LS2 Subverter Evo review: a great value mega-venting motocross helmet.

LS2-Subverter-featured

LS2 Subverter off road dirt motorcycle helmet review.

The LS2 Subrverter Evo is LS2’s top-line dirt/motocross helmet. Which is not to say it’s an expensive helmet, because it’s not. LS2 are known for their affordable helmets and the Suberter’s no exception.

ls2 Subverter Evo Cargo blue fluo orange ece helmet rear view
Rear view of the Subverter Evo Cargo helmet

That means it’s got a thermoplastic shell and it’s maybe built to a lower budget than some other dirt helmets.

So, it’s lower priced but is it still worth the money? I mean a bucket’s lower priced too, but you wouldn’t want to put it on your head and ride!

Read on to find what the LS2 Subverter offers and what owners think of their helmet – great things and not so great things alike.

  • Thermoplastic Motocross Helmet
  • Double D ring fastener
  • 3 Shell sizes
  • Fitment sizes XS-XXXL
  • Longer oval fitment
  • Expect to pay $200-$230

Looking to buy an LS2 Subverter Evo?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Subverter Evo 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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US v European Subverter Evo

OK the first thing to say about the LS2 Subverter is that it’s very much a different helmet depending on where you live. The US Subverter Evo is heavier, has crumple zones, AREM internals and comes with a 5 year warranty. The Eu version, well, doesn’t.

So, if you live in Europe, check out the review on our UK site because that’ll be much more relevant to you.

Or read on to hear more about the US Subverter Evo.

Overall/Summary

If you’re looking for a no nonsense motocross helmet that vents properly well and can be bought for around a couple hundred dollars, then you’ve probably found it.

ls2 MX700 Subverter 76 motocross helmet top view
From the top – the LS2 Subverter Evo in 76 graphics

While some LS2s have been Snell certified, the Subverter Series isn’t. Still, with its multidensity, EQRS, AREM liner with crumple zones, safety’s looking promising on the Subverter Evo.

It’s got a useful and well designed peak too – and with that wide goggles hole, it seems to fit more or less every model of goggle on the market.

It’s known for being comfortable as well, and it’s reasonably light weight – though with all those vent holes it’s noisy too.

But if you’re after a great value and very well venting motocross helmet, then definitely take a look at the LS2 Subverter Evo.

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

The LS2 Subverter is a thermoplastic shelled helmet. LS2 calls their plastic shells KPA or Kinetic Polymer Alloy which sounds more like marketing speak to me, tho it’s hard to tell.

ls2 MX700 Subverter 76 motocross helmet side view
The 76 graphic LS2 Subeverter EVO from the back.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with a plastic shelled helmets as there are several that have been Snell certified or scored 5 stars in the SHARP helmet safety tests. So we know they can be great, protective helmets – just that LS2 doesn’t seem to give much info away to prove their helmets protect.

It’s good to see that they make their Subverter Evo helmet in 3 shell sizes though – that’s great for optimizing safety, fit, looks and comfort. And 3 shell sizes is a good number for what is a pretty cheap helmet.

And it comes with EQRS quick release cheek pads (essential in a dirt helmet we’d argue) and there’s a multidensity shock absorbing liner in there too – that’s great to see as well.

They use a good old fashioned double-d ring fastener to keep it on your head, which is fine if a bit fiddly.

And if you’re worried about riding in a helmet with a peak – because they look like they could cause trouble if you hit the deck – well that peak is hyper flexible so it should ‘give’ and snap if you take a spill rather than dig in and cause problems.

solid gloss white ls2 subverter Evo top down view
Solid white Subverter Evo.

Other than that, we know it’s both DOT and ECE certified. But that’s about it… other than to look at past SHARP test data for testing on ECE helmets.

On that front, LS2 has a mixed bag of ratings for their plastic helmets.

They can score as high as four stars (out of five) but they also score as low as two stars. And over time, their average star rating for all their thermoplastic and polycarbonate helmets is just over 3 star rating.

So i guess that’s around the level of protection we’d expect the Subverter Evo to offer if SHARP were to test it (if they ever do, we’ll add the results here).

However, there’s more to the US LS2 Subverter helmet than meets the eye.

The older version used to pack a MIPS liner in there. With the Subverter Evo, LS2’s included their own version (I guess with MIPS they have to pay a licensing cost, right?). LS2’s version is called Advanced Rotational Energy Management or AREM.

It’s one of those systems that are designed to give the helmet a degree of independent movement to try and limit rotational forces being passed through to the rider’s head under impact.

They seem to be a great move for safety – though, interestingly, we’ve yet to see independent test data to support the fact that they will in fact improve protection and limit injuries.

ls2 MX700 Subverter cargo matte military green side view
This one’s the Cargo graphics Subverter Evo

Still, it’s good that LS2’s commiting to try and make their helmets better protecting. And if you’re a believer, then it’s great to see this sort of feature built in to a lower priced lid.

LS2 also say that the Subverter has ‘crumple zones’ in the EPS liner too. I could be entirely wrong, but that ‘feature’ has more than a whiff of some bright spark in marketing thinking ‘hey, we’ve got ventilation channels cut in the liner, let’s call them crumple zones too’.

Still, you’d hope that LS2’s seen that they do act as crumple zones when they’re testing on their own rigs and, who knows, they might make a difference?

All in all though, it does look like LS2 has made a major effort to make the Subverter a well protecting helmet, with some features you’d be looking at paying double for with other brands.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

I guess a large proportion of motocross riders either wear ear plugs in their helmets or don’t really give a s**t about noise suppression because – hey, you’re on a noisy dirt bike, what does noise matter?

But if you are bothered about your motocross helmet being quiet you should probably look elsewhere because from all the views we found on the subject, it seems the LS2 Subverter Evo is widely regarded as a noisy helmet.

Which is kinda obvious because there’s so many damn holes in there to let air in – and guess what? It lets a ton of noise in too.

Check our quietest helmets page if riding in silence is your thing.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

One thing serious motocross riders do need is a good venting helmet. Standing up is tiring at the best of times (personally, I try and avoid it as much as I can!), so jumping around on a dirt bike covered in clobber is really going to make you get a sweat on, right?

solid gloss white ls2 subverter Evo rear view
Gloss white version shows up the masses of ventilation panels nicely.

LS2 obviously knows this (they sponsor Supercross and Dakar riders) so they’ve literally smothered the Subverter Evo in vent holes.

So, not only have you got that gaping big hole that you’ll probably fill with goggles and face, but there’s plenty of venting in the chin bar as well as vent holes running over the crown and around the back of the helmet.

Those vents are married to holes in the shell to let air through. And even though there’s not really equivalently massive holes in the comfort liner to let that air through, according to Subverter Evo owners, the venting’s excellent.

Even riding in the heat of summer, you can really feel that cooling air flowing around the helmet – so much so that more than a couple of owners who use their Subverters on dusty tracks reckon you can get quite a bit of that dust onto your hair.

So, if you’re after a well venting motocross helmet, then you’ve certainly found it.

Peak and goggles

ls2 MX700 Subverter Gammax side view
That’s a massive space for goggles. LS2 Subverter in Gammax graphics.

The peak on the Subverter Evo seems to be pretty well designed. It’s adjustable and there’s notches in the adjustment to ensure it stays put.

Like most motocross helmets these days, LS2’s put some thought into the aero of that peak too and put some holes in there to reduce lifting. That seems to work OK but a couple of riders reckoned it does compromise its ability to block out the sun quite a bit.


A couple of useful links…

Adventure bike helmets
Every motocross helmet we’ve looked at


What’s universally liked is the space for goggles in the Subverter. It’s a massive space. And we found quite a few riders commenting on a whole range of Scott, Oakley, 100% and Leatt goggles that fit in there without a problem.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

In the US, the LS2 Subverter’s advertised as a medium oval fitment helmet though lots of owners reckon it’s definitely longer than your typical medium oval helmet and probably more of a long oval fit.

And there’s quite a few owners reckoning that it sizes a bit small – so if you’re between sizes or unsure, it’s probably worth opting for a size up.

solid matte black ls2 subverter Evo below view
Matt black version. Note exhaust vents around the bottom neck roll too.

The liner inside the Subverter Evo’s removable, washable and hypoallergenic.

And overall, the Subverter’s widely regarded as a very comfortable helmet, so no problems there.

A few owners commented that the chin bar looks huge on the outside, but on the inside it actually fits quite close to your mouth. So, if you’re looking to fit a microphone or have a particularly jutty-out jaw, you might struggle a bit.

Of course, it’s a motocross helmet so if you do some serious offroading, then you’ll probably want to rip out the liner and wash it from time to time. Which is all well and good… except a few owners we found were really moaning about how difficult/impossible it was to get the liner back in afterwards.

So be warned – disassemble carefully, wash gently, and take note of how it goes back in (or maybe just leave it in there and smell a bit!).

Looks & Graphics

As you can probably see from some of the helmets scattered up and down the page, LS2 hasn’t really gone for shy and retiring graphics on the outside. Thankfully they have one the inside (some pre-Evo Subverter helmets were criticised for having light color internals which seemed to be designed to pick up show every bit of muck you rode on!).

ls2 Subverter Evo Rascal ECE helmet side view
LS2 Subverter Evo in Rascal design.

If you’re after a plain color Subverter, you can get a plain white and matt black. If you’re after a graphic, they tend to be around $20 more and there’s Rascal, Stomp, Arched, Astro, Gammax and Cargo graphics to choose from.

And they’re just the designs available at the time of writing. LS2 just can’t help themselves making more and more graphics available, so to see the latest, please click the links below that’ll drop you straight onto their Subverter Evo helmets pages (if we’ve done it right!)

Best places to buy an LS2 Subverter Evo?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Subverter Evo 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 Suberter Evo Video

Here’s an 8m look around the US sped Subverter Evo.

Other stuff – weight, build quality, warranty

The US spec LS2 Subverter Evo weighs in around 3.5lbs (1.6Kg) which is reasonably weighty for a dirt helmet though certainly a manageable weight.

solid matte black ls2 subverter Evo rear view
Rear view of the Subverter Evo.

Onto quality; the subverter’s a lower cost motocross helmet. So, as long as you’re not expecting hand-built levels of quality, it’s pretty well put together, with a few owners commenting that for the price, it’s hard to beat.

Another difference between the US and Eu spec Subverter Evo is that whereas Europe gets a 2 year warranty, the US helmet comes with a 5 year warranty!

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 Subverter Evo?

If you’re looking for a new motocross helmet, please check out our motocross helmet reviews pages. Or maybe take a look at one of these beauties…

Shoei VFX-WR

The Shoei VFX-Evo is a well regarded motocross helmet. It’s got Shoei’s version of rotation protection, it’s got a composite fiber shell and is one of the highest regarded dirt helmets out there. It’s not cheap though.

bell-moto-9-crash-helmet-yellow-camo-side-view
Bell Moto-9

Bell’s Moto9 comes in non Flex and Flex versions (Flex is Bell’s own rotation protection system). Both helmets are composite fiber helmets and are well rated for ventilation and comfort.

Airoh-Twist-black-front
Airoh Twist

For around a similar price to the Subverter is Airoh’s Twist. It’s lighter weight too.

Looking to buy an LS2 Subverter Evo?

Please click below to visit the LS2 Subverter Evo 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

Star Ratings

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