LS2 MX701 Explorer motorcycle helmet launched.

ls2-explorer-featured

LS2 launch their new adventure helmet the LS2 MX701 Explorer.

LS2 are a funny bunch. Historically, they’re probably known for pushing out a large number of lower priced helmets. But nowadays, their helmets are really upping the ante and they’re creating some well designed, high spec lids that are giving the big boys a proper run for their money.

carbon fibre ls2 explorer adventure helmet bottom view
Rear view of the LS2 Explorer carbon ‘black’ helmet

And leaving me, for one, a little confused about who they are and what they offer.

And that’s from someone who’s daily helmet is a carbon LS2 Arrow (which I’m finding to be a seriously fantastic helmet btw!)

The new MX701 Explorer is a great case in point. It’s launched in two flavours – an HPFC shelled version (that’s fibreglass to you and me) and a carbon fibre version. They both look great and they’re both covered in all the goodies you’ll be looking for in an adventure helmet.

So, it does leave me wondering if there’s much point in paying any more for a helmet from one of the big brands when you can get so much value for money buying an LS2.

So, let’s take a look over the Explorer. If you’re in the market for a new dual-sport/adventure helmet, then here’s what the LS2 Explorer offers – and check out our suggested alternatives at the bottom for some fully reviewed and fantastic alternatives.

Best places to buy an LS2 Explorer?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Explorer helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShop

Shell & Safety

 (more about helmet safety)

Both the fibreglass and carbon versions of the Explorer are made in 3 shell sizes to optimise fit and looks – and safety.

ls2 explorer frontier carbon motorcycle helmet side view
Carbon fibre Frontier Explorer

The carbon version is slightly lighter – LS2 says it’ll be around 1.4Kg depending on size – whereas the fibreglass version will be around 100g heavier. That’s not a lot of difference but in terms of safety, every gramme of weight saving helps as it’ll reduce the amount of interia generated by the weight of the helmet during an impact.

It’ll also mean it’s that little bit more comfortable and easy to live with day to day.

Other safety features include an emergency quick release liner (see EQRS), Pinlock Max Vision insert included to keep your visor fog-free, metal micrometric fastner which are really easy to use and good solid fasteners, and a visor with very good peripheral vision.

There’s also an integral drop down sun visor for when the sun’s in danger of obscuring your vision.

They’re all great safety features to have… but what about the helmet shell itself?

Well, all Explorers are ECE 22.05 certified (DOT if you buy one in the US) so should give a decent amount of impact protection, but beyond that it’s hard to say.

ls2 explorer extend adv motorcycle helmet front view
Front view of the LS2 Explorer Extend graphic

It does have a multi-density EPS to help it absorb different levels of energy – which is good to see. But looking back at SHARP helmet test data, LS2 helmets have scored just over 3 stars for safety over the years (out of a maximum 5) though that’s mostly for their cheaper polycarbonate helmets.

There haven’t been any carbon LS2 helmets tested so far, but there have been two fibreglass helmets tested to date and both have scored 4 stars. Whether that’s indicative of how well the LS2 explorer scores if it was to be tested remains to be seen.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

The Explorer has a wide range of vents that should give it excellent ventilation. It’s what LS2 calls their dynamic flow-through ventilation which basically means a load of vents, all open/closeable and with a bit of a sucking action going on around the exhaust vents at the back of the helmet (from the aero) to help increase airflow.

ls2 explorer extend matt military green helmet rear view
You can see most of the rear exhaust vents on this Extend graphic Explorer

That all means that the Explorer has a nice, large motocross-stylee chin bar vent, a pair of crown vents, pair of side vents and a smattering of large and small rear exhausts. And all are closeable for when things get cold or wet.

Those top and side vents take air through the helmet and circulate it around the head through channels in the polystyrene liner – pushing it out of the rear exhausts aftewards.

All in all, the system is pretty comprehensive and, according to the comments of several owners I found online, inital impressions seem to be that it has excellent airflow.

Visor

(more about visors)

The visor system on the Explorer ticks all the boxes too.

It’s a quick release visor (visors on dual sports helmets aren’t always quick change) and it’s nice and wide meaning better all round vision. LS2 say it’s made to be optically correct too and, like all polycarb visors, it’ll give excellent UV protection – somewhere over 95% at least.


A couple of useful links…

– All our Adventure Helmet reviews –
– Visit our Smart Filters to find the right lid –


 

One piece of great news is that for a very competitively priced helmet, it also comes with a Pinlock Max Vision anti-fog insert in the box which should mean you never have to suffer from a badly fogging visor. Hurrah.

ls2 explorer solid white adventure motorcycle helmet side view
Solid gloss white Explorer

Finally, the visor has a lock on it. Locks can be a little fiddly to unlock and the visor lock on the Explorer is a little on the small size. However, it stands proud of the shell so we expect it’ll be OK and you should get the hang of after a while.

When you fully open the visor, there’s a small detent at full opening to keep the visor in place.

Sun Visor and Peak

(more about sun visors)

There’s also a polycarb internal sun visor on the LS2 Explorer. It’s operated with a slider on the bottom edge of the shell – that’s the position favoured by most riders as it’s really easy to find and operate.

Having the slider there can limit the available space for a 3rd party intercom, though in the case of the Explorer, it looks set back far enough to not cause too many problems.

carbon fibre ls2 explorer adventure helmet top view
Another view of the carbon black Explorer – showing vented peak and sun visor down

Like many adventure helmets, the peak can be removed to convert the helmet into a more road-focused lid. It’s also slightly up/down adjustable by loosening the screw at the top of the helmet – which may help with aero or shielding from the sun a little.

Many of the most recent adventure helmets have a vented peak to help with its aero characteristics and it’s good to see LS2 following suit. Of course, ride with your chin up and the air’s going to pull at it, but the hope is that when road riding, air on the peak shouldn’t pull your head around too much.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

The main thing to note about the LS2 Explorer is that it’s designed for riders with longer oval heads. So, if you’ve got a rounder or medium oval head, you may find that it presses on the sides a little.

ls2 explorer extend adv motorcycle helmet side view
Another Extend graphic fibreglass Explorer

That’s just something worth bearing in mind if you buy one (and make sure you buy from a retailer who’ll swap it out with no quibbles if it doesn’t fit right).

The liner is hypoallergenic and fully removable and washable.

It’s also EQRS or emergency quick release, meaning there’s a pair of tabs on the bottom that are designed to be pulled and quickly release the cheek pads to help emergency services more easily remove your helmet.

Hopefully, you’ll never need it but – especially in an adventure helmet – it’s worth having there just in case.

The liner isn’t anything particularly fancy, but the word is it’s of decent quality, comfortable and wicks sweat away OK.

Both the fibreglass and carbon versions are available in fitment sizes XS-XXL.

Looks & Graphics

The LS2 Explorer very much looks the part when it comes to a modern dual-sport helmet. There’s a wide range of graphics available too – and several plains if you’re more of a purist.

ls2 explorer alter hi viz yellow motorbike helmet rear view
There’s a couple of high viz options too…

If the carbon fibre version’s grabbed your interest (and why not at this price!) then you can of course find a plan ‘carbon black’ version that shows off the carbon fibre weave. But there’s also a couple of carbons that offer a lick of colour in the Frontier, Extend and Focus carbon graphic helmets.

In fibreglass, there’s just two plains – a matt black and a gloss white, along with the Camo-X and Alter graphics (in 3 colourways).

As always, to find the latest graphics and deals, please click the links below that’ll drop you right onto their LS2 Explorer helmet pages.

Best places to buy an LS2 Explorer Helmet?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Explorer helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShop

LS2 Explorer Video

Here’s a 4m look around the Explorer from some guy at LS2 US.

Other stuff – fasteners, bluetooth, warranty

The Explorer comes with a metal micrometric fastener. I’m a great fan of how easy micrometrics are to use, and if they’re regularly adjusted, they’re as safe as any fastener out there.

ls2 explorer matt black adv motorcycle helmet underneath
The fibreglass matt black Explorer from below

As for a bluetooth communicator – there’s precious little information out there as to whether it’ll fit one. Except to say that LS2’s own press ads (but not their websites) say it’s ready to fit the LS2 Linkin Ride Pal which should mean there’s space for speakers in there too if you’re thinking of fitting your own headset.

Not all LS2 helmets come with a 5 year warranty, but the good news is that, in the UK at least, the Explorer does – as usual, covering manufacturing defects only.

Overall/Summary

LS2 say the Explorer has been created from the ground up to be the best adventure helmet possible. And it certainly looks promising from the features and excellent value it offers.

If you’re doing a bit of adventuring, you’re going to get hot so LS2 has smothered the Explorer in vents (which work well according to owners).

ls2 explorer alter matt fluo orange motorcycle helmet sideview
Fluo orange Alter graphic Explorer

If you do most of your miles on the road, you can rip off the peak to help with the aero if you like (slapping it back on if you hit the dirt).

And that visor’s nice and wide and comes with a Pinlock in the box to help keep vision clear. It’s also optically correct and backed up with a drop down sun visor.

Every adventure helmet should have an EQRS liner these days. And it needs to be comfortable and light.

OK, there’s a question mark about how great the protection it might offer when push comes to shove – though it is ECE 22.05 tested. But like many LS2 helmets, there’s certainly no question mark over the value the Explorer offers. It’s rare to find a carbon fibre helmet at such a low price point – and especially one that ticks all the adventure helmet boxes.

So, if you’re in the market for a new dual-sport helmet and like getting value for your money, it certainly seems the LS2 Explorer might be worth a try.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Good Alternatives to the LS2 Explorer?

Click the link to find all the dual sport/adventure helmets we’ve covered so far. Adventure bikes are really popular these days, which means helmet makers have been keen to get adventure helmets out there, so there’s a lot of choice.

ls2-pioneer-solid-white-dirt-bike-adventure-helmet-side-view-
LS2 Pioneer

LS2’s own Pioneer Evo is highly rated and cheap too. It’s got EQRS and a sun visor and it’s half the price of the Explorer if you don’t mind wearing a polycarb lid.

caberg tourmax in matt black paint
Tourmax in matt black

For around the same price as the Explorer, you can buy Caberg’s excellent flip-front adventure helmet, the Tourmax. It’s SHARP 5 star rated too, though it’s a bit on the lardy side (aren’t we all) and a bit noisy (like most modulars).

arai xd4 Tour X4 hi viz neon yellow crash helmet side view
Arai Tour-X 4

Towards the top of the pile is the fibreglass adventure helmet from Arai, the Tour X4. It’s a well liked helmet that has three configs, turning it from a road to an adv to a dirt helmet. It hasn’t been SHARP tested in the UK but it’s Snell certified for safety in the US.

Same goes for Shoei’s Hornet ADV – and that’s Ride magazine recommended too. It’s a fibreglass helmet that’s comfortable, well built and with a well designed peak.

Shoei Hornet-X2 ADV solid white crash helmet
Shoei Hornet ADV

Other Adventure/Dual-Sports helmets?

There are lots of other Adventure/Dual Sports crash helmets out there, so please check out our Adventure motorcycle helmets page to see all our other reviews and previews. Or, if you're looking for the safest tested helmets on the market, you might want to take a look at our safest motorcycle helmets pages where you'll only find helmets that are SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.

Best places to buy an LS2 Explorer?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Explorer helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShop

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