MT Thunder 3 polycarbonate motorcycle crash helmet

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MT Thunder 3 – MTs do-everything motorcycle helmet

Spanish maker, MT, are growing a reputation for making some great performing helmets at attractive prices recently.

The Thunder 3 is the follow-up to their excellent Thunder helmet (not sure what happened to Thunder 2!) – that was a SHARP 4 star rated helmet that was amazing value for money. So can the Thunder 3 carry on the great work?

  • Polycarbonate full face helmet
  • All-rounder helmet
  • SHARP 4 star safety rated (max 5)
  • Pinlock Max Vision ready (Pinlock not included)
  • Drop down sun visor
  • 2 shell sizes
  • Weighs 1.5Kg (just above average weight)
  • Fitment sizes XS – XXXL
  • ECE and DOT (US) certified
  • Expect to pay £80-£100

Looking to buy this MT helmet?

We recommend SportsBikeShop (UK) for competitive prices, outstanding service and free UK delivery/returns. Or you can click through to the MT helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from them. Please see here for more info on our recommended stores or click the links to go straight to their MT helmets pages where you'll find the latest designs and deals.

Safety

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Front view of the matt black MT Thunder 3

Despite their focus on making budget helmets, MT are becoming a very popular make (especially in their native Spain) and are growing a reputation for making safe helmets that perform well.

So far, SHARP has tested six MT helmets and their average score is 4 out of 5 stars, which is excellent.

The original MT Thunder was tested by SHARP and scored four stars – and at the time of writing it’s still on sale, though being phased out and replaced by the Thunder 3.

As of December 2017, the Thunder 3 was tested by SHARP and scored – surprise surprise – 4 stars. And of course, like every helmet on sale in Europe (and Oz) it has been ECE tested and approved to surpass a minimum level of safety, so you can be happy it’ll give a decent level of performance in an accident.

The Thunder 3 is made in two shell sizes (remember that’s different from fitment size) which is about average for helmets at this price point and should lead to a reasonably well-optimised amount of shock absorbing padding. MT use a multi-density padding which is the same sort of tech that more expensive helmets like Arais and Shoeis use so all good there.

The Thunder 3 comes with a micrometric fastener (nice and safe and really easy to use) and there’s both a drop down sun visor and Pinlock-ready main clear visor. All these things contribute to making a helmet that’s both easier to live with and safer to use.

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This one’s the Thunder 3 in Effect white/silver design

Ventilation

Ventilation on the MT Thunder3 looks to be a reasonably standard arrangement.

There’s a single chin vent and single crown vent, both operated by sliders to open/close them. To the rear, there’s a single exhaust port at the top of the rear spoiler.

Even though it looks pretty standard fayre, that configuration can be effective and is used by most manufacturers these days. The proof of whether it works or not will be how riders rate it when they’ve had chance to test the Thunder 3, and we’ll report back here once we’ve heard.

If great ventilation’s particularly important to you – check out these helmets that owners say have great ventilation.

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Rear view of the Torn MT Thunder 3 in fluo yellow/green

Visor

The Thunder 3 has an interesting set up when it comes to the visor.

You might notice a hint of carbon fibre by the visor mechanism on the side of the helmet. That’s really just for show – we all love a bit of carbon fibre don’t we?!?

But the visor itself has a nice large opening tab to the left and is Pinlock Max Vision ready – in case you don’t know, Pinlock is a very effective anti-fog insert that locates between the two semi-transparent pins on the visor (see here for more information on Pinlock) and the Max Vision is their largest insert that covers pretty much all the inside of the visor.

That’s all good, but unfortunately the Thunder 3 doesn’t come with the Pinlock insert in the box, so you’ll have to budget for an extra £30+ on top of the price of the helmet if you want one. If you don’t, expect the main visor to fog up when it’s cold.

Sun Visor

The MT Thunder 3 also comes with an integral drop down sun visor – which is a fairly must-have feature for most of us these days. I know I find them very handy indeed. The sun visor’s operated by the slider to the left of the visor pivot; that’s one of the best places for the sun visor slider and much better than some which work from a slider right on the top of the head.

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Thunder 3 Torn in yellow/blue

Interestingly, MT also advertises that there’s a snowmobile style electric visor available for the MT Thunder 3. In fact the whole look of the new Thunder 3 is reminiscent of snowmobile helmets which tend to have that aerodynamic moulding to the bottom of the helmet, so maybe MT has an eye on moving more into the snowmobile market with the Thunder 3.

Still, if you tend to do lots of riding when it’s really icy, who knows, an electric visor might be worth the investment!?

Comfort & Sizing

On the inside of the Thunder 3 is removable and washable comfort lining. It also comes with a breath guard and micrometric buckle to fasten the helmet.

MT offer the Thunder 3 in sizes from XS to XXXL – so if you’ve a big bonce you’re in luck because MT are one of the few makers who produce helmets up to that size.

Looks & Graphics

The Thunder 3 is a slightly unusual looking helmet with that curved bottom aero that pushes it more towards a snowmobile helmet than motorbike.

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This one’s the Trace in red/white. For other designs, click our recommended retailer links

MTs graphics are fairly ‘out there’ too. They produce the standard matt black and gloss black & white versions, along with a plain hi viz orange (and yellow version and use fluo colours in their Torn range too), so they’ve got all the bases covered for folks who like their helmets plain.

All the rest are very shouty designs, and we’ve tried to put examples of all we can up and down this page – including the Torn, Trace, Effect and unusual Wild Garden versions.

As usual though, helmet makers are updating the graphics all the time, so we suggest you check out our recommended retailer links below to see the very latest designs along with latest offers and pricing.

Best place to buy this MT crash helmet?

Please click below to visit the MT helmets pages at our recommended stores or Amazon UK. And if you buy from either, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Buy MT from SportsbikeshopShop for MT helmets at Amazon

*Quick view retailer T&Cs here.

MT Thunder 3 Video

Here’s an 8m look around the MT Thunder Torn in fluo yellow, followed by MT’s official 1m release video.

Other stuff – weight, warranty

The MT Thunder weighs in at 1.5Kg. That’s slightly above average weight if you look across all full face helmets no matter what material they’re made of, but slightly lighter than the average polycarbonate helmet (1.57Kg). In practical terms, that means you shouldn’t have a problem with the weight of the Thunder.

All MT helmets come with a bog-standard one year warranty (some come with five years).

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Blue/white version of the Effect designed Thunder 3

Overall/Summary

The original MT Thunder was a great helmet at an amazing price point. The Thunder 3 is going up in the world – most notably in its price. But you do get some improved features for your money – including that new sun visor and a Pinlock ready main visor.

On paper at least, it looks to be a good helmet – and while MT are known for their cheap and cheerful range of helmets, they’re definitely looking to move up market with the likes of the Thunder 3. We’ll have to wait until the feedback’s in on what owners and riders think of their Thunder 3’s – but either way, with its SHARP 4 star safety rating, it should give excellent protection during an accident.

And at this price, the MT Thunder 3 looks an excellent buy with some quality touches. So don’t be put off it’s a name you don’t know – it’s worth a look.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

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MT Thunder 3 Trace design in black & white

Good alternatives to the MT Thunder 3?

If you’re in the market for a low-cost but good quality full face helmet, then first off you should have a look at the Shark S600. That’s a low-priced full face helmet that comes with a full five year warranty, scored well in the SHARP safety tests (4 stars out of 5) and comes with a Pinlock anti-fog in the box, all for about the same price as the MT Thunder 3. Now that’s value!

You should also take a look at MTs Revenge – that scored a maximum 5 stars for safety when it was SHARP tested, is lighter than the Thunder 3 and cheaper too. The only thing it’s really lacking is that sun visor.

Or how about the Scorpion 410 Air? That weighs about the same as the Thunder (though it’s a tad more expensive) and scored 4 stars for safety and comes with an optically-correct main visor. Comes with a three year warranty too.

For a slightly different final alternative, how about the Lazer Bayamo? That has a sun visor, scored 4 stars for safety, is Pinlock-ready, has a 5 year warranty and costs less than the Thunder 3. Gotta be a contender?

Looking to buy this MT helmet?

We recommend SportsBikeShop (UK) for competitive prices, outstanding service and free UK delivery/returns. Or you can click through to the MT helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from them. Please see here for more info on our recommended stores or click the links to go straight to their MT helmets pages where you'll find the latest designs and deals.

Definitely want an MT?

Here you'll find all our MT crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

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