If you’re looking for a new helmet, but you’re on a tight budget, the MT Thunder 3 series might have something for you.
With prices starting as low as £69.99, and only reaching £119.99 for some of the fancier colour ways, this set of helmets is a strong contender in the value category.
This helmet is priced right. £70 is all you need to net yourself one of the ‘simpler’ liveries, but if you’re willing to drop a little extra there are loads of graphics available that come in between the £70 and £110 marks.
One of my favourites is this, a matte black incarnation of the Thunder 3 overlaid with a retro-arcade PacMan graphic.
You can pick that up for £100 on SBS which, when compared to some of the more complex graphics available from other helmet manufacturers, is a steal.
Safety and Construction
Like almost every other budget helmet, you’ll find the Thunder 3 is constructed using injection moulded polycarbonate which, whilst one of the cheaper materials used in helmet manufacture, it also lends its name to many of the highest rated buckets available.
The MT meets all current EU safety regulations, and was awarded 4 out 5 stars by Sharp. It also benefits from its full face format, which is widely accepted to be the safest type of helmet for a rider to wear.
The Thunder 3 is robust and well designed, and features a fully removable interior to aid in cleaning and give the helmet additional longevity should the owner ever wear out the liners provided with it.
The Thunder 3 is available in a size to fit every head you can imagine. Ranging XS to 3XL, you’d be hard pressed to find a rider who can’t fit in one of these shells.
For a size L, the Thunder 3 SV clocks in at around 1550g, so it’s on the lighter side for a full face helmet. This low mass would make the SV suitable for touring, as a lighter lid means less stress on the body over those long distance rides.
Commuters will find that the Thunder 3’s light weight will be perfect for the rapid head movement city riding demands.
The MT Thunder SV 3 is a reasonably quiet helmet at its price point, and will stand up fine to daily use in an urban environment.
However if you’re doing a lot of motorway riding or otherwise going fast for a long time, its limitations will become apparent.
If you need a helmet that offers serious noise insulation be prepared to spend (a lot) more – we reviewed 5 of the quietest helmets here.
This helmet ships with a visor that supports a pinlock insert, but one is not included in the box. A decent one will set you back somewhere between £20 and £30, and can be easily found on SportsBikeShop.
The Thunder 3 also has a drop down sun visor, which is operated by a switch next to the visor pivot. This kind of sun visor is always a nice touch in a helmet, especially in the UK where full tinted visors can lead to some legal issues.
The MT is fitted with textile straps and a micrometric latch- a combination which is incredibly common among most helmet price points. The latch itself is very easy to use and saves a lot of time compared to a double D system.
When it comes to ventilation, the MT offers a multi point system, with vents placed on the chin guard, above the visor, and on the back of the helmet.
Unusually, even the vents on the back of the helmet can be closed, so the Thunder 3 should be cool and breezy in summer, but will also have the capacity to protect you from all but the harshest conditions.
The Thunder 3 is available in some absolutely outrageous colour schemes, and I think this is one of its greatest strengths. New and old riders alike with a penchant for the avant garde will be all over this helmet.
There are a lot of dodgy options when it comes to buying a helmet under £100.
The MT Thunder 3 SV is certainly not one of them.
With its 4 star safety ratings, robust design and great styling, it is a lightweight helmet that riders have found to exceed their expectations.
Overall, definitely worth further investigation if you’re looking for an affordable helmet that has some personality, and won’t let you down when it comes to safety and ergonomics.