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Roof Boxer V8 Helmet Review

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Roof Boxer V8 can be used as an open or full-faced helmet.
The Roof Boxer V8 can be used as an open or full-faced helmet and has a chin bar that can rotate close to 180 degrees.
Whether the folks at Roof Helmets really intended the “V” to stand for “versatility,” I’m not sure, but it very easily could.

The Roof Boxer V8 modular helmet design provides four modes of operation; for those who really want a helmet that can be used as a true open-face helmet with or without integral eye shield and as an aggressively styled full face helmet with or without integral eye shield. As a result, if your closet doesn’t have room for two helmets but you want the choice of open or full face riding protection, the Roof Boxer V8 has the versatility to do both.

The unique design pioneered by Claude Morin in 1995, is what gives the Boxer that versatility. Unlike most modular helmets that only allow the chin bar to be raised to a directly-overhead position, the Boxer chin bar can rotate about 180 degrees to a position completely behind the body of the helmet. As a result, where the overhead position makes the chin bar a sail that catches the wind in motion (some manufacturers specify their modular helmets are not to be used in the open position when riding), the Roof helmet design provides a clean line for wind to travel around the helmet allowing it to be used as a true open-face helmet at speed.

Riding with the chin bar locked into full face mode, the helmet is virtually unaffected by wind buffeting even at Interstate highway speeds. This may be due to the comparatively narrow profile of the helmet opening around its base. The opening tapers so close to the rider, the chin bar must be lifted open to put the helmet on and take it off.

Riding with the chin bar fully rotated to the rear for open face mode, wind buffeting is only slightly more noticeable. In this mode, the weight of the chin bar changes the balance of the helmet from neutral in full-face mode to a slight rearward bias. This does not produce adverse effects in use, even after riding for several hours in open-face mode.
The retention system is a standard nylon strap, with velour lining to the rider side, but it does away with the common double D-ring fastener in favor of a quick-release button buckle. The free end of the strap also does not have to be set into a hook and loop or snap closure each time because it is fitted into a nylon retainer.

Wind buffeting is only slightly more noticable in open face mode.
Metal pins hold the chin bar in place and metal pivot points ensure strength and precision to the fit of the Boxer V8.
Locking and unlocking the chin bar is accomplished by tabs on each side of the chin bar. Push the red buttons up and lift the tabs slightly away from the shell of the helmet and the chin bar unlocks from the metal pins that hold the chin bar in place. The pivot points are also metal, which afford both strength and precision to the fit. Locked in place, there is no slack or movement in the chin bar. Lowering the chin bar into position is easy once the rider is accustomed to lifting the tabs slightly away from the shell until the chin bar is all the way down; then it’s a simple matter of pressing the tabs in until the “click” from each indicates they are locked on.

Ventilation is accomplished by a single crown vent that opens both its inlet and exhaust port simultaneously with a single slide control. Effectiveness is moderate, perhaps, but wind noise in the helmet shell is minimal with the vent open. Frontal area ventilation is much more robust, with four rearward facing non-operable exhaust ports and two operable intake ports in the chin bar.

The standard visor has a curved profile with a very slight smoke tint, anti-scratch and anti-fog coating. Its bottom edge is sculpted to fit into the pliable material atop the chin bar, making a seal that has no discernible air leakage or wind whistle. The visor does not lock down by any mechanical mechanism, but does have a secure fit when correctly positioned. Moving the visor is facilitated by a metal stud through the middle of the top edge.

The velour interior is comfortable, spare and removable for cleaning or replacement. At the sides of the crown, it is interspersed with mesh panels to aid with ventilation.

The Roof Boxer V8 is a modular helmet that offers four modes of operation.
The velour interior is comfortable and removable for cleaning or replacement. Mesh panels at the sides of the crown help to aid ventilation.
The Roof Boxer V8 weighs in at a claimed 1,650 g (±50 g), within the average range of weights for modular designs. The relative absence of wind effects makes the Roof seem even lighter than it is. The shell is fiberglass with very high quality matte paint finish (the model shown is Orange Graphic). The helmet has ECE 2205 J certification for open face use and ECE 2205 P certification for full-face use.

Roof has another line of helmets with similar operating capabilities, but somewhat different appearance. Information on the Roof Desmo helmet line availability can be obtained from Roof at its website ( Roof Desmo helmets ). Pricing, accessories and spare parts for the Roof Boxer, Suzuka and Desmo helmets are available on the Roof Helmets website.
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Flyin'Finn   March 8, 2013 08:17 PM
The Motorcycle USA website, like most any other website, has the ability to reach readers worldwide, including the UK and European Union, where compliance with the tough ECE 2205 standards is required, so that's why a site like this provides information on products compliant with those standards. Similarly, CE armor, so popular in riding gear in the U.S. and around the world is compliant with European Union standards--because the U.S. doesn't have standards for impact protectors.
bikerrandy   February 25, 2013 08:10 PM
I'm surprised your discussing the attributes of a non-DOT helmet here in the USA. This helmet is illegal here, no matter how it performs.
Chaipilot   December 31, 2012 05:24 PM
-I have been using the leaky Roof Boxer for 6 years and am looking to get a Desmo which I hope seals out water better. I like to ride with it open around town, under 50 mph in the Florida spring to fall excessive heat. Above 50 mph, I like being able to pull the full-face down and ride with the added safety and wind deflection at full highway speeds. It rides around town with the front part all the way back and looks like it actually is an open face helmet. It is expensive at $400-$500 (depending on paint job) but to me is well worth it. I really like the helmet for its dual purpose functionality.
-I know this is a "review" and not a "test" but I wish MOTORCYCLEUSA would do a rain test with a water hose on helmets. That would tell a lot about real world useability.
BarryN   December 28, 2012 09:51 AM
I have no idea why anyone would want to switch from a full-face to an open-face helmet while riding. What's the big appeal to this type of helmet? And....what's the price, BTW?