The rise in popularity of dual-sport motorcycles has sparked a renaissance in the development of matching clothing, accessories and helmets, and this has provided a real boost to our sport at a time when many manufacturers could certainly use it and I think Airoh is a good example.
As mentioned in the Aviator review, Airoh has cleverly developed a strong presence and a good reputation for their off-road helmets.
The Terminator is new for 2013 and it features the ultra-lightweight Airoh multi-axial carbon and Kevlar composite shell technology from the Aviator at a more digestible price point.
It comes in 9 different graphic patterns with so many color choices in each that you’ll have a difficult time choosing a favorite. And don’t forget basic black and white!
The Airoh Terminator: Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
Like the top-of-the-line Airoh Aviator, the Terminator is available in everything from race replica graphics down to plain ol’ matte black ready for your own customization with paint or stickers.
The pattern shown here is the “Thorns” graphic in what I’d call “hot orange red”. It’s one of those highly visible colors that happens to give the camera sensor fits because it seems to radiate, rather than reflect its hue.
The fit and finish on this helmet is outstanding, as it has been on all of the Airoh helmets we have reviewed recently. This is a notable difference from some of the Airoh helmets we’ve reviewed in the past, like the Airoh TR-1 (review) from the mid-2000’s.
Modern Airoh helmets are deceiving, because they’re so light that they feel almost insubstantial at first.
The light weight might lead one to believe that some corners have been cut during production, but the magic is in the multi-axial carbon and Kevlar composite shell, which combines strength with light weight.
The Thorns graphic is sort of apropos for off-road riding, what with its stylized barbed wire “Thorns” graphic. But it’s the crossed pistons that do it for me, along with the Gothic-inspired chin vent detailing.
The liner, padding and internal fit are very comfortable on this helmet and all the pieces fit nicely together to make a high-quality overall package.
Score: I’ll give the Airoh Terminator an “Outstanding” rating for overall quality and the huge choice of graphics and colors, along with the very comfy fit and light weight. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.
Airoh Aviator Helmet Fit, Internal Shape and Liner
The Airoh Aviator fit slightly small but this Terminator in size XL feels exactly as expected for an XL. It’s listed on the Airoh website as fitting a 61-62 cm head and that seems correct. The Burn Out Italy size chart lists a 61 cm head for the size XL.
The internal shape is about like the Aviator; that is, neutral to slightly narrow.
The padding in the Terminator feels a bit soft but it’s very comfortable. The padding also compresses fairly easily when pressed, but I don’t feel any hard spots underneath. I think the shape is a very good match to my head, which adds to the comfort level.
Also, the Terminator in size XL seems to have a wide bottom opening, which makes it very easy to pull the helmet on over my unusually-shaped head, which is widest at the temples.
I often have a real ear-pulling problem trying to wedge a helmet on my head, and it’s a real pleasure to pull on the Terminator without this problem.
The liner fabric feels smooth although I’m not sure if it’s the same used in the Aviator, which also has an anti-microbial treatment. No such treatment is listed for the Terminator, at least as far as I can tell.
The liner is removable, however, and the cheek pads feature the emergency release tabs for quick removal in an emergency.
The Airoh has the same type of angular styling as other Airoh off-road helmets. The detailing around the chin bar and chin vent is especially nice, with a semi-hard rubberized material forming the black moldings.
The eye port provides good outward visibility, but like all motocross helmets, a pair of goggles will be required. Wearing these may take some adjustment at first and, depending on the goggles, some visibility is lost at the sides due to the depth of the goggles.
The peak on the Terminator has a curved profile and it is designed to guide the air through with minimal buffeting or lift. It’s another styling feature of the helmet.
The attachments for the peak are made from plastic (they are threaded molded screws).
The peak does a good job of blocking the overhead sun, while not getting in the way or in the line of sight during riding and it also has a limited range of up/down adjustment.
Score: The Airoh Terminator has better than average side-to-side visibility and visibility out the top of the eye port. Visibility out the bottom is about average, due to the extended beak. I’ll give it an “Excellent” rating overall.
Airoh Terminator Ventilation and Air Flow
One of the advantages — and disadvantages — of the motocross helmet with an open eye port is the excellent ventilation it provides, whether you want it or not.
The design of the chin vent on the Terminator also provides a lot of air flow through the chin bar. It has an open-weave sponge filter behind that can be removed from in back of the chin bar for cleaning.
Two brow ports also provide ventilation into the helmet, but the liner padding at the brow somewhat limits the amount of air that flows through the vent holes in the EPS liner.
Rear exhaust vents and vents along the bottom rear part of the helmet add to the ventilation capability of the Terminator, which overall is excellent.
Score: I’ll give the ventilation system of the Airoh Terminator an “Excellent” rating.
Airoh Terminator Sound Levels
The Terminator once again surprises with overall noise levels that are lower than one might expect for a helmet of this type. The noise is lower than some open-face helmets with visor, but I’m not sure why this is. As with the Airoh Aviator, the Terminator is actually quieter than some full-face helmets I’ve worn, such as the Arai RX-Q (review), which generates a lot of whistling noise from its large top vents.
But also like the Aviator, the Terminator has a slightly open fit on my head shape at the lower rear, so there is some wind rushing noise from around the lower rear part of the helmet.
But overall, I rate the Terminator as quieter than expected, with better noise control that many other full-face or other helmet types.
Note that our helmet evaluations are a combined effort of several riders over time on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens.
Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality ear plugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems).
Always protect your hearing when riding a motorcycle. See the wBW Earplug Reviews for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
Note also that perceived noise levels will vary, depending on the individual.
Noise can be caused by many factors, including helmet fit, the type of motorcycle and windscreen, wind speed and direction and even the rider’s clothing.
Airoh has a firm lock on first and second place for lightweight helmets. This Terminator in size XL weighs only 1199 grams (2 lbs., 10-1/4 oz.), which puts it in second place, just under the high-end Airoh Aviator at 1115 grams.
The light weight is definitely noticeable and a real bonus.
This weight is less than the Nexx XR1R Carbon (review) full-face helmet, which is the lightest of that type we have reviewed at 1219 grams.
The XL Aviator is lighter than the lightweight AGV AX-8 (review) in size large, which weighs 1394 grams and it’s lighter than the ultra-light Lazer Monaco (review) flip-up helmet in size large, which weighed 1406 grams.
The Aviator at 1115 grams and the Terminator at 1199 grams, both in size XL, is very light for a motorcycle helmet, approaching the 1 kilogram mark, which perhaps we’ll see one day.
Like the Aviator, the Terminator’s shell feels stiff, with its carbon and Kevlar composite build. The helmet meets the ECE 22.05 standard only.
Note also that all of the helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld have been weighed and the weights are available on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, along with a chart that lists the helmets by weight and shape on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.
Score: I’ll give the Airoh Terminator gets an “Outstanding” rating for its ultra-low weight and excellent fit and balance.
The chin strap on the Terminator is comfortable and it uses a lightweight double D-ring system for the attachment. The chin strap padding is about average.
It doesn’t appear to have the removable chin strap padding like the Aviator, which is one of the features you give up for the lower price on the Terminator.
The Airoh Terminator offers most of the features of the higher-tech Airoh Aviator, but at a more affordable price point.
There are some subtle differences between the two, such as the replaceable chin strap pads and the slightly lighter weight of the Aviator.
But for anyone other than professional motocross riders, the Terminator is probably the pick of the litter.
Its roomy fit and soft liner and padding, along with the wide opening at the bottom of the helmet, make it an easy-to-use and very comfortable helmet to wear for your off-road adventures.