Nolan N86 Rapid Helmet
Great helmet - just loud.
History - Rode road bikes exclusively in my younger years, after a 20 year break mainly riding off road, recently returned to the road. So my comparisons are almost vintage in the Shoei that I last wore. The quality of the helmet is superb, well made with great materials and finish. The pin lock visor is fantastic, can't seem to fog it even when I try, the internal sun visor is very handy though really needs to come down further, the lower edge creates a visual anomaly that can be distracting. Like wise the pin lock visor at night creates a 'ghosting' kind of effect with light points, very minor issue for the benefit provided. This, for me, is a really comfortable helmet, I have a fat head and found the sizing accurate, the only minor issue is folding down my ear/s as I slide it on, just takes a little tuck then it's all good. I bought the n-Com system and I'm really happy with it (well, apart from the price) it's great for using the phones navigation system. A friend called me whilst I was riding recently and he couldn't believe that I was talking to him with a helmet on and riding, he said it sounded like a normal call. The only real, and very disappointing, issue with this helmet is the noise, at urban speeds it is noticeable and at hwy speeds it is almost overbearing, I've taken to wearing earplugs when riding, a first for me. I think nowadays there is really no excuse for a lot of 'in helmet' wind noise, a small amount of extra material and some wind tunnel testing should all but eliminate the noise. Overall very happy with the helmet otherwise, I recommend it (with the proviso about the noise), remove the noise issue and I would highly recommend the helmet.
March 8, 2015
First Upgrade Worthy
I really like this helmet.
In comparison to a HJC CSR1-Dagger, this helmet is top of the line with knick knack features. I was very worried about ordering too small. With my experience though, my measurements were still smaller than the XS by half an inch and this helm fit perfectly where it needs to. I wear glasses when I ride and even though there is a modification to make it more comfortable, I personally found it not necessary and have had no pressure point problems so far. The sun visor feature is neat, but if you have not worn a helmet with it before it can be a little distracting to adjust to. After that, it's great.
Not So Awesome Stuff:
This helmet is quite round. My ears feel like they are in open air there is so much space, but this may be due to the purposeful set up for a bluetooth system. This extra space also allows a little too much noise, and ear plugs are necessary. Also, the pinlock is included for a reason. Without it, you are guaranteed to fog up due to the poor ventilation which I find disappointing this flaw is so bad it needs an "extra" to fix it that otherwise is not standard in most helmets. The ventilation is not so bad it is a deal breaker, but depending on if you live in a humid area it may not be your helmet.
November 11, 2014
Good initially, looking forward to long term.
So I'm coming to the Nolan Rapid from an older Shoei 1100. My Shoei was pushing 6 years old and I decided to get a new helmet with the possibility of upgrading my decade old comm system as well. I've been using a clip on Chatterbox system that is really starting to show its age. I picked this helmet for several reasons. Looks great, good reviews, different features, and price. The features that drew me were the level of integration that Nolan does with its comm systems, a definite plus. Also the drop down sun visor and the different chin strap lock thing. I like the strap, it offers a lot of fine tuning for getting the helmet to fit comfortably. The visor I'm still out to lunch on. It does leave a bit of 'un-shaded' area at the bottom of the visor. So far not a deal breaker, but I need to ride more than a month with it before I decide to get a separate shield (which is what I used to have, but it'd be nice to roll with just a clear so I never had change...). This is the most eye-glasses friendly helmet I have ever had. I took out the foam pieces in the temple per the instructions and my glasses slide right in and fit wonderfully. As I've read elsewhere though, this may be different depending on your head shape and glasses. It's light, a bit noisier than my old shoei, and fits me well (bought a large). Overall I am very happy with it so far, and will probably get an ncomm system down the road as well.
November 10, 2014
Great features for the price, but there are sizing issues!
This is my first motorcycle helmet so it's hard to compare this helmet to others, although I have worn a few for short periods. I wanted a full face helmet that had an internal sun visor so I wouldn't have to switch visors while riding. I was willing to spend some money but I really wanted something less than $300. I think it offers a lot of good features for its price point, but you are of course making compromises compared to the more expensive helmet options.
Here is what I think the important points to know about this helmet:
- Venting is decent at 30 mph or greater from what I have found. (I also appreciate that it is easy to find the vents with gloves on.) Now, coming down less than that will cause the visor to fog up a bit. The visor does have an opened "cracked" position but it goes up a little too much in that position.
- The drop down sun visor can fog up. But it's pretty rare. It also doesn't drop down as far as I would like, but it's still extremely useful feature I'd rather have than not. Definitely a good reason to get this helmet!
- The sizing. I measured my head and according to the sizing chart I was an XL right on the money. However when I wore this out after 30 minutes, the pressure point on the forehead caused me to get headaches. I have an oval/intermediate oval head and this sucker is round. I couldn't return it so what I did was go to nolan usa website and order an XXL headliner. This did the trick. So I have the large cheek pads and the XXL headliner. It cost me $50 more, but I still think the helmet is a bargain.
So basically, if you are someone who has an oval shaped head over round, you may experience some issues with sizing. If you already wore the helmet like I did, these can be resolved by buying the headliner on nolan's website so it isn't a waste of money. I hope that helps someone out there!
August 31, 2014
Overall a great helmet for a great price
This helmet is stylish, comfortable and comes with great features. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a quality helmet that won't break the bank.
August 5, 2014
On the small side
I measured my head as per instructions on the web site and my head was on the larger end of Medium. I went with a large and it is still a little small for me. It fits, but i would rather have the XL. The padding is comfortable for all day wear,
DONT buy the Ncom set. It is not worth the money, the SENA BT speakers fit perfectly, and the unit mounts to the helmet just fine. You get the same functions but with 1/3rd the price of the Ncom. I ride a Triumph Tiger 1050, and at 80MPH I was able to have a phone conversation just fine. There is more wind noise then I would have expected, but this all depends on the buffeting of your motorcycle. On my dads goldwing, I have no wind noise due to the windscreen, but on the triumph, there is a considerable amount of noise. Not enough for ear plugs. But, like i said, i was still able to have a phone conversation at 80mph and i can listen to music just fine.
As for air flow, there is almost none. This part i was really disappointed in. Yes there are vents, but when you take the lining out of the helmet, there are only 4 small holes (size of a pencil) the circulate the air in the helmet. At stop and go traffic, you will have to ride with the visor up.
Overall, I like the helmet. On cold days it does just fine keeping my head at a comfortable temp. On hot days (south Mississippi), there isnt enough air flow with the visor down. you can ride to about 35-40mph with the visor up before it starts to shudder and mess with your vision. I like the fact i was able to install the SENA BT set instead of spending $400+ on the Ncom system. The built in sun visor is also great. The helmet feels well built, from the movement of the visor to the overall build quality. There are no squeaks of parts rubbing together like some of the cheaper helmets out there. the graphics on the helmet was probably the #1 selling point for me. When it is time for a new helmet, i will probably look at getting a different brand, but I am happy with this helmet.
Ill add pictures of my Ncom set up with the helmet when i get a chance.
June 16, 2014
Looks amazing. The helmet is spectacular.
Came from an older Exo-400 (I think it was a 400). Immediately noticed that the Nolan has much thinner padding but the fit was generally the same (smaller shell I guess?). Both were xl. The nolan is longer in the snout though which is nice because my nose basically pressed against the visor on the Scorpion.
Comes with a pinlock visor and drop down visor. Perfect.
drop down visor doesn't tint super much but it does it's job and looks cool doing it.
I am constantly getting compliments on the look of the helmet.
I feel as though the neck strap isn't quite long enough though. It presses against my neck if I'm not in a riding position and can get a little uncomfortable.
compared to the exo-400, the viewport is much bigger and it felt so nice looking through a brand new CLEAN FRESH visor. I kept reaching to pull the visor down because I thought it was open.
A++ for looks.
A++ for drop down visor.
A++ for viewport.
A++ for price.
I watched, decided, and rode. Thumbs Up.
If it says I ride a Goldwing, that's my dad's bike. I ride a 2011 600rr. Not that there is anything wrong with a goldwing...
June 10, 2014
Overall, a good weekend helmet but not spectacular.
I bought this helmet as an upgrade from a Scorpion EXO500 and I am happy with the purchase, even though it has its problems. The helmet fits my oval head well with only a little pinch at the ears, but the helmet is still breaking in so this may go away. The helmet does not buffer much in full wind (No Fairing) and the chin skirt does keep wind from coming up into your eyes. This is a very likeable helmet and the fit and finish are of very high quality, but I do have a few complaints.
First, the helmet is louder than I would have wanted. I have the Nolan speaker system installed in it and they are easily heard over the murmur of the wind so it is acceptable, however after a long ride the wind noise is noticeable, even with earplugs. I may invest in some musicians earplugs for long run or touring days.
Finally, the biggest complaint I have is the flip down sun visor. The mechanism works brilliantly, however the visor only covers about 3/4 of my view. This means any reflections coming back up off the bike are unfiltered and there is a distinct line through your sight at right about gauge level. If Nolan were to sell a series of custom replacement visors then I would add another inch to mine and it would be great! Now I just ride with sunglasses in, which are easy because of the eyeglasses sockets, and use the flip visor as extra protection when I turn directly into the sun.
As I have said, I do like the helmet. I am a fan of the racer graphics, the good fit, and the lightness of it. However, the noise and visor does keep it from getting a 5 star rating.
P.S. I sit usually very upright on my Bonneville and this has me looking straight and level out of the helmet. In a more forward leaning, sport bike position the sun visor problem may be alleviated since you look up and out of the helmet.
Motorcycle: 2004 Triumph Bonneville T-100 Black
June 4, 2014