MXA TEAM TESTED: ALPINESTARS SUPERTECH M8 HELMET
WHAT IS IT? When Alpinestars initiated its advanced helmet design project, it introduced two models—the top-of-the-line $649.95 Supertech M10 and the $499.95 Supertech M8 helmet. The Supertech M8 has a price point $170 below the premier M10 model but with almost all of the high-tech features.
WHAT’S IT COST? $479.95 (solid white or black), $499.95 (colors).
CONTACT? www.alpinestars.com or your local dealer.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Alpinestars Supertech M8 helmet.
(1) Function. The Alpinestars Supertech M8’s helmet shell is molded using a combination of uni-directional carbon composite materials laced with an Aramid layer. When this combination of layers is bonded together with epoxy resin, the strength increases while outer-shell deflection is reduced. The price difference between the Alpinestars M10 and M8 is found in the shell design. The more expensive M10 uses a 3K carbon fiber outer layer combined with an Aramid composite layer. What is 3K carbon fiber? The carbon fiber used in the M10 helmet is made up of carbon fiber filaments bundled together into strands. Think of these strands in the same way that you think of thread count on high-end bed sheets. In 3K carbon fiber, there are 3000 filaments per strand. Carbon fiber comes in 1K, 2K, 3K, all the way up to 24K, but 3K is the workhorse of carbon fiber. It’s light, relatively stiff, work-ready and, unfortunately for consumers, expensive.
(2) Safety features. The M8 shell features collarbone cutouts with rubber padding, MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System), emergency release cheek pads, Hats Off compatibility and ECE and DOT certification. The M8 weighs 1360 grams or 2.99 pounds in the medium size.
(3) Performance. At first the M8 helmet didn’t fit well. There was a gap where the helmet made contact with our foreheads. We fixed this by moving the helmet liner to the first of its three optional positions. Once we got the helmet to sit right, we hit the track. The M8 stayed in place while we were riding and did not move around. It had a light feel and a wide eyeport. The ventilation was well-positioned to provide adequate cooling. The M8 is available in six shell sizes that cover extra small, small, medium, large, extra large and double extra large.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The visor is in a fixed position; there is no way to move it up or down.
MXA RATING: If you’re in the market for a modern-looking, high-tech helmet that will keep you safe while looking good, the Alpinestars M8 helmet should be on your short list.