by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
UPDATE: Zeus ZS-3000 Review
Zeus is back!
And they're nearly ready to start distributing helmets in the U.S.A. again very soon.
Long-time webBikeWorld readers will recall that the original Zeus ZS-508 flip-up (review) was one of our favorite flip-up helmets back about 8 years ago.
Many webBikeWorlders also sent us their feedback and comments on the ZS-508, so we even set up a Zeus Owner's Report page at that time.
Zeus left the North American market a few years ago for reasons that are unclear.
But interest in the Zeus ZS-2100B "Enduro" styled helmet (review) got the ball rolling again, and Zeus is currently in the process of establishing a new North American distribution network.
That's great news, but here's something even better: Zeus has announced that the Zeus ZS-3000 flip-up helmet will be sold in the U.S.A., and it will be Snell 2005 certified.
This will be the first Snell certified flip-up motorcycle helmet sold in the U.S.A.
Zeus showed us copies of the official Certification from the Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. that certifies the ZS-3000 and the ZS-3000 in its "Jet" configuration, both in the 55 cm shell size.
(As a side note, it's interesting that Snell certificate is indeed a "Certification", and is listed as such in print on the certificate issued by Snell.)
You read that correctly: the Zeus ZS-3000 also converts from a flip-up to a "Jet" styled helmet, and it meets Snell 2005 in both the flip-up and Jet form!
Currently, only the 55 cm (small) shell size meets the Snell 2005 standard, which covers the XS to M size range of the helmets.
Zeus is working on testing for the Snell 2010 certification as this is being written, and they expect the full range of ZS-3000 helmets to meet the Snell 2010 standard (Report).
(Note: The Snell 2010 standard will be announced to the public in its final form on July 15, 2009).
But wait -- here's a little secret: technically, the Zeus ZS-3000 is not the first flip-up motorcycle helmet to meet the Snell standard.
Believe it or not, the original ROOF Boxer (review) actually passed the Snell testing regime, conducted at a Snell-approved testing laboratory, on July 3, 2003, but the helmet was never sold in the U.S. unfortunately, because the distribution issues could not be worked out.
I know for a fact that the ROOF Boxer passed the Snell testing regime because we have a copy of the lab results!
But, that's neither here nor there at this point -- the good news is that Zeus has done it!
By the way, there was no reason we know of why a flip-up helmet couldn't meet Snell standards; just that for some reason, the helmet manufacturers apparently either didn't want to bother, weren't interested or couldn't do it.
We now have a full detailed webBikeWorld review of the Zeus ZS-3000 Review, along with more information on that helmet and the other new Zeus helmets for 2009.
Those include the great-looking Zeus ZS-3000A variant and the Zeus ZS-806 full-face helmet.
Also, the Zeus ZS-608 "Jet" styled helmet and the Zeus ZS-210C "Retro" helmet, Jet-styled and in some pretty wild colors, including the "Bumblebee" graphic shown below.
Until then, all of these new Zeus helmets for 2009 are on display in the webBikeWorld.com slide show below!
Following is some other information we have, edited from email correspondence with Zeus.
We can't vouch for 100% accuracy at this point because the situation is fluid and things may change between now and when we receive the helmets, so be sure to check back for the latest news.
The ZS-3000 series uses an ABS helmet shell. It is a flip up and modular helmet which has received very positive feedback in the European market.
It can be switched easily from a flip-up to a Jet-styled helmet version. Zeus said that "Further, we are also the first who have passed the Snell 2005 standard in the small shell size for a modular product line."
The Zeus ZS-3000A and ZS-3000B helmets are similar to the ZS-3000. They feature an internal sun visor, popular in Europe. Both of these versions meet DOT and ECE 22.05 standards only at this time.
The ZS-3000A and B is known as the "Probiker" in Germany. It was featured in a comparison test of flip-up helmets in a June 2009 issues of “Motorradfahrer“, a German motorcycle print magazine.
The Probiker KX4 is the helmet known as the Zeus ZS-3000 in the U.S.
My German is pretty rusty (i.e., non-existent), but the article indicates that the Probiker KX4 received a "Buy" recommendation and it received the second best impact test recording, transmitting forces lower than the ECE 22.05 standard in all 6 tests.
The ZS-3000 is said to have a removable and washable liner; a wind deflector and breath deflector (also removable); and "exchangeable elements for noise reduction on the ears".
The visor is dark smoke color as standard (not confirmed for the U.S. market). It is anti-fog and anti-scratch coated and it features 7 positions for opening.
It can be removed or replaced without tools and can be raised and lowered with a tab on the front.
The liner is also said to be "suitable for eyeglass wearers".
The flip-up rotating visor operates via a centrally-located release button under the chin bar, and the visor "has solid locking in the top position".
The clear face shield is said to offer a wide field of view and the helmet is also said to have good ventilation.
The Motorradfahrer magazine review concluded that "The Probiker runs best scores in terms of facilities, comfort and ease and it is also one of the lightest helmets in the comparison.
During the impact test the helmet shows results sometimes significantly below the ECE limits on all the six checkpoints. At the chin part it provides the second best of all identified HIC values in this test."
The Zeus ZS-608 and ZS-608A are said to have a "fiber" shell.
The main difference between the ZS-608 and the ZS-608A is that ZS-608A features an internal sun visor. Both versions meet DOT and ECE 22.05 safety standards.
Said to have an ABS shell with "fashion design" and featuring stylized stitching on the outside and in the liner, face shield and shell. It meets DOT and ECE 22.05 safety standards.
MORE: Zeus ZS-3000 Review
Publication Date: May 2009
From "B.C." (May 2009): "Glad to see graphics on a flip face helmet. Really nice looking setup. Can't wait for the full review and pricing."