Nolan N43 Air Helmet

Nolan N43 Air Helmet

We weren’t considering helmets at the outset of our planning since we already have them (I have a perfectly serviceable BMW System 5 helmet and Fran├žoise has a nearly new Caberg Justissimo helmet). However, two things prompted me to look at helmets. Firstly, it will be hot and I want to be cool. Especially so for Fran├žoise as she can feel sleepy on the back and more air through the helmet will keep her wide awake. Secondly, I’ve always been disappointed by bike communication systems because of the hassle of fitting head sets into helmets such that they a) work, and b) are comfortable. We have seen the new Nolan N43 Air helmet (while looking for jackets…) and think that these may provide a solution.

Up until now, we’ve used flip-face helmets because I find them so much more convenient to get on and off, especially with spectacles. The N43 Air isn’t a flip-face design but an open-face and full-face hybrid. The chin bar is quickly detachable by pushing in two pins either side of the helmet and it pops out. Naturally, the helmet is homologated as both a full-face and an open-face helmet. However, the big thing with this helmet are the copious air vents that should get air moving through the helmet. Also, it is Nolan’s N-COM ready meaning that their Bluetooth (or wired) comms system will fit straight in.

So, the N43 Air seems like an interesting solution. However, there are a few issues I need to assess before investing in these. Firstly, the visor has no imtermediate detents on the lifting mechanism so it is either fully open or fully closed. In slow traffic, I like my visor cracked open a notch for improved air flow at low speed and to prevent misting. I also need to think about noise. I fully anticipate that it may be noisey with all the vents open but is the comms still usable? Finally, it is more difficult to secure an open-face design to a bike with a chain. I need to see whether there is a ‘D’ ring or something on the helmet that I can get a small chain through.

My investigations continue and I will provide an update on what I discover. I am fortunate in that a local dealer (Ultimate Bike Gear) is willing to let me pop down the road on my bike with the helmet to see what the ventilation is like. It’s always difficult to assess certain items like screen for bikes and helmets without actually trying them and I am grateful to UBG for their assistance in helping me find the right solution.

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