Yes, you’re reading that correctly – helmets with LEDs. And it’s not some gimmicky customization feature. This is a real attempt at making you more visible at night when most cagers have a hard enough time seeing other cagers.
The good folks at M1C (aka Moto 1 Crown) sent us their Classic Half Helmet with visor (the M1-3T), and we’ve been wearing it for the last couple of weeks. We’re not sure it’s kept us from getting hit, but those who rode with us said we definitely stood out without looking idiotic. (We can do the idiot thing without any help.)
One thing we noticed right away was how light the helmet was. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we figured anything with built- in electronics would have to have a bit more heft than your average DOT-approved, half-a-brain bucket. But M1C has somehow figured it out and made the 10 white LEDs and three red LEDs run on nothing but two double-A batteries (included).
There’s a small switch at the back of the helmet tucked out of place under the rim, so you can turn the lights off when you don’t want or need them. It has a comfortable inner padding, but you’ll have to use helmet cleaner once it gets to the point of a good cleaning since the lining can’t be removed. Or wear a doo-rag or similar.
M1C makes four different models – two classic-style half helmets (one with visor, the other without), a military style half helmet, and a full-face helmet. They are all DOT/ECE approved, and have a standard loop and snap closure system to keep them on your noggin. The half-helmets start at just under $170 and the full-face comes in at just under $266.
We give this helmet a thumbs up and lights on. Check out this short video to see what it looks like at night.