The Nolan N100-5 and N100-5 Plus flip-up. The perfect modular helmet?


Nolan N100-5 and N100-5 Plus flip up modular motorcycle helmet review.

The N100-5/Plus is Nolan’s top of the range flip-up/modular helmet, designed to be all things to all riders. And the list of features is pretty impressive. It’s P/J dual homologated (meaning you can legally ride it with the chin bar up) and it has Nolan’s patented chin bar raising mechanism that pulls the chin bar closer to the helmet to improve aero when it’s raised.

First up though – N100-5 or N100-5 Plus?

To be honest, there’s hardly any difference. Even Nolan’s own website uses the same graphics for both helmets and both are available.

The only real differences are to do with the comfort liner inside the helmet – with the Plus version of the helmet having a size adjustable liner and slightly different cheek pads. You’ll find more info on these differences in the sizing/comfort section below. Other than those small changes, they’re the same helmet.

Both have a nice wide and tall main visor that even comes with a Pinlock antifog insert already installed out of the box (that’s a first as far as we’re aware).

There’s also a drop down sun visor that has its own ‘staged’ drop down, so it’ll happily sit at one of four positions before being auto-retracted at the touch of a button.

And it’s got a microlock 2 fastener, ESS brake light capacity as well as being ready to accept Nolan’s N-com communicators, with pockets and spaces for easy integration.

And as if that wasn’t enough, it comes from Italian maker Nolan who are known for producing some of the safest modular helmets in the whole world ever.

Don’t know about you but, on paper at least, that’s a mouthwatering prospect. So we set about finding out what owners and riders who’ve bought an N100-5 think of their helmets and find out if it’s worth spending your money on either the regular or plus version…

  • Polycarbonate modular helmet
  • Dual Homologated for open/full face riding
  • SHARP 4 star safety rated (Max 5 stars)
  • 100% chin bar
  • Micrometric fastener
  • Wide/tall visor
  • Drop down sun visor
  • Available in ECE and DOT versions
  • Pinlock Antifog pre-installed
  • ESS system ready
  • Integrates with N-com bluetooth kit
  • Sizes XXS-XXXL
  • Expect to pay £290-£330

Best places to buy a Nolan N100-5/Plus?

Please click below to drop straight onto the Nolan N100-5 helmets pages at our recommended retailers. 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

Nolan N100-5 fade silver hi viz modular helmet front view
A Nolan N100-5 in silver with its chin bar down


 (more about helmet safety)

Nolan has an excellent reputation for helmet safety – especially for its modular helmets.

As you probably know, we analyse SHARP’s independent helmet testing data to assess helmet safety, and looking back over all their tested helmets, Nolan has scored four out of a maximum five stars for every single tested helmet.

That’s not only a great score but it’s staggeringly consistent across the years.

Of course, when you’re looking at flip-front helmet safety, you obviously want that chin bar to stay firmly closed during an impact. Nolan is one of the very few helmet makers who have a perfect 100% record so far for their chin guards staying locked and closed during testing.

Nolan N100-5 Plus SHARP 8.5 ms impact test
Courtesy of Nolan N100-5 Plus 8.5 m/s Impact test results.

And we’re delighted to say that when SHARP tested the N100-5 in 2021, Nolan continued it’s staggeringly consistent form with yet another 4 star SHARP safety rating for safety along with a 100% on the chin guard! Just incredible and a testament to their focus on safety and internal QA.

One of the reasons their chin guards stay closed is that they use solid metal clasps along with a two-finger opener that means you’ve gotta use both a finger and thumb to open the chin bar so it can’t be accidentally opened – and it’s the same setup on the N100-5.

The helmet’s dual homologated too. That means you can legally ride with the chin bar fully opened if you like – and there’s a lock on there to keep it locked open.

Nolan N100-5 consistency hi viz modular helmet front view
If your’re after a hi viz helmet, this one’s the Consistency in hi viz yellow

Obviously, having great vision is kinda key to not hitting things on a bike. The N100-5 has a wide/tall visor combo for good all-round vision. Plus it comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert pre-installed – which is a nice touch because most manufacturers leave you to fiddle/curse/struggle to fit it on your own.

There’s also a micrometric 2 fastener to keep the helmet on your head plus the Nolan N100-5 comes ESS-ready. That’s the ability to add your own brake light to the back of the helmet for added visibility.

Wow – that’s a lot of safety shizz on the N100-5 and it should give you great protection should the worst happen.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

If you’ve read any of our helmet reviews before, you’ll know that helmet noise is the most difficult thing to accurately review.

That’s because how noisy your helmet is is a perception thing and dependent on loads of stuff from how great/knackered your hearing is to how loud/quiet your last helmet was to how fast you ride etc. etc.

Profile view showing chin bar fully raised

And while not absolutely everyone who rides with a Nolan N100-5 reckons their helmet is the quietest ever, there are enough owners who say it’s really quiet for us to add it to our Quietest Helmets pages.

In fact we found roughly 70% of owners rated it as a really quiet helmet, which is a great score – especially for a modular helmet.

Why? Because flip-up helmets are generally noisier than regular full face helmets, mostly because of the space needed for that flip-up chin bar mechanism. But it seems some of the aero work done by Nolan to produce a smoother helmet shell that’s more compact and with fewer protrusions has really paid dividends on the N100-5.

But a word of warning if you buy one; I suggest you don’t buy one expecting it to be mega quiet. No, buy one hoping it’ll be maybe a bit quieter than your existing helmet – then, hopefully, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you think it’ll be whisper quiet, expect to be disappointed – riding means blasting through the air after all; and that’s not a particularly quiet thing to do!


(more about helmet ventilation)

You’ll find a single chin vent covered by a sliding panel on the chin bar of the N100-5. That’s obv there to deliver air to your mush and the back of the visor.

Way up top on the crown of the helmet is another vent panel to bring ventilation to the rest of the head.

Nolan N100-5 lumiere modular helmet rear view
Rear view of the N100-5 Lumiere

On helmets with sun visors, you’ll find top vents set way back on top of the shell because when the sun visor’s retracted, it takes up the space where you’d ideally place the vent.

Both vent sliders are low profile – in their closed positions at least – helping with the aero and overall noise suppression of the helmet.

When you open the top vent, the whole panel pops back/up a little to reveal quite a sizeable vent on the top. It’s what Nolan calls its Air Booster Technology. And it’s a vent that pretty well all owners say is great – letting in tons of air to get circulated around the channels inside the helmet and keep you cool.

It’s much better than the chin bar vent which, by all accounts, is reasonably pointless. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean your visor fogs up quickly because of course the N100-5 not only comes with a Pinlock anti fog insert in the box but it’s pre-installed onto the back of the visor.

And of course, if you really need a bit more ventilation into your chin/face area, you can either crack open the visor a little to let a nice breeze in – or even open up the front entirely and ride in open-face mode.

Nolan N100-5 consistency corsa red motorcycle helmet front view
Front view of an N100-5 Consistency in corsa red showing large visor area and sun visor fully lowered


(more about visors)

The visor on the Nolan N100-5 is wide and tall for improved vision and it’s a ratchet visor with 5 positions, including a ‘cracked open’ city riding position. Yay.

It’s opened by a single central opening tab and comes pre-fitted with a Pinlock Max Vision anti-fog insert. That’s the first time we’ve seen one already installed and saves you the hassle of fitting it yourself which can be tricky if you’ve never used one before.

But if you want to know how to fit a Pinlock, here’s a video I produced a while back showing you how.

The ‘Max Vision’ part of the Pinlock means it’s a full-visor coverage insert, so you won’t get the edges of the Pinlock in your line of sight.

A couple of links you might find useful…

– Click to see all our Nolan Helmets Reviews –
– Here you’ll find every Helmet rated highly for safety we’ve looked at –

Sun Visor

(more about sun visors)

The sun visor on the N100-5 is pretty unusual too.

The slider to operate it is on the bottom left edge of the helmet – which is pretty commonplace and a decent place to locate it. What’s not so common is that it’s a four position sun visor with noticeable ‘steps’ in the slider movement to let you drop the sun visor down in stages.

Nolan N100-5 consistency fuschia kiss motorcycle helmet side view
Another Consistency – this time Fuschia Kiss graphics

In its lowest position, it’ll cover most of your vision and it’s spring loaded so all you need to do to retract the sun visor is press a button in front of the slider and it’ll spring back out of the way.

The sun visor’s anti-fog coated too, as well as being anti-scratch – so all good here.

Chin Guard

(more about chin guards)

The chin guard on any modular helmet is a really important feature – and some helmet manufacturers are better at making them than others.

Looking at the stats, Nolan are one of the best.

To open up the chin bar requires a pinch movement of finger and thumb to unlock it – that’s a good safety feature and stops it being accidentally unlocked during an accident. It’s also pretty easy to do.

And whereas some chin bars from well known makers have been shown to be less than bomb-proof during safety testing, no Nolan modular helmet so far has ever come unlocked during SHARP impact testing – which is a fantastic result.

nolan-n100-5-hi-vis yellow side view
If you wanna be seen, buy a hi-vis yellow N100-5

As mentioned in the safety section above, that’s not to say the Nolan N100-5 won’t buck that trend, because it hasn’t yet been independently safety tested. But we’d probably put money on it scoring well for safety (i.e not coming unlocked and open when you don’t want it to).

Once opened, there’s a cunning hinge on the N100-5 that opens up the chin bar then pulls it backwards towards the helmet, so it sticks slightly less into the airflow than many other modulars.

And if you decide to ride with the chin bar raised – which you legally can do with the N100-5 because it’s been dual homologated – there’s a P/J locking switch to let you lock the chin bar open so there’s no chance of it accidentally dropping down while you’re riding.

OK, if you do intend to ride along in a modular helmet with the chin bar raised, you might want to consider a helmet where the chin bar rotates right to the back of the helmet (like the Roof Desmo, LS2 Valiant or Shark Evo One 2). But other than that, the Nolan N100-5’s got everything covered.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

The inside of the the N100-5 has what Nolan calls it’s Clima Comfort interior. That’s an antibacterial and moisture wicking comfort lining that includes lots of perforations to allow circulating air to reach your scalp.

Nolan N100-5 motorcycle helmet inside view
Inside the N100-5 showing vented lining and drawstring adjustable neck roll

The inside is fully removable and washable – including cheek pads – and though you can fit glasses inside the N100-5, there aren’t any dedicated glasses grooves in there so if your glasses’ stems are thick, you might have a problem.

Unusually, the neck roll at the bottom of the helmet is actually adjustable. There’s a drawstring running around the bottom of the helmet with a couple of toggles on it – so you can tighten up the helmet to reduce the amount of noise and draft getting up inside the helmet.

And the end result is that pretty well every owner said their Nolan N100-5 is a really comfortable helmet to live with and is great for long-distance trips.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there is a slight difference between the internals of the regular and Plus versions of the N100-5.

The differences are that the Plus has more moulded polystyrene behind the cheek pads to try and improve fitting and it has a small extra section of fabric at the bottom of the pads to help reduce draughts. The Plus liner also features Nolan’s LPC system – or liner positioning control – where you can adjust a plastic tab to slightly change the angle the helmet sits on your head.

Finally, there’s a mesh panel running around the top of the liner to let a little more air through to the head. And that’s about it.

Looks & Graphics

There’s a stack of different graphics available for the Nolan N100-5 – but only a few names to remember.

If you’re after a plain helmet – they’re always a bit cheaper than helmets with fancy graphics – and they’re mostly called either Classic or Special by Nolan. They come in all the usual blacks/whites/gloss/matts you’d expect plus there’s a few different greys and silvers.

Nolan also do a variant on these flat colours – the Fade where it’s essentially a plain colour that fades to a darker colour – pretty classy those.

Finally there’s the Lumiere and the Consistency designs – you’ll find a few of these up and down the page but they’re available in stacks of other colours too.

To see these and more, as well as find any deals that are on at the retailers we recommended for giving great service as well as good prices, please click through to our recommended retailers using the links below. Nice one!

Best places to buy a Nolan N100-5/Plus helmet?

Please click below to drop straight onto the Nolan N100-5 helmets pages at our recommended retailers. 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

Nolan N100-5 Video

Here’s one of the official Nolan videos for the N100-5. The choice was either this Nolan US video or the European one with Marco Melandri in it, so..!

Other stuff – fasteners, audio, weight, build quality, warranty

The Nolan N100-5 uses a micrometric 2 fastener. That’s a micrometric ratchet fastener with a 2 action opener to stop accidental opening of the strap. So that’s both convenient to use and safe as houses.

It’s designed to accommodate Nolan’s N-Com bluetooth communicator with a built-in pocket to fit the bluetooth controller, battery and mic/speakers. That’s great if you’re going to buy one of their intercom kits (either a B901L R series – B601 R series – ESS – MCS III R series) but less good if you’ve a different 3rd party bluetooth to fit. You will find space for speakers and a mic in there, but placing the controller itself might be a bit fiddly; like one Sena 10s owner found. It fit but was really awkward to get in there.

Nolan N100-5 consistency flat lava grey modular helmet side view
Another Consistency Nolan N100-5 – this time in flat lava grey

As for weight – the Nolan N100-5 weighs around 1.7Kg (3.8lbs) which is about average for a modular and should be OK. In fact a couple of owners said it feels pretty light when you’re wearing it.

Great build quality is a recurring comment among owners with lots of people commenting about the overall high quality feel, fit, finish and materials.

And finally, to underline Nolan’s commitment to quality, the N100-5 comes with a fabulous 5 year warranty.


The Nolan N100-5 is a high quality, well featured and well liked helmet by people who’ve bought one.

It scores really highly in just about every respect and is a well designed and excellently made helmet. In fact, at the time of writing, it’s soared to the top of our top 10 best modular helmets list, nosing ahead of the Caberg Duke II for top spot!

It’s got a great visor mechanism too with pre-installed Pinlock anti-fog, and it’s got a great sun visor with innovative multi-stage drop down. It’s quiet too according to owners – that’s rare for a modular helmet – and it’s designed to integrate with Nolan’s N-com communicators as well as their ESS brake light module.

nolan-n100-5-fade-red black rear view
Here’s another Fade graphics N100-5 – this time red to black

And it’s also dual-homologated so you can ride with the chin bar up and locked should the mood take you.

And now it’s been independently safety tested by SHARP where it scored 4 stars along with a 100% score on its chin bar staying locked (ECE helmet), you can be happy knowing it’ll give you some of the best protection of all modulars (you can find all the best protecting modular helmets here).

All in all, the Nolan N100-5 is a hugely well designed and hugely impressive modular helmet and should really be somewhere near the top of your shortlist if you’re looking to buy a new flip-up motorcycle helmet.

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.

Good Alternatives to the Nolan N100-5?

First up, take a look at the Shark Evo One 2. That’s a SHARP 4 star safety rated (chin guard scored 100%) that has a chin guard that’ll flip over to the back of the helmet to give a real open faced helmet look and feel.

If you’d consider something a little different, there’s Caberg’s Tourmax which is a modular dual-sports helmet. It’s SHARP 5 star too and has a drop down sun visor. It’s cheaper than the Nolan too.

That shares quite a bit in common with another Caberg – the Caberg Duke II – one of our top rated modulars. Pinlock anti-fog, sun visor, lighter weight than the Nolan and lighter on the wallet… well worth a good look over that one.

Other ways to find the Best Modular Helmet

If you're after a new modular/flip-up helmet, they've never been more popular and there's a ton of choice out there. You can find our latest top 10 modular helmets list here or check out all our modular helmet reviews here. You can also visit our Safest Modular Helmets page or our smart filters page where you can click the flip-up/modular check box then choose a few other features to find the best flip-up helmet for you.

Best places to buy a Nolan N100-5?

Please click below to drop straight onto the Nolan N100-5 helmets pages at our recommended retailers. 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

Previous articleReview of the Caberg Levo SHARP 4 star rated flip-up touring helmet.
Next articleNolan N21 and N21 Visor open face crash helmet review.
nolan-n100-5-flip-up-modular-motorcycle-helmet-reviewThere's no doubt about it - the Nolan N100-5 is a great modular motorbike helmet. From its novel drop down sun visor to its included (and fitted!) Pinlock anti-fog visor - its dual homologated chin guard and integration with N-com bluetooth and ESS modules - Nolan has thoroughly planned, designed and constructed a really accomplished flip-front helmet. Owners find them comfortable, quiet and well built. So if you're in the market for a new flip-up lid, we recommend you take a look at the Nolan N100-5.


  1. I have the N100-5 Plus, in fact i’ve had it for over 2 years but most that time it’s sat on the shelf as i found it to be quite uncomfortable when i first bought it new despite the extra adjustability of the Plus version.
    Fast forward to today, 2 years since purchase, and riding my Triumph Speed Triple 1050 with it’s upright riding position, i found the rear lower edge of the polystyrene moulding at the base of the helmet is a sharp edge that pushes into the back of my neck, add to that, the thick elasticated ‘adjustable neck roll’ they talk about in that video…the elastic cord and the neck roll material itself doesn’t have enough ‘give’ and the elastic cord even at it’s loosest setting, cuts into the back of my neck causing it to ache.
    What can be done to rectify this….well you can compress the rear lower polystyrene edge with your thumb and mould it so it’s no longer a sharp edge, give it a good ‘press’ along it’s length to make it a more rounded rather than the sharp edge.
    And the adjustable neck roll material can be stretched by hand, i.e accelerating the stretching/wear-in stage so now it’s no longer as tight and the result is it doesn’t cut into the base of your neck when your head is tilted back(sat upright looking ahead).

    On that note, this helmet really wouldn’t suit a drop handlebar/sports riding position bike, you can’t tilt your head back far enough unless you do the above ‘fix’ and that’s only a marginal improvement….
    Another observation i’ve found is when looking over your shoulder you have much less view of what’s behind thanks to the upward sloping lower edge of the visor aperture blocking off some of your view, this is compared directly to a Caberg Duke Flip helmet and a full face Shoei XR1100 and Shoei GT Air helmet. I currently own all of these and none have this issue.
    In a size Large, the Nolan N100-5 Plus has a claimed weight of 1,770g, and being used to my Shoei XR1100 full face helmet at 1,400g the extra 370g weight(aka 26% heavier), is very noticeable, i’m sure this is something you will get used to and being a modular helmet it’s just ‘how they are’.
    My Shoei XR1100 is old now hence retiring it and the Nolan has come off the shelf and brought back into service.

    Fitting Shoei helmets all my life the Nolan seems to accommodate the round shape of my head just as well, the included pinlock for the visor is great, and the internal dropdown darker visor has an anti-fog coating and that is brilliant, no fogging at all!

    The visor first click in the open position is large, would be better if that was smaller.
    As another commenter mentioned, the glasses groove in the sides is none existent, if you do wear them as i used to, tilting your head back to get a view ahead of the road ahead forced the bridge of the glasses down on my nose enough that it was painful. I would 100% say that this is not a glasses friendly helmet, look at a Shoei if you do wear glasses, they are much more accomodating.

    Getting the usual negatives out the way leads onto the more positive things about this helmet.
    The drop down internal sun visor is excellent, perfect clarity, no distortion, no misting, just wash with a wet tissue and it’s smear-free. Nice and easy.
    The helmet isn’t noticeably loud, i wear ear plugs all the time and it’s certainly as good as any of my Shoei’s and much better than the Caberg Duke for wind noise.
    No buffeting either, excellent aerodynamics!
    The helmet liner is super plush! 10/10 for quality and feel, puts Shoei’s to shame thats for sure!
    Very positive locking mechanism and easy to lift up/close when riding.
    Vents are good, no rear vent to open or close, and the top vent and chin vent both work well.
    Build quality very good, no creaks/squeaks or rattles, everything feels tight and well designed and put together, something the Caberg Duke suffers sadly….
    Modular design is very nice at petrol stations, much nicer to lift up the front of the modular helmet and get some fresh air compared to just lifting the visor on full face helmets.

    I’m glad i bought it, as you can see in countless reviews elsewhere, it seems to be one of the best modular helmets you can buy, so i know if i can improve the issues i have with the N100-5 Plus, then it’s a very decent helmet to be used as my main go-to helmet( the Shoei XR1100 i loved but it’s too old now and discontinued a hand full of years ago anyway).

  2. Interesting article. I had tried a Schuberth C3Pro but where I usually take a medium, I had to order a large. This was too tight and I am currently awaiting an Extra Large (!?) fro SportsBikeShop. I wish that I’d read this articel before, and I will still try the Nolan 100-5.

    One thing though…I read in the comments and in your article, that the N 100-5 has no glasses grooves, but in the YouTube video, they demonstrate that it has. Maybe just for the American market perhaps

    Good review though and I’ll look through the other helmets on here too



  3. I’m totally delighted with my Nolan N100-5, my last 2 helmets were Schuberth c3 and c3 pro. The Nolan is quieter by a considerable margin, and the N com that I had fitted actually works well and easily. The quality of construction easily surpasses that of the Schuberths, from the fitment of the lining and of the neck roll, the locking mechanism for the flip front is also easier to locate and seems very robust, coupled with being able to legally ride open faced makes the Nolan an absolute winner.
    My only question remaining is, why on earth did I ever stick with Schuberth for so long?

  4. Hi Billy
    Here are my comments on the N100-5. I have just done a 500plus mile trip to the Isle of Man for the ManxGP/ClassicTT so its had a decent road test in all weathers. I bought it to replace my MT Atom which died (see my comments on the Atom page) its a step up from that; its a really snug fit but comfortable and not to tight. Vision is great, I can see the speedo etc without having to move my head down and peripheral vision is very good. The chin guard/air vents/visor and sun visor are all easy to operate. The 4 position sun visor is a brilliant idea and should work for any rider; I find the 3rd position works for me; with the 4th one it hits my nose. Its a well built and thought out bit of kit. I can’t comment on noise as I wear hearing aids as my hearing is shot. The only fly in the ointment for me is getting my glasses on; I can take it off with my specs on but not put it on. I put it on with the chin guard open and then slide my specs on which with no glasses groves is not that easy ! But apart from that its probably the best lid I have bought to date.
    Andy Cobb


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