Which FT helmet?

Need a helmet? Ever thought about a Frank Thomas one? There is a broad range of Frank Thomas motorcycle helmets available, but which one suits your needs best? Let’s have a look:

Are you new to biking but don’t know what kind of helmet to get? Have you been riding for years but wonder if a new style is for you? Do you want to buy for your partner/child and aren’t sure what to go for? Never fear! Frank Thomas motorcycle helmets are here!

Frank Thomas Helmets

Frank Thomas clothing has been a well-known motorcycle brand since 1982 (for more on that click here) Historically not known for helmets, although they did produce helmets under the brand Novak, Frank Thomas started releasing helmets under the FT banner in 2012. FT helmets are designed to be safe, functional and affordable. Granted, they are not Shoei nor Arai, but nor do they pretend to be. As they are a relatively new helmet brand there are only two of their helmets that have been Sharp Tested. Obviously, Sharp testing isn’t the be-all and end-all of motorcycle helmet testing. All motorcycle helmets have to pass the ECE 2205 safety standard to be legal for use on UK roads, however, it happened to be a Frank Thomas FLH01 helmet that was put to a very serious test with a hammer! For more details on that watch this video:

Which FT Helmet?

Let’s have a look at what helmets Frank Thomas have to offer and see which would be best for your needs.

Full-Face

Pros

Full-face helmets cover your entire head and face down to the base of the skull and the lower jaw. Despite high safety standards throughout all types of helmet, full-face helmets provide the best protection and are therefore the most popular type. A full-face helmet also provides excellent aerodynamics and the best for protection against the wind and elements. A lot of full-face helmets feature an “aggressive” shape to maximise aerodynamics at higher speeds and most now have sophisticated ventilation systems. Sports bike riders rarely don’t wear a full-face and its only full-face helmets allowed on the track.

Cons

While still the best-selling kind of helmet, some riders find they can feel claustrophobic. Full-face helmets can feel rather heavy and bulky compared to open-face styles. A full-face helmet can muffle the sounds of the road and despite Pinlock inserts and Bob Heath spray improving the situation somewhat (plus other improvements) there can be ventilation and visor fogging issues.

Examples

The Frank Thomas FT833 Predator features a small streamline shell in a streetfighter styling that is also fashionably retro. Available in a choice of four colours, the Predator is also reduced in price!

Available in a wide range of colours and designs, the Frank Thomas FT36SV full-face helmet boasts a more classic shape. The SV stands for sun visor which operates with a drop-down button and it also comes with a nose guard to help visor fogging.

Flip-Front

Pros

Versatility. Without a doubt, the growing popularity of a flip-front aka modular helmet is the ability to change it to an open face in an instant. Yes, you can open the visor in a full-face, but it’s not the same as actually escaping the chin bar. The removal of the chin gives greater visibility, the opportunity to pay for things/deliver (lots of couriers) and to have more conversations etc. The protection a flip-front gives is very similar to full-face helmets (especially with the new P and J homologation) so it’s easy to see why sales of these are the fastest-growing.

Cons

Despite vast improvements, flip-fronts are still heavier than their full-face counterparts. The added weight is inevitable due to the extra parts needed for the flip mechanism and operation. Again, while aerodynamics are also improved, they still cannot beat full-face helmets as they do have a separation in the shell.

Examples

The Frank Thomas DV06 helmet is designed for touring. The integrated sun visor gives protection against sun glare and this is available in a variety of colours and designs.

As featured in the video above after surviving (and protecting the owner!) from a clawhammer attack, the Frank Thomas FLH01 flip-front is available in either plain white or matt black and also boasts a drop-down sun visor with a comfort liner.

Open-Face

Pros

Open-face helmets are lighter than a full-face helmet with greater visibility. Some open-faces come with visors, some with peaks and some with none – something for everyone! Cruiser and scooter riders tend to favour the open-face helmet. Open-face helmets give the same advantages as a full-face with the chin bar pulled up – but without the added weight. Stylistically speaking, the open-face is a much-coveted fashion item, suitable for many different styles of bike.

Cons

For open-face helmets without visors, riders must wear some kind of eye protection, such as goggles, but the face is still exposed to flying projectiles and the weather. Let’s be honest, Great Britain is not known for its lack of wind and rain! In the event of an accident, the rider’s face is not protected at all and could be exposed to damage.

Examples

With an elongated visor, the Frank Thomas FTDV31 open-face helmet protects your face from the elements better than most. Available in a choice of colours, the FTDV31 is your classic touring style helmet.

Like a Ford in the early 1900s, the Frank Thomas OF01 Open Face helmet is available in a choice of black or black – but to be fair this comes in either gloss or matt. The peak is removable and the small shell is lightweight and extremely comfortable.

Adventure Touring

Pros

Motocross helmets are more specialist and are designed for off-road and enduro riding with a sophisticated ventilation system and washable interiors. Adventure touring helmets combine the best of both the touring and off-road worlds and can be used for both. A lot of motocross helmets aren’t road legal and if they are, require goggles for use whereas they are not needed with an adventure touring style.

Cons

With the off-road peak, adventure touring helmets are much less aerodynamic than full-face helmets and this can lead to neck fatigue on longer journeys.

Examples

Designed (and certified) for road riding, the Frank Thomas AS001 Adventure Sport motorcycle helmet has the ventilation needed for off-road riding with the luxuries necessary for touring such as a drop-down sun visor. Available in a choice of colours, the FTAS001 is a best-seller here at J&S – the popularity of adventure touring helmets is soaring.

Affordable yet versatile, the Frank Thomas Adventure MX motorcycle helmet has the peak and ventilation for motocross with the visor and safety standards for road touring.

Motocross

Pros

Motocross helmets are specialised and have an extended chin guard and sun visor. As off-roading (done properly!) means great physical exertion, the larger chin guard and more open design lead to less fogging. Ventilation is key to the design of all motocross helmets. Due to the large opening vision is great with motocross helmets and they are always lightweight.

Cons

No visor for road riding and like adventure touring helmets above, the peak does impact aerodynamics.

Example

Only one model of Frank Thomas motocross helmet is available, for now, the Frank Thomas SC16 MX Zombie helmet. Don’t let the lack of other models dupe you into thinking this is an inferior model. This is ultra-lightweight with an adjustable peak and a full ventilation system with rear exhaust vents and an extremely eyecatching, and unusual zombie design!

Children’s

There are also Frank Thomas helmets designed specifically for children in a choice of motocross or full-face.

Examples

Available in a choice of fun designs of a Ninja or Gorilla, the Frank Thomas FT15Y Kids MX helmet has an adjustable peak with an easy-to-use, yet highly secure, ratchet closure system. This is lightweight and the lining is fully removable and washable.

Lightweight and aerodynamic, the Frank Thomas FT36Y is designed to be as comfortable as possible for children (or small-headed adults!) to wear. Available in three fun colourways, the FT36Y is excellent value for money.

Until next time,

Stay safe,

Alex