X-Lite X-661 Motorcycle helmet review

The X-661, X-Lite’s entry-level touring motorcycle helmet

The X-Lite X-661 is X-lite’s entry-level touring full face helmet.

That means it’s designed to work best in a more upright riding position and should be suitable for long distances in all conditions – as well as working well with your bluetooth. Nolan’s also said it’s made to be simple and versatile to use – so don’t expect too many bells and whistles or advanced features to come with the X-661.

With that in mind, here’s a ton of information about the X-Lite X-661 including what owners think of theirs, all to help you decide if it’s worth adding one to your shortlist of helmets when you’re in the market for a new helmet.

Looking to buy this X-Lite?

This X-Lite doesn't seem to be sold in US stores. So if you're interested in buying one, we recommend SportsBikeShop (UK) for outstanding service and good shipping rates. Or you can check out Amazon UK, though check each seller's reviews and shipping rates before ordering. Please click either link to drop to their X-Lite helmets pages (but note you'll have to pay extra for shipping and import duty and European helmets don't come DOT certified for use in mandatory helmet law states). See information about our recommended stores.

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X-661 in Slipstream graphics

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

The X-Lite X-661 has been tested by the helmet testing labs at SHARP and scored an impressive 4 stars (out of 5). Which means it should give you excellent protection if you have an off. Read how SHARP tests its helmets here.

It’s got a composite fiber shell, which should mean it’s reasonably light yet strong – and indeed it is a smidge lighter than your typical full face helmet, weighing in at around 3.2lbs (1.4Kg).

It’s secured to your head using an old-style double-d ring fastener. They’re not as simple to use as a micrometric fastener until you get used to them, but they’re safe as houses and if done up correctly, should keep the helmet secure on your head whatever happens on the road.

The X-Lite X-661 also has a drop down sun visor and the visor itself is Pinlock-ready and comes with a Pinlock insert in the box – which is great because it’s one of the best ways to keep your shield mist-free and your vision clear.

That composite helmet shell is manufactured in three different shell sizes too. That’s great for both fitment and for safety (click the link to find out more).

All in all, while it’s not the absolute best in terms of safety (go for a SHARP 5 star helmet if you want to be sure of that) the X-Lite X-661 has a stack of features that mean it’ll should give you great protection on the road – all backed by the comfort of knowing you’re wearing a helmet that’s done well in the SHARP helmet test.

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rear view of the X-Lite X-661 Honeycomb showing rear spoiler and exhaust vents

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

Making a motorcycle helmet that’s quiet seems to be a bit of a black art – read the link above to find out why.

Stuff like quality aero, well designed vents and comfort liner all contribute to making a helmet that’s quiet.

All of which are something the X-Lite seemingly does well, because all the reviewers we came across said the X-Lite X-661 is a pretty quiet helmet.

The X-661 has a single chin vent in the chin bar and two separate vents up on top of the helmet. They’re all closeable with sliders/switches and reportedly easy to use in gloves.

At the back of the helmet, there’s a small spoiler with exhaust vents underneath to extract air out of the back of the helmet.

It’s a reasonably standard configuration of vents that you’ll find on most helmets these days and it works pretty well by all accounts.

Shield

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Matt black X-661 Start showing wide, Pinlock main shield and sun visor

The shield on the X-661 is what X-Lite calls its dual-action shield.

This simply means that rather than the shield just moving up and down, the closing mechanism pulls the shield back towards the shield seal at the same time, making a tight seal at the gasket and stopping water/air ingress.

It’s also a quick-release shield and is wider than the average shield to help improve peripheral vision. That quick release system is reportedly one of the best – just open the shield, press the button in the centre of the pivot and out pops the shield. A quick release shield is a must on a helmet these days to let you whip it off quickly for cleaning or swapping out.

And to keep it from misting, X-Lite has also made it Pinlock anti-fog ready and include a Pinlock insert in the box. That’s $20-$30’s worth of Pinlock free in the box which is great and something I look for in any helmet I buy these days.

The X-661 also has a drop down internal sun visor – operated from a slider on the left hand side of the helmet. It’s a friction-based system which means you can lower the sun visor to any point you like – not just fully up or fully down like some systems. Nolan claim it’s UV400 too (that’s the best UV protection standard) and it’s also scratch/fog resistant.

Comfort & Sizing

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Inside view of the X-661 showing neck roll and chin curtain

The X-Lite X-661 is available in fitment sizes XXS – XXL with the three different helmet shell sizes covering XXS-S, M-L, then XL-XXL. That should give you just the right size helmet and correct proportion of padding to make the helmet fit right, look right and work right. Word is that the sizing of the X-661 is about right, so follow our helmet fitting guide then order the correct size.

Inside, there’s a removable/washable interior with removable pockets in the polystyrene lining for bluetooth speakers.

Like most X-Lite helmets, comfort is supposed to be excellent with lots of owners saying it’s fine to do a full day’s tour wearing an X-661 (obviously providing you get the right fit in the first place).

Looks & Graphics

There’s a range of graphics available for the X-Lite X-661.

Apart from the usual plain solid designs which X-Lite calls its Start range that comes in gloss black or metal white (white gloss) or Flat black (matt black version) there’s a super cool weave/titanium version called the Extreme Titantech (see top image and below). That’s the usual composite helmet with a layer of carbon fiber which has then been treated to a titanium coat to make what I’m sure you’ll agree is a pretty eye-catching helmet.

If you like that titanium effect, there’s four options of the Titantech to choose from.

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Rear view of the stunning Titantech X-661

Other than that, there’s the Slipstream (in blue, grey, red or green) the Honeycomb (in white, pink or or yellow).

And as always, makers are always bringing out new designs so to check them out and to see their latest X-Lite deals, please click through the links below to our recommended retailers (the links will take you to their X-Lite helmets pages). Nice one.

Best place to buy this X-Lite crash helmet?

This X-Lite doesn't seem to be sold in US stores, so here's a couple of places in Europe you can buy one from. But don't forget that helmets bought from Europe won't be DOT certified for legal use in mandatory helmet states.

SportsBikeShop are based in the UK, have really competitive prices (they'll price match too) and offer outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot) including 365 day refunds. Don't forget you'll have to pay for shipping and import duty from the UK though.

Or you can jump through to the X-Lite helmets pages at Amazon UK where some vendors will ship to the US - but make sure you only buy from the most reputable sellers.

Please click either picture/link to drop onto their X-Lite helmets pages. And if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site). Click here for more info on our recommended retailers.

Buy X-Lite from SportsbikeshopShop for X-Lite helmets at Amazon

Click above to drop onto their X-Lite helmets pages or *quick view store T&Cs here.

X-Lite X-661 helmet video

Here’s a 2.40m video giving you a taste of the X-Lite X-661 Titantech (the one in the vid is the Flat Titanium).

Other stuff – audio, build quality, warranty

All X-661s are X-Lite N-Com bluetooth communicator ready (you’ll notice when you’re looking at X-Lite helmets in stores that they’re sometimes called N-Com which simply denotes that they’re N-Com system-ready). That means there’s space to take all the N-Com gear – speakers, mic and electronics – and fit it neatly onto the helmet. Having said that, the helmet also works pretty well with 3rd party communicators with owners of a Sena SMH10 and a Sena 20S both saying it fitted just fine.

Build quality of the X-661 is reported to be very good and the helmet comes with a full 5 years warranty (which is about as good as they come at the moment).

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This one’s the Honeycomb X-661 in black and white

Overall/Summary

X-Lite bill the X-661 as their entry-level touring helmet. That means you shouldn’t expect too many of the latest bells and whistles if you buy one. But what it does manage to do is cover all the essentials very well.

The shield system has everything you’ll need; including a Pinlock, a quick-release mechanism – and it’s nice and wide which is great for improved peripheral vision. There’s also a drop down sun visor (that’s a must for many of us these days) – the ventilation’s good and the internals are comfy. It’s even regarded as pretty quiet and has a very good SHARP 4 star safety rating (it’s made by X-Lite (part of the Nolan Group) who are our 3rd safest helmet brand at the time of writing so it’s kinda what we’d expect).

So, if you ride a more upright sort of bike (it’ll work with anything bar sportsbikes really as the shield opening won’t be tall enough) then the X-Lite X-661 is well trying out.

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 helmets.

Good Alternatives to the X-Lite X-661?

First off, take a look at the excellent HJC FG-ST. That’s a SHARP 5 star safety rated fiberglass full face lid with sun visor and Pinlock in the box, just like the X-Lite. It’s cheaper than the X-661 too.

If you’re on a (very) tight budget, then the LS2 Rookie is an amazing buy – a SHARP 4 star safety rated thermoplastic-shelled full face helmet with an optically-correct shield, all for less than a quarter of the X-Lite’s price.

Back towards the same price point as the X-661 is the AGV K5S – that’s a 4 star safety rated helmet made from a carbon/fiberglass composite, with a drop down sun visor. It’s loved for its great ventilation and comfort.

Finally, there’s another HJC – the good ole HJC IS-17. It might have been around a while but it’s a lovely SHARP 5 star rated polycarbonate helmet with Pinlock included that owners say packs a real punch in terms of features – all for much less than the X-661.

Definitely want an X-Lite?

Here you'll find all our X-Lite crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

Other full face helmets

There are loads of alternative full face crash helmets. You can check out our Top 10 full-face crash helmets list to see our best rated helmets. But we also recommend you take a look at all our full face crash helmet previews and reviews as well as our safest motorcycle helmets page where you'll only find helmets that are SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.

Star Ratings

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