What can’t cat ears improve? This was the question asked by Russian company Nitrinos motostudio when they made their Neko Helmets, road-safe motorcycle helmets that just happen to have a pair of cat ears sticking out of the top. Impractical? Yeah. Do we love them anyway? Of course!
Since introducing the helmets in 2011 (we were missing out!), Nitrinos has created 12 designs for the Neko Helmet line, all of which have full-on fiberglass cat ears on the topside. There’s a lot of variety here, too. There’s a plain design, more racing-inspired colored schemes, and even some helmets that have been painted to look like the entire head of a different kind of cat, like a leopard or a panther. There are also more stylized cat head designs, which even rock rows of painted-on teeth if you want that real edgy motorcycle look.
They look rad, but the first problem that jumps out at us is aerodynamics. Apparently the company has figured out a way to at least mitigate that with a careful construction that ensures negligible extra drag up to 100 km/h. In the event of a crash, the ears detach cleanly to make sure the rider stays as safe as possible — as much as we love cat ears, we’d rather them not make motorcycle riding even more dangerous than it already is.
Each Neko Helmet has polyester lining, a protective visor, and a sun visor. They comes in sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL and can be customized, as each one is made to order. If you don’t have any special requests, pricing ranges from $495 to $660 depending on which style of helmet you get.