Well-known for their bicycle and skate boarding helmets, Nutcase recently announced that they’d be bringing their unique sense of style to new markets by making a line of scooter/motorcycle/Elio trike helmets. The first of those “moto” helmets came out this summer, and are now starting to make their way to dealers- like Parts for Scooters.
When I saw the helmets show up on Parts for Scooters’ site, I immediately called to ask about them. “What are they like?” I asked. “Are those designs decals or paint? Are they under the clear? Can you see out of the bubble visor or is there a bunch of distortion?”
“Here, I have an idea,” said Matt, my rep at PFS. “What size are you, and what’s your address? You’re gonna write a review.”
Matt is a freakin’ genius.
Nutcase Americana: the Review
The first thing I’ll say is that the Nutcase Moto helmets look incredible. They look fun in the pictures, of course, but that’s what Nutcase is known for. In person, the paint doesn’t wiggle, there’s no orange peel, and there was no visible “line” above the graphics. The thing looks for all the world to be hand-painted, but I know that it’s printed using high-tech whiz-bang-ery. Still, it’s convincing.
Getting the helmet on was less convincing- but that’s not Nutcase’s fault.
See, I ordered the largest XL size Nutcase in the Evel Knievel-inspired “Americana” style of moto helmet. Despite the “XL” tag, it just- barely- kind-of- half-way fit my massive dome. This wasn’t an issue of “breaking in”, either- this was simply too tight.
All the same, I was able to confirm that the interior padding would be comfortable enough. There were none of the weird smells of desiccants or chemicals that you get from, say, higher-end Italian helmets, either, and the bubble-like, flip-down visor was crystal clear.
In the end, I didn’t get the chance to do the full, mega-mile type of review I waned to when my Nutcase Americana moto helmet arrived, but a short ride around Oak Park was enough to tell me that this was a quality piece for the price ($149 on PFS’ website). Is the stitching “real”? No. Are there better helmets? Sure. But …
… are there better helmets that look nicer and are as much fun as the Nutcase moto line for less money? I don’t think so. Just, you know, make sure you don’t try to jam your XXL head into an XL and you’ll be fine.
Nutcase Americana Moto Helmet
Original content from Gas 2, with special thanks to Parts for Scooters.