The Vemar Jiano EVO TC, also known as the Vemar Chimaera in Europe, is a solid-feeling helmet with a few tricks up its sleeve.
It has one of the most useful internal sun visors of any helmet with this feature that we've tried.
My feeling is that the Jiano EVO TC can be considered as a serious competitor to the Schuberth C3 (review) at about half the cost.
The Vemar Jiano EVO TC, also known as the Vemar Chimaera, was first announced during the 2010 EICMA show (report).
There was a name change during the crossing of the Atlantic; the Vemar Chimaera is now called the Vemar Jiano EVO TC (First Look) on this side of the pond.
Motonation, the U.S. distributor for Vemar Helmets, decided to capitalize on the existing Vemar Jiano (review) name recognition, which was a good move I think because it's hard enough selling a relatively niche brand in the U.S., so exploiting some existing brand equity is the way to go.
"EVO" is the evolution of the Jiano, while the "TC" is for the tri-composite shell construction of Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass, compared to the original Vemar Jiano, which has a polycarbonate shell.
Thus, the Jiano EVO TC is an evolution of the original Jiano and it brings more of that unique Vemar blend of style and function to a flip-up helmet. And, there's a bonus: the Jiano EVO TC has one very special trick up its sleeve, as you will learn in a minute, so read on...!
The first thing I noticed about the Jiano EVO TC after admiring its finish was the way it feels. This is one solid flip-up!
In fact, the build and the design of the Jiano EVO TC reminds me very much of a Schuberth C3 (review) -- not a bad family at all to be associated with, considering that the Schuberth must be the most Super DeLuxe and built-like-a-tank flip-up helmet going.
The Jiano EVO TC styling is very modern without being too angular or over-the-top however, beating the very round and even somewhat homely-looking Schuberth C3 in that department.
And I daresay that the Jiano EVO TC feels even more vault-like than the Schuberth, especially when the rotating visor is closed and locked. This works much better and has a more secure feeling (and sound) on the Jiano EVO TC than the C3 in my opinion from wearing both helmets.
This is not a "beat up on the C3" report, by the way; indeed, the C3 is a very nice, very worthy helmet, no two ways about it.
But...the comparison is valid, I think. And there's one thing about the C3 that puts a lot of potential owners off: the price. At 700 bucks, you could buy two (or more) really nice helmets instead. Or one really nice helmet and a nice jacket. Or one very nice Vemar Jiano EVO TC and a very nice jacket!
With a $340.00 street price (the C3 is almost never discounted), the Jiano EVO TC has a list price just less than half that of the C3. That's a lot of semolians in anybody's pocket.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves here -- is the Jiano EVO TC really a substitute for the fabled Schuberth C3?
Well, the Jiano has a nice, thick clear coat, laid over an excellent paint job on this silver metallic version. The moving parts all feel pretty solid, especially the hockey puck top vent slider and the click-click-click rotating visor. The face shield has strong detents and -- bonus time! -- the Jiano EVO TC internal sun shade is one of -- if not the -- best in the business.
It rotates all the way down, covering almost the entire eye port, where it remains 95% (estimated, of course!) outside of the rider's line of sight, completely non-annoying, unlike most of the other half-mast internal sun visors we've tried.
There are a few nits to pick on the Jiano EVO TC, with a tiny dust mite here and a loose thread there, but overall, I've seen much worse and few that were better. But is the overall quality of the Vemar equal to that of the fabled Schuberth? I'd have to say no, with the exception of the rotating visor, of which I think the Vemar design feels better. But it's pretty close, and again, there's that huge price difference...
The most significant feature -- and an important one for a flip-up -- that distinguishes the Jiano EVO TC from the rest of the genus of your everyday flip-up helmets is its solidity. This isn't a low-rent polycarbonate shell -- it's a Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass composite, built for strength and not often found in flip-ups for the masses. The shell comes in two sizes to span the 6 head size range of XS to XXL.
Vemar also said that they paid special attention to the chin bar -- normally a weak point of a flip-up helmet. They said that the Jiano EVO TC uses metal parts to clamp shut; a fact I can't confirm but I can say that the helmet feels and sounds very solid when the rotating visor is closed. Vemar also said they use metal pins and hooks to lock the face shield, although we did not disassemble the helmet to check.
The bottom line is that this is one solid-feeling flip-up and when you put it on and clamp the hatch closed, you'll know it. In fact one of the things that has always bothered me about the C3 is that I have to usually slam it home a couple of times to make sure the rotating visor is locked shut, and even then I'm not 100% sure. Close the Jiano EVO TC and you'll hear it shut like the door on an E-series Mercedes Benz!
That's saying something, because most flip-ups have that characteristic creaking and groaning sound as the rotating visor goes through its motions, sounding like the bed springs in a twenty-buck fleabag hotel. Once you crank on the Jiano EVO TC, you'd be hard-pressed to know you're in a flip-up.
As long as it fits, that is. I'll talk more about that next...
Score: I'll give the Vemar Jiano EVO TC an "Outstanding" rating for excellent paint and a thick-feeling clear coat. The shell feels strong and solid, a definite plus. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.
I'm normally the flip-up reviewer go-to guy and I wear them almost all the time. So I have a good mental database to access for comparison. As such, I think the Jiano EVO TC has a slightly different fit than the average "Neutral" shaped flip-up, which is good news for "Long Oval" types.
I'd have to call the Jiano EVO TC a "Slight Narrow" fit (Vemar calls it a "Mid Oval"). The helmet does feel nearly neutral way up top around the crown, but the two sides right at the temples are definitely narrower, so owners with round-shaped heads may want to try a size larger from usual.
This Jiano EVO TC is a size large and the label inside reads "60 cm" and that is correct, in my opinion. I don't think a 60.5 cm head would fit, especially if it's round (like the Editor's).
I'd say something like 58.5 cm at the low end to 60 cm max on the upper end is right for a size large Jiano EVO TC. I know that "Slight Narrow" or "Long Oval" head types usually complain that too many flip-ups are "Neutral" or "Slightly Round" and they're right, so all you Long Oval types should be happy with the Jiano EVO TC.
Again, it's not a huge difference, but the thing I notice the most is the narrowness at the temples, at least as the head size starts to approach 60 cm. I have a feeling that a size XL would feel too big -- but maybe not. Vemar says the Jiano EVO TC in 59-60 cm is for a size large and 61-62 cm for an XL, so at least they're using standard sizing, unlike Schuberth. I'll never know, because a size L Jiano EVO TC is all we have on hand.
The padding feels comfy and it's about average thickness. The liner feels very much like the stuff used in the latest Arai helmets to me. The weather has turned cooler, so I don't really know how the fabric would work in the summer, but Vemar says it's some type of special moisture-wicking material that is also treated with an anti-bacterial coating.
The two shell sizes span a head size range of XS to XXL, with the smaller shell fitting the XS to M sizes and the larger shell fitting the L to XXL size range.
webBikeWorld Internal Shape Estimator: Vemar Jiano EVO TC
|Narrow||Med. Narrow||Slight Narrow||Neutral||Slight Round||Med. Round||Round|
|Helmet Internal Shape Examples (see more Motorcycle Helmet Shapes)|
|Scorpion EXO-700 Neon||
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 Vemar Jiano EVO TC an "Excellent" rating for shape, as long as you're a match. The padding and liner is nice and feels about average for comfort.
That "special" chin bar that apparently gives the Jiano EVO TC its vault-like feel is a bit on the thick side. We have noticed chin bars getting bigger on European-designed helmets, probably to account for ECE and/or SHARP (info) testing regimes.
I find that it's best to place the Jiano EVO TC on my head and then pull it down and forward slightly by the chin bar to align the eye port and get everything seated correctly. This is usually the sign of a mis-match between my head shape and the helmet internal shape, but in this case, I think it's just the design of the helmet.
If I don't give it that extra tug, the chin bar seems like it's too high. But as soon as I lower the helmet down on to my head, everything moves back into proportion. When properly aligned, the chin bar is a bit tall, so the view out the bottom of the eye port is slightly less than average. Side-to-side and top views are about average.
The helmet has plenty of room inside the chin bar, however, although there's a small semi-hard part on the chin curtain that sometimes touches me underneath. It's not annoying though.
The 2.39 mm thick face shield (per our measurements) clicks smartly through 6 detents with a decent first detent useful for defogging. The special design of the rotating visor closes the face shield if it's open and the rotating visor is lifted -- a very Schuberth-like safety feature that is not included on most flip-ups.
Vemar says the face shield is treated with an anti-fog coating, but it works about as well as any of the anti-fog coatings do (i.e., it doesn't). Try a bottle of Clarity DeFog It (review) for best results.
Internal Sun Shade
The internal sun shade, as I mentioned earlier, works very nicely. It rotates with a lever on the left-hand side of the helmet and it covers nearly the entire eye port -- excellent! I have to search for the bottom edge in my peripheral vision to see it, so honestly, this is probably the first internal sun shade that I actually use.
I wish it was about 25% darker though, but that's a factor of the legal requirements necessary to allow a darkened visor inside. Maybe one could tint it darker or lay a strip of "Poor Man's" tint inside, like the "El Cheapo Sun Shade (review)".
The face shield has a ridge molded in across the top to help prevent water from seeping in. It also seals fairly tightly across the eye port gasket. The system works, but the only place water can enter is at the split line where the rotating visor meets the helmet shell. The rotating visor on the Jiano EVO TC is slightly different than the norm due to the design as noted above, and the side plates are large and they rotate over the helmet shell.
This probably adds some protection at the temples but it would be difficult to avoid the very slight gap at the gasket. Just the tiniest amount of water can leak in if it's raining and you're at a stop light.
webBikeWorld Eye Port Visibility Estimator: Vemar Jiano EVO TC
|Visibility||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
|Top to Bottom||■|
|Side to Side||■|
Score: The Vemar Jiano EVO TC has about average outward visibility for this type of helmet. I'll give it an "Excellent" rating overall.
The big "hockey puck" flat slider that covers the top vent snaps open when pushed from the front. It's a bit harder to grab when you want it closed -- it's flat on top with no nubs to hold. Push it from behind and you should be ok.
The near-flush design pretty much eliminates any wind noises coming from the vent assembly. The air flows down into a pair of mesh-covered passages and then through narrow slits cut into the EPS foam in the top crown piece. The liner is mesh up top, and it does a pretty good job of flowing air down on to the rider's head.
The chin vent is less successful, however, It's an interesting design, with a plastic chrome-plated slider that opens or closes two narrow vents on either side of the chin.
The air does not flow through the chin bar unfortunately, but instead it is shunted up on either side of the chin bar. In cold/damp weather, it doesn't always defog the entire face shield, but the shield can be clicked open to the first notch to make up for it.
There are black vents on either side of the chin bar that seem to act as a relief valve for the front chin vent. I think they decrease the pressure to allow the air to flow through the helmet, because they don't appear to flow any air directly inside.
The rear exhaust vents are built into a shaped, tapered and almost squared-off rear. This is what gives the Jiano EVO TC its unique look and style.
Overall, I'd rate the Jiano EVO TC upper ventilation as good to excellent with the chin venting about average, which is to say, not that great. But overall, it's better than most flip-up helmets, which have notoriously poor ventilation as a rule.
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Vemar Jiano EVO TC Ventilation
|Location||Poor||Below Average||Average||Above Average||Outstanding|
Score: I'll give the ventilation system of the Vemar Jiano EVO TC a "Very Good" rating.
If the Jiano EVO TC matches your head shape, you should be pretty happy when it comes to noise control. Noise around the upper part of the helmet seems well controlled, with a slight wind rushing noise around the bottom.
Overall, I think that the solidity of the helmet and the generous internal padding help, along with the cheek pads, which seem thicker than average at the bottom.
The ear pockets are nicely sized and apparently the Jiano EVO TC is also available in a Bluetooth version with the communication system built in, so the ear pockets were designed for speakers (although there is no Bluetooth intercom housing on this helmet, which is curious).
So my opinion is that the Vemar Jiano EVO TC is pretty quiet for a flip-up; perhaps not as quiet as the Schuberth C3, but it's not far off.
Flip-ups are notoriously noisy helmets, due usually to the split design of the shell and/or poorly designed padding underneath, around the neck roll. The shell design of the Jiano EVO TC seems to overcome most of those problems, making it at least one of the quieter flip-ups you can buy.
webBikeWorld Opinionator: Vemar Jiano EVO TC 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 Jiano EVO TC an "Excellent" rating for relatively low noise level overall.
The fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber shell doesn't do all that much for weight reduction on the Jiano EVO TC unfortunately. This size large helmet weighs in at 1976 grams (4 lbs., 5-3/4 oz.).
This is fairly heavy; in fact, one of the heaviest helmets we've reviewed. Honestly though, I'm surprised -- we don't weigh the helmets until the final version of the review is being edited, and I would have guessed that the Jiano EVO TC was lighter by maybe 150 grams or so.
The helmet feels nicely balanced and when the "Mid Oval" fit (as Vemar calls it) is a match for your head shape, the weight sort of disappears.
For comparison's sake, the Bell Revolver (Flip-up, L) weighs in at 1808 grams; the Scorpion EXO-1000 (Full-face, XL) at 1821 grams; the Zeus ZS-3000B (Flip-up, XL) at 1842 grams; the Scorpion EXO-900 (Flip-up, L) at 1888 grams and the Zeus ZS-3000 (Flip-up, M) at 1924 grams.
And that Schuberth C3? It weighs a mere 1603 grams in its DOT guise and 1709 in size XL in ECE 22.05 trim.
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 Vemar Jiano EVO TC a "Neutral" rating for its relatively high weight counteracted by good balance.
OK, so here's the big surprise! The Jiano EVO TC has an LED cheek pad as an optional accessory. It's expensive, at $99.00 list, but it's a fairly easy installation and it provides nighttime visibility for filling up with gas or searching for a pair of gloves in the saddlebags or tank bag.
The cheek pad has a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery and a small connector hangs out the back of the helmet. The LED cheek pad option comes with a wall outlet charger. A button on the bottom front edge of the cheek pad turns the lights on or off. The button can be pressed lightly to turn the lights on temporarily, or if the button is pressed until it clicks, the lights will stay on until the button is pressed again. This is all illustrated in the video above.
Vemar claims the battery will last for 5 hours on a 2.5 hour charge. I know it lasts a long time, because it was charged when we received the cheek pads and it hasn't needed recharging the entire time I've had the helmet...although I haven't used the LED lights much. It's not like you're going to have them on for hours at a time; the system is designed for occasional use to see what you're doing at night.
A small plastic cover is attached; the instructions call for covering the LEDs when they're not being used. I think this is some kind of legal requirement for Vemar to get the system homologated, because if the lights are off, there's no need for a cover.
It's a pretty cool system that, while not a necessity, definitely adds some utility and uniqueness to the helmet.
The Jiano EVO TC uses a European style "quick release" or "Microlok" buckle system, which I still don't care for. It's more complex than the simple and elegant double D-ring system and the moving parts on the Euro-style release are subject to wear.
The chin strap padding is relatively thick and has good coverage under the strap itself.
The helmet meets the DOT safety standard in North America and the Vemar Chimaera meets ECE 22.05 standards when sold in Europe. Note that there may be other differences in the European version of the helmet.
Vemar has a five-year warranty from the date of manufacture on the helmet.
webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator: Vemar Jiano EVO TC
The Vemar Jiano EVO TC is a very solid, nicely constructed flip-up helmet that looks good and performs well. I do think it's a valid competitor -- or substitute, anyway -- for the almost-too-expensive Schuberth C3. By that I mean that the Jiano EVO TC feels as sturdy and protective as the C3 and, in fact, the rotating visor on the Vemar clicks closed with a more secure feel than the visor on the C3.
The helmet is relatively quiet -- especially for a flip-up and it has a very useful internal sun shade. It's comfortable and well balanced, albeit heavy; there's not getting around that. It also costs about half what a C3 would set you back.
So for "Neutral" to "Slightly Narrow" to "Mid-Oval" (or "Long Oval") head shapes, your ultimate flip-up may have arrived.
More wBW Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
wBW Review: Vemar Jiano EVO TC (Vemar Chimaera) Helmet
U.S. Distributor: Motonation
|List Price: $375.00|
|Colors: Solids and metallics.||Made In: China|
|Sizes: XS to XXL. Shell Sizes: Two.||Star Rating (1-5):|
|Review Date: November 2011|
Rating Scale is subjective: Unacceptable, Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.
From "G.S." (February 2012): "Purchased a Jiano Evo TC based on your review. It replaces a first generation HJC Sy-Max and is truly a world apart. Yes, it's heavier and eye port is not as large, but your review is spot-on. Vault-like feeling, reasonably quiet, slightly narrow and good chin room. Don't notice the weight when worn.
Wish it had D ring chin strap but hope to get used to the European style. At $300 it's an outstanding value for a first class helmet."