Givi X.01 Helmet
Givi X.01 "X Zero 1" Motorcycle Helmet Review
by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
Let the debate begin: is it the Givi X.01, the Givi
X01, the XZero1 or....? Givi has devoted an entire website to this
helmet, which they're apparently calling the XZero1; the Givi UK site
calls it the X.01.
But whatever you call it, this has
to be the coolest -- and I mean that literally --
helmet since the
Schuberth J1. The X.01 is different,
that's for sure, and it's pretty hard to compare it
to any other motorcycle helmet.
It's probably not for everyone --
but for all of the hot-weather riders who have been
asking about helmets with the best air flow, here's
Why is the X.01 different? It
is a true modular helmet in every sense of the word.
I'm not talking about a "flip-up" helmet, which is
sometimes called a modular helmet but isn't modular
The word "modular" is defined as
"capable of being easily joined to or arranged with
other parts or units", so if you want a true
modular, the X.01 is it. In fact, Givi calls it a "Modul-Air"
system. Get it?
If I had to compare it to something,
I'd say that the Givi X.01 takes the
approach to the next level. The X.01 can be
used as a cool-weather helmet with its solid chin
bar and solid vent covers installed. Remove
the top vent covers and plug in the mesh over the
vents and it's a Spring and Fall helmet. Strap
on the open air chin bar and leave the screens up
top and summer is a breeze.
Not enough air? Pop off the
chin bar and wear it like a "jet" helmet on your
Now you may think this is sort of a
gimmick. So did I, truth be told. Until
the first 80 degree day, that is. Believe it
or not -- and I'm as skeptical about this stuff as
anyone -- the thing really works, and the amazing
part is that the X.01 is also comfortable and it
isn't all that loud.
"Cool" is a word that can be used in
a number of different ways when describing the X.01,
and it certainly does look -- and act -- cool with
its open air chin bar and mesh vent covers
installed. So let's put it through the
webBikeWorld wringer and take a closer look...
Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
The X.01 comes in any color you like, as long as it's
silver or black. Matte, that is. I'm not
sure why the color choices are limited; but I'm guessing
that it may have something to do with the composition of
the helmet shell.
The shell is made from Lexan -- you
know, the stuff they use as a replacement for glass
in subway cars and iPods and fighter jet windscreens
and food containers and.... Yep, Lexan is
pretty amazing stuff, and here it is in a motorcycle
But Lexan is a polycarbonate, and
many motorcycle helmets are made from polycarbonate,
so don't worry. And besides, it meets ECE
approval (in all of its different configurations).
Perhaps the silver and black are the only colors
that can be used in the mold? I'm not sure if
the helmet is painted or if the colors are part of
the Lexan itself.
Anyway, the matte silver finish has
that rubbery sort of feel, and overall the helmet
looks good and all the parts fit together rather
well. The helmet does have a sort of molded
feel to it, and if I wanted to nitpick a bit, I
would say that the black fittings are a little bit
clumsy and could probably have been installed with
closer tolerances. This bothered me slightly
at first but after I discovered the incredible
utility of the X.01, it no longer matters.
Besides, the thing just looks great
in the full-on Summer configuration, when all of a
sudden the black fittings look perfect against the
Score: I'll give the X.01 a "Very Good" rating
for the admittedly plain color choices and for the quality of the fittings. See the ratings scale
in the summary table at the bottom of this page.
Helmet in Winter Mode
Helmet Shape and Fit
After wearing the Schuberth J1 and the Airoh TR-1, both of which I put in
the same class of helmet (i.e., different -- much different), I expected the
Givi X.01 to have a long oval shape; longer front-to-back and flatter on the
Surprise! While the X.01 isn't
as round inside as, say, the
Quantum II, it feels like it has nearly the same
fit as a
Shoei RF-1000 -- that is, round with just a
touch of neutral intermediate oval thrown in.
It's a nice, comfy fit and the liner
-- although not quite as plush as the Arai -- is
also rather nice, and the fine furry fabric feels
fantastic on my face.
The liner is removable and washable
and hypo-allergenic. Memory foam is used for
cushioning, and although it feels a touch thin, it's
still pretty comfortable.
Another surprise is that the sizing
of the X.01 is pretty much right on. We're
used to finding these "boutique" helmets sized
smaller than expected, but the X.01 shown here is
all of its size XL -- indeed, it's probably even a
Thus, I'm pretty sure that a
size L would fit me perfectly, and the Lexan shell
is slightly more flexible than a fiberglass or
composite helmet shell, so the flexibility helps
with sizing also.
As always, be sure to check out the
Motorcycle Helmet FAQ for more information on choosing and fitting
a motorcycle helmet and for a discussion regarding human head shapes.
And don't forget that choosing the correct helmet shape
is crucial for both comfort and safety!
The Givi X.01 is currently available in
a limited size range, from XS to XL. We're not
sure if they use one, two or more
shell sizes to span this range -- perhaps each size
has its own shell, and that's why the size range is
limited? Don't know...
The bottom of the helmet feels like
it's slightly more open (i.e., less tapered) than
other helmets, and this, in conjunction with the
sizing, means that there is some air that leaks in
from underneath. This is actually welcome when
the helmet is in its summer air-cooled
The X.01's ear pockets in the liner
are rather shallow, but I can slip on a pair of
wire-framed sunglasses over my ears after the helmet
is on my head.
Score: I rate the Givi X.01 an
"Excellent" for comfort and fit, with the note that
the sizing may run slightly large, but this is only
based on our one example.
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Top Vents -
The X.01 is interesting because it covers a range from almost no venting to
all the venting you'll ever need and then some.
In winter mode, the X.01 has a solid
chin bar with a movable vent, but that's it.
Any additional venting will come from up underneath
or through the visor if its cracked open a notch.
In "half way" mode, which I've found
comfortable in a range of Spring or Summer
temperatures from around 21 to 27 degrees C (70 to
80 degrees F.), the top vent covers can be replaced
with the screen mesh inserts. With those in
place, and with the solid chin bar, the top vents
create a definite sucking effect, and the air flows
right up and through the helmet in a nice, cool
breeze, just like there was a big fan up there
pulling the air through.
The top vent covers and the big
round screws on the sides of the helmet that hold
the visor are removed with a special tool provided
by Givi. The tool comes in a nice little lined
kit bag (see photo) that has pockets to store
whichever spare vent covers aren't being used and
also the spare chin bar.
The top vents are removed by turning
a little plastic twist screw on top of the vent 90
degrees to remove the cover, sort of like a Dzus
fastener. An arrow on the cover indicates
which way to turn the screw for the locked position.
Chin Bar - The X.01 can
convert to full-on summer mode by replacing the
solid chin bar with the open version, and you'll
have plenty of fresh air, no doubt about it.
See the photo below -- note that in this mode, the
visor doesn't meet the top of the chin bar, leaving
about a 20 mm gap at the widest part. Also,
the air rushes in on either side of the chin bar
through the slots.
The chin bar attaches to the helmet
via two metal buckles, one on either side,
underneath the padding (photo above). The chin
bar has molded tabs that slide into the helmet
shell, and there are hooks inside the helmet on
either side that catch the metal loop on the buckle
that's attached to the chin bar piece. Slide
in the chin bar, snap the buckles tight and you're
ready to go.
They're very unobtrusive; indeed, I
didn't even know they where there until I read the
instructions. The arrangement is actually very
Givi was actually pretty thoughtful
about making sure the center section is covered
anyway, more or less, to help prevent bugs and
thingies from sandblasting the rider's mug. I
haven't tried the X.01 in max gnat mode yet, because
the late spring weather has still been bug-free, so
maybe they should have designed in some screens over
the slots, but we'll see.
But in any case, full summer mode
definitely pumps in the air. Funny thing, when
the top mesh vents are installed with the solid chin
bar, I can feel more air being pulled through and
out the top than with the summer chin bar.
This is probably due to the pressure differential
from inside and outside the helmet -- the spread
decreases with the open chin bar in place,
decreasing the pressure at the top? A lesson
in physics is no doubt needed to fully explain...
Now having to carry these spare
parts and the tool may be a problem for some.
If they become lost, you're out of luck. I
wish Givi would have at least provided a couple of
extra tools in the kit, but if the tool is lost, I
don't think it would be too hard to improvise to
turn the screw on the vent covers.
There are also a couple of exhaust
vent holes buried in back under the black covers
along the side, and I'm guessing they suck out some
air in this low pressure zone.
Oh, and by the way -- don't forget
that the X.01 can also be used in scooter mode, as a
so-called "jet" styled helmet, without the chin bar.
I haven't tried it like this, but it can be easily
done by just leaving out the chin bar.
Score: The X.01 definitely
gets an "Outstanding" for venting and air flow and
for its ability to customize the amount of air
flowing in and through the helmet.
OK, so all of this means lots of noise, right?
Wrong. Well, relatively speaking, of course.
Certainly the X.01 isn't a quiet helmet, but I have
to say that I'm surprised that it isn't much louder
than it is, even in full summer mode.
The helmet exhibits a continuous
mid-frequency wind rushing noise during a ride, and
this seems to eminate mostly coming from the rear of
the helmet. Like just about any other
motorcycle helmet, I can stick my thumb up under the
helmet right behind and below my ear and noticeably
reduce the noise.
Why helmet manufacturers don't focus
on this spot is beyond me -- it honestly seems to be
the #1 motorcycle helmet noise producing region.
I can't tell you how many helmets we've tried that
can go from loud to quiet by just covering that
Anyway, the big surprise is that
whether the top vents are completely plugged with
the winter covers, or if the mesh vents are
installed, noise levels in the X.01 don't seem to
change much. And the noise level remains about
the same even with the hole-y chin bar in place.
There's a bit of extra room around
the bottom of the helmet because the size XL is
about a half-size too big for me, and I think the
space may be causing some low frequency booming when
I ride the Bandit with its half fairing. But
overall, although the X.01 is slightly louder than
average, I'm surprised it isn't louder, and the
outstanding air flow is definitely a worthwhile
By the way, please pay a visit to the
Motorcycle Helmet Noise page. Also, note that we always wear high-quality, correctly
fitted ear plugs when riding. Please see the
Earplugs and Hearing
Protection page for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
If you don't wear ear plugs, all bets are off -- every motorcycle helmet is
dangerously noisy, in our opinion, and your hearing is as precious as your
eyesight, so don't mess with it. Wear ear plugs.
Score: The Givi X.01 gets a "Good" for acceptable
noise levels considering the amount of air that flows through the helmet.
X.01 - wBW
Lightbox - Click photo to view.
Chin Bar Clasp
The visor on the X.01 seems huge -- this helmet
offers outstanding up/down and side-to-side
visibility compared to other full-face helmets we've
tried. Rick agreed, and he said it's probably
the only helmet he's tried that allows him to see
from the instruments all the way down to the top of
the triple clamp on the GT1000 by simply moving his
eyes down without moving his head.
The clear visor provides good
optical qualities, with no waviness or other issues.
The visor rotating mechanism is slightly balky; it
doesn't quite seal perfectly on the eye port gasket
when the helmet is in winter mode, and there are
some gaps between the helmet shell and the side
plates that hold the visor rotating mechanism, but
this may be necessary to convert the helmet to the
"jet" mode, without a chin bar.
When I first started the evaluation,
I rode with the helmet in winter mode, completely
blocked up, on a cool and damp day when it was just
spitting rain. The visor would not fog up,
even when I got back into the garage and I tried
heavy breathing mode. That's really the only
opportunity I had in cool visor-fogging weather, but
I was pleased that the visor seems pretty impervious
The X.01 also has an internally
rotating sun visor. It can thankfully be
located in any position, but when it is lowered as
far as it will go, it still isn't really far enough
to remain out of my line of sight. If they're
going to install these things, I wish the
manufacturers would design them to go all the way
down out of the line of sight. And forget
about the corny cutout for the nose -- I'll take
mine cut straight across please.
Score: The Givi X.01 gets a "Very
Good" for visor clarity and operation and an
"Outstanding" for field of view.
Our X.01 in size XL weighs 1592 grams (3 lbs., 8-1/8
oz.). That puts it in roughly the bottom third of
the motorcycle helmets we've reviewed, making it a
relatively lightweight helmet.
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page for the complete
chart, comparing the weights of every helmet we've
reviewed; the X.01 is in the neighborhood of helmets
Ti-Tech Rossi at 1582 grams; the
Arai Vector at 1583;
the Akuma V-1 Ghost Rider
at 1591; and the
Shark RSR at 1601. For comparison, the popular
weighs in a 1610 grams.
Score: The X.01 gets an
"Excellent" for relatively light weight and
The X.01 uses a new type of "quick release" buckle
we've seen on a few European helmets recently; it
has a serrated tab that fits into the buckle
mechanism like a ratchet, and it releases quickly.
The strap length must be adjusted the first time
it's used, but the serrations insure a small range
of micro-adjustment when the buckle is secured.
The Givi X.01 currently meets ECE
helmet safety standards only.
The Givi X.01 is certainly a very unique helmet. In full summer guise
it offers outstanding air flow, and the helmet is a sort of "3 for 1" with
its modular winter/spring/summer/fall capability. It also offers
outstanding visibility, it's comfortable and it's relatively quiet,
considering its amazing versatility. Perhaps it took an outsider like
Givi to shake up the establishment -- we can only hope that other motorcycle
helmet manufacturers will be as innovative!
Review: Givi X.01 Helmet
Designer Helmets (UK). More information about the helmet
Givi XZero1 website.
Retail Price: £199.99 + S/H
|Colors: Matte black or silver. Sizes: XS to XL
||Made In: Italy
For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges
from unacceptable to poor, good, very good, excellent and
|Review Date: April
2008 Note: Helmet provided by Designer Helmets for this
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 "B.B." (8/09): "I've been using my x.01 up in
Edmonton, Canada for the last few weeks (illegally?). The helmet flows
an incredible amount of air in the summer mode; it's basically like wearing
an open faced helmet.
However, this may prove problematic -- I frequently wear contact lenses when
I ride, and there is considerable wind blast up into the eyes even with
visor and sunshade down (which I agree unfortunately disrupts riders'
sightlines). I have yet to try the lid with close fitting sunglasses,
but this seems annoyingly redundant considering the available sunshade.
The visor has positive positioning detents, and the chin bar's holes serve
as convenient handholds when carrying the helmet around. I love the
ratchet strap, which allows one to put the helmet on and take it off one
handed and with gloves on.
The lid's memory foam interior and high-quality lining make for a sumptuous
fit on my slightly oval head; no break-in period was necessary.
I also love the rubberized finish and overall unique, Darth-Vaderish looks
in general. I've been getting a lot of stares and compliments!
The fit and finish of all its parts is remarkable considering the intricate
design of the helmet. The carrying case for the alternate chin bar has
been the only real letdown; its zipper self destructed when trying to
enclose the winter chin bar for the very first time. Strangely, it
seems the pouch is only big enough to contain the summer chin bar. I
also worry about the impact resistance of a non-integrated chinbar-- here's
hoping I never find out!
All in all, this is a fabulous helmet, particularly considering its
mid-level price tag. I actually hope no one imports these into North
America so the helmet holds its cachet! Bravo Italia!"
From "F" (Italy) (2/09): "i'm writin' you from Modena...
you know, that little city in the north of Italy, where we make Maserati,
Ferrari, Bugatti, Pavarotti, balsamic vinegar, Parmiggiano (the real one,
not your parmesan :D ), and all that fresh stuff...
Well, I read quite often your helmets reviews on your site, and first of all
I really have to congrats for the great job, particularly for the
interesting and useful focus on noise issue and fit differences on head
shapes... keep it up!!
Said that, I'd like to share with you some ideas about the
Givi x01, which i bought last year on March, so I could be considered a long
I largely agree with your review, even if I'd say the x01 is
a noisy helmet. it's true, you'll have to comb your hair for the windy
journey when you take it off, and it's really outstanding on this side, but
there is a annoying boom from the bottom of the winter chin guard, that
leave also a considerable amount of air come to the face downside up....
I found a good solution in an aftermarket chin net, to put
between the inner and the outer shell of the chin guard: 5 Euros worth...
aside this, the gap you found between the shell and the visor plates can
create some whistle at high speeds. Anyway, and partly thanks to you, I
bought a big box of earplugs... ;))
Another BIG, enormous, issue of this helmet is that it lacks
a security ring in the strap, and, as you can imagine, is not a great idea
to pass a chain through the chin bar. :D I asked about it to Givi
directly, but x01's project leader, truly being very polite and open to
suggestions, hasn't gave me any persuading answer for this...
Last detail: x01 is NOT registered for Jet standard, as you
can see also in the strap label, reporting the "P" only, without any "J".
So you actually could not use without the chin bar. This time i have
to agree with Givi: they spent a lot of work to develop a protective full
face helmet with the air flow of a Chicago day, and usin' it without the
chin bar fools their efforts...
That's it. Hoping to be useful."
Follow-up from "F": "Coincidently Givi
has made some changes in the Xzero1 line, right this week. The
breaking news is that we have an ALL BRAND NEW YOUNG AND PSYCHEDELIC PAINT
SCHEME, that will truly have a revolutionary effect on the design of future
Yes. It's white.
The second change they made is that you'll not have both the
chin guard anymore in the box: you'll have to choose what version to buy,
summer or winter, with the single relative chin guard only, and then, if you
want the second one you'll have to buy it separately for 60 Euros.
On the other hand the price for the helmet will be 257
instead of more than 300 Euros (actually the real price has been quite less
than the official...)
And last but not least, eventually they managed to do it:
they labeled it for Jet standards, and in the box they added two small
plastic sticks to cover the shell holes when you'll use it without the chin
guard... wow... what to say? Real Italian smoke-in-the-eyes style...
Anyway... unfortunately i don't have any news about DOT
certification, but you can try to investigate on your own.... :)"
From "Y.A." (Indonesia) (10/08): "Searched via Google for
'cool helmets' and the x01 came up along with other helmets. Read the
extensive wBW review on it and since I wanted something different than the
local guys with their n102, Arai and so on. Lucky for me it was
available here in Indonesia so bought me one for $360.00 USD.
Guess the review says it all, except when I put my neck
gator on a pretty chilly rainy day, fog started to spread the visor as I
breathed down on the cloth! Damn I was a bit disappointed to see this.
Of course it only happened every time I ran into a stop in a jam with visors
shut. Overall...Cool and stand out looking helmet."
From "E.S.": "So, I am in the middle of my ride from
Vancouver, BC to SF, CA on my '05 Triumph Bonnie. On day 2, I went
from 82 degrees and sunny in Portland to 52 degrees and overcast on the
Oregon Coast. The helmet went from scooter full open face style (and
even then it was a bit warm, honestly), to winter mode with full face lower
cover and top covers in about 5 minutes. It worked extremely well.
It is a bit noisy at times but that is somewhat a function of the height of
my fairing, my stature and riding position. I will see what it sounds
like when I remove the screen for some true naked bike riding. Yes, I
know, you are thinking that helmet is a bit to tech for my bonnie, I know.
I like the tech though, and this helmet has already proved its mettle more
than once. Just need to get some "DOT" stickers... "
From "O.T.": "Great Review .... again ! Question:
does the helmet have room inside around the ears for speakers, like that of
Editor's Reply: The pockets are pretty
slim; the Cardo speakers fit, but will probably interfere with some riders,
depending upon their head and ear shape. The pockets are basically
very shallow and don't seem designed for speakers.
From "ECS": "I saw this was review and was very
interested in the helmet. I love the idea of the true modular nature
of it. Out of curiousity, I popped an email to the GIVI USA folks and they
responded back saying that they have no plans to import any of the GIVI
No innovative helmets for us! Thanks, and keep up the
"An interesting concept, for sure, but I'm not sure how practical it is,
especially here in the mid-Atlantic. I suppose in Arizona, where it's
almost always warm and dry, it might be fine, but....
Here, spring mornings generally are cool, and frequently
damp. That means the least vented configuration. But afternoons
are warm, which means pulling out the tool and replacing all the parts.
I wonder how long all those fasteners (and the tool itself) are going to
last changing parts every day?
Summers are even worse. Mornings may or may not be
warm enough to use the vented configuration. Afternoons definitely
are. Unless, of course, there's a thunderstorm, which means putting
all the non-vented parts back on. But thunderstorms frequently mean
hot weather, which means I'll want lots of airflow, which means the vented
configuration. But that means I get wet. And at night, summer
means bugs. Lots of bugs. The lack of any screening in the
vented chin bar makes that pretty impractical, as does the gap between
face-shield and chin-bar.
Interesting? Definitely. Practical? I'm
not so sure. Successful? I have my doubts.