Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers utilize EPS foam for impact absorption, and that’s been the case for decades. By 2010, after over four years of testing and product development, a man named John Lloyd believed he could do better. That’s when he founded a company called Koroyd, which partners with gear makers across a wide variety of disciplines to offer its proprietary impact protection technology.
From military and workplace helmets to action sports protection, the Koroyd material consists of thousands of extremely lightweight, thin-walled plastic tubes which are thermally welded together for strength. If an impact occurs, they instantly crumple to absorb the impact. Since they’re a bunch of hollow tubes, breathability and airflow is excellent—and they’re also incredibly lightweight to wear.
It’s worth noting that Koroyd was designed specifically with the intention of improving impact protection over EPS foam. It’s also worth remembering that EPS foam was originally developed for packaging purposes, not protective ones—so it’s probably no wonder that its level of protectiveness could be improved upon. One of the major ways in which Koroyd differs is that upon both direct and angled impacts, all those tubes crush down in a controlled manner. The company says this means it can absorb as much as 48 percent more energy than EPS.
All of the qualities Koroyd touts seem like extremely desirable features for, say, a motorcycle helmet. In 2017, Klim agreed—and that’s when it introduced the Klim F5 Koroyd helmet with MIPS. It’s both DOT and ECE certified, comes in a full range of sizes from small to 3XL, and comes in a wide range of colors, too. MSRP ranges from $520 to $650, so it’s definitely not cheap. For the safety-minded off-road rider, though, it’s packed with all the safety tech you could want.
In 2020, Thor partnered with Koroyd to launch the Reflex helmet, which features both Koroyd and MIPS for ample protection against impacts, as well as potential rotational motion damage to your brain. This MX helmet is also DOT and ECE certified, comes in sizes XS to 4XL, and comes with your choice of either a fiberglass composite or carbon fiber shell. The fiberglass shell comes in multiple colorways, as well, and MSRP is $395 for the fiberglass and $495 for the carbon.
Now that you know where Koroyd has been, you may be wondering what the future holds. So were we, which is why I asked Koroyd founder John Lloyd a few questions. You’ll find those questions in bold, with Lloyd’s answers directly below.
Are there currently plans in place for more motorcycle helmet manufacturers to use Koroyd going forward, besides Klim and Thor?
Koroyd technology is being widely adopted across many segments, where Koroyd is able to improve the capabilities of a helmet to reduce the risk of injury in case of an accident, and [also] provide passive benefits including reduced weight and improved ventilation. In motorcycling specifically, users highly appreciate the increased ventilation which allows them to remain more comfortable and focused, whatever their discipline.
We have demonstrated, as a highly ethical ingredient brand, that building better products with a few select partners provides a highly enhanced experience for the consumer. We are currently working on further developments which will allow for further adoption of our technology with partners aligned with our long-term vision.
Are there plans with motorcycle gear makers to offer any Koroyd body armor fitted as standard in items of motorcycle protective gear?
Whilst we are active in this space with the lightest, most breathable and thinnest protector passing the level 2 certification in hot and cold, we have learned that for limb protection, demanding riders require optimum flexibility and comfort as well. Furthermore, it is difficult to be successful in this space unless a complete offering is available which includes limb protectors, too.
We see all existing solutions as derivatives of foam, which inherently absorb energy through activation of their molecules. This is quite limiting in terms of energy efficiency compared to absorbing energy through geometry and collapsible structures. We are working on a reversible collapsible structure, which can absorb a high amount of energy whilst offering the flexibility of foams. This will logically lead to OEM solution brands can integrate inside their protective wear.
Is there any other motorcycle-specific news you would like to share with our readers about Koroyd?
It is an exciting time for consumers—who have more options than ever—to take an active role in finding the equipment which will facilitate their riding and protect them in case of an accident. At Koroyd, our engineering team is wholly focused on delivering better product solutions, whilst our commercial team is committed to working with best-in-class manufacturers to deliver our new solutions to the market. It’s more important than ever to take the opportunity to enjoy our own pursuits, and a key component to that is having equipment which instills confidence and enhances the riding experience.