It is easy to mention minefields when it comes to being bamboozled by the number of similar types of product on the market, and helmets are no exception. Full face, open face, modular, half face, off-road, dual-sport; little wonder that we sometimes get confused.
Much depends on what type of bike you own, but with some many of us fortunate enough to own more than one machine these days, it begs the question, do we use the one helmet for all, or do we have a range of helmets depending on the bike and activity!
Personally, I have worn a full face helmet for the last couple of years, before trialling a modular (flip-up) helmet from Shoei, the Neotec 2. This hybrid of open faced and full faced helmet was the first modular style I had tried with a hinge. And whilst I very much enjoy wearing it due to its comfort and quietness, I would love to know who came up with the common misconception that modular helmets were built for smokers!
The good think about open face helmets is that their popularity reigns across various styles of bikes and riding, from scooters to café racers, tourers and cruisers. Whilst the open face does not have a chin bar, thereby leaving one’s face exposed, they are still considered structurally equal to a full face helmet in terms of safety in the areas that they do provide coverage. And unless you are visor down, partial or full face, occasionally you are going to get clobbered by inclement weather conditions and road debris.
The EECE 22.05 approved jet El’Tange weighs in at approximately 1350gr and is constructed of a thermoplastic polycarbonate shell with a steel strap with micrometric closure and Quick Release System. Ventilation is excellent, with three vent Clima System ventilation (two adjustable front inlet vents and adjustable rear extractor to maintain the internal temperature constant). The helmet boasts a Class A approved polycarbonate anti–scratch transparent visor with pre-setting for a Pinlock lens, and concealed inner polycarbonate sun visor activated using a grip control rotating knob on the side. You can also purchase separately a dark outer visor, obviously for daytime use only. I am also impressed with the anti-turbulence upper profile which helps reduce noise when the visor is open. And talking about night-time riding, the El’Tange has a high visibility light reflecting insert on the back.
So, what about the comfort. That’s a big tick too, thanks to the breathable, hypoallergenic microfibre, with Aero 3D mesh inserts and the innovative luxury thermoformed design specifically to reduce seams. The inner is removable and washable, and there is ample space around the ears. And here’s yet another big tick… the helmet is Bluetooth device compatible complete with allocated housing for earbuds, and it is also designed for use with glasses, which I have found simple to slide in and out.
VERDICT: The Tucano Urnabo El’Tange is a thoroughly modern helmet being Bluetooth compatible and designed for glasses wearers. Extremely comfortable and quiet too, it comes in a range of stronge colours and at an excellent price point.
Sizing is XS – 53-54 S – 55-56, M 57-58, L 59060, and XL – 61.
TESTER: MICHAEL COWTON