There are some startups with their prototypes of air-coolers or air-conditioners for motorcycle helmets. We've reported on them as well, but they're all aftermarket equipment. Feher Research, however, has finally designed a helmet with a cooling system integrated into the shell. And, by the looks of it, the Feher ACH-1 could be promising. Feher ACH-1 comes with an integrated A/C unit at the back of the head and all that's required to plug it into your motorcycle battery.
Feher's new AC helmet gets Feher's Tubular Spacer Fabric that helps spread the cool air inside the helmet evenly. While air-conditioners tend to blast cool air in your face, but the ACH-1 mainly aims at reducing the temperature inside the helmet. The system has been designed to bring the temperature down by up to 15 degrees. So, hotter the ambient air is outside, greater will be the temperature difference.
Riding in the summer can get difficult. In fact, heat leads to an easily irritable mood as well. Keeping the head cool will allow an overall benefit to the body. Just by cooling the head, a ride can be much easier. Although Feher says it's alright to use the helmet in bad weather conditions, they also recommend that it mustn't be used in pouring rain.
Adding an air-conditioner could raise concerns of increased weight, but Feher ACH-1 weighs in at 1,450 gm. For perspective, an Arai RX-7X weighs in at 1,504 gm and an HJC RPHA 10 weighs 1,585 gm. So, ACH-1 is actually lighter than some offerings. The shell is made from a fiber mat reinforced fiberglass composite which helps keep weight low.
Feher ACH-1 has DOT and ECE 22.05 safety certification and is available online on Feher website. The price is $599, but the firm is celebrating its launch with an introductory price of $549.99 (approximately Rs 38,600). It comes with its own backpack, gloss and matte finishes, clear, anti-fog and anti-scratch treated visors as standard. Other visors are also available.
Considering we live in a very hot country, well at least some states are, Feher ACH-1 would make so much sense in India. And, a lot of us would've been thrilled about getting ourselves an ACH-1. But the Indian government will be dancing on this parade.
In a couple of months, all international safety standard helmets will be banned in our country. All Arais, AGVs, Shoeis, HJCs, Sharks and the likes will be illegal material, since they comply with DOT, ECE, Snell, and other such international safety standards. All non-ISI certified helmets will be banned, which is good news for the safety of those who never wore helmets or depended on roadside trash, but those who chose higher safety standards will not be happy. And sadly, Feher ACH-1 is also too safe for our country's taste.