When you’re riding a motorcycle, your focus needs to be on the road and all the hazards around you. The driver of that SUV might not see you when they change lanes. Yet if your friend on the bike behind you could tell you that the SUV just put its turn signal on, it could save your life. So how do you communicate with someone who’s riding a motorcycle?
Sena claims to have a solution. Their Momentum EVO is a sleek and stylish full-face helmet that’s fully integrated with both Bluetooth and Mesh Intercom technologies to offer protection, comfort and the ability to easily communicate with other riders while on the road.
Sena says the Momentum EVO helmet is the future of head protection. We decided to test this smart helmet on the road to see if the manufacturer’s claim is true. Here’s what we found.
We wanted an experienced biker to test the Sena smart helmet, so we chose someone who has been riding for about seven years. When the weather is nice, they use a Biltwell Gringo with a pair of sunglasses, like those seen in the BestReviews buying guide, instead of a visor for local trips and errands. For highway riding, our tester wears a Scorpion EXO 420. When they are on their retro classic bike, our tester uses a Bell Bullitt.
Our tester used the Sena Momentum EVO helmet for several weeks and tried out all of the features over that period to evaluate the smart motorcycle helmet’s performance.
The Sena Momentum EVO is a full-face motorcycle helmet that is DOT and ECE certified. It features an aerodynamic design and is manufactured using multi-density EPS foam in a composite fiberglass shell. The high-tech helmet also has built-in speakers, a microphone, Bluetooth connectivity and Mesh 2.0 technology that allows you to communicate with other nearby riders.
First and foremost, the Sena Momentum EVO is a motorcycle helmet. Its primary purpose is to protect your head. We found the Momentum EVO to be of average weight, not as light and airy as a really high-end Shoei or Arai, but comfortable enough to fit and feel like most other helmets on the market.
To secure the helmet to your head, simply pull the chinstrap out and slide your head inside. Run the chinstrap under your chin and through both D-rings. Loop the chinstrap back through the bottom of the larger chinstrap that is located closest to your neck and pull to tighten and secure. It’s important to regularly check the position and tension of your chin strap to ensure it maintains a secure fit.
While this helmet only has four buttons, those buttons offer a wide range of control depending on how many times you press, how long you press and what combinations you press. If you check your owner’s manual, you will find out how to turn the helmet on and off, how to check the battery level, how to pair your phone, how to adjust volume levels and more.
Once you determine which features are important to you and how to access and control them, they quickly become second nature to use. We found the buttons to have a profile that allows for easy operation, even through motorcycle gloves.
Additionally, using the owner’s manual, you can learn how to enable and operate your Mesh Intercom system so you can communicate with other nearby riders. Pairing with those riders is easy and can be done from the helmet buttons without taking out your phone. We found it was a real game-changer to talk in real-time while riding with friends. It’s also possible to share music with other bikers, which makes for a great ride.
The features we used the most while testing this helmet were the music, the wireless headset for phone calls and the comm functions. The Sena motorcycle helmet also has a built-in radio, noise control, voice commands and audio multitasking, which allows you to have a conversation while listening to music or directions.
This is a full-face helmet, so ventilation is important. We noticed that even though this model has both head ventilation and chin ventilation, it can still get a little warm inside. When that happens, keeping the visor cracked a little bit or opening it all the way can provide relief. The Pinlock visor is a nice bonus because it really helps with fogging.
The call quality on the Sena Momentum EVO helmet is really solid. You can set it up however you’d like. We had ours set to pick up after the first ring and found, when riding locally, the person on the other end didn’t even know the call was connected to a bike helmet. When riding on the highway, there’s a bit more wind noise that the person on the other end can hear, but the audio is still very clear. If you prefer texting, you can easily do that through voice commands as well.
To get the most out of your smart helmet, we recommend downloading and installing the Sena smartphone app. With this app installed, you can create and manage intercom groups, balance your audio levels (if you want to have your comms on while listening to music), save speed dial and FM radio presets, trigger software updates and more.
The battery life on this helmet is pretty good. We rode for a full six hours without the helmet dying. Ultimately, the battery life depends on how many functions you have enabled and are using. Noise cancellation, music and comms can draw pretty heavily, but you can still usually get a couple of casual weekend rides in before needing to charge. The longest amount of talk time we got from the helmet was a little over 15 hours that were broken up into three rides over three weeks.
The Momentum EVO helmet ranges from $380-$399, and comes in medium, large and extra-large sizes.
The Sena Momentum EVO helmet can be purchased at Amazon.
The Sena Momentum EVO helmet fits well and secures easily. The size guide was accurate, and sunglasses can be worn beneath the helmet. After you break it in — which can take a few rides — it’s comfortable enough to be worn every day. The design is appealing, the controls are easy to use and the call quality is excellent.
The ventilation on this helmet is adequate, but not exceptional — roughly the same as other helmets. Sometimes, when you’re riding through a dense forest or a city, the comms can get a little choppy or drop out entirely. However, on the plus side, they will automatically reconnect as soon as they are able. While some users had issues operating the helmet buttons with motorcycle gloves on, we didn’t experience any trouble in that area.
If you’re a serious rider who would benefit from easy-to-use, built-in audio functions, the Sena Momentum EVO helmet would be a great purchase. It offers the ability to listen to your favorite music on long rides or connect with family, friends and other bikers while on the road. All in all, this is a really well-designed smart helmet that might actually be the future of head protection.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.