LS2 Subverter Evo review: a great value mega-venting motocross helmet.

LS2-Subverter-featured

LS2 Subverter off road dirt motorcycle helmet review.

The LS2 Subrverter Evo is LS2’s top-line dirt/motocross helmet. Which is not to say it’s an expensive helmet, because it’s not. LS2 are known for their affordable helmets and the Suberter’s no exception.

ls2 Subverter Evo Cargo blue fluo orange ece helmet rear view
Rear view of the Subverter Evo Cargo helmet

That means it’s got a thermoplastic shell and it’s maybe built to a lower budget than some other dirt helmets.

So, it’s lower priced but is it still worth the money? I mean a bucket’s lower priced too, but you wouldn’t want to put it on your head and ride!

Read on to find what the LS2 Subverter offers and what owners think of their helmet – great things and not so great things alike.

  • Thermoplastic Motocross Helmet
  • Double D ring fastener
  • 3 Shell sizes
  • Fitment sizes XS-XXXL
  • Longer oval fitment
  • Expect to pay £110-£140

Best places to buy an LS2 Subverter?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Subverter 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

European v American Subverter Evo

OK the first thing to say about the LS2 Subverter is that it’s very much a different helmet depending on where you live. The US Subverter Evo is heavier, has crumple zones, AREM internals and comes with a 5 year warranty. The UK/Eu version, well, doesn’t.

So, if you live in North America, check out the review on our US site because that’ll be much more relevant to you.

Or read on to hear more about the UK/European Subverter Evo.

Overall/Summary

If you’re looking for a no nonsense motocross helmet that vents properly well and can be bought for just over a ton, then you’ve probably found it.

ls2 MX700 Subverter 76 motocross helmet top view
From the top – the LS2 Subverter Evo in 76 graphics

LS2’s don’t typically offer best-in-class protection (as far as SHARP testing data’s concerned anyway) and the UK Subverter Evo’s lacking some of the protection features of the DOT helmet for some odd reason.

Still, the UK Subverter Evo comes wiht EQRS cheek pads, a useful and well designed peak – and with that wide goggles hole, meaning it should fit more or less every model of goggle out there.

It’s known for being comfortable too and it’s reasonably light weight – though with all those vent holes it’s noisy too.

But if you’re after a great value and very well venting motocross helmet, then definitely take a look at the LS2 Subverter Evo.

Safety

 (more about helmet safety)

The LS2 Subverter is a thermoplastic shelled helmet. LS2 calls their plastic shells KPA or Kinetic Polymer Alloy which sounds more like marketing speak to me, tho it’s hard to tell.

ls2 MX700 Subverter 76 motocross helmet side view
The 76 graphic LS2 Subeverter EVO from the back.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with a plastic shelled helmets as there are several that score 5 stars in the SHARP helmet safety tests. So we know they can be great, protective helmets – just that LS2 doesn’t seem to give much away to prove their helmets protect.

It’s good to see that they make their Subverter Evo helmet in 3 shell sizes though – that’s great for optimising safety, fit, looks and comfort. And 3 shell sizes is a good number for what is a pretty cheap helmet.

And it comes with EQRS quick release cheek pads (essential in a dirt helmet we’d argue) and there’s a multidensity shock absorbing liner in there too – that’s great to see as well.

They use a good old fashioned double-d ring fastener to keep it on your head, which is fine if a bit fiddly.

And if you’re worried about riding in a helmet with a peak – because they look like they could cause trouble if you hit the deck – well that peak is hyper flexible so it should ‘give’ and snap if you take a spill rather than dig in and cause problems.

solid gloss white ls2 subverter Evo top down view
Solid white Subverter Evo.

Other than that, we know it’s ECE certified in Europe and has DOT certification too. But that’s about it… other than to look at past SHARP tests.

On that front, LS2 has a mixed bag of ratings for their plastic helmets.

They can score as high as four stars (out of five) but they also score as low as two stars. And over time, their average star rating for all their thermoplastic and polycarbonate helmets is just over 3 star rating.

So i guess that’s around the level of protection we’d expect the Subverter Evo to offer if SHARP were to test it (if they ever do, we’ll add the results here).

It is interesting to note that the LS2 Subverter sold in North America has one other important safety feature compared to the UK/Eu helmet: AREM.

We’re seeing a move towards helmets with slip-plane protective liners inside – such as MIPS. These are designed to give the helmet a degree of independent movement to try and limit rotational forces being passed through to riders under impact.

ls2 MX700 Subverter cargo matte military green side view
This one’s the Cargo graphics Subverter Evo

They seem to be a great move for safety – though, interestingly, we’ve yet to see independent test data to support the fact that they will in fact improve protection and limit injuries.

But in the US, their LS2 Subverter Evo has an Advanced Rotational Energy Management or AREM – liner, together with what LS2 are billing as ‘crumple zones’ in the liner.

Could be wrong, but the latter seems to be nothing more than some bright spark thinking ‘hey, we’ve got ventilation channels cut in the liner, let’s call them crumple zones too’.

As for the AREM system – if LS2 thinks it’s worth putting in their US Subverter Evo helmets, it’d be nice to see it protecting UK/European heads too, dontyathink?

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

I guess a large proportion of motocross riders either wear ear plugs in their helmets or don’t really give a s**t about noise suppression because – hey, you’re on a noisy dirt bike, what does noise matter?

But if you are bothered about your motocross helmet being quiet you should probably look elsewhere because from all the views we found on the subject, it seems the LS2 Subverter Evo is widely regarded as a noisy helmet.

Which is kinda obvious because there’s so many damn holes in there to let air in – and guess what? It lets a ton of noise in too.

Check our quietest helmets page if riding in silence is your thing.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

One thing serious motocross riders do need is a good venting helmet. Standing up is tiring at the best of times (personally, I try and avoid it as much as I can!), so jumping around on a dirt bike covered in clobber is really going to make you get a sweat on, right?

solid gloss white ls2 subverter Evo rear view
Gloss white version shows up the masses of ventilation panels nicely.

LS2 obviously knows this (they sponsor Supercross and Dakar riders) so they’ve literally smothered the Subverter Evo in vent holes.

So, not only have you got that gaping big hole that you’ll probably fill with goggles and face, but there’s plenty of venting in the chin bar as well as vent holes running over the crown and around the back of the helmet.

Those vents are married to holes in the shell to let air through. And even though there’s not really equivalently massive holes in the comfort liner to let that air through, according to Subverter Evo owners, the venting’s excellent.

Even riding in the heat of summer, you can really feel that cooling air flowing around the helmet – so much so that more than a couple of owners who use their Subverters on dusty tracks reckon you can get quite a bit of that dust onto your hair.

So, if you’re after a well venting motocross helmet, then you’ve certainly found it.

Peak and goggles

ls2 MX700 Subverter Gammax side view
That’s a massive space for goggles. LS2 Subverter in Gammax graphics.

The peak on the Subverter Evo seems to be pretty well designed. It’s adjustable and there’s notches in the adjustment to ensure it stays put.

Like most motocross helmets these days, LS2’s put some thought into the aero of that peak too and put some holes in there to reduce lifting. That seems to work OK but a couple of riders reckoned it does compromise its ability to block out the sun quite a bit.


A couple of useful links…

Adventure bike helmets
Every motocross helmet we’ve looked at


What’s universally liked is the space for goggles in the Subverter. It’s a massive space. And we found quite a few riders commenting on a whole range of Scott, Oakley, 100% and Leatt goggles that fit in there without a problem.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

In the UK, the LS2 Subverter’s advertised as longer oval fitment helmet (in the US it’s described as a medium oval though lots of owners reckon it’s longer than your typical medium oval helmet).

And there’s quite a few owners reckoning that it sizes a bit small – so if you’re between sizes or unsure, it’s probably worth opting for a size up.

solid matte black ls2 subverter Evo below view
Matt black version. Note exhaust vents around the bottom neck roll too.

The liner inside the Subverter Evo’s removable, washable and hypoallergenic.

And overall, the Subverter’s widely regarded as a very comfortable helmet, so no problems there.

A few owners commented that the chin bar looks huge on the outside, but on the inside it actually fits quite close to your mouth. So, if you’re looking to fit a microphone or have a particularly jutty-out jaw, you might struggle a bit.

Of course, it’s a motocross helmet so if you do some proper offroading, then you’ll probably want to rip out the liner and wash it from time to time. Which is all well and good… except a few owners we found were really moaning about how difficult/impossible it was to get the liner back in afterwards.

So be warned – disassemble carefully, wash gently, and take note of how it goes back in (or maybe just leave it in there and smell a bit!).

Looks & Graphics

As you can probably see from some of the helmets scattered up and down the page, LS2 hasn’t really gone for shy and retiring graphics on the outside. Thankfully they have one the inside (some pre-Evo Subverter helmets were criticised for having light colour internals which seemed to be designed to pick up show every bit of muck you rode on!).

ls2 Subverter Evo Rascal ECE helmet side view
LS2 Subverter Evo in Rascal design.

If you’re after a plain colour Subverter, you can get a plain white and matt black. If you’re after a graphic, they tend to be around £20 more and there’s Rascal, Stomp, Arched, Astro, Gammax and Cargo graphics to choose from.

And they’re just the designs available at the time of writing. LS2 just can’t help themselves making more and more graphics available, so to see the latest, please click the links below that’ll drop you straight onto their Subverter Evo helmets pages (if we’ve done it right!)

Best places to buy an LS2 Subverter?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Subverter 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 Suberter Evo Video

Here’s an 8m look around the US Subverter Evo. It’s pretty much the same as the UK spec ECE helmet – just go and make a cuppa when he starts talking about the crumple zones and AREM because we don’t get that in UK Subverters.

Other stuff – weight, build quality, warranty

The ECE LS2 Subverter Evo weighs in around 1.35Kg which is a very decent and manageable weight.

solid matte black ls2 subverter Evo rear view
Rear view of the Subverter Evo.

Onto quality; the subverter’s a lower cost motocross helmet. So, as long as you’re not expecting hand-built levels of quality, it’s pretty well put together, with a few owners commenting that for the price, it’s hard to beat.

Another difference between the UK and the US Subverter Evo is that the UK helmet comes with LS2’s 2 year warranty. Which I guess is about par for the course from a more budget maker. And would be kinda OK – if we didn’t know that in the US, it comes with a 5 year warranty!

Crash Helmet Buying Guides & Top 10s

For 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 helmet lists where we've got the Top 10 rated helmets overall along with Top 10 Budget/Top 10 Safest/Top 10 Full Face/Top 10 Modular/Flip-up/Top 10 Sportsbike/Track helmets.

Good Alternatives to the LS2 Subverter Evo?

If you’re looking for a new motocross helmet, please check out our motocross helmet reviews pages. Or maybe take a look at one of these beauties…

Shoei VFX-WR

The Shoei VFX-WR is a well regarded motocross helmet. It’s got Shoei’s version of rotation protection, it’s got a composite fibre shell and is one of the highest regarded dirt helmets out there. It’s not cheap though.

bell-moto-9-crash-helmet-yellow-camo-side-view
Bell Moto-9

Bell’s Moto9 comes in non Flex and Flex versions (Flex is Bell’s own rotation protection system). Both helmets are composite fibre helmets and are well rated for ventilation and comfort.

Airoh-Twist-black-front
Airoh Twist

For around a similar price to the Subverter is Airoh’s Twist. It’s lighter weight too.

 

Best places to buy an LS2 Subverter?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Subverter 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

Star Ratings

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