My first MT helmet arrived in early 2017, a Blade Alpha which you have seen in these pages not long ago. However, you won’t see any more of it because I’ve just acquired a new one – the Rapide. I’ve picked one in ‘Crucial Gloss Green’ spec because the other designs featured a matte finish, which I loathe with a passion.
Having scrambled all over the country with a succession of 1,500g lids, a lighter helmet was just too hard to resist. A lighter helmet makes looking over one’s shoulder for blind spots easier and that’s something I find myself doing a lot more on a motorcycle these days, given how chaotic our traffic conditions have become. Having developed confidence in Spanish helmet manufacturer MT – my old lid was well-finished, quiet and niggle-free – I was confident of the brand. The MT Rapide, priced at Rs 10,750 (plus Rs 1,200 for the iridium visor), ticks all the right safety boxes and promises good value, too, apart from fulfilling my primary requirement of being lighter – weighing in at 1,350g. The Rapide is ECE R-22.05 and DOT certified, which means it lives up to the safety standards implemented in Europe and in the USA, and that’s a good spec, even though it’s not as meticulously or obsessively designed as an Arai, although the latter (justifiably) tends to be far more expensive. So, what you get with the Rapide is a pretty slick-looking helmet with a fibreglass structure and a multi-density inner expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner. The chin-strap features a double D-ring fastener, which is universally required for racetrack use, and the liner is entirely removable and washable – a feature dear to me for obvious reasons.
Two-channel vent on top keeps commutes breezy.
The Rapide features a pinlock-ready, clear visor, which offers a good field of view, and also gets a push-to-release locking mechanism using a tab positioned on the chin bar. With the visor fully shut, the Rapide is decently quiet, although my Blade Alpha was quieter – speaking of which, the Rapide offers good ventilation (a chin duct and a two-channel head duct) for the price. The interior is of good quality, too, and even hours of riding in extreme heat (Rajasthan with the V-Strom) didn’t leave me uncomfortable. It also has embedded speaker pockets, but I don’t plan on using them anytime soon – I like my motorcycle rides old school, thank you.
In just over two months of everyday use, including some intense off-road riding as well, the Rapide still feels new and it’s faring wonderfully indeed. Buy one if you don’t have an ambitious budget but still want a good quality helmet with decent features and great styling. And let’s just hope I never have to tell you first hand how well it fares in the event of a crash.
Price: Rs 10,750