The New KALI NAZA Carbon Helmet Review
Monday, May 14, 2012
My search for a lighter helmet led me to KALI Protectives where I met Brad Waldron, an aerospace/composites engineer from California and one of the founders of KALI Protectives. After introductions and me telling Brad what I was looking for, he started explaining in detail the safety aspects of this new technology KALI has developed. I was immediately interested and we worked out an agreement for me to try one out !!
I received the new KALI NAZA carbon just in time for a two day event/test at Bristol Dragway. Included in my package were a clear, a dark smoke, and an iridium anti-fog, anti-scratch shield, an ultra soft helmet cover, and a very nice storage/travel bag!! I selected the “Darkness” edition with a high gloss black over carbon fiber finish and subtle graphics.
I wear a medium (57-58 cm 22 3/8 to 22 ¾ in 7 1/8 to 7 ¼ hat size) and this one fit very well. The first and most noticeable thing about this new NAZA is the weight….drastically lighter than my other helmets. The shell design offers a great benefit for motorcycle drag racers…the upward contour in the rear allows for a really great tuck position. There is no interference between helmet and leathers at all and the front of the chin area is actually dropped down a bit to offer better aero dynamics. I noticed after the first couple of passes how much of an improvement this shape was over previous helmets and again, the lighter weight was fantastic!
Qualifying runs were in mid day with bright sunny conditions. I decided to try the iridium shield. It is very effective in reducing glare while maintaining superb visibility. Eliminations were held after dark so I switched from the iridium to the clear shield. On my second run I tested out the anti-fog claim by closing my shield completely before the burnout and left it closed until after the run. Even during the intense moment between staging and the tree activating, I did not experience any sign of fogging!
Day two of testing saw three back to back runs in the upper 190’s with the NAZA helmet performing flawlessly. Fit, feel and finish were all very nice and the added comfort of the shell design when in race position as well as the light weight really impressed me! Anyone in the market for a new helmet, either for street riding or track days should take a moment and look into the KALI Protectives line. Light weight, innovative design and cutting edge technology in safety all combine to make them well worth checking out !!
For additional coverage technical information on the KALI NAZA Carbon Helmet, please keep reading below.
ABOUT THE NAZA CARBON HELMET
Naza means 'DESTRUCTION'
The NAZA™ CARBON Helmet represents technology driven performance as Kali Protective’s brings award-winning COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus technology to road motorcycle helmets. Mechanically bonding the EPS foam liner with a Carbon tri-weave shell equals unparalleled strength and lightness to further enhance your on-road performance.
Years in development, this revolutionary construction incorporates pyramids of different CONTEGO™ foam densities to provide the softest materials next to your head. With an advanced tri-weave shell providing the skeleton, COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus technology provides not only one of the lightest possible helmets but also one of the most protective.
The NAZA™ CARBON Helmet is also feature rich with a cutting edge shape, dual density cheek pads and its integrated ventilation system to assure the rider’s maximum style and performance.
Carbon/ Kevlar/Fiberglass Tri-Weave Shell with COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus
Dual Density CONTEGO™ EPS Liner
Performance Dual Density Cheek Pads
Integrated Airflow System
Antibacterial, removable, washable liner
Anti-scratch and anti-fog face shield (with Quick Release)
Double D-Ring fastening system
Safety certifications include ECE22.05, DOT (FMVSS 218)
Meets or exceeds AMA, FIM, CCS, WERA racing standards
Two Shell Sizes for optimum fit
5 Year Limited Warranty
Safety certifications include DOT (FMVSS 218), ECE22.05
Includes Kali Helmet Storage/Travel Bag
The purpose of a helmet is to absorb the energy of an impact to minimize or prevent a head injury. A helmet does this by transferring the energy to the foam, which crushes as it absorbs the impact. However, the way in which a helmet is constructed can play an important role in how the helmet absorbs the energy.
There are basically two ways that most companies construct a helmet. The traditional construction of full-face and skate-style helmets features impact foam glued to a hard outer shell. The other common way, which is typically used in cross-country-style helmets, has the foam molded directly to the hard exterior shell and is commonly referred to as in-molding.
Using an advanced form of in-molding, Kali has developed two designs that effectively disperse impact energy better than a traditional full-face helmet, which allows them to offer the same or better protection as other helmets in a lighter package. The secret is in their patented manufacturing technique and tooling; Kali is the first company to figure out how to produce the full outside shell of a full-face and then to have the EPS injected inside that formed shell. Here’s a quick overview of a traditional full-face helmet construction compared to Kali’s COMPOSITE FUSION™ and COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus technology:
As you can see by this image, a traditional full-face helmet design features foam glued to the inside of the outer shell. While this helmet construction can provide adequate protection, it is not ideal because the design can leave gaps in between the foam and the shell. When a helmet sustains an impact, the force must first break through the hard shell before it gets to the part of the helmet that dissipates the energy. Besides offering a more durable helmet covering, the main role of a hard exterior is to help spread out the impact energy across more of the foam inside the helmet to absorb the shock. In addition, many helmet manufacturers use dual density foam to help absorb the impact energy more efficiently.
COMPOSITE FUSION™ Construction:
Kali’s Composite Fusion™ design provides a super tight (almost molecular) bond between the helmet shell and the energy absorbing material inside. This tight connection between these two materials prevents gaps, which transfers shock more efficiently through to the softer EPS foam materials. It also allows Kali to use a thinner shell that breaks down faster and allows the energy to be absorbed more efficiently. Kali also uses dual density foam, with the softer material near the head, to dissipate the energy sustained from an impact.
Helmet’s with COMPOSITE FUSION™: Kali’s Bike line features the AVATAR™ full-face, SAMRA™ dirt lid, and AVITA™ and AMARA™ cross-country helmets. Kali’s MX line features the AATMA™ and Kali’s Street line features the NIRA™.
COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus Construction:
Taking the COMPOSITE FUSION™ technology a step further, Kali’s COMPOSITE FUSION ™ Plus has the same super tight connection but also incorporates a special impact foam design. Using geometric shapes of different densities inside the foam, the Composite Fusion™ Plus technology further helps dissipate the shock forces as they travel through the foam. In this image, the different colors of the dual density foam highlight the pyramid shape of the Composite Fusion™ Plus design, with the softer material near the head.
Helmet’s with COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus: Kali’s Bike line is rumored to receive an AVATAR II with COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus, possibly also an XC lid. Kali’s MX line features the PRANA™ Carbon and PRANA™ FRP and Kali’s Street line features the NAZA™ Carbon and NAZA™ FRP.
Based on thousands of actual test results, this G-Force Scale demonstrates how impact force is registered and dissipated as the helmet takes impact. As you can see by the illustration, different types of helmet construction and materials absorb and dissipate impact energy differently.
Traditional As a traditional helmet absorbs the force of an impact, the transition from the hard shell to the foam is highlighted by a dip in the impact energy being absorbed (as the shell breaks down). This is not only inefficient, but can allow the energy to slightly magnify rather than continue dissipating.
COMPOSITE FUSION™ The way in which a COMPOSITE FUSION™ helmet absorbs the energy of an impact is much more fluid and effective than a traditional helmet. The smooth curve provides constant impact dissipation through the super tight shell/foam connection, reducing energy spikes.
COMPOSITE FUSION™ PLUS Compared to a COMPOSITE FUSION™ helmet, a COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus helmet is even more efficient at absorbing impact energy, thanks to it additionally channeling impact energy laterally through its geometric shapes of dual-density foams. This promotes constant energy dissipation until the impact is relieved.
The G-Force Scale sidebar is a good way to compare the different ways that a Traditional, COMPOSITE FUSION™ and COMPOSITE FUSION™ Plus helmet design deals with energy absorption. You can see that Kali’s helmet designs disperse impact energy much more effectively and efficiently than a traditional full-face helmet. This not only makes their helmets safer but also allows them to be lighter. All of Kali’s mountain bike helmets are pass CPSC certified in North American and EN1078 certified in Europe, and their motorcycle helmets are DOT and ECE22.05 certified.
We really like Kali’s helmet designs. They have a comfortable fit and the weight is really noticeable during a full day of riding. In addition, the lighter weight of Kali’s motocross helmets is another incentive for riders looking for more protection than a mountain bike full-face.