Vemar Jiano Helmet Review
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Owner Comments (Below)
Summary: Solid but heavy, the Vemar Jiano
doesn't evolve the species but is reasonably priced and carries
an excellent warranty.
Runner-Up: 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
Powersports Dealer Expo in Indianapolis (article) back in
February, and Rick wrote a
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 with a Vemar VSREV beauty in "Italy"
colors that's currently going through the webBikeWorld evaluation
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
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 we've tried.
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
We went along with it, but now that we have helmets like
the Givi X.01 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 to another".
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
Let's take a look...
Jiano - wBW
Lightbox - Click photo to view.
Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
The Jiano is
yet another new helmet with the "no color is good color"
design philosophy. Like the
Givi X.01 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
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 without.
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 Shoei
Multitec (review), I'd say the quality is good in comparison
and 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
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.
In 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
(review) to me; round and just a shade towards neutral or
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
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
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 helmet speakers.
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 shall see.
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
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
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 estimated 50%.
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 wBW
Motorcycle Helmet Noise page. Also, note that we always
wear high-quality, correctly fitted ear plugs when riding. Please
see the wBW
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 Jianoís ... face cover lock utilizes
metal pins and hooks, making it extremely resistant to opening
in the event of an accident."
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 like plastic...
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 anti-fog properties.
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 head shape.
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"
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.
Knowing how 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 face shield 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
Our Jiano is an XL and it weighs
a very hefty 1884 grams (4 lbs., 2-1/2 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
Schuberth C2 (1827 grams);
the Nolan N102
the Nolan X-lite X-1002 (1855 g);
the KBC FFR
(1867 g); and the Baron of Bulk, the
HJC FS-Max at
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 matter
See our wBW
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" for aerodynamics.
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 in Europe.
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
The Vemar Jiano is named Runner-Up for
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
Product Review: Vemar Jiano Helmet
Price: $275.00 (Matte); $300.00 (Gloss)
Silver, Gray and Black. Gloss Gray and Black. Sizes:
XXS to XXL
||Made In: Unknown
Scale: For reference, our ratings scale
is subjective and ranges from unacceptable to poor,
good, very good, excellent and outstanding. Review
Date: April 2008
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2013. 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 Feedback
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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 itís 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 Iím still no wiser
(ha ha) which is how I got to this review.
in life itís not all bad and maybe some of those tight chin
pad (owners should look for a larger size).
can tell me how to remove visor it would be appreciated, Iím
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. Not acceptable.
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 Jiano.
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 system.
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.
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 seem sturdy.
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 product again."
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 isnít 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
ďfat oneĒ. This has helped but it still leaks.
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.
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
Editor's Note: It is not advisable to
ride with the face shield in the raised position when riding
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."