WHAT IS IT? It is quickly becoming de rigueur for
riders to wrap their helmets with graphics kits rather
than shell out hundreds of dollars for a custom paint
job. Armored Graphix, located just beyond the suburbs
of Charlotte, North Carolina, offers semi-custom helmet
graphics kits for Shoei, Bell and 6D helmets.
WHAT’S IT COST? $99.95 (semi-custom); $180.00 (full
CONTACT? www.armoredgraphix.com or
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with Armored Graphix semi-custom helmet
(1) Customization. Armored Graphix has over a
dozen different graphic styles to choose from, ranging
from mild to wild, including a throwback to Damon
Bradshaw’s Beast From the East color scheme from the
mid-1990s. The beauty of the Armored helmet graphics
kit is the customization options. There are hundreds of
different color combinations, and Armored allows you
to add your name, race number and sponsorship logos.
Once you’ve made your selections, the crew at Armored
will e-mail back a design proof. You can make two proof
revisions for free (additional revisions are $20 each).
( 2) Installation. The big challenge with helmet
graphics kits is the installation process. It takes patience
to properly install the decals. If your hands shake like
you’re on the witness stand, might we suggest sending
your lid to Armored Graphix and having them install
the kit? For a nominal fee of $25, you’ll be guaranteed a
quality installation job. That’s exactly what we did. As a
result, there weren’t any bubbles, and the graphics lined
up perfectly. If you’re confident in your application skills,
a helmet-wrap install should take around 45 minutes.
( 3) Results. Keep in mind that a helmet graphics kit
doesn’t have the same continuity as a painted design.
That’s because there are slight gaps between some
panels and material overlap on others. Our 6D Armored
kit had eight different panels, and the biggest gap in our
test helmet was a few millimeters. Overlapping material
was carefully cut with a razor blade. No big deal. The
gaps weren’t noticeable from a few feet away. If you’re
buying a new helmet and intend to get it wrapped, don’t
spend money on an exotic helmet with graphics under
the clear coat. Flat black or white helmets work best.
Otherwise, the base color might be visible through the
Armored Graphix panels.
( 4) Durability. Our vinyl material withstood roost
damage and held up well. Furthermore, the vinyl didn’t lift
or tear when we pressure-washed the helmet (by the way,
we don’t recommend pressure-washing your helmet). We
did notice that bright colors in the graphics tended to
fade slightly after our helmet sat in the sun for prolonged
periods. You shouldn’t have a problem getting many
months of wear out of the semi-custom graphics kit,
just as long as you properly install every panel. What’s
especially great about a helmet wrap is that it can be
removed without destroying the helmet’s base graphics.
( 5) Options. At this time Armored Graphix is only
making its semi-custom graphics kit for the Shoei VFX-W,
Bell Moto 9, Bell Flex and 6D ATR-1. Expect more helmet
options in the future. Given the graphic material’s thickness, the kit is more conducive to a helmet shell with
ridges than a cue-ball-shaped design (such as the Arai
VX- 4). The $99.95 price tag won’t break the bank, as it’s
around 1/8th the cost of a custom-painted helmet. Armored
also sells full-custom graphics kits that start at $180.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have two complaints: (1)
There are slight gaps between the panels. ( 2) It takes
patience and skill to install the graphics kit properly.
With the Armored Graphix semi-custom
helmet graphics kit, it’s possible to give
your lid a unique look.
ARMORED GRAPHIX SEMI-CUSTOM GRAPHICS
MXA TEAM TESTED