As a replacement for its popular "modular" helmet, Ski-Doo's all new BV2S helmet is a major improvement over the original. While we liked the original modular well enough, it seemed too heavy and was a bit claustrophobic. But as a model that reduced fogging and served to protect the ol' noggin, we valued it.
We feel that the replacement is a better helmet in every way. It's decidedly more comfortable to wear for a long period of riding. Its fog clearing ability promises to be even better than the original, which was pretty good. The view out of the helmet's picture window is greatly improved. Plus, the new BV2S seems to be lighter overall, making it much easier to wear when riding long miles.
In order to get a feel for the new helmet-which we received just last week, we strapped it on for a chilly autumn morning motorcycle ride. We were interested in three things: comfort, anti-fogging capability and functionality. Except for one minor glitch, the new design helmet proved exceptional. Granted, this wasn't a minus-35 degree January day of snowmobiling, but +40 degrees on a motorcycle for a hundred miles or so can give you a hint as to how the helmet will likely perform in winter. If the shield was prone to fogging we should have gotten a hint during the early miles of our ride.
One major difference between the BV2S versus the old moldular hits you in the face right away. The mouth-nose cup on the new helmet fits and seals better than the modular's design. The BV2S cup is larger, softer and a better overall design than the setup on the previous premium helmet. Although it's a bit odd looking (is it like a fighter pilot's oxygen mask or a jock's protective cup?), the nose cup is well suited to fit a variety of nose sizes. To get a better fit and to tighten (or loosen) the seal on your face, the device can be adjusted by twisting the outside nose cone. This is really quite clever and works very well even with riding gloves.
The BV2S picture window of a face shield is excellent. It is infinitely better than the shield on the modular. Optically correct, the shield gives you an excellent straight ahead and peripheral view, especially critical when riding in a group.
We especially liked the flip-down and flip-up inner face shield. We used a yellow shield for this preseason test ride. The flip lever could be a bit bigger for when you're wearing regular bulky snowmobile mitts, but it's not really a big issue. A quick touch of the flip lever when the inner shield's down and the shield snaps out of view. Once you use this helmet you'll quickly adjust to the "feel" of it.
The overall comfort of our 2XL helmet proved much better than we expected. Being on the claustrophobic side, we never felt the helmet "closing in" on us. Indeed, this snowmobile helmet was far more comfortable than our regular open face biker bucket.
Not really. But, there are three quirky things that we noticed.
One-installation of the batteries used to power the rear-mounted red safety light is a real pain. There are a couple of tricks to installing the battery pack. After you've done it a couple of times it'll be no big deal, but the first few times may engender a "sacre bleu" or two.
Second-the instruction sheet, while wonderfully colorful and certainly expensive to produce, is virtually worthless for telling you how to do anything of real value, like install the batteries. They only hint at (a) location of the battery pack and (b) offer little help in the actual installation process. We'd like to see more step-by-step instructions with illustrations for battery installation, how to change an inner shield, etc. We're not all morons, but we're not all BV2S engineers either.
Third-the receiver portion of the buckle is a bit too difficult to release with any kind of gloves. We'd like to see the receiver strap extend a bit more-placed farther beyond the bottom edge of the helmet. And, we'd prefer a different, bigger or easier to manipulate release button such as the one used on the old modular helmet.
So What Did We Think Overall?
In a preseason test of the premium BV2S Ski-Doo helmet, we arrived at some very definite opinions. First, the helmet functions as promised. Second, the nose-piece is spacious and totally functional-more so than the modular's design. Third, the overall vision outward is absolutely exceptional in every way. Fourth, the inner shield is not just "cool", but extremely easy to use and-with its choice of colored replaceable shields-totally functional.
Would We Spend Our Own Money?
If we were spending our own money for this helmet, would we? Yes. This is the best full-face helmet we've ever used. It looks like permanent retirement for our goggles and ol' open face helmet. Ski-Doo's BV2S helmet is all that the manufacturer claims it to be. It's a terrific cold weather motorcycle helmet; we expect it to be equally adept for its main design consideration-snowmobiling!!