MXA PRODUCT TEST:
THOR FORCE CARBON FIBER HELMET
WHAT IS IT? A lightweight carbon fiber helmet that could be on display at an art gallery.
WHAT’S IT COST? $429.95.
CONTACT? Your local dealer or www.thormx.com.
WHAT’S IT DO? It’s mind blowing when you think about the magnitude of Thor Racing in the motocross market. The company, which was founded by racing legend Torsten Hallman, owns a massive chunk of the gear and apparel market share. How has Thor become so successful and well known? Aside from sponsoring some of the top riders (Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto, just to name a few) and having a presence in virtually every dealership across the country, they make high-quality products.
As one of the original gear companies, Thor has bragging rights, but they also have the burden of high expectations. Consumers demand quality out of every Thor product, and with the all-new Force Carbon helmet, they are getting a boatload of innovation. The Thor Force Carbon helmet is a specialty product, designed for the rider looking for something very unique and it is expensive. It should be noted that Thor offers several different versions of the Force helmet (Superlight and Composite) that don’t push the limit of your bank account.ÿÿ
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Thor Force Carbon helmet.
(1) Weight. Thor claimed that the Force Carbon, made from pre-impregnated carbon fiber, weighed a skeleton-like 2.8 pounds. However, on the ultra-accurate MXA scale, our test helmet weighed 3.05 pounds (in a medium size). That is a very impressive weight. It should be noted that the Force Carbon feels even lighter than its airy three pounds. With the color-coordinated carbon fiber weave that shows throughout various areas of the helmet, the Force looks both light and attractive.
(2) Fit. The MXA wrecking crew has worn hundreds of different helmets, and the most irritating problem with many helmets is discomfort. We’re happy to report that the Force Carbon helmet was very comfortable. The three-piece removable liner didn’t pinch or create pressure points. We did, however, notice that the Thor helmet runs on the large side. The size medium that we tested was big on several test riders and you should try it on before selecting a size.
(3) Visor. Thor is the first company to use a sliding visor. What do we mean? The helmet houses brackets atop the lid that allow the visor to slide in and stay without the use of side screws. It might sound like a gimmick, but the idea is rather ingenious and creates a seamless transition from the visor to the helmet. Our only worry is that the tongs underneath the visor could break in a crash.
(4) Ventilation. The Force Carbon has five intake ports and six exhaust ports. We didn’t encounter any overheating issues, although the helmet didn’t feel overly ventilated, either.
(5) Place of manufacture. The Thor Force Carbon helmet is made in Korea.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Since the Thor Force Carbon runs on the large side, you might want to try it on before purchasing.
We loved the three-pound weight, appearance, comfort, technology and unique visor, but the Thor Force Carbon helmet is a specialized design for a unique individual looking for one major feature–light weight. If weight is an issue, this a five-star helmet. If it isn’t, Thor has other Force helmets that will fit your needs better.