At A Glance
The Maya has been a long time favourite of mine as a do-it-all helmet for nearly every occasion. Bucking the Enduro trends it retains a classic trail helmet styling whilst maintaining a high level of safety that we have come to expect from Kali. This update to the original features minimal changes to the look and style but brings the safety technology up a notch.Buy Helmets on
Crucially we see the addition of Kali's LDL technology, which is their Low-Density Layer and provides both increased protection from straight on hits and rotational forces. The soft rubber-like material deforms on impact in multiple directions allowing a greater range of impacts and directions to be absorbed. Kali suggests that this combination of the hard EPS foam (Composite Fusion Plus) and shell combined with the softer LDL system provides the best protection for your head.
Other features on the Maya include the classic long visor, which has plenty of movement and has lost the ugly light mount from the previous version. The rear head adjustment is the classic two-piece tensioner which we have seen on many helmets over the years and remains an excellent system. Internal padding is one piece, and features mesh to keep the bugs out and is anti-microbial. The chin strap uses a tried and tested buckle and is adjustable so straps can fit around ears easily. With a bunch of excellent colours and lifetime crash replacement for your helmet, Kali has once again done a fine job.
On The Trail
Despite my commitment to testing, it's never going to be possible to get a proper test of the helmets protection ability without smashing my head into the ground. Now although I fall off regularly, I'm happy to say the Maya has not been needed over the period of testing. It has however been my go-to helmet for general riding, only being replaced when a full face was needed.
The fit of the Maya is perfect for me, and this is definitely part of its charm, the ease of adjustment and good styling just add to the package. As mentioned before it doesn't go 'full enduro' and the drop at the back of the helmet is not as pronounced as other lids, but it holds the head nicely and never feels poorly positioned. The visor is integral to the styling of the Maya, and I do like the long shape as it does keep the sun and the worst of the rain away from my face. Now the light/camera mount has gone from it on this version, it looks much better. The visor moves plenty but only just manages to fit goggles under it if you're into that sort of thing.
I found the Maya to be well ventilated for our British weather, and it certainly good for year round use. The colours available are plentiful, but I've found the rough texture on my white visor has picked up dirt pretty easily and doesn't want to let it go despite scrubbing. For $100 it's a great helmet, and it's awesome to see safety technology move down to more affordable lids.
The fit on the Maya is what sells it to me every time, and with the updates for 2019 it's definitely not going to fall out of favour with me. A great looking helmet, with advanced safety technology for under £100, makes this a serious contender in the open face market.
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By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.