Fulmer AF-6B Helmet Product Review
The Fulmer AF-6B full-face helmet with iShade
The AF-6B full-face helmet is DOT approved, and sports an internal smoke-tinted shield (bearing the trademarked 'iShade' name). The 6B's suggested retail price is $149.95.
- iShade™ retractable internal sun shield
- Optically correct, quick release, clear external shield
- Adjustable forehead ventilation
- Includes Fulmer helmet sack
- Rear exhaust diffusers
- UV protective clear coated paint
- Ultra plush removable/washable interior
- Padded D-Ring retention system
- DOT approved
First impressions: The AF-6B finish quality is very good. It feels fairly light weight. The padding and liner quality is good, and I found no visible stitching problems, blemishes or other flaws.
The 6B's styling and trim is reminiscent of characters from Transformers–the vents and trim are silver plastic, and the chinguard trim is in a 'V' shape, and the overall effect is a combination of sharp angles and rounded lines.
The helmet includes a nicely made drawstring bag for protection while you aren't wearing the helmet. This is a nice touch, as a helmet bag helps protect the shield and the helmet's finish.
The AF-6B I choose has a high-gloss black painted finish with silver logos, vents, and trim.
A closer look
The AF-6B shield features a six-position detent; the detent action is stiff (at least when new). You have to push up on a small tab at the lower front of the shield in order to open it. I was able to remove and replace the shield fairly quickly on the first try.
The breath guard is made of a stiff (but not completely hard) plastic. If you have a largish nose, the guard can press against your nose at times, which can be irritating. I was able to rotate the helmet up a few degrees to fix this problem, though I wondered if it would be a problem while riding (all helmets will shift a bit during the ride). The breath guard can be removed and replaced with minimal effort.
- The front vent looks like it'll catch a fair amount of airflow. The vent is 'V'-shaped sliding panel, which might be a bit difficult to operate when wearing gloves. Push up to close, down to open.
- The two top front vents are small sliding covers. Slide towards the outside of the helmet to open, inside to close. The openings are fairly small. There are no intermediate stops to help with fine adjustments, so you'll probably open or close them completely while riding.
- The two rear vents are always open.
The vents work reasonably well. I noticed a reasonable level of cooling while riding on warm days.
There was a noticeable “whistle” between 35 and 55 mph, which seemed to be more pronounced on cross-winds. There was a fair amount of 'wind roar' in the area below the ears at the base of the helmet while riding a low-fairing sport bike (nothing unusual here, the low fairings on sport bikes seem to direct a lot of air to the shoulder area at normal speeds and riding position). Overall, wind noise (without hearing protection) was bearable for short trips – but you should wear hearing protection on longer trips.
Vision was unrestricted. The helmet body was just barely visible at the limits of side vision when peering to the left or right. My impression is vision is not impaired in any significant way by the helmet body.
Shield clarity and distortion
The shield quality is quite good–crystal clear and from what I can tell, absolutely distortion-free–this surprised me as I'm always expecting some distortion when trying budget helmets. Face shield quality is definitely improving.
The iShade™ internal shaded shield is a nice touch. There is a small rocker lever at the left side base of the helmet, just under your left ear. It's easy to engage the iShade™ shield during riding, just push back on the rocker and the iShade™ shield pops down. Push forward and it pops up, out of sight. The iShade™ works well, reducing glare when desired.
The AF-6B was comfortable on short rides. On longer rides, I felt the internal padding pressing against my ears, mostly on the left side. It became more noticeable (and irritating) after about an hour. It seemed like it was a minor thing during initial testing, but after a while it became a major concern. The helmet was a bit snug for me, so the ear pressure may be due to my fat head or big ears. If you are considering an AF-6B helmet, you might want to choose a slightly larger size than you normally wear, or be sure to test-wear the helmet for a while in the store before deciding on a size.
The AF-6B offers attractive features, good fit and finish, and attractive styling at a reasonable price. The styling is a combination of angles and rounded lines, which appealed to some but not others.
The main drawbacks during testing included moderate wind noise and a tight fit around the ears, causing some discomfort during longer rides.
For more information, please visit Fulmer Helmets.
Thanks to Fulmer Helmets for providing review materials and information.