There are a multitude of motorcycle helmets to pick from on the market, with Gloucster-based Ruroc setting itself apart with style, safety, and sheer social-media appeal. After spending this year with the Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Liquid Carbon atop my head, and around 3000 miles on all types of motorcycles and scooters, it’s time for a review!
Ruroc started life in the UK as a snowboard gear manufacturer in 2011, they moved into the motorcycle sector in 2019 with the first Atlas helmet, and this is the 2023 Atlas 4.0, which meets upcoming 2024 ECE 22.06 safety standards and certainly stands out in the crowd.
It’s packed with features, with Ruroc the first to admit they’ve addressed some of the concerns pointed at the previous generation of Atlas 3.0 – namely the fit and comfort, weight, and noise levels. This latest update to the range appears to be the best motorcycle helmet they have built to date!
Despite having plenty (probably far too many) motorcycle helmets, the Ruroc ended up quickly becoming a staple choice for quick journeys and long days in the saddle. The style is spot-on, the audio from the Shockwave system is top, and the trinity for helmets of fit, comfort and safety are all met, making this (on paper) right up there amongst the best.
Note this review applies to both the Liquid Carbon (black carbon in colour) and the Street King (with gold).
What’s New for the 2023 Ruroc Atlas 4.0 | Features
The Atlas 4 now meets ECE 22.06, the standard of safety that will be the baseline for all motorcycle helmets from January 2024, with Ruroc themselves stating that they ‘exceed all testing standards by a minimum of 20%’.
I also installed the Shockwave audio system, powered by Haman Kardon, for integration with my smartphone via Bluetooth – this came in really handy for music, navigation, and chatting to people via calls and rider-to-rider pairing.
As is seemingly the case for helmet wearers & manufacturers, the style and design of the helmet is one of the best ways to let your creativity and personality flow whilst you’re on your motorcycle or scooter – and Ruroc has the eye for style when it comes to designs. From frequent collaborations with other brands (like Star Wars, Marvel and DC), to their own in-house designs, you’re sure to find a style that suits your ride.
Further on safety (and more later), the Atlas 4 is the world’s first motorcycle helmet to provide Rheon Protection in the inner lining of the helmet, providing next-level protection without sacrificing comfort.
Ruroc Atlas 4 Price and Availability
Available in sizes from XXS (52.5cm – 53.9cm) all the way to XXL (62cm – 63.5cm), the Atlas 4.0 is priced depending on the chosen decal style and build, the cheapest going for £275 (as of writing, the Atlas 4 Street Core) to the ‘Liquid Carbon’ (as worn) at £475, then the £450 Marvel and Star Wars ‘Carbon’ collaborations, and the recent launch of the ACU Gold track-certified Atlas 4 Track lids at £550.
As for price comparisons with rivals and alternative suppliers, the price point does compare to some of the premium manufacturers out there, namely in the same ballpark as the cheaper options from the likes of Shoei and Arai - but these manufacturers do have a few options at different price points whilst Ruroc specialises in the one helmet at a time (with variations).
As for accessories, visors and extras, you can add the Shockwave audio system for £170, a pinlock for £25, and even a purpose-built chin camera mount for £20 (plus more). A nice point is that both a clear and dark visor comes in the box, with various other colour-tinted options being available for £50 each.
Keep an eye on deals, too. Ruroc recently ran a deal for a free Shockwave audio system when purchasing one of the helmets, and there is also the Ruroc Outlet on their website where you can catch a bargain – some helmets are listed at 50% off.
Style and Colour Options
If there’s one thing that I personally think Ruroc get bang on, it’s the style. There is an option for everyone here, whilst I will concede that some of the designs may point squarely at a younger rider who wants a wild ‘out there’ design, the ‘Core’ & ‘Carbon’ range offer some smart-looking lids with simple colours.
My personal lid is the Liquid Carbon variant (looks stunning with the dark visor, and I added a blue-tinted visor). Brett has a Street King variant, which looks equally good.
Or, you can catch a release of one of the collaboration models to stand out on the road even further, with Limited Edition and collaboration models.
If after something a little special, you’re genuinely best off following the Ruroc social media pages to see what they have coming up – they are extensively teased and shown off there, and as of writing there is a limited number of the ‘Flash’ collection, as well as a recent Star Wars tie-in.
Plenty of options are available for the Atlas 4 when it comes to style and colour, with a huge variety of colours and styles to pick from. I’d argue it’s one of the more eye-catching lids on the market today – personal opinion, perhaps, but they all have a signature road presence that’s certainly noticed.
Safety Spec | ECE 22.06 Approved
Simply put, the Ruroc Atlas 4 is one of the safest motorcycle helmets you can buy today. Simply by meeting ECE 22.06, the 2024 standard, but also by (in their own words) exceeding these standards by 20% - including tests to linear & rotational impacts, penetration resistance, fit & positional stability, visibility and robust retention.
Further making the Atlas 4 stand out from the crowd is the use of Rheon technology in the lining, a first for motorcycle helmets. They say Rheon is an innovative reactive polymer with non-Newtonian fluid properties, providing targeted energy dissipation against impact and rotational forces, and is a result of decades of research (including with NASA!)
There is also a new 3-part multi-density EPS structure between the lining and the outer shell, with ‘increased impact and rotational performance’.
If looking for a track lid, you’ll have to spend a bit more on the track-certified version with the ACU Gold certification that you’re after.
Fit and Feel | Ruroc Atlas 4
I found the Atlas 4 to be a very comfortable lid, overall. The outer shell construction is carbon fibre, and when first trying on the lid at Motorcycle Live 2022 (and certainly until a few rides in when wearing mine) the inner lining fit is snug, though your face does feel a tad squeezed until it’s loosened up a little.
Naturally, you’re best trying the sizing of any lid before you part with your cash, and luckily you’ll often see the Ruroc UK team in attendance at many motorcycle events throughout the course of the year, most notably at Motorcycle Live where I personally had my fitting done back in 2022 – they were also at ABR Festival this year, to name but two appearances.
The inner lining is easily popped out for washing (plus emergency pull tabs if the worst were to happen), and the internals are totally re-engineered for this model with bespoke multi-layered and multi-density foam with moisture-wicking fabrics. They also boast an enclosed zip to remove the internal foam if hand-washing.
The first few rides before the internal lining was bedded in did feel quite tight, but having had it measured and tried sizes both up and down from my usual ML, it fit just right. I personally also like the magnetic Fidlock fastening on the chinstrap, it feels secure and can be easily done with gloves on when you’ve forgotten to secure the lid to your head when setting off… when the two halves come near each other they click together so you know it’s good (check with a downwards tug), and it feels 'just as strong' as a double-D ring, and you pull the tab across to detach the two magnets.
Ruroc Atlas 4 Ventilation
Venting has been adjusted for this model, with two top vents removed from the top when compared to the previous iteration, all in the aim to enhance stability and keep it smooth, plus help reduce that frustrating whistling wind noise when riding along, as well as a closeable forehead vent and two prominent vents on the mouth/chin area, plus exhaust vents at the rear.
It’s a nice and simple ventilation system on the Atlas 4, with two primary forehead vents (with a switch to open/close), the chin mount (also with a switch), and two exhaust ports. The cheek vents don’t seem to have any actual way into the innards of the helmet, though.
Specs from the Ruroc site state ‘The new ventilation system offers the rider the ability to control their average steady state head temperature by 15%, with a maximum temperature control of 30%. This allows the rider to tune their thermal comfort in both warm and cool climates.’
It’s certainly capable of being worn during summer riding months and is capable of maintaining a nice temperature during colder rides, but I couldn’t really notice much direct wind entering the lid.
For the most part, wind noise is very acceptable here. No lid will ever be entirely quiet, and the Atlas 4, in my opinion, is on the quieter end of the scale. Wind noise does seep in, but not to deafening levels and is pretty acceptable for the most part – no lid will ever be entirely quiet on its own.
The large chin curtain seems to block out a large amount of road noise and prevents debris and dust from getting up in your face. On that, the curtain does seem to come dislodged a little bit when taking the helmet off, but slotting it back into the correct place takes no time.
Though I’d certainly advise anyone to wear earplugs on any two-wheeled journey, you can happily get away with a short hop without earplugs here. Though, for the sake of potential tinnitus in the future, you’re best off plugging your ears.
My only reservation is the plug points for the chin curtain do seem to come loose quite easily, so it’s well worth checking it’s snug before setting off. You can also opt for the sound-dampening inserts, with Ruroc saying they improve acoustic performance by 57% compared to the Atlas 3.0 vs leading competitors.
Ruroc Atlas 4 Weight
Listed weight on the website is 1600 g +/- 50 grams, and size ML is listed as 1750 g +/- 50 grams, so it depends on size. There may be lighter helmets on the market, but with the safety features, thickness of the shell, and internals, it’s not overtly on the heavier end of the scale.
Sure, there are lighter options on the market, but for me, the weight of the Atlas 4 poses no problem for riding all day. I’ve spent long days in the saddle with this helmet, and not once felt a heavy feeling.
Your mileage may vary, so you’re best off sticking one of these lids on and running around the showroom for 5 minutes to see how you get on.
Ruroc Atlas 4 Visibility, and Swapping Visors
You’ve got a decent amount of visibility here, which Ruroc says provides 215 degrees of vision horizontally & 100 degrees vertical through the visor, ultra-wide and edge-to-edge. The pointy bit above the chin is a little bit in your view, but not obnoxiously so.
Swapping out the visors is a simple process, with two little hand-twist screws/clips that detach and pop back on to secure the new lid. Once on, these clips have yet to come loose, though can be a tad fiddly if you’re doing it in a rush – I hope you don’t drop one, they are quite small.
I mentioned before that the vents don’t seem to provide a hugely noticeable stream of air to your head, but the visor can be left with a tiny gap just before clasping it shut to get a middle-ground of ventilation and sound-proofing. A firm press will click the visor closed, and there’s a thumb tab on the lower left side to press it up again with 6 steps between open and closed.
A pinlock doesn’t come with the helmet, but is a seriously worthy addition to help prevent fogging up on the inside in adverse weather.
Ruroc Atlas 4 and Shockwave Audio
Lastly, a mention on the Shockwave System by Hamon Kardon. The whole system is built to measure and integrates seamlessly into the slot right on the back of the helmet. It pairs to your smartphone, and can work across all Bluetooth systems (so you can pair to other riders using Shockwave, or Sena & Cardo etc) and the audio quality is seriously good.
Though the buttons on the rear are a bit fiddly and you can’t find the right button with your glove. Volume up and skip to next song are on the same button, so two quick taps to increase (or decrease) the volume will sometimes be met with skipping/restarting the current song.
There is no voice integration, instead you need to press a button to activate your voice assistant (if your smartphone has one), and accepting a call isn’t as streamlined as you think. I’ve often hung up on someone without being able to call them back easily, and reaching for the back of your lid isn’t quite ideal when you’re riding along.
Charge times are great, and the battery seems to last for a good few rides (depending on usage) with the battery percentage being roughly relayed to you by voice on turning the unit off. The built-in mic is 60% smaller than before, and works fairly well at ignoring road noise and focusing on your voice for callers/fellow riders to hear you clearly.
Verdict | Ruroc Atlas 4 Motorcycle Helmet
I seriously enjoy every ride with the Ruroc Atlas 4. It looks great, fits me well, the audio Shockwave system works nicely (mostly just for listening to music on long rides in all honesty) and it’s a serious check in the box that it meets the 2024 heightened helmet security standards of ECE 22.06.
Ventilation is good for the most part, as you can lift the visor a touch to get some bonus ventilation – and some do find small issues with the chinstrap fastening method, as well as the fiddly bits to swap out visors (but that’s always a fiddly job).
I’d happily recommend this helmet to anyone, particularly if you opt for one of the cheaper decals. The safety and style alone is well worth it.