Mid-oval protection, Italian style
There are riders who simply won't settle for motorcycle products which did not originate in Italy. This is understandable when you consider the reputation for performance, craftsmanship and style associated with all things moto italiana relativa. This can create a problem however, when the item in question is a helmet. The majority of Americans have heads that are oval-shaped, while Italian noggins run smaller front-to-back and narrower side-to-side. If you've ever tried to put on an Italian-made helmet and thought that your face was going to explode out of the eyeport, this is the reason. With the Eclipse, Vemar has given us a lid from Mother Italy that will actually fit American heads.
We'd been promised an Eclipse to test in February. It would be wearing the hot-looking Metha Black/White graphic. The first shipment didn't hit the California docks until mid-summer. We were more than excited by then but the wait was worth it! This helmet is a thing of beauty, featuring attention to detail that simply isn't apparent in pictures. For one example, the quick release mechanism for the faceshield is crafted from polished aluminum and is pretty as jewelry.
Five years. Even if you never crash it, that's the recommended lifespan of a helmet. This is a very important number to Vemar. They warranty their product against manufacturer defect for a full sixty months, beginning on the helmet's build date. Their anti-odor, anti-fungus and anti-bacteria liner, which incidentally wicks sweat wonderfully and is a very nice place to put your head, is also covered. There is a special model in the lineup called Night Vision, which features phospherescent paint that recharges itself in sunlight, appearing a pearl-ish white by day but able to glow in the dark for as much as eight hours. Like a watch dial, this effect does not wear out, so when the helmet's usable lifespan expires in five years.... Well, you get the point. Vemar wants you to know that their helmet will be with you for the long haul.
There's plenty more to recommend a Vemar Eclipse. It meets both DOT and the European Motorcycle Specific EC ratings. The liner, cheek pads and chin curtain are removable and washable. Scoops and ducts abound on this helmet, allowing you to custom-tailor the airflow across your head to suit conditions. The visor is Pinlock compatible. This is a light helmet, with a Size Medium in carbon fiber/aramid/fiberglass composit weighing 1450 grams and the same size lid in pure carbon fiber coming in at a svelt 1410 grams.
In fibreglass composite, the Vemar Eclipse costs $475 and can be had in Matte Black, Metha Black/White, Tribal Flames Black/Red, Tribal Flames Blue and Night Vision. The $625 carbon fiber version comes in a glossy, au naturale finish and makes due with some subtle gold pinstriping for contrast. Vemar is imported to America exclusively by Motonation. You can buy from them direct or use their Dealer Locator to find a shop near you that carries the brand.
On track, over a four-month period in conditions ranging from tropical to frigid, we found this to be a stable, comfortable and reasonably quiet helmet. Its simple yet stunning graphics drew many compliments, especially from photographers, who liked the way its contrasting panels of black and white stood out in their pictures. In the near-$500 price range, we expect that a helmet perform well, leave us with no reason to criticize it and deliver an upscale feel that lets us know we're wearing something special. The Vemar Eclipse does exactly that.