BikeRadar served up a sneak peek of Kali’s upcoming cross-country and road models — Maraka XC, Maraka, and Phenom — just a few weeks ago. On Tuesday we were able to get our hands on the former, which offered insight to subtle details that set the new Kali lids apart from their competition.
In our first look, we touched upon the SuperVent reinforced vent technology, the use of Composite Fusion plus and Kali’s low density foam philosophy, but in diving deeper we were introduced to the new Bumper Fit System, incorporation of a carbon cage and Kali’s own Micro Fit Closure System.
The Bumper Fit System is made up of a cross-linked polymer material of Kali’s own recipe, which is similar to D3O. While the material doesn’t dissipate energy quickly enough to work as the primary protector, it does aid in the process when paired with conventional materials.
“It actually helps with attenuating energy,” said Brad Waldron, Kali co-owner and lead engineer. “On its own it cannot pass the test, it doesn’t dissipate the energy quick enough. As an additive piece it does actually help dissipate the energy.”
“And help it helps with fit, which makes it a win-win,” said Bryan Mason, Kali's national sales manager.
At the rear of the new Maraka helmet, Kali incorporate a carbon cage to reinforce the rear of the multi-density EPS liner; Kali use three different density foams in the Maraka.
The components of the Maraka — from left to right: Composite Fusion Plus Cone Head technology, the yellow cross-link polymer Bumper Fit padding and the SuperVent plastic reinforcements
Kali’s Micro Closure fit system is unique in that it incorporates both hard plastic and pliable rubber into its design, which makes it fit around the head more comfortably than some all-plastic designs. Operation is one handed for open and closure. However, it doesn’t offer a height adjustment.
Also interesting, the Maraka’s SuperVent design started with an idea from Waldron’s previous work in military aerospace design. “I used to work on the F18 [fighter jet], and we found — first version of the intake was round — if we make it more square we could ram more air through,” said Waldron. “So I started with that as a beginning feature.”
Kali plan to have the Phenom road-racing helmet in early 2013, but they took the opportunity to show the most current prototype. The road helmet shares many of its features with the just finished Maraka, including: Composite Fusion Plus, SuperVent, Bumper Fit, and the Microfit Closure, but in a lightweight, road only, design.
Phenom with its SuperVent reinforcements; also note the Composite Fusion Plus full-face helmet cutaway in the background, whereas the two different color foams represent both the shaping and different densities