MOMO "Komposit" Carbon
Fiber Motorcycle Helmet
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
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Owner Comments (Below)
There was a time not too long ago when the terms "industrial
design" and "consumer products" weren't used
in the same sentence. Functionality was the watchword, and no
one thought much about how style.
There wasn't a deliberate movement against industrial design
- it just wasn't really considered as anything that should consume
much time or effort, especially for low-end consumer goods.
It has only been within the last couple of decades where
design is an integral and even a primary goal of any and all
consumer goods. Cameras, watches, portable audio devices and
more are sometimes purchased as accessories rather than as tools.
There's an interesting article in the December 2004 Cycle
World magazine that illustrates this point. Apparently, Harley
Davidson motorcycles weren't "designed" until
Brooks Stevens, a famous industrial designer from the '40's,
was hired after World War II to add some spice to the front
end of the new models. Prior to that, Harley engineers were
primarily responsible for design, which had been stagnant at
Harley for many years.
Stevens and other designers in the '40's and '50's started
the consumer products industrial design movement, which now
plays such an important role in everything we buy, right down
to the way the buttons look and feel on the most basic electronic
MOMO evolved from this movement, and went on to become one
of the best-known industrial design firms in the world. Their
radical and unique designs have made them a leader in the movement
for many years.
Their first product was the MOMO steering wheel used by the
1964 Formula 1 Championship winning Ferrari team in the mid-'60's.
MOMO steering wheels then became the object of desire for any
sports car fanatic of that era.
Their success with that single product was huge, and made
the MOMO name known throughout the world. They have since expanded
into every segment of industrial design, and the MOMO "look"
(and logo) is almost instantly recognizable, in everything from
watches to eyeglasses to...motorcycle helmets.
But is modern industrial design compatible with something
as functional as a motorcycle helmet? That's what we wanted
MOMO has a small line of helmets, including the full-face "Devil",
the Komposit carbon-fiber model shown here, and the "Fighter".
The MOMO Fighter helmet has recently been in the news as the
first helmet to have an optional Bluetooth communication capability,
jointly developed with Motorola.
This is an interesting concept, because the Bluetooth wireless
capability could mean things like hiding a radio, voice communications
and safety information somewhere on the motorcycle while providing
wireless communication to the rider.
We chose the Komposit for this review simply because it looked
cool and it embodies some of the classic MOMO design elements.
The first thing that is noticeable about the Komposit is its
weight, or lack thereof. At 949 grams (2 lbs., 1-1/2 oz.), this
has to be one of the lightest motorcycle helmets available.
It's lighter even than the Vega XTS half-helmet (see the
wBW review), which weighs in at 974 grams, yet the Komposit
is still ECE 22.05 approved.
The panels of carbon fiber on either side of the helmet appear
to be of good quality, and they provide the helmet with it's
unique look. The shape of the Komposit is sort of a take on
the typical half-helmet, but it's not quite as large as an open-face
helmet. It's two ear coverings are reminiscent of a 1940's leather
fighter pilot helmet with its ear flaps, complete with a nylon
webbed chin strap.
Unfortunately, the chin strap uses a quick release, and doesn't
have a loop or device to secure the loose end, which is a puzzling
design oversight. Although the loose strap end hanging down
does give the wearer that wind-in-the-face look of a '40's era
There was a short strip of padding that came in the box that
can be wrapped around the strap to provide minimal padding under
the chin. It folds over the strap and closes with a section
of "hook and loop" fastener.
Since the strap cuts right under the Adam's Apple (thyroid
cartilage), any padding in this area is helpful.
The Komposit's liner is comfortable enough, and we found
that the padding works for riders with or without eyeglasses.
There are no cutouts for the ears; just a solid section of
padding on either side. The sizing seems just about perfect;
a size large fit exactly as expected.
The visor is also a distinctive design element on the Komposit.
It's not your typical motorcycle helmet visor; this one is relatively
flimsy, although it does the job.
But this is where the style of the helmet seems to take precedent
over functionality. The visor's edge trim a sort of cheap-looking
vinyl that's sewn on.
The visor is attached to either side of the helmet with a
faux carbon-fiber connector section that has small rivets added
in a rather untidy fashion.
And the circular spacers that allow the visor to rotate up
and down have a very thin matte metal plating that is already
flaking off on our brand new specimen (blue arrow, photo left).
The helmet shell has a vinyl stitched edging around the entire
circumference. Depending upon your taste, it either adds to
the retro look or it gives it the style of a circa 1950's football
It's always surprising when an open-face helmet is quieter
than a full-face, but the Komposit seems to have less noise
than might be expected. The visor does flex a little at speed,
which is especially noticeable on an unfaired bike. But it's
very comfortable and so light weight that it feels just like
wearing no helmet at all.
We have mixed feelings on the "MOMO DESIGN" script
across the back of the helmet. A simple "MOMO" would
probably suffice. But it probably wouldn't be too hard to cover
this area up with reflective stickers or paint if you don't
care for the large text.
One thing's for certain: you won't see yourself coming and
going when you're wearing the Komposit. I rode a friend's cruiser
down to the local hangout, and the crowd absolutely loved it.
Everyone wanted to know where they could get one. So maybe MOMO
will start a new trend - helmet-wearing cruiser riders!
Product Review: Momo
Komposit Carbon Fiber Helmet
|Available From: Designer
Matte Black, Red, Yellow
||Made In: Italy
Comments: Light weight at 949 grams (2
lb., 1-1/2 oz.), unique design, some quality problems.
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