Quin Quest modular smart helmet will call for help if you crash
Texan company Quin Design has released a remarkable flip-up, carbon fiber smart helmet for adventure and touring motorcyclists, with built-in Bluetooth communications and the ability to detect crashes and call for help when a rider's in trouble.
We're huge fans of helmet communications gear for a bunch of reasons, but for most riders, installing a Bluetooth system is a slightly messy process that ends up feeling a bit hacky, with big lumpy things hanging off the side of your lid and wires bunching up under your helmet liner.
Most of the big helmet companies have so far been reticent to get into the electronics business, preferring instead to build lids that can be upgraded with tailored third party gear to give you a semi-integrated smart helmet, but fully integrated smart lids have remained the domain of the Bluetooth companies themselves (in the case of the Sena Momentum series) or of smaller companies rushing to fill the gap.
Quin Design is one of these smaller companies, and I have to say it looks like they're doing a pretty good job. After releasing a range of full face and retro open-face smart helmets, the company has now taken a stab at a modular flip-face designed for touring and light adventure use.
The Quin Quest is a carbon-shelled convertible – well, the main bit's carbon; the chin bar looks like it's not. It's got plenty of ventilation, nice-looking removable liners, a very civilized built-in drop-down Sun visor, and a quick-release dirtbike-style Sun peak you can leave on or pull off depending on how adventurous you want people to think you are. Sadly, the visors don't appear to be compatible with Pinlock anti-fog inserts.
The Bluetooth system's built right in, with a small control panel sitting on the left side offering five chunky buttons. There are no wires to be seen, which is great, although the lack of detachable modules means you'll have to drag the whole helmet over to the USB charger. It doesn't appear to be an intercom system, mind you, just an interface through to your smartphone from which you can make and take calls, and play navigation and media audio.
If you crash your bike – and really, why wear a helmet if you're not planning to use it – a built-in crash detection system is triggered. If you don't tell it to cool its jets within a countdown period, it'll send out push notifications, emails and SMS messages to your emergency contacts, who can then follow up, potentially getting emergency services to the scene quicker than they might otherwise.
There's also an SOS beacon function for if you're in danger and unable to stop. Hitting the call button three times will start an SOS countdown that will send your live-tracked location to your emergency contacts in the same way. Both these systems appear to rely on you having phone coverage wherever the trouble happens, and that could be an issue particularly for off-road riders, but it's certainly a step in a good direction.
Even with this gear built in, the Quest is pretty lightweight at 3.86 lb (1,750 g) – although it's still heftier than my much-loved daily driver flip-face, the AGV SportModular, which weighs 3.55 lb (1,612 g) in its current configuration with a Cardo Packtalk Black Bluetooth system attached.
At US$699, it's not a badly priced entry into the modular market; there are certainly cheaper flip faces on the market, but there are more expensive ones as well, and none of them offer the built-in electronics that the Quest brings to the table. It's on pre-sale now, in sizes from XS to XXXL, DOT- and ECE-certified, with deliveries slated to begin next month.
Source: Quin Design