UK helmet manufacturer Ruroc has released the third edition of their Atlas motorcycle helmet. The aptly named Ruroc Atlas 3.0 features the same aggressive styling as its predecessors while offering a slew of improvements and upgrades. After having spent some time riding around in an Atlas 2.0 I decided it would fitting to give the 3.0 a test to see what all the fuss is about…
Ruroc Atlas 3.0 First impressions
The first thing to note about the Ruroc Atlas 3.0 is the box it comes in. Along with updating the helmet itself, Ruroc put some serious effort into how it’s packaged. The helmet comes double boxed to minimise the risk of damage during transport. The blacked-out inner box opens to reveal a neatly stashed user manual and a set of Ruroc decals. Delving deeper you’ll find the helmet inside its own carry bag. Padding on the lid and base of the box keep it doubly safe during shipment and my helmet came with additional visors which had been neatly packed around the helmet.
Upon removing the helmet from the carry bag I was greeted by the same angular aggressive styling of the previous model. It’s this styling that made the Atlas an instant hit with the motorcycling community. So, rather than reinvent the wheel, Ruroc focused on improving the helmets features and function.
The design I opted for was the Atlas 3.0 Fujin. The Fujin features a wild illustration inspired by the Japanese god of wind. The grey and gold graphics are laid over a matte black shell and the finish is top-notch.
Ruroc Atlas 3.0 vs Atlas 2.0
As mentioned, at first glance not much has changed on the exterior of the Atlas since version 2. The biggest visual change of note is a revised visor design. Where the visor attaches to the sides of the helmet Ruroc has removed the covers that previously held it in place. The new visor also features a chiselled lip that runs the full radius of the visor. Ruroc states that these changes have resulted in a more aerodynamic structure and decreased wind noise.
Ruroc has also redesigned the way the visor is installed. The new setup requires no tools and you can perform a visor change in under a minute. Another added benefit of this design revision is that the hinge mechanism requires less internal space. This in turn translates to a thicker, safer EPS liner on the sides of your temples.
Other less obvious external changes include how the Bluetooth audio unit compartment at the rear of the helmet is secured. Previously you needed a screwdriver to get in there, but now the cover is held in place using magnets for ease of access. Ruroc also says the buttons on the Bluetooth unit are 3 times larger to make operating them easier. For this review, I did not have a unit to test so I’m unable to comment on how effective this change has been.
The visor itself has also undergone a few changes. An improved seal helps to reduce wind noise as well as keeping moisture out. It’s clear that Ruroc listened to rider feedback and have improved both the visor locking system and how it can be positioned. The visor lifts easily using the thumb of your left hand and can sit securely in 5 different positions. You can also set the visor just off the locked position for demisting. However, as far as fogging goes, all of the Atlas visors come Pinlock ready so I’d recommend spending the extra money ($25) and never having to worry about it again.
Ruroc also says the visor boasts a superior field of view which translates to 100 vertical degrees of sight and 215 horizontal. There are also 9 different visor styles to choose from which are priced at $60 USD each.
Another offshoot of user feedback is the introduction of one additional shell size. The Atlas 3.0 comes in 3 different sized shells that are spread across the XS to XXL range. Different width internal padding fine-tunes the fit and the padding too has received an overhaul. Ruroc calls it their ‘premium comfort liner and padding‘ and it uses new materials and a revised fit for increased comfort.
The Atlas 3.0 also has several tried and tested features in common with the previous model. For starters, the shell is formed from the same aerospace-grade T-300 carbon fibre. This choice of material attributes to its respectable 1400 gram weight and both ECE and DOT safety certifications. The helmet also uses the same Fidlock closure on the strap which uses magnets rather than a traditional D-ring. This makes fitting and removing the Ruroc Atlas a cinch. For added safety emergency pull tabs can be used to remove the cheek pads. This helps to minimise head movement while removing the helmet in an emergency scenario. Furthermore, the Atlas 3.0 is Bluetooth ready using Ruroc’s own Bluetooth audio system. The unit slots into a compartment in the rear of the helmet and they’ve now integrated a signal boosting antenna into the helmet.
Pros and Cons of the Ruroc Atlas 3.0
Overall I have to start by saying I’m impressed with how far Ruroc has come with this helmet. They’ve only been a player in the motorcycle helmet game for a few years now and they can hold their own against some of the markets bigger, more experienced players. However, as with any product we test, the Atlas 3.0 has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look at them now.
For starters, I really like the new visor mechanism on the Atlas 3.0. The introduction of the ability to position the visor at different increments is a huge bonus. This is because I always use chin curtains on my helmets to reduce the wind and noise and it can get a bit hot inside. Having the option to open it just a crack is a huge benefit. I know this is something many helmets offer, but few offer as many different positions on the Atlas 3.0.
I have found the field of view in this helmet to be excellent. Looking straight ahead you can hardly see any of the helmet that is surrounding your face. You also have ample peripheral vision to take in what’s going on around you. However, closing the visor for a complete seal requires more than just your thumb. To seal my visor I have to pull down lightly on the upper edge before it will click closed. Over time I would assume the mechanism will loosen and to be honest, it’s not a huge issue.
A complete lack of hair, on the top of my head, gives me a sixth sense when it comes to helmet ventilation. Getting too hot inside this helmet is never going to be an issue. While riding in the Atlas 3.0 I can literally feel the breeze passing over my naked noggin. This makes it a great choice for warmer climates but probably not so much in cooler conditions. This is because many of the helmets vents can’t be closed.
The large chin vent is one that can be opened and closed using an internal switch. Unfortunately accessing it can get fiddly when you have bulky gloves or the chin curtain installed. When it’s closed though it does its job well. Unfortunately, the vents at the top of the helmet can’t be shut. I’d like to see Ruroc introduce more control here because it would help to make this helmet four-season compatible. As it is I see the Atlas 3.0 as an ideal summer riding companion.
When compared to the 2.0 wind noise inside the Ruroc Atlas 3.0 has definitely improved. Ruroc’s changes to the visor, neck padding and chin curtain have all paid off. Just don’t expect it to be quieter than every helmet you’ve ever owned. Compared to some other helmets in my collection (like the super quiet AGV K6) the Atlas 3.0 is a noisy helmet. But I always ride with earplugs and recommend that everyone else should too.
In terms of how much noise you get in the Atlas 3.0, I’d compare it to your average modern-retro helmet (Bell Bullitt I’m looking at you), but I think there is still room for improvement.
Although they look great, the vents on the lower sides of the helmet are not functional. I feel if Ruroc replaced these with a smooth chiselled panel as opposed to the faux, perforated vents it’d be a step in the right direction. Especially considering how close these sit to your ears. But for now, I’m happy to continue using earplugs as per usual.
During my research of this helmet, wind whistle was something that other reviewers raised. My experience was no different. Below 60 mph I didn’t get any whistling. But at higher speeds, when doing head checks or with the visor wide open, it did occasionally whistle. Thankfully I tend to keep my visor closed at high speeds and tend to look straight ahead most of the time.
What I really like about this helmet starts with the fit. My head shape is oval and the Atlas 3.0 suits my melon perfectly. The cheek pads are snug, but not so much that I’m pouting like a fish. The “premium liner” is indeed very comfortable and it didn’t leave any odd-looking indentations on my head.
When putting the helmet on I took Ruroc’s advice and slid it over the rear of my head first. It is a tight fit and I do have to adjust it once it was on, but I prefer a snug fit to a loose one.
Then there’s the styling.
If you want a different looking helmet, look no further. The sharp angles of the Atlas 3.0 are aggressive and distinctive – and then there’s the graphics. Ruroc has released some very wild designs that are sure to raise eyebrows and polarise opinions. However, if you’re not into showy graphics, Ruroc offers a few more sedate finishes that let the helmets unique shape really shine.
Special edition ATLAS 3.0 Batman and Joker designs
To further expand on the Atlas 3.0 offering Ruroc has just released a pair of special edition designs. Working with DC Comics they have developed the Batman and Joker Atlas 3.0 helmets. Inspired by the comic book hero and his arch-nemesis the Batman series helmets feature exclusive graphics and are available in limited quantities.
Ruroc has once again put together an appealing offering with the introduction of the Atlas 3.0 helmet. Priced between $450 – $575 its price may not appeal to everyone, but it’s on par with some of the higher-priced modern-retro helmets on the market. Thanks to the latest upgrades the 3.0 is a big step up from the previous version and we expect even better things to come from this manufacturer in future.