The NENKI - NK856 is a low cost full face helmet that comes with an assortment of visors and a built in sun visor. NENKI is a company based out of Guangdong, China. They manufacture an assortment of Motorcycle Helmets, Ski Helmets, Sunglasses and Goggles. They offer a selection of helmets from Full Face, Motocross, Dual Sport, Modular and Open Face.
The NK-856 is a full-face helmet, manufactured by Chinese Manufacturer NENKI Helmets. It has a safety designation that meets or exceeds DOT FMVSS-218.
Full-face helmets offer added security to the head, namely in the face area while riding. They also help keep road noise down, and protect you from the wind, debris, and bugs if your motorcycle does not have a windshield or fairing.
This article takes into account several factors used to evaluate this helmet in a real application. I evaluate the way it looks as well as the way it performs during actual road use over a few days of riding.
The NENKI is an aesthetically pleasing helmet. The helmet I reviewed was the Matte Black and Green. The graphics on the helmet are very present and make a bold statement.
The helmet comes with an anti-fog chrome visor that has a shade of gold. The visor accentuates the matte black and green graphics of the helmet.
The finish inside the helmet consists of a neoprene-like material that is removable for cleaning. It fastens on the inside with snaps. These snaps seem to do a good job at retaining the liner in the helmet.
The chinstrap is covered with the same neoprene-like material and the helmet is secured by the use of a D-ring styled buckle.
The helmet has several ventilation ports that can be opened and closed. Also, the helmet has a drop down black sun visor.
Fit & Comfort
I did not find the NK-856 to be overly comfortable. The neoprene-like finish on the inside is not very thick and does not provide much buffering from the hard EPS impact foam.
Also, in the ear section, the material was a bit low and forced my ear to bend down. I thought it would adjust itself after a bit of riding; however, after 5 days of riding, I found that the material stayed the same and my ear was a bit irritated.
The Neoprene-like material that is used to line the inside of the helmet is not very durable. A small velcro strip on my riding jacket managed to damage the underside of the liner within an hour of driving.
Unfortunately, even though the helmet was a good fit at the beginning of the review, after 5 days of riding, I felt that the helmet had lost some of its retentions and it felt like it wanted to shift on my head when riding at highway speeds.
At one point, while riding with fellow writer Jim Pruner, we switched bikes and I found myself on his Kawasaki H2 SX SE. The forward riding position made me feel like the helmet was not allowing me to properly open or close my mouth. The padding was very tight against my face and it felt like I was biting the inside of my cheeks.
The Nenki website lists the weight of this helmet at 1500 g (3.3 lbs). It felt light and the weight was not uncomfortable on my head.
I am a big fan of micrometric buckles. This helmet does not feature this option and relies on metal d-rings for retention. I found that the D-rings were not the easiest to use and had a tendency to flip up while donning the helmet.
One nice feature of the retention strap was that it was covered in neoprene-like material. This prevented the strap from being a nuisance while riding in the wind.
The vents on this helmet are adequate to allow fresh air to circulate around the head; however, I did not find that the vent on the chinstrap did much to prevent air from coming in when it was closed. A neoprene-like gusset under the helmet worked well to prevent too much air and insects from entering the helmet around the neck area.
The little latches to open and close the vents are very stiff and are not very rider friendly especially if wearing gloves. You are best to anticipate how you want your vents to be set prior to when you leave and making adjustments when you stop.
Noise is a major concern.
Wind noise is omnipresent while wearing this helmet. There is very little noise buffering in the ear area.
The wind has a tendency to howl around the visor. This appears to be due to the fact that a proper seal is not achieved when the visor is closed and the thickness of the visor makes it kind of flimsy.
Visibility with this helmet was adequate, but far from great.
The NK856 does not allow for a full peripheral view. The visor edge is a bit forward and a visor lock that does very little in keeping the visor from opening or closing is always in the corner of your eye.
The anti-fog chrome visor did not live up to its name. The visor fogs constantly and required me to frequently crack open the visor to get fresh air to come in and assist in defogging the visor. The redeeming factor with this visor is that once it was on, it has a very nice blue shade that made the sky appear much nicer than the smoke caused by forest fires covering Calgary and the surrounding areas during the testing of this helmet.
Changing out the visors on this helmet proved to be a real task. The levers used to change the visors were extremely stiff. It took me quite some time to change the visor from Chrome to Clear.
The drop down black sun visor was surprisingly very nice. It went down far enough to provide protection from the sun, it was clear and did not cause any concern with the already tinted chrome visor. I did not feel like I needed any sunglasses while using this helmet.
The NENKI NK856 is a low-cost helmet and it shows.
If you are a fair weather rider, or if you just need a helmet to go out once in a while on a friends bike or a rental, the NK856 might be a good option. It is not in line with some of the premiere helmets; however, it does not claim to be and it has found its niche in the inexpensive helmet category.
In the box, the helmet is shipped in a protective fleece helmet bag and includes the instruction manual and a clear visor. The one I received also had a dark visor and a replacement chrome visor. The finish on the helmet is nice. I found the graphics to be a bit bright for my tastes. That being said, I am very conservative when it comes to my riding gear.
Interestingly enough, I did get several compliments from strangers on my helmet. At breakfast, a little boy (around 10 years old) and his mom approached my girlfriend and I and he wanted to compliment me on my helmet. I let him try it on and he seemed to like it very much.
I was disappointed at the lack of a Micrometric buckle, but happy at the neoprene-like material around the strap.
The helmet is very well priced at US$ 99.99 MSRP
I recommend this helmet, but not to a serious rider. It is best suited for a person that only rides a few times a year.
*disclosure: NENKI helmets provided the NK856 at no charge for the purposes of this review.