LS2s budget adventure dual sport helmet: the LS2 Pioneer

Review of the LS2 Pioneer & Pioneer Evo: LS2s adventure/dual sport motorcycle crash helmet.

The Pioneer is LS2’s entry-level adventure helmet. LS2 say it’s made from a Kinetic Polymer Alloy (that’s a fancy name for plastic, right LS2?) – but that’s no problem as thermoplastic lids are among the best performing motorcycle helmets.

And the Pioneer ticks quite a few boxes on the features list too. Not only is it designed to work on and off road, but there’s a drop down sun visor as well as a sun peak/roost guard; and it’s got EQRS too.

The Pioneer has been a decent seller but there were one or two issues with it. So LS2 had a bash at sorting those and relaunched the Pioneer as the Pioneer Evo.

So read on, dear friend, to find out the pros and cons of the Pioneer (and find links to some juicy dual-sport alternatives at the bottom of the article too).

Best places to buy an LS2 Pioneer Evo?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Pioneer Evo 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 SportsBikeShopShop for LS2 helmets at Amazon

The LS2 Pioneer is both ECE 22.05 and DOT certified. That means it should offer a decent level of protection if you have a spill.

No it’s not matt black – it’s titanium!

Beyond that, its been fitted with EQRS which is the emergency quick removal system that allows paramedics to quickly remove the helmet’s cheek pads to more easily take the helmet off an injured rider. If you’re gonna be taking your Pioneer off-road, having a spill is obviously much more likely – so we’d say EQRS is a must.

The Pioneer’s also been fitted with a micrometric fastener – which are safe and really easy to use. And there’s a nice large, optically correct visor in there to give good, clear all round vision.

On the off-road front, there’s a flexible roost-guard/sun peak that’ll come in very useful for keeping your vision clear in the sun or when you’re stuck behind another rider who’s kicking up dirt!

It is made in three helmet shell sizes too; that’s a decent number for what’s an entry level helmet. That’s good for safety because it means you’re getting the right amount of EPS shock absorbing lining for any given shell size. It also means you’re not carrying around more helmet shell material/weight than you need to – because any extra weight adds more inertial weight to your head and neck during an accident, and that’s not good.

Side view of the LS2 Pioneer in Element graphics

Of course, we always check out whether a helmet’s been tested by independent testing labs too.

The LS2 Pioneer hasn’t been tested by either SHARP or Snell, which is a shame. But we can tell you that LS2 polycarbonate helmets have scored an average of about 3.1 stars out of a maximum 5 stars when SHARP has tested them in the past.

They’ve only tested one KPA shelled LS2 so far (the Valiant) and that scored four stars – which is encouraging.

Obviously, looking back to past scores isn’t going to be a 100% accurate indicator of how well the Pioneer might score if SHARP tested it today, but we would reckon it’d probably score reasonably well. It’s fairly unlikely it’ll be up there with our best performing helmets for safety, but since their last three thermoplastc helmets have scored anywhere between two and four stars, we’d kinda expect the Pioneer to score somewhere similar.

The old Pioneer was a bit of a noise box. In fact it was probably the biggest fault with it and undoubtedly one of the main reasons that LS2 decided to fiddle with the helmet a bit and come up with the Evo version.

Several Pioneer riders reckoned that because there are so many vents – including side vents near the ears – that it lets in a lot of noise as well as air.

Of course, just like with most helmets, if you always push in some decent ear plugs, pretty well any helmet will be manageable. But the old Pioneer’s not ideal in this respect.

The good news is that if you go for the Pioneer Evo, most owners reckon it’s a nice quiet helmet, so well done LS2 for listening to your customers!

Matt black Pioneer. Triangular thing on the side is the anchor for the chin strap.

LS2 obviously wanted the Pioneer to vent massively well because they’ve added a ton of vent holes. But here’s a big point to note – only the chin vent can be closed off; all the others are always open. So if you live somewhere wet (like I do) that might well be a deal breaker for you.

On the front/lower of the helmet there’s that single chin vent which is opened/closed by a slider on the inside of the chin guard. Unlike quite a few off-road helmets, the chin vent doesn’t have a removable filter so you can clean it – it’s fixed in place.

There’s also a couple of other vents to either side of the chin guard in those air scoops – which have the added bonus of making the helmet looking pretty cool too!

Above the visor are a pair of brow vents – all taking air into channels in the internal lining and towards the scalp then out through a bunch of exhaust vents to the rear. And there’s even a couple of vents at each side of the visor to help keep both visors clear.

Overall though, if you like riding offroad and tend to get sweaty – or you like a helmet that keeps you cool – then the Pioneer lets lots of air in and does a great job of keeping you well ventilated.

Visor & Goggles

 (more about visors)
Plain white version of the Pioneer

There’s a nice large clear visor up front and, as is pretty common with LS2s, it’s a class A optically correct visor, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about distortion (not that we’ve ever really found it a problem with non-optically correct visors!).

The old V1 Pioneer didn’t have the option for any sort of anti-fog insert like a Pinlock – instead, LS2 bunged on their own antifog coating which was OK but didn’t give the same levels of anti-mist performance as a Pinlock.

Again, LS2 appear to have listened to our moans and groans and have now given the Pioneer Evo a Pinlock-ready visor. OK, so the insert isn’t included in the box when you buy it, but if you really need a decent antifog solution on your Pioneer, then at least you can shell out the £30ish extra and get a Max Vision in there which should solve all your fogging woes. Job done.

It has a nice large central opening tab to open/close the visor and the visor itself works on friction so there’s no ratchet here.

And if you ever like to pull off the visor (surprisingly easy to do) and push on some goggles, reports are that goggles work well with the Pioneer because there’s plenty of space to go at – just about fitting a pair of Oakley Airbrakes in there with a nice groove in the rear moulding to keep the strap in place.

Sun Visor & Peak

(more about sun visors)

The LS2 Pioneer has both a drop down internal sun visor as well as an external roost guard/peak.

That peak can be slightly adjusted by loosening off the plastic screws allowing it to slide backwards, raising or lowering the peak a little. It’s been made from a flexible plastic so it will break off in an accident and won’t dig in and spin the helmet, which is a good feature for safety.

It looks the part and works well too according to a couple of owners who say it’s got good aero characteristics, with little buffeting or drag – even at motorway speeds.

The drop down sun visor is operated by a slider on the left hand side of the helmet. That’s one of the better locations for a sun visor slider as it’s easy to reach and find when you’re on the move.

Owners reckon it’s easy to operate too, though if you’re not a fan of sun visors that leave a stripe of light at the bottom, you might be disappointed with the Pioneer Evo in this respect.

Rear view showing spoiler and exhaust vents.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Inside the Pioneer is a breathable and hypoallergenic comfort lining that’s removable and washable.

It also has EQRS – a system that’s there to allow paramedics to more easily remove your helmet by quickly pulling the cheek pads out of the bottom of the helmet. EQRS is a great feature to have on any helmet – but especially on an adventure helmet that might well be taken off-road.

The Pioneer’s also been designed to more comfortably accommodate glasses by using a more ‘giving’ foam in each side of the lining to stop the stems of glasses being pushed into the side of your head.

But note, where the old Pioneer was designed as a medium oval helmet – so had more space the sides internally – the Pioneer Evo’s now a longer oval helmet so more suitable for people with longer, narrower heads.

Some good news is that the Pioneer Evo is now available up to sizes XXXL, so if you’ve a bigger longer head, it’s happy days for you too.

Quite a few owners reckon that it’s a very comfortable helmet, but several also said that the comfort liner can squeeze your cheeks quite a bit. Some helmet brands are a bit more prone to this (looking at you HJC!) although it’s not necessarily a problem as long as it’s not uncomfortable and the helmet fits securely.

A few owners also said the helmet tends to size a bit on the small size so if you’re between sizes, you might well be best going for a size up.

Because of both these potential issues, we recommend checking out where you buy from so you can return it once you’ve tried it without incurring costs (our recommended retailers will do this with some even paying the return postage).

Looks & Graphics

There’s a really wide range of graphic options available and we’ve dropped images of the white and black versions on the page, along with the classy titanium and Pioneer Element.

And as always helmet makers keep on bringing out new graphics, so to see the latest designs and deals, please click through to our recommended retailers using the links below.

Best places to buy an LS2 Pioneer Evo helmet?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Pioneer Evo 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 SportsBikeShopShop for LS2 helmets at Amazon

LS2 Pioneer Evo Video

Here’s a 13m vid looking around the Pioneer Evo including some road testing.

Other stuff – audio, weight, warranty

LS2 haven’t really thought about bluetooth communicators because there aren’t any speaker pockets on the Pioneer. People have tried – including people cutting into the EPS which definitely isn’t recommended – but it doesn’t really work.

So if fitting a bluetooth headset is a must for you – I’d say move away from the Pioneers and check out communications-ready helmets or helmets with integrated headsets instead!

The Pioneer weighs in around 1.45Kg (that’s 3.2lbs) which is not bad at all, because the average polycarb helmet is around 1.57Kg, meaning LS2 has managed to shave quite a bit of weight off the Pioneer.

At the time of writing, most LS2 helmets come with a 2 year guarantee.

Rear view of the gloss white LS2 Pioneer


The LS2 Pioneer Evo is a great buy. It’s got a good spec, including quick release micrometric strap, EQRS, Pinlock ready visor, tons of vents (although that can be good and bad because most are always open) and drop down sun visor.

Not only is it well specced and looks the part for a dual-sport helmet, but it’s amazing value too. OK it’s a plastic shelled helmet – so it’s going to be at the cheaper end of the market – and there’s a small question mark about how protective some plastic LS2s are.

But it is ECE 22.05 certified like every other helmet so should be decent in that respect.

But if you’re after an excellent value for money lid, one that’ll suit everything from commuting to touring with a spot of offroading, then the LS2 Pioneer Evo is well worth a look.

Best places to buy an LS2 Pioneer Evo?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Pioneer Evo 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 SportsBikeShopShop for LS2 helmets at Amazon

Good Alternatives to the LS2 Pioneer?

The Caberg Tourmax is well worth looking at because it’s a SHARP 5 star safety rated modular adventure helmet. And while it’s a bit on the weighty side, it’s well priced and rated highly for comfort and ventilation.

There’s also the well-rated Shoei Hornet ADV family of adventure helmets. They’re ECE, DOT and Snell safety rated, fibreglass shelled and come with EQRS. Though being a Shoei, it does cost a fair chunk more than the LS2.

Bell MX-9s are only a tad more expensive than the Pioneer – plus they come with a 5 year warranty. And you get to choose from either motocross or adventure bike versions with the Bell.

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.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides & Top 10s

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guides - or have a look at our Top 10 best helmet lists where we've got the top 10 best rated helmets overall along with Top 10 Best Budget/Top 10 Safest/Top 10 Best Full Face/Top 10 Best Modular/Flip-up/ Top 10 Best Sportsbike/Track helmets.

Star Ratings

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ls2-pioneer-adventure-motorcycle-crash-helmet-reviewThe LS2 Pioneer Evo's a great value adventure motorbike helmet. Not only is it super cheap, but it's well specced too with a large Pinlock ready visor (no Pinlock included tho - boo!), sun visor, EQRS and a ton of vents. You'll have to have a longer oval head shape but if you're in the market for a lower priced helmet to take on an adventure (or even just on your commute!) then the LS2 Pioneer is definitely worth a look.


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