Nolan N70-2 GT and X review: a hugely versatile and well loved modular helmet.

Nolan N70-2 GT and N70-2 X full face and adventure helmet reviews.

Italian helmet makers, Nolan, have become kings of the truly versatile helmet.

Like the Nolan N44 before it, the Nolan N70-2 family of helmets are incredibly flexible lids, offering you the ability to switch from full face to open face, with peak or without peak – and from road helmet to adventure helmet – all from one base helmet.

Nolan-N70-2-X-Decurio-orange-adventure-helmet-side-view
Nolan N70-2 X Decurio adventure-helmet

That’s one base helmet that comes in two flavors. There’s the GT road helmet and the X which is the adventure/off-road helmet.

But both are based on the same N70-2 shell and both feature removable chin guards – where the chin bars simply pull off rather than raise up like a regular modular helmet.

And both are designed to be ridden with or without that protective chin bar. It’s not really relevant to our DOT certified helmets, but in Europe it’s what’s called dual or P/J homologated which means they’re certified for use in both open face and full face configs.

So, given that it’s a mega flexible helmet, will that mean it’s a massive all-round compromise or can it really perform well in all its different guises?

As always, we’ll fill you in on all the features the helmet(s) offer as well as do all the leg work to research across the interweb and find out what owners love and loathe about their Nolan N70-2s.

Looking to buy a Nolan N70-2 GT or X?

Please click below to visit the Nolan N70-2 GT & X 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 Sports

Overall/Summary

The Nolan N70-2 GT and X are fantastic helmets that the vast majority of owners seem to really like. They reckon they’re comfortable with an amazingly large viewport giving a real sense of freedom.

Nolan N70-2 X black graphite helmet side view
Graphite N70-2 X

And many love the versatility of being able to convert their helmet between full face and open face – or even into an adventure helmet with the N70-2 X version.

There’s a couple of potential niggles (position of the fastener and sun visor return mechanism) and we’re not entirely sure how well it’d perform in an accident until it’s independently safety tested – though Nolans are usually a watchword for great protection.

But as day-to-day helmets, the Nolan N70-2s are great. You really can buy a single helmet that’ll work in all its guises. And, like most Nolans, it’s not going to break the bank and will give you great value for your money.

All in all – a bit quirky, yes. But both the N70-2 GT and N70-2 X are great helmets.

Nolan N70-2 X

Nolan-N70-2-X-adventure-bike-helmet-white-side-view
N70-2 X is the adventure helmet

The N70-2 X is the off-road, adventure style version of the N70-2. It comes with a more motocross style chin bar and that adjustable peak.

But because it’s based on the same basic helmet, it can also be converted to work as a road helmet (remove peak) or an open face (remove chin bar). And with its huge face shield space, it’ll also take pretty well any pair of goggles you can throw at it.

Told you they’re versatile!

Nolan N70-2 GT

Nolan-N70-2-GT-Bellavista-grey-yellow-helmet-side-view
Nolan N70-2 GT street helmet

The N70-2 is the road variant. It doesn’t come with a peak and the chin bar’s a bit more aerodynamic and road riding orientated.

Again, it’s quick to convert into an open face helmet by pulling off the chin bar.

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

Both N70-2s come in DOT (US) and ECE (Europe) versions – so, depending on where you buy yours, you’ll get the appropriate version.

Because it’s been ECE certified, that means it’s undergone full testing including that chin bar – which means the chin bar should provide all the protection of a full face.

Whether it does in practice is unknown, until it’s been independently tested by either Snell or SHARP.

But because neither N70-2 has been independently safety tested, all we can really look at is whether Nolan as a brand usually do well or not – to give us an idea of whether we can trust the N70-2 to protect us.

And the short answer is – yes, Nolans really do.

Nolan has never subjected their helmets to Snell testing. But when European versions of Nolan helmets have been SHARP tested, every single one of their lids since the beginning of time (OK, since the beginning of SHARP testing) has scored four stars out of five.

That’s hugely consistent and hugely impressive.

And the interesting thing is that every one of those tests, bar one, has been on a polycarbonate helmet – just like the N70-2s.

Nolan-N70-2-GT-Celeres-crossover-helmet-top-view
Top view of the N70-2 GT street helmet in Celeres graphics

Not only that, but every modular helmet’s chin bar has scored 100% – meaning it’s stayed locked and closed after every impact test.

So far, Nolan’s one of the safest brands to buy a modular helmet from.

Obviously, that doesn’t necessarily mean the N70-2 helmet will do just as well – or the DOT versions for that matter. But given the lack of data, it’s the best we can do.

OK, so that’s the Nolan N70-2’s impact protection capabilities looked at. But it also offers quite a bit to protect you in other ways.

First up, it’s got a massive hole for the face shield – that’s great for all round great vision including shoulder checks.

And it’s sold with a Pinlock antifog insert to stick on the back of your shield to keep it fog free. That’s well worth having because you’ll find your visor fogging without one.

There’s also space to fit Nolan’s emergency stop light system (ESS) if you fancy having a brake light flashing on the back of your lid for extra safety. That’ll cost extra – and if it’s something you want ask whoever you buy it off before you buy as they’re not widely sold and they may have to go to the distributor to source one.

Nolan-N70-2-X-adventure-helmet-micrometric-2-fastener
Micrometric 2 strap

Finally, the N70-2 is fastened using a micrometric 2 fastener. That’s the version with the double-tab opening system for extra security.

See comfort section below for more info about how it might not be ideal for some riders – though in security terms it should be absolutely great.

If you buy a helmet with a micrometric fastener, always make sure you occasionally adjust the strap (not just the ratchet strip) as the strap stretches slightly over time.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

Noisy helmets can be a real nuisance and there’s plenty of folks around who’ve junked helmets because they’re a pain to live with.

Nolan-N70-2-X-Grandes-Alpes-crash-helmet-rear-view
N70-2 X Grandes Alpes

Modular helmets can be particularly prone to noise – mostly because they have space at the sides to accommodate the chin bar mechanism and that lets noise in.

But of course the N70-2s aren’t your usual modulars and don’t have regular flip-up modular chin bars.

So how does a Nolan N70-2 rate for noise?

Well, we did hear from owners who thought it was noisy. But most seem to think it’s not particularly noisy and several thought it’s a particularly quiet helmet.

Obviously, you’re perception will vary depending on the speed you tend to ride and style of bike etc. etc. but overall it seems it’s above average for noise suppression.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

The Nolan N70-2 has a single chin bar vent and three forehead vents. They’re all closable using sliders that are easy to find – though there’s three to have to locate on the top so they’re probably a bit fiddly to find/use on the move.

Nolan-N70-2-X-helmet-top-ventilation-view
Ventilation to the top of the helmet on the N70-2 X (though all versions have three top vents)

The chin bar vent takes air around the mouth as well as on to the back of the shield.

And the top vents take air through the helmet shell and into a couple of internal air channels as well as through lots of holes in the liner that delivers air onto the head.

The internal comfort liner has several cut aways as well as lots of perforations in the fabric to help increase internal venting.

And the great news is that overall, N70-2 owners say the venting’s excellent. Even in hot weather, gallons of air gets through to keep you cool. Plus there’s a reasonable amount of air gets onto the back of the shield to help with de-fogging. Though you’ll need to install the Pinlock to really keep things clear.

A few riders commented that although it comes with a chin curtain, quite a bit of air can come up from below the helmet which helps with venting in the summer, though it could be a nuisance if you ride through the winter.

But overall, air flow is excellent in both versions of the N70-2.

Face Shield

(more about shields)

One of the main features that owners praise the Nolan N70-2 is for its massive shield.

Nolan-N70-2-X-adventure-helmet-no-face-shield-side-view
Plain black N70-2 X showing that huge viewport

Loads of owners said it’s like riding with a 3/4 helmet or that it feels like you’re not wearing a helmet at all!

But it’s not just the huge field of view that’s liked.

It’s a quick release shield and the release system is super easy to use.

It has a single central opening tab – so you should be able to open it with both hands equally easily. And it works on a ratchet – with a couple of owners saying the pre-set ratchet opening steps are spot on.


A couple of useful links…

All our adventure helmet reviews
Top 10 modulars


And of course, Nolan sells both versions of the N70-2 with a Pinlock in the box. Actually, and uniquely among helmet companies, Nolan pre-installs their Pinlocks onto the shield so you don’t have to fiddle about with it when you pull it out of the box – which is nice.

It also means you’re sorted for a top-quality anti-fog solution as soon as you get it out of the box. If you’re new to riding or helmets and you ride somewhere it rains or gets cold (or humid), then you need a quality anti-fog – and Pinlocks are about as good as they get.

But note: digging around on the Nolan website it appears the Nolan Special N-com versions of the N70-2 don’t come with a Pinlock. Not sure why, and all others do – including the plain Classic versions – so beware and double check when you order.

Overall though, the shield system’s spot-on. And if you like the idea of wearing a helmet that makes you feel like it’s not there, then the sheer size of the shield opening on the N70-2 really delivers.

Sun Visor

(more about sun visors)

There’s an internal sun visor on the N70-2 as well – operated by a slider on the bottom edge of the helmet (on the left).

Nolan-N70-2-GT-street-helmet-hi-viz-yellow-side-view
Hi Viz yellow Nolan N70-2 GT. Note sun visor slider on bottom edge of helmet

It clicks into 3 positions on the way down – though I guess most of us will simply push it fully down in one go. And there’s a button on the bottom to activate the spring-loaded return mechanism which springs the sun visor back up.

While it might work well on a new helmet, spring-loaded mechanisms have a habit of tiring out quite quickly. That means you can end up with a lethargic return mechanism that really gets on your nerves by not quite retracting the visor fully – and you then have to open your shield to push it up that last bit.

And that’s what a few owners have reported so beware.

It’s probably not deal-breaker and very much a first world problem – but if you use the sun visor lots it may well happen.

On the plus side, it’s said to be optically very good (like the main shield), has a smooth action and comes down low enough – unlike some sun visors that leave an uncovered stripe of bright light across the bottom of your vision.

Finally, and like all shields (main and sun visors) the sun visor’s made from polycarbonate so should shield you from 95%+ of UV rays by default. Usefully, Nolan quotes that the sun visor’s actually UV 400 on both N70-2s so that should filter 99% of both UVA and UVB.

Peak/Roost Guard

The Peak on the Nolan N70-2 X adventure helmet is removable and adjustable.

Nolan-N70-2-X-Decurio-N-com-adventure-helmet-top-view
Peak on the N70-2 X Decurio – adjustable and easily removable

According to several owners it’s got very good aero properties too – creating very little lift and buffeting, at sensible speeds at any rate.

It’s easy to remove too; a couple of half-turn thumb screws, one on each side, and a removable plastic screw up top and the peak pops off. And it’s equally easy to replace.

And if you do take it off for a while, maybe when you’re road riding, Nolan provides blanking plates in the box to fill up the holes.

If you buy the N70-2 GT, you can buy a similar peak as an extra for $20-$30 but it doesn’t come in the box.

Chin Guard

(more about chin guards)

The protective chin bars on both versions look slightly different – the N70-2 X is motocross style whereas the GT’s chin bar is more road helmet style – but both attach and detach in the same way.

Nolan N70-2 GT helmet removing chin bar
Chin bar easily pulls off to convert both helmets into open face

It’s simply a case of opening the shield, then pressing down both plastic buttons on the top of the chin bar to release the locks – then pulling off the chin guard.

It’s easy to do according to owners but does require two hands. And if you do it while wearing the helmet and you’ve a wider face, a couple of owners said they had problems lining up the chin bar to push it home.

But other than that, it’s all good.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

The liner inside both helmets is the same Clima Comfort liner. That’s a perforated fabric that helps with air circulation and is moisture-wicking. And reports are that’s nice and soft to the touch.

It’s fully removable and washable and features an adjustable (and detachable) bottom neck roll which you can tighten up to reduce the amount of noise/air entering the helmet by using a pair of draw strings (see picture below).

Nolan-N70-2-GT-Celeres-helmet-rear-view
Rear view of the GT in Celeres graphics

The whole liner is one-piece, including integrated chin strap pads. They’re usually a good thing to help make the strap nice and comfy. But, despite having generous padding, several owners complained about how large the micrometric 2 fastener body is and/or how far back the strap’s mounted.

The bottom line for several owners is that it pulls into the adams apple and can be really uncomfortable.

It’s something we’ve heard in relation to a few helmets in the past. Not all owners complained about it by any means, but if it’s something you’re either sensitive about or prone to, it sounds like it could be a potential issue with the N70-2 so be warned – and buy from a retailer who’ll take returns without any hassle.

The overall internal headshape of both N70-2s is medium oval (should fit most of us) and it’s available in sizes XXS-XXXL.

Most owners say the sizing’s true; so measure your head and order the correct size. Though note, both helmets are only made in two shell sizes with one shell covering XXS-M and another sizes L-XXXL).

So if you’re a size large, you’re getting the same shell size as someone who’s an XXXL and that can make the helmet seem overly big on you.

Nolan N70-2 GT internals
Inside the N70-2. Note draw strings on neck roll.

In fact a couple of owners say their helmets make them feel like a bobble head – so if that concerns you and you’re at the bottom end of each shell size, you might want to give the helmet a miss.

Other than these couple of niggles, Nolan N70-2 owners are pretty well universally in agreement that it’s a super comfortable helmet that gives a nice snug fit and uses high quality and soft materials.

Looks & Graphics

Both the GT and the X come in the usual plain versions – gloss and matt blacks and whites – and the GT comes in a Hi Visibility yellow version too.

At the time of writing, there’s a couple of graphics available for the N70-2 GT – the Celeres (in five colorways) and the Bellavista (in eight colorways).

For the N70-2 X there’s the Decurio (six colorways) and Grandes Alpes (seven).

If you don’t like any of the designs you’ve seen on this page, it’s quite possible Nolan’s launched new designs since we wrote the review. You should be able to find them if you click through to our recommended online stores using the links below.

Best places to buy a Nolan N70-2 GT or X helmet?

Please click below to visit the Nolan N70-2 GT & X 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 Sports

Nolan N70-2 Video

Here’s a 10m look around the Nolan N70-2 X in Grandes Alpes (black, white, red) graphics.

Other stuff – audio, weight, glasses, aero, buffeting, warranty

Modular helmets are notoriously tricky to mount comms units on because the opening chin bar and sun visor switch often get in the way. Both Nolan N70-2s come ready to accept Nolan’s N-Com communicator so if you’re looking for a helmet/comms combo, you should be sorted with an N70-2.

Nolan N70-2 GT flat graphite grey helmet side view
Graphite version of the N70-2 GT

Most of us will want to use a 3rd party bluetooth system though, and the word from owners is that it should accept most kits. One owner fitted his Interphone easily as did another with a Packtalk – with one commenting it’s got nice large speaker pockets.

Neither N70-2 model is particularly light weight. Most modulars are a bit more weighty than their full face counterparts of course, and both Nolans average out at about 3.9lbs (1.75Kg) which is definitely on the weightier side.

And while a couple of owners said it feels a little heavy, most others reckoned it’s fine. And looking at the stats where the average modular weighs almost 3.75lbs (1.7kgs) it is only a couple of ounces heavier so shouldn’t be a problem for most riders.

Neither should wearing glasses in the helmet because we’ve heard of riders wearing glasses and shades and both saying there’s decent room in there behind the sun screen as well as at the sides.

If you’re thinking of buying the X version of the N70-2 and you’re worried about aero and that peak, we’ve heard from several owners who say aero’s great. Also GT owners say their helmets feel streamlined too without buffeting.

Finally, all Nolan helmets come with a standard two year warranty but that can be extended to 5 years if you register on their website.

Looking to buy a Nolan N70-2 GT or X?

Please click below to visit the Nolan N70-2 GT & X 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 Sports

Good Alternatives to the Nolan N70-2?

OK, here’s a bunch of great alternatives to the N70-2s – some more traditional modulars as well as other versatile modulars. Note: Snell hasn’t certified any modular helmets to date so we’re suggesting some helmets that’ve scored well for safety in the ECE SHARP helmet test.

Nolan N40-5 GT

First up, we’ve got to mention the Nolan N40-5 GT which, like the N70-2s, allows you to remove the chin bar for a proper jet helmet experience. They’re cheaper than the N70-2s but give you that huge viewport and are known for being really comfortable helmets.

AGV Numo Evo ST Portland helmet front view
AGV Numo Evo ST Portland.

For a more regular style modular, the AGV Numo Evo ST is a dual-homologated, SHARP 4 star safety rated helmet (with 100% chin bar) that comes with a Pinlock in the box.

shark-evo-one-2-slasher-anthracite-motorcycle-helmet-side-view
Shark Evo-One 2 Slasher

We’ve also gotta mention the Shark Evo One 2. It’s a SHARP 4 star modular with chin bar that rotates to the back of the head – and comes with a Pinlock too.

agv-sport-modular-mono-carbon-black-motorcycle-crash-helmet
AGV Sport Modular Mono Carbon Black

Finally, if you’re after a modular helmet for your sportsbike, how about the AGV Sport Modular. It’s a SHARP 4 star rated modular designed for lean-forward riding. It’s light weight, has a pinlock and an optically-correct shield. Costs more than the Nolans though.

Other Modular Helmets

If you're after a new modular/flip-up helmet, they've never been more popular and there's a ton of choice out there. You can find our latest top 10 modular helmets list here or check out all our modular helmet reviews here. You can also visit our smart filters page where you can click the flip-up/modular check box then choose a few other features to find the best flip-up helmet for you.

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