It used to be the case that a cheap helmet was … well, cheap, but while this entry level helmet is very much at the budget end of the scale – little more than half the price of Indian’s ‘Retro’ range – it’s reassuringly well-made and comfortable.
Of course, anything that bears a brand is seen as representing that brand’s values, so while you can see where the savings have been made compared to the more expensive models, Indian are not going to compromise safety or comfort for the sake of a cheap helmet sale. For all that, though, I can see this being one of those great luxuries: a spare helmet rather than one that has been specifically purchased for one person, and I’ll come round to why in a moment.
It’s a classic open face ‘Jet’ helmet with press studs for a sunpeak – Indian-branded and supplied – and two lower studs if you want to swap that for a full shield visor.
If your preference runs to a pair of goggles, there is a retaining strap at the back – below the DOT certification and to the left of a label that that makes it legal in the UK, and it is secured by the old-faithful Double-D ring, with a press-stud to stop the loose end of the cable flapping around in the wind.
I couldn’t tell you what the lining is, other than soft and fabric, and that it’s removable … well, the cheek pieces are, once you’ve released them from a pair of press-studs. They are apparently washable too.
And it looks pretty funky, with its contrasting stitching round the edge, but the clever trick that it has got up its sleeve is a small dial at the back that acts on a ratcheted band.
This appears to serve two purposes: it fits the helmet more snugly to the wearer’s head, but it also appears to shutter it down to a smaller size. I reckon that it takes this XL down to an L, or even an M at a push: it certainly makes it too tight to wear, long before the adjustment runs out.
While I’m sure it isn’t certified as such, compared to borrowing a friend’s helmet, several sizes too big, it makes for a decent spare that can cover a couple of sizes, if pressed.