Nolan N86 Rapid Helmet
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
Good helmet with good features
This helmet fits well and feels well constructed. It does everything it says it does and does it well.
My single complaint about it is that it is loud. At highway speeds earplugs are an absolute requirement if you care about your hearing.
April 14, 2014
I got this helmet to try a more expensive one. I based my purchase on the other two reviews that said the helmet has quiet wind noise. Well, this helmet seems a bit noisier than my HJC.
Did not like the lock down on the visor. Seems a little hard to get open with gloves on.
The detents on the visor are nice, it is very stable at high speeds on the highway and feels very light weight. I like the small patch of reflective material at the back. Colors are great. Fit is pretty good. Drop down sun visor works well. Overall a good helmet for the price.
I think I am going to have to return this one due to the wind noise and the fact that I feel more comfortable (better fit) in an HJC.
April 6, 2014
Worth the money, a big improvement over my first helmet
I got this to replace a Bell Arrow. I couldn't fit sunglasses under the Arrow and my tinted shield constantly got dinged up while riding. The in helmet adjustable sun visor in the N86 works great. The pinlock anti fogging also works fantastic, it seems like magic. I can't get it to fog. I used to have to start my rides with the visor up on cold mornings but that's never an issue with the N86. The fit is much better as well. At first I thought it was too tight but it remains comfortable for long periods of time and at high speeds I get much less wind noise and buffeting. It also is much more stable than the Arrow and I feel more confident checking my blind spot on the highway without the wind yanking my head around. On top of that this just is just a badass looking helmet. The lines and pattern are very sleek and modern and the whole thing feels like very high quality construction.
December 30, 2013