Maja Kenney of Maja’s Motorcycle Adventures reviews the LS2 Explorer Plus (Off-Road) Helmet.
Having ventured into the world of adventure motorcycling I needed a new helmet to match the activity and of course, my new adventure bike, too!
The first impression was a very positive one even before I took the helmet out of the box. The packaging itself is well thought out, with good design. The helmet itself is packed in the usual drawstring bag and as a bonus, it also comes with a carry bag. That’s my flight carry-on sorted. It also comes with an inflatable helmet ring for when you are fitting the comms to the helmet, removing the peak or the visor and generally storing it.
The helmet also comes with a pinlock and a set of blanking plates to use when the peak comes off. I love that about the helmet, I can use it with or without the peak depending on the type of riding I want to do. The removal of the peak is very easy, you need an allen key that comes in the box with the helmet and a Phillips screwdriver (you have to use your own) to remove the screw holding the peak in place at the top of the helmet. It took me 10 minutes to remove it the first time because I took a while to figure out how to take out the blanking plate at the top without breaking it (it just snaps in and out of the mount) but subsequent times the whole process took only a few minutes. I really like the sturdiness of the mounts and that you need to screw the visor in place, it feels much easier and not as flimsy as it does with the plastic systems on some other helmets.
The only thing I have noticed after using the helmet for a few weeks is that the rubber that seals the visor at the top seems to be rubbing against the pinlock when you open and close the visor. My pinlock now has visible markings at the sides. This is more of a cosmetic annoyance as it doesn’t impair the vision itself.
The look itself is quite aggressive, with the chin piece coming up very high and this does mean I had to slightly tilt my head down to see the bike’s dials (compared to the road helmets I have). However, it comes with a very wide side view which helps with the periphery vision.
With every new helmet, I know to expect it to be tight for the first few rides, some take a while to ‘bed in’ and stop giving me a tension headache. I was delighted to find out that the fit is excellent and even after wearing it for a good three hours on the first ride, I’ve almost forgotten I am wearing a brand new helmet.
The LS2 Explorer fits perfectly around the crown of my head and it squeezes my cheeks in place. There is plenty of space around the lower jaw and chin area which makes it easy to talk to your riding buddies if you are connected with intercoms or just to sing out loud happy tunes. Some helmets can make me feel a little bit claustrophobic if they are too tight around the chin area, especially on long rides. I love the LS2 fit because even after a full day’s riding I don’t feel confined in the helmet and at the same time I feel very safe.
The foam in the helmet is laser cut, and the inside is hypoallergenic and breathable. The liner is washable and the helmet comes with a chin curtain for the colder rides to keep the wind away from your neck. As per my previous point, even with the chin curtain the movement of my jaw is not restricted.
The helmet is made out of carbon fibre composite and weighs 1400 grams which is very light indeed. It is ECE 22.06 compliant and DOT certified and is manufactured in 3 shells to ensure a good fit across different sizes. The sizes range from XS to 2XL and it is a long oval shape.
There are several vents to help keep you cool, a chin vent, two at the top of the helmet and two side vents or exhaust ports. Thanks to their design, they are super easy to open/close with a gloved hand.
To ensure good protection the chin strap is reinforced, and it fastens with the double D Ring. Personally, I really like the colour and the finish of the D Rings, too. The helmet also comes with an emergency release system.
The visor is scratch resistant and the helmet also comes with an internal dark sun visor. I wish the sun visor would drop down a little lower to give you fewer lines in your field of vision This is especially important for me as I have to wear spectacles when riding and the rims of my specs already clutter the view.
Having worn the helmet on three long days of green laning I am very pleased with the fit, the comfort and the look. Equally on roads, it handles the wind really well, the peak doesn’t pull your head backward when you look up. It is fairly quiet although not the quietest one I’ve ever tried. There is minimum lining covering the comms speakers which I like because I can hear the sound much better than in some other helmets.
I had the opportunity to take the helmet on a trip to Spain for three days and as I was hiring a street bike, I left the peak at home. The performance of the helmet was impressive in 25-degree Celsius weather where the many vents really made a big difference to my comfort. You can feel the air coming into the helmet from the vents on top and that helps keep your head cool. I found it quite easy to take the helmet off and back on at stops.
The best bit is that, as mentioned before, the helmet comes with a carry bag which made for the perfect carry-on bag on the flight. The helmet itself is light and the bag is big enough to allow me to fit inside my cameras to record the rides, a book, glasses and a few other bits and pieces for the flight.
Overall I find the LS2 helmet delivered more than I expected from a brand I wasn’t very familiar with. It offers great value for money with all the safety features and certification and the real bonus is the superior build and finish quality of the helmet. At £320 mark this helmet definitely feels more premium than its price tag.
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