Riding with TLD's all-new high-end latest dirt bike helmet.
Words: Guy Streeter
Troy Lee Designs recently released the brand new SE4 helmet and we were lucky enough to get our mitts on one when they first hit Australian shores. TLD has put in over 3800 man-hours into the development of the new SE4 helmet with the priority being the rider’s safety.
In recent years it has become more and more apparent that head trauma caused in off-road motorcycle crashes aren’t one and the same, they also differ from road crashes significantly. Even more emphases has been drawn to protecting your head with some of the sport’s biggest stars following incidents such as the James Stewart crash and Ryan Dungey clash at the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross opener, which resulted in James taking a nap on the side of the track after relative slow-speed crash.
With that in mind it is interesting to look at the new TLD SE4 helmet and what they have been able to develop a helmet with to help prevent serious injury. The SE4 helmet is constructed from a carbon/kevlar composite shell construction, while internally utilising separate triple density EPS inserts, which are varying low and high-speed impact specific densities. After research suggested that most of the impacts were occurring in the headband area, a redesign of this area was performed adding a further 13 percent more EPS and dual density impact specific EPS to the region.
As not all crashes are the same and as there are a number of different surfaces which can cause the helmet to pull and rotate in a variety of ways, TLD’s utilised Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) to help combat this. MIPS allows the helmet to slide relative to the head, adding more protection against rotational violence causes by these types of angled impacts.
The chin-bar has been reinforced with expanded polypropylene giving multi-impact performance. In addition, quick release, anatomical 3D contoured cheek pads with emergency release system, held in using magnets, allow for fast and safe removal of the helmet in the case of a neck or spinal injury. The SE4 helmet went through 350 crash prototypes and has been measured up against top crash standards, DOT, SNELL and CE. Tested at varied speeds and impacts, the SE4 beat the competition in all tests carried at the ACT laboratories in Los Angeles.
Air-flow through the SE4 helmet is achieved through 22 high-flow intakes and six exhaust ports. Negative pressure ventilation also helps draw hot air away from the rider’s head, increasing the cooling effect. The interior of the SE4 is made up of Cool Max and Dri-Lex moisture wicking materials that work with the ventilation to help keep your head dry and cool. Ventilation is great, on the hotter summer days, the air flow and ventilation the SE4 gives will be noticed, keeping your head cool, calm and collected.
The very first thing you will notice about the SE4 helmet when you unwrap it from the slick TLD helmet bag is the weight. It is a bit unnerving when it feels closer to the weight of at mountain bike helmet than the regular moto helmet you would be more accustomed to, however weighing in at just 1.325kg the Troy Lee Designs SE4 is an ultra lightweight, high-performance product.
The fit is incredible, which is what you would expect from a high-end helmet, and side to side vision through the eye port which will fit any of the larger goggles on the market. The SE4 comes in a wide range of colour schemes, all of them featuring a sweet design/colour way that Troy Lee Designs has built its brand on.
The TLD SE4 helmet comes in at a recommended retail price of $859 and also comes with two matched visors, an additional set of visor hardware/spares and a helmet bag. Head to www.lustyindustries.com for more information.