Exploring $300-and-Up Modular Helmets | Lids, Flipped

By Marc Cook, Photography by Joe Neric

3.5 stars out of 5

Nolan N104
Nolan’s polycarbonate N104 (3 lbs., 13oz.) packs a number of innovations. The chinbar is designed to be compact, making the 104 more aerodynamic in the open position. The locking, anti-fog internal sun shield is sufficiently dark and has good coverage aside from the unusually large central nose arch. The Pinlock-compatible main shield is also large, for a wide field of view. The shield locks positively in the closed position, but the “cracked” notch allows very little airflow and the first open notch places the shield a full 2 inches from the shell. The fit is moderately snug front-to-rear, and the chinbar sits close to the face. Chinstrap retention is by toothed latch with a tiny release lever. The chinbar mechanism, which is a two-step, pull-and-pinch affair, is difficult to manage even with summer gloves.

3 out of 5 stars

XPEED Roadster
The Roadster from XPEED ties the Shoei for the heaviest of this group (at 3 lbs., 15 oz.), but it carries those extra ounces well. The shell is an “advanced composite FRP,” or fiber-reinforced polymer, though it has a few squeaks and creaks reminiscent of polycarbonate-shell modulars. The fit is slightly snug in the fore-and-aft direction for a long-oval head, but with ample room around the chinbar. An anti-fog coating keeps the main shield clear, while the drop-down sunscreen, operated by a small slider just under your left ear, is closer to a light than dark smoke. The chinstrap is a conventional D-ring. The small chinbar release tab is somewhat hard to find with gloves on, and requires you to pull it down while also pushing the bar upward. Aside from being noisy, the Roadster does little to call attention to its low price—at least in this group.

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