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

Does Nolan N-40 adaptable helmet work?

Nolan N-40 convertible helmet
Nolan N-40 convertible helmet
Last updated:

Despite the Nolan N-40 being several helmets in one with a removable peak, chin bar and visor, it isn’t noisy and doesn’t feel like it will fall apart after several changes to its format.

The Italian-made Nolan helmet brand is always good quality and all the pieces on the N-40 seem to join with a solid feeling.

For a helmet with so many pieces that click together, it’s quieter and lighter than most “modular” flip-up helmets. And at just $349 it’s good value considering you get so many different helmets in one.

Removing and replacing the chin bar, visor and peak is quick and easy.

There is a circular “lock” mechanism on the sides which you click open and rotate to remove the visor and/or peak. Unlike some full-face helmets, they are easy to operate.

The chin bar comes off neatly by pushing down on two red latches inside the chin bar. It also snaps back in without any fuss.

When removed, there are two pieces of plastic that you put into the holes left behind to make it look neater. If you don’t, it tends to whistle in the wind.

I was reticent to pull the Nolan helmet apart and refit it too often in case the joins started to weaken, but after a few weeks, it still feels as sturdy as when I removed it from the box.

The helmet feels comfortable and plush with a removable “Clima Comfort” liner that wicks away sweat and keeps the top of your head cool in the summer heat.

The lower chin-bar vent doesn’t have much affect, but there is already a lot of room around your ace for air to circulate, anyway. The top vent has much more airflow affect.

Despite having a peak, the helmet doesn’t seem to lift off your head at speed, probably because of the strange little “wings” on the removable chin bar.

It also doesn’t want to tear your head off in the full-face position as it wraps around your cheeks more like a “jet” or scooter helmet than a typical open-face motorcycle helmet

One of the problems with most adventure helmets is that the peak prevents the visor from fully opening and the visor prevents the peak from being long enough to actually provides any shade for the eyes and sunburn protection for your face.

However, this clever helmet gets around this by having the peak move up when the visor is fully opened. To close the visor, you then just flick the peak forward and the visor shuts automatically. Even though the peak clicks in three positions, it doesn’t get blown back in the wind.

You can also remove the visor and wear goggles for an off-road application, but the dust tends to get up inside the drop-down sun visor. Be careful as the grains of dust can scratch the visor as you move it up and down.

While there is no goggle strap holder at the back, the shape of the rear helmet shell seem to keep it in place.

If you wear glasses (you won’t need sunnies because of the visor), they slip in and out easily with space around the ears so they aren’t uncomfortable.

Noise levels are low for a full-face helmet with this many joins and even in the open-face position, there is a thick piece of foam around the ears to reduce wind noise.

When you remove all the visors, there are two round pieces of plastic to go over the joins to make them look neat.

Together with the little fillers for the chin bar gap, it’s a lot of little pieces to carry around, but I’ve mainly been riding with the complete helmet, then pulling the jaw piece off for riding around town for more vision and air.

Not that it has limited vision with the chin bar in place as it’s quite slim, like the Bell Bullitt.

The Lexan scratch-resistant external visor is anti-fog Pinlock ready and it needs it. Even with the chin bar removed, the visor fogs up easily.

Like most Nolan helmets, it is compatible with their proprietary integrated N-Com multi-media/intercom system which is a neat system that is almost flush with the outside shell.

It wont’ accommodate a clamp-on Bluetooth unit because of the thickness of the shell at the bottom, but you can stick one on. However, you will have to use a boom mic because of the removable chin bar.

The $349 helmet is made of multi-density EPS styrene and comes with a five-year warranty in black, white or silver from extra small to XX large.