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LS2 Valiant II Modular Helmet: Hands-On Review

LS2 Valiant II modular helmet next to backpack
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LS2 Valiant II Modular Helmet Review Summary
Review Summary
The LS2 Valiant II helmet is a refresh of the original Valiant modular 180-degree flip-up lid. LS2 has improved overall airflow, upped the style factor, and created a lower profile with the hinge mechanism on the side. The 180° chin bar is a nice improvement over most modular offerings. When riding in the open face mode, the wind buffeting and balance are noticeably better. LS2 is well known for providing plenty of features at a great price, and the Valiant II maintains the tradition. This helmet includes a drop-down sun visor, a removable washable moisture-wicking liner, and a pinlock-ready visor shipped with the pinlock inserts. From a safety standpoint, the LS2 Valiant II meets DOT and ECE 22.05 certifications.
Sizing & Comfort
Build Quality
Visibility
Ventilation
Noise
Safety
Pros
180° opening chin bar
Visor release mechanism is simple and solid
Removable and washable hypoallergenic comfort liner
Excellent visibility through the visor
Dot and Ece 22-05 certified
Large integrated sun visor with ergonomic slider mechanism
Quick-release micrometric chin strap buckle
Double homologation full face and jet (P/J)
Pinlock visor with inserts included
Comes with a cool backpack
Cons
Fits a size small
Not easy to add in an aftermarket bluetooth system
Not exactly heavy but on the higher side of average
4.5
A Good Buy

LS2 has been making helmets since the 1990s. Well known as a company that provides great value for the dollar and plenty of features, I should not be surprised by what I found in the box. When my delivery showed up and I gleefully cracked into the box, the first thing I noticed was a backpack—a camouflage-colored backpack. Well, that’s different. Very unique LS2, very unique.

In fact, everything has a uniqueness about it with this Valiant II helmet. I first began riding with it in mid-August when the temperatures were in the high 20° C’s. I quickly came to appreciate the full 180° flip back chin bar. Initially, I expected this would only prove limited usefulness, but that notion quickly changed on both the Harley Sportster and the Honda Goldwing I rode on with this helmet.

Currently the original Valiant model can still be found through some retailers and it will save a person about $80. Maybe that would be worth it to some, but not for myself. Every aspect of the Valiant II is an incremental improvement over the original. I would argue that these improvements are well worth the $80. Let’s do a deep dive into my time with the LS2 Valiant II.

LS2 Valiant II Helmet Fit & Comfort

Author wearing LS2 Valiant II modular helmet

If you have looked at any customer comments on retail sites regarding the Valiant II, there is a theme. The sizing runs small. I found that to be very true for my fitment. I am typically an XL, the helmet that fits is a 3XL, the largest LS2 makes. After some use, I found that part of the reason with my head is indeed the shape.

Fitting Different Head Shapes

I am an intermediate oval, but even in the 3XL size I rode with,  I have 2 pressure spots. Neither is overly bothersome, but they have me feeling this helmet would fit a round head shape better than an oval. Jumping up 2 sizes and still having some slight pressure at my forehead and the back center of my head leads me to this thought.

Installing a Bluetooth Comm System

There doesn’t seem to be a solid effort with the Valiant II to make it comm system friendly. LS2 does provide some space for speakers, but added depth would really help. I had an extra set of UClear Pulse Pro 2.0 speakers that I like to test speaker pockets with. They are a 40mm speaker and they fit in the provided location but without a little “modification” they didn’t sit well, and they pressed against my head in an uncomfortable way. This is again a bit of a head shape issue but keep it in mind when you try on this helmet.

Chin Bar

The chin bar worked very smoothly, and I found the release button easy to find and operate with a gloved hand. The chin curtain has some flex to it and it was simple each time I raised and lowered the bar. The space in front of my mouth was also nice. I never had that feeling of touching my face to the front of the chin bar.

Liner

The liner is reasonable for this price level, more on the utilitarian side than the posh side when it comes to how it feels. The moisture wicking material and the airflow around it always kept my head comfortable. I never had that urge to get the helmet off my head so I could cool down. The only small issue with the liner design is the lack of space for glasses. If you wear glasses when you ride, make sure you test that fit with the Valiant II.

Drop Down Sun Visor

The last detail around the fit and comfort relates to the drop down sun visor. This is a point of debate with others I ride with—how low should the sun visor drop? I like the size of the drop down sun visor in the Valiant II. It gets low and fills the bottom area of my vision. Yes, it is very close to my nose and some wiggling will have me touching the visor, but I prefer this. I will take the extra sun protection, over any issues around contact with my nose.

LS2 Valiant II Helmet Features

Being a modular helmet on its own is a great feature, but LS2 added the 180° flip ability, which is a rare and cool trick for a modular helmet. To make this possible, creative engineering slides the main visor up and out of the path of the chin bar, allowing the rider to pull the clear main visor back into place. This creates a proper ¾ or open-face helmet, retaining full functionality of the main visor as well as the dropdown sun visor. It is rather brilliant.

See Also: Best Modular Helmets for 2022

Visors

The main visor is optically correct, scratch, and UV resistant. Secured with a quick release, quick change mechanism. This main visor is also pinlock-ready and comes with the inserts. As mentioned LS2 has a nice drop-down sun visor actuated via a slide on the lower left side of the Valiant II. The action is smooth and easy to find with a gloved hand.

Speaker Pockets

Pulling back the cheek pads revealed a circular space at the base of the chin strap attachment point. At first glance, I assumed this was a space for a speaker. I see nothing from LS2 mentioning anything about speaker pockets, and if this was the intention I cannot see how you would have any modern-sized speakers fit. I tried a set of UClear Pulse Pro 2.0, which measure 40mm, and there was no way. It looks possible to make something work, but it would require some surgery.

Straps & Closures

A few final features are small but I appreciate them. LS2 uses a quick release ratchet style chin strap closure, which I far prefer over D-rings, and reflective trim inserts can be found on all sides of the bottom gasket.

Construction of the LS2 Valiant II Helmet

The Shell

LS2 Valiant II helmet with visor down resting on railing

The lightweight, aerodynamic shell is made from LS2’s proprietary Kinetic Polymer Alloy (KPA). This type of material is generally considered a nice improvement over thermoplastic or typical fiberglass shells. It is easier to form while retaining the strength of fiberglass at a lower overall weight. The liner is made from what LS2 calls a technical fabric that wicks moisture to keep you cool. The Valiant 2 has 2 different shell sizes.

The Venting

Air intakes on side of LS2 Valiant II helmet

Internally the EPS has channeling to direct the airflow from the temple vents. There is also a vent in the chin bar. All the air vents have simple regulators that allow either open or closed positions.

The Chin Bar

LS2 Valiant II helmet with visor open hanging from bike handlebars

A full metal latch assures the chin bar will stay locked when closed, and an LS2 exclusive design keeps the chin bar securely in place at the back of the helmet when it is in the open “jet” position. The release mechanism is a nice, easy-to-locate push button on the center underside of the chin bar. No issue pushing it with gloves on.

As you raise the bar, the main visor moves nicely out of the path, and the bar folds fully back 180° into the “jet” position. I am quite impressed with how solid the chin bar feels in both open and closed positions, and the movement is very smooth.

Aerodynamics

The shape of the Valiant 2 shell leans more toward the style side versus an aero tuned shape. Where it gains a huge aerodynamic advantage over other modular helmets is in the open position. It is called the “jet” position for good reason. There is zero buffeting or any noticeable effect of riding with the chin bar open. Beyond the fresh air feeling on your face, the shape and design of the Valiant 2 performed well and remained stable at all speeds.

LS2 Valiant II Helmet Visor & Vision

Optical Quality

Front air intake on LS2 Valiant II helmet

The UV and scratch-resistant shield uses optically correct Class A polycarbonate and is PinLock ready for the maximum in fog protection. Bonus point to LS2 for actually including the pinlock inserts.

Changing Visors

Visor being removed from LS2 Valiant II helmet Visor removed from LS2 Valiant II helmet

LS2 has created a dead simple and solid mechanism for removing the visor on the Valiant II. On top of the hinge support is an easy-to-use lever. Push it back and the visor tilts forward and slides off. It is ridiculously simple and solid. Part of this simplicity comes due to the design choice not being purely focused on aerodynamics, but top marks, LS2—this works well.

Drop-Down Internal Sun Visor

Side view of LS2 Valiant II Helmet

I almost never ride with a helmet that doesn’t include a drop-down visor these days. But my most often complaint is that they simply don’t slide low enough to prevent reflections and light coming in down low.

The Valiant II internal sun visor gets very low and I love it. Low enough it becomes easy to bump my upper cheeks into it. More is far better than less in my opinion. I can always adjust the slider if it is too much.

Riding with the LS2 Valiant II Helmet

Author wearing LS2 Valiant II helmet next to Honda Goldwing

I have ridden with many modular helmets, and they all shared a common trait. They are awkward and off balance when the bar is up. I often step out of the saddle and leave my helmet on for a quick stop at a convenience store, and there is no beating the convenience of being able to have an open helmet and actually be able to speak to people.

Balance

Trying to ride with the bar up on a traditional modular helmet is just uncomfortable. The bar catches the wind, and I suddenly feel like a bobblehead toy. LS2 solved all of that with the 180° flipping bar.

This helmet worked best for me on my cruiser and my touring bikes. Behind the big fairing of the Honda Goldwing, the noisier nature of this helmet was not much of an issue, and it was completely overshadowed by the enjoyment of being able to switch from open to closed anytime.

Helmet Noise

There is no getting away from it, modular helmets tend to be a bit louder compared to most typical full-face designs. The added seams and gaps are going to stir up the wind and be heard. The Valiant II handles this reasonably well, and because I ride with Earpeace ear plugs all the time I never found it much of an issue, even at highway speeds on my unfaired Harley Davidson.

The surprise came with how often I found myself flipping the bar back and riding in the open face mode. In the city just cruising around this became my norm. Something I never have done in the past with other modular designs. Then as soon as speeds picked up I could just pull the bar back down and carry on. Simple and brilliant.

Suggestions

My only issue: make some provisions for a comm system, please. I know I can fool around and figure out how to fit my UClear system, but the slider for the drop-down sun visor is a bit in the way, and the speakers will take a MacGyver level of creative fitment.

LS2 Valiant II Safety Certifications

The Valiant II meets or exceeds DOT FMVSS 218 and ECE 22.05. This being a modular lid means it will never be a track option, so the other standards are not overly critical. The other key point is that LS2 has met ECE “P” and “J” certifications as both an open and full face helmet.

I went hunting to see how this helmet had done on the SHARP test, but it doesn’t appear to have been tested yet. The original Valiant achieved a 4-star rating, I would expect the Valiant II to also do well.

Final Verdict on the LS2 Valiant II Helmet

Room for Improvement

Honestly, I come away from the testing of this helmet far more impressed than I expected to be. I tend to measure the improvements I would want, against what price level a helmet is at, and what types of bikes it is best suited to be ridden on.

I am left with just two areas to improve. The first is just about providing the ability to integrate a Bluetooth system. This makes no sense to me with any helmet anymore, the vast majority of riders already use a comm system or have that as their next planned piece of kit. Make it easy and safe to add in.

See Also: Best Motorcycle Intercoms You Can Buy in 2022

My second is the weight. A 4 lb helmet is not excessively heavy, but it does fall on the side of above average for this helmet category. If LS2 could shed a ½ lb from the Valiant II, I would be inclined to put it as the best modular available at this price point.

Favorite Aspects

The 180° chin bar is brilliant, and LS2 has the mechanism  well sorted for easy operation. I wish more helmets did the drop down sun visor as well as LS2 has in the Valiant II. The final favourite aspect, which I have hardly even mentioned, is that the helmet comes with a cool camouflage backpack. Whoever came up with this in the marketing group—you rock!

Overall: 89.5%

Specs

  • Price (When Tested): $379.98
  • Alternative models & colors: 5 Solid Colors and 3 Graphic Options
  • Sizes: XS-3XL
  • Review Date: Sept 2022

Important Links / Where to Buy

 

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  1. Can you comment on the lesser peripheral vision of the eyeport? I found I have to turn my neck farther around for the same head check view as I would have from any other name brand helmet.