Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Check out our new Joe Rocket RKT Black Hybrid Motocross Helmet

Summary:  Excellent quality helmet with solid features and attention to detail is surprisingly quiet in most situations. 
Slightly heavy and visor clarity issues don't detract from our overall impression of this new helmet from Joe Rocket.
Joe Rocket recently introduced a new line of motorcycle helmets to compliment their established and successful line of clothing.  The RKT is the first in what will probably be an expanded line of helmets for the company.
It wasn't too long ago when the name "Joe Rocket" meant cheap, low-quality apparel that was snubbed by the Aerostich-wearing cognoscenti.
The brand could have taken one of two paths after that; spend some money developing name equity and then sell out to make a quick buck (the low road) or high-road it by putting in the time, money, resources, sweat and headaches to do it right.
Fortunately for us, the owners of the Joe Rocket brand took the high road and the motorcycle world is better for it, because Joe Rocket has become one of the most respected names in motorcycle apparel. 
There's a good reason for this: If you had to buy your motorcycle gear from just one manufacturer, you couldn't do much better than going soup to nuts with Joe Rocket.  Their products are generally very good and the breadth of choices they offer is outstanding.
Adding a line of motorcycle helmets certainly has its risks.  First of all, there's the incredibly crowded market that covers every price point and feature set imaginable.  How anyone makes a buck in that business is amazing, especially when you consider that insurance alone costs 10% of the coverage desired. 
This means that $10 million in coverage will cost a cool $1 mil.  Think about how many helmets would have to be sold in today's cutthroat market just to cover that single expenses?  Then you have the issues of dealer support, customer service and, of course, the complex, monopolistic and creaky old-boy U.S. distribution system for motorcycle gear. 
Just breaking into that club can take years, and then only if you can prove you're worthy to the minions who dominate the system.  We've heard from many small manufacturers who have simply given up after years of fighting, and we all suffer from that because we don't have the choices we would have otherwise.
But that's a different story for a different time.  Obviously, Joe Rocket has the market clout to make people sit up and listen; thus, they were able to bring a helmet to market that will probably become widely successful just because it will be in every mom and pop bike shop in the hinterlands.
But readers know that's not enough -- if the helmet doesn't deliver the goods, you won't fork over the cash.  So does the helmet deliver?
Well, when a company who has built a reputation like Joe Rocket brings a motorcycle helmet to market, you'd expect it's going to be good and we'll tell you straight up that the RKT is a winner. 
We'll cut them a little slack because it's their first attempt, but the RKT isn't just a good first try, it's an excellent piece of work that should shame other helmet manufacturers who have been in the business, oh, shall we say 20 or 30 times longer?

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