Nolan N44 Hi Vis Helmet
An amazing helmet...with a flaw that keeps it from being perfect
First off, this helmet is probably one of the best helmets I've ever worn. Packed full of features, soft padding, spring loaded sun shield (that fits perfectly over your glasses) and immaculate Italian styling. I opted for the high-vis orange which on my black FZ8 looks pretty mean. I would recommend it to anyone shopping for a full face. You won't be disappointed.
Now on to the "bad" which isn't even that bad.
Now I store my helmet on my bike when i'm at work, on my old full face this wasn't an issue. I loop through the D rings and lock her up. However, this is a ratchet lock helmet, so that's not an option. Then you might think, well just loop it through the chin guard, problem solved... but with this helmet you can remove the chin guard. Aside from looping it through the small strap that keeps the ratchet and guard felt together, there are no other options.
If anyone has any ideas of where I can loop my helmetlok through, please let me know, in the meantime i'll be carrying my helmet in with me wherever I go.
July 6, 2014
A Solid Well Made Helmet with many features and a few minor annoyances
I ordered this helmet last fall and am happy with the purchase. I wear it on my daily, 40 mile round-trip commute and have yet to experience any major problems.
The modular features are well thought out, and are easy to implement. For example, the removable chin guard pops on and off with ease. The inner sun visor is handy, and the mechanism to lower and raise the visor is easily accomplished with gloves on. The face mask can be removed and replaced without too much fuss.
There are, however, some minor annoyances: 1) Lifting the face mask can prove to be difficult as the plastic bit under which one needs to place a finger to lift it up is not so big and can be difficult to find while wearing thick gloves; 2) More locking positions for the face mask in an uplifted position would have been a welcomed addition. It seems as if there are only 2 positions - open slightly and open all the way; 3) When the face mask is in the slightly open position, the black, front air vent blocks the view to the instrument panel on the bike, (my particular setup - 6 Ft on a 2002 BMW R1150R) necessitating a head shift in order to see the speed and tach gauges; 4) During the colder morning rides face mask fogging is a serious problem. There is really no way to ride with the visor fully closed unless one installs the pin lock insert, which for me, was not provided with the helmet, I had to order separately.
As spring and summer approach, I plan to remove the face mask and chin guard for most of my rides, so I don't see the annoyances listed above as major problems.
I would recommend the helmet - so long as you use the pin lock insert.
March 6, 2014
Very versatile helmet with exceptional vision. I catch people doing a double take this thing is so bright! Airflow is OK not stellar. The first notch on the shield is really good at low speed. The fact I can make this a touring, adventure, or normal helmet drew me to this design. I do think the chin strap could be its downfall for some. With the chin guard so low I have to alter the way I situate the helmet for this not to be a problem. I will say it is very comfortable and the fit is really good. The drop down tinted shield is super cool and handy especially when wearing this with the visor.
March 5, 2014
Versatile, high quality with one significant defect
I bought this helmet after wearing a Torc T22 Interstate, which has been great but wearing out. I ride SoCal freeways ~75 miles every day, and the features of this helmet mostly hit the mark of what I need. The visibility through the long and wide face shield is great. The tradeoff is more heat generated than I'm used to inside the helmet facing the sun (85 deg under clear skies), but good venting at 80 mph when I opened up the "Airbooster" airflow system. Using the peak should help, but I'm not fond of the drag at highway speeds so I'll probably never use it. The inner sun visor flips down and releases back up pretty well, the visor could come down a little further though. The shield does stay up well in the upper stop at speeds up to around 50 mph (shouldn't be up any faster than that anyway). I've had some minor problems with fogging in the morning.
The high-vis orange is eye catching, and every bit helps here where no one stops for red lights, stop signs, flashing school buses, blinkers are a sign of weakness, and freeway driving speeds are between complete stop and 25-35 mph over the limit all the time. The design and this color of the helmet give a cool throwback look to the early space age.
The helmet is (much) louder than I expected, after reading other reviews. I guess I've been lucky with previous helmets, for the N44 you'll want earplugs or good earbuds when riding any faster than 50mph even fully buttoned up with the Airflow system closed.
There is only one aspect about the helmet that truly grieves me: the chin strap is a flawed design (or someone on the assembly line read the drawings wrong). The main issues is that the strap is about 2 inches too short for anyone who does not have a pencil neck. The "patent pending" Microlock2 is efficient to close and open with summer riding gloves, but because of the insufficient length of the connecting strap, I can only get the tongue in about 2 clicks without the plastic piece digging into my throat. At least 5 clicks are specified in the owner's manual. And I am not big or thick necked by any means, 160 lbs 5' 8" and medium sizes always ft well, there should never be shortage of chin strap length to negotiate with. It's very distracting, if not a safety flaw that worries me about it either opening in hard impact (why I bought the thing) or else cutting into my throat. The rest of the helmet fits perfect so I can't go up a size, and don't think that would solve this critical defect. The chin strap is just a bad design. I suspect Nolan is dumping this version in the US market.
Were it not for the chin strap problem, which I regard to be a safety problem, I'd have given the N44 4 or 5 stars, taking off some points only for the loudness. But I'm sending the helmet back because of the chin strap, I don't like being constantly aware of it.
February 13, 2014
Incredible eye catching color!
This helmet was just about everything I was looking for. Great visibility and peripheral vision, a comfortable bucket that fit my head well, good ventilation, easy on and off, and a high-visibility orange that would catch a blind man's eye... photos do not do this helmet justice, the high visibility color really stands out. I figure one of the best ways to keep safe out there is to be seen on the road. The only thing I was bummed about was that it wasn't snell rated also, being that it's a modular helmet I don't think it can be. Also I have a long to intermediate oval head shape and this fit quite well. I went a size smaller to a large just so it doesn't bounce around on me in the wind once it's broken in. Thank you so much Revzilla, you make purchasing motorcycle equipment easy!
February 10, 2014