KALI SHIVA 2.0 CARBON
MOTO HELMET REVIEW
Words & Photos by Drew Rohde
The way I got my Kali Shiva 2.0 helmet is a bit of a story in itself. I was in Phoenix for the Pivot Switchblade media camp and was spending almost as much time talking about dirt bike riding with Chris Cocalis, Pivot Cycles owner, as we were about the new Switchblade. Chris is a huge dirt bike fan, like myself, and after talks about trails, riding locations and dream trips, I told him that my riding time lately had been a bit limited due to neck pain. Almost six years ago I hit a tree head first in Squamish, BC and fractured the C-7 vertebrae in my neck and T-4, 5, and 6 in my thoracic spine. Ever since I’ve dealt with nagging pain, pressure, artheritis and if I wear too heavy of a helmet, migraine-level head and neck pain. I was telling Chris that my neck can tell the difference in about 60grams and if I get a helmet that’s 1,200 grams or heavier, I’ll be in a world of pain if my ride lasts more than two hours. Strange I know, but that’s my magic number. “You have to try the Kali Shiva out,” Chris said, “It’s super light and offers lots of great tech. I’ll send an email and introduce you guys.” And that was my introduction to the 1,050-gram Kali Shiva 2.0 helmet.
Kali is a smaller helmet brand run by a passionate bunch who value helmet technology and brain protection. The Shiva is their pinnacle dirt bike helmet. Wrapped inside the fully carbon fiber shell are Kali’s proprietary Nano Fusion and Low Density Layer technologies. Kali’s Nano Fusion technology consists of an in-molded multi-density EPS with acrylic self-healing foam and carbon nanotubes.
Nano Fusion helps dissipate the impact energy more efficiently in a smaller volume. Meanwhile, the Low Density Layer, or LDL for short, consists of specially designed sections of Amourgel padding that is placed strategically throughout the inside of the helmet. Kali claims the LDL technology reduces low-g impact forces by 12-percent and rotational forces by 25-percent. To learn more about Kali’s helmet technologies, click here.
The Kali Shiva 2.0 has eighteen vents throughout: Ten head vents, four brow vents and four chin vents provide ample airflow. Anti-Microbial pads help keep the Shiva 2.0 snug on the head and offer comfort while minimizing the chance of stink. Kali also utilizes a removable, washable inner liner making cleaning a breeze. Topping off the Shiva 2.0 Carbon is an adjustable, break-away visor. Kali’s Shiva 2.0 Carbon also holds a DOT certification and comes with a nicely lined helmet sock.
Should you have the unfortunate experience of damaging the Shiva 2.0 in a crash, Kali has a limited Crash Replacement Assistance Policy. Through this program, Kali allows their customers to file a claim to purchase a new, replacement helmet at a discounted 25% off of the M.S.R.P. To learn more about the CRA program, click here.
Over the last few months I’ve put in countless hours and hundreds of miles in the Kali Shiva 2.0 Carbon. Everything from snowy, rainy rides in the woods to hot days lugging our bikes up ridiculous boulder fields in 75-degree temps as we dripped sweat pulling our bikes up and down mountains. The Kali Shiva has absolutely changed my world in terms of being able to ride back-to-back days and stay out for long rides.
I have ridden in probably 50 different types of full-face helmets over the last couple decades. The Kali Shiva is definitely not the coolest looking one I’ve ever worn, but it is comfortable, fits well and light. Once the helmet is on, it fits snugly and secure, offering a cozy fit around my skull. The helmet slides on pretty easily, but it is a bit tight to get over the ears for some. Once on however, the inside of the helmet is quite spacious and roomy. I measure out to 56cm and opted for the small in the Shiva.
Airflow is decent and once up to speed the helmet will circulate air nicely. It is a nice balance between not freezing my brain on cold winter days, and not being overly hot in the summer, but I do wish it was slightly more breathable for warm days when the trails move slow.
During the test period I rode in everything from Oakley Airbrakes to Scott Prospect, Leatt Velocity and 100% goggles. All goggles worked well inside the helmet and fit inside whether I was running the goggle’s nose protectors or not.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Even though I’m a bit of a fashion-whore, I put the looks aside when it comes to the Kali Shiva 2.0 Carbon helmet and I’m glad I did! The shell is quite an improvement over earlier Kali helmets yet the brand’s graphics and styling still leave a bit to be desired in our book. But, that matters less and less to me lately. Since making the switch over the Kali I’ve been able to ride my dirt bike more than ever without the dreaded muscle-relaxer induced post-ride coma.
I’ve taken two pretty solid slams around 10-15 miles per hour right to the side of my helmet and absolutely felt some brain pain after one of the crashes. I inspected the lid and found no cracks and was pleased to say I feel that the helmet did it’s job in protecting me in these lower speed crashes. I also was happy that the slimmer shell and lighter weight meant I didn’t have as sore of a neck as heavier lids would have acted a bit differently as they hit the ground after my shoulder broke the fall first.
Simply put, Kali has won me over thanks to the lightweight, thin profile and comfortable fit. The Shiva has a wide field of view, is easy to clean and I trust its protective technology. If I had to write down my biggest critiques it’d be the graphics and a wish for a little more ventilation at the top of the head or over the brows. Outside of that, this is a solid lid. Thanks for the introduction Chris, and thanks to Kali for supplying me with a helmet, and lots more miles on the moto.
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL