Time to take a look at the…
Dual Sport Helmet Price Range: Around £319 – £400
Features and Specs:
Inner VPS sun visor, Fog Resistant
Composite Fibre shell
Unitherm-Light inner lining
Adjustable/removable sun shield (Peak)
Innovative ventilation system
Three different outer shell measurements for the six available sizes
Prepared for the n-com X-Series communication system
Visor (and inner visor): 8/10
Field of Vision: 6/10
Fit and Comfort: Sam 7/10 Clare 6/10
Good Looking?: 5.5/10
Overall Average: 6.3/10
The Visor: Starting with I think the top feature of the X Lite X551 helmet here… the visor and inner sun visor. They are simply top notch. The visor comes fitted with an easily adjustable pinlock which we have not had any issues with fogging despite some of the worst rains and cold mistiness to date. What we absolutely love is being able to flick down the inner sun visor as soon as the clouds part and the sun beams. It’s an awesome feature and saves all the faffing about with stopping, chucking on some sunnies, riding on, stopping again, taking them off and then squinting in glaring sunlight again five minutes later. The biggy problem I have with the inner sun visor though is the tab. Within the first month of wearing the helmet my tab had disappeared. I can still use the sun visor by pulling it down from the inside but for the price of the helmet… that shouldn’t have happened. Even so though, love the sun visor. Love love love it!
The Field of Vision:
The X Lite X551 is much more representative of a road helmet, particularly favouring a more enclosed feel and smaller field of vision. There’s no chance of being able to fit a pair of goggles in the space you have although when we’ve been riding in the dust we’ve had a tendency to open the visor up wide and throw down the sun visor to give us a bit of eye protection. Also it has a pretty awesome venting system so worst case scenario you can always shut down the visor and open all vents up which helps with some defence against dust.
Chinny Chin Chin and Venting:
Again, the helmet is much more like a road helmet than a motocross style so snugger in fitting right up to your chin. It has a removable chin-wind protector which we have taken out in the hotter weathers to stay cooler – super simple and very useful to have in on those cold, wet and windy days. All of the vents are adjustable and although the top ones can be a bit fidgety to open, especially if you have thick gloves on. Overall the venting is fairly good but because it is such a close fitting and enclosed helmet in the hot weather it can get toasty and sweaty betty. We also have the problem that we cannot quite comfortably fit our boom for our scala headset in to the helmet. It sits a little lower than it should because of all the padding and protection. Whether this is a Scala issue or a helmet issue though is debatable!
It’s pretty darn quiet in there! We do not realise how loud our bikes are with the X Lite X551 on which is shocking because our bikes sure do make a heck of a noise! Listening to music or speaking to each other on the scala headset in is no problem, everything is crystal clear.
The Sizing/Fit and Comfort:
When you’re in, you’re in for sure and you sure do feel safe. Putting them on is not an easy feat though, it’s like being reborn but in reverse and then same again when you pop it off. I feel quite chipmunky in mine and the next size up was too loose but it’s beginning to have some give to it after a couple of months. In an ideal world it would be a little less cheek chewy for me. Sam on the other hand finds it incredibly comfortable and has no concerns. Maybe it’s my fault for having chubby cheeks. No more pies for me!! The sizes on the websites are pretty accurate – it’s how we ordered ours and they seemed pretty spot on (I was an inbetween size though frustratingly!). They are heavy helmets, I guess it has so many features and protection something has to give somewhere. Good thing is, if we get mugged we can knock out our robber by hurling it at them. Bonus!
Something definitely worth mentioning here is underneath the lining there is a set up for N-COM headsets which you can kind of fit the Scala sets in too. This makes com sets super easy to install and remove.
Simple, easy, quick. Pop in and pop out sections. Can be a tad fiddly to get them back in.
This is where the X Lite X551 falls flat on its face. The peak… is diabolical… especially for the price. Flimsy and prone to cracking, both of ours are already displaying signs of ill health. That’s not the worst of it though… the peak is so low it actually scratches the visor when you lift it up. I’ve had to stick foam and electric tape under one of the screws to try and lift it a bit as well as tape up the top sections to prevent more scratching. We are truly disappointed in the peak. Such a shame :/
The chin straps are a D Lock and of reasonable comfort. They have an additional pop button on the strap so you can clip the loose end up to prevent it from slapping about in the wind which is a pretty standard feature.
All in all the X Lite X551 offer up some superb features and you truly feel like if you were to have an accident your head would be in good hands. The visor which seems invincible to fogging up and the sun visor is just such an awesome feature, we really really love them for just that. They have some quality issues they need to address though, particularly the peak and also the paint job on the vents which are all peeling off Sam’s one now (although it does kind of look cool but some people would be proper grumpy about it and rightly so!). They are alright looking helmets… for me I feel like I look like a bobble head in it as they are HUGE! We’d say more ideal for road riding than off roading as it would get a little too toasty.
Any questions just let us know, we’d be more than happy to help out :) Will try and get some more close up pics of the features and post them up too!