The Nexx SWITX ("Switch") SX.10 helmet is a radical new take on motorcycle helmet design.
The helmet has a removable cover which can be easily replaced ("switched") by the owner.
The helmet shells also come in different colors and the replaceable covers come in every color imaginable.
Owners can even mix and match different colored sun shades, face shields and even visor buttons and washers (videos below).
Or, buy buy an extra cover or two and paint it with your own design!
The cover moves back and forth on the helmet to open or close the built-in "Cooling Cover Tech" vent system. Because the cover is separate from the SX.10 shell, the helmet shell design is also completely new and has many vent openings to improve air flow.
The SWITX SX.10 has a built-in sun shade that works very nicely and a very large clear face shield that provides outstanding coverage for an open-face helmet.
The clear face shield on the SWITX SX.10 gives the rider a huge field of view. It's virtually unlimited in all directions and it is probably the best forward visibility of any motorcycle helmet I've ever tried.
The helmet is actually very quiet and the fit is quite comfortable.
Nexx has even partnered with Sena to develop the SX.COM, an intercom system specially designed for the SWITX SX.10 helmet.
The new Nexx SWITX SX.10 is certainly one of the most unique motorcycle helmets ever and it's a very clever design that is simple, functional and easy to use. It also meets both DOT and ECE safety standards.
Since the SX.10 is so different, let's first take a brief photo tour so you can get oriented:
Nexx went "back to the drawing board" big time with the SWITX concept. In fact, they actually did go back to square one, throwing out very old concept of how a motorcycle helmet should be designed to re-think every aspect.
The motivation was the sagging world economy, with ferocious competition from cheap imports. Nexx has always wanted to keep helmet production in Europe, but it would take a radical new concept to compete and make a profit in the smaller "Jet" open-face type helmet space.
The result is the SWITX ("Switch") SX.10, the first of what we hope will become a design series based on the SWITX concept.
The SX.10 design has also garnered the 2014 Red Dot Design Award for the SX.10, which will be presented at the annual gala in July. The 40 members of the Red Dot jury commended the Nexx Cooling Cover Tech when they acknowledged the SWITX SX.10 as one of the 2014 award winners.
The SX.10 is so different that it's difficult to describe it in the confines of a webBikeWorld motorcycle helmet review. But the most notable feature is the removable and replaceable helmet cover. There are currently 9 different helmet shell/cover combinations and then 21 different cover colors available as options. You can change covers and colors whenever you'd like.
No tools are needed to completely disassemble the helmet. Start the process by twisting the circular "button" on the side of the helmet -- the part that typically holds the clear face shield in place.
Once the buttons are off, the clear face shield can be easily removed; optional tinted face shields are also available. Twist and remove the colored "washers" that hold the cover in place and now the cover can be removed. This exposes the unique SX.10 helmet shell, which is covered in a pattern of vent grids to allow maximum air flow. The removable cover design allows the shell to have the vent grids, while still meeting the DOT and ECE safety standards.
Next, the internal sun shade or sun visor lifts right off and these are also available in different tints. Note that the disassembly process is shown in the webBikeWorld video below.
Re-assemble the SX.10 in the reverse order and you're ready to go. Note also that the design is incredibly simple and completely manual, so there are no other moving vent parts or anything else that might fail. The clear face shield and the internal sun shade are lowered and raised manually and the entire cover slides back and forth to expose the vents.
The entire SWITX SX.10 design concept is so interesting (and so easy to use) that you'll probably find yourself doing the same thing as me -- disassembling it and putting it all back together just to marvel at how it all works.
Nexx even collaborated with Sena to develop a special intercom system for the SX.10. It's called the Nexx SX.COM and it's an interesting design with features that seem to be the equivalent of the Sena SMH5 (review). We have photos of the SX.COM intercom below and the SX.COM owners guide from Sena is available also in .pdf format and we'll also have a "Quick Look" review posted soon.
The SX.10 helmet shell and cover pair is available in 9 different color combinations from the factory. Then the optional covers, side buttons, washers, sun shades and face shields are available for the owner to mix-and-match for a unique design.
Most of the colors are molded as part of the polycarbonate shell cover, so there are no worries about paint scratching. Three of the covers are painted however -- the Neon Yellow, Black Soft and Aubergine -- and these cost slightly more.
An owner can buy a spare cover to paint, as long as the paint is suitable for polycarbonate plastic. The side button could probably be painted on the outside but the inside of the button and the washer that holds the cover (under the button) should not be painted because the additional paint thickness can affect the movement of the parts.
The SX.10 is quite unlike any other motorcycle helmet we've reviewed. Other than the obviously unique design, the movement of the parts is both very simple and very clever. Nexx did a fantastic job putting it all together.
And the hardest part must have been getting the design beyond the concept stage and into actual production. It would be easy to mess up a new helmet design like this but the overall quality is excellent, especially for the price.
Score: Nexx surely gets 5 Gold Stars for effort on the SWITX SX.10 concept and I'll give the helmet an "Excellent" rating for overall quality. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.
The SX.10 is a variant of the "Jet" type helmet, with a hard top and soft "flaps" that cover the ears. This design is similar to the older Nexx X60 (review), the Cromwell Spitfire (review) and others.
This type of helmet can feel a bit odd at first compared to a full-face or 3/4-length helmet, at least on my strange "Earth" shaped head, which is widest in the center at my temples. To make matters worse, my 60.5 cm head is unfortunately between a standard size L and XL.
The size large SX.10 feels like it has a "Neutral" to "Slightly Narrow" fit under the shell portion and it felt a bit snug at first. But the soft ear pieces must make up for it, because I've worn the SX.10 for a couple of multi-hour long stretches with no issues at all and, in fact it's surprisingly comfortable, even on my odd noggin.
A benefit of the soft ear sections is that eyeglasses should fit without a problem. The ear sections and the helmet liner fabric feels pretty basic but comfortable and the padding is on the thin side, at least in this size large. But again, no real issues and not unexpected for this type of helmet in this price range. By the way, the liner is not removable.
The ear "flaps" have pockets for the specially designed Nexx SX.COM intercom, which is made by Sena for Nexx. I'll describe that in a "Quick Look" article.
webBikeWorld Internal Shape Estimator: Nexx SWITX SX.10
|Narrow||Med. Narrow||Slight Narrow||Neutral||Slight Round||Med. Round||Round|
|Helmet Internal Shape Examples (see more Motorcycle Helmet Shapes)|
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 Nexx SWITX SX.10 an "Excellent" rating for internal shape, fit and comfort.
The large clear face shield on the SX.10 provides a huge amount of forward visibility; in fact, the visibility is unlimited, with no part of the helmet shell in my field of view until I turn my eyes as far up or to the sides as is physically possible, and only then can I see a sliver of helmet shell. The face shield also covers a large portion of the face, nearly to the bottom of my chin.
This gives an outstanding forward view when riding -- it's almost surreal, because you feel like you're not wearing a helmet at all, yet the wind is blocked and blocked very well indeed. That was the second surprise, because many open-face type helmets like this have a poorly designed face shield that ends up blasting a lot of air on the face or up from underneath the front.
This one is nicely curved, allowing a small amount of air to flow up from underneath on either side but only when I'm at higher speeds on a bike without a windscreen, like the Suzuki GW250 (Blog).
The face shield has 3 detents and it's moved up and down with a tab on either side. The internal sun shade also is a simple design; it fits between the helmet cover and the shell and it can be rotated by using the small tabs on either side under the clear face shield or via a small tab that sticks out of the vertical cut on the top of the cover.
The sun shade is effective and when it's pulled down past its single detent about 80% of the way down, it provides good coverage although I could probably do without the cutout for the nose.
webBikeWorld Eye Port Visibility Estimator: Nexx SWITX SX.10
|Visibility||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
Score: The Nexx SWITX SX.10 face shield and sun shade design gets an "Outstanding", while outward visibility is among the best there is.
Open-face helmet designs usually have a lot of ventilation and the SX.10 is no exception. When it's deployed, the face shield does an excellent job of blocking the air but there's still a lot of ventilation along the bottom, of course.
The SX.10 helmet shell is uniquely designed with the vent grids I discussed earlier with the photo. Thus, the helmet has good ventilation in all conditions even if the two front intake vents are closed.
To operate the vents, pull the cover forward and it blocks the two brow intake and the two rear exhaust vents (the brow vents are accommodated by cutouts in the clear face shield when it's lowered) or push the cover back to open the vents.
To be honest, I don't feel all that much difference with the vents open or closed, only because the helmet provides excellent ventilation and heat control due to both the open-face design and the special Nexx shell vent grid system. On some pretty hot and muggy days we've had recently, my head remained as cool as I could expect wearing any type of motorcycle helmet.
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Nexx SWITX SX.10 Ventilation
|Location||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
Score: I'll rate the ventilation system of the Nexx SWITX SX.10 as "Outstanding" overall.
Yet one more surprise is the low noise levels I experienced with the SX.10 helmet. The large clear face shield, with its curved design, seems to cut nicely through the air with no noise and the simple design of the helmet also helps here I think.
The thick padded ear covers surely also help to keep noise levels low. Usually a helmet of this type is expected to be loud but this one really isn't, whether the vents are open or closed.
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Nexx SWITX SX.10 Noise Levels
|Location||Very Quiet||Quieter||Average||Louder||Very Loud|
Note that our helmet evaluations are normally a combined effort of several riders over time, on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens. Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality earplugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems) and (usually) a helmet liner. It is strongly recommended that hearing protection is used when riding a motorcycle. See the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page 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 type of clothing that is being worn. For more information on helmet noise, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.
Score: I'll give the Nexx SWITX SX.10 an "Excellent" rating for noise control.
This SX.10 in size large weighs 1160 grams (2 lbs., 8-7/8 oz.), which is very light and compares well with helmets listed in the webBikeWorld Open Face Helmet Weights table.
Note 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 rate the Nexx SWITX SX.10 as "Excellent" for its reasonable weight and good balance.
The Nexx SWITX SX.10 has a quick-release chin strap on a "Y" type harness. There is no padding underneath the chin strap webbing.
The SX.10 meets the DOT standard in the U.S.A., the ECE 22.05 standard in Europe and NBR-7471:2001 in Brazil. It is available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL.
More information is available in this SWITX SX.10 information sheet (.pdf). Here's the Nexx SWITX SX.10 information sheet (.pdf). And here's a YouTube video discussing the design philosophy of the Nexx SWITX SX.10.
webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator: Nexx SWITX SX.10
There's no doubt about it: the Nexx SWITX SX.10 is the most unique helmet design ever...just when you think there's nothing else that could possibly be new under the sun.
The helmet may not be for everyone due to its open-face "Jet" or scooter-type design. But I'll let you in on a secret: it's a blast riding a motorcycle (or scooter) with a helmet like this. The huge amount of visibility it provides is a real safety factor, especially for new riders, because you can see everything just as if you were wearing no helmet at all.
The best part -- besides the wow-factor design -- is that the SX.10 actually works really nicely as an open-face helmet. And you can easily swap out different color covers, like yellow for visibility when you're on the GS and black for stealth on the H-D.
Or, if you've ever wanted to paint your own helmet but didn't want to chance it on a "normal" shell, the SX.10 is the answer. Think of the possibilities!
Now there's a slight catch -- you were waiting for that, right? The SWITX SX.10 is so new that distribution is still being worked out. The helmet is available in the UK but, believe it or not, Nexx U.S.A. has yet to commit to it. It's your job to let 'em know how you feel!
UPDATE! The Nexx SWITX SX.10 is the 2014 webBikeWorld Motorcycle Product of the Year!
wBW Review: Nexx SWITX SX.10 Helmet
|Manufacturer: Nexx Helmets||List Price (2014): 89.95€. Neon Yellow, Black Soft and Aubergine are 99.95 € (because
they are painted).
Accessories: Washers (pair) 9.95 €. Buttons (pair): 9.95€. Covers: 24.95€. Sun Visor: 19.95€. Face Shield: 24.95€.
|Colors: Yes, and then some.||Made In: Portugal|
|Sizes: XS to 2XL Shell Sizes: Unknown||Star Rating (1-5):|
|Review Date: May 2014|
Rating Scale is subjective: Unacceptable, Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.