11 January 2024

Forcite MK1S helmet. High Tech Head Gear

First introduced in the early 1900s, motorcycle helmets were made of leather and were designed to protect the rider’s head from impacts. They weren’t very effective, and didn’t offer much protection. Technology has improved in leaps and bounds, and today, we have such things as ‘Smart Helmets’.

One of the latest players in the motorcycle helmet field are Forcite Helmets, with their latest product, the Forcite MK1S.

This is a high-end, premium piece of equipment. 

So let’s address the elephant in the room. This information is normally held for the end of reviews, but I feel that you should know up front as to what you are looking at. The current retail price for a Forcite MK1S helmet, with all the included technology, is $1399. This is comparable to other high-end helmets, such as the Shoei GT-AIR3, which retails around $1300.00-$1400.00, and that’s before you add the intercom tech for an additional $600.00, plus the price of additional action camera.

Forcite Helmets is an Australian company, and the helmets are assembled in Australia from materials and components sourced from overseas. Forcite Helmets are located in the Sydney Motorsports Complex at Eastern Creek. Forcite Helmets’ latest offering is the MK1S.

The MK1S has a carbon fibre shell, and is available in either a glossy or matt finish. There are two shell sizes, with various sized paddings to customize the fit, covering sizes XS to L, and the second shell size is for XL, and an in-between size of L/XL. They’re designed for an ‘Intermediate Round, head, and the sizing is ‘generous’. My personal helmet is a Shoei Neotech II, and I found the fit of the MK1S to be quite comfortable, with no discernible pressure points. The helmet cradled my head nicely, very similar to my Shoei, and there was a pleasant firmness to the cheek pads. The lining material is very premium and soft to touch, and, as expected in a helmet in this class, the linings are removable and washable. There are also Emergency Release tabs should the unthinkable happen. The helmet has a drop-down sun visor, and there are optional main visors available in clear, smoked and iridium. There are the usual ventilation systems, with vents at the forehead and top, and large exhaust vents at the back.

So, what’s in the box? There is a Certificate of Authenticity that is signed by the person who assembled your helmet, and all cables and chargers needed to keep the technology charged. The helmet and controller are charged from the same charging unit. There’s a premium Pinlock, and an in-depth instruction manual. It’s highly recommended that the owners read and understand this manual as there’s a lot to the integrated technology. Obviously the helmet and a premium helmet bag are also included.

What about the technology?

There’s a camera mounted in the chin-bar, with the ‘wishbone’ centreplate frame for the camera making for a stronger chin-bar. The camera shoots at 1080P resolution at 60 frames per second. This IS high definition, and is very acceptable for general use. It’s not quite ‘cinematic’, but if you’re into that sort of videography, I would hazard a guess that you already have the appropriate equipment. For those who partake in the odd track day, you can also use this camera on the track.

The speakers in the helmet are Harman/Kardon, and are upgradable to Master & Dynamic speakers. I didn’t get the opportunity to sample the sounds from the speakers, but I personally have Harman/Kardon speakers in my car and find them to be very good. The Master & Dynamic speakers are said to offer more bass response and some better clarity.

Of course there’s an App! The App links with the Heads Up Display (HUD), and other helmet functions, to show various road hazards and issues, along with GPS turn directions. The HUD is located on the chin-bar, and uses a combination of coloured LEDs to give various information. The Forcite App communicates with the WAZE App to allow these hazards and directions to be given to the rider. I’ve been told that there is no need to separately download the WAZE App.

The MK1S features integrated Bluetooth technology, however, there is no direct Rider to Rider/Pillion communication via Bluetooth or Mesh…..as yet. Rider to Rider communication can be conducted via your mobile phones that are paired to your own helmets, and via the Discord App where multiple riders can be connected, however this involves available phone, and internet reception. I will admit that I found this omission a little disappointing for a helmet in this class. I’ve been unable to find anything on the Forcite website to say whether this is something that may be coming sometime soon.

One very unique feature with this helmet is Forcite’s ‘Complimentary Insurance Policy’. If your helmet is damaged, or sustains an impact, such as falling of your motorcycle’s seat, the technology in your helmet can be transferred into a new shell for a fraction of the cost of a new helmet. Forcite’s engineers will check the electronics, run some tests, and where possible, install them into a new shell. A very worthy service.

So, I suppose the question is, would I buy one? It is a very beautiful helmet, it looks and feels very premium, and is well worth the money being asked. My head is worth at least $1399.00, and I have no qualms about spending that sort of money on a helmet, but there are a couple of issues that don’t make this helmet suitable for me….and please note that these are my personal opinions. The lack of Rider to Rider/Pillion Bluetooth/Mesh communication is a non-starter for me. I ride frequently with my wife, and we have always had direct communication with each other, she is my co-rider, and second pair of eyes, so that level of communication, for me, is vital. The other issue, for me, is that the helmet is a solid full-face, necessitated by the camera placement. I ride with a flip-face helmet, which is my preference. If these things are not important to you, then I would definitely recommend this helmet to you, it’s just not suitable for MY needs.

Lastly, I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to Clint and the crew at Brisan Motorcycles at 250 Maitland Road, Islington (www.brisans.com.au), and especially Lachy from the Spares and Parts team for taking the time to show me this helmet, and run through all of its features. Thanks a lot guys.

Enjoy Your Ride, 

Review by Paul Primmer

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