SENA Momentum HelmetEditor Score: 83.25%Aesthetics 7.0/10Protection 8.0/10 Value 8.75/10Comfort/Fit 8.5/10 Quality/Design 8.0/10 Weight 9.0/10 Options/Selection 7.0/10Innovation 9.0/10Weather Suitability 9.0/10Desirable/Cool Factor 9.0/10Overall Score83.25/100
Sena has ventured into the competitive world of helmet manufacturing with its new Bluetooth integrated full-face helmet line-up. The Korean company has already established itself as a, if not the, leader in Bluetooth communication technology when it comes to the powersports and outdoor markets. The company is now producing four helmets integrated with Bluetooth: Momentum Lite, Momentum, Momentum INC, and Momentum Pro. After having spent some time testing the Momentum, let’s take a look at how the new Bluetooth integrated helmet functions.
MO Tested: Sena 20S EVO Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System Review
In terms of Bluetooth technology, the Sena Momentum helmet offers the same functionality as the Sena 20S system that the company originally introduced in 2015. Our very own Evans Brasfield reviewed the 20S and praised it as “my favorite of all the systems I’d ever sampled,” a noteworthy comment from a man who has tested the majority of the best communication technology the motorcycle industry has had to offer.
Sena 20S Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System Review
Evans’ review of the 20S system is incredibly thorough and I would suggest checking it out if you’re interested in the intricate details of the system’s functionality as the Momentum helmet uses the same tech.
The Sena Momentum differs from the company’s other communication systems in that it allowed the manufacturer to fine-tune the speakers, microphone, Bluetooth, antenna, and interior to best work in its own helmet. When Sena builds systems such as the 20S or 20S Evo, they have to make a product that will fit in a broad spectrum of helmets in order to function universally. I’m a fan of my 20S EVO and the 30K isn’t bad either, however, no other system I have used offers the audio quality that the Momentum produces.
Listening to music and taking phone calls sounds great with very clear audio quality and the microphone sounds just as good on the other end. When my wife and I went to her Spyder Rider Education training I opted to use the Shoei RF-1200 with a 20S EVO installed and had her wear the Momentum. The two helmets worked very well together in terms of audio, but at highway speed with her helmet taking the brunt of the wind, I noticed the microphone in the Momentum was relaying a constant droning of wind noise to my speakers which was rather annoying. After trying many different settings via the Sena smartphone app, we were still unable to correct the problem.
Three buttons are all you need to navigate the features of the Sena Momentum helmet.
To access all of the helmet’s features, the three buttons on the left side of the helmet are all you need. The instructions are very clear and the helmet comes with a quick guide pamphlet in the box which is very helpful. Instructions are also available on Sena’s website.
One aspect that took some getting used to while using the helmet’s various functions, were the sequences needed to prompt specific functions. Taps to turn the volume up or down must be deliberate and evenly spaced so as to not prompt double-tap initiated features such as scanning while using the FM radio. Thankfully, push-and-hold sequences are followed by different tones to let you know you have accessed the correct function. The helmet has four of its own voice commands that can be accessed by simply saying “Hello Sena” which allows you to turn on/off the radio, start/stop music, choose a paired intercom, and call pre-set speed dial numbers. You are also able to use voice commands on your phone.
When tested with the 20S EVO installed on a Shoei RF-1200, the Momentum relayed a constant transmission of wind noise from its microphone to the 20S EVO.
As with any system, the functions and sequences to access them take some getting used to, we suggest learning how to use the helmet before your first ride with it to minimize distraction.
At one point, I found myself having a lot of functional issues between my phone and the helmet which led me to surmise that it may need a software update. The process is simple. After downloading the Sena Device Manager to your computer, checking for software updates only requires plugging the helmet in and letting the program check your helmet’s latest software update. Sure enough, after a new update was installed, all of my problems were solved, and I was able to go forward with the system working normally.
Sena says the Momentum has a one-mile range for intercom usage, however, when tested with a 20S EVO, we only were able to get approximately a half mile of straight line-of-sight range before the audio started breaking up.
Battery life is rated at 20 hours of talk time and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use the helmet for a long enough stretch to gauge real-world battery life. The Momentum was able to survive multiple days of use. Note that I did not say all day for multiple days, but rather intermittent use over multiple days.
The Helmet Itself
Fit of the helmet is said to be intermediate oval according to Sena, which works well for my head shape. The Shoei RF-1200 is one of my favorite fitting helmets which is also claimed to be an intermediate oval fitment. The Sena Momentum fits relatively well, yet is slightly more round than what the Shoei calls an intermediate oval. I initially had slight pressure fore and aft with a little extra room on each side. It was never enough to bother me and has now broken in to the point that I don’t feel any extra pressure. The sides however, also feel to be breaking in a bit which is creating even more room where it already felt slightly loose. The plus side to a little extra side room? Fitting sunglasses isn’t an issue.
Entry into the helmet feels quite sung when donning the Sena Momentum. This was intentional in order to block outside noise as best as possible.
The Momentum is fairly tight when pulling it on. Sena wanted to make the opening in the helmet as small as possible to give them the optimal chance of blocking out external noise. The removable and washable sweat-wicking liner in the helmet feels good against the skin. Also, should you find yourself needing to give the liner a wash, it is easily removed without needing to fuss with the speakers or other wires.
Sena is using a fiberglass shell design to keep weight down on the Momentum helmets rather than a heavier polycarbonate polymer. Two shell sizes are used throughout the XS-XXL size range, with the smaller encompassing sizes XS-L and the larger shell used for XL-XXL. It should be noted that there are three sizes of EPS liner which group XS-S, M-L, and XL-XXL and are then differentiated to size by pad thickness.
My medium Sena Momentum weighed in at 3 lbs 11.7 ounces (1692 grams) which is 2.1-oz lighter than my Shoei RF1200 with the 20S EVO unit installed. Impressive.
The areas where the Sena Momentum falls short are in the helmet’s functionality as a helmet. The first problem I noticed was some of the worst fogging I have ever experienced when using a helmet, and I was using it in the middle of a warm day with little to no humidity. The shield is pinlock ready, but the Momentum does not come with one. Once you get yourself a pinlock for an extra $35, you probably won’t have any issues.
Likely a contributing factor to the fogging, is the lack of ventilation. The helmet has two closable vents up front, one at the chin, and one at the top. Although the top vent works decently, the chin vent made no discernable difference when open or closed. The chin vent’s routing is directly to the shield, which you may think would help with fogging, but again, made no difference whether open or closed. Also included is a rear exhaust vent which is open all the time.
The shield is easily removed with quick-release spring-loaded tabs on each side of the helmet. Tinted shields should be available mid-to-late May.
The shield is easily removed with a quick-release system, and Sena has said there will be tinted shields available; we have yet to see those hit the market. Opening and closing the shield feels fairly positive with an audible click when closing the shield, though there are no detents in the shield’s movement other than fully open and closed.
I don’t want to harp on the helmet’s functionality too much. I would consider the helmet on its own to be a $250-$300 helmet, which makes its price of $449.00 a good deal, considering a 20S system retails for $299.
With only two vents on the front of the helmet, it’s a disappointment that the chin vent doesn’t seem to make any discernable difference whether open or closed.
I enjoy using the Sena Momentum helmet. Its Bluetooth integration works well and provides some of the best audio I have used out of any Bluetooth helmet systems. It’s not a bad helmet either. There is something to be said though, about the option to take a unit out of an old helmet and install it in a new one. There’s also the chance that if you were to have an issue with the system on its own, you can’t just uninstall it and send it back to Sena, you’re out a helmet because the entire thing would need to be sent back.
All things considered, we’re happy Sena is pushing the envelope and helping to drive technological advancement in motorcycling communication.
Sizes: XS – XXL
Color Options: Black, White
Learn more at www.sena.com
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Source: All Bikes news one