The latest development in snowmobile helmets is adapting the classic dual-sport motorcycle style for winter riding by adding a dual-lens face shield.
The FXR Torque is a dual-sport helmet available in multiple versions for warm and cold weather use, with the Torque X Recoil engineered for riders who want the motocross look but also desire more comfort and better vision during winter use.
Unlike some other dual-sport helmets I’ve tried, the Torque X Recoil does not allow wind penetration under the face shield, which FXR says has been tested at more than 110 mph. The shield can be left open, too. Either way, the solidly built shield eliminates the need for face protection from a mask that’s typically required when wearing a motocross helmet for snowmobiling. And it provides a noticeably wider field of vision than goggles.
The outer shell includes a closable chin vent and the facial opening accommodates FXR’s Mission goggles. My size XL weighed in at about 3.7 pounds – about par for the course. Sizing is accurate. There’s not a lot of room for glasses, but smaller frames will slide in if the wearer is careful.
Compared to some other off-road and dual-sport models I’ve tried, this helmet feels more substantial and more comfortable. The high airflow sun visor is unique to this Torque variant, and its crowned shape dims the light during the sun’s low-hanging cold season. Unlike most winter helmets that I’ve tried, the breath box actually works; it isn’t the most comfortable one I’ve used, but it is acceptable and truly functional.
And that brings up the fogging issue that is critical for snow riders. Even with the chin vent open, the dual lens shield fogged up slowly but steadily unless I had direct sunlight on it – this happened with or without the breath box installed, and with or without the shield cracked open for more air circulation. But installation of the optional electric shield solved that problem. I should note that I have experienced this with other helmets, too, so it wasn’t unique to this one.
A moto style helmet isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you want racer appearance without the drawbacks of ordinary sun visors and goggles, as well as a helmet equipped with a winter-friendly, quick-release chin strap, the FXR Torque X Recoil is a worthwhile choice.
— David Wells
Editor’s Note: This helmet review was from the Cold Tested product testing department in the January 2017 issue of Snow Goer magazine. To regularly see product reviews, travel features, new sled evaluations, informative how-to stories and more, subscribe to Snow Goer magazine.