When Drew and I cracked open our respective helmet boxes, we were floored with just how good the new 8.5 and 9.5 helmets looked. The red 8.5 is an absolute attention grabber and amplifies the sleek lines Leatt designed into the helmet while the drippy black on carbon 9.5 does a poor job at attempting to fly under the radar…and that is not a bad thing. The helmets feel as good as they look, we could not believe just how soft and comfortable the pads are and given how thick the pads are, they provide a secure fit. Meanwhile the Pro-Fit liner provides a snug fit around our skulls, preventing the helmet from any unwanted movement.
We have been riding in the 8.5 and 9.5 helmets for a couple months now and they still look as good as they did when we first pulled them out of the box. The temps surrounding most of our rides have been in the 30’s to high 60’s, we cannot complain of being too warm or too cool when on the move, meaning the helmets provide on equal balance of ventilation and warmth. However, once the warmer temps start to arrive and we notice that not to be the case, we will be sure to update this review with our findings as summer is just upon us.
In the kits, Leatt includes a set of their 5.5 goggles with the 8.5 helmet and a set of Velocity 6.5 goggles in the 9.5 helmet. Obviously, these goggles fit well in the eye port of the helmets. However, getting them in requires some finesse compared to some other helmets out there. Due to the short chinbar of Leatt’s helmets, the goggles need to be tipped in with the nose down and nose guards will have to be removed from most goggles if you’re running a size Small or Medium helmet. A nose guard probably is not needed on the goggles due to how close the nose piece is, but we still like having the sun protection. Speaking of sun protection, the short visor is something worth discussing. For enduro/trail or outdoor applications, we believe the visor is just too short. Sunset trail rides prove to be blinding, even with the little visor extender and since the visor is not adjustable, we’re stuck riding slower or getting a sore neck from tilting our heads down enough to get some protection.
That brings us to our last topic, the overall size and weight of the helmets. Drew and I both wear size medium helmets, the over shell size is quite large, one of the downsides of all the added safety features in helmets today. We cannot really knock them on shell size though, as they are on par with most of the competition. At 1,375 grams for the large 8.5 and 1,312 grams for the medium 9.5, they are light but still 262+ grams heavier than the medium Kali Shiva 2.0. We are almost certain they could shed some weight if the helmets were ECE-Certified only and ditched the outdated DOT requirements, but that’s an entirely different debate.
Leatt’s 8.5 and 9.5 Moto Helmet Kits have almost everything going for them. They are extremely comfortable, come outfitted with Leatt’s 360 Turbine technology to mitigate rotational forces and in our opinion, are some of the best-looking helmets on the market today. The value is equally impressive, with the helmet kits you get the crash hat, a set of matching Velocity 5.5 (8.5 Kit) or 6.5 (9.5 Kit) goggles and an impressively nice helmet bag all for $449.95 (8.5) or $549.95 (9.5). There are only two issues we have, however. The helmets have a short, fixed visor, which makes early morning or late afternoon rides an issue. Similarly, the short chinbar, like that of the recently reviewed 3.5 helmet, may make fitting goggles tough on some faces. We would recommend going into your local Leatt dealer and trying a helmet on before buying.
$449.95 – 8.5 Moto Helmet Kit
$549.95 – 9.5 Moto Helmet Kit
1,375 grams – 8.5 Moto Helmet
1,312 grams – 9.5 Moto Helmet