More than a year ago, Steelbird Hi-Tech India Ltd introduced the SBA-2 helmet. The highlight of the helmet is its visor, which Steelbird claimed was the longest visor on any helmet, offering the largest field of vision. When it made its debut in late 2017, the styling grabbed many eyeballs. Steelbird did launch a number of other helmets before equipping the SBA-2 with a clear outer visor and an inner sun visor and launching it at Rs 3,409. Its rivals include the Studds’ D series and Shifter helmet range. While the Shifter series (dual visor) starts at Rs 2,030, the Shifter D series (also dual visor) retails at Rs 2,165.
Steelbird Air SBA-2 Double Visor Helmet – inside out
The inclusion of a clear visor on the outside has made this lid suitable for night riding. Steelbird only offered a visor with a tinted mirror finish visors earlier, limiting its usage to daytime riding. The sun visor works well in harsh light conditions and you get a clear view.
However, the outer visor has an external locking mechanism and was tough to slide it up on the go with one hand due to a rigid lever setup. Additionally, the nose bridge feels a bit wide. Additionally, the sun visor isn’t long enough to provide an uninterrupted view of the road ahead, which can be annoying at times. To counter this, the company should have extended the sun visor a bit further than it does currently, which would have solved the issue.
Hits and misses
While the stretchable neck pad is a welcome addition, the narrow chin guard does not stop the wind from seeping in. So if the visor does fog up, the air from outside prevents fogging. I personally do not like the narrow and thin chin guard. It does not feel strong enough to handle an impact. The chin guard is also very close to your jaw, and you may feel your chin brushing against it. On the whole, not an interesting proposition to have your chin vulnerable.
The lid, at 580mm feels tight to put on, but once you put it on, seems loose. I shook my head with the helmet and felt like it was slapping me. A bigger size would be easier to slip your head into, but it will still be a loose fit. The ratchet strap for tightening or loosening the strap can be operated with your gloves on, which is good.
The inner liner is removable and Steelbird says that the center part of the head pad is equipped with 340 grams of heavy cushion fabric that is also REACH compliant (a European standard for materials to conform to environmental safety and human health), for more comfort.
Apart from these minor tweaks, the helmet remains largely unchanged, with the vents on top and behind covered by steel mesh like before. The interiors of the helmet look attractive with its two-tone fabric finish and the ‘Mat Maroon’ colour looks nice. However, that still does not justify the asking price of Rs 3,409 for this funky looking lid.