LS2s budget adventure dual sport helmet: the LS2 Blaze

Review of the LS2 Blaze: LS2s adventure/dual sport motorcycle crash helmet.

LS2 launched the original Blaze as the Pioneer and as LS2’s entry-level adventure helmet. LS2 say it’s made from a Kinetic Polymer Alloy. That’s a fancy name for plastic with a sprinkling of aramid fibers as far as I can tell – but that’s no problem as thermoplastic lids are among the best performing motorcycle helmets.

The older Pioneer ticks quite a few boxes on the features list too. Not only was it designed to work on and off road, but there’s a drop down sun visor as well as a sun peak/roost guard; and it’s got EQRS too.

The Pioneer was a decent seller but there were one or two issues with it. So LS2 had a bash at sorting those and relaunched the Pioneer as the LS2 Blaze in the US.

So read on, dear friend, to find out the pros and cons of the Blaze (and find links to some juicy dual-sport alternatives at the bottom of the article too).

  • Polycarbonate shelled dual sports helmet
  • DOT and ECE certified
  • Class A optically correct shield
  • Drop down sun visor
  • EQRS
  • Micrometric fastener
  • 3.2lbs (1.45Kg)
  • 3 Shell sizes
  • Sizes XXS-XXXL
  • Expect to pay $160-$190

Looking to buy an LS2 Blaze?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Blaze helmets pages at our recommended stores – all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any store, 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 LS2 Blaze is both DOT and ECE 22.05 certified. That means it should offer a decent level of protection if you have a spill.

ls2-pioneer-titanium-adventure-motorcycle-helmet-rear-view-
No it’s not matt black – it’s titanium!

Beyond that, its been fitted with EQRS which is the emergency quick removal system that allows paramedics to quickly remove the helmet’s cheek pads to more easily take the helmet off an injured rider. If you’re gonna be taking your Blaze onto the dirt, having a spill is obviously much more likely – so we’d say EQRS is a must.

The Blaze has  also been fitted with a micrometric fastener – which are safe and really easy to use. And there’s a nice large, optically correct shield in there to give good, clear all round vision.

On the dirt riding side, there’s a flexible roost-guard/sun peak that’ll come in very useful for keeping your vision clear in the sun or when you’re stuck behind another rider who’s kicking up the dust!

It is made in three helmet shell sizes too; that’s a decent number for what’s an entry level helmet. That’s good for safety because it means you’re getting the right amount of EPS shock absorbing lining for any given shell size. It also means you’re not carrying around more helmet shell material/weight than you need to – because any extra weight adds more inertial weight to your head and neck during an accident, and that’s not good.

ls2-pioneer-element-off-road-adventure-bike-helmet-
Side view of the LS2 Pioneer in Element graphics. Looks identical to the Blaze except for the chin bar vent design.

Of course, we always check out whether a helmet’s been tested by independent testing labs too.

The LS2 Blaze hasn’t been tested by either Snell or SHARP, which is a shame. But we can tell you that ECE certified LS2 polycarbonate helmets have scored an average of about 3.1 stars out of a maximum 5 stars when the UK SHARP testing labs has tested them in the past.

They’ve only tested one KPA shelled LS2 so far (the Valiant) and that scored four stars out of five – which is encouraging.

Obviously, looking back to past scores isn’t going to be a 100% accurate indicator of how well the Blaze might score if Snell or SHARP tested it today, but we would reckon it’d probably score reasonably well. It’s fairly unlikely it’ll be up there with our best performing helmets for safety, but since their last three polycarbonate helmets have scored anywhere between two and four stars, we’d kinda expect the Blaze to score somewhere similar.

The old Pioneer was a bit of a noise box. In fact it was probably the biggest fault with it and undoubtedly one of the main reasons that LS2 decided to fiddle with the helmet a bit and come up with the Blaze.

Several Pioneer riders reckoned that because there are so many vents – including side vents near the ears – that it lets in a lot of noise as well as air.

Of course, just like with most helmets, if you always push in some decent ear plugs, pretty well any helmet will be manageable. But the old Pioneer’s not ideal in this respect.

The good news is that if you go for the LS2 Blaze, most owners reckon it’s a nice quiet helmet, so well done LS2 for listening to your customers!

Matt black version. Triangular thing on the side is the anchor for the chin strap.

LS2 obviously wanted the Blaze to vent massively well because they’ve added a ton of vent holes. But here’s a big point to note – only the chin vent can be closed off; all the others are always open. So if you live somewhere wet (like I do) that might well be a deal breaker for you.

On the front/lower of the helmet there’s that single chin vent which is opened/closed by a slider on the inside of the chin guard. Unlike quite a few dirt bike helmets, the chin vent doesn’t have a removable filter so you can clean it – it’s fixed in place.

There’s also a couple of other vents to either side of the chin guard in those air scoops – which have the added bonus of making the helmet looking pretty cool too!

Above the shield are a pair of brow vents – all taking air into channels in the internal lining and towards the scalp then out through a bunch of exhaust vents to the rear.

And there’s even a couple of vents at each side of the shield to help keep both shields clear.

Overall though, if you like riding off road and tend to get sweaty – or you just need a helmet that keeps you cool – then the Blazelets lots of air in and does a great job of keeping you well ventilated.

Shield and Goggles

(more about shields)
LS2 Blaze matte titanium
Side view of the Matte Titanium LS2 Blaze for comparison

There’s a nice large clear shield up front and, as is pretty common with LS2s, it’s a class A optically correct shield, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about distortion (not that we’ve ever really found it a problem with non-optically correct shields!).

The old V1 Pioneer didn’t have the option for any sort of anti-fog insert like a Pinlock – instead, LS2 bunged on their own antifog coating which was OK but didn’t give the same levels of anti-mist performance as a Pinlock.

Again, LS2 appear to have listened to our moans and groans and have now given the Blaze a Pinlock-ready face shield. OK, so the insert isn’t included in the box when you buy it, but if you really need a decent antifog solution on your helmet, then at least you can shell out the $30ish extra and get a Max Vision in there which should solve all your fogging woes. Job done.

It has a nice large central opening tab to open/close the shield and the shield itself works on friction so there’s no ratchet here.

And if you ever like to pull off the shield (surprisingly easy to do) and push on some goggles, reports are that goggles work well with the Blaze because there’s plenty of space to go at – just about fitting a pair of Oakley Airbrakes in there with a nice groove in the rear moulding to keep the strap in place.

Sun Visor & Peak

(more about sun visors)

The LS2 Blaze has both a drop down internal sun visor as well as an external roost guard/peak.

That peak can be slightly adjusted by loosening off the plastic screws allowing it to slide backwards, raising or lowering the peak a little. It’s been made from a flexible plastic so it will break off in an accident and won’t dig in and spin the helmet, which is a good feature for safety.

It looks the part and works well too according to a couple of owners who say it’s got good aero characteristics, with little buffeting or drag – even at freeway speeds.

The drop down sun visor is operated by a slider on the left hand side of the helmet. That’s one of the better locations for a sun visor slider as it’s easy to reach and find when you’re on the move.

Owners reckon it’s easy to operate too, though if you’re not a fan of sun visors that leave a stripe of light at the bottom, you might be disappointed with the Blaze in this respect.

ls2-pioneer-titanium-adventure-motorcycle-helmet-rear-view-
Rear view showing spoiler and exhaust vents.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Inside the Blaze is a breathable and hypoallergenic comfort lining that’s removable and washable.

It also has EQRS – a system that’s there to allow paramedics to more easily remove your helmet by quickly pulling the cheek pads out of the bottom of the helmet. EQRS is a great feature to have on any helmet – but especially on an adventure helmet that might well be taken off-road.

The Blaze’s also been designed to more comfortably accommodate glasses by using a more ‘giving’ foam in each side of the lining to stop the stems of glasses being pushed into the side of your head.

Some good news is that the Blaze is now available up to sizes XXXL, so if you’ve a bigger longer head, it’s happy days for you too.

Quite a few owners reckon that it’s a very comfortable helmet, but several also said that the comfort liner can squeeze your cheeks quite a bit. Some helmet brands are a bit more prone to this (looking at you HJC!) although it’s not necessarily a problem as long as it’s not uncomfortable and the helmet fits securely.

A few owners also said the helmet tends to size a bit on the small size so if you’re between sizes, you might well be best going for a size up.

Because of both these potential issues, we recommend checking out where you buy from so you can return it once you’ve tried it without incurring costs (our recommended retailers will do this with some even paying the return postage).

Looks & Graphics

There’s a really wide range of graphic options available and we’ve dropped images of the white and black versions on the page, along with the classy titanium and element.

And, as always, helmet makers keep on bringing out new graphics, so to see the latest designs and deals, please click through to our recommended retailers that stock LS2 helmets using the links below.

Best places to buy an LS2 Blaze?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Blaze helmets pages at our recommended stores – all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

BTO SportsShop for helmets at Amazon

LS2 Blaze Video

Here’s a 13m vid looking around the Pioneer Evo (the name for the Blaze in Europe) including some road testing. Note: in the US the Blaze is medium oval, not long oval.

Other stuff – audio, weight, warranty

LS2 haven’t really thought about bluetooth communicators because there aren’t any speaker pockets on the Blaze. People have tried – including people cutting into the EPS which definitely isn’t recommended – but it doesn’t really work.

So if fitting a bluetooth headset is a must for you – I’d say move away from the Blazes and check out communications-ready helmets or helmets with integrated headsets instead!

The Blaze weighs in around 3.2lbs (that’s 1.45Kg) which is not bad at all, because the average polycarb helmet is around 3.5lbs (1.6Kg), meaning LS2 has managed to shave quite a bit of weight off the Blaze.

At the time of writing, LS2 helmets come with a stingy 1 year guarantee in the US.

LS2 Blaze rear view
Rear view of the solid white LS2 Blaze

Overall/Summary

The LS2 Blaze is a great buy. It’s got a good spec, including quick release micrometric strap, EQRS, Pinlock ready shield, tons of vents (although that can be good and bad because most are always open) and drop down sun visor.

Not only is it well specced and looks the part for a dual-sport helmet, but it’s amazing value too. OK it’s a plastic shelled helmet – so it’s going to be at the cheaper end of the market – and there’s a small question mark about how protective some plastic LS2s are.

But it is DOT certified (and ECE 22.05 in Europe) like every other helmet so should be decent in that respect.

But if you’re after an excellent value for money lid, one that’ll suit everything from commuting to touring with a spot of offroading, then the LS2 Blaze is well worth a look.

Looking to buy an LS2 Blaze?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Blaze helmets pages at our recommended stores – all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

BTO SportsShop for helmets at Amazon

Good Alternatives to the LS2 Blaze?

The Caberg Tourmax is well worth looking at because it’s a SHARP 5 star safety rated modular adventure helmet. And while it’s a bit on the weighty side, it’s well priced and rated highly for comfort and ventilation.

There’s also the well-rated Shoei Hornet X2 family of adventure helmets. They’re ECE, DOT and Snell safety rated, fiberglass shelled and come with EQRS. Though being a Shoei, it does cost a heap more than the LS2.

Bell MX-9s are only a tad more expensive than the Blaze – plus they come with a 5 year warranty. And you get to choose from either motocross or adventure bike versions with the Bell.

Other Adventure/Dual-Sports helmets?

There are lots of other Adventure/Dual Sports crash helmets out there, so please check out our Adventure motorcycle helmets page to see all our other reviews and previews. Or, if you're looking for the safest tested helmets on the market, you might want to take a look at our safest motorcycle helmets pages where you'll only find helmets that are Snell certified or SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.

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/sportsbike/track helmets.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Ok, the Pioneer had this ball breaking thing of the unclosable vents. But do the EVO and the BLAZE have the same problem. It’s not absolutely clear in this review.

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