Nolan N90-2 modular/flip-up crash helmet

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Nolan N90-2 Hi Visibility version

The Nolan N90-2 – Nolan’s entry-level flip-up crash helmet

The Nolan N90-2 is Nolan’s replacement for the old N91 and N91 Evo. That was a bit of a flawed gem – scored well for safety but was marked down a bit for comfort (and noise too but that’s normal for a modular).

It’s Nolan’s entry-level flip up helmet; a polycarbonate shelled helmet that’s made to a budget but with enough useful features to keep discerning buyers happy.

So here’s what you can expect the Nolan N90-2 to offer if you buy one.

Looking to buy a Nolan?

We recommend SportsBikeShop (UK) for competitive prices, free delivery and outstanding service, and Motoin (Ger) for quality service and decent prices (even with the current £-€ exchange rate). Or you can click through to the Nolan helmets pages at Amazon UK if you prefer to buy from them. Please see here for more info on these stores or click the links to go straight to their Nolan helmet pages where you'll find the latest designs and deals.

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Nolan N90-2 with chin bar fully raised

Safety

The Nolan N90 hasn’t been tested by SHARP yet, so we’re not entirely sure how well it’ll perform in terms of safety.

But looking at previous Nolan testing data, we reckon we can be reasonably confident that the N90-2 will perform well.

Its predecessor, the Nolan N91, scored a very solid 4/5 in the SHARP safety test. But it’s not just that that’s making us think the N90-2 will do well. So far, every single Nolan helmet that’s been tested by SHARP has scored exactly the same marks – that’s 4 stars a piece across 12 tested helmets! Wow!

That’s a massive score and it’s why Nolan are our joint fourth safest crash helmet maker.

Nolan’s flip-up helmets also do particularly well in the chin guard tests – with every one so far staying locked 100% of the time during impact testing. Which is incredible. Only Nolan have managed to date, and we really hope they continue the tradition with the N90-2.

In all, it’s probably not unreasonable to expect any new Nolan to do well in the safety tests. They always do!

Other than that, the N90-2 has got a full compliment of features to help you keep out of trouble in the first place.

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Classic Silver N90-2

Pinlock-ready visor (and we hope it’ll come with a Pinlock included in the box) to keep your visor fog-free. Drop down sun visor to keep vision tolerable in the sunshine. Micrometric fastener that’s easy to use and safe as houses.

So we’d be surprised if the new Nolan N90-2 doesn’t have all the bases covered on the safety front when it’s released.

Ventilation

The N90-2 has a single forehead vent and single chin vent. These have been designed to be simple to operate and look large enough to be easy to use in gloves.

In the top vent, air is directed through the helmet shell and onto the scalp through channels in the polystyrene shock absorbing lining, exiting via the dual rear exhaust vents. So far, so standard.

Ventilation was only rated as average-poor on the N91 so let’s hope that Nolan have learned a lesson from this and improved it on the N90-2.

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N90 Special – showing large chin and top vent sliders

Visor and Sun Visor

The main visor comes Pinlock anti-fog insert ready, though Nolan have yet to confirm whether a Pinlock will be included in the box. We’d expect it won’t simply because the N91 didn’t and with the N90-2 being Nolan’s entry-level modular, the pressure’s on to keep costs down.

The visor itself operates on a ratchet and has the opening tab bottom centre. All good there then.

The sun visor is anti-scratch and UV400 too and has an anti-fog coating on it – though don’t expect the anti fog coating here to be very effective – they usually aren’t (if they were, everything would be antifog coated and there’d be no need for a Pinlock!).

The sun visor is operated by a slider on the left hand side of the helmet, which is a much better position than many which are located on the top of the helmet.

Chin Guard

Nolan’s chin guards are the safest around.

If you’re buying a flip-up helmet, you’re likely expecting the chin guard to give as much protection as a full face when it’s in place.

But that’s not always the case because a surprising number can open under impact. We know this because SHARP checks the chin guard after each impact test and notes how often the lock becomes unlocked (thanks guys – very useful info that!).

I’m happy to say, that’s not the case with Nolans though (so far) because every tested Nolan helmet has remained fully locked.

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N90 in gloss white

That’s partly testament to the quality of the locking mechanism and partly because Nolan use a two-button opening mechanism – squeeze the button underneath the guard with your thumb and push down the front slider and the chin guard opens up.

It sounds trickier than it is – owners say you get the hang of Nolan’s two button chin guard quickly and it’s not really any bother. And it might make all the difference between a having your chin guard unlock during an accident or staying firmly closed.

Not only that, but the Nolan N90-2 is dual homologated – meaning it’s designed and approved to be worn as an open face helmet as well as a full face helmet. Lots of modular helmets aren’t and can’t (legally).

With the N90, there’s a slider on the side of the helmet – if you want to ride in open face ‘Jet’ mode, open the helmet fully and push the lever up to the J position and you’re good to go. That’ll lock the chin guard up and open.

Looks & Graphics

At the time of writing, only a few graphics and designs have been released. But they do show, along with the usual plain colours, a couple of hi-vis variants (for those of us who like such things). To date, they’ve released the Classic N-com range (that’s the plan blacks/whites etc.) and the Special and Straton designs – along with the Hi-Visibility N-Com version.

Click the links below to see more designs and pricing once the N90-2’s been launched.

Best place to buy this Nolan crash helmet?

It's available at our two recommended retailers below (recommended for great customer service and competitive prices) - or you can also find it at Amazon if you prefer to buy there. Please click below to drop onto their Nolan helmets pages or *quick view retailer T&Cs here.

Buy Nolan from Sportsbikeshop

Click above to drop onto their Nolan helmets pages or *quick view retailer T&Cs here.

Other stuff – audio, warranty

The Nolan N90-2 has been designed to integrate with the Nolan N-Com bluetooth communicator. So if you’ve got one of those, there’s a removable door on the side of the helmet to accommodate it.

All Nolan helmets come with a 5 year warranty (yay!).

Overall/Summary

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Rear view of the N90-2 Special matt black

On paper at least, the Nolan N90-2 looks to be a decent package. It’s got plenty of useful features that make for a helmet that’s easy to live with – including sun visor, Pinlock-ready main visor and N-Com communicator integration. It’s not the cheapest modular around, but if it can carry on the Nolan tradition for making very safe flip-up helmets, then it may well be worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new Flip-up helmet.

Of course, once the N90-2 has been out for a while, we’ll fill you in here on what owners and riders think about it. Until then, why not check out one of our suggested alternatives below.

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.

Alternatives to the Nolan N90-2?

With flip-up helmets being more popular than ever, there’s tons of choice out there. But first up, you might want to have a look at the N90-2 predecessor, the Nolan N91. It’s discontinued now of course but it’s a decent helmet and it means you might find a real bargain (check our recommended retailer links above, they usually discount discontinued lids pretty quickly).

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Side view of the Nolan N90-2 showing N-com panel, sun visor slider and chin-guard lock

We recommend having a look at the Lazer Paname – that’s a SHARP 4 star tested modular helmet that’s cheaper than the N90-2 and comes with a Pinlock in the box.

Or a couple more from the Nolan group are the Nolan N104 or the X-Lite X-1003. The N104 will retail for about the same as the N90-2 but has a 4 star SHARP safety rating, while the X-1003 is more expensive but it’s a composite helmet so should be quite a bit lighter. That’s SHARP 4 star rated too.

If you fancy something a bit different, then the Roof Boxer V8 is certainly that – but it’s also a decent helmet, scoring 4 stars in the SHARP test and costing around the same as the Nolan. It looks well cool too!

And finally, we’ve gotta mention the good ole Duke from Caberg. SHARP 5 star, dual homologated, Pinlock included, reasonably light weight and cheap as chips.

Looking to buy a Nolan?

We recommend SportsBikeShop (UK) for competitive prices, free delivery and outstanding service, and Motoin (Ger) for quality service and decent prices (even with the current £-€ exchange rate). Or you can click through to the Nolan helmets pages at Amazon UK if you prefer to buy from them. Please see here for more info on these stores or click the links to go straight to their Nolan helmet pages where you'll find the latest designs and deals.

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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