Zeus ZS-508 Motorcycle Helmet
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
| Zeus ZS-2100 B "Enduro"
styled helmet review
unsolicited emails from Zeus 508 helmet owners started
arriving about three years ago. We received so
many comments that we decided to set up a Zeus "Owner Reports" page
as an online testimonial to the product from its many
Eventually, we just had to
find out what all the excitement was about. Why has
the Zeus helmet attracted such a large and devoted
I think I know the
answer. Some shoppers get their endorphin rush from
always buying the "best". Others search
for something out-of-the-ordinary that will help them stand
out from the crowd.
Then there are the bargain
hunters, who spend way too much time searching for the
lowest price, and usually find it, regardless of quality.
Me? I hate to say it,
but as much as I appreciate the finer things in life, I
get a special twinge when I find a relatively unknown,
segment-busting product that does everything its
competitors do, but at a rock-bottom price. The Zeus
508 fits that description to a "T".
Apparently, I have a lot in
common with Zeus owners. Zeus fans share a secret --
they own the best motorcycle helmet bargain in the
The Zeus 508 can be had for around 84 bucks, including
shipping. That $84.00
buys a lot of helmet. Granted, all things are
relative, so let's face it: we're not claiming that the Zeus 508
is comparable to, say a $500.00 Arai (and Arai doesn't even
make a flip-up!).
But improvements in motorcycle
helmet features come in small increments. Wearing a
$500.00 helmet is nice, but how nice? Is it $400.00
nicer than a hundred-buck helmet? Will you be able
to tell where the four extra C-notes went?
There's a similar analogy
with automobiles. You can spend huge bucks on a
Lexus that will get you a handful of extra comfort
features and possibly some imaginary status, and you
expect and demand the best. But in the end, it gets
you back and forth to work no quicker than, say, a
Chevrolet. The fact that
4 Cavaliers can be bought for the price of the Lexus sort
of brings the value proposition question into sharp focus.
saying that the best solution is always the cheapest; the
point is that it's a good idea to consider the cost-value
relationship when making a purchase. If even the smallest thing
goes wrong with the Lexus, I'd be upset. But if the
Cavalier has a rattle or two here and there, who cares?
what does a $500.00 helmet do that the Zeus doesn't?
Not that much. The Zeus has a flip-up front that feels
more solid than other flip-up helmets we've worn.
Flip-ups have become enormously popular over
the last several years, and with good reason.
They're easy to put on, they can be worn with eyeglasses,
and they're just all-around handy.
The latch for the
508's flip-up is a nicely placed single button located in
a hidden central location on the inside of the chin guard.
it a squeeze and the flip-up pops open with more authority
than many flip-up types we've tried. There's a
strong detent at the top, so when the visor is swung all
the way open, it stays there.
There are no fancy
accoutrements on the sides of the 508 to hide the flip-up
visor's attachment points; just a recessed Phillip's
head screw over each ear which secure the visor at the
point of rotation. The screws must be removed to change the
face shield, but at the price of a 508, you may as well buy two
helmets and keep a tinted shield permanently installed on one
of them if
you think you'll need it.
The visor has a huge
viewport -- I have to really look way up with my eyes up to
bring the top of the visor opening into view. The
508's large viewing area provides great outward visibility
and eliminates the closed-in feeling that often comes with
wearing a full-face helmet.
In fact, the Zeus 508's
viewing area is so big that you may need to place a strip or
two of some inexpensive
automotive sun shade up towards the top to help
prevent glare from the sun.
The 508 has a decent amount of chin
room when the flip-up visor is closed. For some reason, many
flip-up helmets have very short internal front-to-back
lengths. Some are so tight that they can
squash your chin and become very uncomfortable very
quickly. The 508 has almost as much chin
room (front to back length inside the helmet) as many
Zeus has several visor
options for the 508, including tinted visors, fog-proof visors, and
even an electrically heated visor that's used on the 508S,
the snowmobile version of the Zeus ZS-508.
Zeus 508 has a non-allergenic
Coolmax lining and the cheek
pads are washable and replaceable. In fact, almost
every part on the 508 is replaceable and readily available
from the factory. The standard lining is fairly
basic, with the feel of a generic modern motorcycle helmet
fabric, making it relatively comfortable.
is that the Zeus 508 is designed to fit a round head shape
best, which suits
me just fine. The ear pockets are nice and big, and
they would probably work great for fitting a set of helmet
The speaker pockets get
their depth because they're unlined, which probably makes
it easier to attach or hot glue a speaker directly to the
internal shell wall. The downside is that the
absence of any padding over the ears increases the
apparent noise level inside the helmet.
pockets aren't going to be filled with speakers,
it would be easy to hot-glue some padding in their place
instead. In any case, the depth of the ear pockets
improve the helmet's comfort, especially for eyeglass wearers. It's
always nice to have some extra ear room for eyeglasses or
sunglasses to help reduce the soreness that can result
from a tight helmet pressing the eyeglass frames against
Overall, the 508's padding is
relatively thin, but the helmet is DOT safety standard, and also meets
the tough ECE (22.05), JIS and other helmet safety standards.
My round head has a diameter of 20-1/4", which always
seems to be on the
borderline between a size large and an extra-large in most
helmet brands. The Zeus 508 in size XL is just a touch big on me, but
comfortable. I always wear a helmet liner, summer
and winter, which usually takes up enough room to make an
XL fit comfortably.
The 508 isn't the quietest
flip-up we've tried; it has several variations of higher frequency wind
entering from a couple of different locations. The
clear visor doesn't seal perfectly onto the rubber gasket
that surrounds the visor opening, and much of the noise
can be traced to this area.
pockets let in some more noise, but on the
positive side, the 508 doesn't seem to suffer from the
low-frequency "booming" noise that can emanate
from up under the chin/neck area and can be exacerbated by
various combinations of windscreen buffeting.
I always wear properly
fitted earplugs when riding, and I strongly suggest you do
the same. All motorcycle helmets are noisy, and can
easily and quickly damage your hearing; remember that
hearing damage is permanent. See the wBW
Protection and Earplug page for more information about
choosing and wearing earplugs. Note also that
windscreens or fairings can completely change the air flow
over a helmet and can cause noise and buffeting, so your
experience may differ from mine.
The Zeus 508 in size XL is a bit on
the heavy side at 1741 grams (3 lbs. 13.5 oz.), but the
helmet doesn't feel top-heavy, so the weight isn't too much of a
problem. The heft provides a sense that the helmet
is nicely made, and hopefully it will do its job of
protecting the noggin.
The helmet shell is manufactured from
thermo injected ABS, and the silver painted model shown here has a
decent clear-coated finish that I'll probably spruce up a
bit with some
reflective flag decals. The top vents don't have
any detent, so it's hard to tell if they're open or closed
when you're trying to fiddle them with gloved hands.
I leave them closed most of the time, and I don't notice
much difference in either air volume or wind noise.
Zeus owners have complained that the Zeus 508 has a
tendency to fog its visor, but I found just the
opposite. The chin vent is very easy to open and
close, and seems to provide a good quantity of air up onto
the inside of the visor.
The combination of
air flow from the chin vent, from up under the front of
the chin bar, and
the tiny leaks here and there around the visor seal seem
to provide plenty of air movement to eliminate
fogging. If you do experience fogging, there's an
optional anti-fog visor or an electric visor available
through your Zeus dealer.
Alternatively, I suggest
you try some FogTech
which is applied to the inside of the visor and, in our
experience, absolutely prevents fogging. It's
guaranteed by the manufacturer to prevent fogging. FogTech might be a
bit harder to apply to the Zeus' visor because it doesn't
easily snap in and out, but the stuff really works.
And last but not least, the
Zeus 508 has a "D" ring attachment system for
the straps, which also have some nice, long pads that help
Zeus owners are definitely
on to something -- the Zeus 508 is a solidly built helmet
that has some nice features and is surprisingly comparable
with flip-up helmets costing much, much more.
considered, the Zeus 508 is one heck of a deal.
Product Review: Zeus
ZS-508 Flip-up Motorcycle Helmet
Retail Price: Street price around $84-$100. See
Zeus Owner's Reports page for comments on Zeus helmet
Dark Silver, Black, White, Red, Wine Red, Blue, Dark Blue;
also available in various colored graphics.
Made In: Taiwan
Product Comments: Zeus is one of the few manufacturers
that make motorcycle helmets in size XXXL |
See the wBW
Extra Large Motorcycle Helmets page for more
information | Electric heated visors and
double-lens visors to prevent fogging are now available for
Zeus helmets; see your Zeus dealer for more information.
See the Zeus Owner Reports page for comments from
Zeus helmet owners | Motorcycle Helmet page |
Extra Large Motorcycle Helmet page
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►Your Comments and Feedback
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.
See the Zeus Owner Comments page for much more feedback from Zeus owners.
From "H.S.": "I reviewed your site as it
looked to have the most info and reviews for motorcycle helmets
on the web. I was impressed with all the satisfied
customers of the Zeus helmets so I decided to give it a try.
After 4 months of using it I just don't understand all the
praise for this helmet.
It's just a $100 helmet and you
get what you pay for. It feels ok but not great. You
cannot ride with the chin bar open even at low speeds as the
wind drag is a lot and the weight balance REALLY hurts my neck
and isn't very well centered.
The flip doesn't open very
far up therefore the wind drag is just very much. Wind
noise is pretty horrible. I wouldn't recommend this
helmet, just spend a few more bucks for something better ( I
wonder how the Vega is which is recommended at the site).
This is just a triggered response to all these people that love
this helmet. It just doesn't work for me at all. Wonder
why they like it so much? I also own a Shoei Syncrotec and a
Roof Boxer. The Shoei was getting old and the Roof I
bought to replace the Zeus."
Editor's Reply: Yes, the Zeus 508 is priced low
and has its faults, no doubt. But it is a bargain, and
some faults can be overlooked with low price. The helmet
manufacturers recommend against riding with the visor in the
raised position and we agree. Probably any flip-up helmet
would have serious problems with wind drag if the visor was
raised when riding. We think it's much too dangerous to
"For some reason, here in south Florida, cycle shops
would have you believe there are only three helmet
companies; HJC, Shoei and Arai. Consequently,
all three of my personal helmets were purchased via
the web, sight unseen. Two of these purchases were
based solely on YOUR reviews... and my faith was
My KBC VR-1, as recommended by you, is a truly
top notch helmet. It's extremely comfortable,
with excellent fit/finish and a confidence inspiring
feel on the road. However, like any full-face
helmet, it's not communications friendly when trying
to talk to others at stoplights, drive-thru's, etc.
Enter the Zeus 508 modular helmet. Actually, I
bought two... one for me and one for my wife. I
appreciate the ease of just flipping up the frame to
converse normally, without shouting or having to
take the helmet off.
My wife totally agrees and adds that she doesn't
feel as "claustrophobic" wearing the Zeus, as she
did in her old full-face helmet. Hey, if the
wife is happy, I'm happy! While that fact
alone makes the 508 worth the investment, the truth
is, it really is a good, comfortable helmet.
Admittedly, the fit of its components are not quite
up to the VR-1. Likewise, ours both "creak"
(due to flex) as we put them on. Yet, they're
very comfortable, provide good visibility, have an
easy to operate frame release and offer ample
interior spacing around the ears, which enhance
overall comfort and allows for the easy installation
of speakers, if you wish (no carving of the foam
The only negative issue we've encountered is the
lack of clearance between the top vent trim and the
visor (particularly if you attempt to raise the
frame with the visor open). In one instance,
the visor actually caught the trim and popped it
right off the helmet! A little silicone
adhesive restored order. Bottom line: Unless
you normally ride in excess of 100 MPH, knee drag
every corner or are so socially insecure that you
require an Arai or Shoei logo to feel like a "real"
rider, the Zeus 508 (with its DOT certification)
will allow you to ride safely and comfortably
without being required to live on macaroni & cheese
while paying for the privilege of wearing a "big
name" helmet. Hey, at the current Zeus web
prices of under $50 (including shipping), enjoy the
Oh yes, Why three helmets? Well, I got the
KBC as my first new helmet and use it almost daily
for commuting to work and when I'm one up. The
Zeus is my two up and group ride helmet and the
third, a Lazer DeVille, supercedes both during the
hot, humid Florida summers to provide safety with
maximum airflow. (And, for $27 new [old stock], I
couldn't pass it up!) "
From "J.F.H.": "I’ve had over a year now with a Zeus flip-up. At first I
commented to you that it was noisy on the highway, but
otherwise I liked it.
I still like it. In fact, I’ve taken to it for all my
riding, shelving a perfectly good Shoei full-face. The
ability to talk, get a drink, or just get more ventilation
with the chin-bar up at stops makes a great difference, and
swapping eyeglasses to prescription sunglasses without
removing the helmet is pure luxury.
The noise issue depends a LOT on the bike/windshield as
well as speed. On my primary bike (K1200GT) with the
windscreen lowered (head in the air-stream) the noise level
is actually less with the faceplate partly open than fully
I installed a CD microphone and speakers, and it works
for me without fit problems. The chin bar is closer than on
other helmets I’ve worn, but there’s no contact and there is
room to adjust the microphone without rubbing either mouth
or helmet liner. My head shape is the “long oval” shape, but
my lower jaw isn’t long. An experiment in filling in the
gaps around the bottom of the helmet with foam rubber made
it a lot quieter in any helmet screen position except wide
open – but that leads to a trade-of with heat build-up in
You asked for feedback on fogging with the snowmobile
shield vs. regular. I tried the double-layered screen (the
material in the layers is thinner and flexible) – but not
the electric heated variety. I decided the snowmobile screen
was a bad choice. It did NOT “fog” even fully closed in
freezing weather. However, what it DID do was develop
streaks of moisture – looked like rain running down the
inside of the faceplate, in a fairly short time. Combining
that with the flexibility giving some mild distortion in the
“lens” of the screen resulted in a fuzzy view of the world I
found as annoying and potentially dangerous as fogging. The
standard screen fogging was eliminated by cracking the
standard screen open, and opening the upper vents."
: "I have 2 Zeus 508
helmets. I've had the first one since 2000.
Found it on eBay. I ordered a large size based upon
other helmets I have worn. Zeus helmets run big.
My second helmet is a medium size which I got this year and
fits very well with one exception. I can easily touch
the chin bar with my jaw. Of course, this has me a
little concerned. The helmet is a little nosier than
some of the others I have tried, but they didn't cost $100,
and I wear earplugs anyway. The helmet could stand to
lose 10-12 oz. of weight, and the visors do fog as mentioned
by several others. I am now in the process of trying
to install a headset. While the ear cups look very
large, the mounting point for the chinstrap to the shell is
right in the middle and that prevents correct placement of
the speakers. If that point were about an inch lower
there would be no problem. I have both an iridium and
clear visors, and the method to swap them requires that the
side screws be removed. This makes the chin bar fall
off, which was a bit unnerving the first time. I think
a better method should be worked out. Overall, I think
this is a good helmet for the buck, but the competition is
: "For my first helmet I bought
the Zeus 508. I have ridden about 3500 mi both long
and short trips. The flip up is great for the hot
weather here in northern Nevada. I heard noise at high
speeds above 55 MPH. I have experienced no air leaks
from the visor.
A few weeks ago I laid my
bike down and the helmet did the job. I have 1 small
scratch the in the top and the chin bar and visor are
scraped pretty bad. My only fear about buying a flip
up was that if the chin bar was hit would the locks keep it
down. THEY DID!!! I hit the ground with the
front side of my shoulder first. Then up into my
Helmet. I am now looking for a new Helmet I believe it
will be the New Zeus 508."
From "D.L." :
"I got my Zeus 508 earlier this
week. I've already used it for over 50 miles of riding on
my Zuma scooter. The wind noise reported by others is not
a problem at speeds up to 45 mph that my scooter is capable of.
I don't feel the need to use ear plugs.
I bought on-line, sized my head
with a tape measure as instructed on the seller's web site.
Fits like the proverbial glove. I can't compare to other
full helmets, I was using a half helmet. This helmet is
very comfortable. The 3 vents seem to work well. The
chin vent does a passable job clearing the visor in the cool
morning air, but cracking the visor open works even better.
I found the controls usable with my motorcycle gloves on.
The flip up style is a nice convenience. Aerodynamics seem
to be fine at the speeds that I travel.
I only have the clear visor.
I wear sunglasses under it when needed. It is comfortable
to wear the glasses inside the helmet. I got the insulated
visor which is marked "for snowmobile only, not for street use".
It does seem a bit flimsy, but I don't understand why it would
be safe for snowmobiles and not for motorbikes.
I would buy this helmet again.
I may for my son the passenger."
From "M.B." :
"...Just read your reviews and other comments. I can add a few
more comments and experiences with this helmet. I purchased one
recently to use with my new bike (BMW R1150R). The Beemer only
comes with a small screen, so I expected to get a lot more
airflow than I had experienced with my last bike (VX800 and
This turned out to be the case,
but not as bad as I expected. The little Beemer screen keeps the
blast off the chest which means that the head is in the
air stream. No buffeting, but lots of noise due to the number of
joins and seams the helmet has as a function of its design. I
now wear ear plugs. This solves the problem nicely as there is
plenty of plug room in the ear sections.
Cost here in Oz was $280 - seems
expensive compared to your prices, even with the favourable
exchange rates at the moment. Anyway, it was still cheaper than
all the others and seemed to fit the best. time will tell what
sort of life it will have based on the quality of materials. I
have always purchased 'lower end' helmets and changed them over
every couple of years as the linings compress and they get
loose. This is much more palatable than ditching a $500 helmet
because it has been dropped or the lining is coming unstuck.
I find that the chin piece is
close to the point of having my chin lightly touching at all
times. Not a problem, but differs from other views that there is
plenty of room. The next size up had more room, but I prefer a
'snug' fit to allow for lining compression over time. Contrary
to some views, I can just remove the helmet with the chin piece
down, but I would question why you would want to. My thoughts
are that the flip-piece is for flipping up to help the process
of putting-on and removing the helmet. Each to themselves I
Quality seems good. The finish on
my 'gold' helmet has no flaws,. but the chin strap clip seems a
little too easy to release. I have already had it come undone
when trying to clip my jacket neck collar closed. I think I
pressed on the outer latch button, which pushed the clip against
my shirt collar and released the inner clip as well. A bit
dicey, but now I know I will be more careful.
I have already added a one inch
strip of tape to the top of the visor to save my face from the
sun. The one inch translates to about half an inch when looking
from the inside as the visor is set fairly high on the forehead
section of the helmet. Still gives me full vision and some
sun-shading when riding west into the sun. Have used that trick
with all my helmets, but it was particularly required with this
Anyway, the Zeus seems to be
value for money. I have no regrets in buying it and look forward
to wearing it on many long trips here in Oz."
M.B. sent us this follow-up:
"Some more comments on the Zeus after a 2000 km three day ride
through the Australian Alpine region last weekend.
The helmet requires earplugs as it is noisy. My bike is a BMW
R1150R with only a flyscreen, so it is noisy with any helmet as
my head is above the screen at all times.
My chin lightly touches the chin piece. Not a problem, except
that it then blocks the chin vent and fresh air to the chin
area. This causes moisture to build up through condensation
inside the chin area. Ok if you don't mind having moist lips
from your own breath! It's ok in warmer rider conditions, but
caused me some issues riding in the rain as the screen couldn't
be left closed due to condensation and fogging.
This problem is partly solved by cracking the screen open,
but the first detent leaves the screen too open for me at about
an inch. I have tensioned the hinge screws to the point where I
can leave the screen open a quarter inch or so, and it will
usually stay there. I might try and file additional detents in
the sides to give me some 'half' positions.
On my exposed bike, the helmet does not lift at speed, and
seems to maintain good airflow at cruising speeds up to 140
km/hr. It has no rattles, and I only heard an occasional faint
whistle when I turned my head at fast speeds. No drama in that
I still don't like the catch on the chin strap. It works, but
is very easy to release with only the lightest touch. The flip
face appears to lock-down solidly and I like the option to open
it up when pulling in to the fuel stop. Very easy single-handed
I had two minor problems with my new helmet. The forehead
vents were too loose so I glued them open, and the screen had a
minor optical flaw. Mr Zeus (William Wei) is attending to both
matters, and I cannot fault the after sales service and attempts
to rectify these relatively minor problems. I have rarely found
a manufacturer that has been so keen to keep its customers
happy, so 10/10 for that side of my purchase.
The external finish appears to be good. I have had numerous
hits from bugs, beetles and sprayed gravel, and the outer
coating has stayed intact far better than on previous more
expensive helmets. One ride session was in the rain. No unusual
leaks, even with the flip-face design. The top of the screen is
not a great seal, but the rubber 'lip' seems to channel most
water away. This helmet is no worse than many others I have had
as far as water getting behind the screen goes.
In summary, I like the Zeus and am happy to recommend it. It
is built to a price, but makes good sense from a 'value'
perspective. I have now done about 3,500 km in it and most of
that was long-day touring stuff, with long periods inside the