Motorcycle tyres and crash helmets are always going to be very much a subjective personal choice. Like the motorcycle itself, various brands will have their dedicated followers who will always believe their brand is best. Ian Kerr reviews LS2’s urban helmet
Whilst in the UK we now have the government-backed SHARP ratings for helmets aimed at helping riders make informed choices, appearance and cost are still going to be the decision points for many.
Professional and long distance riders are going to make choices based on comfort, weight, and noise reduction, but given the limited mileages most riders now do in a year, cost, style and comfort are probably going to sway a purchase decision in many cases.
In the past few years the numbers of new brands joining the established names in helmet manufacturing have increased, some have lasted and others disappeared as quickly as they came. However, LS2 have gradually established themselves as major player thanks to their innovation and quality – not to mention safety – with many top flight racers now using their products.
The brand can trace its lineage back to 1992 when Arthur Liao started a home-based helmet business in China, opening a production plant selling helmets under the FENGXING brand name.
In 1997, FENGXING adopted the ‘MHR’ brand as it entered the international market gaining ISO 9000 certification three years later and, in 2005 they were manufacturing two million helmets a year, many for other brands. In 2007 they decided to sell direct to the public and the LS2 brand was created with the global head-office being established in Barcelona, Spain, with continued market penetration since.
I must confess that I already have one of their excellent competition helmets which caused me to look at their extensive range when looking for a ‘Jet’ style helmet with a visor to use when riding classic bikes. The Verso model just jumped out as the obvious choice, especially as it has been around several years, having debuted in 2017.
The shell material is formed of a proprietary blend of polycarbonate, space age thermoplastics, and additional materials specifically formulated by LS2, known as KPA which actually stands for Kinetic, Polymer, Alloy. The firm claims this not only offers ultra-lightweight and high penetration resistance, but with some flexibility built in for energy absorption and dispersion, much like a car’s crumple zone.
Available in two shell sizes which translates to seven fittings, it comes in two solid colours as well as some impressive colourful designs which add £10.00 to the basic £110.00 price. All, of course, meet the current 22.05 certification.
The interior is made from laser-cut foam that is breathable and hypoallergenic, and it is fully removable and washable. Replacement pieces are available including the cheek pads if needed down the line.
The moveable full-face visor is claimed to be 3D Optically Correct and is formed of a polycarbonatematerial that has high resistance to impact and scratches with minimal distortion for optimum clarity. It is also UV resistant and on the lower edge is an effective ‘air diffuser’ to deal with buffeting at speed. An optional smoked visor is available, but the helmet features and internal sun visor as standard which is easily operated by gloved hands.
The helmet also came with a peak, unfortunately it is a case of visor or peak, but at least it makes the helmet versatile and changing takes just seconds. One other small gripe — as I found out in use — is that if you open the visor with the sun visor in the ‘down’ position it opens that as well!
Another useful addition in the box was set of reflective stickers to enable the helmet to be used abroad in countries like France where they are compulsory. Personally I fitted these straightaway as the helmet is scrupulously clean (such things stick better to clean surfaces) and as I do regularly ride abroad, however the choice is yours.
…despite the lack of chin bar to seal the helmet from wind noise, it is remarkably quiet.
I already knew the fit and comfort levels would be spot on (thanks to my competition helmet) and, despite the lack of chin bar to seal the helmet from wind noise, it is remarkably quiet. Peripheral vision is excellent, the visor stays remarkably clear and does not mist up in the cold weather.
The ventilation systems will have to wait for some hot summer weather to really comment on this, but I am sure it will work as well as it does on my other LS2 product.
The light weight ensures that all-day wearing is not tiring, the comfort levels are excellent, and there is virtually no undue pressure or strain on your neck when it is being worn – even when moved out into the air stream on faired bikes or used on naked machines.
As I said at the beginning helmets are a personal thing and in some ways difficult to objectively test as some will not suit all riders for a multitude of reasons and nobody wants to crash to see how it performs! However, I feel that the LS2 Verso is a surprisingly good three-quarter helmet that is a quality product that may not be totally perfect for the minor reasons stated, but it isn’t hard to recommend this helmet based on its many excellent features.
It is exceptional value at a very affordable cost, stacking up well against more expensive opposition. Certainly worth a look when you are looking for a new lid!
#ls2 #ls2helmets #ls2verso #motogusto