The comfort and ease of using a flip-up modular helmet is an obvious one; how else can you stuff a burger in your maw while cruising the boulevard and then safely land on your face in the case of an accident and walk away unscathed? Without the benefits of a flip-up style helmet, that answer is no how.
In the market to replace my aging yet favorite workhorse helmet, the Icon Alliance, we ordered up the reasonably priced Fulmer M1 Modus for testing. It’s flashy but not gauche, with what seems to be a solid latching closure.
And it’s not too expensive, as is typical from Fulmer Helmets. The company’s philosophy for the past 40 years has been to provide “value for riders and service to dealers.” With an MSRP starting at $149 for solid colors ($179 for the Trident model shown), Fulmer lives up to its motto by providing a modular helmet at a bargain price.
The M1 Modus is available in 15 color combinations ranging from flat black to our wicked Blue Trident. A perfect mate to the Suzuki M90’s blue bodywork, and sparkling to boot! The helmet’s blue paint contains a glittering affect seen on the carnival rides of the ’70s. Keen stuff.
Unlike an earlier version of the Modus, tested by our old pal Eric Bass, both the head liner as well as the cheek pads are removable on the new M1 Modus helmet. The cheek pads are held in place with snap links, and the head liner utilizes sewn-in plastic edging that slips in between the outer shell and foam interior. The D-ring retention strap has also been updated to include the familiar plastic snap used to harness the loose, whipping end of the retention strap.
The Fulmer M1 Modus continues use of its Shoei-styled QR1 quick-release shield system. Fulmer offers a wide range of faceshields; along with the standard clear shield and typical smoke versions, Fulmer offers High-Def Blue and Yellow, a black-to-chrome graduated mirror finish and solid mirrored finishes in black, blue, ice blue and fire.
For cold-weather riding or snowmobiling, Fulmer also offers shields in dual-pane and electric versions. Plug in the heated shield for snowmobiling and swap it out for a smoke when you take the motorcycle out in the spring.
Ventilation is done with the simple flip of the chinbar or faceshield, as well as via the simple and flimsy (and quickly broken) lip vent that has just two positions – open or closed. Atop the helmet is another two-position vent with a more durable sliding vent door.
Flipping up the chin bar is a cinch with one hand thanks to a centerline thumb release at the base of the helmet. The thumb tab on the faceshield itself is rather small for gloved hands, but flipping the entire face of the helmet is a breeze – literally.
This was my first experience with a so-called modular helmet, and it initially felt oddly balanced on my head – the extra weight in the front of the helmet made my head want to tip forward. Thankfully the interior fitment is snug around the brow and not painful in any way. I compare the helmet’s fit to an old school snap-link baseball cap: a tight and solid fit that’s comfortable for a few hours, needing only an occasional adjustment during a full day of wear.
With the chin bar lowered to the full-face position, the lack of padding around your ear will make the helmet feel a bit baggy. In the flipped up position, the helmet feels overall like a top-heavy ¾-face helmet, although a modular helmet is never supposed to be worn in its open position while riding. If you do, you’ll find using the chin bar like a makeshift baseball cap visor helps when riding into a setting sun. A friction hold (rather than detents) provides for infinitely adjustable placement.
Fulmer Helmets suggests an in-person buying experience for its helmets; it doesn’t offer online sales of its product. This is because they want to ensure proper fitment, and I couldn’t agree more. I was shocked to learn that in order to find a snug and safe-feeling fit to my typically medium-sized head, I required an extra-small Fulmer! And because Fulmer produces helmets in different factories, the fit of its range of models varies a fair bit.
Sadly, and I guess it’s appropriate for the price point, is the lack of interior padding in the ear wells. With no insulation in that spot, only a few layers of thin plastic lie between your eardrum and the outer shell, making for a rather noisy helmet.
Fulmer Helmets offers this DOT-certified helmet as just one of its vast selection of automobile, snowmobiling and motorcycle helmets in both on- and off-road designs to price-conscious buyers. The Modus is a good value for the money, but there are better lids out there if you can afford them.