Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to 3,000+ Reviews, Guides, & More

Are modular helmets safe in a crash?

Mark Taylor - Are modular helmets safe in a crash?

A Brisbane rider has sworn off modular helmets after his chin bar flipped up in a low-speed roundabout crash, causing facial injuries.

Mark Taylor says he swears he always confirms the chin bar on his Nolan N104 modular helmet clicks into place.

However, he says it opened on impact when a driver failed to give way to him on a roundabout.

“When I chose a modular helmet I went with Nolan as in the British test it was the only one that didn’t open on impact. Mine did,” he says.

“If it had stayed closed then I would have had no facial injuries at all.”

The damaged helmet still closes and locks, but Mark believes the force of the impact distorted or damaged the lock causing it to open.

“I can see what has happened; the catches on the opening part have deferred under load and then (almost) sprung back.

“There is a definite warp in them.”

Modular helmets

Mark Taylor - Are modular helmets safe in a crash?
Nolan N104

Obviously modular, or system or flip-up helmets are not as safe as full-face helmets otherwise they would be used in racing.

The reputable UK SHARP helmet safety ratings system to which Mark refers shows modular helmets with similar ratings as full face helmets, although less than half received the full five stars.

The table below shows the percentages of helmets that scored various star levels from 102 modular helmets and 366 full-face helmets tested.

Helmet type 1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Modular 3.9% 9.8% 33% 42% 5.8%
Full face 4.9% 9.8% 28% 43% 13.6%

However, the SHARP system has been criticised for rating helmets high despite many failing the chin bar lock retention test.

It also fails to distinguish between partial and full unlocking in the one-hit crash testing procedure.

It’s a flawed testing procedure as, in real-world crashes, your head could hit the ground several times, providing more opportunity to open the locking mechanism.

The SHARP system also shows little correlation between cost and safety.

There is no dispute about the convenience of modular helmets. You can take photos, get plenty of air while riding in city traffic, talk to mates and even fill your fuel tank without having to take off your helmet. (Note that there are few helmets where the chin bar locks in the up position and legally permits the rider to ride with the helmet in this position.)

However, modular helmets have inherent design issues that reduce their safety levels.

Instead of the crash-resistant integrity of a full shell, they have two parts held together by a hinge and clasp mechanism that uses a combination of plastic, fibreglass and flimsy metal.

Mark’s Nolan helmet is one of five of the brand’s modular models tested by SHARP with all rating four stars.

Mark’s lesson

Mark Taylor - Are modular helmets safe in a crash?
Mark in happier times with his BMW

After buying a top-line modular helmet, Mark says that when his insurance replaces the helmet he will opt for a full face.

Mark has been riding since 1969 and this was his first crash with another vehicle which simply failed to give right of way and merged on to the roundabout straight in his BMW R 1200 GSA.

“I sounded the airhorns which also makes the driving lights strobe,” he says.

“It had no effect on her. All the time she looked straight ahead. Not once did she look to her right.

“The police report says she claims to have not seen me.”

The woman has been charged with “enter roundabout when not safe to do so”.

Mark says he is lucky most of his gear protected him from serious injury.

Mark Taylor - Are modular helmets safe in a crash?

“My big decision now is do I get back on and ride or walk away,” he says.

“I thought this decision would be hard to make but I reckon I will be back on two wheels soon, but will have another think about motorbikes at 70 which is three years away.”

I would like to know what other older riders think about this.

  1. Hi Mark sorry to hear about your mishap Don’t give up if you enjoy the pleasures of riding. I gave away 2 wheels a couple of years ago I have been riding most of my adult life. And converted to 3 wheels. I now ride a can am spyder. I love it. Am now 75 yrs. Cheers Lindsay

    1. Glad you are ok Mark. Several of my friends wear modulars, but I’ve never trusted them. My one serious crash was right on the chin bar and scraped it down to the fiberglass. I can only imagine what would have happened if the helmet was a modular.
      As far as when to quit, I’m 70 and it’s not yet. But I do feel like I’m just one crash away from letting it go.

      1. A 1200CC BMW for a 70 year old with a modular helmet. You did not act like an invisible man which means you were not defensive and moved with entitlement. I guarantee that was going to happen. Please don’t blame some little old lady when you can move around her like she was standing still. Not a fan of this article nor most of the sympathetic comments.

        I crashed too, but it was my fault. Never less than full gear and no cheating on a helmet. Seems obvious for anyone that truly rides. If you choose to commute on your bike, that’s all on you.

        Hope you keep riding, but with more common sense, especially in traffic. Always assume nobody can see you, at all times.

        1. A lot of assumptions about the accident and his skill levels, even defensive riding has its limits when encountering other motorists.

          1. Geez Robert, way to blame the rider for a crash that was the driver’s fault. Do you work for government or TAC at all?
            You imply he’s too old.
            You imply his bike was too big.
            You say he rode poorly.
            I wonder what you would say about the time I was run down from behind while stopped!
            Your tune may change one day. I hope it’s not from experiencing something similar.

  2. Sorry to hear about your prang. I was thinking that my next helmet would be a modular design, but now not so sure as accidents are complicated dynamically while the testing seems a bit clinical.

    1. I ride a flip-top modular helmet as well. I’m a senior writer and it’s good to know that this could happen. Don’t give up writing, get back on the horse. Good luck to you. I’ll try reaching out to you as I left a message saying that we have the uncommon and uncanny resemblance to each other less the scratches.

    1. Holy cow! Dudes face is messed up! And from a low speed crash?!?! Wonder if the helmet was fully locked down. My Shoei Neotec 2 protected my head from flipping over the handlebars on my R1200GS while off-roading and I was probably going 40-50mph. Of course I needed a new helmet after the accident, but the helmet held its own and still looks like I could still use it. The helmet didn’t open up during the crash. I even bought another Neotec 2. I feel safe with the modular helmet. I also owned the first generation Shoei Neotec and always felt safe riding with it. I do own two other full-faced helmets by Shoei: the GT Air 2 and RF-1200.

      1. Eugene, helmet was definitely locked! I always check it. Two buttons pressed together to unlock it. The bottom of the helmet was ground away and I sue that let the button push in. Don’t know for sure. But it did take the initial impact and for that I am grateful. Tried the helmet yesterday, still closes with force but does not appear to lock.

    2. That’s some really scientific and uniform testing. I don’t disagree that modular helmets aren’t nearly as safe as a full, but that testing is ridiculously silly.
      All it would really take to cause problems is some kind of hit to the release upon impact/impacts.
      If a person were to get with a concentrated blow like that golf club, regardless of helmet,, I think there would be some trauma to the rider.

      1. I have been in the industry selling and wholesale for many years. Now in saying that and looking at the picture of Marks face , I have seen impact injuries similar before from a full face , looks like the face has impacted the inside of the face shield area probably from a loose or improper size helmet. Helmets need to be super snug when purchased as they loosen considerably. Just my thoughts anyway.
        I hope he keeps riding though, but is is tough , people just drive like crap , and are becoming more aggressive , show no empathy or compassion .
        Ride safe , ride like you are invisible.

        1. Craig the damage to my face was from the ground, Doctors picked gravel out of me. Also my glasses are severely abraded as well. Helmet fits well (well it did) but it did open after first impact with the road.

  3. When flip up helmets arrived i just shook my head and said to myself no way. Back in the 70’s i flipped a honda 750/4 in the air twice, after discovering i was not badly hurt (broken collar bone i found out later) my attention was drawn to the speedo and taco, both gauges were destroyed by the now heavily damaged chin guard of my full face helmet, from that moment on i vowed never to wear anything but a full face.

    As for riding now I am old, i am just a couple of years behind Mark and have had a minor spill and yes it hurts more now i am older but i am not ready to hang up the helmet just yet. As long as i enjoy riding and feel competent to do so I will keep riding as it brings me joy every time.

    Keep riding until you feel you have really had enough and can live without it, but for me its my therapy it keeps me sane. Oh and don’t forget you could always move to a trike 😉

    1. good advice (apart from the trike).@ 67 I’m hoping that i can do another 7 or 8yrs…. all depends on my health. I want to do northern US states before calling it a day…

  4. Flip-up helmets( mine was a BMW,not worth the money either) are hardly any more comfortable than a full face and they feel unsafe even at low speed with the front up.Didn’t even know it was illegal,to do that)
    Anyway,after a lifetime without a car,I retired from motorcycling at 65.Had to quit while I was still in one piece.As a teen in the 70’s,it was nearly always my age group that appeared in the road toll statistics.These days,with fewer young ones taking up riding,it’s more likely old guys in hospital or some place worse. Porous bones don’t heal so well when you’re old and decrepit.Something to worry about,when I’m out on my pushie.(That’s another health hazard)

  5. Like the idea of driving lights that strobe when you use your airhorns. Wonder what device can do that ?

    1. It’s a chip for BMWs that plugs in and can reprogram the software of the bike’s central computer. Called Hex EZCAN, you can get it from Motohansa.

  6. LMAO at the blame on the vehicle, no idea how it can ‘fail to give way’ unless you assumed and dove out in front like an entitled person. You’re riding with your life in your hands, safety is priority. You should watch some educational vids on road riding like DDFN or motojitsu. You can ride for decades and still be SHITE without applied knowledge of motorcycle safety.

    1. So true. Although I have been riding with a friend who was about ten yards in front of me. A car was sitting at the intersection, had a red light and was stopped, waiting to turn right. She pulled forward as soon ad he entered the far/right lane of the cross street and he bounced off of her left doors. She said she stopped, looked and did not see any motorcycles. And he had one of those annoying wig wag headlights. But you have to watch and drive their cars for them. Watch their tires, not the car themselves. It is easier and quicker to see the tire rotate or turn left or right so you can counter or act accordingly. Reacting means you are too late.

  7. Went down 2 months ago at about 50mph. My gear worked a lot better than the rest of me…lol

    Roughed up jacket and pants with a large pad-shaped bruise on my hip. My scorpion modular did great in spite of using it to break the windshield, leave a big dent in the tank, then contact the ground.

    However, with modulars the chin bar is much farther away so while it did its job, it moved around quite a lot. Much as I love the flip up, will have to consider a standard full face. Full face is also quieter, something ithats bugged me for a couple years now.

  8. LS2 Strobe is a modular helmet with 100% rate of staying closed on crash tests. Not all modular helmets suck.

    1. Exactly. Not to mention that it only takes a second to add lift to the front of the helmet after you click the top down. Make sure it really is secured.

    2. Problem is crash tests are no where near the real world dynamics involved in a road crash, a solid shell is the way to go.

  9. Sorry to hear Brother, been riding for 45 years now and I never had a reck, knock on wood. I ride defensively and try not to put myself in pinch points. As we get older, we have to be more careful, safe travels my friend.

  10. Glad the accident did not result in another biker fatality due to a “SMIDSY” incident. Hope the settlement is satisfactory and the rider gets back in the saddle soon.

    I have a modular that SHARP report suffers chin bar flip up failure more than 50 percent of impacts, so that would suggest they test one helmet multiple times or multiple helmets once. Either way I have always known the modular was a compromise between an open face and full. I reasoned it would somewhat protect me from flying debris and from one linear impact front on. I never fully trusted it and use a full face when going on faster roads. If filling up locally or riding in town I use the modular, where it comes into its own. Horses for courses.

    Enjoy, whatever you ride whatever you put on your bonce!

  11. Glad you survived it Mark. I have a flip up but no longer use it because I figured an impact may trigger the flip up button on a sharp edge such as a lever or any object while tumbling in a prang. I’m 66 and have just purchased a Trike. More costly than a bike but still that freedom from a car. Only you will know when it’s time to hang up the helmet, any helmet. Cheers Isn

  12. Got a buddy in an assisted living facility right now with his face and jaw all busted up after his 900lb Vulcan crashed his modular helmet like a pop can…. would a full face have protected him more? I believe so.

  13. motorcycling is all about assessing and mitigating the risks; the rider knew that a modular helmet is riskier than a full face, bur better thsn a 3/4 or mo helmet at all, but the benefits outweighed the negatives until he hit the ground. If the risks outweigh the benefits, buy a convertible, but even that has risks. I’m an ATGATT rider, but I also wear a modular and have hit the ground without the helmet opening; YMMV. ride the world.

    1. Exactly. I’ve seen the model I have go through the testing process and real world incidents and always came out well. You need to make sure they latch fully, even lifting on it to triple check. But I’d rather have a piece of protection on my face than nothing. Weight doesn’t bother me either, and the heavier ones seem to do a little better than the others. And as we can see, money doesn’t always mean safer.

  14. This fellow looks exactly like me, less the scratches. Wow the resemblance is ….like I’m looking at myself

  15. I don’t recommend any modular helmets. It’s always full-face helmets. In my opinion, even a very inexpensive full-face helmet like a GMAX FF49 offers more protection than most, if not all, modular helmets. Hope the old man doesn’t give up on riding.

  16. I own 2 modular helmets and use either or the other on my rides in town or out of town. Your experience has however given me food for thought. Glad you walked away from the incident without too much damage.

  17. At my age, I found Jeeps give me as much or more freedom to explore the USA.

  18. I bought a Torc Racing T-23 helmet. It is my first Modular helmet. I bought it after I had done some research. In fact I have a friend that had one. He was actually in a bad crash, at 50, an old lady pulled out and his bike hit the left side of her car and it stopped immediately, but he did not. When he finally stopped flying and tumbling, he only had a few bruises and a hairline fracture on his right arm. His helmet was still intact, though scratched and somensliggt cracks and chips. I bought one myself, and had a fall as well. But no failure on the helmets part. So I bought two more. I agree that sometimes price does not necessarily translate into quality, comfort or fit. They don’t make this model any longer. That is why I bought two.

  19. So true. Although I have been riding with a friend who was about ten yards in front of me. A car was sitting at the intersection, had a red light and was stopped, waiting to turn right. She pulled forward as soon ad he entered the far/right lane of the cross street and he bounced off of her left doors. She said she stopped, looked and did not see any motorcycles. And he had one of those annoying wig wag headlights. But you have to watch and drive their cars for them. Watch their tires, not the car themselves. It is easier and quicker to see the tire rotate or turn left or right so you can counter or act accordingly. Reacting means you are too late.

  20. I was so excited the first time I seen the Bell ‘Broozer’ helmet, a good looking lid that could be a full face or have the front chin bar clipped off to make a true open face. I went straight to the store inspect and with the minimal force I was able to pull the chin bar out of its locked position. It has two measly plastic clips holding it together. It was then I realised that these types of helmets are just not practical as a full face.

    1. Those Bell and Shark helmets are not Modular helmets. Those are called Convertible and do not add safety if in a collision. They are designed to keep road debris, wind and bugs from hitting your face. They even make that clear on their description.

      1. When looking for a modular helmet beware of ones that are approved under open-face rules; they have no chin bar tests. The Nolan is approved BOTH as an open-face AND a full-face, it passes both tests. Incidentally the latches are metal (appears to be steel).

        1. Hey Dave.. the crashee here. I pulled the front of the helmet’s moving piece apart tonight. The catches are indeed steel. They are connected by a fine steel wire “rope” to the latch mechanism. I am starting to think that the helmet deformed on impact and that either allowed the wire ropes to move (and unlock) or else the force of impact simply was too much for the two latches and they slid over the lock bars. I will see if I can remove them as they appear to have a deep grove in each one. Whatever happened it was a lot of force. When I started riding in 69 it was always a jet style open face helmet. I find full face very claustrophobic. Have been trying on lots of full face helmets last week and none of them fit me well. It must be my ancestral German square head. The only helmet I feel comfortable in is another modular type. Decisions, decisions and then I need a new bottle of super brave pills to saddle up again!

          1. Ouch Mark! That sounds like you hit pretty darn hard. Sorry to hear!
            Yes it is possible that a very forceful impact could have distorted the helmet or broken the latches. Sounds like the helmet absorbed a lot of the impact. I’ve seen riders break the chinbar even on solid full-face helmets. I guess there’s some risk in anything, and it’s up to each of us to decide what equipment is suitable for our circumstances and desires. I’ve met a lot of people who couldn’t wear full-face same as you describe.
            Whatever you choose, I hope you find something that is comfortable and lets you feel as safe as possible when riding.

  21. I think I may see the problem, your release button seems to be located on the front of the helmet. So impact would release it. The release button should be on the bottom, so it is protected. Also, if your modular helmet latch is not steel on steel, then it will surely break in a serious collision.

    Make sure the release button is on the bottom of the China bar and the locking mechanism as well as the lock post are all made out of steel. A few more ounces isn’t going to make the helmet that much heavier or unbearable, especially compared to a facial impact and the injuries that come with it.

    1. There are two release buttons on this helmet, one below and one on front. Both must be operated in a specific order, in opposite directions, to unlock the helmet.

  22. The issue is more of preferences than safety. There are people who will wear all sort of helmets because of their personal preferences. Condemning one over safety is, for me, beside the point. The question should be: what’s the best helmet options available for every taste?

    Just to contextualize, I have long and thin hair and wear glasses 24/7. Full face helmets are more a nuisance than a safety measure to me, more so when I remember I just don’t ride above some 40 MP/h at any given time. For a long and hard road trip I would very much prefer a full faced helmet, but that’s something I have done (sort of) once in 10 years of riding. My motorcycle is for urban use mostly, it not exclusively. That’s not to mention the fact that most quality brands aren’t even available in my country with affordable prices. It would take a full month’s earnings for most here to get a truly high quality helmet, and that’s something most are not comfortable spending for daily commutes of 2 miles, and longest distance traveled in a single day over many years of about 20 miles, mostly under low speeds.

    It’s just beside the point.

  23. To add to the context, I wear hard leather jacket for any given ride, any day and any distance beyond 1 mile. Gloves, jeans pants and military boots too.
    Short distances and under 20 MpH, I’ll wear whatever I want as any adult person in the world (tell me you don’t do that and I’ll call you a fool for ever hoping I would believe you).

    Context people, we always can use more of that!

    Oh, and I have never been in a bad crash, not even close. The worst that’s happened so far was being pulled out of the street for some reason (amnesia won’t let me remember it) and hitting my head once. The impact didn’t do any long lasting damage, but the helmet was in pieces from the ordeal. I must have been going pretty fast in the occasion. Perhaps some 40 MpH. Above that I never, ever, got in any dangerous situation whatsoever just because I’ll not risk my wellbeing just for fun.

  24. This helmet is only DOT rated, not ECE or Snell. The DOT rating is a joke, so you aimed too low. I’m glad you weren’t seriously hurt, but get a better helmet next time.

    1. Scott H: the Nolan modular helmets are ECE rated bot h open-face and full-face tests passed.

    2. “The helmet meets the U.S. DOT safety standard when sold in North America and the ECE 22.05 standard when sold in Europe.”

      1. When sold in Australia it meets the ECE standards for full-face and open-face. It is approved to both so that you are allowed to ride with it open if you wish.

        Since it passes ECE it would have no trouble with DOT, so I suspect (but don’t know for sure) that the DOT-label version is likely the same, just with a different label.

        The older ones also had passed AS/NZS but that testing is very expensive, and requires a D-ring buckle on the chinstrap. ECE allows for the popular fast-release style of buckle.

  25. I’ve owned several Nolan modular helmets, during riding over 20 years, and crashed badly in two of them, once over 100kmh onto the chin. They always stayed closed.
    Clearly anything with a hinge and release-buttons isn’t quite as solid as a fixed chin bar, but these are the next best thing IMO. They’re fully tested and they’re approved as a full face, too.
    I wouldn’t wear it on a racetrack at 200+ but for any road use I am fine with it.
    Given the damage location it may be sheer bad luck that the helmet release was opened during a slide, but it’s almost impossible because the buttons need to be operated in opposite directions at the same time, and are hidden until used. As a professional and an owner of this exact helmet I suspect it may not have been fully latched down, or user-damage to the latches. There are no pics of the latches so it’s not possible to be sure.

  26. I have always avoided modular helmets for this reason. When an impact occurs the weakest part of a helmet will always bear the brunt and a modular helmet has an inbuilt point of failure: the hinges.
    I landed chin first on my full face helmet in the dirt last year after a front tyre blow out. It was a full face Shoei Air and it snapped on the chin bar. This was a full face helmet remember, not a modular. I tried to post a picture but can’t. It wasn’t pretty!

  27. While I acknowledge modular helmets aren’t as safe as a full face helmet the “convenience” of a modular makes the “trade” in protection worth it, in my opinion.

    I’ve tried pulling a full face helmet on a few times in recent times and really struggled to get my head inside without feeling like I was ripping my ears off!

    I also wear glasses so find it’s much easier to put them on with the modular.

    To me, the benefits mentioned above, combined with the added benefits of being able to flip the helmet up when I refuel the bike and also being able to ride with the chin piece flipped up on the odd occasion if I feel the need, outweighs the “risk”.

    1. You made me remember the most useful feature of modular helmets: when the sun is low, raising the chin bar makes for a near perfect sun visor. Saved me from being blinded by the sun hundreds of times.

  28. I’ve a Shoie Neotech 2, if its good enough for the NSW police, its good enough for me. But for nearly $900 I expect it to be safe & sufficiently durable not to pop open in a slow speed drop.

  29. Rich
    A message from England. I was 70 last week. Part of the limited (covid) celebration was to ride to a central meeting place to socially distance with like minded motorcycling friends now separated by many miles. I have known these people for over 50 years having first met due to our mutual motorcycling interest.
    We ride because we still enjoy it. Try again. If you still enjoy it at 70 then carry on.

  30. Best wishes to Mark Taylor for a fast recovery to former facial beauty…… (wink).

    I always wear a FF helmet, mostly because I have no need for a flip up lid – we have to de-lid for fuel as the pumps won’t work if we don’t (due to too many fuel theft drive offs)…… I like to take my hat off for a break when fueling/sightseeing etc. I wear gasses now, to read the fine print on my fancy digital dash (LoL).

    Without any judgement on crashes, (I have had a bad-ish crash leaving me with a permanent ACL injury, and after 35yrs of limping, a recent full hip replacement due extreme wear and tear)…… but I tend to prioritize avoidance action over warning action (eg; horns/lights or like I see some riders, waving arms about angrily)……… the errant driver has not even seen the bike rider so they won’t think any warnings like horns or lights are directed at them (they are oblivious to their mistake)….. it’s always better to slow or brake (or power on and blast away if able) and play for time to slip in behind unscathed. Vital milliseconds can be lost looking for the horn button while trying to make a negligent driver aware of their failure.

    That said, even my 1& only prang was ‘unavoidable’ (yes it really was – I was taking action but ….. the idiot had lurched out suddenly from a driveway, panicked when he saw me and stopped immediately, blocking my lane and denying me the option to slip quietly around behind him while under brakes)…….. you just can’t predict what a startled zombie driver will do when they realize they have stuffed up……. at least my number wasn’t up and I got another 35yrs riding on top of the 10yrs I had at the time of the crash.

    FYI most FF helmets have very wide field’s of view these days, are not claustrophobic, are well ventilated, have drop down sunnies, and once broken in won’t “rip your bloody ears off” – remember the ‘Aunty Jack’ TV series?…no? oh well… (hint; wear a silk balaclava for a month while breaking in a new helmet….. if required…… Shoei’s hurt my ears too, but Kabuto’s don’t, so all helmets are not the same).

    Only my Harley riding mates use the age old excuse about FF lids – they won’t admit it but it’s because their speedo’s are on the tank, not up on the bars like all other bikes and they hve to look well down to check the speed. My 82/72yo Ducati MS1200 mates all wear FF lids.

    I don’t like the weight of some flip-up lids. I go for the lightest weight, best fitting FF I can find…… (I remember how I strained to hold my Bell Star helmet up off the road while I was sliding, and it caused an injury to my neck when it touched down and bit into the bitumen – that was back in 1986 (Snell approved fiberglass FF Bell Star) – it was too bloody heavy. The most expensive helmets are not necessarily the lightest, or best fitting…… sometimes it’s best to buy cheaper lids more regularly, than to buy an expensive top line lid and make it last 4-6yrs.

    Keep on riding but read up, and practice, some emergency/avoidance skills – it’s amazing what we can forget during a lifetime in the saddle (I’m 63 this year – yikes!…… errr, what’s my middle name?……. LoL….).

    1. Good comment Dave. Believe me I was trying hard to avoid this lady. Hard on the brakes and looking for a way out… not to be. The slightest reduction in speed on her part would have (I think) given me that escape route.

      One of trie things I like about ABS on cars and bikes.. go full jihad on the brakes, let the ABS do its magic while you look for the way out. Sometimes it does not go in your favour.

      Shit happens.

      New bike ordered and paid for…. perhaps this Friday or next Monday I will pick it up…. got to get back on the horse as my mates tell me.

      One day at a time…

      1. Good on you Mark,

        Just like your prang, all crashes have different dynamics, and sometimes it’s just not possible to play the perfect hand and escape (I often recall my crash and wish I had done this or that, but it happened so quick and was as it was)……. I hope I haven’t lost my 6th sense – I have been off the road this year for months (covid followed by hip surgery makes for 4/5 months of garage riding – LoL). At least I had a great year in 2019 with several 10day tours down south on all the great bike roads, with great friends…..

        Here’s to the rest of 2020 eh! Good luck and good riding! Thanks for the article on the modular lid….. Probably just sheer bad luck you fell a certain way…. but as we read, even FF lids have had issues.

  31. Looking at the picture it appears that the road probably actuated the release lever.

    1. It can’t. The N104 uses a dual action latch where two levers need to be activated in opposite directions simultaneously, so it can’t happen in an impact like that.

      1. Be interesting to see what you assessment is if you can get the helmet back. But just judging by the picture – the lower latch looks like it got flipped up rubbing on the toad and all the plastic around it is damaged. Once that lever is jammed up, the other lever could be actuated. I’m not saying this is any sort of design defect, just speculating based on the picture. I’ve got a Nolan as a snowmobile helmet and realize how they unlatch. My motorcycle helmet is another brand which only has a single lever release.

  32. It’s interesting – I’m the importer of Nolan helmets, and the first I’ve heard of this incident is by someone else telling me about this story – even though the author knows me and could have asked for direct comment or information on the subject, to help the rider, or more importantly – to properly examine the helmet to find out what has happened.

    Firstly – Mark, we are sorry that you had to “test” one of our helmets. We proudly stand behind the safety of our products, but we still hate it when they actually get into situations where that safety is needed. We are glad to hear that you were not too badly hurt.

    We can agree that a flip up helmet does have some possible inherent weaknesses due to their design (with some brands being vastly better than others) – but Nolan’s flip helmets are as close as you can possibly get to being as safe as a full face.

    As mentioned in this story, apart from the testing for various world standards and the absolutely massive amount of in-house testing undertaken by Nolan, they have done extremely well in SHARP testing. Every single one of the 10 different Nolan / X-Lite / Grex flip helmets ever tested has a 100% latch rating – and they all use the same patented Nolan DUAL ACTION latch system.

    The activation of the Dual Action levers requires TWO levers (a “safety” lever and an activation lever) to be operated in OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS simultaneously. The activation lever is not even exposed until the “safety” lever is pushed in the opposite direction – making it virtually impossible for the latch to be activated during impact.
    Internally, the jaw latches and pins are steel, extremely strong, and spring loaded to lock shut when the helmet is closed properly – again making it all but impossible for it to open accidentally – even in a massive impact.

    To provide further context, Nolan’s patented DUAL ACTION jaw mechanism has been used in all Nolan / X-Lite / Grex flip helmets since about late 2005, with over 2,000,000 flip up helmets sold (with tens of thousands of those in Australia – N102/N103/N104/N105/X1004) – and never had a reported opening like this.

    With a claim like this that has been made public for speculation without any proper assessment of the product, it’s obviously very important that we get the helmet back here to examine it and find out what has actually happened.
    And Mark, I’d like to offer you a replacement helmet (a different model if you choose) – completely as a good will gesture.
    So Mark, please get in contact with me via the contact us section on the Ron Angel Wholesale website (or get my details off Mr Hinchliffe…), and we’ll make arrangements to get the helmet back and check it out for you.

  33. I am riding from last seven years, and I once bought a modular helmet, it helps a lot, but I don’t feel safe in it to use for long rides, so I prefer it to use it for short rides, and city rides. One of my friend had an accident with a modular helmet and it got injuries, and at that time I realize to move to a full face helmet.

    1. Ride until you can no longer lift the bike up after a tip over. Also, ride wearing a full face Arai helmet. I say full face due to the lack of protection of modular and Arai because they are the absolute best and most comfortable. I’ve tried so many. I only wear the modular helmet to go to the grocery store several blocks away, PERIOD! I also sometimes wear a half helmet to the store and a half helmet on my bicycle.

Comments are closed.