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Helmet fail – Indian MC Sport full face

(by Guy 'Guido' Allen, August 2022)

 indian helmet


Good price but a design fail


Product reviews are usually outside our brief, but this is an exception after experiencing a surprising fail.

Indian Motorcycles Australia has recently been advertising a range of helmets at low prices and we recently bought one. Which has proved to be a mistake.

indian helmet

The online shopping experience was fine and the delivery prompt  – so full marks there. Billed as the full-face Sport, it is a dual visor design, with a 'normal' clear visor (with pinlocks and an anti-fog insert included), plus a tinted drop-down inner half-visor. Overall a versatile package that mimics Shoei's GT-Air and the like. (See both helmets, above.)

We ordered a 2XL and everything looked ship-shape, priced at a very attractive $360. Made in China, the overall presentation was pretty good.

Normally, I wouldn't buy a motorcycle-branded helmet, but the pricing was sharp and there's always the argument that I have an Indian in the shed. And a spare helmet wouldn't go astray.

So here's where it fell down. The fastening system is a ratcheted tongue-and-buckle system, again similar to a GT-Air and probably others.

However once you have it fastened, it's very difficult to undo – read that as unreasonably fiddly and probably a liability in an emergency. Not one for anyone who actually wants to remove the helmet quickly and easily.

indian helmet

So what's the issue? The buckle strap is too short, trapping the lever (that's it in red, above, with about 50 per cent showing at full extension) in the padding beside your neck, where it cannot be released easily...even with practice and patience. There simply isn't enough room to get your fingers in to grip the lever.

Plus, the lever itself is poorly designed, with insufficient clearance to easily slip a finger underneath to release it.

shoei helmet

Looking at the equivalent Shoei design, the buckle strap is longer, keeping the buckle itself clear of interference. You might notice it also has a flare in the end of the lever, so you can easily get a digit underneath.

The Shoei, by the way, is double the price and worth it.

As for the Indian MC full-face sport helmet, I'd would advise against it. Assuming the maker uses the same shell for different head sizes, it may work better for smaller bonces. Nevertheless, it rates as a fail.

(There are other models in the range and hopefully they're better-sorted.)

The helmet was returned and Indian was prompt in offering a refund and exchange. So even though this one didn't work out, it gives you a bit of confidence about buying from them.


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