Review and photos by Michael Lindsay
I already know what you're thinking. "Hey that looks like a Troy Lee Designs SE3 helmet!" Well, you're right. The Seven SE3 is a TLD SE3, with a different paint job (a very good-looking one, I might add). Now Seven's gear is completely different from TLD's, but why is the helmet the same? Simple, it's expensive to develop a helmet, especially a high-end one such as the SE3. So instead of wasting time and money developing a new helmet, Seven decided to borrow the well-known and proven design that TLD had already put the work into. So if you're wondering what we think of the TLD SE3, this should help you out.
Seven SE3 Supra Helmet Features:
- Dual-density Shock Pad System and EPS liner.
- Quick-release cheek pads to aid in emergency helmet removal.
- Meets SNELL M2010, DOT FMVSS .218 and CE 22.05 safety standards.
- Helmet bag included.
- Cheek pads, helmet liner, and chin straps are fully removable for washing.
- MSRP: $495.00
When you first pull the Seven SE3 Supra from its zip-up carry bag, you'll find a spare visor inside. This has become quite uncommon to include with the purchase of a helmet, but it's a really nice touch when you're spending nearly $500. Especially since the majority of riders will destroy a visor or two during the lifetime of their lid.
I have a unique experience when it comes to the fit of a helmet. I have a medium-sized head, but slightly smaller-than-average cheek bones. So it's not uncommon for me to have to add thicker cheek pads to improve the fit of most helmets. The Seven SE3 for instance, fits snuggly around the top, side, and back of my head. But surprisingly, the cheek pads were just thick enough that it didn't require me to order a different set. So riders with larger-than-average cheek bones may actually need to order a thinner set.
With some of the newer helmets on the market bringing in new safety features, you may ask what does the Seven Supra offer? Well, outside of its carbon/composite shell and Dual EPS liner, it features a dual shock padding system in the shell. This is easily spotted by the red material, which is softer and allows for more energy dissipation under low-speed impacts. This all translates to seeing less stars when you smack you head on that hardpacked corner you slid out on.
On the Track
Out of the helmets I've tested, the SE3 has one of the most consistent-feeling shells in correlation to where it contacts your head. This translates to nearly no movement while out on the track. Being that the design of this helmet is a few years old now, the venting is around average for a high-end helmet. I didn't find myself sweltering during a California summer, but I could've done with a bit of extra air flow.
A huge plus with the SE3 is its ability to handle even the largest of goggles. You may have noticed the Troy Lee Designs team (remember this doubles as a TLD helmet) run arguably the goggle with the largest frame on the market, the Oakley Airbrake. I personally used the Airbrake, along with the Dragon NFX and 100%'s Racecraft, which make up the largest goggle frames available. Each goggle fit without a problem, with the frame's foam being able to completely seal against my face. The only problem that arose was with the Racecraft's nose guard. The Supra features its own built in nose guard, so most goggles will need theirs removed.
Overall, the Seven Supra has held up quite well. The only major complaint I have is that the cheek pads, chin straps, and part of the liner are made from a white material, meaning they show dirt fairly quickly. On the bright side, they clean up quite well and even the chin strap covers are removable to wash.
The Last Word
Taking a popular pre-existing helmet design was a great move on Seven's part. The designs perfectly match the gear they are modeled after. However, this is also a bit of a negative, since their designs have fairly unique color combos, they don't work too well with other gear sets.
The SE3's superb fit slightly outweighs the average venting. Also, the initial price matched that of most high-end helmets when it was introduced. Since then, some recent models hitting the market have exceeded this. This leaves the SE3 towards the lower-end of this price range, making it a bit better value. Especially when you consider the included extra visor and quality zip-up helmet bag.
Vital MX Rating:
Check out SevenMX.com for more information on the Supra line of helmets.