price of the Shark.
The AFS7 fits me about as good as any of the 20 or so helmets
we have laying around the shop, and that's saying something,
because I usually have a heck of a time finding a good fit.
The liner and cheek pads are removable. They attach
to the helmet with a set of snaps, and the liner seems easier
to remove and replace than other helmets I've tried.
It also has a double D-ring strap, which is preferable
to the more complex "quick release" buckles.
The helmet is on the heavy side at 1749 grams (3 lbs., 3-3/4
oz.), but I think it feels lighter, so it must carry its
weight well. I was surprised to learn that it weighed
as much as it does after we put it on the
The helmet is also relatively quiet. There's an
occasional whistling noise that emanates from the molding
that surrounds the top vent in certain cross-winds and at
certain angles of attack. But overall, I'd say it's
one of the quieter helmets we've tried.
Note that we always wear earplugs and an accessory helmet
liner when riding, so the noise levels you experience may
be different. We strongly recommend always wearing
earplugs when riding a motorcycle. See the
Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more information
and for a list of earplug reviews.
It's hard to tell if the venting works or not, primarily
because of the balky switchgear but also because the
riding weather has been very cold recently, and it's much
harder to tell where the air is coming from when cold blasts
seem to creep in from under the helmet.
The AFS7 in this Chrome Red Dragon color scheme is good
looking also, especially for this price range. The
AFS7 comes in a variety of solid colors and several different
Dragon color graphics, including the red chrome and a blue
chrome version. The dragon is a decal that's applied
to the helmet with an overlay of clear coat. The edges
of the decal can be seen and felt under the clear coat,
but overall it's not a bad effort for this price.
visor removal mechanism is hidden underneath each side and
uses the now typical Shoei-type spring loaded quick release
system. The visor must be flipped all the way up to
remove it. Pull down on the levers on each side and
the visor pops out.
Replacing the visor is slightly more complicated, because
the visor must be squeezed tightly for the little plastic
tabs to slip back into their channels, but overall, the
Fulmer visor removal system is better than some others we've
The helmet has a full-length vinyl gasket around the
face opening, and the visor seals tight against it, probably
helping to keep things quiet. I've found some very
expensive helmets that don't seal as good as this one, so
kudos to Fulmer for this feature.
The visor opening does seem just a little bit smaller
than normal, at the front and bottom and also on each side.
I can see the bottom of the visor opening and each side
of the opening is in my peripheral vision. But it's
not bothersome and one quickly gets used to it.
The Fulmer AFS7 has a lot going
for it, considering the price. It's comfortable, relatively
quiet, and it's DOT and Snell approved, rare in this price
range. Unfortunately, the vent hardware and the plastic
vent trim, at least on our example, are of poor quality.
It's too bad, because with just a little more effort,
this could be a real bargain helmet. But our opinion
is that in this price range we think you'd be happier spending
just a few more dollars and buying the Scorpion EX-700,
which is also DOT and Snell approved.
Review: Fulmer AFS7 Motorcycle
|Available From: Fulmer
Silver, Wine, Black, Matte Black, Blue.
Dragon graphic in Red Chrome, Blue Chrome, Black,
Black/Silver, Yellow, Metallic Silver.
||Made In: Taiwan.
Product Comments: Relatively
quiet. Comfortable; fits round heads best,
in our opinion. Removable liner.
Quick release visor. Decent graphics,
especially considering price. Poor quality
switchgear on vents is a shame, because otherwise
it would be an outstanding bargain. DOT
and Snell approved.
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