December 13, 2010
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WHAT IS IT? It’s a new and improved version of the helmet worn by Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto.

WHAT’S IT COST? $299.95 (Hypnotic and Livewire), $279.95 (solid white or solid matte black).

CONTACT? or your local dealer.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Thor’s Force 2 Helmet.

(1) Materials. The Thor Force 2 boasts hand-laid composite fiberglass/Dyneema/Kevlar construction. Never heard of Dyneema? Neither had we. It is an “Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Fiber” that is often used in military body armor. At the same weight, Dyneema is said to be 15 times stronger than steel and 40 percent stronger than Kevlar.

(2) Visor.
Last year, MXA test riders went through three Thor visors, breaking each one in crashes without any frontal impact. The 2011 Force 2 has a much better visor design and will take much more abuse before failure.

(3) Fit.
Thanks to slightly large sizing, the Thor Force 2 is comfortable and roomy. It fit a wide range of MXA test riders with little complaint. The Force 2 is available in six sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-extra-large. A medium is the equivalent of a 7-1/8 to 7-1/4 hat size.

(4) Comfort.
Thor’s “SilverCool” helmet liner is antibacterial, moisture-wicking, removable (with the exception of the strap pads) and machine washable. The Force 2 has vents in the brow of the liner that flow air through channels in the EPS foam. The helmet breathed well and didn’t become overly saturated with sweat.

(5) Safety.
We consider the Force 2 to be a mid-priced (below $300) helmet, and for $300, Thor offers a lot of safety features: EPS throughout the chin bar for strength, DOT and ECE certification, and a built-in roost guard.

(6) Looks.
The Thor Force 2 “Hypnotic” model had an evil, hypnotizing, clown carpenter graphic. It was too wild for conservative tastes. Luckily, the Force 2 comes with red or blue Livewire graphics (shown) or in solid colors (white or matte black).

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The MXA test crew had a couple of quibbles: (1) The sizing runs a touch large. If you are between a medium and a large, the medium should fit perfectly. (2) Certain goggle frames fit oddly with the eyeport. Every goggle we tried fit, but we had to push some goggle frames into the eyeport to get a good seal. (3) The vented nose piece was difficult to clean. We couldn’t take it apart, so we settled for running water through it.

At under $300, the Thor Force 2 helmet offers a lot of value for the money?plus we didn’t break a single visor.


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