When I was kid cruising around on the back of my dad's Silverwing, you'd find me wearing a green metal flake 3/4 helmet. Now that I know a little bit more about safety standards, I have higher expectations for my head protection than a hard candy shell with a mangled liner and mostly exposed styrofoam can meet. The Nexx X60 Vintage provides a fashionable retro look that achieves an ECE 22.05 safety rating. The coolest part? It comes in kids' sizes too. As much as I loved my green sparkly helmet, I'd certainly trade up.
Photos: Sean Smith
You can feel the difference attention to detail makes. The X60 Vintage combines an Advanced Thermo Resin shell (matte finish and silky to the touch—think the high end vibrator section of your local classy sex shop) with two tones of leather and contrast stitching. You'll notice other thoughtful details too, like the rivets that hold the Lexan shield. The branding is pretty low key, but it would feel a lot more "vintage" without "vintage" stitched across the side like a label.
It's nice to touch, and it's nicer to wear. The padding is plush and comfy, and advanced materials make this helmet really, really light, weighing in at only 1050g. I really dig the Micro-Metric buckle, which isn't flimsy plastic, but feels like a Glock gun frame. It's totally easy to use with or without gloves on.
Toss this helmet at a non-rider passenger and they won't have to look silly playing with D rings and snaps while they try to get everything fastened. You just pull the red tab to release. All the hard parts are also covered by a wrap-around leather and velcro cover, so nothing on the strap is biting at your neck.
Riding in it
Visibility, as you would expect with an open face helmet, is great. The helmet sits well behind your peripheral vision on both sides, and barely peaks in the top of your view field. When riding, the wind protection provided by the included shield isn't quite enough for my taste. I don't like wind in my eyes. The X60 vintage comes with Nexx's 60% Sunvisor (that blocks 60% of sunlight) and falls just across the cheeks. To increase wind protection for the eyes, I would upgrade to their long sunvisor, or ditch the visor all together and use goggles (there's a snap tab to hold a goggle strap in place on the back). For an open face helmet, the sound deadening is pretty impressive. Nicely fitted padding keeps much of the wind noise from your ears, and if you're really sensitive the rest is taken care of by ear plugs. An ECE 22.05 and DOT approval set this open face helmet apart from many others.
This helmet retails at $289—a bit steeper than many 3/4 options you'll see available, but the safety rating, comfort and quality of materials makes it worth the price. The helmet is available in a variety of color combinations for adults and children, and you can skip trying to find it at a shop and head straight to Amazon.
I really kind of like my chin, and, quite obviously, an open face helmet doesn't afford as much protection as full-face options. That said, when Wes isn't around to chastise, I'm not going to be able to resist wearing the X60 Vintage when I'm headed out to local night spots or just riding a few miles to the beach.