Nolan N44 Tech Helmet
Good Helmet with a Compromise
After a lot of research I ended up buying the N44 helmet for its multi-functionality. I was looking for a dual-sport helmet for my KTM 990 and on that bike I ride 70% street and 30% dirt. I was looking for a helmet between full street and full dirt and this seemed to fit the bill. The configuration options are great and I like taking the face bar off when it gets really hot. Field of view with this helmet is excellent. The helmet is noisy but I wear ear plugs so it's no biggy. One concern I have is on the 2nd day of use the drop-down tinted visor detached from the mechanism (then got scratched) so I had to manually push it up for the remaining trip. I'm not sure it's a true "dirt helmet" but everything has a compromise. I also can't tell when the vents are open or closed. Otherwise, I would give it 5 stars. I hope this helmet can stand the test of time.
September 30, 2014
I like the helmet
I had the N43 for three years before this helmet. I feel this is an improvement and an upgrade. I had to order one size bigger, but iI like it. Good field of vision. It is somewhat loud, but all helmets are basically loud without earplugs or earbuds. I wear Klipsch S4I rugged earbuds most of the time anyway. I like the way it looks and feels. A lot more air flow than the N43. I like the face shield clicks. I think they put them in the right place.
September 8, 2014
Im a fan of nolan brand and comparing the n43 (that i loved) the new n44 is way better, design, and features! strongly recommended for the price!
August 25, 2014
Good helmet-Glad I purchased
After reading a few negative reviews I decided to spring for it anyways and...ALMOST returned it. Why? The chin strap was uncomfortable. But there was so much MORE to like I figured out a fix. I just gently heated up the plastic part and slightly conformed it (rounded it) to fit over my adams apple. Done deal.
The negative reviews regarding the interior sun shield not dropping down far enough I think were mistakenly given by folks who didn't try the helmet ON THE BIKE. Once on the bike your in a certain position that the visor (IMHO) drops down far enough to be effective. The ventilation I thought was pretty good so long as your on the move. Maybe could be improved a tad. But the weight and visibility! I LOVE those aspects. My previous helmet was a pound heavier so maybe thats why I got so excited about this ones weight. Honestly, for the modular design, the cool styling and the visibility aspects alone I think its a great helmet.
June 24, 2014
Solid value but a bit loud
My head is intermediate oval and have trouble finding a solid helmet. The Shark evoline 3 is too round and squeezed the front of my 7 5/8" noggin. The Vega phantom was too tight even @ 2XL. The Vega Summit 3.0 is comfortable but noisy and visibility downward was limited by the breathbox. But I really liked the Shark's innovative movable chin bar system so I tried the phantom, returned the XL and 2XL and got the N44. While there are others w removable chins, the N44 uses metal connectors so earned safety rating. Oddly though, removing the chin does not increase air flow cause of the length of the face shield. But the intakes in the crown make up for it. The helmet seals very well when the shield is closed, so well that the sound of air rushing by reverberates inside with a boomy sound that is louder than the Summit or Shark. The ratchet strap is innovative but feels rough and chokes me a bit - my biggest complaint comfort-wise. The color scheme matches my Can-AM Spyder's circuit yellow metallic nicely which is a plus. Also, unlike Anthony's comment, you can mount an aftermarket BT unit. My Sena 5 mounts securely using their stickly-taped mount.
June 23, 2014
Average helmet-nothing special-Save your money
Road visibility in this helmet is superb. Almost like not wearing a helmet at all. Options are more than what I or most will ever need. Finish is very nice.
Contrary to all the hype, venting is good but not as great as expected.
With this said:
The N44 is very noisy, squeaky and rattles from just about everywhere. This helmet is horrible above 50 MPH. And useless on the highway. The lack of aerodynamics is apparent even from 45 mpg. If your looking for a helmet to use only on local roads and you will stay at low speeds then this is a great helmet for that purpose. Anything above local riding choose something else.
December 8, 2013
Lots of functionality
This is my first helmet and very pleased with it. I got it for it's modular function, large face screen, and graphics. Graphics are nice although personal preference. I also added the Nolan B4 Bluetooth system.
Airflow on top is decent and haven't had any problems. The airframe on top does seem big although blends well into the back of the helmet.
The face shield is nice and wide although does seem to fog up easily (Fall). Great to have the pinlock system. Very easy to take the shield off and put back on. Easy to manipulate but I do wonder if the position catches will break down over time. I also wish there were other options but clear is the only available option at this time. The sun visor could be darker but satisfied with it. Chin bar is easy to manipulate as well and one of the benefits for this model.
Sound does seem to be loud although I have been experimenting with windshield adjustments to reduce buffeting, drag, and noise.
Cushioning is decent and no problems. Easy to remove and put back in. Fit/Size was spot on (XL for me).
Installing the Nolan Bluetooth system was a snap. Mouthpiece sits a little close inside the chin bar but not annoying.
No problems with the chin strap although I was initially concerned. There is some cushion over the straps but not across the main ratcheting block. I haven't lost any skin nor have been bothered by the ratcheting system, and have found it nice to unbuckle the helmet with one hand.
November 27, 2013
A very nice, versatile helmet.
Been looking for a helmet to replace an HJC FS-15 Carbon, which was getting a bit old in the tooth, but was a great helmet, as far as I'm concerned (except for the cheap plastic on the vents#. I've also owned a Nolan N102 and a Akuma GhostRider full-face helmet in the past. I was tempted by the N43, but when I heard the N44 was coming out, I decided to wait and try it out. For reference, I'm currently riding a Tiger 800 w/ a Madstad windscreen, and have had the helmet for about 2 weeks / 300 miles. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it, but do have a few nitpicks.
Out of the box, the M-sized helmet #same size as my HJC# fit well. There is a bit more material around the ear pockets, which is weird at first, but not really uncomfortable. The fit and finish are much improved over my N102, and I like the graphics #which, of course, are a personal preference#. The chin guard does feel a bit close to my lips/chin, but not it's not that much closer than my other full-face helmets. If you have a more pronounced chin or jaw, I can see it being an issue for you, though.
The giant shield is great #mostly...#! Visibility is awesome, but it does tend to fog up easily in cooler weather without the Pinlock in. With the Pinlock, there's a huge area of non-fogged shield to look through, but at night there's a bit more glare off of lights. When inserting the Pinlock, be careful, though... I had one of the pins pop out and go flying off, so I had to call Nolan USA and get a replacement #they were great and sent me some new pins free of charge, btw!#. The sun shield, which I sort of considered a novelty, seems to work OK and comes down far enough, IMO, to not be distracting. One thing about the shield, though, is that there's no 'half-way' stop. If you want to scratch your nose while on the bike, if you don't push it all the way up #a relatively long throw with this shield# to where it is no longer protecting your eyes, it will drop down on your hand as you reach under.
Like on my Nolan N201, I do like the ratcheting chin strap, though the one on the N44 is narrower. Others have said this style strap feels like they're being garroted, but no problem as far as rubbing my neck for me.
On the bike, the helmet feels well balanced and the weight isn't noticeable #comparing to my carbon fiber FS-15#. The chin guard, because of the way it angles down a bit, tends to bump my shoulders when turning my head and catch on my jacket, but with the peripheral view I don't need to turn my head quite as much. Hopefully, I'll develop a 'technique' to minimize this.
Sound - I was hoping this helmet would be quieter than my current helmet, though I wasn't holding my breath. I would say it's about the same as my FS-15, though the tone of the wind noise is a bit deeper. There's a slight gap in the padding at the base of the neck in the back that seems to let in a lot of noise. Noise is also worse on the left side, possibly from a gadget I have mounted on my handlebars, but with my FS-15, I never noticed a difference from left to right. I guess I'll be continuing to wear plugs on anything longer than a short ride.
Ventilation - This is something I'm pretty disappointed with so far, as I was hoping for something better given all the big scoops on the helmet. The chin vent on the shield lets in a minimal amount of air, and I think it's pretty useless with the vent position of the shield letting in a good amount of air. The top vents don't seem to work much at all #maybe a bit as I tilt my head down?#, though hopefully that will improve as I break in the padding. I'll experiment more with the vents in conjunction with my windscreen in the spring. There is also a lot of air coming through the chin curtain, which may be OK in warmer weather, but I wish the material of the curtain was more solid now in the cooler months. A balaclava would probably solve this and the gap at the base of the neck mentioned earlier, though I didn't usually wear one with my other helmets unless it was really cold. BTW, out of all my helmets, I think my Akuma GhostRider vented the best.
I haven't tried mounting my SENA headset yet, but there are small 'pockets' carved-out of the foam liner under the padding for speakers. I don't know if the SENA speakers will fit, though... The clamp base might not work, though, and I will probably need to use the stick-on base option. I plan on using the wired mic, as I don't ever really plan on removing the chin guard and just wearing this as a FF helmet.
So basically, I was hoping for a 'better' helmet than my FS-15 in at least some ways. Though I'm generally happy with the N44, what I think I got was just a 'different' helmet. It's not any quieter, it doesn't #so far# seem to have better ventilation, but the view out the shield is definitely better, and the color is much more visible.
November 1, 2013