Premier Trophy Review: a proper old school retro helmet with SHARP 4 star rating.

premier-trophy-featured

Premier Trophy: full face classic style motorbike helmet review.

Premier have been making helmets since the mid 50’s. They started up in Westminster, California but in the 1980’s they were bought out and production was moved to Lucca in  Northern Italy where they’ve stayed to this day.

Which means if you’re looking for a classic, retro style helmet with real authenticity, then Premier are one of the brands you should probably check out.

Premier trophy carbon T9 full face helmet side view
Premier Trophy Carbon T9 is about £50 more.

If you read their website, they state that carbon fibre helmets are where their passions lie, but a quick look at their range of helmets shows they’re actually experimenting with a host of more exotic materials.

So it’s no surprise that the Premier Trophy, despite looking like a helmet from the 1970’s, actually uses a complex composite of carbon fibre, aramid (Kevlar) and dyneema.

And while you can tell just from looking at it that there’s gonna be one (or more!) compromises in owning a Trophy somewhere, that compromise shouldn’t be in safety because it’s been independently SHARP safety tested and scored 4/5 stars which is very good going.

So, if the Premier Trophy is on your list of helmets to research before buying, look no further as we’ve compiled and condensed all the wisdom from around the web to find out where it stands up solid and proud – or where it slowly rolls off the sidestand and falls down into the gutter. Much like my ZZR did last weekend. OUCH!

Best places to buy a Premier Trophy?

Please click below to visit the Premier Trophy helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, 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 from SportsBikeShop

Overall/Summary

It’s pretty much ‘what you see is what you get’ with the Premier Trophy helmet. It looks like a back to basics retro helmet and that’s because it is a really basic helmet.

OK, the helmet shell uses up to date tech and materials which means it scored an excellent SHARP 4 star safety rating (so it should give excellent impact protection).

But other than that, you should be prepared for a real old-style helmet experience.

Premier trophy DO 92 retro helmet side view
DO 92 graphics Premier Trophy

That means the visor’s really basic and, in modern terms, doesn’t work very well. It’s drafty, awkward to lock and it’ll steam up too.

The helmet’s also noisy and there’s no ventilation other than an open visor and draft coming in from below.

On the other hand it’s a comfortable helmet that owners reckon feels very light weight and is well made, backed by Premier’s excellent 5 year warranty.

All in all, if you’re looking for a real taste of authentic late 20th Century motorbiking, then the Premier Trophy is about as close as you’ll get.

It’s real form and style over function. And while it should give you excellent protection if you’re ever unfortunate to test it out, if you want a touch of modern convenience (like a quieter helmet with a Pinlock visor system that’ll keep your vision clear, just for e.g.) then you might want to look elsewhere… like our Alternatives section at the bottom of the page!

Safety

 (more about helmet safety)

Premier Trophy helmets are SHARP 4 star safety rated which is a great score and one of the highest safety-rated retro helmets around (along with the Simpson Venom).

All Trophies are constructed using a complex composite of carbon fibre, aramid (the generic name for Kevlar) and something called dyneema.

premier trophy sharp 8_5ms impact test results
Premier Trophy SHARP 8.5m/s impact test results courtesy of sharp.dft.gov.uk

I’ve not come across dyneema being used in helmet manufacture before but apparently it’s a high strength polythene that can be woven into sheets and has excellent penetration resistance and strength, so sounds ideal for helmet manufacture.

There are carbon versions of the Trophy around too (see picture below) which, rather than use an all-carbon fibre construction, apparently use the same helmet construction as the regular Trophies but with a top layer of carbon fibre for that great carbon look.

Despite scoring a decent SHARP rating, one slight fly in the ointment is that it’s only manufactured in one shell size – so if you wear a size XS you’ll be getting the same helmet shell size as an XL owner which may make it look a bit oversized compared to your body size.

Wearing a larger helmet shell usually means your helmet will have to be padded out a bit to make it fit, which doesn’t sound ideal but I guess could mean it actually has more internal shock absorbing liner and could potentially offer more protection. Just a thought – though I’ve never seen any data that shows this.

Premier trophy carbon tech helmet ltd ed front view
This one’s the Limited Edition Carbon Tech Trophy

Either way, it’s usually better to have a helmet made in more shell sizes for a more optimal fit. It also generally means that your wearing a lighter helmet – although the Trophy is a particularly light weight helmet which does help with energy management during an impact.

All Premier Trophies have a multi-density shock absorbing EPS liner too and are ECE certified – though they’re not yet DOT approved for North America.

Other than the fact that the Trophy is secured to your head with a traditional double-d ring fastener, that’s about it for safety features.

Overall though, with that excellent 4 star safety rating, it should give as good impact protection as many modern helmets. So a big thumbs up here.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that with a nice round shell and no vent holes that the Premier Trophy would be a reasonably quiet helmet. But you’d be wrong.

Every opinion we found said it’s a noisy helmet. I guess modern padding, modern shell aerodynamics and chin curtains really do help reduce noise on modern helmets.

Premier trophy retro helmet BL 8 side view
Note: zero air intakes on this BL8 graphic Trophy

So if you’re looking for a quieter helmet look here. Otherwise, you’re gonna have to use some quality ear plugs if you buy a Premier Trophy.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

Ventilation is another area of compromise with the Premier Trophy.

Unlike some retro helmets that have managed to cunningly incorporate ventilation – like the hidden vents on the AGV X3000 or the visor vents in the Arai Rapide – Premier has decided to bin off vents entirely. So there’s no chin bar or head vents in the Trophy.

Instead you’ve to rely on it either being a cold day – or cracking the visor open a bit and hoping enough air gets in from around your neck. And if it’s a hot day and you’re riding a distance – good luck!

Visor

(more about visors)

A few owners reckon Premier have maybe gone a step far with visor authenticity.

10/10 for keeping true to the original, but arguably many of us would like a bit more functionality from our visors these days. Because the Premier Trophy has a real retro visor in every sense.

That means it’s really simple: a sheet of 2D polycarb wrapped around the view port, secured by a couple of allen bolts and held down by a pair of studs.


A couple of useful links…

All our Retro helmet reviews
Open face helmets


So, if you want to remove the visor, you’ll need to undo the allen bolts. And if you want to lock the visor you’ll need to be ready to squeeze a couple of studs which, according to owners, can be really fiddly.

Premier trophy DO 17 retro helmet side view
Side view of the Trophy DO 17 showing visor locking stud and pivot

I guess there’s a damn good reason visors moved away from stud fasteners 40+ years ago!

It is an anti-scratch visor of course (legally it has to be), but it does fog up easily and, with no ventilation or Pinlock available, there’s no easy way to stop it.

We’ve also heard from owners who say they’re not the best in stopping rain or wind creeping round the edges either.

All in all, if you’re really after a properly authentic helmet with properly authentic visor, then they don’t come more properly authentic than the visor on the Trophy.

Which is probably fine if you’re using it for a short Sunday jaunt. But anything more serious and it can get a bit annoying.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Premier Trophies are available in sizes XS-XL only.

The word is that they’re true to size (so read our fitting guide and buy the right size) and that they’re nice comfortable helmets.

Premier trophy classic helmet BTR 17 rear view
Rear view of the BTR17 Trophy

The internal comfort lining is removable and washable, and it’s moisture wicking and contains active carbon filaments in the weave to make it antibacterial.

Most Trophies have a fabric and faux leather interior for that proper 1970’s look. Actually, that should probably be cheap plastic vinyl for a 1970’s look – but I think modern fabric’s probably a nicer touch!

As I said, most owners reckon they’re a comfortable helmet. But if you wear glasses they’re not ideal as we’ve heard from a few riders who say it’s really hard to get your glasses in there as there aren’t any glasses grooves inside.

Look here for helmets that work well with glasses.

Looks & Graphics

As you’d imagine for a stylish retro lid like the Trophy, there’s some seriously stylish graphics available.

There are a couple of carbon fibre finish helmets, and it’s available in plain black and gunmetal grey too.

As for graphics, there’s quite a few available and we’ve put as many as we can up and down the page – or to find more, please click through to our recommended retailers using the links below.

Best places to buy a Premier Trophy helmet?

Please click below to visit the Premier Trophy helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, 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 from SportsBikeShop

Premier Trophy Video

Here’s a useful 9m video from a chap who bought a Phil Reed rep Premier Trophy.

Other stuff – weight, build quality, warranty

Premier trophy classic helmet BTR 8 BM rear view
Premier Trophy in BTR8 graphics

Weight – or lack of it – is one of the great features with the Premier Trophy. Because it’s made from pretty hi-tech materials – and because it’s a basic helmet – they’ve managed to keep the weight down to around 1.3Kg (2.9lbs). And if you go for a carbon fibre version, you can shave another 100g off that.

Build quality is apparently high with several owners waxing lyrical about the fit and finish.

Which is probably reflected in the fact that Premier backs all their helmets with an excellent 5 year warranty.

Good Alternatives to the Premier Trophy?

You’ll find all old-style helmets in our Retro Helmets section – or you might want to check out our Top 10 full face helmets pages. Other than that, here’s a few classic style helmets we think you should take a look at…

simpson venom gloss white motorcycle crash helmet front view
Gloss white Simpson Venom

We’ve already mentioned the Simpson Venom. While it may not look typically retro, it is actually based on their old style car racing helmets. It has a SHARP 4 star safety rating too along with a drop down sun visor and Pinlock visor. In fact, it offers lots of modern day benefits, though I get that it might not really suit your old school ride.

shoei glamster resurrection white retru crash helmet side view
Shoei Glamster Ressurection

The Shoei Glamster might though, plus it has an advanced fibreglass AIM shell, Pinlock visor and a modern ventilation system.

arai rapide ha yellow motorcycle helmet side view
Arai Rapide HA

Same goes for the Arai Rapide – that also uses modern day Arai helmet tech and visor system making for a retro helmet that’s very little compromise. Granted, it is quite pricey though.

Best places to buy a Premier Trophy?

Please click below to visit the Premier Trophy helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, 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 from SportsBikeShop

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