Fan-equipped motorcycle helmet automatically cools hot heads
Although many motorcycle helmets do have vents that help cooling air to flow through, it goes without saying that the slower the speed of the bike, the weaker that flow. Italy's Momodesign is offering a solution to that problem, in the form of a helmet with a built-in fan that comes on when the bike slows down.
Known as the Aero, the new helmet can be purchased as a stand-alone unit, but it's made to be outfitted with the company's optional app-controlled Tornado Ventilation System. This incorporates an internal fan that draws cool air in through a vent in the front, while expelling hot air through two vents in the rear.
The fan stays off at higher speeds, as the cooling effect of air naturally passing through that venting system is claimed to keep the wearer's head from getting too hot. A built-in GPS unit determines when the motorcycle has slowed down to less than 50 km/h (31 mph), however, at which point an integrated temperature sensor is used to measure how warm things are getting inside the helmet.
If it's found that the internal temperature is above a specific threshold (set by the user via Bluetooth, using the iOS/Android app), the fan kicks in, moving air through the helmet at a capacity of up to five liters per minute. It automatically switches off when the temperature returns to an acceptable level and/or when the bike gets back up to a sufficiently high speed. One 1.5-hour USB charge of the 1.8-amp/3.7-volt lithium-ion battery should be good for up to eight hours of use in an urban environment, at temperatures between -20 and 40 ºC (-4 and 104 ºF).
The fan, which is magnetically levitated within the system, has a loudness of 16 decibels when running at full capacity. It can also be manually set to stay on full-time in particularly hot weather, using the app – as an added safety feature, though, that app isn't usable while the bike is in motion.
Debuting earlier this month at the EICMA show in Milan, the Aero helmet should be in stores as of the end of next March. It will be available in four color combinations, priced at €368 with the Tornado Ventilation System included.
Potential buyers may also want to check out the Feher ACH-1 air-conditioned helmet (which recirculates air within the helmet instead of drawing fresh air in), or the BluSnap air-conditioning unit for third-party helmets.