The Fulmer RX4 is the latest version of the company's "RX" off-road helmet series.
The RX4 has a more modern off-road helmet shape and style than previous Fulmer RX helmets and it's available in a range of bright colours and graphics.
The overall build quality and construction is excellent and the list price is very reasonable.
The Fulmer RX4 is also one of the lightest weight helmets ever reviewed on webBikeWorld.com.
The pleasures and rewards of wearing an off-road helmet have been extolled on webBikeWorld in recent reviews. It's all true.
I hadn't thought much one way or another about wearing an off-road helmet but with the incredible popularity of dual-sport and adventure-touring bikes has come an increased interest in this helmet type.
It's hard to pin down the reasons for this popularity. Perhaps it's because an off-road helmet just looks right...and serious? Or maybe it's due to function.
But combine an off-road helmet with a decent pair of goggles and climb on your tricked-out DR650 (Blog) or DRZ-400S (Blog) or F800GS (report) or one of the other many dual-sport bikes and all of a sudden you're in Baja or Mauritania.
Or heck, even jostling with hacks for lane space in crosstown Manhattan traffic!
All I can say is, if you own a dual-sport or adventure-touring rig, you need a helmet like this. Try it, you'll like it!
And the Fulmer RX4 is a nice way to get into it on the cheap.
The helmet lists for $149.95...but here's the secret: depending on your locale and the kindness of your local dealer, you may be able to find one for as little as 120 bucks. That's nearing certified steal territory...
It's always hard to tell by looking at the online photos what a motorcycle helmet will really look like in reality and that may be doubly true with Fulmer helmets, since they're sold only through "brick and mortar" retail at motorcycle shops.
The RX4 comes in 9 different variations of the "Strike" graphic pattern shown here; this one is called the "Wild Strike" and I think it's my favorite of the bunch.
I instantly took a liking to its kaleidoscope of colors and there may even be a safety factor with this pattern -- it sure is highly visible on the street!
Rick was able to check out the other RX4 helmet colors at the 2013 AIMExpo dealer show (report) last month and he said that most of the other "Strike" color patterns are also highly visible.
For example, there's a Strike graphic with orange dominant and one with yellow as the main color.
We've had mixed feelings about the quality of some Fulmer helmets in the past but this RX4 is an excellent example. In fact, I'll bump that up to outstanding.
The graphics are very nicely applied with no mistakes, bumps, nits or picks and Fulmer said the RX4 helmets also have a UV-resistant clear coat applied over the decal and it all feels thick and protective.
There aren't many moving parts on an off-road helmet, which makes it a little more difficult to assess quality.
But the rest of the RX4 is very nicely put together; for example, the large rubber gasket surround on the eye port is perfectly lined up and installed with tight split lines and no other issues to remark upon.
The eye port gasket is also molded from a single piece, which cleans up the look and again gives a quality appearance and the gasket along the bottom of the helmet is also a good-looker that fits nicely.
The helmet liner is removable and the liner and padding are of good good quality, with a nice touch added in the separate silver-colored mesh lining covering the EPS, above the padded part of the head liner.
The inside of the chin bar is covered in some type of matte vinyl that feels slightly rubbery, so there are no exposed surfaces of EPS or anything else inside the helmet, and this adds to the overall feeling of quality.
I played the "price guessing game" with a few other riders and it's interesting to note that all of them guessed a list price that was $100.00 higher and more than the actual selling price, so that's a good sign.
Score: I'll give the Fulmer RX4 an "Outstanding" rating for the graphics and design and the overall quality. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.
This RX4 is a size large and it has what I'd term a "Neutral" internal shape that's shaded maybe a touch towards "Slightly Round".
I couldn't find an official Fulmer size chart but the size L label in this helmet reads 59-60 cm, which sounds correct.
A size L should fit a range from about 59.0 cm to 60.5. It feels somewhat similar to an Arai RX-Q (review) fit, but the Fulmer feels slightly rounder inside.
The helmet fits me perfectly, yet it also fits Rick's "Round" head, which means it should fit the majority of head shapes.
The padding isn't the thickest I've experienced, but it works well and the most important thing is that I don't feel any "hot spots" created by an absence of padding over the EPS or other hard spots.
Also, the type of liner fabric that Fulmer uses in the RX4 feels very comfortable; it's some sort of micro-fleece and Fulmer says that it's "moisture wicking".
The cheek pads of the RX4 extend slightly farther towards the front than some other off-road helmets I've tried, and this adds to the comfort (and probably safety) factor and it also helps to keep the pointy-beak RX4 fitting more closely, which helps to reduce buffeting.
More information on helmet fit can be found in the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page, along with the chart that lists the helmet weights of webBikeWorld reviewed helmets and also by shape on the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I'll give the Fulmer RX4 an "Excellent" rating for shape, comfort and padding. The liner fabric is comfortable also.
The eye port of the RX4 is nice and big and large enough to offer a good home to the very large Scott OTG goggles (review), which work very nicely over eyeglasses.
The rear of the RX4 is shaped with a flare at the back to help hold the goggle strap in place.
The large rubber eye port surround also adds grip when you're picking up or holding the helmet and I even think it helps to hold the goggles in place.
The view out the eye port of the RX4 is excellent for this type of helmet (or any other).
The "beak" (extended chin bar) is designed in a way that minimizes any obstruction of the view and there are virtually unlimited horizontal and vertical sight lines when wearing the helmet also.
The RX4's peak deserves special mention, because it easily rotates up and down, being held by aluminum friction screws on either side.
Fulmer said the peak was specially designed because some riders don't like to see the peak in their line of sight, while others want the peak to block the sun.
I wear the helmet with the peak in the lowered position and I have to say that this is probably the only off-road helmet I've worn where the peak actually has some functionality.
In this case, it functions as a sun shade, which is gratifying when the sun is overhead. The peak also feels sturdy and overall I just like the design of the peak on the RX4 very much.
As far as buffeting or lift caused by the peak when riding on the street, well, every off-road helmet has this problem to one degree or another; that's the price you pay.
There is some lift from the RX4 but my feeling is that the functionality of the peak is worth the trade-off and the lifting is minimal.
Yes, if you ride at 100 KPH when sitting in an upright position, you'll feel it. But there is a simple cure; tilt your head slightly down and the amount of lift is greatly diminished. This is true for most or all off-road helmets.
At off-road or back-road speeds, the RX4 has very minimal amounts of lift caused by the peak, which is the mark of a good design and aerodynamics.
Score: The Fulmer RX4 has outstanding horizontal visibility and excellent vertical visibility, especially considering the "beak" of the helmet. I'll give it an "Excellent" rating overall.
The Fulmer RX4 has a large chin vent covered by a plastic surround. The vent works fine but the plastic surround is is the only part of the helmet that looks it was made to a budget.
If Fulmer could maybe chrome-plate the plastic screen inside or spice up the looks, it might help a bit. There's nothing wrong with it; I'm just not a big fan of glossy black plastic.
The vent opens through a large port through the chin bar, which has a sponge-type air filter that can be easily removed for cleaning.
But you probably don't even need a chin vent on an off-road helmet, because you're going to get a lot of ventilation with this type of helmet whether you want it or not. The reason? A lot of air flows up from underneath that extended chin bar.
That's the case with all off-road helmets and the RX4 is no exception.
I'm not sure if the slotted exhaust ports in the rear of the helmet, which are covered by a metal mesh, actually help reduce the air pressure inside the helmet by exhausting the air out the back, but they are nicely integrated into the helmet design.
There are two small screened slots above the eye port also, but it feels like the air is blocked by the helmet liner, so I'm not sure how effective these really are also.
Overall, the RX4 is no better or worse than about any other off-road helmet I've worn when it comes to ventilation.
Score: I'll give the ventilation system of the Fulmer RX4 a "Very Good" rating.
Noise levels in off-road helmets are difficult to evaluate. But overall, the RX4 is comparably quiet -- compared to other off-road and open-face helmets, that is.
I have worn the helmet in a variety of conditions, both on the road and off, and I can say that I've worn full-face helmets that are louder, so overall I'd rate the RX4 as quiet.
The peak and the overall design of the RX4 seem to allow good air flow and aerodynamics, buffeting is very minimal and the very low profile vents are a bonus because there's nothing to catch the air that would cause any whistling noises or turbulence.
So overall, I rate the RX4 as quieter than expected, with very good noise control. I have no problems wearing the helmet on the street. It wouldn't be my first choice for super-slab riding on multi-hour I-70 trip, but for back road attacks, it's fine.
Note that our helmet evaluations are a combined effort of several riders over time on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens.
Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality ear plugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems).
Always protect your hearing when riding a motorcycle. See the wBW Earplug Reviews for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
Note also that perceived noise levels will vary, depending on the individual.
Noise can be caused by many factors, including helmet fit, the type of motorcycle and windscreen, wind speed and direction and even the rider's clothing.
For more information on helmet noise, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.
Score: I'll give the Fulmer RX4 an "Excellent" rating for better than average noise control for this type of helmet.
Fulmer is most proud of the low weight of the RX4 and rightly so.
This RX4 in size large weighs just 1369 grams (3 lbs., 0-1/4 oz.), which makes it one of the lightest-weight helmets we've reviewed of the 250 or so helmet reviews on webBikeWorld.com
The light weight also helps minimize head-tossing when you're riding off road, and this is a big bonus.
The only helmets that are lighter than the RX4 that we've reviewed are the very expensive Airoh Aviator (review) in size XL at 1115 grams and the full-face Nexx XR1R Carbon (review) in size large at 1219 grams (ECE version).
Also the carbon-fiber Akuma Phantom II MFR (review) full-face helmet in size XL at 1367 grams.
So Fulmer should indeed be justifiably proud of the low weight of the RX4, especially considering that the helmet shell isn't made from some type of exotic fibers.
It's simple polycarbonate which also meets both the DOT and ECE helmet safety standard, according to Fulmer.
Note also that all of the helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld have been weighed and the weights are available on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, along with a chart that lists the helmets by weight and shape on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I'll give the Fulmer RX4 an "Outstanding" rating for its ultra-low weight and excellent fit and balance.
The RX4 has a double D-ring chin strap with a plastic snap to hold the loose end. The chin strap padding and length is a good choice and provides comfort.
I'm not sure how many shell sizes span the size range, but the Fulmer RX4 is available in sizes from XS to XXL, so I'd guess there are 2 shell sizes.
The RX4 meets both the DOT and ECE 22.05 safety standards. Ours came with an extra-nice helmet bag but I'm not sure if that is standard or not.
The Fulmer RX4 is a vey nice off-road helmet at a very reasonable price. It is also very lightweight, which is a real advantage when riding off road.
The Strike colour choices are...striking (sorry) and it's difficult to pick a favorite. The helmet is comfortable and simple and the overall package makes an excellent choice for an off-road helmet.
|wBW Review: Fulmer RX4 Helmet|
|Manufacturer: Fulmer Helmets||List Price (2013): $149.95|
|Colors: 9 different "Strike" graphics.||Made In: China|
|Sizes: XS to XXL. Shell Sizes: Unknown||Review Date: November 2013|
Rating Scale is subjective: Unacceptable, Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent, Outstanding.