Since you’re here, it’s likely you already know that riding a motorcycle in the sun is one of the highest pleasures of life.
But pleasure comes with an equal dose of pain, they say, and on a motorcycle, that pain comes as a stuffy face and a hothead.
If you’ve been stuck on a bike in traffic on a hot day, you know how miserable sitting inside a steaming hot helmet can be, but do motorcycle helmets ever have air conditioning? Find out in this article.
The Feher ACH-1 is the first self-contained, air-conditioned helmet available on the moto-market. The ACH is a patented full-face helmet that the brand claims evenly distributes cooled and filtered air across the rider’s head, reducing the ambient temperature in the helmet by as much as 18 degrees.
Do They Make a Motorcycle Helmet With Air Conditioning?
Feher makes a helmet called the ACH-1, the first self-contained, air-conditioned helmet available on the moto-market. Feher patented the design of the ACH-1 helmet, but it’s just a matter of time before more air-conditioned helmet technology is available in the wake of the company’s design.
Air-conditioned helmets have been a pipe dream of the motorcycle market since the 1980s. That said, until Feher’s game-changing ACH-1 helmet, all we had in the realm of air-conditioned helmets were failed experiments and dead-end passion projects.
Feher was able to provide the market’s first successful attempt at the air-conditioned helmet concept by borrowing technology they’ve been tweaking for years, doing what Feher does best, developing cooling automotive seats for high-end luxury vehicles.
Naturally, Feher was careful to patent the first successful crack at the idea, but that didn’t stop the market from throwing their luggage together and jumping on the train.
We predict a wave of copy-cat air-conditioned helmets of all classes will unfurl over the next few years.
Innovation lends itself naturally to inspiration, as does the money and clammer of moto-maniacs worldwide who can finally cool their faces while riding on a hot summer day.
While Feher themselves continues to develop the novel concept, it’s only a matter of time before other companies latch on to the idea. We expect to see lighter, more cost-efficient helmet A/C units in the upcoming few years—as much as we hope to see more luxurious and expensive competitor options.
As we said, if you can’t bear to wait, the Feher ACH-1 is a viable option. Read on to find out just how well the Feher ACH-1 works.
Do Bike Helmets With Air Condition Actually Work?
The Feher ACH-1 is the world’s first air-conditioned helmet concept that works. That said, it isn’t a blasting cold-air situation like in a house or automobile—the ACH-1 by Feher uses thermoelectric technology and a patented Tubular Spacer Fabric to cool the rider’s head.
The ACH-1 works in that it brings cooling relief to a rider’s dome while riding on a hot day, but there’s more to the story.
- The Feher ACH-1 helmet brings relief to riders on a hot day.
- The ACH-1 helmet does NOT blow a strong current of cold air like a window A/C unit or the power A/C vents in a car or truck.
- The A/C helmet uses thermoelectric technology and a patented Tubular Spacer Fabric to create super-effective cooling vents to bring relief to the rider, reduce sweating, and lower the ambient temperature by up to 18 degrees.
- The amount of temperature reduction depends on how hot it is outside; the hotter the temperature, the more reduction in heat you’ll experience, with the advertised range being between 12-18 degrees colder than the temperature of a non-air-conditioned helmet.
How Do Motorcycle Helmets Usually Ventilate?
Most motorcycle helmets ventilate via vents fabricated into the hard shell of the helmet. These vents are often equipped with screens that prevent dirt, insects, and debris from entering the helmet’s interior and sullying or causing pain in the rider’s face.
A helmet is necessary for preventing a crash, and a helmet with exceptional ventilation is ideal for encouraging riders to wear their helmet on a hot day.
A helmet vent does more than keep the rider more comfortable during long rides in the sun; helmet ventilation prevents stagnant hot air from interacting with the sweat on your brow and festering bacteria that stinks up the interior of your helmet.
Ventilation also gives air an escape route, stopping your helmet’s face shield or visor from fogging up. Ventilation also reduces misting when riding in the rain, humidity, and cold air.
Some helmets use slider switches over the vent holes, giving the rider a choice to open or close the vent.
That way, when riding in the cold, you can keep the vent closed or, on some helmet designs, crack the vent partially open to let the lid exhale all that fogging air without opening the vent to its full extent.
Here are a few other types of helmet vents available on the moto-market:
- Some helmets have one or more vent holes on the helmet’s crown that let air pass through the shell and into the helmet’s interior.
- Channels in the helmet’s polystyrene, shock-absorbent lining direct the airflow from the crown vent to the rider’s head.
- These channels direct the air to the rider’s head.
- Many modern helmets use cloth or fabric inserts to act as a comfort liner between the padding and the rider’s head. This comfort liner is often perforated to let the air directly into the helmet and onto the rider’s head from the pad channels.
- Most helmets have vents, or sometimes multiple vents, on the rear of the helmet’s shell that act as exhaust vents. These vents are generally designed to act as an escape valve or an exhaust vent. They give the hot and stagnant air a place to escape from.
- Many modern helmets also stock a few vents on the helmet shell’s chin bar to route airflow towards the rear of the helmet. They work together with the exhaust vents to create a crosswind. The effect is more than just a pleasant breeze across the rider’s face; the rear-directed airflow created by the cross breeze prevents the helmet’s face shield or visor from fogging up.
Is Air Conditioning Necessary in a Motorcycle Helmet?
A well-ventilated motorcycle helmet is necessary for preserving physical and mental health while riding on a hot day in a full-faced helmet. Still, a helmet with air-conditioning is more of a luxury than a necessity. Riders made do for over a hundred years without air-conditioned helmets.
The Feher ACH-1 is the first self-contained, air-conditioned, full-face motorcycle helmet available on the public market. While there have been other failed attempts, there hasn’t been a need for it, so companies have been slow to the draw for developing helmet air-conditioning.
Military issue air-conditioned helmets have been around for years now, but helmets geared for general motorcycle riding weren’t deemed necessary. That said, luxury sells.
When people start to get comfortable, they tend to look around and find other areas where they can shed discomfort.
Luxury motorcycles have been around; it was a matter of time before the desire for luxury motorcycle helmets festers.
AptEner Mechatronics, an Indian company, was the first to answer that luxurious call of desire with the Blusnap.
The Blusnap is a snap-on air-conditioning unit for motorcycle helmets. Still, it received mixed reviews from riders in moist and humid climates, as it functions as an evaporative cooler more than an air filter.
The Blusnap and many other snap-on units have consistently failed to gain momentum, as riders tend to find them overpriced and clunky.
The Feher ACH-1, on the other hand, distributes filtered and cooled air evenly through the helmet’s interior, or so claims the luxury accessory brand.
The ACH-1 helmet by Feher is the debut of utilizing thermoelectric technology and a Tubular Spacer Fabric liner to provide even and cool internal temperatures.
The ACH-1 may not be necessary, but it’s quite a luxury. Its multilayered fiberglass shell is reinforced with synthetic fiber, elevating this to the top of the line of helmets even before we consider the functionality of the A/C capability.
Feher’s ACH-1 is equipped with a scratch-resistant anti-fog face shield to provide clear-cut visibility even during harsh weather. And the quick-release feature allows popping the shield on and off with minimal effort.
In short, an air-conditioned helmet may not be necessary, but helmet ventilation certainly is. And the ACH-1 air-conditioned helmet from Feher is a luxury worth looking into for those who seek the finer things on bikes.
How Do You Know if a Motorcycle Helmet Will Be Too Hot?
A motorcycle helmet won’t get too hot to the point that it cracks, melts, or degrades when exposed to extreme temperatures. Helmet companies conduct rigorous testing on helmets before making them available to the market, and these tests include testing for durability under extreme heat.
That said, extreme temperatures will reduce the lifespan of your helmet, so it’s essential to consider the following variables. Avoid exposing your helmet to:
Extremes of temperature can reduce the longevity of your helmet, so it’s essential to store it somewhere cool.
While the shell is tested against such heat, the interior foam of a helmet is the same as used in refrigerators, designed to retain its form and size during extreme temperature swings.
That said, while the shell and foam are intended to endure extreme temperatures, the soft lining can get haggard and floppy, affecting the interior shape of your helmet and altering the helmet’s fit.
Sweat probably has the most adverse effect on the integrity of your helmet. As discussed above, many helmets come with vents to prevent stagnant air from interacting with your sweat and forming stinky bacteria in your pads.
Sweat corrodes the interior helmet lining, causing the foam to compress and the adhesives to fail. This alteration makes the helmet fit loose, making it less effective.
You’ll notice the helmet’s adhesive flaking off, usually in dirty, sweat-black chucks. Take these flakes as a sign that your helmet is getting too hot.
Hair products can also erode the helmet’s lining.
You can prevent sweat and hair products from degrading your helmet’s pads by wearing a cloth covering, like a bandana, balaclava, or skullcap.
Humidity affects the adhesives in the helmet in a similar way to the corrosively salinated sweat mentioned above. Store the helmet in a cool place, using the helmet nag it comes with to filter out some humidity when carrying your helmet around outdoors on a hot day.
Helmet shells and foam are both tested to endure extreme temperatures. Still, consistent exposure to the UV via exposure to the sun can corrode certain aspects of the helmet over time.