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Nolan N100-5 Modular Helmet Hands-On Review

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.
Nolan N100-5 Modular Helmet Review Summary
Review Summary
The Nolan N100-5 modular helmet seems too good to be true. Italian styling, aerodynamic shell shape and built with many features of a premium priced helmet without the high price. It even has a few unique traits setting it apart from the rest of the pack. How can Nolan be making any money on these? Add the cost of a fully integrated B901L N-Com BlueTooth communication system to the equation and end up paying about the same price as a Shoei Neotec II! I think this might be the best modular helmet available for the price.
High quality materials used in construction
PinLock lens included
Excellent bang for the buck
DOT and ECE approved
Lighter than most comparables
Excellent fitment and comfort
Excellent airflow
Must raise chinbar to don
Possible cheek pad anchor failures
Only 2 shell sizes
Only N-Com Bluetooth units should be used with Nolan helmets to maintain safety rating

My first helmet back in 1987 was a bright yellow Nolan dirt bike offering. Maybe some of you reading this had the same one too? It left an impression on me, yet for some reason, I’ve never worn another Nolan product until today.

I’ve been missing out! This Italian brand has been building high quality, lightweight head protection since 1972 with their unique brand of style and features.

Our friends at Nolan were kind enough to send me their premier quality modular N100-5 in an eye-catching graphite grey color along with a fully integrated N-Com B901 Bluetooth unit to review. Thank you!

The N100-5 is the next generation follow up to the popular Nolan N104 models.

Rear view of the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.



First Impressions

Paint & Appearance

A lightweight yet solid feeling helmet painted a handsome color. It looks expensive like it belongs right beside the other premier helmet brands on a store shelf.

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

Nolan describes their paint as “earth-friendly and water-based”. I can’t recall ever hearing another manufacturer make this claim. Perhaps all other helmet paints are as well, but I’m not sure.

This color has a slight texture to it which should help me avoid costly drops and hide fingerprints. I notice this helmet has come equipped with all the features I insist on having. I think I’m going to like this one a lot.

Very “Clean” Looking

The N100-5 has an uncluttered, minimalist exterior design. The overall look is sleek and I approve of the subtle flowing lines running from the crown area rearward and ending on the sides of exhaust vents located back there. There aren’t many sharp edges on the lid, even on the upper visor edges. Most everything is smoothed and tapered to cut down on wind shear and turbulence from what I can tell.

I’m already predicting it being a quiet helmet at speed because of the wind tunnel tested appearance.


The DOT sticker on the rear has a narrow green/white/red flag built in which pops nicely against the dark grey paint. The DOT and size medium sticker appears to be slightly misaligned with the Nolan badging above it to my eye. Not a big deal to me, but worth noting.

Rear view of the DOT sticker on the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

How Much Does This Weigh?

When I was first handed the package I could hardly believe there was a helmet inside! The helmet, a cloth bag for storing it, several pamphlets, brochures, another thinner set of cheek pads and a Pinlock visor greeted me when I opened it up.

3 lbs 12 oz is what I weighed this Nolan to be on my personal scale. That puts it lighter than the Schuberth C4 and Shoei Neotec II, but slightly heavier than the Simpson Mod Bandit and AGV Sportmodular Carbon.

Very impressive by modular helmet standards and lighter than probably ¾ of comparables out there. This is a priceless attribute on my list of helmet must-haves.

A Lexan Polycarbonate Shell

Nolan N100-5 helmet.

The trademarked Lexan polycarbonate shell is something Nolan is very proud of for good reason. That’s how they make this helmet so lovably lightweight and strong after all. It doesn’t garner a SNELL rating but does get ECE 22.05 as well as DOT approval.


Much like my AGV Sportmodular helmet, I can’t put this Nolan on without first raising the chinbar. The opening is very small in diameter making donning a little more involved than with other larger mouthed helmets.

Bottom view of the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

I’m not upset about this slight inconvenience because I know having a tighter fit around my jawline/neckline area will result in a quieter ride. It’s well worth the resulting added effort needed to put this Nolan on.

Intermediate Oval Shape

For myself, I find the fit of this Intermediate Oval shaped helmet better than average for me despite the fact my skull is round oval. I interpret this unusual level of comfort to mean the N100-5 helmet might be shaped with a tendency towards round oval on the intermediate oval 7scale.

Everywhere feels snug all around my cranium without any hot spots or pressure points appearing.

Additionally, I’m noticing some difficulty hearing conversations while wearing it.

These are more good signs!

Shell Sizes

I’m glad my 23 inches (58.45cm) circumference noggin fits into the medium-sized N100-5 perfectly. I was right on the border between M and L sizes and I opted for the smaller choice as I always do.

There are only 2 shell sizes available and the Nolan website in one section shows the cut off for the larger shell to be at XL and up, while a chart below it says Large is where the bigger dome begins. An emailed video from Nolan confirmed that Large is where the second shell begins.

At any rate, this Medium has the smaller shell size for sure and doesn’t feel bulky or cumbersome to wear at all.

Micrometric Chinstrap

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

Some people don’t appreciate the ratcheting chinstrap design, but I’m a big fan of them. The ease of install and removal with this style can’t be understated. I did have to loosen off the strap slightly from the position it arrived in to fit my face better, but it also was easy to accomplish. Nolan chose to use metal ratchet teeth and latch on this helmet which I prefer to plastic ones found on other helmets.



Power Assist Chinbar & Automatic Retractable Integral Sun Lens

Two Chinbar Unlocking Buttons?

There are two red buttons on the chinbar used to unlock and lift it. It confused me at first because when I lifted the lower button I noticed the smaller upper button popped out of the shell and needed to be gripped/pulled downwards in order to allow me to raise the chinbar.

After experimenting with it a bit I adapted and find it’s to my liking despite how different it is from every other modular helmet I’ve worn or handled. The upper button solves a problem I didn’t realize I had with the other helmets because it gives a good gripping point for lifting the chinbar when used as intended.

Spring Loaded Assistance

The chin bar once unlocked and nudged upwards takes the initiative and launches itself up out of the way thanks to some spring tension working on it behind the scenes. This is a really nice feature!

The opposite action (lowering/closing the chin bar) is also helped somehow by this spring assist. I find that simply nodding downward with some enthusiasm is enough to send the chin bar careening downward fast enough to engage the locking mechanism shut.

What a pleasant surprise compared to the AGV Sportmodular Carbon and Simpson Mod Bandit chin bars that need to be practically slammed downwards in order to get them to latch closed.

Dual Homologated Design

Chinbar raised on the Nolan N100-5 helmet..

This is just a fancy way of saying this helmet was designed to allow the wearer to use it with the chin bar raised or lowered while riding. I find most often I only use it open at low speeds before closing it anyway, but it’s nice to have options. Let’s face it most people use items how they want to regardless of manufacturers’ warnings.

Lexan Integrated Sun Lens

Both the clear visor and tinted flip down sun lens are made of Lexan as well. You can see an odd rainbow-like spectrum effect on the visor in some photos which are the special scratch resistant coating Nolan uses. Both lenses are clear to look through and show no sign of distortion of any kind. Optically perfect is the industry speak used to describe a damn fine visor lens and this one qualifies.

Visor Removal Ease

Visor removed from the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.
This visor is one of the easiest to remove and reinstall for cleaning/replacement. I’m very satisfied with the design. Open it all the way, pull down on the tab below the hinge and pop it out one side at a time. Installation is the reverse procedure while ensuring the locking tabs line up in slots. Well done Nolan!

Visor pivot on the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

Clunky Visor

As clear as the visor is to look through I’m not completely happy with the action on it. It has 5 positions from completely closed to open all the way that holds very well, but the thundering “clunks” that resonate through the helmet (and my cranium) when I adjust the position are irritating.

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

This is the first difference I noted between this helmet and the much more expensive ones from Shoei, AGV, and Schuberth I’ve worn. This is a fairly common pet peeve of mine with a lot of otherwise excellent helmets. I can live with this if everything else is beautiful though.

No Visor Lock

I am happy there’s no locking button to manipulate when opening the visor like on the AGV Sportmodular. The opening tab is also centered on the visor lens making it no problem for left or right-handed wearers.

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

PinLock Included!

One of my pet peeves is if a helmet is just “Pinlock ready”, but the actual fog resistant lens isn’t included in the purchase price. Happily, the Pinlock lens is included with the N100-5 and installs without the need of a screwdriver or the customary stream of curse words used when I inevitably drop the very small screws several times.

It works well in this helmet! I deliberately exhale out my mouth in an attempt to fog up the lens, but nothing doing. Only the thin strip of visor underneath the Pinlock fogs up with my heavy breathing indoors.

On the road in cool weather remains to be seen.

Quick Retracting

The sun lens lowering switch is located on the lower left side. It’s a slider style with four positions that can lock the lens in place if you like it partially lowered as opposed to all the way down.

Sun visor controls on the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.
The best part is how thumbing the second switch in front of the first will release the latch holding it in place allowing spring tension to quickly snap the sun lens upwards and out of the path of view. Very slick!

My only concern with all these switches is whether they’ll break off easily over time if I’m not carefully setting the helmet down. Additionally, how will all these springs hold up over time?

Clima Liner & Cheek Padding

Care instruction tag inside

The interior of this helmet is nicely built. It’s hand sewn at the factory with good precision by my inspection. It’s made from the standard quality mixture of microsuede, antimicrobial mesh nylon, sweat-wicking, washable material we’ve all come to expect in any helmet worth their salt these days.

Chin Curtain & Adjustable Neck Roll

I like the way the chin curtain seals against my chin when the chinbar raises and lowers. It’s soft enough to not pass over my chin without irritation, yet firm enough to do its job.

An elasticized string runs around the neck roll opening between two adjusters that can be used to snug up the seal around the bottom of the helmet. I tried using it but honestly didn’t notice much difference since the opening fit tight to my face right out of the box.

The neck roll padding and chin curtain have strips of leather on the high contact side sections and reflective piping running around the perimeter for an added safety feature. I like that. High visibility is something I take seriously on riding gear and this Nolan has some smart features to help with that. More on that later.

Not All Anchors Are Anchored

I removed all the padding and liners for the photo shoot as usual to showcase the innards of this Nolan. I always take care in doing this because I’m afraid the plastic tabs will break off when pulled out of the anchoring points.

Liner removed from the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.
This time doing it I found one of the cheek pads anchors itself decided to detach from the EPS foam and to come along for the ride! I worried this would adversely affect the chances of the cheek pad staying in place despite two other anchors remaining to hold it when taking off the helmet or putting it on.

Cheekpad anchor that pulled out of the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.
Empty hole where the cheekpad anchor used to be in the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

Not a problem in the end surprisingly. The padding doesn’t seem bothered at all by the missing anchor after putting everything back together and testing it. This may be indicative of an area where Nolan saved some money in designing and building this N100-5 because I’ve never had one pull out before on other helmets. In internet searching, I wasn’t able to find other people having this issue either, so I guess it’s just an isolated case.

Medium and XL sized cheekpads from the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

Incidentally, you can swap in the cheek pads from the XL size helmet if you need extra room. You can see in the photo (above) you’ll gain about half an inch of space by doing this.

Let’s Talk About Ear-Space

The standard size medium cheek padding sits snug on my face but retreats around my ears to avoid folding everything up uncomfortably when pulling this helmet on. I notice my admittedly small sized ears feel just right once inside this small gap on each side.



Nolan N-Com Systems

The plastic C shaped guard/cover running around the bottom perimeter of the helmet can be removed to allow installation of your choice of a variety of N-Com Bluetooth systems offered by Nolan.

Gasket cover for the Nolan N100-5 helmet before the N-Com B901L is installed.

They claim that only their systems are “type approved” to be used with the helmet in order to maintain the DOT/ECE safety standards. The cynic in me feels like this is rationalization on their part to get us to buy their $280 ($366 Canadian) product that’s sold separately from the N100-5. On the other hand, I do see where they’re coming from in saying a fully integrated system should pose less risk of injury to the outer helmet shell in a crash scenario.

I was sizing up how to install my Sena 30K on it after removing the plastic guarding around the bottom lip of the shell and realized it would install awkwardly if I tried.

The N-Com B901L BlueTooth Communication System

Included Parts

This communication system comes with adapters to fit various Nolan helmets, an Allen key, extra double sided tape and the two speakers, battery pack, and a boom-style microphone. I was very happy to find not only the USB charging cable but also the AC plug adapter came with the kit. My Sena 30K only came with the USB cable, but to be fair included the 12V charging cord as well.

ESS Lighting Option

Rear view of the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L and ESS light installed.

The B901L R system has an Emergency Stop and Signaling LED which mounts on the back of the helmet. It can be set up to flash intermittently, stay on solid or flash slowly to help with visibility all the time. It will activate when you brake suddenly to warn vehicles behind you unless you switch it off. This is a great safety feature I haven’t seen on other helmets and I’m excited to test it out too.


After opening the box and reading the instructions a couple of times installation went pretty smoothly of B901L ESS. The trickiest part was getting everything to click back into position at the very end in such a way to avoid pinching wires or the antenna that runs just above the battery back.

The N-Com B901L system with ESS.
Once done I was impressed with how compact and sleek everything fit into the N100-5. Well done!

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.


This B901L system is fairly simple to operate with just 4 buttons on the keypad mounted to the left side of the helmet. There isn’t the same ease of use provided by voice command and about half the range as you’d find on a Cardo or Sena, but most of the other important options are all there.

  • “Rider/Passenger” intercom via Bluetooth
  • BIKE-TO-BIKE intercom via Bluetooth up to 700 meters (in open field, with no obstacles).
  • One-to-one communication, “Bike to Bike Call” function
  • Smart Conference (Group intercom): simultaneous conference call between 4 “900” series N-Com systems
  • Universal Conference (Chain intercom): simultaneous conference call between a “900” series N-Com system and a system paired up in “Universal Intercom” mode
  • VOX: voice activation and deactivation of the intercom
  • Compatible via Bluetooth with Nolangroup Bluetooth communication systems (except for Bluetooth kit and Bluetooth kit2, which are not compatible)
  • Compatibility via Bluetooth with intercom systems of other brands (Universal Intercom)

Additionally, you can connect to your smartphone to listen to music, take calls, use 3 programmed speed dial numbers, navigation apps, SIRI or Google, etc.

It has a built-in FM radio receiver if you prefer listening to commercials spaced into your music too.

The system is compatible to connect to Garmin and TomTom GPS systems without issue.

Enough Inspection, Let’s Ride!

The N100-5 with the N-Com B901 R installed is ready to hit the road to really see what I’ve got to work with. It’s time to road test this well-thought-out helmet.

Air Flow & Fogging

I notice once out on the road that there is definitely air flowing into the helmet, but it seems to be directed mostly at the visor instead of at my face.

Top vent on the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

That airflow is effective at preventing fogging combined with the Pinlock and I’m grateful for that but I prefer it when I can feel the cool air flowing onto my face additionally.

Chinbar vent on the Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

I rode in both dry hot weather up to 85 F (29 C) and cold, rainy weather (50 F, or 10 C) and couldn’t get the visor to fog up one iota. Even when I purposely exhaled out my mouth at the lens. Excellent!

Quiet Comfort

I was most impressed with how quiet the N100-5 is out on the road!

I piloted a 2019 Honda CB300R (a naked commuter bike) on the highway and in the city in delightful quiet comfort compared to any other modular I’ve worn. Even the Schuberth C4 which up to now has been the best I’ve worn would be difficult to be described as quieter.

It’s no shock really because Nolan has purposely done a lot with this lid to make it quiet. I’m glad those design efforts worked.

There’s no booming to endure inside this helmet unless you encounter ridiculous levels of crosswind. It’s a low key hiss only that can be heard inside and it remains the same whether you’re upright in the standard riding position or leaned forward in a sport crouch.

I really can’t say enough how happy I am to find a quiet modular that is really comfortable at last. The Schuberth C4 doesn’t feel comfortable on my head comparatively, and as much as I love my AGV it is noisier than this Nolan.

Visor vs. Bugs

Remember how I described the “rainbow-like” coating on the visor and sun lens earlier in this write-up? It became very apparent how effective that is not just in preventing fogging. It also helps keep grime and bugs off it.

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

I didn’t kill too many insects with the helmet because it’s February and even in California there weren’t many flying around yet. The ones I did hit were easily wiped away with my gloved hand and didn’t leave much “ooze” behind to obstruct my vision.

Never once did I clean the visors with anything other than paper or cloth towels and water, but they always came out extremely clean with that simple treatment. No expensive cleansers are necessary on the N100-5. I’d like to see if this still holds true down the road when I completely coat the visor in insect gore.

Visor vs. Rain

I rode through some heavy mist and light rain on the Pacific Coast Highway one evening which lightly tested the waterproof quality of the visor. I would have preferred to see how it did in a heavy downpour, but it didn’t happen.

There was no water intrusion into the helmet in the light rain I rode in. Examining the rubber seal around the visor opening tells me I can confidently predict there would be little to no leakage in heavy rain.

Visor vs. Wind

Me riding a 2019 Honda Gold Wing DCT wearing a Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.
I’ve never worn a helmet with a visor that will stay open quite the way this one will. The Simpson Mod Bandit is a close second, but this Nolan wins.

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

It will stay open up to almost 100 mph in a headwind. Even when I turned my head to the side or raised it up purposely putting it in positions I knew the wind could either push or pull on it. It won’t move at any reasonable speed!

The lowest open position is a bit on the big side though. Most helmets have a cracked open position as their lowest, but Nolan’s lowest yields an opening of over ½”. It definitely makes for a lot of airflows, so I don’t mind.

Wind Buffeting

Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

The only problem comes when you’re hiding behind a larger windshield and there’s turbulent air hitting the slightly open visor. For some reason, this Nolan visor reacts to the buffeting by swaying back and forth noticeably creating blurry vision. I think it’s because the helmet is open so much more than just cracked open and lacks support from the frame of the helmet shell in this position.

The only solution is to lower or raise the windshield height to get rid of the turbulence if you want your visor open. Either that or open the visor even more, or raise the chinbar and ride open face. I found myself doing that quite often with the N100-5 in traffic.



Lift & Pull

I couldn’t believe how well this helmet did when it comes to lifting and pulling, even in heavy winds.

I rode through an intense crosswind in Death Valley strong enough to force the 800lb, 2019 Honda Gold Wing DCT I was on lean at a 25-degree angle in order to carry a straight line of travel. Small sand granules stung any exposed neck skin between my jacket collar and the base of the helmet, but nothing got past the chin curtain or neck skirt on the Nolan, happily.

Large gusts did produce a slight lift occasionally but overall the aerodynamics of the N100-5 are second to none in my experience.

The N-Com B901L Effect

The N-Com system worked very well for me on the road. I was able to make calls to my wife at home and use SIRI as well to manage my music to a degree. I found it difficult to intuitively control it because I’m so used to my Sena 30K controls. The B901L simplicity is good, but also a bit limiting. I would prefer a voice-controlled system like on the Cardo and Sena units to make handling controls easier.

Configuration Menu Blues

I found it somewhat annoying to access the Configuration Menu on the N-Com. You have to turn off the headset then turn it back on holding down the power button. I was having challenges linking into the Honda Gold Wing entertainment system and so I would often have to access the configuration menu on the N-Com to sort it out.

Boom Mic

Whenever I lowered the chinbar I found the chin curtain grabbed the boom mic arm and trapped it between my chin and the curtain. Obviously, the mic won’t be effective in this position and it’s difficult to dig the mic out using gloved fingers. I found myself having to tuck the mic up near my eye in order to have it clear the chin curtain. Then I’d have to lower it afterwards by hand.

It would be way better to have the mic tucked away under the padding or even better embedded in the chin bar somehow where it’s out of the way. Any boom style microphone headset in a modular suffers from this annoying feature so it was to be expected.


The sound from the speakers was quite good! I found the bass on the low end, but that’s to be expected with small speakers like these. Overall the sound is clear and crisp if not a little bit on the tinny side. I’ll say this, it’s better than the sound of my Sena 30K but not as good as the new JBL speakers in the Cardo Freecom+ units.


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test rider to rider communication other than using my phone because my riding partner’s Schuberth integrated system just wouldn’t connect to mine. He’s had lots of issues with it and I blame it rather than the N-Com. Sorry about that I really wanted to test it out, and in the future, I’ll report on it once I get the opportunity.

Battery Life

This is where the N-Com really shines. I turned on the option to put the headset to sleep when not actively being used. This radically extended the battery life of the unit. I stopped charging the headset every day because I noticed it was still at 75% charge at the end of the second riding day.

I let it go 3 days without charging it and it still was at 50% remaining! This is a lot longer life than even Nolan claims it should have, so it’s a definite overachiever in that regard.

ESS Safety Factor

My riding partner Greg was watching the flashing red light on the back of the Nolan to see whether it would work during strong braking. It did!

I noticed cars weren’t tailgating me near as often as normal with this system flashing warnings at them too. I think it’s something that should be standard on all motorcycle helmets because it works.

The Final Verdict?

A Bargain

How can Nolan be making any money on these helmets? They are most definitely reasonably priced at $409 considering what you get.

The quality is there, it’s super quiet, lightweight, the paint is second to none and all the must-have features are included… even a Pinlock! There’s no doubt this is a bargain modular helmet.

Creaking Noises?

Some other reviewers have noted occasional “creaking” noises from the shell with the chinbar raised during head movement. I noticed it too, but it didn’t bother me as it might some people.

The only big beef I have with it is that I can’t install anything other than their N-Com systems. I like the ESS and would insist on having it, but the truth is there are better overall BlueTooth communication systems on the market I’d prefer over the N-Com. Sorry Nolan, but it’s the truth.

If I could put my Sena 30K in it this helmet would easily replace my AGV Sportmodular Carbon as my everyday helmet. If Nolan can improve the N-Com system to be on par with the 30K I’m there.

The N-Com might be good enough to persuade me to use the N100-5 anyway in reality just because this helmet is so good otherwise and the safety factor of the ESS must be considered.

Cheek Pad Anchor Factor

Should I be more concerned about the cheek pad anchor that pulled out than I am? I don’t think so because none of the others came out even after removing the pads several other times. The missing anchor didn’t allow the cheek pad to creep out of place either. I didn’t even know it was missing while wearing it afterward.

Anchor plug from a Nolan N100-5 helmet with N-Com B901L installed.

Nolan did send me a replacement section of EPS foam which I easily installed in place of the one the anchor pulled out of and I rode 1100 miles with this helmet afterward without issues.

If you’re looking to save hundreds of dollars but still get an excellent modular, look no further than this N100-5. At this point, I think this is the modular helmet to beat when it comes to overall value.

I really didn’t expect it to be this good. In a lot of ways giving it a 4.6 out of 5 might be underselling it. If a Sena or Cardo could go on it I think it might be 4.8 in my mind. Wow!


High quality materials used in construction / PinLock lens included / Excellent bang for the buck / DOT and ECE approved / Lighter than most comparables / Excellent fitment and comfort / Quiet / Excellent airflow


Must raise chinbar to don / Possible cheek pad anchor failures / Only 2 shell sizes / Nolan says only N-Com Bluetooth units should be used with Nolan helmets


  • Manufacturer: Nolan Helmets (Cima International)
  • Price (When Tested): $409.95
  • Made In: Italy
  • Alternative models & colors: Three color schemes
  • Sizes: XXS to XXXL
  • Review Date: January 31, 2019


  1. great review, thank you! definitely makes me want to go and check out this helmet.
    compared to the amount of detail collected here, I am surprised that there is no info about the UV protection of the different visors and no info about the weights of the different sizes…

    1. I knew I forgot something, thank you Air!

      I didn’t receive any information in my press kit about the different weights for different sizes unfortunately, and I admit I hadn’t really thought much about it since there are only two shell sizes available. For that reason any of them should be very close to the same weight.

      As for the visor it’s listed as UV400 which typically filters 99% of UV rays, but I’ve seen it sometimes claimed to block 100% like on the GMax MD01 helmet visors.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  2. I’ve had this helmet for about 6 months now, Love it. The creakiness goes away after a month or so. I figure it is the helmet breaking in to fit your head, 🙂 I also have the n-com system, I had to get it from Italy though. Wish Revzilla or others carried it here in the states.

    This is a great helmet, my pin lock fogs up on me, but I think it is my fault for improper install, still works better than not having one at all. I do wish it had a smaller detent on the visor to lift it the first spot from closed.

    N-com battery life is excellent, phone calls or good and audio is great, love the built in FM radio.

    1. Hi Terry!

      I’m glad to hear the creaking goes away. I haven’t worn mine a lot lately as I’ve been flooded with other helmets to review, but I did take it out briefly to test a Lexin FT4 bluetooth unit to see if I could intercom connect the two different devices together. It worked! It also showcased how much better the speakers are on the N-Com than other units on the market. I feel like it’s louder than my Sena 30K as well, but not as good as the new JBL speakers in the latest Cardo units.
      Check the silicone seal on your Pinlock closely. From what I’ve seen they only fog up if that seal is damaged or not sitting flush with the visor. They’re very fragile. I managed to scratch one on a Shoei GT Air I reviewed just by laying it across my lap while cleaning it off the visor!

    2. Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo also eliminates fog on visors 🙂 Try it. Put a light film of it on a small square inch inside your visor, go for a ride on a chilly morning, and see if it fogs on that coated square inch.

  3. I always wear earplugs while riding. Would I be able to hear the com system while wearing earplugs?

    1. Hi Matt!

      The N-Com system has the loudest speakers out of the four systems I’ve tested personally. I think depending on the type of earplugs used you would be able to hear them until you reach speeds above about 120kph or (75mph roughly). I know some types of earplugs remove wind noise and allow other noise to pass through while others block all sounds.

  4. This is my second Nolan. N104 was the previous one. This is the best helmet I have had and a great value. I have tried Shoei and Schubreth. The N100-5 is as good as them yet cost considerable less. I can’t comment about the communication system, but the helmet is great.

  5. I don’t understand you saying only the n-com system can be used. My n-90 has a smh-10 mounted and has been functioning for 8 years (yes I’m looking for another helmet) There may be legal or warranty constraints but I will mount another Sena on my next helmet, Nolan or otherwise. I mean, once I buy the thing I can mount a possum on it if I want to, and yes that is scary.

    1. Hi Dennis!

      Of course you can mount anything on any helmet, but should you?
      I’m not saying it’s impossible to mount something other than the N-Com on the N100-5 helmet, but due to the unusual edge around the bottom of the helmet shell it looks awkward to do it without using the sticky exterior mount, which I’m not personally a fan of doing.

      Nolan is the one saying only to use the N-Com on the helmet for safety reasons. They purposely designed the N-Com to be completely integrated into the shell so as to avoid having it hang off the outside of the helmet. In a crash, exterior mounted units can catch on the ground in a slide or become a force multiplier if you land directly on top of it either of which can increase the chance of injury. There’s actually a lot of value in having the unit fully integrated from a safety perspective.
      I suspect they want you to buy their product too instead of a Sena, Cardo or whatever, and so they want to further promote the safety angle.

      I have a few Sena products (a 30K, SF4, 10C Pro) and out of all of them the N-Com has the best speaker sound quality to my shock and amazement. It’s actually a decent system, but I prefer the voice command and mesh network of the 30K best so I completely understand why you would rather mount another Sena on the N100-5 if you decide to go that way with your next purchase. I hadn’t worn my N100-5 in a number of months before putting it back on for a few rides while testing the 10C Pro as an intercom partner. Wow! I had forgotten just how nice that helmet is for me. I think it’s a great choice especially if you’re already a fan of the similar N-90.

      I hope that helps!

  6. I found one available through a Nolan parent company sales partner in Italy. It doesn’t come with the DOT sticker, so I know it’s not legal, but the price point was great – $215 total including shipping for brand new and a legitimate dealer.

    Thanks so much for the thorough review. I currently have an LS2 Strobe whose Large is too large on me, while the Medium gets too close to my chin. Also a bit loud. Looking forward to hopefully enjoying the N100-5 helmet once I receive it.

    1. Thanks Dirk! I hope that Nolan fits the bill better for you. It’s funny but I spend a lot of time wearing all different helmets doing these reviews, but there are four that I keep coming back to from the dozen or so I’ve worn: The Arai DTX, Shoei GT Air II, AGV Sportmodular Carbon and this Nolan N100-5. This Nolan is in find company!

  7. I’ve had this helmet now since April 2019. My only issues were/are:
    1. Chin curtain is too good. I prefer more airflow over my face so I removed it.
    2. Took the visor off to clean it and removing the pinlock I managed to tear the silicone bead as it was “stuck” to the visor. Fortunately I had a old spare from a previous helmet that fits well. I now have purchased the correct pinlock but have not needed to replace yet.
    I find it quiet ( I wear ear plugs anyway), it has great peripheral vision and to my neck feels light.
    I’d recommend the Nolan without hesitation.

    1. Hi David!

      Yes I found the chin curtain very effective too, but I was using it mostly in cooler weather so no problem. My wife has claimed it from me now and adores it.
      Those Pinlocks can be fragile. I’ve scratched one on the inside of the lens while wiping it clean installing it. Luckily the scratches don’t bother me. Pricey things too, eh?
      Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Great review. I have had no problem getting my visor to fog up(unfortunately). I’ve used it 6 or 8 times now in WI in temps between 28 and 50. The culprit I believe is the big wind screen that comes on the HD Ultra that I drive. I don’t get enough air flowing toward the front vent on the helmet. It would be nice if the first click on the visor was smaller. That 1/2 inch is BIG at cold temps. Any ideas? Otherwise I love this helmet. I’m waiting to see how it works in the heat of summer.

    1. Hi Steve!

      Is the Pinlock area actually fogging up on your visor or just the edge below the Pinlock? I’ve honestly never had one of mine fog on the Pinlock area, but I have gotten some below it in several helmets tested.

      If the Pinlock itself fogs up I encourage people to remove the Pinlock visor and carefully inspect the silicone seal that goes around the inside edge. It’s VERY fragile and can get damaged when installed in the visor, rendering it ineffective at stopping fogging. If you find a flat spot in the silicone bead or a torn section that’s the culprit and unfortunately you’ll need a new one.

  9. Hi Jim, what a comprehensive review! Reading the letters above I feel I have some info that may help your readers. I’ve been using an N104 here in Australia for the last 8 years. I conducted a lot of research beforehand and the Nolan came out on top. I have not been disappointed. The pinlock has never fogged, but I was careful to install it as per the manufactures instructions. As you say, very expensive! You asked about the longevity of the sun visor controls – mine have never faulted in all that time. I’m now looking to upgrade to the N100-5, as Nolan appear to have perfected it a little further, and your review has confirmed my thoughts. Thanks very much! Muzz

    1. Murray you’ll likely love the N100-5 as I do. I haven’t worn mine much since the review, but mainly because my wife has claimed it as her own. hahaha. Every time I do put it on I’m once again taken with how naturally it fits me. There’s no adjustment or fidgeting necessary to get it set right on my head. Just a great design from Nolan.

  10. Im a little late to the party here but im curious about the merger between Nolan N-Com and Sena which occurred in September of 2019.
    I just purchased a Nolan N40-5 open face helmet and im considering the B901. There are very few reviews on them and im wondering if the unit you reviewed is the same as the ones made now after the merger. They look very similar and maybe its just Senas firmware and Bluetooth technology thats being used?
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Larry, that’s a great question. Thus far Neither Sena or Nolan have made much noise about it to us or anyone else. It’s worth sending an email to our contacts with both companies to find out.

      Thanks for the feedback.

    2. Hi again Larry (and Bruce!)

      I just heard back from our Sena contact Kasey who sent me the following explaining that they’ve actually been working with Nolan for a while and so nothing has or will change with the N-Com units since the merger.

      “Hi Jim,

      The N-Com headsets have actually always been built with Sena technology. To answer your question, no they won’t change at all.
      We collaborate with a lot of companies, some public and some more low key. You can see some of our other brands here:”

      Hope this answers your question, Larry.

  11. Larry, Jim, there is some information here,, relevant to the Sena/Nolan collaborative efforts and it lists some of the supported Nolan products…and there may be more or more helmets may (possibly) be retro-fitted with some of the kits; all good information to seek. So I’ve sent an email off to our Sena rep to see if some additional information is available and asked the Nolan distribution rep to check into things as well. More to follow as found out or provided… Bruce, wBW contributor

  12. I’ve just ordered this helmet in Medium size from for £199.99!
    My head also measures 58.5cm same as the reviewer, my other helmets are 2 Shoei’s(GT Air and XR1100) and a Caberg Duke flip up which this Nolan is replacing.
    Read plenty of other reviews and lots of YouTube videos but i found all the information i was looking for right in this one review!
    It’s the little things like how far the visor lifts open on the first detent that nowhere else mentions.
    I’ve started to wear glasses riding nowadays and a full face helmet really makes this a problem with them fogging up before i’ve even set off, which is the main reason for a flip up helmet.

    1. Hi Phil!

      That’s a terrific price for the helmet you’ve found. Nicely done.
      I’m wondering a bit about how you’ll find the fit if you like the GT Air which I find quite narrow vs the N100-5 which is more round in shape. You may find it presses a bit on your forehead area, but hopefully not.
      All in all, this is still one of my favourite modular helmets even after more than a year and several other helmets reviewed. I hope it does the job for you. Cheers.

      1. Hi Jim!
        Well i’ve certainly got a very round shaped head lol, maybe after all these years perhaps find a Nolan fits better than my Shoei’s!
        I’ll find out tomorrow(17th Feb)….it’s being delivered by courier.
        Yes it was hard to pass up this deal tbh, it’s a great price, and if it really doesn’t suit my head shape, i have the option to return it.
        Being in lockdown really limits the options as many shops are closed so we can’t go trying on helmets.
        Congrats too on a brilliant website, so much great stuff on here!

        1. Oh don’t even get me started on the restrictions Covid has brought on us. I’m in western Canada where it’s been -30 for a couple of weeks now. It’s finally a comparatively warm -12 but still it’s far too cold for motorcycling.

          Normally I would plan a trip somewhere warmer to do some reviews this time of year, but with the restrictions in place I can’t go anywhere for a while. I really can’t wait for life to return to normal again once we get everyone vaccinated.

          When you get you Nolan you’ll at least be able to wear it around the house and make sure you don’t feel any pressure points or discomfort. I’m glad you can send it back if it isn’t a good fit.

  13. Wow, that’s some real cold weather to deal with! I’m over in the UK, mostly wet and windy here at this time of year but we’re restricted in our movements with lockdown for at least the next month or longer.
    Helmet was delivered today but it was a size too small…..i’ve sent it back to exchange for the Large size but won’t get it until next week now. As far as i could see, the Nolan N100-5 looked to be a very decent quality helmet, lots of adjustment for the fit, will update once i receive the larger helmet!

    1. Oh no I hope I didn’t fail you with the sizing I offered in the review. I’m surprised it didn’t fit well if your head is about the same circumference as mine 58.42cm or 22”. It may be the shape of your head is causing an issue I suppose but regardless the Large should fix that.

        1. Hey Jim,
          Don’t worry it was all my fault! I have a head measuring 59-59.5cm, but i squeeze it into a medium Shoei and let the padding compress over time to give a really good solid fit, unfortunately…..this didn’t work with the Nolan lol.
          So i exchanged it for the Large which Nolan states is 59-60cm and correct for my head size, it arrived today and fitted perfect! So well done Nolan, your sizing chart is indeed correct.
          I’m sat at my computer this evening wearing the helmet(50 mins so far), and all is good! Interior feels very nice quality, no pressure to the front or sides of my head, nice fit around the front forehead, tried wearing both pairs of glasses(one thin wire frame and other with thick plastic frames) and both comfy, so no issues for glasses wearers.

          I like how the top vent opens and lifts up too, creating more surface area for the wind to get in, my Shoei’s top vents just slide back and forth.

          The internal darker visor drops right to it’s lowest position without touching my nose which is a nice bonus. I was expecting it to hit my nose on lowest setting like my Caberg Duke flip helmet does.

          Downside to flip-up helmets, the Nolan is noticeably heavier than both my full face Shoei’s at about 300g more, but they are 2 different style helmets, so comparing apples to oranges kinda thing.

          Overall i’m really impressed with the Nolan, my next step is to get out and ride my bikes and see what i think.


          1. Oh good! I’m relieved to hear that it’s going to work out for you.
            You wouldn’t believe it but each time I get a notification that someone has commented on one of my reviews I get a bit nervous that I’ve let someone down. I think that’s why I always overwrite these reviews. I hate hearing that I missed something important or failed to warn someone properly before they spent their money on a product that doesn’t work as promised.

  14. hi
    Just bought the Nolan 100-5 plus fits really well when I tried it on only to find that the send 10cevo looks impossibly to fit unless anyone can advise any different it will have to go back !!

    1. Hi Neil!

      Yes, unfortunately the bottom edge of the shell isn’t going to accommodate a Sena from what I can tell.

  15. Spot on – “I noticed cars weren’t tailgating me near as often as normal with this system flashing warnings at them too. I think it’s something that should be standard on all motorcycle helmets because it works.”
    And, a very informative, lovely review.

    1. Hi Chandra!

      I agree, the brake light would be welcomed on any helmet I wear. Have you seen the VATA7 helmet yet?
      If not, take a peek and see where I’d really like helmets to go. I’m working on doing a review of this potentially game-changing helmet in the next month or so.

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