When it comes to motorcycle helmets, the debates about Snell certification and carbon fiber shells can run heated. Even within our own offices, we have varying opinions based on our different priorities. Personally, I like a light helmet, trust high-quality carbon fiber shells, and am satisfied with DOT approval.
In the case of the LS2 CR1 Carbon 1.1 helmet, all three requirements are covered. In Medium, the CR1 weighs less than an ounce over three pounds, making it the second-lightest full-face helmet we have tested.
The LS2’s unique Kevlar and carbon fiber tri-composite weave is striking, and is manufactured at its plant in Shunde Guandong, China to ISO9000 standards. And, of course, it is DOT and ECE legal.
The internal shell shape of the LS2 CR1 is long oval, which is favored by many North Americans. Inside, rather than a plush feel, it has what I call a bicycle helmet interior.
The foam on the scalp is scalloped, which gives it a light feeling, and allows for good airflow over your head with the three (two intake, one exhaust) top vents open.
Long rides are certainly possible with the CR1, as it remains comfortable after nine hours in the saddle. If you like to wear glasses, the liner is quite accommodating to most frame designs.
LS2 provides an interesting function to customize the fit. There is a small finger-operated pump built into the inside chin guard that slowly inflates the cheek pads until they feel just right.
For me, the pads felt fine uninflated and the difference is subtle. I’d prefer to pass on this feature and have the CR1 Carbon weigh even less.
At speeds well into double digits, the CR1 has excellent aerodynamics, even when turning your head to look back. It is not an exceptionally quiet helmet, but neither is it particularly loud.
The Fog Fighter Face Shield adjusts to loud detents, with two positions between fully up and completely closed. Riders who prefer the shield open a crack in town will be disappointed.
There is also a lock that securely holds the shield in place at whatever position you choose. Removing and reinstalling the faceshield is a no-tools proposition, though it is not intuitive— have the manual handy.
Light, well made, comfortable, and practical, the LS2 CR1 Carbon is a premium helmet that works for sport and touring applications, just be prepared to let admirers run their fingers across the stunning carbon fiber shell.
The LS2 CR1 Carbon 1.1 retails for around $350; for additional information, visit ls2helmets.us.
Story from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here.