Fulmer M1 Modus
Fulmer M1 Modus 'Flamethrower' Motorcycle Helmet
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
OwnerComments (Below) |
high-viz orange and retro-reflective white make this the most
visible helmet on the planet. It's a basic flip-up
design without frills but it's also very solid, making it feel more like
a full-face than a flip-up once everything is latched up
and ready to go.
We've often bemoaned the fact that most flip-up helmets
are painted in some of the dullest, most boring colors
in the palette. Meanwhile, the trend in full-face
helmet graphics has been towards wilder designs and
colors -- which makes the contrast between the two
helmet types even more dramatic.
Well, no one will ever accuse the Fulmer
M1 Modus of being boring -- at least not in the "Trident"
graphic pattern shown here. The Trident "arrow and
available in Blue, Pink, Green, Red, Yellow and Black,
and it has to be one of the most radical color design on
any flip-up helmet
But the basic Trident wasn't enough for
those wild 'n' crazy Fulmer designers -- they decided to
kick it up "to notches unknown to mankind", as Chef
Lagasse is fond of saying, by combining the Trident
pattern with the special "Flamethrower" day-glow
fluorescent orange and retro-reflective graphics scheme
This is eye-popping, migraine-inducing
stuff folks -- just make sure you have some welding
goggles handy when you bring this one out into the
Good news, this -- more and brighter
colors are always better for motorcyclists. The M1 Modus Flamethrower and
the Scorpion EXO-700 Neon
full-face helmet reviewed on these pages
recently indicate a very welcome trend towards high-visibility motorcycling. And that's not all,
because I've also noticed some pretty cool high-viz
colors and patterns showing up in motorcycle clothing
It would be nice to think that perhaps
all of our harping on this issue over the past 8 years
has finally sunk in with the manufacturers?
Oh and by the way: just for the record, the M1 Modus also
comes in those, uh, "normal" flip-up helmet colors
too, with your choice of Wine Red,
Silver, White and -- ugh -- two shades of Black.
And, while I'm at it, the wild Trident
graphics aren't the only thing Fulmer has up its sleeve.
Check out their full-face SS helmet in the "Maelstrom"
graphics; it's sort of a Trident on hallucinogens.
Or the S1 "Chieftain" or the D4 in the "Evil Spell" (we
actually have one for a review coming soon) or "Apache"
graphics -- and they have plenty more.
We first reported on and predicted this
colorful helmet graphics trend in our 2008 Powersports Dealer Expo narrative.
Check out our
motorcycle helmet colors slide show from that event,
which includes photos of many of the colorful and
new-for-2008 helmets. You'll catch a glimpse of a few of these Fulmer
helmets in the first couple of frames.
promised us that if you like the 2008 graphics, "wait
until you see what's in store for 2009"...
We'll be there again at Indy in February of 2009 and
OK, so the M1 Modus Flamethrower will fry
your...uh, sorry...other drivers' retinas, and the color
alone is reason enough to buy one. But forget the color for a sec, how does it
Fulmer M1 Modus, top view.
Paint, Graphics and
The Trident graphic pattern on Fulmer's M1 Modus series of flip-ups appears to be overlaid on top
of the helmet's base coat of paint.
I've handled the M1 Modus
in a local shop, but it's difficult to determine how
the colors and graphics on this (or any other) helmet are applied.
What most people normally call "paint" is usually a type
of decal under the clear coat. Some of the decals
are easy to detect, while others are not.
But it would obviously be a very
expensive proposition indeed to hand paint every helmet
coming off the assembly line, and the colors and
patterns can be laid out much more precisely on a
printed decal than by a paint gun.
The Flamethrower uses a highly
reflective undercoat, which looks to me like it is, in
applied as a base coat of paint over the helmet's surface.
As far as I can tell, the
fluorescent orange sections are a decal that
has been applied over this retro-reflective paint, and
then the entire helmet is sealed with a thick clear
coat, which Fulmer says also forms a UV protective layer.
The result feels substantial, and
although the orange stripes can be detected as your fingers
glide over the helmet, everything appears to be
nicely executed with no obvious flaws in the finish or
I'd imagine that applying the
fluorescent orange graphics over the reflective paint
must require some type of special process, and the
Fulmer designers and engineers should be congratulated
for both developing and executing the concept.
It wasn't easy to capture this in
pixels, either. In reality, the orange is much more vibrant and
it has a
deeper tone than is apparent in our photos. We had to ratchet down the exposure
by about 3 stops more than normal to get a good
compromise that would illustrate both colors, so
you really have to see one of these for yourself.
The rest of the helmet is fairly basic
flip-up stuff. The bits and pieces seem, well, a bit pedestrian
I guess I could say. There are a few slightly
crude touches, like a sprue mark on the top vent
assembly and the plastic cover over the release
mechanism in back of the chin bar. But
everything works as expected.
One thing's for
sure: this is one solid flip-up. The metal "zinc
alloy" (according to Fulmer) latch receivers on the
shell mate with metal hooks in the chin bar, so when the
rotating visor is shut, this becomes one of the stiffest
flip-up helmet shells we've found, at least based on our
"squeeze" test, as you can see in our
The vents and other bits may not have
the most elegant design, and the screws that hold the
plastic backing on the inside of the chin bar are
unusual, but everything has been working fine so far.
I wouldn't say that the M1 Modus has the
elegance of, say, a Shark helmet, but what flip-up does?
And even Shark's new
flip-up (review) seems less refined than, say, their RSX.
Not to mention that the Evoline costs about 2.5 times as
much as the M1 Modus...
Overall, I'd say that this Fulmer M1
Modus is more like a Timex than a Rolex. But get this --
you can buy a Flamethrower, or any of the M1 Modus
helmets, for only $150.00. And don't forget -- the
Timex keeps time just as good.
Score: The Fulmer M1 Modus in the
Flamethrower graphics gets an "Outstanding" for the
graphics concept and execution, and a "Good" for
overall quality. See the ratings descriptions in the
summary table at the end of this page.
Fulmer M1 Modus liner.
Helmet Fit, Internal Shape, Liner and Comfort
Three of the regular webBikeWorld helmet evaluators have
roughly (and I use that term deliberately!) the same head size, so we normally order all of
the helmets for our reviews in size XL. This
allows us to compare "apples to apples" with regards to
The Fulmer M1 Modus flip-up shown here is a size XL,
and it definitely runs true to XL sizing standards, in my opinion.
I couldn't find a sizing chart on the Fulmer website,
and their policy is to sell the helmets through dealers
only (although you can find a few online sources if you
search hard enough).
So I'm not sure about Fulmer's sizing recommendations but I'd say that
this M1 Modus will fit a 61-62 cm head.
Remember that due to their design, flip-ups usually
have more flexible shells than
their full-face counterparts, so if you're on the
borderline for size you may want to go one size smaller.
We definitely could have gone with a size large, which
I'm assuming would fit a 59-60 cm circumference, rather
than this XL.
The internal shape tends toward long oval on top,
with rounded, almost "bell shaped" sides that compress
slightly when the rotating visor is closed. So
overall, the M1 appears to have a neutral-to-round
internal shape that should fit a
majority of head types, but as always, make sure you
try it on first, as you should with all helmets.
Our experience has been that Fulmer helmets have a
slightly different internal shape and fit than other
Remember that helmet fit is crucial to safety and
comfort, so make sure you try the helmet on before
buying, and try a variety of sizes. The smallest
size that fits comfortably is usually the safest. For more information on choosing and
fitting a motorcycle helmet, please see the
Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page, which also includes a
discussion on head shapes.
Fulmer states that the liner in the M1 Modus is
removable, although I haven't tried to
do so. But I did take a peek and it looks like it
is attached with real metal snaps, rather than plastic.
The liner is comfortable -- more so than some
other flip-ups I've worn recently, and I'm a flip-up
type of guy. Fulmer doesn't say much about the
composition of the liner
material, so I don't have any more details.
I can fit a normal pair of sunglasses
between the liner and my head, but the sizing on this
one is slightly larger than I'd usually take, and the M1 Modus has large ear pockets that are unlined
at the shell, so this helmet would be a very good choice
for adding speakers.
Overall, the helmet is comfortable and several riders
commented about how solid it feels when the visor is
closed. The notes say "It feels more like I'm
wearing a full-face helmet than most of the flip-ups
I've tried", and I'd agree.
I noted this myself the very first time I rode with
the helmet; I forget that it's a flip-up when I'm
wearing it. This is a
compliment indeed, because it isn't often the case
with most flip-up helmets -- most of them feel flimsy,
or creaky or drafty, but not this one.
Score: I'll give the Fulmer M1 Modus an
"Excellent" for relatively neutral fit, true XL sizing, a comfortable liner and
solid fit and feel.
Venting and Air Flow
The M1 Modus has a very basic chin vent and top vent. The helmet has
no exhaust vents in the rear, but for some reason, the absence of exhaust
vents is fairly common among
The chin vent, when open, points
downward, and it does seem to scoop some air up and onto
the back of the visor, through the vestigial breath
guard. There are no vent holes in the chin bar
itself. Like many helmets, it doesn't seem to
matter whether the chin vent is open or closed on the M1
The top vent is a simple affair, with a
slider that moves forward and aft to open a small air
vent. When the slider is pushed back, a vertical
"wall" moves backward, so the air has to first hit this
wall, then go up and over and into the plastic vent
assembly chamber, where I assume it is directed down
through the helmet shell and on to the rider's head.
Looking inside the helmet, I can see two
air channels through the EPS in the brow, and the liner
has large open sections on top which do seem to allow
some air to flow through the channels and down on to the
I've been riding with the M1 Modus for
the last few weeks, but the fall weather has been rather
cool, so I can't determine how cool the helmet might be
in hot weather.
Score: I'll give the M1 Modus a
"Good" for air flow that seems marginal but is about
average when compared to other flip-ups I've worn.
Fulmer M1 Modus Flamethrower, rear view.
Animated .gif illustrating the retro-reflective
capabilities of the Fulmer M1 Modus Flamethrower
OK, here's the bad news. We've been
complaining about the ever-increasing avoirdupois
of flip-up (and some full-face) helmets recently, so I
won't go into another diatribe.
Suffice it to say
that this Fulmer M1 Modus with the Flamethrower graphics
in size XL weighs 1954 grams (4 lbs., 4-7/8 oz.), making
it the second heaviest of the 103 helmets we've reviewed
as of this date.
Helmets in this neighborhood include the
Nolan N103 at 1891
grams (4 lbs. 2-5/8 oz.); the
FS-Max at 1911 grams (4 lbs. 3-3/8 oz.): and the current
King of the Heavyweights, the
Shark Evoline at 1960 grams (4 lbs. 5-1/8 oz.).
The good news is that the weight does feel like it's
balanced or distributed better than the Nolan or Shark,
probably because the M1 Modus doesn't have any of the
fancy rotating devices, internal sun visors or other
features that add weight up top.
The weight of the M1 Modus can definitely be felt,
especially when it's windy, in crosswinds or when moving
the head side-to-side, but it seems like it's easier to
live with than some of the other flip-ups I've worn
The other upside is the solid feel of the M1 Modus
does indeed make it feel more like a full-face rather
than a flip-up helmet.
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page for charts comparing the
weights of all
of the open-face, full-face and flip-up helmets we've
Score: The M1 Modus Flamethrower gets a
"Poor" rating from me for being a heavyweight,
but that rating is offset by the even balance.
Visor is easy to remove; just be careful of the plastic
Metal hooks on chin bar mate with...
...metal receiver on helmet shell.
The rotating visor feels sturdy when it's opened or
closed, although it doesn't really have the defined
steps that rotating visors on some other flip-up helmets
have when they're lifted. But this one feels
substantial and it does snap closed with
As I've mentioned previously, when the metal
hooks inside the chin bar connect to the very hefty
metal receivers on the helmet shell, the entire assembly
definitely feels more secure than many/most other
flip-ups we've reviewed.
The button that releases the rotating visor is
located under the center of the chin bar. It must
be pushed up for the visor to rotate, making it a matter
of grabbing the bottom of the visor with the first
couple of fingers as the thumb pushes up on the release.
The bottom edge of the visor release button protrudes from
the bottom of the chin bar, and I'd rather this was
recessed, because I wonder if there is a chance that the
release could be activated if my chin hit something on
the way down. Probably doubtful, because of the
location of the release under the chin bar, but it makes
The clear visor or face shield has average optical
qualities. We measured its thickness at 2.05 mm. It's fairly easy to remove, but it has a tiny
plastic tab that can be broken fairly easily if the
shield is pulled incorrectly from the visor
removal/rotating mechanism, so caution is advised.
Here's a suggestion for Fulmer: instead of sourcing
the visors from Taiwan, how about buying them like Shoei
MXL Industries (article)? They make the
highest quality visors available in a variety of colors,
tints and coatings right here in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
The clear visor has 5 strong detents that are very
defined as the helmet is raised or lowered, so extra
points for that. The first detent allows the visor
to be raised about 6 mm for defogging or ventilation,
another plus. However, the lifting tab on the
lower left edge of the visor is smaller than average --
not really a problem, but something to note.
Fulmer has a new "Zero Fog" anti-fog visor available
and we'll be reviewing that along with the Fulmer D4
"Evil Spell" full-face helmet coming up soon.
By the way, I can wear my sunglasses inside the
helmet, which may seem obvious because, after all, this
is a flip-up, but it's nice to be able to confirm this.
The eye port has average width and depth. The
chin bar on the M1 Modus seems taller or higher than
average, so it brings the overall sight line visibility
in line with other full-face helmets and, in fact, this
may be one of the features that helps make the M1 Modus
feel more like a full-face than a flip-up helmet while
Score: I'll rate the visor rotating mechanism operation and
the operation and visibility of the face shield on the
M1 Modus as "Very Good".
The M1 Modus has what I'd characterize as average to low
noise levels when compared to other flip-up helmets.
Probably the minimal external appendages help in this
regard. It's not the quietest helmet I've worn
when compared to some other full-face helmets, but it's
quieter than the average flip-up.
The helmet does seem to generate some turbulence induced
noise around the bottom, but this could be from either
the XL-sized shell or the slightly too large fit for my
But overall, I'd say that the M1 Modus is quieter than
the average flip-up helmet with no unusually elevated or
noticeable noise levels.
Score: I'll give the Fulmer M1
a "Very Good"
rating for noise control.
I'm not sure what type of material was used to form the
helmet shell of the M1 Modus and I can't find that
information on the Fulmer website.
The helmet uses a double D-ring attachment system
and the chin
strap padding is adequate. The end of the strap is
secured with a plastic snap. The chin
strap seems longer than average.
I also found no information on the warranty on the
Fulmer website, but the card in the box indicates that
the helmet has a two-year warranty. Our helmet did
not come with a helmet bag.
The M1 Modus meets DOT safety standards.
The Fulmer M1 Modus in the Trident Flamethrower graphics
is without a doubt the most visible helmets available
today. The combination of the day-glow orange
during the day (and especially at dawn and dusk) and the
retro-reflective material at night is a sight to behold
The overall helmet otherwise is a basic flip-up
design; its solidity is probably its best feature.
But if you're interested in a helmet that is designed to
act as a beacon to others on the road, this may be your
answer. And at a list price of $219.95 (now
it's a super bargain too!
| What I Like
|| What I Don't
Just adequate ventilation
Some slightly crude fitments
Clear visor polycarbonate seems a bit
fragile and has some sharp flashing edges.
Review: Fulmer M1 Modus 'Flamethrower' Motorcycle
||List Price: $219.95
|Colors: Solids and Graphics. Sizes: XS to XXL;
XXXL in Black only.
Date: November 2008
|Ratings Scale: For
reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable
to Poor, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
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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
). Comments may be edited for
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From "B.B." (4/10): "I called Fulmer
and spoke to one of their reps. She told me that
they use the same shell for the M1 Modus size small to
large size helmet and then a larger shell for the
X-large up to 3 X-large, so by changing out the lining
in a 2XL and putting in the lining from a 3XL you get a
From "N.H." (4/10): "I love my
helmet. I am 56 and have been a rider since I was
20. At night, the cars behind me actually backup
and away from me when I wear my Flamethrower helmet.
I have never had that response before. They slow
down to look at me and then move away. I don't
know what they are seeing, but I love it! I have
never felt so safe at night."
From "A.F." (5/09): "My M1 lasted
about 2 months. The hinge wore out and the face
would not stay up. It is under warranty. It
has been mailed for repair or replacement. That
was 4 weeks ago. Nobody knows a thing about when
it will be back. It is a good thing I have a
friend with a spare helmet. I will never buy a
Fulmer product again."
From "C.S." (1/09): "I have had a
Fulmer Modus motorcycle helmet for about a year.
It replaced my Vega Summit. I noticed that you
have a review of the Modus M1, but not of the Modus.
I pretty much agree with your review and it applies to
the Modus as well as the Modus M1.
Last Saturday, I tested the Modus in a high side get
off at 35 – 40 mph. It worked. The rumors
one reads about flip ups coming open during an accident
did not materialize. Mine stayed shut through one
1 ½ somersaults, impact with the pavement, and a long
slide until I opened it. The right side of visor
shield is badly scratched and the scratches run down to
the center of the chin bar.
Just wanted to let you know these flips up work.
I’m surely glad I was wearing full face protection!"
From "M.B." (11/08): "While
shopping at a local leather outlet I spied a funny
looking helmet from across the room. Walked over,
looked at it, planted it on my gray haired pate and
bought it. It fit my largish cranium perfectly.
On the other helmets I own there is always something
that is not quite right and that after a few hours
riding can become a real "headache". The two main
attractions of this helm were the bright colors and
I don't quite understand why folks in the motorcycle
culture want to be invisible by wearing black all the
time. What is it cool or something to get run over
by a semi that didn't see you because you're all dressed
in black? Not sure what is up with that. I
am a newby rider and I will readily admit I'm scared out
there in city traffic, and I want to be obnoxiously
visible to everyone and their cousin. The Fulmer
Flamethrower goes a long way toward fulfilling this
The helmet is quiet enough that I do not feel the
need for ear plugs. Not sure why all helmets
ventilation systems don't do much ventilating. I'm
tempted to do some creative customizing so as to get
some air moving around inside. but regardless of any
minor drawbacks this is my #1 fav helmet. I have 7
and the rest can go."