Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Nolan Helmet ROCKS ME!

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I shall preface this document with the following statement:  As a rider of 40 years, I’ve not been a fan of helmets.  That is until I was involved in a slow speed accident where I knocked my noggin on the road surface and continued to roll like a bowling ball for 80 feet down the pavement.  When my brain became cogent of what had occurred: I realized how lucky I was. That was four years ago.
I asked  people I communicate with on Twitter, “What do you recommend for a helmet?”  Many answered “GO WITH NOLAN”. 
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  • Ready for N-COM communication system
  • 6-in-1 crossover helmet design with quick-change accessories allows for customized look and functions for every ride
  • Includes clear shield, integrated sun shield, peak and removable chin bar
  • GE Lexan chin bar is EPS lined; mounted with strong stainless-steel latches, it passes the tests for full face helmets of the European standard ECE-2205
  • Removable and washable liner is antibacterial, antifungal, and wicking
  • Quick-change shield is optically correct and fitted in an exceptionally large eye port. It accepts the Pinlock anti-fog insert (sold separately)
  • Microlock® (adjustable quick-release) retention chinstrap system (Microlock chinstrap helmet lock extension available ~ sold separately)
  • Top vent with rear exhaust grid and shield vent
  • "Outlaw" versions of Nolan Helmets include a sleeker look that excludes any Nolan logos, otherwise this helmet is identical to other N43 helmets
  • DOT approved
  • Helmet Weight: 3 lbs. 7-3/4 oz. (1579g)  
The Nolan is a company based in Italy.  Founded in 1972, their ability to thrive is based on their unique technical and production skills as well as their dedication to innovation.  At least that’s what I’ve read.  When I see riders like Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner (both MotoGP riders) wearing the Nolan helmet, I have to realize there are some convincing technologies that have made their way into my new helmet.

The day the Nolan Helmet arrived I was pleasantly surprised. How is it possible to weigh less than my half shell helmet? It does indeed weigh less, and somehow feels less clumsy in my hands.
The next day I put the helmet on my head (only after carefully reading the instructions.) I tested it in some fairly harsh conditions. The vestiges of a hurricane were passing though the area.  The deluge of heavy precipitation would test what I thought to be the limits of my kind of weather riding.  I was very surprised at the lack of fogging that occurred on the inside of the visor.  There was some, but it didn’t drift into my field of vision.
One of the many excuses I have used over the years to disclaim full helmet use was my experience with the old style helmets and their propensity to limit peripheral view.  I had no such problems with this helmet. I in fact felt I had a better side view in this helmet than in my half shell.
The top vent on the Nolan N43 helmet works very well. I forgot to close it on my rainy day ride, causing my scalp to feel quite chilled. Once I located it on the top of my helmet while riding, it was a simply matter of moving the lever to close it. My head warmed up right away and I was quite comfortable. 
The next day I tested the helmet in sunny and warm conditions. Here, I was using the sun visor. Switching between the sun visor and the Lexon face shield was as simple as pushing a slide to retract the sun visor into the shell.  The slide is easily operated with my gloved hand. 
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As I rode on the 2nd day, I realized there was much less wind drag on my head with the Nolan than with my half shell. That alone is worth high praise from me. As a high mileage rider, I find anything reducing fatigue to be worth its weight in gold.
The chin guard is easily removed by latches on both sides of the helmet located near the mid jaw line.  If the need ever arises it is a quick disconnect and the helmet can be safely removed with less injury to the neck. I’m impressed. 
The Nolan N43 is also equipped to be wired with the Nolan NCom system.  I have a slightly different Blue Tooth motorcycle communication system.  I’ve found my system will work within their design, but it’s really not as “clean” as their own communication system.  When the funds permit, I will be switching over to Nolan’s blue tooth communications arrangement. 
In conclusion, I quite like my Nolan N43 Trilogy Outlaw helmet.  It’s so light. It’s very aero-dynamic, its clear visor and smoked sun visor are easily put into use.  The chin guard is one heck of a cool innovation, allowing the rider to make his/her own choice as to the style of helmet we care to entrust our heads and necks with.  The com integration center is easy to use and quite the bonus to the riders who like to have music, phone, and navigation electronics integrated into one simple design. As a newly converted full helmet user, I’m convinced I will be wearing a Nolan on my incredibly round Charlie Brown head for a very long time. 
Thanks Nolan  Helmets…for giving me a feeling of safety and security that I  have lacked for An exceedingly long time!