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X-Lite 802RR Ultra Carbon | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

THE X-LITE SERIES is Nolan’s top-of-the-range helmet line, and the 802RR Ultra Carbon sits at the top of the X-Lite tree. In other words, you can’t buy better from Nolan.

The original plan was to use my striking black and green X-Lite 802RR for racing, but I soon discovered it’s more comfortable than any other sports-style road helmet I owned, so now it’s now my everyday lid, and it’s a keeper.

The naked carbon-fibre look of the Puro design may not be to everyone’s liking, so for those wanting a bit of colour in their life, there’s a Casey Stoner replica version and the interestingly named Marquetry scheme, which adds a dash of colour while allowing the carbon-fibre look to remain the star.

We liked

As the name suggests, the X-Lite is light. When it arrived, it was hard to believe there was a helmet inside the box. The sticker on the back of the helmet claims a 1390g weight; my scales have it at 1400g with the visor.

Being a race-style helmet, it has tight cheek pads. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need the next size up – a snug fit is a correct fit. This stops the helmet moving around when you stick your head above the bubble when travelling at 200km/h on the track.

Vents on the chin and forehead are easy to open with a gloved hand, and help keep the visor fog-free. It also has two small flip-up vent points on top to force air into the helmet.

There is a large exhaust port at the rear that uses airflow to extract warm air. The rear extraction vent is fitted with an adjustable spoiler to reduce wind buffeting and helmet lift.

The groovy green liner is easy to remove and reinstall – as is the visor. It’s also Pinlock ready, and you receive a Pinlock visor shield with the helmet.

We didn’t like

Tough to fault this helmet, and this is more of a note for people with short foreheads like me… When I got into a race tuck my vision was slightly obstructed by the brow line of the visor opening. I have this problem with many helmets, incidentally. For the road, it’s not an issue.

The visor has a tab in the centre of the bottom lip so you can lift it with a gloved hand, which is great, but there is no final click that allows you to have it open a little. There are visor locking mechanisms on each side of the visor which I’m still getting used to.

The X-Lite is not fitted with the emergency cheek pad removal system popular with other race helmets.

Verdict

The X-Lite 802RR Ultra Carbon is a helmet you admire every time you take it out of the bag, and it is super comfortable. It’s mainly designed for racing, but the shape is not overly aggressive, so it will look good on most roadbikes. Due to its slanting race design with a high-cut back, you may need a neck sock in the cooler months to keep the back of your neck warm.

I’m still discovering little features about the X-Lite that show the effort put into its design. I have also fitted a tinted visor that makes my head look like a stealth bomber.     

PROS

  • Looks
  • Fit
  • Comfort

CONS

  • Visor won’t stay open
  • No emergency cheek-pad release

RRP from $749.95

Colours Carbon Replica, Puro, Marquetry

Sizes: XSM–XXL

Ron Angel Wholesale  (03) 9464 3366  ronangel.com.au

By CHRIS DOBIE