Vemar VSREV Helmet
Vemar VSREV "Italy"
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Reviews Home |
Owner Comments (Below)
Summary: It's good to see Vemar back in the
U.S.A., although the brand has been popular in other parts of
the world for some time. The VSREV has a different and interesting
internal shape that will please some owners who may be having
a hard time finding a comfortable fit with other brands. The
VSREV has high quality graphics and construction, comfortable
lining material and solid construction but the helmet is slightly
The Vemar VSREV
is an update of the original Vemar
VSR we reviewed several years ago. The VSREV is among the
helmets that Vemar chose to make their re-entry into the U.S.
market after an absence of a few years.
The VSREV is Vemar's "top of the line" race helmet,
and it's said to be the helmet of choice of MotoGP racers Alex
de Angelis and Andrea Dovizioso. The version shown here has
the special "Italy" color configuration and the VSREV
is also available in carbon fiber, at a list price of -- hold
on to your shorts -- $1,000.00!
Motonation, the distributor for Vemar (and Sidi and Spidi)
in the U.S.A., is also importing the Vemar VTXE, which retails
for about $125.00 less than the VSREV and is also a good-looking
By the way, it's interesting to note that the Vemar full-face
helmets are still being manufactured in Italy. This may influence
some purchasing decisions. We also
reviewed the Vemar Jiano flip-up
helmet a couple of months ago, but that helmet did not have
a country of origin label, so it's unclear if Vemar makes the
Jiano in Italy or elsewhere.
Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
The VSREV shown here is the unique "Italy" color pattern.
It goes without saying that this is the perfect helmet for Ducati,
Moto Guzzi and MV Agusta owners, along with other amici dell'Italia.
The quality of the colors, paint and graphics on this one
are outstanding -- I'll bet this is a limited edition, so I'd
get one soon if you're interested.
The only nit I could pick is that I wish the surface had
a slightly thicker clear coat to protect the beautiful artwork.
Somehow, I've already picked up a scratch on this one, and I
think a thicker layer of clear coat on top might have helped
prevent this from happening.
Nevertheless, the Italy graphic is very cool -- I've received
many positive comments and I'd swear that people stop and stare
as I'm tooling down the street. I also think the color combination
is somewhat of a safety factor, due to its eye-popping visibility.
Another interesting feature of the Italy graphics is the
white gasket used on the eye port and around the bottom of the
helmet shell. I haven't seen this done before, and although
I suppose it may pick up some greasy fingerprints here and there,
it seems easy to clean and it's definitely unique.
The VSREV is also available in a red, white and blue color
pattern complete with stars, and the star theme is continued
in a variety of other very nice color choices.
The quality of the lining and the fittings is also very good,
and the lining material is comfortable.
Score: I'll give the Vemar VSREV an "Outstanding"
rating for the overall finish, paint and graphics. I'll score
the quality of the lining and the vent and visor fittings as "Excellent".
See the ratings scale in the summary table at the bottom of
Helmet Shape and Fit
interesting and unique feature of the VSREV is its internal
shape, which is different from any other helmet we've tried
and, in fact, is a completely new type of fit for a motorcycle
helmet that creates its own new category which we're labeling
a "round oval".
Since the VSREV's fit is so unique, I urge you to take a
look at our
Motorcycle Helmet FAQ (if you haven't already) to familiarize
yourself with some of the language used to describe motorcycle
helmet fit before I get into my discussion of this helmet's
shape. That page provides information on choosing and fitting
a motorcycle helmet (crucial for both comfort and safety!) and
for a discussion regarding human head shapes,
Vemar says that the VSREV "features a round shell shape
which offers a more generous fit ear to ear and snugger fit
front to back" and I think this is a good description.
The VSREV has lots of room on the sides, where if teels slightly
bowed on either side of the face.
But it's narrower up top -- almost like a cross between a
very round helmet like the
Arai Quantum II (review)
on the sides and an "intermediate oval" shape like
the Arai Vector (review)
This is a different shape than the "standard" helmet
fit that we've encountered in most helmets. Manufacturers typically
use a "neutral" shape, which could be described as
just to the intermediate oval side of round.
If head shapes were plotted to a normal distribution (although
it's uncertain whether head shapes fall into a normal distribution
or not), the neutral fit is generally designed to fit the majority
of riders, i.e., one sigma on either side of the mean, or approximately
68% of the population.
More specific shapes like the "intermediate oval"
or "long oval" fit correctly on smaller segments of
the population, what I call the "two sigma" (about
28%) and "three sigma" (the remaining 4%) crowd.
There are helmets with shapes that are focused on these various
populations, with "neutral" shapes like the
N-20 Astro (review) and "round" shaped helmets
like the aforementioned Arai Quantum II and maybe the
Shoei TZ-R (review), and there are some "long oval"
shapes like the Shark
RSi (review) or
Arai Profile (review).
That's pretty much been the universe of motorcycle helmet
shapes until now. But Vemar has staked out a shape all their
own, and since they don't have a name for it, we're calling
it the "round oval", because it does feel very round
on the sides and oval-shaped up top.
We're not sure who or how many motorcycle owners have this
head shape, but obviously Vemar has done some homework and research
before they released this design.
Just like a "long oval" shape won't fit every rider,
the Vemar "round oval" shape may not satisfy everyone,
but one thing's for certain: more options for helmet head shapes
are a good thing.
It's incredibly difficult to actually find a "perfect"
helmet fit -- especially when purchasing sight unseen over the
Internet, so more choices mean that motorcyclists have a better
chance at finding a comfortable helmet.
My head shape is round, or "earth" shaped as I
like to call it, with the widest point at the temples. This
has caused me some measure of grief when trying to find a helmet
that fits correctly.
Honestly, out of the 90+ helmets we've reviewed so far on
webBikeWorld, and others that I've tried, there is only one
helmet that feels perfect when I pull it over my head, and that's
the Arai Quantum II.
While the quality of the Arai has been disappointing (including
continuing problems with the antiquated visor removal system
and self-destructing cheek pads), the Quantum II fits me like
I also seem to be
on the borderline between a size large and extra-large; my head
has a 60.5 cm circumference, which usually falls in-between
those sizes in most size charts, but the vast majority of the
time, the XL fits best because the slightly smaller size large
will usually put too much pressure on my temples.
We first ordered a Vemar VSREV in size XL, but when it arrived
it felt huge -- like an XXL -- which was way too big. The size
large shown here is the replacement, and it fits me more like
a slightly large XL, which is still slightly larger than I'd
So I'd say that between the unique VSREV fit and the sizing,
the helmet is running 1 to 1.5 sizes larger than expected, and
plan accordingly. This may be a helmet that you'll want to try
before you buy, or make sure the online retailer has an acceptable
When I first tried on the helmet, the shape felt strange,
and I must say that every time I've put it on since, it feels
different at first, but then I notice how comfortable it is
for me after I've been wearing it for a while. There's plenty
of room -- almost too much -- on the sides for my "earth"
shaped noggin, and I only wish the top was just a touch more
round instead of oval, because I'd like the helmet to fit slightly
lower on my head.
But again, more fit types and choices is definitely a good
thing for motorcycling, and I'm sure some owners will rejoice
at the availability of this new internal shape.
Vemar sells a variety of helmet liners and cheek pads in
different sizes to custom-tailor the fit, and I may experiment
with some of these at some point to see what results. Vemar
says that the VSREV uses two shell sizes to cover the range
of sizes from XS to XL.
Score: It's hard to rate a helmet's shape other than
to determine whether it fits as expected. We didn't know what
to expect with Vemar's new shape, so I'd say that riders with
round heads or head shapes that are proportionally wider on
the sides may want to try a VSREV on for size.
The VSREV uses the
same chin vent and top vent system that Vemar used on the
VSR we reviewed several years
ago; I guess they figured they may as well stay with the familiar.
Both vents work well; each vent slider has a row of plastic
nubs molded in to help provide good grip. The vents work the
way we think they should -- that is, slide the top vent cover
back to open it and forward to close, and slide the chin vent
down to open and up to close. Somehow, this seems logical.
The top vent flows an average amount of air, although it
would probably flow more air if the vent opening was oriented
more towards the front of the helmet. As it is, the air only
has a clear pathway when the rider's head is tilted forwards,
although this may be just the thing for a racer or Sportbike
The chin vent also offers a slightly tortuous path for the
air to flow in if the rider is sitting up straight, but it also
works better when the head is tilted forward.
There are two vent holes through the padding in back of the
chin bar, which were blocked by some flashing left over from
the padding mold, so we trimmed them with an X-Acto knife and
they now work as expected, allowing the air to flow on to the
The VSREV also features a chin curtain underneath the chin
bar. The exhaust vents can be opened or closed by pulling on
the two tabs at the rear of the extractor, and there are two
pair of always-open exhaust vents on either side of the chin
bar and towards the back of the helmet.
Score: I'll give the VSREV a "Very Good"
rating for venting and air flow, which I think overall is better
As I mentioned
above, Vemar is offering a variety of cheek pad and liner sizes
to custom-tailor the fit of the VSREV.
Remember that purchasing replacement cheek pad sizes is counterintuitive;
that is, the cheek pads are usually labeled "S, M, L, XL".
If you want a tighter fit, you'd think that larger would be
thicker, but it isn't always so. You have to look at this from
a perspective of what size you want to change the helmet to.
The first thing to do is to confirm the size of the cheek
pads that are installed in the helmet (the labels are usually
on the back of the cheek pad, so you'll have to remove them
If your helmet has a size L cheek pad and you want to make
the helmet fit tighter, you'd go to a size M cheek pad, not
a size XL, which in effect brings the helmet fit around the
cheek pads down a size to what you'd expect in a medium.
Conversely, if a size large helmet has L cheek pads that
feel too tight, then moving up to size XL cheek pads should
loosen things up a bit, because, in effect, you're now making
the helmet fit like a size XL with the thinner cheek pads.
Note that Arai cheek pads are usually sold by their thickness
Anyway, the VSREV has a comfortable liner, although I wish
the padding was slightly thicker; the padding feels thin on
the sides, and I think it would fit me better if the helmet
was a bit thicker in this area, so I'm planning on trying a
set of M cheek pads, which I think will give me just the touch
of added thickness on the sides that will make for a near-perfect
The material feels very soft, like a type of "ultra
plush" micro-suede. Vemar says the material is washable
and "manufactured from a technical fiber that provides
life-long treatment against odor, fungus and bacteria"
and that it has "extraordinary wicking capabilities that
result in enhanced rider comfort."
The rear of the liner has the same type of separate section
used in the Jiano, but the fit seems tighter. The gap between
this section and the sides of the liner do seem to allow more
noise in than expected, so this is an area that I'd suggest
could be improved -- although this is a problem with the majority
of motorcycle helmets we've tried. The manufacturers haven't
yet focused on the "neck roll"; the padding around
the bottom of the helmet, which is crucial to controlling helmet
But overall, the soft fabric and generous fit of the VSREV
makes for a comfortable fit, and the fabric does seem to control
moisture better than most.
Score: I'll give the VSREV a "Very Good"
for comfort, padding and its moisture wicking ability.
The Vemar VSREV
seems about average with regard to its ability to control noise.
The combination of the top vents and the two small intakes for
the exhaust extractor assembly, which point towards the front
of the helmet, can cause some wind rushing or a slight whistling
noise, but it's about the same as expected on helmets of this
The fit around the neck roll or lower portion of the helmet
could be tighter, as I mentioned earlier, and some low-frequency "booming"
wind noises can occur in this area when riding behind a short
We had mixed opinions after several riders wore the helmet
in various conditions and on different motorcycle configurations,
so the only thing I can say in general is that while the VSREV
isn't the quietest helmet we've worn, it's probably right around
average for motorcycle helmet noise, if that means anything.
Be sure to visit to the wBW
Motorcycle Helmet Noise page for more information. 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 VSREV gets a "Good" for
about average to slightly higher than normal noise levels.
We think the
VSREV has a larger vertical eye port opening than average, and
the horizontal or side-to-side visibility is also very good
-- I can just see the sides of the eye port in my peripheral
This allows the VSREV to work very well on a Sportbike in
a leaned-forward position; better than most full-face helmets,
and the excellent field of view is probably indicative of its
We measured the thickness of the face shield at 2.45 mm,
which is slightly thicker than the 2.2 mm claimed by Vemar.
The face shield is mounted using machined aluminum side plates
or disks, which have a 4 mm Allen screw in the center that must
be removed to change the face shield. The face shield was very
loose when the helmet arrived and I tightened up the screws
to create more friction.
The face shield detents are rather weak, but they do the
job by holding the face shield in one of 5 positions when opened.
The face shield can be opened slightly for demisting or ventilation.
The face shield does have more flex than we'd like, and I
think the attachments on the side allow more flexibility than
normal because there's not a lot of surface bearing area between
the face shield and the helmet shell, so there's nothing to
really prevent the face shield from flexing. In other words,
it's not really the fault of the 2.45 mm face shield, but the
design of the rotating mechanism and assembly.
We think the VSREV's face shield would benefit from a centrally
located face shield grasp tab, because this might help mitigate
the flexing issue.
As you can see in the photo above, the face shield also has
a type of lock on the left-hand side, just above the lifting
tab, which closes over an aluminum post attached to the shell,
just outside the eye port on the left-hand side, under the face
shield rotating mechanism.
The idea is that the hole in the face shield will snap over
the post and the post will keep the face shield secure at high
speeds and prevent it from opening during an over-the-shoulder
head check. This is all well and good, but it makes it difficult
to open and close the face shield during normal street use.
Due to the location of the lifting tab way over on the left-hand
side, there's not much leverage and if the face shield locking
system is engaged, it takes a significant amount of pressure
to pop the face shield up and over the post. It's something
you get used to I guess, and works best if I wedge my thumb
underneath the tab and quickly pull forward, popping the face
shield up and over the post.
On the other hand, when this face shield is locked, it's
pretty much going to stay there, which is a plus for racers
or high-speed runners.
I usually end up letting the face shield just rest against
the post without locking it all the way down, which means that
I lose the advantage of the design and the face shield could
(although it hasn't yet) pop open during a head check at high
speed. There are other ways of locking down a face shield that
are probably more elegant.
One thing several riders have noticed is that the face shield
doesn't do a very good job of preventing fog. Even in recent
75-degree (F) weather, the face shield would fog when humidity
levels increased. So this may be a good candidate for the
Salclear TT anti-fog treatment we reviewed recently.
The VSREV box did contain the "extra anti-fog, non-scratch
2.2mm thick quick release dark tinted shield" that Vemar
says is included with each helmet; the Jiano box did not have
the extra tinted face shield.
Score: I'll give the VSREV an "Excellent"
for the field of view offered by the wide eye port and a "Good"
for operation and overall impressions of the face shield.
that the carbon fiber version of the VSREV weighs 1310 grams
in size medium, while the "regular" VSREV in the same
size is claimed weigh 1470 grams.
1310 grams isn't really very light, especially for a carbon
fiber helmet (and especially for a size medium), which is a
clue that the VSREV uses either a fairly thick shell or fittings
or something about it is a bit more, shall we say "robust"
than other helmets.
The VSREV shown here in size large weighs 1748 grams (3 lbs.,
13-5/8 oz.). This is consistent with the sticker on the back
of the helmet, which says that it weighs 1690 grams, plus or
minus 50 grams.
This is relatively heavy for a size large helmet, and it
puts the VSREV in the 70-80 range of the 93 helmets we've reviewed
to date. This is the same neighborhood as the
(XL) at 1733 grams; the
RKT 101 (XL) at 1737 grams and the
HJC Sy-Max II (Flip-up)
(L) at 1762 grams, all in the upper 1/3 of helmet weights of
the helmets we've reviewed. See the
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page for more information.
The VSREV feels very slightly top heavy on my round head,
only because the oval shape at the upper inside portion of the
helmet is a slight mis-match for my head shape. Others who have
worn the helmet have reported that it feels nicely balanced.
The helmet feels solid on riders who fit the shape, and it
doesn't seem to exhibit any undue movement or lift, so the aerodynamics
Score: The VSREV gets a "Poor" for its weight
and a "Very Good" for balance.
The VSREV has
the classic D-ring chin strap adjuster, along with a snap to
hold the excess. Vemar even makes different sized chin straps
that are available for purchase for a more custom fit.
The padding under the chin strap uses the same cushy lining
material as the rest of the liner, which makes it feel comfortable.
And the evaluators who wore the helmet all said they could fit
their normal eyeglasses over their ears when wearing the VSREV,
probably due to the wider internal shape.
The VSREV meets DOT safety standards in the U.S. and it is
also labeled with an ECE 22.05 sticker on the back. Our understanding
is that the ECE doesn't like this sticker to be used outside
of member countries, but it's there nonetheless. The helmet
has a 5-year warranty, which is commendable.
graphics go a long way towards making this VSREV a real keeper.
But artwork aside, the overall shape of the helmet and the large
eye port, along with the unique internal shape and fit, make
a very nice package.
The quality of the helmet is high and the fact that it's
all made in Italy and assembled by hand is a plus. Motorcyclists
who have been searching for this particular fit will probably
Product Review: Vemar VSREV Helmet
is the U.S. importer and distributor and also has online
|Suggested Retail Price:
|Colors: Italy, Red/White/Blue
and stars with Black, Red, Blue, Green and Orange. Sizes:
XS to XL
||Made In: Italy
For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges
from unacceptable to poor, good, very good, excellent and
Helmet provided by Motonation for this review (more).
Vemar is currently offering a five-year warranty on this
helmet. Review Date: June 2008 More:
8000x600 pixel photo of the Vemar VSREV
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change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
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►Your Comments and Feedback
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Comments may be edited for clarity prior to publication.
From "T.S." (10/09): "I purchased
this helmet after reading and watching your review. I'd like to make
the following observations after about 900 miles wearing this helmet.
This is not scientific and certainly not as complete as your review,
but I'm an average rider who encounters everyday experiences on the
I committed the cardinal sin of not trying on this helmet before
buying. I live in an area where motorcycle accessory stores are limited.
I usually do not find anything that is not Arai, Shoei, or HJC. I took
the plunge and I purchased one on-line from
They had a really great price and the size I needed. I figured on
a large because I wear a large in Shoei and AGV. This was a good
choice, though I did note in your review that this model may run a little
large. I fretted over my choice, but in the end, I am happy with it.
As you noted, it runs rounder than I am used to, but I wear glasses
when I ride and the little extra space helps a lot. Despite the roundness,
this helmet fits well at the top of my head and along the cheeks and
I was hoping that the helmet would be light, since it's made of carbon
fiber. Unfortunately, it is not lighter than my AGV V-Flyer. It is only
about three ounces heavier, but it is not as light as I expected.
The graphics are really very nice. The top coat looks like it will
protect what's underneath. The finish is typically Italian. Not perfect,
but certainly well done. This is my first graphic helmet, so I was not
sure what to expect. Of course, while riding, I have no idea what's
on top of my head, so the experience is no different, but concerning
finish, paint overlap, edge matching, etc., the finish looks very nice.
When it comes to venting, my Shoei RF-900 was terrible. My AGV vents
very well. I wanted to compare the Vemar against these two standards.
I would say it vents on par with the AGV. There is a metal mesh inside
the intake vents. Nice touch: Keeps the bigger bugs out. The inner liner
is channeled so the air flows well around the head. The face shield
doesn't fog easily. Again, a shortcoming with the Shoei. It would fog
up on a hot, dry summer day, seemingly before I'd put it on!
a cold, humid morning (and we have a lot of those here in Western Washington),
there is little to no fogging. I think my glasses fog up rather than
Speaking of the shield, this is the first time I have had a shield
that requires a tool. I thought that would be a negative, but frankly,
I don't change shields on the fly. The tool required is a 3mm hex, which
I have handy in my toolbox. The shield is clear and easy to see through,
with no visible distortion in the main viewing area. The opening is
large and the shield itself is thick and not at all flimsy.
The locking mechanism on the side is interesting, but frankly, I
don't ride fast enough to need it. One really nice touch is the inclusion
of a light smoke shield. I have never had a helmet with an additional
shield thrown in for free.
I like it. It's not a very dark shield, but it provides enough extra
protection on a sunny day to cut the glare.
Although not advisable
for night riding, if you get caught out in the early evening, it's still
clear enough to get yourself home safely.
The shape of the Vemar is very round. The shell is larger side to
side than my AGV. The back lower edge is cut higher than I am used to.
At first glance, I wondered what effect that would have. As it turns
out, it means I have better visibility while riding. I ride an Aprilia
RSV 1000 which has a fairly low riding position. Usually, when I lift
my head, I can feel the back of the helmet on my neck or against my
backpack if I'm riding to work. With the Vemar, there is a lot of extra
clearance in the back and I can lift my head comfortably without feeling
the helmet cut into my neck. This is really a nice feature.
It means, though, that a lot more air gets in around the neck. As
has been pointed out many times, the more air that gets in under the
helmet, the louder it tends to be. This helmet is not quiet. I always
wear earplugs when riding, and so should everyone else, so it doesn't
bother me. I can tell it lets in more sound, but the earplugs make it
seem about the same as my other helmets have been.
I am not sure if more rain will get in, though, through that same
opening. I ride in all weather except snow (though I have even been
caught unawares in two different snowstorms: not a good experience!),
and so far, in light rain, I have had any problems. We will have to
wait until the heavy rains begin.
Overall, I am very pleased with this helmet. I got a good deal on
what is a well made lid. I would recommend it for those who are not
afraid to buy something that is not mainstream. I would recommend trying
one on first and taking a ride with it. I did not have that luxury,
but I think it's always a good idea, if you can do it. I have no complaints
so far and look forward to many miles of riding with this helmet."