LS2 Valiant II Helmet Review [Modular For Motorcycle Touring]

My modular touring helmet just got old, so I went looking for my next all-day, all-weather modular helmet. The LS2 Valiant II is a feature-rich modular helmet with a price tag of $360 MSRP. It is DOT and ECE approved as a full face and open face helmet. It has some features that I really like and some usability aspects that I find hard to get past.LS2 Valiant II helmet review: Glow in the darkUnboxing the Valiant II is a fun experience in itself. The helmet arrives in a microfiber lined drawstring bag inside a durable camouflage helmet backpack. The backpack holds the helmet securely when not on the head and has a pocket to store a second visor. A Pinlock anti-fog shield insert is included, as is an inflatable helmet mount. I opened my share of new boxes of helmets, and the extras with LS2 Valiant II kept coming. LS2 backs the helmet with a five-year warranty, which is a nice bonus for a helmet with so many moving parts.LS2 Valiant II Helmet Review: For SaleThe LS2 Valiant II has some unusual features for a modular helmet. There’s a lot going on with the chin bar. The first thing I noticed was that the chin bar opens with a center push-up button instead of the usual pull-out lever. The chin bar rotates on top of the helmet back, up and out of the way, creating an open face helmet. The face shield rotates up and inwards so the chin strap clears it on its way up or back. The sun visor and flip-up sun visor can then be folded down if you wish to use the shields in the open-faced configuration. closing mechanism, instead of a double D-ring. I found it easy to secure the chinstrap to the correct tension with gloves on, but needed an ungloved left hand to release the buckle. For those times when I forget to secure my chinstrap, it’s handy to be able to do so without having to remove my gloves.LS2 Valiant II Helmet Review: Modular Touring MotorcycleA folding internal sun visor is operated by a glove-friendly lever on the left side. On long cruises in sunny weather, even with prescription sunglasses, I appreciate the added brightness reduction of this quality anti-glare internal sun visor. The visor and sun visor are incredibly easy to remove for cleaning or replacement. They reattach without tools or small parts to drop. However, the drop shield requires grabbing it in line of sight to reinsert it, so don’t put your shield cleaner away until you’ve wiped your fingerprints a second time. I like that the chin bar, removable chin bar, skirt and visor stay close to the ABS shell when open. They don’t catch the wind on the highway, and I don’t bang them on store shelves or bike parts when I bend over to check tire pressure. The face shield opens and closes with an easy-to-feel tab at the top center of the face shield.LS2 Valiant II Helmet Review: MSRPThe chin release button is exactly the width of my ungloved thumb. Pressing the small button with summer gloves is a bit of a hassle, while using winter gloves takes some learning to operate. If you’ve never used a different-brand modular helmet, you won’t have to break old habits of freeing the chin bar and visor repositioning. should direct cool air over the top of your head and out through the always-open passive rear vents. My air management test is riding in the cold at 60 mph with the vents closed then open – the difference should be obvious. Unfortunately, my testing at 39 degrees Fahrenheit with all vents open standing on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike on the highway did not change the feeling of temperature inside the Valiant II. I did not feel any air movement inside the helmet. It was impossible for me to operate all three vent controls with winter gloves, so for my final confirmation test I wore summer gloves to ensure I was using the vents correctly – I was.LS2 Valiant II helmet review: motorcycle helmetForward visibility is excellent; the porthole is large and gives a full view from my gas cap to planes. However, I discovered while doing lane-change head checks that I couldn’t see as far back as my 20 years of street-driving muscle memory would expect. Each head check had to be done twice, once in my muscle memory and then twisting my shoulders. There is less peripheral vision in the eye port of the LS2 Valiant II than I am used to with every other helmet I have ridden. Sound level is another important feature I look for in an all day headset. I rode the LS2 Valiant II helmet on my adventure bike and on my touring bike. On both bikes, with different-height windshields, the Valiant II is uncomfortably loud, starting at just 30 mph. The faster I went, the louder the noise level inside the helmet. I even stood up to make sure the headphones were getting undisturbed air, and it was even louder to my ears. If I were to use this helmet as a five-year-old replacement, I would have to wear earplugs on every ride.LS2 Valiant II Helmet Review: MSRPI mounted a Bluetooth communication unit on the left side; it requires an adhesive backing, as there is no way to install a sliding backing between the EPS interior and the ABS shell. The speaker notches are well placed so that the speakers direct the sound directly to my ears. The Valiant II is available in two shell sizes to accommodate intermediate oval heads from XS to 3XL. Without the comms unit installed, a Medium Valiant II weighs 4 pounds 1.5 ounces, heavier than any modular helmet we tested except the Vemar Jiano Evo. The Valiant II has great aerodynamics and is stable in highway-speed direct wind, but over 4 pounds is a lot of weight to shoulder on long days in the saddle.The Orbit Jeans/Glow model I tested has wraparound glow strips. The stripes charge during the day and release a visible glow in the dark. The sun charges the strips better than the LEDs on my desk. I left the helmet in the sun for an hour, then took it to a windowless closet where I could watch it. The visible luminescence seemed to last about 30 minutes, going from full sun to dark closet. I don’t know how to measure the added safety value of glow-in-the-dark stripes on a helmet, but it looks cool in a dark parking lot. I had high expectations that the LS2 Valiant II would be my next five-year-old helmet for local rides and touring. While it has some nice features like being convertible between full face and open face and an easy to attach chinstrap with gloves on, and lots of bonus attachments, it lacks maneuverability for me. Unfortunately, it’s heavy, noisy, poor peripheral vision, lacks airflow, and the fan controls are difficult to use. Based on the looks of the helmet and the reputation of LS2 – we loved the last LS2 helmet we tested – I expected more.LS2 Valiant II Helmet Highlights

  • Sizes: XS-3XL
  • Colours: 3 graphics; 5 solid colors (Orbit Jeans/Glow tested)
  • Inner shell shape: Intermediate oval
  • Approvals: DOT FMVSS 218 and ECE 22.05

LS2 Valiant II Modular Helmet Price: From $360 MSRP

LS2 Valiant II Helmet Review Photo Gallery

About Frances R. Smith

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