Vemar Jiano Helmet Review
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
Summary: Solid but heavy, the Vemar Jiano doesn't evolve the
species but is reasonably priced and carries an excellent warranty.
The Vemar Jiano was first runner-up for the webBikeWorld
2008 Flip-up Motorcycle Helmet of the Year Award!
The Vemar Jiano was announced at this year's
Dealer Expo in Indianapolis (article) back in February, and Rick
"First Look" report that generated a lot of
interest from webBikeWorld visitors. The emails
have been pouring in ever since, and although we've been
playing with a Jiano for a couple of months, I finally
got around to writing up the entire story.
Vemar is a
familiar name to European motorcyclists and probably
not so familiar to Americans. I'm unclear about
the details, but the company did sell DOT safety standard
helmets in the U.S. for a few years, and we
reviewed the Vemar VSR
back in -- I don't remember -- maybe it was 2003 or so?
Then, as occasionally happens in the U.S. market, the
U.S. distributor apparently ended their relationship
with Vemar, and the helmets were no longer available. There were some VSR helmets floating
around as overstocks, and many webBikeWorlders, thrifty
as they are, exploited the situation to acquire their
VSR at rock-bottom prices.
So Vemar disappeared from the U.S. market for a
while, but it's great to see them back! Not only
back, but back with a vengeance, starting off with three
new full-face helmets, the Jiano flip-up that's the
subject of this review and, last but not least, they
now also have two off-road helmets.
All of the new
Vemar helmets are DOT safety standard, and Vemar is offering a
five-year warranty on every helmet, which pretty much
covers the entire life of the helmet, when you think
We're pleased and thankful to Motonation for
working out the distribution details (not an easy task,
especially for motorcycle helmets) and for providing us
Vemar VSREV beauty in "Italy" colors that's currently
going through the webBikeWorld evaluation process.
Motonation is also stocking spare visors in a variety of
colors and tints and spare parts for the Vemar helmet line, so
they're obviously serious about making this work.
OK, so what about the Jiano? Several flip-up
helmets have passed through our hands recently, and we
haven't been all that impressed. For reasons unknown, flip-up helmet design isn't really
evolving the way we thought it would, could or should.
The Jiano doesn't break any new ground, and, as you'll
learn, it has, uh, shall we say a lot of mass? But we all agree that
something about it gives it a more secure and
solid feeling than probably just about any other flip-up
Now before we get started, one digression to clarify the term
used for these helmets. Somehow, the term
"modular" came into use as a word to describe a helmet
with a rotating visor.
We went along with it, but
now that we have helmets like the
and Airoh TR1,
which truly are modular in every sense of the word, it's
clear to us that a helmet like the Jiano with a rotating
visor is a "flip-up" (for lack of a better term) and a
modular is a new and evolving type of helmet with
modular parts, specifically designed to allow it to be
converted from one type of helmet to another.
Oh, and one more thing: who's this "Jiano"
dude? Well, Vemar says that Jiano is "an ancient
god that had roots in a number of different cultures,
was used to symbolize change and transitions such as the
progression of future to past, of one condition to
another, of one vision to another, and of one universe
I'm not so sure about this; my research on Greek
mythology and a quick search of several Greek mythology
websites turns up a complete blank on the word "Jiano",
so I have a sneaking suspicion that this could be something
cooked up by the Vemar marketing folks. If that's
the case, no problem -- you have to give them credit for
being creative! UPDATE: Reader "C.C." thinks
Jiano might be Italian for Janus...makes sense!
Let's take a look...
Jiano - wBW
Lightbox - Click photo to view.
Side View w/Shade
Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
The Jiano is yet another new helmet with the "no color
is good color" design philosophy. Like the
we recently reviewed, the Jiano's thermoplastic
shell is available in any color you want, as long as
it's silver, gray or black. Most are matte; the
black and "Graphite" are also available in gloss.
Motonation had a matte gray with a
slight white pattern on display at the Indy show; I
think this is the "Escape" color... I mean pattern...and
there's an "Escape" listed on the Motonation site, but
one photo shows it with the white stripes and another
Our helmet was ordered as a
Matte Silver, but after we placed the order, Motonation called
and said that it wasn't available, and in fact they didn't have many size XL
helmets in any
color. They kindly contacted a dealer in Kansas City, who
called us up and said he had this Matte Graphite, and we
said "Send 'er over". By the way, the matte colors
are $275.00 and the gloss is an extra $25.00.
It's hard to compare a matte finish like
this with the wild clear-coated graphics found on most
lids, so there's not much to say. The finish has
the same "Rubatone" rubbery feel found on helmets like
the Givi X.01. This is fine and, believe it or
not, I've actually come to like its industrial look,
although I wish that Vemar offered a Jiano in at least a
gloss white or silver.
The rubbery finish on the Jiano does
seem very prone to picking up greasy fingerprints and
other detritus, but I discovered by accident as I was
cleaning the visor with some
Liquid Performance Spray Cleaner and Polish (review)
that the stuff seems to work on the Jiano's finish.
Overall, the finish is nicely applied
and all the fitments work well and have a decent feel.
I don't think the tolerances are as tight as they could
be, and one thing that bothers me slightly is the way
the clear visor stands away from the side of the helmet
with a bit of a gap (see Lightbox photo above).
But considering that the
price of the Jiano is almost half of a
Multitec (review), I'd say the quality is good in
the Jiano definitely has a solid feel. And by the
way, the Multitec seems to have a brittle finish, as to
other Shoei helmets I've owned, which doesn't take
kindly to even the slightest bump.
Score: I'll give the Vemar Jiano a "Very Good" rating
for the overall finish and quality of the fittings. Some potential
owners may be put off by the limited -- and low visibility -- color choices. See the ratings scale
in the summary table at the bottom of this page.
Helmet Shape and Fit
The Jiano has a round-to-neutral fit; that is, it fits Rick's big round head
without complaints, but it's not as round as, say, the King of Roundheads,
the Arai Quantum II (review).
Our findings are compatible with Vemar's
marketing info for the Jiano, which says it has a
"mid-oval" shape. Vemar's "mid-oval" seems to
split the difference between Arai's "intermediate oval"
and round, in our opinion.
I'm a bit wary of Vemar's internal shape
descriptions though, because they say the VSREV has a "round
shell shape", which, they say, "offers a more generous
fit ear to ear and snugger fit front to back.
fact, we found very much the opposite for that helmet
(review coming soon), and we also think that their size XL in that model
was the equivalent of an XXL; indeed, we returned the XL
for a size L, which seems to fit like an XL..
The Jiano fit feels very much like the
RF-1000 (review) to me; round and just a shade
towards neutral or intermediate oval.
The cheek pads
on the Jiano seem slightly curved in at the bottom,
so they may put some pressure on David Coulthard type
jaws, but it doesn't seem like anything out of the
ordinary for a motorcycle helmet.
I will say that the Jiano seems to have a relatively
high center of gravity, and the helmet sits high on my
head, and my chin feels like it doesn't have as much
coverage on the bottom as it should. This has other implications; I feel like I have to
keep pushing the Jiano down on to my head and forward.
The helmet overall seems to be canted towards the front,
so I feel like I have to push it forward and down to
gain visibility out over the top of the chin bar, which
seems higher than usual.
Now this all may be due an internal
shape mismatch with my head; although the Jiano does
seem to tend towards round or neutral, it feels like it
does slope towards a long oval shape up at the very top
of the liner, and this tiny bit of extra space may be
causing the helmet to ride just a bit high for me.
So the bottom line is that I would say
that the Jiano is probably not for very round or "Earth"
shaped heads, but will fit an intermediate oval to
neutral to just shaded towards round. The size XL
shown here fits very slightly smaller than normal, so I
think a 60 cm head
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 Jiano is available in
an expanded size range, from XXS to XXL. Vemar
says they use two shell sizes to cover this range,
but we don't know where the split is; I'd guess the
L, XL and XXL use the large shell and the rest use
the small shell. An XXS helmet is very small,
by the way; probably child or youth size.
The ear pockets in the Jiano's liner
are fairly generous and they're backed with a hard
material, so they would be good candidates for
Score: I rate the Jiano an
"Excellent" for comfort and fit, but note
that we don't think Vemar's description is accurate.
I give it only a "Good" though for the way the
helmet sits on my head; it just seems to need a
forward tilt to sit correctly, and this has
implications regarding air flow and noise, as we
Vemar Jiano top vent.
Vemar Jiano internal sun shade.
Vemar Jiano chin vent.
The Jiano has your every day, garden variety chin vent and top vent.
Neither are very big. The chin vent operates with a nice, solid feel,
but it only flows a minimal amount of air up on to the back of the clear
visor. There are no venting channels through the padded chin bar.
The chin vent is very hard to find when
wearing gloves, even though I know right where it is and
how it operates: up and down. I just can't seem to
grab it when wearing gloves, and it has a very strong
detent (good), so it's not easy to snap up and down
(bad). No problem, because like most motorcycle
helmet chin vents, it doesn't seem to do much anyway.
The top vent is simple: it uses a
rubbery-feeling slider to open and close a thin slice of
a vent that points forward. This vent is
relatively easy to use, except the slider does not have
a raised tab, so a couple of fingers have to push it to
slide it back and forth.
It doesn't really seem to offer much
ventilation anyway, probably because the thick-ish
helmet liner doesn't really have any direct venting
channels down on to the rider's head. The vent
also makes some noise when it's open.
Score: I'll give the Jiano a
"Good" for venting and air flow.
Rear section of the liner is separate from the rest of
the helmet liner.
So where does most of the venting come from on the
Jiano? For some reason, Vemar has elected to mold
a separate liner and padding section at the lower rear
area of the helmet (photo above). When the helmet
is tilted forward to fit, this section seems to bend
backwards, and the gaps on either side open up a couple
of portals to the air, which then comes in the helmet
and seems to blow around quite a bit.
When the weather was cool, there was
simply too much air in the helmet for me to wear it
comfortably. Now that it's warmer, I don't mind
the air blowing around as much.
Now this may be due to some type of mis-match
between my head shape and the helmet -- but I don't
think so. I'm very puzzled at why Vemar designed
the liner this way (see photos below and in the video),
because the gaps on either side of this separate section
are also responsible for raising the overall noise
levels of the helmet. I can stick my finger in
there and feel hard parts of the shell liner, and
covering the gaps decreases the noise levels by an
The Jiano's liner seems well padded and
more comfortable than most of the liners found in
flip-up helmets. Vemar says that the removable
liner has a "life-long treatment against odor, fungus
and bacteria, and extraordinary wicking capabilities".
Don't know about the former, but it does seem to do a
good job at the latter.
Score: The Jiano's liner gets a
"Very Good" for comfort, padding and moisture wicking
ability but "Poor" for the way it's cut in the back.
Overall, the Jiano certainly isn't the loudest
flip-up we've tried; I'd say it's about average.
It's too bad about the slots on either side of the
rear padding section as mentioned above, because
covering them with a finger seems to greatly
decrease the noise levels, and that's where most of
the noise comes from on this helmet.
The top vent will add a bit of higher
frequency sound to the mix, and there's a general
mid-range wind rushing sound, as there is with most
helmets. The Jiano seems about average when it
comes to lower frequency "booming" noises around the
bottom of the helmet, but these are only noticeable when
riding behind some mid-height fairings.
Be sure to 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 Vemar Jiano gets a "Good" for about average
to slightly higher than normal noise levels.
Rotating visor lifting mechanism.
Seems like a plastic latch on the visor.
Latch in photo above mates with this apparently metal
post in the helmet shell.
The rotating visor that gives the Jiano it's
"flip-up" designation seems very solid, and it opens
smoothly and secures at the top and bottom of its range
with a solid "thunk".
Vemar claims that the visor locking
mechanism bits are made from metal. They say "The Jiano’s ...
face cover lock utilizes metal pins and hooks, making it
extremely resistant to opening in the event of an
The pins in the helmet shell do seem to
be made from metal, but the mating levers that are
located in the rotating visor that lock into those pins
sure seem like plastic to me. I'm no metallurgist,
but if it looks like plastic, feels like plastic, smells
Vemar's claims notwithstanding, the
rotating visor on our helmet does feel secure when it's
closed. When using about the same amount of force
that it took to easily pop open the rotating visors on
the helmets in our
Vox vs. Zox
review, the Jiano stays put (see video).
The Jiano's visor has a centrally
located button under the chin bar that must be pressed
to open the helmet. It has a solid feel, so
overall, the rotating visor seems more solid and secure
than most of the other flip-ups we've tried.
The clear visor has an interesting
top-to-bottom profile, and it also has a special lip
molded into the top, apparently designed to prevent air
and maybe rain from leaking in at the top of the visor.
The clear visor has good optical qualities and good
It is difficult to remove, because the
little plastic lever-like spring mechanism is very hard
to move on our helmet and it's hard to push with a
finger. The visor has six detents, and it opens
just a touch for ventilation and the detents hold it
open in any of the other positions, which is good.
The top-to-bottom and side-to-side
visibility out the eyeport seems lower than normal.
As I mentioned, I seem to have to keep pushing the Jiano
down and forward to get it to feel correct. The
top of the chin bar seems to be higher than I expected
and it's in my line of sight. The sides of the
helmet shell can be seen in my peripheral vision, so
overall the helmet doesn't have the visibility I'd like,
but this will probably vary depending upon the owner's
The Jiano has the
obligatory-for-a-flip-up internally rotating sun shade,
and although we've yet to see the "perfect"
implementation of this feature, Vemar has done a pretty
good job on this one.
It rotates down farther than
most, and although it still has the nose cutout instead
of a straight edge, the shade works pretty nicely and it
can be stopped at any position, although I'm thinking
that the friction mechanism that allows this may wear
out over time, forcing an "on" or "off" position only.
Motonation probably needs to revise
their website; the description provided by Vemar claims
that the Jiano has "An extra anti-fog, non-scratch 2.2mm thick outer quick
release dark tinted shield is included with each helmet",
but we didn't get one in our box and other owners I've
talked to have said the same.
litigious U.S. owners can be, Motonation and Vemar may
end up having to make good on the promise.
UPDATE: April 2009 -
Motonation sent this email: "The Jiano now comes with an
extra clear external shield, as it is very dangerous to
ride with the interior shield down and the tinted
(exterior) shield on as well
(twice as dark; blocks 75% of the light). If you do not receive a spare
with the helmet, contact Motonation and they will send
you one. So for 2009 you get a free EXTERNAL clear
shield with purchase to be used down the road when you
scratch the original, its a $60 value!
Score: I'll give the Jiano an "Excellent" for visor clarity and operation and a
"Poor" for field of view.
Our Jiano is an XL and it weighs a very hefty 1884 grams (4 lbs.,
oz.), which makes it the second heaviest helmet we've
ever reviewed in 90 helmets. We weighed the Jiano
several times on two different scales just to make sure,
and it comes out the same each time.
That puts it in the same class as the
other Big Boys like the
Schuberth C2 (1827 grams);
Nolan N102 (1850 g);
Nolan X-lite X-1002 (1855 g);
the KBC FFR
(1867 g); and the Baron of Bulk, the
FS-Max at 1911 grams.
I'm actually surprised -- I did
think the Jiano felt a bit heavy when I first picked
it up, but most flip-ups are rather hefty. I
just didn't think it was over 4 lbs. heavy.
Compare this to the
Caberg Trip (review) in size XL, which weighs a miniscule
1614 grams (3 lbs. 8-7/8 oz.).
The Jiano seems to possess good
aerodynamics, so I'd say it doesn't feel its weight at
speed, and if it didn't feel like it had a high center
of gravity, and if it didn't seem to sit rather
strangely on my head...the weight probably wouldn't
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page for the complete
chart, comparing the weights of all of the helmets we've
reviewed, plus our take on internal shapes.
Score: The Jiano gets an
"Poor" for its weight and balance, but a "Very Good"
The Jiano has one of the new style ratcheting chin
strap closures, almost identical to the one used on
the Givi X.01. We'll reluctantly approve, but
it just seems like too many parts, extra
complications and weight -- and it must be adjusted
for each wearer -- compared to the simple, elegant,
light weight and proven D-ring.
Vemar hints that the helmet was
"Designed in Europe", but there's no country of origin
label on ours, so I'm not sure where it's made.
The Jiano currently meets DOT safety
standards in the U.S. and it meets ECE safety standards
The Jiano leaves us with mixed emotions. It seems like a solid helmet
and that solidity does a lot to give confidence that the
helmet will do its job -- more so than many other
flip-up helmets, which feel flimsy in comparison.
But there are a few details that we
think just could have been done better, like a wider
variety of paint and graphics choices; a bit more
attention to tolerances; weight reduction; air flow; and
a lower center of gravity. The design of the lower
rear portion of the liner could use some attention also.
I've come to like the helmet, even with
all its foibles, and although I'm partial to high
visibility colors in my motorcycle gear, its industrial
visage is a perfect fit for its gritty persona.
The Vemar Jiano is named Runner-Up for webBikeWorld
2008 Flip-up Motorcycle Helmet of the Year!
| What I Like
|| What I Don't
Helmet seems to have been shaped
at an angle, making it ride high on my head
Air intrusion from underneath
Review: Vemar Jiano Helmet
Retail Price: $275.00 (Matte); $300.00 (Gloss)
|Colors: Matte Silver, Gray and
Black. Gloss Gray and Black. Sizes: XXS to XXL
||Made In: Unknown
For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges
from unacceptable to poor, good, very good, excellent and
outstanding. Review Date: April
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
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 "E.B." (5/10): "I bought one
around a year ago and find it generally easy to use, the
cons are it’s heavy compared to other non opening
helmets and noisy at legal speeds, and the visor has
scratched on both sides of the helmet from flipping
visor and chin piece, and after (searching for) how to
remove visor I’m still no wiser (ha ha) which is how I
got to this review.
Like everything in life it’s not all bad and maybe some
of those tight chin pad (owners should look for a larger
If someone can tell me how to remove visor it would be
appreciated, I’m about to look again online."
From "C.B." (8/09): "In December of
2008 I had my local bike shop order me up the Vemar
Jiano with Bluetooth. A week later I had the shiny
new helmet and was giddy with the way it felt and fit.
A bit heavy like the reviews mention, but I've been
riding with an older Nolan for some time.
All was great for about a week. After the first
charge of the Bluetooth system it just stopped working.
The blue light would no longer work, and all it would do
is beep. Resetting the system failed. It
took two weeks for my shop to reach the distributor, but
then I promptly had a replacement. Unfortunately
my 2000 mile trip was done before the replacement
arrived. Oh well. A new shinny Vemar.
That didn't last. The paint and surface material
is shoddy at best. Small drops of the seat of the
bike, or even putting the helmet in my ST1300 luggage
scratches the paint right off. It chips off
sometimes in large flakes as much as 3mm or 4mm is
diameter. The slightest bump on a hard surface and
the paint is off.
Within the first two months the hard plastic weather
stripping seal around the face shield needed to be super
glued back on, twice. Being a daily commuter on my bike
in So Cal, there is not a lot of weather, but having
made several long rides in this helmet in rain and even
snow I can say it does not seal well. You will get
wet. Not drenched, but your face will be wet as
well as your head. Even behind a windshield.
Air flow is okay. In the heat it is nice to have
the internal visor with the main shield up. Very
helpful and a big selling point for me. As was the
Bluetooth system. The second helmet's Bluetooth
has worked pretty well. However the battery drains
I have found myself not having
it when I needed it more often than having it when I
actually did need it. Unfortunately there is NO
way to charge the system while ridding. The plug
in jack is behind the flip-up portion of the helmet, and
the system does not work when being charged.
After 9 months: Now that it is September I have had to
glue several weather parts back onto the helmet.
The other day while riding down the 10 freeway I crazy
flapping sound was coming from somewhere. I
checked my jacket, my gloves, and felt around my helmet.
Something strange was sticking out of the side my the
After getting off the bike I saw what happened.
The glue they used to hold the blue rubberized buttons
had given up. The blue skin had blown right off,
and the little circuit board and wire were sticking
about 3 inches out of the side of the helmet blowing in
the wind. Now I have a piece of duct tape acting
as a band-aid and no way to even use the Bluetooth
One more: The chin padding material is awful
overtime. The helmet never sits in the sun, it
comes inside with me, but I do ride a lot.
Where you pull the chin straps apart to put on the
helmet they come in contact with the chin/cheek padding.
The plastic which you see in the pictures above turned
brittle and cracked. It has worn out completely and most
of the underside of both pads in straight filler foam.
Conclusion: This is a nice helmet for someone who
rides maybe 1000 miles a year at most. Or the
rider who does occasional weekend rides to the beach.
I would not recommend this for any serious rider or
someone who expects quality construction or materials.
These problems are not just this one helmet, they are
fundamental to the construction and materials used by
Vemar. I will not be purchasing another one of
their products again. Ever."
From "D" (7/09): "Just read your
review and wish to comment. They are great
helmets. Comfortable, quiet, well ventilated and
Like I wrote: "Seem Sturdy"
I've gone through two as we speak. The first had a
loose top vent and it got stuck in the closed position.
The retailer was kind enough to replace it with a brand
new one. Wow, great service, I thought.
The replacement unit has had both top rear vents fall
off and I glued them back on. It was then I
realized the left front vent was ready to come off as
well. Fixed that too, with Krazy Glue. At
this point the retailer can no longer help me.
Well it gets worse. The front inner moulded
plastic of the flip part, has come unglued and now
prevents the release mechanism from working properly.
Safety is now a concern. Needless to say, I'm not
happy with this helmet and will never buy another Vemar
From "L.P." (6/09): "First flip front helmet
owned. Have use Shoei for last 20+ years.
The Jiano felt good at the Sales counter. After
the first two hours on a 4000 mile trip I was in pain
and had to modify the hard foam under the cheek pads.
The second day my jaw swelled up due to interference
with the chin strap loose end snap. I cut it off
as it isn’t necessary anyway.
The first rain storm caused water to pour down the
inside of the clear shield to the point of obliterating
my vision. I ride a BMW 1200GS with an extended
windscreen, thankfully. Vemar sent me a package of
replacement shield seals called the “fat one”.
This has helped but it still leaks.
The helmet is good for warm weather as it has a lot of
wind noise (compared to the Shoei) and helps with
cooling. I have had to tape off the top vent to
hear my communicator clearly.
The chin strap release and adjustment is excellent.
Finish is good. Mine is gloss black. The flip
release and latch is good. The sun visor is
excellent but the clear shield will not stay up over 60
mph and takes the fun out of the inner shield.
Would I buy it again?....No. Not unless I wanted
to practice my whittling."
Editor's Note: It is not advisable
to ride with the face shield in the raised position when
riding 60 MPH!
From "A": "I just received my Vemar
Jiano and here are my comments: This is a size M Black
Matte and it weighs 1580 g. Made in China (remove
the liner to uncover the label). Liner is minimal
and painfully uncomfortable - these red pieces of fabric
which you see on the pictures, meant to protect the
liner, dig into the side of your head. No extra
dark tinted shield. The surface is prone to
fingerprints. My recommendation - do not buy."