Motorcycle Half Helmet
The Vega XTS Motorcycle Half Helmet is something new for
webBikeWorld. We've always been strong proponents of wearing quality
motorcycle gear, including full-face DOT and/or ECE 22.05 approved
But we're also pragmatic enough to realize that
many motorcyclists choose not to wear helmets, and many more wear open-face
helmets, half helmets or even motorcycle helmets that look like (and have
the same protection as) Mom's Tupperware.
A half helmet is about as small as we'd ever recommend, but I have to say
that I can see why this type of helmet is popular. After using a
couple of open face helmets and this Vega XTS through the hot, sticky summer
riding season we've had lately, there's something to be said for having a
nice, fresh breeze blowing around your face, especially after being cooped
up in a full-face helmet during the rest of the year.
Besides, if you're riding a cruiser (and we do get quite a few cruiser
owners visiting webBikeWorld), full-face helmets just don't look right, no
matter how you slice it. We've said it before and we'll say it again
-- riding a motorcycling makes a statement, and the right look is important.
The bike, the clothes, the sound and the helmet (or lack thereof) help to
define the rider as part of a tribe, and half helmets are here, they're for
sale and they're legal, so you pay your money and you take your chances.
If you're a fan of half helmets, that's cool, but please make sure you
buy one with decent quality, like this Vega XTS, and not the type resembling
Tupperware. The Vega XTS is DOT FMVSS 218, and it seems to be put
together leagues better than some of the teacups that are out there -- the
ones that require you have to buy your own DOT sticker to put on the back.
The XTS is made from fiberglass, and it's a nice piece of work,
especially considering the price. The white pearlescent finish on our
sample has a touch of orange peel and a few tiny flaws here and there, but
overall the paint seems thick enough to last a long time. There's a
nice black vinyl strip covering the entire edge of the helmet, with a
slightly soft and textured finish that sets off the shape.
Four 11 mm unpainted rivets, two on each side, are visible on each side
of the helmet. The rivets secure the tops of the "yoke" type chin
strap. Some people didn't notice the rivets, others said they'd
probably try to paint them with nail polish and a few said that they wished
Vega would have figured out a way to eliminate them. But they're
functional and most folks probably wouldn't notice them if they weren't
The Vega XTS has an EPS liner, just like many of its full-face brethren.
Vega claims that the EPS liner allows them to use a thinner profile shell
and a slightly thicker liner than is normally found in half helmets.
interior seems to be put together neatly. The liner is comfortable and
similar to the nice liner in the
Vega Summit XPV modular, or flip-up, helmet
we reviewed recently. Vega seems to really know their stuff when it
comes to helmet liners.
The yoke style chin strap has a retro look to
it, because it forms a "V" that spreads out on both sides of the ear.
Our young neighborhood model shown in these photos had no problems with this
style chin strap because her smaller ear fit nicely within the "V".
Others who tried the helmet found that the "V" covered parts of their ears,
depending upon their individual ear shape, but no one complained.
can feel a bit strange at first if you're not used to it, but the inner
portion of the straps are padded and they don't seem to cause a problem or
form any hot spots during use.
The chin strap secures the helmet via a D-ring, but Vega left out any
type of system to secure the loose strap end, and there's a lot of it.
They must have figured that people with big, long heads or thick necks would
be the primary customer for the XTS, because the strap seems extra long.
It would have been nice to add a piece of Velcro to attach the loose end
somewhere. A solution is to tuck the loose strap end up over the
tightened section under the chin.
The Vega XTS has an unusual feature for a half helmet: air vents!
Two "adjustable" air vents (they open and close) are located in a black
plastic strip that's nicely recessed into the front of the helmet.
When open, the holes direct air through the EPS liner and (theoretically) on
to the rider's head.
One problem is that part of the liner is located
in back of the holes, preventing the air from having a direct path.
The other problem is that the helmet is cool enough to wear because so much
of your face is in the open air anyway that I doubt if one would notice the
extra air flow anyway. The slides on the vents don't have any detents,
so they don't consistently stay in an open or closed position, depending
instead on edge friction to hold them in place.
provides a snap-on visor with the XTS, and this gives the helmet something
Police Motor Patrol look. The visor can be easily removed, but it
doesn't seem to cause any helmet lifting when riding, and it looks kind of neat, so
you may want to leave it in place.
The XTS is offered in 6 sizes, from XS to XXL. I'm usually on the
borderline of a size L and XL in motorcycle helmets. Depending upon the styling and shape, sometimes a
large will fit me and sometimes I need an XL.
This sample is a size
XL, and it fits, but the internal shape is biased towards a narrower head
than my very round cranium. It fit our model, L.B., perfectly -- she
has a much larger head than you'd think, and she usually takes a size L
It's hard to measure the inside of a helmet, but this one is about 21 cm
long from front to back and about 16 cm wide in the middle. It fits
me, but I can feel some space in the front and back, so the shape is a bit
too oblong or rectangular for me. This may be an issue with other
round-head types, so you may want to try this helmet on or confirm that
there's a return policy before you purchase it.
The XTS weighs in at 974 g (2 lbs., 2-3/8
oz.) on the webBikeWorld scales. We haven't weighed any other half helmets for a comparison, but
this seems light, especially when compared to some full-face or flip-up
helmets, which can weigh nearly twice as much. The XTS does feel a bit
top heavy when it's worn, probably because the weight is concentrated up on
top of the head and it doesn't have as much liner area as a full-face helmet
to spread the weight over a larger surface area.
Vega includes a drawstring helmet back with the XTS, and optional ear
pads are available to plug up the "V" on the chin straps to keep your ears
warmer in the winter.
Cruiser owners and other riders who like the half helmet style, or those who
desire a minimal amount of helmet coverage should be pleased with the Vega
XTS. The price is very reasonable, the quality is decent, and it's
available in a variety of colors, including a couple of wild flame paint
jobs. Vega also offers the XTS with a leather surface option instead
of paint. Make sure this helmet will fit your head shape though.
We'll continue to recommend using full-face or open-face DOT (minimally)
approved helmets. But we'd rather see motorcyclists using a DOT FMVSS 218 half helmet rather than go without a helmet altogether. So if you're in the market for a half helmet, check
out Vega's XTS.
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Review: Vega XTS Half Helmet
Retail Price: $46.99 - $59.99
Rubber Flat Black, Silver, Leather, Silver Flame, Red Flame, Red/Yellow
|| Made In: China
Comments: 974 g (2 lbs., 2-3/8 oz.)