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Side view of the LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

LS2 MX701 Explorer Carbon Helmet Hands-On Review

LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet Review Summary
Review Summary
A well designed helmet with three shell sizes, built from carbon fiber and sporting a double visor system, the LS2 Explorer MX701 helmet impresses on several counts. The dual visors provide versatility and the lid is comfortably ventilated for long riding trips. However, small quirks such as wind noise and quality control in the pinlocks detract from the overall quality.
Sizing & Comfort
Build Quality
Excellent fit with 3 shell sizes
Internal dark visor, Pinlock and carry bag included (great for plane travel)
Good ventilation
Minimal wind drag on the peak at speed
Very light to wear all day.
Pinlock rubs in the corners
Wind noise can be pronounced
The chin area is very aggressive looking
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Review Summary

  • This is a helmet that looks, feels and is much more premium than the price tag.
  • Very light and made of carbon fibre composite, it weighs only 1400 gr (+-50g)
  • Comes in three shell sizes for a better and more precise fit.
  • Plenty of vents to keep cool when riding in hot weather.

About LS2 Helmets

LS2 has been making helmets for 26 years and has grown into a worldwide brand from its humble beginnings in a small house in rural China.

Continuous investment into R&D has brought us a brand that manufactures helmets that are built to incredibly high standards. They exceed expectations given their prices sits comfortably in the middle range of the helmet market.

The strap line ‘Always Ahead’ refers to the company’s investment into R&D. Technicians, engineers and designers give their best to get the best from the helmets. From the beginning, the founder had invested heavily into up to date manufacturing processes and equipment to produce helmets under license for established brands. In 2007 the company decided that making helmets for other companies has its limitations so the decision was made to launch their very own helmet brand.

Side view of the LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

A head office was set up in Barcelona, Spain in a bid to shake the ‘made-in-China’ stigma. The brand is now well and truly established as good quality products, not just helmets and breaking through to the motorcycling sports arena.

They offer a variety of helmets, from full face, modular to open face and specific off-road styles. The LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet conforms to the latest ECE 22.06 regulations so you can rest assured that the safety of the helmet is top notch.

Design & Innovation

LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet sitting on motorcycle handlebar

LS2 helmets are the result of the most advanced research in terms of active safety and design. A special attention has been paid to the shell shape design and materials to minimise the effects of a  possible impact.

You can tell the design works well with the functionality of the helmet in the peak. The air flows through effortlessly and there is hardly any wind drag at speed. I prefer to ride with low screens on my bikes and some helmets with peaks pull my head up and backward at speed. Not the LS2 Explorer – even on a motorway I can turn my head to check my sides without the wind catching in the peak and pulling my head sideways.

Wearing the helmet for several days back to back on a tour is effortless. Because it is so light, your head and neck don’t suffer.

Rider wearing LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet with mountains in the background

Each LS2 helmet is composed of three main elements, the external shell, shock absorbing EPS liner and the numerous accessories such as comfort lining, method of retention, visors and ventilation.

Carbon fibre is a material used extensively in the aeronautical industry and in the highly competitive world of Formula 1 and Moto GP. It has incredible strength but is extremely light.

Build Quality

The LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet surprises with its built quality against the expectation. This is mainly down to their pricing level. I was pleasantly surprised that the helmet feels and looks much more premium than the price tag. This is backed by the comfort and feel after wearing it for 6 days back to back, on an international tour.

The visor closing mechanism feels sturdy and smooth. It opens and closes with ease and the feel of the quality gives you confidence this will not wear out in the lifespan of the helmet.

allen key for the visor peak removal

To remove/reinstall the peak you require an allen key and a Phillips screwdriver which adds to the comfort level of quality and little wear and tear. No flimsy plastic bits that eventually break and fall off. Yes, it means removing the peak takes a little bit longer but the confidence you gain from doing so makes up for the extra minute of fitting it.

Each helmet is looked at in minute detail to ensure that quality and safety are paramount. Each model is verified to ensure it meets or exceeds the test standard required by its country of destination.

As we’ve become accustomed to, the LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet features emergency release system, a reinforced chin strap, a metal security plate and a multi-density EPS.


From the moment you put the helmet on your head, you feel safe and secure, the fit is excellent. Having three different shell sizes means the helmet is safer and more comfortable to wear. The long oval shape offers greater comfort, especially for long days on the motorcycle.

Emergency cheek pad release system is something we’ve become to expect from all helmets and this one is no exception. The release is quick, easy and effortless.

Double D ring on the chin strap

The LS2 Explorer helmet fastens with the double-D ring with a reinforced chin strap and metal security plates.

The helmet comes with multi-density EPS internal protection and complies with the latest ECE22.06 standard.

THe foam is laser-cut for precision, safety and comfort.

Noise Management

The LS2 Explorer Helmet is satisfyingly quiet when riding on days with low wind factor. Despite the many air intake vents, and a large chin opening when the chin curtain is removed, it remains pleasantly quiet.

Front chin vent on the LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

Because there are speaker cutouts left with no liner over them the sound from the speakers isn’t muffled and I can hear the phone call or the music really well even in high wind situations.

I prefer to ride my bikes with low screens which means I get clean air to the helmet and no buffering because of the bike’s screen. This seems to work really well with the LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet as it only has to deal with direct air and no buffering. This helps in keeping the flow of wind unrestricted which causes less noise.

I must point out I always wear filtered earplugs when riding and my experience is that of wearing earplugs and comparing this helmet to others under the same conditions.

Fit & Comfort

Rider wearing LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

The sizing of the helmet is in line with all other manufacturers I have tried so far, I always go for size small (55-56 cm) and this one fits perfectly, too.

The visor offers great visibility with its wide opening and a relief on a sunny day with the internal dark visor.

Closeup of the internal dark visor

The shell is a long oval shape which offers more comfort around the chin area and stops the claustrophobic feel that some helmets can give you.

The helmet is breathable with many vents to help keep cool on a hot day. It also comes with a removable chin curtain that allows plenty of air circulation on a hot day when removed and it stops the cold air from entering the helmet when the chin curtain is in place.

Top down view of the removable liner inside the helmet

The liner is removable and washable which adds to comfort, especially after riding on dirt and dusty, gravel roads.

Removable liner from the LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet

I have to wear spectacles for riding and the helmet has nice wide sides to allow for the arms of the glasses to sit comfortably on my ears. With the wide visor the visibility is far superior to some other styles which helps with obtaining more information in your periphery vision and therefore riding safer.

Ventilation & Airflow

Top view of the vents on the LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

The ventilation system in the LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet is really good. With the chin curtain removed you get a lot of air through the bottom of the helmet which feels really refreshing on a long ride.

Side vents on the LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

There is a vent inside the chin area of the helmet which helps clear my spectacles on a rainy day. The two vents on top of the helmet keep your head cool and the two exhaust ports on the side and the back help with air circulation.

Rear vents on the LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

Whilst riding in very hot weather I didn’t think the vents were doing much, until I closed them and then realised just how good they are. Just because I couldn’t feel the warm air circulating I sure felt getting hot and bothered almost instantly once I closed the vents off.

The inside airflow is managed by channelled EPS lining which increases the comfort of the helmet.

Visor and Peak Removal

The LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet comes with a clear shield that is Pinlock ready. A Pinlock Max also comes in the box with the helmet and is very easy to fit. The helmet also has an internal sun visor which I would have preferred if it was a bit darker but this can be changed to suit your preference. I would also prefer the sun visor to come a little bit lower, too.

Closeup of the polycarbonate visor on the helmet

I noticed that Pinlock started to rub on the inside rubber which is mainly cosmetic and it doesn’t affect the vision but it is annoying.

The visor is built with 3D Optically Correct “A Class” Polycarbonate which has high resistance to impact and avoids distortion whilst offering maximum clarity. The visor is scratch and UV-resistant.

Screws holding the visor in place

To remove the visor you have to use an alun key and take out the two screws on each side of the helmet. This is a little bit fiddly but very secure and I prefer this to the usual plastic mechanisms. To remove the visor, you need a Phillips crosshead screwdriver to undo the top of the helmet fastening. The helmet comes with a blanking plate to cover up the hole if you are riding without the peak.

Closeup of the helmet peak design

As mentioned, the design of the peak means the wind passes through effortlessly and you don’t get the typical pull of the helmet at speed or in high wind.

Value for Money

The LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet is far more premium than its price tag. From the packaging to the helmet itself you can tell the quality straight away. The helmet comes with a drawstring bag inside a carry bag that is excellent to take on a plane. It comes with an inflatable o-ring to rest the helmet on when working on it or just storing it on a shelf.

LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet in its carrying bag

The mechanism for opening and closing the visor feels sturdy and moves effortlessly. The chin strap is padded and secured with a double-D ring and metal plate. The inside of the helmet feels plush and comfortable.

The helmet comes with a Pinlock Max Vision already the visor is UV and scratch resistant.

The Verdict: Final Thoughts on the LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet

Since receiving the LS2 Explorer Carbon helmet I have worn it on two tours, one to Spain for 3 days on a road bike without a peak and one to Norway for 6 days offroading with a peak. Both rides were hot and sunny and I was pleased to have the internal sun visor and the vents available for comfort.

LS2 Explorer Carbon Helmet on motorcycle

The peak was great to have to shield the sun out of my eyes and face and when ducking from tree branches. The helmet looks great without the peak, too.

The helmet is really light and even after days of riding for hours on end it stays as comfortable as the first time you put it on. The inside material is plush, and soft but sturdy enough to keep the helmet in place. It makes you feel safe and secure and the large field of vision is brilliant.

It has fast become my favourite helmet I reach for when I go out on an adventure motorcycle.

Buy Now


  • Excellent fit with 3 shell sizes
  • Internal dark visor, Pinlock and carry bag included (great for plane travel)
  • Good ventilation
  • Minimal wind drag on the peak at speed
  • Very light to wear all day.


  • Pinlock rubs in the corners
  • Wind noise can be pronounced
  • The chin area is very aggressive looking


  • Manufacturer: LS2 Helmets
  • Made in: China
  • Price as shown: Edge – £319
  • Sizes: Three shell sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL
  • Colours: Solid (Black), Frontier (Titanium Red), Frontier (Black Blue), Extend (Matt Military Green), Extend (Matt Red), Extend (Matt H-V Yellow), Edge (Black Orange White)
  • Safety Designations: DOT, ECE2206
  • Warranty: 3-year manufacturer warranty
  • Review Date: From March to June 2023

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