Nolan N87 full face motorcycle crash helmet review

Nolan N87 Fulgor in black & orange

Nolan N87 – Review of Nolan’s well-specced polycarbonate full face helmet

The Nolan N87 is Nolan’s top-of-the-range full face polycarbonate helmet aimed at both sportsbike and touring riders. Because it’s polycarbonate, you’d expect it to come in at a lower price point – and you’d be right. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get a load of must-have features for your money.

The N87 comes with a drop-down sun visor, has a wide visor with Pinlock Max Vision insert (included in the box but double-check with your retailer first) and is designed to fit both Nolan’s N-com bluetooth communication system and their novel rear stop light system (ESS).

It’s not the cheapest polycarbonate full face around (for some great alternatives that come in at the same or lower price than the Nolan, click down to our recommended alternatives at the bottom of the page) but with Nolan’s legendary levels of safety and and offering a load of bang for your buck, could this make the N87 one of the best value street helmets on the market?

Let’s take a look at what’s on offer…

Moody N87 Ledlight

Best places to buy a Nolan N87?

Please click below to drop straight onto the Nolan N87 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).

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The Nolan N87 is both ECE 22.05 and DOT certified – and it’s SHARP tested too where it scored four out of a maximum five stars. That’s great going and bang in-line with every one of Nolan’s helmets tested so far which have all scored 4 out of 5 stars when tested by SHARP.

It’s worth noting that the N87 is only made in two helmet shell sizes though – some more expensive helmets are made in four separate helmet shell sizes – and that could potentially slightly compromise helmet safety as well as how the helmet looks when you’re wearing it (read here for more details).

However, the fact that it has a wide visor with Pinlock antifog insert as standard (see below) are safety features it’s always good to see in any helmet.

The N87 is also the first helmet we’ve seen that can fit a brake light into the rear of the helmet – though that’s an optional extra. The light’s designed to automatically show under heavy breaking and can also be used as a flashing fog light.

I guess having an extra brake light (or flashing rear light like lots of cyclists do) might well be a useful safety feature as long as it works as it’s supposed to. As soon as we hear from riders who’ve used one, we’ll let you know how well it works.

Nolan emergency stop light fitted (in a Nolan N104 Absolute, not N87)


The N87 has what Nolan call Air Booster Technology. What that actually means are that it has a chin vent and double forehead vents!

The chin vent is a single large slider that pulls down and lets air ventilate the rear of the visor.

There are two separate forehead/crown vents that are operated by independent switches. These let air into the helmet which is then channelled through internal ventilation grooves set inside the polystyrene lining, ventilating the head and then exiting via a couple of rear exhaust vents built into the rear spoiler.

Word is that all the sliders are nice and easy to find/use – even in gloves – and that the vents pull in a decent amount of air.


The main visor is designed to be wide and high for extra peripheral vision and forward vision when in a sportier tuck. That’s verified by lots of owners who say it’s nice and wide and gives a good field of vision.

The visor’s also Pinlock-ready and comes with a Pinlock Max Vision in the box. Pinlocks are well worth having if you ride in conditions where your visor suffers from fogging, so including a Pinlock in the box is great and worth £30+ alone.

The Max Vision that comes with the N87 is a larger version of the Pinlock that should mean the edges of the Pinlock don’t get in your line of sight – something the standard (smaller) versions used to suffer from.

Rear view of a silver N87 showing rear exhaust vent and removable panel for ESS

Nolan have also revised their visor mount system. Not only does it have an easy to use quick removal system for the visor, but it’s now slightly spring loaded, pulling the visor inwards towards the visor seal to keep it more air and water tight.

On the main visor front then, Nolan seem to have got pretty much all bases covered.

Sun visor

There’s a built in sun visor operated by a switch on the left hand side of the helmet, just behind the main visor pivot.

Unusually, the sun visor on the N87 works on a ratchet, allowing for a few intermediate visor positions as well as the fully up and fully down positions.

A couple of owners said the sun visor on the N87 is nice and dark – which isn’t always the case – and drops down just the right amount so doesn’t perch on the top of your nose. Though I guess this depends on the size of your schnoz.

Apart from that, the only other thing to note is that it’s a fully UV400 visor, offering maximum UV protection. I suspect most sun visors are UV proof, but surprisingly, makers don’t always shout about it so it can be difficult to know for sure.

View of the guts of the N87 including chin guard, micrometric fastener and air channels

Comfort & Internals

The Nolan N87 is available in a wide range of sizes from XXS-XXXL.

It features a new, fully removable and washable lining that’s made from ClimaCool material that’s moisture wicking and breathable. Owners say it feels really plush and comfortable.

It also features Nolan’s Adaptive Eyewear System – in simple terms meaning it shouldn’t press the stems of your glasses into your head if you’re a glasses wearer.

Nolan claim the N87 in size medium should weigh in around 1.42Kg which makes it slightly lighter than the average full face helmet which is always going to make a helmet that bit easier to wear for longer periods.

Looks & Graphics

There’s plenty of graphics to choose from so click through to our recommended retailers below to see the latest colours and designs.

First off, there’s plain gloss black & white and a matt black. There’s also the Martz range which are near plain colours except for a couple of stripes and come in red, silver, yellow, black and white. There’s also the classy looking Fulgor and Rapid designs which you’ll find on this page.

For the latest deals at some of the best retailers, please click on the links below.

Best places to buy a Nolan N87 helmet?

Please click below to drop straight onto the Nolan N87 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 N87 Video

Here’s Nolan’s N87 video giving a 3 minute look around the helmet.

Cool/sporty Nolan N87 Martz range come in red, yellow, silver, black and white

Other stuff – fasteners, build quality, audio, chin curtain, warranty

The N87 comes with a micrometric 2 fastener. They’re nice and easy to use and, as long as they’re tightened correctly, should keep the helmet in place during an accident.

Lots of owners say that the Nolan N87 is really well built – including really durable parts that stand up well to a bit of a rough life and a nice finish to the paint.

It’s also Nolan’s N-Com Bluetooth communicator ready – with space for earphones and mic as well as a place to mount the unit.

Finally, the N87 comes with a chin curtain in the box and is supported by Nolan’s 5 year warranty, something that not all manufacturers offer.

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.


Owners reckon the Nolan N87 is a quality package at a competitive price. It has a wide visor with quick release system and Pinlock in the box to stop any fogging – and a UV400 drop down sun visor. It’s pretty light weight for a polycarbonate full face and is bluetooth communicator ready.

It was safety tested by SHARP in 2016 and scored an impressive 4 stars (out of 5) which means it should give very good protection indeed.

At this price, the N87 slips out of our budget helmet category – but even so, with its extensive list of features – including the not-seen-before emergency stop light system (optional extra) – the Nolan N87 offers excellent value for money and heaps of performance and is well worth a look if you’re in the market for a great all-rounder full face helmet.

Alternatives to the Nolan N87

Even though the Nolan N87 has some great features at a really keen price, it’s not alone. There’s a lot of great helmets available if you’re looking to spend around the £150 mark.

There’s the SHARP four star rated Shark S700 with integral sun visor and great finishing.

Classy N87 Rapid in lava grey

Or there’s the Lazer Bayamo – that’s another SHARP 4 star rated helmet with a five year guarantee, integral sun visor and is comfortable with good ventilation for even less than the N87.

For about the same price as the Nolan, there’s another Italian lid, the AGV K3 SV – SHARP 4 star rated with sun visor and Pinlock in the box.

And finally, there’s the Scorpion EXO-410 Air – that comes with an optically-correct visor, SHARP 4 star rating and Scorpion’s Air Pump tight fit system to tailor the fit.

All these are excellent choices and offer SHARP tested levels of safety. Alternatively, you can check out our budget helmets section or read our top ten full face crash helmets section to see which we’ve rated as best overall.

Best places to buy a Nolan N87?

Please click below to drop straight onto the Nolan N87 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

Definitely want a Nolan?

Here you'll find all our Nolan crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

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nolan-n87-full-face-motorcycle-crash-helmet-reviewNolan's N87 is a feature-packed full face helmet that's great value for money. With a decent SHARP safety rating, Pinlock Max Vision visor, integral sun visor and excellent build quality, if you're after a do-it-all street helmet that gives you great bang for your buck, then you really should try a Nolan N87.


  1. I’ve had this helmet about 6 months now, overall it’s a pretty good helmet, with a lot of features, a noticibly wide visor, an excellent internal sunvisor, awesome ventilation, and is overall quite comfortable & well designed – but with two main downsides:

    Firstly, it is a noisy helmet by anyones standards. My old helmet was a (very) well used cheapo 6yr old LS2 – and this brand new Nolan, is significantly more noisy than that. I haven’t tried using a bluetooth headset with it, but I have my doubts that it’d even be audible at anything above 50km/hr (30mph).

    This alone is not a dealbreaker. One can fairly easily see that if you want a helmet optimised for great ventilation, there will often be a trade off with regards to noise. This is an acceptable compromise, especially in a hot climate.

    However, the micrometic2 fastener IS a dealbreaker, and I wish this helmet didn’t have this feature…

    The buckle has edges which are (rounded) 90° angles, these are metal, and have a habit of pushing up against the adams apple, making it sometimes difficult to breathe.

    This is both uncomfortable and irritating, and I do sometimes wonder what would happen to my adams apple in the event of a crash…??

    I’ve heard of other N87 owners making up little sleves out of neoprene (wetsuit material) to help with this problem.

    Apparently this helps with the comfort issue, but one has to wonder:

    1) What is the point of a quick attaching buckle, if you have to then fluff about with a silly home-made bit of fabric every time you put the helmet on??

    2) Why buy a helmet with a 4-star crash rating, if it has a (relatively) large chunk of Buckle, right on your windpipe, which could choke you in the event of a crash??

    Honestly Nolan, if you’re reading this… the N87 would be a near perfect helmet, if not for that damn buckle!

    Double D rings are totally fine, there is literally nothing wrong with them, they are proven & reliable technology.

    If you still feel like re-inventing the wheel: Please do it in a way that keeps all the mechanical parts away from the thing I need to breathe with.

    Do either of those two things, Nolan, and you will have a helmet that will be unbeatable at this price-point 👍

  2. Nolan N87

    high quality helmet but astonishingly loud.

    really top notch fit and finish, extremely well put together.
    the internal sun visor works well, combined with the factory fitted pinlock and chin curtain, it’s exactly what you need for the colder mornings and evenings.
    it’s light, stable at speed and good looking.

    unfortunately, there’s a huge issue with the N87-
    the shape of the moldings just below the ears creates unbearable windnoise which becomes distracting at anything above 25 mph.
    it’s a shame and a deal breaker for me- the helmet itself is a quality item, but even with earplugs it’s a noisy place to be.


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