Testing a helmet can be a bit daunting. You are basically getting a new helmet and something that might look cool with the choice of motorcycle. However, the fact that you will inevitably end up comparing it with your other helmets is what makes the choice so hard. Studds, one of the most reputed Indian helmet makers, sent us their Thunder D6 helmet across for a review. The Thunder D5, some research shows, has been around for some time and the D6 is relatively new. Both co-exist. The D6 is priced at Rs 1,895 and is available across all Studds dealerships as well as online. We used the helmet for over a month on a scooter, an ADV, commuter bike as well as a sportsbike. Needless to say, its fads and foibles have been listed in this review of Studds Thunder D6 helmet.
We have to give it 10/10 for being one of the most stylish helmets there is and which has a ISI certification. The graphics look high quality and so is the tinted (mirror finish in Studds’ speak) visor. It doesn’t accrue dirt as much as the matt paint scheme though it still picks up fingerprint stains. We like the neon yellow graphics that came with our test helmet. We ordered the XL size though it will be better if the website provided a proper analysis of how to measure your head for a helmet fitting. The plastics as well as overall quality seems really good at this stage though perhaps after a year and use in various climes will definitely help add to the perception.
Form over function?
Not really. The helmet has a hypoallergenic layer that prevents rashes and similar conditions when the damp (due to sweat or rain) fabric touches the skin. If you have an OCD or not, removing the cheek liners is easy and one can put them in mild solutions to clean. Unfortunately, instead of the more secure D-ring strap, you have a simple quick-release mechanism. While we understand that this is a budget helmet, something that offers a safer way of ensuring the lid doesn’t roll off your head in the event of a crash will be preferred. Apart from this, the fit is decently good though we would have wanted a slightly more snug experience.
There is a vent near the mouth and on the top of the helmet. These can be adjusted on the go and it is easy to do so as well. This being said, in Mumbai’s 38-degree temperature, you do end up sweating a lot under the helmet. Opening the visor does provide some respite though the opener is located at the centre and not towards your cheek as is the norm with the other helmets we’ve used. The tinted visor comes with a tan protection function. It comes with a warning that the visor is only for day use. This is again something we have a grouse with, as the visor limits useability in the night. We also couldn’t find a clear visor for our helmet on the Studds website. Removing the visor is an easy mechanism as well. The helmet is also light in weight (1300gm) while carrying but for prolonged periods of usage, the shoulder blades might start to crib a bit.
It was also observed that for low speeds, the wind noise was decently kept out of the lid. But then, when the speeds go above 80kmph, the wind, as well as other associated road noises, can be heard inside the helmet. A LS2 helmet, in comparison, might cost double of the Studds unit but has far better insulation.
Will you recommend the Studds Thunder D6?
If you’re on a budget, the Studds Thunder D6 makes for an okay choice. We though are of the firm belief that you should get the best helmet you can afford for yourself. You only have one head and if something happens to it, there is no replacement or restructuring that will save you. The Studds unit is something that can be reserved for city usage. We aren’t bringing our Shoeis or ARAIs to the equation as these are built to European and American standards and not only have far better quality but also comfort and safety. They also cost twice the monthly salary of an average Indian. The quest for that perfect entry-level lid continues.