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Enlightened
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771 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a SparX S-07 solid helmet about a month ago. I basically wanted to find a quality economical helmet that was lighter than my HJC AC-11. I have been pleasantly surprised by the S-07. I first saw one at the local dealership and was amazed at how light it felt. I tried it on and it fit great. After reading a very positive review here:

Black Full Face | Helmet Harbor

I decided to buy one.

Pro's vs my HJC AC-11:
+ Noticeably lighter weight
+ Quieter (less wind noise)
+ vents noticeabley better than my HJC
+ Visor is equal quality to the HJC
+ Visor removal/installation is easier than the HJC
+ Great fit, very nice ear pockets
+ Comfortable liner, equivalent to my HJC
+ ECE-2205 and DOT certified (HJC is Snell/DOT certified)
+ Very Economical (paid $100 for my solid at helmetshop.com)

Cons:
- Paint quality may be marginally worse than my HJC or Shoei's that I've seen.
(Specifically, at certain angles/lighting you can see a little bit of orange peel effect)

- Top vents not adjustable. (Could provide too much cooling/ventilation in cooler weather for some. So far it hasn't bothered me.)

Worth mention:
The visor has integrated adjustable vents similar to Arai visors for anti-fog purposes. They seem to work okay in that respect however they allow air to blow over your face when they're open. I personally don't like cold air blowing on my face in cool weather. So I will be getting an anti-fog insert to prevent fogging instead. In warm weather I think the visor vents will provide additional cooling/relief.

Overall:
I feel that this helmet is a very good buy. I've never owned what I would call a high end helmet (Shoei, Arai, etc) for comparison. But it relation to the HJC AC-11 (which was their top helmet until the recent AC-12) the SparX is at least as good if not better in most respects.
 

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51 times World Champions
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3,861 Posts
Excellent review, thanks for allowing us to learn from your experience!

Cheers
 

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Valiant Poultry
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15,151 Posts
Great review. I may be looking to get one of these VERY soon as a second helmet for a passenger.
 

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Dental Rider
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381 Posts
Found these reviews for you.
And SparX has unofficially responded to this issue here:

Hilarious - Beware of Sparx helmets - ThumperTalk

NOTE: I am not affiliated with SparX, I'm just another rider who is interested in their products and found this thread earlier. I always feel you can't judge a product based solely on ONE person or ONE magazine's review. I'd suggest anyone seriously considering their products to read SparX's response to the issue.

Also, webbikeworld has finally got around to review the S-07 themself:

SparX S-07 Helmet - webBikeWorld

Personally I would probably never buy one without trying it on. And SparX has informed there are no plans to distribute them where I live :popcorn Still it looks like a great value.
 

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51 times World Champions
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3,861 Posts
Here's a direct response from them....
Hello All,
Many of you may have read a certain review from Transworld MX and Quad Magazine which are published by the same company. We are here to address the extreme negativity of these reviews and call into question their “facts” that they put forth as the foundation for calling our helmet “unsafe”. Much has been made recently about these misleading reviews and they have raised concerns among some about our helmet’s safety, but we at SparX set out to make a quality helmet at a reasonable price for the very fact that we know it can be done. We could have very easily set out to make a “high-end” expensive helmet, but not everyone can afford these types of products and as riders ourselves, we wanted to make a product that everyone would feel was a true value and a top notch product.

Aside from the fact that our helmets surpassed DOT, ECE and QAS testing through in house as well as 3rd party and official certifying bodies, the basic premise for the argument they make in their review is suspect. Firstly, you can break ANY chin bar on an MX helmet if you put enough constant pressure on it. But it is no basis for determining the "safety" of a MX helmet. A helmet is intended to absorb a sudden impact, not constant applied pressure like that of a “bear hug” until a helmet breaks. That being said, we went ahead and did further extensive testing to see if our helmets would pass SNELL chin bar testing (in addition to the ECE chin bar testing which is arguably more intensive) since it was the main concern of the review. Due to the fact that our MX helmet is equipped with an additional chin EPS (some helmets are not) it passed the SNELL chin bar test as well (tested by SNELL – see link with test results), though we feel the ECE chin bar test which we are certified for is a very rigorous standard on its own. By their own criterion, their contention that high end expensive helmets are “safer” is flawed because it can be actually easier to break a fiberglass chin bar off than a plastic one if that was your goal. Again, claiming to break a helmet’s chin bar off with some undefined amount of force has no bearing on what can measurably be defined as safe or unsafe, for ANY priced helmet.

We have heard of memos circulating around to dealerships to discredit the helmet and our brand without even a cursory attempt by those circulating the memos to verify the legitimacy of these claims. We hope the industry will recognize these tactics for what they are and look into our helmets personally before forming their opinions. We should note here that other reviews have been positive and the brand is being very well received in the industry. It does not matter to anyone wanting to discredit SparX if the review is misinformed and backed by absolutely no scientific evidence since the damage such a review can cause will affect the opinions of the dealers and consumers regardless. We are confident though that riders will be able to see through this sort of misdirection and apply their own sense to their ultimate conclusions.

Despite what some might tell you, we know you don't have to pay $400+ to get a well made, top certified helmet and we would STRONGLY refute any notion that if you can’t afford an expensive helmet to protect your head, you should find a cheaper sport. We do not buy into this sort of elitist mentality since we KNOW as an experienced helmet manufacturer that this is simply not true. If you happen to be lucky enough where money is no obstacle to buy the equipment you desire and you prefer to use only the most expensive helmets available (or you are in a position where you don’t have to pay for them at all), you are the privileged few. SparX was built as a safe, quality alternative for everyone else.

To get a better understanding of helmet safety, we urge you to research this important topic on your own (see our Links page with several informative articles related to helmet safety and standards). We know the good people at SNELL and can say without reservation that we believe their primary goal is to provide a standard which they believe will protect the rider and we think they provide a valuable and important role in helmet safety. Knowing that DOT is the minimum (and mandatory) standard requirement for North America, any standard above and beyond that such as SNELL or ECE is an added layer of safety that we felt was important to add. We respectfully decided that DOT/ECE was one of the best combinations we could offer for OUR product, but we believe ALL standards have their virtues. Many may be interested to note that according to a recent follow up article in Motorcyclist magazine, to their credit and their constant pursuit of improving their standard, SNELL has seen fit to amend their standard in ways that would take into account some of the issues raised in this on-going debate on helmet safety.

We stand behind our product 100%. We know these reviews from this one publisher may seem damning, but we feel if you look a little closer, you will see that they are factually inaccurate, misleading and curious with its negative vigor. We welcome your thoughts and concerns and will do what we can to be up front and answer you directly. Thanks and ride safe.

SparX

“We are making public our 3rd Party DOT test results to show we have nothing to hide.”

D-07M.PDFD-07L.PDFSnell Chin Bar Test

■ Safety Links:

Motorcycle Helmet Design, Helmet Standards and Head Protection - Gear Box - Motorcyclist Online
http://www.msf-usa.org/imsc/proceedings/a-thom-comparisontestsofMotorcycleHelmets.pdf
The TRUTH ABOUT HELMETS - Why Wear 'Em?

■ Other Links:
SparX Helmets Hit Stores Amid Hype - Dealernews
Some Truth About Helmets | Editorial Blog & Opinions at Dirt Rider Magazine
YouTube - The Helmet Harbor talks about the Sparx




■ Testimonials

From Thumper Talk message boards:

“…I replicated the TW test and it is 100% bogus.… I had been wearing (yes, while riding dirt bikes, and outside of my office) a couple of Sparx helmets for the past few weeks and since they fit well (I feel they run just a bit on the large size, my medium feels like a medium-and-a-half and Sparx seems “rounder” than my favorites), had the certification it was a decent helmet. I’d even crashed in one and hit my head a little above average in my totally subjective scale and it worked fine, only slightly scratched. So I grabbed my helmet and tried to break it with my bare hands with no luck. Sure I made it pop and crackle with some pretty unrealistic (long slow speed sustained pressure) pushes, but not breaking. We even talked about shooting a video, but didn’t have the camera and sort of forgot about it. So skip forward a few more days and I’m out riding in another Sparx helmet. I tell one of my editors, Jesse Ziegler about the test and hand him my helmet (after the ride.) He goes to town on it, being the gym-going muscle man he is he gets some pretty good movement out of it and after a few good pushes and tugs gets a crack at the lower vent opening but could not get the total detachment that is shown in the TW photo. That took all of my weight pressing on the already cracked lid from the back ramming the chin bar into the ground. Basically like running my head into concrete and having the bike land on top of it. Then with some twisting it finally broke. I have a good idea of what this took force-wise and I’m still comfortable wearing this brand of helmet when riding (just not that specific helmet as it is in the garage and I throw it at the wall when I get mad). I’m going to break some other helmets just for comparison because I want to know, even in my unscientific way, how some stuff stacks up. I can afford to do this, I get these helmets for free…” Jimmy Lewis, Editor, Dirt rider (see full Dirt Rider review/post in the Other Links section)

“I just went and bought one of these Sparx helmets...needed to find out for myself. IMHO this is a good, if not excellent helmet for the price. That said these are my thoughts....
... I could not break jaw piece with a single vector pressure point. I stood on it, bounced on it, hit it hard with a deadblow hammer...and all it did was flex, and I could hear some cracking. I was NOT able to break it in this manner. I was actually pretty impressed. I believe if someone was to put pressure from both sides of the jaw piece (squeezed), it may break. I believe the test in the mag was probably done in this manner. By holding the helmet against your abdomen, grab both sides of the jawpiece and squeeze them together while folding the mouth piece toward the open side of the helmet. I was not strong enough to actually implode the jaw piece, but I cracked and flexed it so bad I won't use it again…I'm going to buy a couple for my stable. I believe this is an excellent product at a great price.
My $.02” “Slackkinhard” - TT board Bronze Member

“I have to commend SparX on a great product. I do not own his helmet but since my Arai got wrecked in my last road race on the gixxer I got to use a SparX. My buddy owns one as a back up and we have the same size head so I tried it and wow. WAY lighter than my Arai and about the same ventilation overall. I thought there was a little more wind noise but that’s not something I really care about as long as it doesn’t sound like a rock concert. It felt very comfortable for me and I thought the padding was of good quality. The vision was excellent and I didn’t have to worry too much about sun glare. Once again I got to test out the helmet as I tried to rip through a corner too fast and the peg and tank saver bar caught the ground causing a high speed low side, very happy it didn’t high side me. Anyways the helmet got a few scrapes and I managed not to suffer a concussion when my head smacked the ground pretty hard, just a little fuzz on first reopening. Great product SparX. I will definitely look for one of your helmets for my next off-road helmet when my Fox gets wrecked.” “busted bones” – TT board Silver member
Attached below are the pdf test results they mention....
 

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i have a s-07... skullz... love it. comfortable, vents well... i live in az so this is uber important... i like it better than my boyfriends icon mainframe dfa...
 

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According to many experts, one of the best full face motorcycle helmets is the Shoei GT-Air 2 Helmet. This Helmet provides the most benefits among all other helmets. It has the qualities of an excellent ventilation system, top-notch comfort, and maximum style.
 
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