When UTV Revolution named the S&B Helmet Particle Separator as its 2018 SEMA Product of the Year, we had high expectations for it once it went into production. Once we had a chance to test it in race environments on both the west and east coast, we are prepared to say that it far exceeded our expectations.
We had initially planned on writing a full review on the product after the 2019 King of the Hammers. However, since we mostly race and trail ride on the east coast, we thought it better to see how a product that is primarily designed to filter out dust and debris would work being subjected to the parts destroying environments we see on the east coast. The mud and rain takes its toll on many electronic accessories. The S&B fresh air system took all the abuse we could dish out and asked for more.
The system uses a multiple vortex system to bring dirty air in, separate it from the clean air and then uses scavenge fans to expel the dirt out. It is an extremely efficient system in getting rid of 99.36% of the dust it takes in.
The problem with traditional helmet air systems is that they start out with great air flow, but because they use regular air filters, they eventually get clogged up as time passes. This significantly reduces the amount of clean air that gets pushed to your helmet. With the S&B, there is no filter to get clogged up, so the massive 54 CFM that you start out with will remain steady throughout your ride regardless of how dusty or muddy the conditions are.
We were able to get our hands on the product early enough to install it before this year’s Ultra4 King of the Hammers race in Johnson Valley, CA. KOH is a brutal 160+ mile race through the California desert. In addition to that, teams typically pre-run hundreds of miles before the race to get familiar with the course and to dial their machines in. Frequent attention is normally needed for other fresh air systems on the market because they use traditional filters. Since they don’t have significant surface area, they get clogged quickly and don’t produce as much air over time. This was never an issue with us with the S&B system. From the time we started pre-running through the end of our race, we never had any loss of air flow and virtually zero dust entered our helmets. The air blows forcefully and the filtration flat out works.
Fast forward about a month and our next race was in Kentucky for the first round of the Pro Rock Racing Survival Series. You couldn’t find a more opposite environment to KOH. Torrential rains and flooding had plagued the area and the course conditions were a wet and sloppy mess. Factor in unseasonably cool temperatures with the rain and humidity and the face shields were immediately fogging up on everyone’s helmets. Within seconds of turning on the S&B Helmet Particle Separator, we were greeted with a blast of cool fresh air clearing up the face shield completely. The rain and mud blasted the S&B product continuously throughout the event and never suffered one hiccup.
Another thing we like about the S&B fresh air system is the connector hoses that the company produces for their kits. Even though some other systems on the market claim similar CFM numbers to the S&B kit, we believe that the Particle Separator to be the only one on the market that is able to take advantage of the additional air output. Traditional hose connector openings are smaller than the input side of the S&B. This creates a bottleneck with other systems, but the S&B necks down to a traditional output at the helmet which allows more air to flow from the fan, but pushes harder at the helmet itself. Another advantage is that the input and output of the connector hoses use a softer rubberized material with more surface area, which eliminates the hoses from being coming loose during critical moments during a race. When you are strapped down and driving at high speeds, it makes it near impossible to reconnect the hoses safely. Another win for S&B.
Finally, installation and operation of the S&B system is very simple. Wiring is ridiculously easy, even for those that are like us that despise wiring. Each connection is clearly marked and the installation instructions are easy to follow. The waterproof on/off switch that comes with the kit holds up to the harshest of environments and the built in variable speed controller is a big added value bonus to the system that most others charge extra money for.
With our overall experience, UTV Revolution highly recommends the S&B Helmet Particle Separator. Whether you’re playing in the dusty conditions of the desert or the sloppy mud of the east, S&B is going to handle any conditions thrown at it with ease.