The Nolan N87, from a brand that just a few years ago you would have said “who?!” now recognised as one of the leading manufacturers of motorcycle helmets. The N87 is their top of the range helmet which gets packed full of features to make it competitive with the likes of HJC, AGV and the likes.
The 4 star safety rating from SHARP, lightweight polycarbonate shell, Clima comfort interior and integrated drop-down sun visor and Pin-lock ready visor are just some of the features that help put this helmet on the shortlist for so many bikers.
Whilst we’ve only really been hearing from Nolan in recent years, they’ve actually been running since 1972 and now supply their helmets in over 70 countries across the world.
With over 20 different colour options available there’s plenty of choice to suit your taste. Prices vary from £179.99 up to £219.99. The average price of a helmet from our partner SportsBikeShop is around £140, and you’ll expect to pay approximately £205 for a Nolan lid on average. With around 75 different helmet options available, there’s an amazing range of choice of helmet types and colours.
For the money, £200 is getting you a lot of helmet for the money, especially a 4 star SHARP rated helmet.
Quality and Safety
At this point we’re going to explore the N87 in a more detail, looking specifically at the quality and safety provided by the helmet. If you’ve already done your research on Nolan, you’ll already appreciate that the brand make great quality helmets. So let’s spend a bit of time seeing what customers have to say about the N87 specifically.
When we’re looking at the overall quality of a helmet there are a number of considerations, from the features offered by the brand, the finish of the lid, reports of the durability and the overall look and feel offered. We do also, of course, consider usability in this. Things like wind noise however are factored in separately and we’ll explore that in a moment.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the N87 gets outstanding reviews from customers when it comes to quality. In fact, there are a total of 48 mentions of the word “quality” on the customer reviews, and every single one of them scores the helmet 4 or 5 out of 5.
Many owners have also commented on how lightweight the helmet is, but perhaps the biggest feature that’s commented about the quality of the N87 is the comfort. In 151 reviews of the helmet (which by the way score it over 4.5 stars on average) there are 99 mentions of comfort with comments such as:
“Really comfortable helmet, not too heavy”
“Love the way it fits on my head, is very comfortable on a long trip”
“A very comfortable helmet, could ride more than 2 hours on the first try without pain.”
“a bargain for the comfort and fit.”
Below we have gone on to pick out a few key comments from owners of the Nolan N87 who have left reviews at SportsBikeShop.
✅Mark – March 19 – “First Class Helmet – First Nolan helmet I have ever purchased, looks great, very comfortable, inner sun visor works a treat, size guide was spot on.”
✅Chris B – April 19 – “Justified ‘Best Buy’ Rating – I changed from a Shoei GT Air to the Nolan N87 and have been using it for a month. In summary I would say it offers the quality and all the main features of the Shoei at half the price or better. Fit, finish, comfort, ventilation, sun-visor, visor and pinlock are all excellent.”
Standout features on the N87
Features that stood out to us that are worth mentioning, include:
- ECE 22.05 and DOT certified
- Lightweight polycarbonate shell construction
- Integrated chin wind protection
- Fully removable and washable Clima comfort interior
- Built-in drop-down sun visor
- Front air intake vents and rear air exhaust vent
- Grooves built in to give space for your glasses
- Quick release UV resistant, anti-scratch visor
- Pinlock ready (and even better, the visor insert is included)
- Ultrawide visor for better peripheral vision
- Tilt visor mechanism
- Nolan ESS ‘Emergency Stop Signal’ ready
- Ready for N-Com intercom systems
Safety is a tough one to talk about without using facts and figures, it’s not the sort of thing you can say “well it feels safe”. So we’re only going to base this on the facts, and the fact is the N87 has received a 4 Star SHARP rating, out of a maximum of 5 stars. It is also ECE 22.05 and DOT certified for extra peace of mind. But I’d typically rely on SHARP ratings when I’m buying a helmet and a 4 star rating is great.
An interesting safety feature for the N87 is that it comes ready for Nolan’s ESS (Emegency Stop Signal) which is an optional extra light which can be fitted to the rear of the helmet, this then illuminates under heavy braking. A great safety feature.
The helmet also benefits from a 5 year warranty, above that of many helmet manufacturers.
There’s lots of options in terms of size on the Nolan N87 helmet with one of the great benefits being that it comes with two shell sizes (although there are some manufacturers that offer 3 different shell sizes). The benefit of 2 shell sizes is that you’re getting a closer fit shell to the actual size of helmet you’re ordering.
The N87 has one of the broadest range of sizes I’ve seen from a helmet brand, the following are currently available from SportsBikeShop.
2XS 51 – 52cm
XS 53 – 54cm
S 55 – 56cm
M 57 – 58cm
L 59 – 60cm
XL 61 – 62cm
2XL 63 – 64cm
3XL 65 – 66cm
Comments on the customer reviews suggest that the size guide for the helmet is pretty accurate, in fact one customer commented that “the size guide is spot on”.
This, for us, is where the N87 lets itself down. In fact our only gripe about this helmet at all, is that it suffers from wind noise at speed. If you’re a long distance commuter you’ll love this helmet for its comfort, but hate the noise, so definitely get yourself a set of earplugs.
The visor of the N87 has been designed specifically to give a much vision as possible, specifically giving you extra peripheral vision. Comments from owners back this up too.
“Wide visor vision”
“Field of vision is magnificent”
“The extra large visor gives a great field of vision so you are more aware of your surroundings.”
The visor is also Pinlock-ready and comes with a Pinlock Max Vision visor too. If you haven’t used a Pinlock visor before then you’ll instantly appreciate the fog-free riding. If you have already had a Pinlock helmet then I don’t need to sell you the benefit, you’ll no doubt already be looking to ensure your next helmet has a Pinlock visor.
The visor also benefits from a quick release mechanism, it’s UV resistant and has anti-scratch material.
Internal Sun Visor
One of my favourite features of modern helmets is the addition of built in sun visors, and Nolan are aware of the popularity of these hand little add-ons. The N87 gets this built in sun visor, which customer have commented on how great this feature is. Quite an unusual but very helpful feature of the Sun Visor is the ability to drop the visor at certain levels so you’re not stuck with just 2 options of “up” or “down” (much like my AGV helmet). Of 150 reviews of the N87 nearly 50 customers make specific mention of the Sun Visor, showing how popular this feature is. Specific comments about the sun visor include:
“The integral sun visor is also very easy to use even with thick winter gloves.”
“I used the built in sunglasses, as someone who never wear sunglasses I was pleasantly surprised. Think of them more a filter than traditional sunglasses, they worked well without impeding vision.”
“ internal sun visor with its seven position lever is excellent.”
“with an easily operated sun visor with multiple detents to get it just right.”
As standard on the N87 you’ll get a clear visor.
In the styling department you really are spoilt for choice. There are over 20 colour options available on the helmet. We’ve picked out most of them below, but for the full range just click through to SportsBikeShop. The styling overall of the helmet is great, we really like the sporty looks, especially knowing how comfortable it is, it seems to have it all, the looks and the comfort. The hardest thing is choosing a colour option.
A great top of the range helmet from Nolan. To get a lightweight, comfortable, 4 Star SHARP rated helmet with Pinlock and sun visor for under £200 Nolan have done a superb job. Our biggest criticism is the wind noise, so if you do opt for this helmet, buy yourself a set of earplugs too. It features as a “RIDE MAGAZINE Best Buy” and has received over 150 reviews with an average score of 4.5/5.
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Nolan N87 Video
Below is a video review from YouTube