After years of wearing a 3/4 helmet I decided to make the switch to a full face. I had been wanting to get something that made riding in the rain and on the interstate more comfortable but I also wanted something comfortable that allowed good sightlines. After doing some research I selected a Biltwell Gringo S helmet. I ordered the helmet and a dark shaded visor at the same time. I figured I could switch the visor out depending on when and where I was riding. I opted for a two tone black and white helmet that was a little bit more then the single color helmets, it was $229 vs. $199.
I had tried a traditional full face with a flip up visor once but it blocked too much of my peripheral vision and the ventilation was poor. This was not the case with the Gringo S. This helmet has a wide visor and eye opening that wraps around the front sides of the helmet. My vision doesn’t feel limited nearly as much as other helmets I’ve seen. The helmet vents very well; the visor doesn’t fog up and on hot days and my head doesn’t get any hotter than it did in my ¾ helmet.
The front chin cover on the helmet is fairly thin and doesn’t offer as much front impact protection as some other helmets but it allows the helmet to vent well, keeps the wind and rain off your face and offers a layer of protection between your chin and the ground in the event of an accident.
As for comfort, the helmet broke in nicely and 10,000 miles later still feels good. The chin strap works well despite having little padding. It secures tightly with a “draw and snap” style strap that keeps the helmet from pulling up and digging into my neck and chin. I was also happy to see most of the hardware is metal with only a couple plastic pieces on the helmet. I get the feeling this helmet will last a long time.
The only place I would really like to see a change is with the visor fastening system. First, to interchange the visor you have to have a large Phillips head screw driver and enough light to keep track of six parts that can come off when changing visors. This makes it a pain when going from the dark visor to a clear one when it is dark or you’re in a hurry. Second, the visor is held in place with a single snap. This makes it a breeze to raise the visor and pull it back down while you’re riding, however mine begins to buffet and vibrate around 80 mph and up. However, the ease of opening and closing makes this a problem I’m willing to live with.
All and all I’m very happy with my helmet. It fits well, offers DOT approved protection and is comfortable and stylish at the same time. For more information and reviews or to shop for a Biltwell helmet CLICK HERE.