I purchased a closeout Nolan N100, no frills helmet, at Americade in 2002, never hearing of Nolan as a manufacturer. The reason I bought it was that it seemed like a well built helmet, the price was right, and most importantly it was the only helmet that actually fit my fat head. I love that helmet and it has worn well, was comfortable, and was a solid helmet. Now, after almost 8 years I decided it was time to buy a new helmet, because DOT says they should be replaced after 5 years of use, for safety reasons. Upon doing further research, I found Nolan to have a pretty solid reputation, so this further solidified my decision to stick with them. When the shipping box came I tore it open, retrieved my new helmet, and wore it around our apartment for close to an hour. My wife was not impressed, but I was! Below are the manufacturer specs, which I will give my impressions for each below.
Manufacturer Specifications: 1. Ready for N-COM communication system. 2. Aerodynamic polycarbonate shell, with built-in spoiler for improved stability. 3. Pivoting chin bar with stainless-steel latching mechanism. 4. Safety dual-action Centromatic release system. 5. VPS (Vision Protection System) - short dark shield mounted on outside of the shell and moving independently from the clear shield with 3 positions. 6. Fully removable and machine washable interior on snaps and tabs with extra neck roll for wind-noise reduction. 7. Easier to open Jet Stream Wing® top vent and independently operated chinbar vents. 8. Optically correct, tool-less quick-change Lexan® face shield, protected from UVA and UVB offering UV 400 protection. 9. Multi-position anti-scratch shield accepts NFR antifog insert (included). 10. Chin curtain included. 11. Microlock® (adjustable quick release) retention system. 11. Sanitized antimicrobial hypoallergenic inteior. 12. Velour chin strap padding. 13. DOT certified.
My Personal Impressions: 1. N/A (I don't own the N-Com system) 2. Significantly improved from the N100 I use to own; not as much head bobble in high winds or at highway speeds. 3. Very comfortable, adjustable chin bar, study, does not budge but releases easily. 4. The release system used to open the helmet face is great. Opens one handed, solid lock up, the safety retracts into helmet face when not in use (it's the red button in the picture). 5. The VPS at first makes you look like Robo Cop, but after wearing it in the bright sun I'm impressed. The half shield mounted over the full clear shield operates independently, and is polarized, reducing a lot of bright sun. All my buddies are jealous. 6. I have not removed the interior, but it's extremely comfortable padding and does significantly reduce wind noise, even with the vents wide open. 7. The new top vent is much easier to open and lets in a large volume of circulating air. I like the independent chinbar vents because I can open one or both depending on how much breeze I want to feel; vents are easy to find when riding. 8. The removable face shield is a huge bonus, especially if you have to clean it. Easy to remove, quite sturdy too; I have dropped my older helmet a few times onto the face shield and it didn't break. 9. The fog shield is amazing; cleans with soap and water, prevents fog 99.99% of the time; now only if I can figure out how to get my eye glasses to perform equally as well. 10. The chin curtain was a little weird at first, but now having ridden on cold (25 deg F) Western NY spring mornings, I appreciate it. My head stays warm even with the vents full open. Easy to remove too, for summer riding. 11. I assume this is the one on the chin strap, and it locks up positively, does not release when pulled on without using the release, and is built very well. 12. Very comfortable. My old N100 didn't have this and it use to irritate my chin if I hadn't shaved, but this one does not. 13. A must.
Overall Impressions: I don't regret buying another Nolan. The closeout price was unbeatable, it's comfortable as heck, solidly built, and has amazing features (fog shield, VPS system, one hand opening, etc). If you're looking for a great helmet, I strongly suggest a Nolan!
Make: Nolan (http://www.nolanhelmets.com/) Model: N102 N-COM Target Graphic Modular Full Face Flip Up Helmet Purchased from: http://www.powersportsuperstore.com Regular Price: $~400 Closeout Price: $216! Owned for: 3 weeks
Editor's Note: Thanks to Zachary Henneman for the cool photo from his New York Photography Website, and for the detailed writeup!