LS2 Rapid review – low price full face motorcycle helmet

LS2 Rapid – LS2’s budget all rounder full face helmet.

Chinese lid maker, LS2, is known for making lower-priced motorcycle helmets. And with this LS2 Rapid dropping in at the lower end of even their low price range, you might be a) mega interested in knowing more and b) forgiven for thinking it can’t be much good.

But because it’s ECE certified, that means it’s passed exactly the same safety tests as even the most up-market, high price helmets on sale in the ECE zone. And because it’s DOT certified too, manufacturers have to make sure it will stand up to DOT regs as well.

All of which means – on paper at least – that if you’re after a full face helmet for less but want just as much protection (and don’t we all), then you could get just as much protection by buying an LS2 Rapid as you would paying out for a helmet ten times the price.

In theory at least.

Hi Viz LS2 Rapid Carrera

The Rapid’s been designed to work as a sports-tourer all-rounder helmet. So read on to find out what it offers in all the key areas – and find our recommended alternatives at the bottom of the article if you’re looking to buy a low-cost full face motorcycle helmet with a proven safety record.

Looking to buy an LS2 Rapid?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Rapid helmets pages at two of our recommended stores and Amazon – both 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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(more about helmet safety)

OK, if you’re trying to work out what the shell of the Rapid is made from, you might have a bit of a problem. LS2 says the shell on the Rapid is made from HTPP ABS. OK, right. Thanks for that.

Tell tale circle on the shield of this titanium Rapid shows that it’s Pinlock-ready

In fact they’ve a bit of a track record in using confusing language, with a few of their other helmets being made, apparently, from kinetic polymer alloys. Thanks again. Sounds like something Iron Man’s suit should be made from (but I guess that’s the idea).

But what both these baffling names mean is that a helmet’s made from plastic. KPA is pure marketing speak for plastic, whereas HTPP ABS is a more technical term and actually stands for High Pressure Thermoplastic Technology – acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (love you Wikipedia x). AKA a thermoplastic helmet formed under pressure.

Jeez, I wish they’d just tell us that in the first place!

Anyhow, there’s nothing wrong with thermoplastic helmets of course; because plastic is a relatively lightweight and strong material that’s reasonably easy to form into the shape of helmets so lots of manufacturers use it. Oh and it happens to be pretty cheap, which is always nice.

LS2 Rapid 8_5 MS SHARP impact test result
LS2 Rapid 8.5 M/S SHARP impact test result courtesy of

So don’t worry about buying a plastic helmet because the data shows us they can offer just as much protection as any other helmet.

Moving on… LS2 make the rapid in two shell sizes, with one covering larger sizes and another for smaller helmet sizes. Most budget helmets are made in a single shell size so that’s pretty decent (see why here).

Inside the shell, there’s a multi-density shock absorbing lining (another good thing) and the whole thing is secured to your noggin using a quick release micrometric ratchet strap.

Again, they’re good fasteners and folks who are new to wearing a helmet will undoubtedly find a micrometric strap the easiest type of strap to use.

Front view shows size of the shield aperture and built in breath guard

So, even though the LS2 Rapid is a cheaper helmet, it ticks off 90% of the safety features offered by all the other helmets on the market and the ECE testing guys found it gives at least the same minimum level of head protection as every other helmet on the market.

Beyond that, we always look at data from other independent testing outfits; in the US that means Snell testing and in the UK it’s SHARP. Both might be lab based tests, but they’re the closest thing we can get to showing how a helmet might perform in a spill.

Looking at historic SHARP data (carried out on European LS2 helmets, not DOT helmets remember), we can see of all the 16 LS2s tested so far, they’ve scored an average of 3.2 stars out of 5. Which is a pretty decent average. And looking at their last five tested polycarbonate helmets (polycarbonates are thermoplastics) they’ve scored an average of 3 stars.

Rear view of a matt black Rapid showing the rear exhaust vents below the spoiler

However, SHARP tested the LS2 Rapid in 2019 and it scored a fairly lowly 2 stars out of a max of 5. As you can see from the 8.5 m/s impact test graphic above, it faired pretty miserably on side impact tests.

It’s usually very difficult to say whether the European LS2 Rapid is exactly the same helmet as the US version. But if it is, then that’s a worrying score.

OK, so that’s the safety stuff that’s important for the few seconds after everything goes pear-shaped. Now for the features that are gonna help stop you hitting the deck in the first place.

That shield is class A optically correct to give a nice clear view of the road ahead. And it’s also Pinlock anti-mist insert ready. So if you find yourself fogging up all the time, you can buy a Pinlock for the Rapid to cure all your woes.


(more about helmet ventilation)

The config of the vent system on the LS2 Rapid is similar to most other helmets on the market. That means it’s got a large chin vent that can be opened/closed and a couple of forehead vents, ditto.

All the vent covers are sliders and they’re nice and big, meaning your clumsy gloved sausage fingers should be able to find and fiddle with them on the move, no problems.

And of course, it wouldn’t be much use having vent holes to let air in if there wasn’t a corresponding exhaust somewhere to let air out – and there’s a nice large one under that small rear spoiler at the back.

This plain white Rapid clearly shows the left side crown vent slider

Most of the best venting helmets on the market allow air to penetrate the helmet shell from where it’s funneled around inside the helmet and onto your head via channels furrowed out of the internal EPS shock absorbing lining.

And that’s just what this LS2 does… kinda. But on the Rapid there’s just a couple of holes pushing air directly onto your head without any channels for the air to circulate around. So don’t expect the Rapid to be the coolest, best venting helmet in the world.


(more about shields)

That shield is a quick release, class A optically correct shield that’s Pinlock ready.

If you’re not familiar what what that means, quick release shield means it’s quick and easy to remove the shield without tools – so you can swap it out for a different shield or take it off after a ride to easily clean it.

Or you might want to take it off so you can fit a Pinlock anti-fog insert. If you live somewhere cold/wet/humid, you’re gonna need a system to stop your shield fogging up and a Pinlock, that attaches to the inside of your shield, is one of the best.

Striking graphics of the Rapid Deadbolt

Quite a few helmets come with a Pinlock in the box – including some at this price point (try using our smartish filters page to find them by clicking ‘budget helmets’ and ‘Pinlock’ which’ll bring up all the budget helmets that are either Pinlock ready or come with one in the box).

Most helmets come with shields that don’t claim to be optically correct and do a fine job. But if the choice is between having an optically correct shield or one that ain’t, then it’s optically correct every time. And that’s a decent extra for a cheaper helmet.

Other than that, the shield’s got a single central opening tab at the bottom of the shield – which should be fine for quickly finding and opening your shield.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Obviously, the LS2 Rapid is a budget helmet so you probably shouldn’t expect it to be the last word in comfort.

But having said that, it’s got much of the stuff you should look out for in any helmet – including much more costly lids.

The internals are removable and washable and are made from breathable and hypoallergenic fabrics.

This one’s the LS2 Rapid Crypt in black & white

That fabric is overlayed onto 3D laser cut foam which is kinda the benchmark in tailoring the foam to fit the contours of your face. That’s good, but word is that you should probably expect the materials used in the Rapid to be a bit cheaper and slightly less durable than more expensive helmets – but that’s probably no surprise, right?

The Rapid’s been designed to suit medium oval heads, but is possibly a bit rounder than the average medium oval. If you’re not sure if that’d work for you, you might want to make sure you buy from a helmet retailer who’ll accept refunds/swaps without fuss (like all our recommended retailers do).

One thing that’s notable with the Rapid though: it’s a lower priced helmet but LS2 has managed to make it a very lightweight helmet (for a thermoplastic helmet that is). In fact, by our reckoning it’s about the average weight for a full on carbon fiber helmet which is pretty astounding!

No tired necks after a day’s riding with the Rapid then!

Looks & Graphics

OK, so what graphics can you buy your new Rapid in?

Obv there’s the usual suspects – blacks, whites, greys. But there’s also a fancy lady version – the Poppies (see top image). I say it’s for ladies mainly because that’s the way helmet makers still seem to think. Bung one out there with pink flowers on and that’s it for a helmet that’ll appeal to the ladies! Job done. Sheesh.

There’s also the Crypt design, the Caraborace, Deadbolt, Grid and a hi-viz Carrera. Check em out up and down the page – or click through below to find the latest designs and deals at our trusted retailers.

Best places to buy an LS2 Rapid?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Rapid helmets pages at two of our recommended stores and Amazon – both 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 Rapid Video

Here’s a 4m video taking you round the most important features of the LS2 Rapid.

Other stuff – audio, chin curtain, warranty

You’ll find a couple of speaker pockets inside the Rapid – vital if you’re wanting to fit a comms system. You’ll also find a breath guard and chin curtain in there – good for helping stop your shield fogging up and keeping wind out from below.

And should something go wrong with your Rapid, most LS2s – including the Rapid – come with a 2 year warranty.

Plain matt black’s always a popular choice.


If you’re looking for a helmet that’ll work for your daily commute as well as for longer blasts, then it looks like LS2 has managed to produce a decent helmet that offers great value for money.

The Rapid is super light weight, has an optically correct, Pinlock ready shield and offers stacks of features that serious riders look for in their helmets – including quick release shield, speaker pockets and removable inner.

If you’re looking for a good all rounder, work-horse sort of helmet and if you like value for money (and at this price point you don’t expect the world) then the LS2 Rapid could be a decent buy.

Only, the big sticking point is that the UK version of the Rapid didn’t score too well when tested for safety by SHARP (scoring 2 out of 5 stars). In our opinion, that’s a good reason to pass on the Rapid and check out our 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/sportsbike/track helmets.

Good Alternatives to the LS2 Rapid

OK, so you’re after a lower-priced helmet that’s been tested for safety and come out glowing, then check out these bad boys. Most cost a bit more than the Rapid, but then most helmets do!

First up, there’s the Scorpion Exo R710. That’s a Snell tested/certified fiberglass full face helmet that’s super light, just like the Rapid, and is great value for money.

Next, there’s the Shark Ridill – this is Shark’s entry-level all rounder helmet that’s been awarded 4 stars by SHARP. It’s also got a drop down sun visor too and scores well in just about every respect. A banging helmet.

There’s also the AGV K3 SV – that’s SHARP 4 star safety rated helmet from one of the safest helmet brands around. It’s got an integral sun visor too, plus it comes with a Pinlock antifog in the box.

Looking to buy an LS2 Rapid?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Rapid helmets pages at two of our recommended stores and Amazon – both 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

Other full face helmets

There are loads of great alternative full face crash helmets. You can check out our Top 10 full-face crash helmets list to see our best rated helmets. And we also recommend you take a look at all our full face crash helmet previews and reviews as well as 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.


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