Tour Reports
Not so long ago Louis Moto popped into my world and asked if I’d like to try some of their own brand gear. I love when I get offers like that as I’m a complete gear geek. While others are entertaining themselves watching some snoozefest on TV I’m typically glued to the Revzilla YouTube Channel getting my freak on watching each new bit of kit that comes to market. I don’t know how sad that makes me but feck it, each to their own and as long as I’m happy right?

 

Gear by Louis Moto – Reviews

 
So when Louis Moto very kindly sent me a long goodie list of gear they wanted me to test and review I felt about as excited as a teenager getting his first proper motorbike. I wish I had time to test everything but in the end I chose just 3 items, the Nishua Enduro Carbon, the Vanucci HiRider III Suit, and I also chose the Vanucci Lady VTB boots for the lady readers. I’m sure you will be relieved to hear the Vanucci Lady boots will be reviewed by my good wife and not me – they wouldn’t fit, I tried ;) Anyway, both the boots and the suit I’ll review at a later stage once we get a few more miles on them.


Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet
In Review »
Vanucci HiRider 3 Suit
Vanucci HiRider III Suit
Review coming soon
Vanucci Lady VTB Boots
Vanucci Lady VTB Boots
Review coming soon

 

About Louis Moto Brands

 
The first thing, or surprise that went through my mind when talking to the good folks in Louis Moto was that they had their own brands of motorcycle gear. Obviously I knew they were a motorcycle gear megastore in Germany but I had no idea they made gear too. In fact they have 3 brands:

Vanucci by Louis Moto
Premium motorbike clothing for sports and touring bikers who value the highest quality. The collection includes everything from enduro suits for travelling round the world and sporty leather suits for speedy laps of the race course, through to neck warmers and touring boots. This brand is developed in Germany by Louis Moto but designed in Italy by Enrico Vanucci. So here we have Germany engineering married to the Italian flair for fashion.
Nishua by Louis Moto
Louis Moto’s motorcycle helmet brand which sportier riders everything they need, both for the race track and everyday life. The focus here is on active and passive safety. The super light and extremely strong helmet shell made of carbon fibre composite material, or prepreg fibreglass, is at the centre of the engineering concept. In line with the high-tech concept are the puristic look and the high-quality features, with details such as the double ‘D’ fastener suitable for the race track.
Probiker by Louis Moto
Louis Moto’s Probiker brand comprises jackets and trousers, boots and gloves, kidney belts, helmets and accessories – including special ladies’ and children’s sizes.

 

Criteria to Consider While Looking For A New Helmet

 
Now I just so happened I was interested in trying an enduro helmet so as I went through the list with interest I came across the Nishua Enduro Carbon which peaked my interest. This what Louis says about it:

Our test winner, Nishua Enduro Carbon, is a multifunctional helmet that converts effortlessly between enduro, motocross and street fighter. The peak and visor are removable. The light weight, outstanding fit, with two different outer shell sizes, and optimal impact absorption make this helmet a great protector for any terrain.

Louis Moto’s Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet is easy on the eye..

OK, so I was now really interested however I decided to shelve this new-to-me brand and the Enduro Carbon for now and go looking at what else was on the market from the names I do know, Schuberth, Shark, AGV etc. I wanted to see how the Enduro Carbon matches up to similar helmets from other brands in value for money, features and the like.

As mentioned, I was specifically looking for an enduro style helmet to supplement my much loved Schuberth C3 and I fell into the usual quagmire of reviews, opinions and endless offers and options from an ever increasing supply of manufacturers. But during my search the Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet was the one which stood out from the crowd almost immediately for price, safety rating, weight and darn good looks. But I’ll leave that for now and tell you about how and why I decided on the Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet as the right tool for the job I intended for an enduro style lid.

Nishua Enduro Carbon in Test

Nishua Enduro Carbon in Test

Firstly, why did I want another helmet, what’s wrong with the C3 I already have you might ask? As for the C3, it’s the most comfortable touring helmet I’ve worn as yet and as I’m doing a fair amount of 8 hour guided day tours out of Killarney these days comfort and fit has always been the highest on my priority list. The C3 is also a flip-up helmet which for some rides is an absolute necessity for me to quickly capture a photograph without having to take my helmet off. For example I’ll often keep my big Canon DSLR in my tank bag and when I spot a good potential shot I’ll stop, flip up my helmet, pull out my camera and take a photo without taking off my helmet, gloves or even getting off the bike which saves a lot of time. This is a classic case of having the right tool for the job. The flip-up lids are great for me when the purpose or the ride is to get photos. However the Nishua Enduro Carbon or similar styled lid is what I was in the market for, i.e. different tool for a different job. I should also say that flip-up helmets like my current C3 are not for everyone. For example the flip-up helmets tend to be heavier and more noisy than closed faced lids. Then there is the potential for the flip-up part to come undone in a crash “not good” so in my view they are a very poor choice for trail riding and the reason I was considering the Nishua Carbon in the first place. It’s a lot like choosing the right type of tyres for how and where you are going to be riding, choosing the right type of helmet is no different.

I’ll compromise “to a point” on a safety rating in order to gain weight loss and sublime comfort for regular use and long days because in my head

Comfort = Less Fatigue + Less Distraction = A More Enjoyable And Safer Ride

For example a lid that has a 5 star safety rating ends up being piss poor and dangerous via distraction and fatigue if it gives you blinding headaches or say if the neck strap catch is digging a hole in your larynx. Ideally for touring “to me anyway” a helmet that you but on for 8 hours a day should be so light and comfortable that you almost forget that you’re wearing it.

Almost! I say almost as the single most important thing to be absolutely sure of when choosing a helmet is getting the correct fit. Any safety rating means nothing if your helmet does not fit – if it does not fit exactly right it can not do it’s job correctly!

Light, Airy and with a CoolMax Lining

However, a lid for long days was not necessarily what I was after for a number of reasons. When I’m riding on my own I tend to ride a lot faster than I do with a customer or in a group where being conservative and ultra safe is the order of the day as you are riding for others and not just for yourself. Also, in this scenario I’m riding on on normal surfaced roads and typically I’ll be using my camera along the way, so I require a flip-up/100% road type helmet. On my own, riding just for myself, I mostly ride on fairly hairy one track roads or trails, eh – possibly faster than I should with no camera or others to worry about, it’s a different ball game and if I were to come off I’d likely be looking at multiple impacts at the very least on these tight rough roads with plenty of hittable furniture and rocks to help slow me down. Now here’s the thing about the Schuberth C3, despite the price, and comfort, ability to take photos without having to remove it etc it’s safety score is a middling 3 in the Sharp rating. It’s also a pure road helmet and not really suitable for dusty trails as it was not built with that in mind hence the necessity for a dual-sport/enduro/motocross type lid.

So to clarify, I was looking for a non flip-up lid with a strong safety rating, that’s comfortable-ish, as light as possible, preferably well under €500 and in the enduro/dual-sport style which would suit my trail riding in Spain and days where I am not bringing expensive cameras.

 

Market Research & Analysis

 
After a lot of work mincing around on some of my favorite review sites like Billy’s Crash Helmets, Motorradonline and a few others I narrowed my choice down to the following:

Brand Price Weight Safety Rating
BMW Enduro €440.00 1480 g Not SHARP or Snell safety tested, so it’s just the legal EU standard?
Caberg Tourmax €200.00
(base model)
1730g SHARP 5 star
Givi X.01 Tourer €200.00 1600 g Safety rating – Not SHARP or Snell safety tested, so it’s just the legal EU standard ECE 22.05/DOT/BS
Shark Explore R €270.00 1590 g Safety rating – Not SHARP or Snell safety tested, so it’s just the legal EU standard ECE 22.05/DOT/BS
Nishua Enduro Carbon €280.00 1270 g Safety rating – Not SHARP or Snell safety tested, but has been independently tested by TÜV Rheinland with a result of excellent impact resistance.
AGV AX-8 Dual Evo €370.00 1500 g Safety rating – Not SHARP or Snell safety tested, so it’s just the legal EU standard ECE 22.05/DOT/BS

 

Safety Standards Assessment

 

I’ll state for the record here that this whole safety standard rating is a minefield of bullshit and disinformation. There are official government US, ECE and DOT or BS British standards then independent groups like Snell, SHARP, TÜV Rheinland and Odin knows what else, all of which come to their safety ratings by doing the same tests differently or by doing completely different tests altogether. The only thing all these guys agree on when it comes to testing is that they don’t agree on anything. Even the experts don’t agree or even know what they are talking about half the time. A lid might get a great Snell report but get a crappy one from SHARP for example. I’ve no idea which safety rating group is best, I doubt if anyone does.

I know, the background is far more interesting to look at than me ;)

However I would say that choosing a helmet with at least one positive independent test in their favor gives a far better indication as to the helmets safety. The ECE or BS standards are a legal requirement and simply show a helmet has passed the basic safety requirements and I for one do not fully trust that any government or EU body truly has my best interest at heart. On the other hand, I could argue a company that feels confident enough in their product to risk the outcome of an independent test shows they are likely confident and proud of what they have created and that goes a long way in my book.

To me anyway, and seriously it’s just my personal opinion, I’m a fair bit more likely to buy motorcycle safety equipment that exceeds government standards, or has been given the thumbs up by at least one independent testing organisation. Which one is best, who the hell knows, but I think any one is better than none.

With this in mind I went back to my list and crossed off all helmets not independently tested. Now I’m down to 2, the Caberg Tourmax and the Nishua Enduro Carbon and luckily enough they are similarly priced with only €80 in the difference. The glaring difference however is the weight with the Caberg at 1730g compared to the Nishua Carbons 1270g, so right there I think the extra €80 is worth it.

The Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet is seriously light, just 1270g

 

Other Considerations

 

There are other pros and cons to both helmets for me but I was forced to strike the Caberg off my list as they annoy the hell out of me. For some reason all Caberg helmets don’t have enough room for my chin which rubs up on the helmets chin piece which is then made even more annoying by my manly face fur. Thats a shame as I really like the Cabergs otherwise, we stock them in motorcycle rental shop here at LemonRock Tours and Rental in Killarney, our customers seem to like them and I’ve no problem recommending them to anyone – if they fit of course!

And that my friends is how I narrowed down my list of potential helmets to arrive at finally choosing the Nishua Enduro Carbon now sitting on the shelf above my bike in my man cave.

Here are the specs:

Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet

Did I mention how light this lid is? ;)

Visor: Clear, with Pinlock anti-fog visor insert
Material: Carbon
Outer shell sizes: 2 (XS-M, L-XL)
Fastener: Double ‘D’ fastener made of titanium (lightweight + indestructible)
Weight: Approx. 1,040 g/1,150 g (incl. visor + peak)
Lining: Hypoallergenic, climate-regulating COOLMAX lining, fully removable and washable
Ventilation: Adjustable forehead vent plus chin inlet and air flow rear extraction
Extras: Adjustable forehead vent plus chin inlet and air flow rear extraction
Certificates: ECE 22.05

 

Louis Moto About Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet

 

Our test winner sole with a “Very Good” rating from the “MOTORRAD” magazine editors. The Nishua Enduro Carbon, is a multifunctional helmet that converts effortlessly between enduro, motocross and street fighter. The peak and visor are removable. The light weight, outstanding fit, with two different outer shell sizes, and optimal impact absorption make this helmet a great protector for any terrain.

 

Other Reviewers Verdict On The Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet

 
While still almost unknown outside Germany the Germans themselves are well acquainted with it. During my research I found that the Nishua Enduro Carbon has won numerous Best Buy awards within Germany  from ”Tourenfahrer” magazine, ”Motorradfahrer” magazine, ”Motorrad Abenteuer” magazine and  ”Motorrad” magazine awarded it Best in Test. You can read more about that yourself here: https://www.louis.ie/artikel/nishua-enduro-carbon-enduro-helmet/215086/testberichte

Straight off the bat I find it an extremely good looking helmet, and seriously light, it’s so light and airy my C3 now feels heavy and even slightly claustrophobic! I’m also seriously impressed by how it feels and it sits snug and firm – but in a good way and not a blinding headache way so the sizing is bang on. I take a medium in the Schuberth and this fits very well in the same medium size too but tighter around the cheeks.

Great to see this comes with a PinLock

 
So far here is the list of things I like about the Enduro Carbon:

  • It’s light – to the extreme in my experience, there’s no going back to a heavy lid for me.
  • Relatively quiet, albeit with the visor down, ear plugs are still needed for longer journeys or higher speeds.
  • Airy, the ventilation system works very well and the top vent is easy to open-close with gloves on while riding and there is also a rear air vent making very good airflow.
  • The CoolMax lining which keeps a stable temperature in changing weather.
  • Comfortable secure fit.
  • PinLock to keep the visor clear while you’re tearing through fields chasing rabbits ;)
  • Good aerodynamics. It feels stable, including the sun visor/peak, at least it is on my 800GSA at 120km/h.
  • Solid visor with Pinlock that’s easy to move up and down on the go and easy to remove. Sun visor is also easy to remove.
  • Value for money, especially comparing to some of the competition.
  • Ability to use glasses/sunglasses.
  • Excellent field of view, this was a real eye opener for me with this style of helmet.
  • Overall solid build, it feels like a quality product despite its feather weight status.
  • Good impact results from independent tester (TÜV Rheinland). Obviously I don’t want to put that to the test but it’s reassuring to know.
  • Double ‘D’ titanium fastener, in a spill I cant see this lid coming off easily. It’s also got a bright red quick release thingie for undoing the chin strap for helmet removal.
  • It’s LIGHT! Yes, I’ve already said this but it is so light it’s worth mentioning again and again…

 

A Few Thoughts About Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet

 

One of my favorite trails in Almeria

I have to admit it’s taking me awhile to get used to it as it’s a big difference to wearing a flip up helmet which are by nature easier to take on and off. It’s also a hell of a lot easier to have a smoke while still wearing my C3, and with a flip-up I dont have to take it off going into the petrol station to pay ;) But the more I wear it the more I like it, I guess I’m still in the getting to know it stage but so far I’m very happy with it. And more to the point everytime I look at it I feel the urge to put it on and bugger off up the Kerry Highlands on my bike. I can’t wait to get back to Spain with it to try it out on my beloved trails.

What are the downsides to it. Well the chin strap is a bit too short. It’s hardly a deal breaker though, the strap on my Schuberth is a bit too short also, it seems to be a common issue with many helmet brands/models. Another thing is that the visor does not lock closed and the gap between closed and it’s first notch is too big. On a cold day when you just want a small gap open from the fully closed position what you will get is too much air blasting in. But maybe I’m nitpicking here, the helmet is very well vented to begin with which is kind of the point with this style of lid…

Are there any improvements that could be made to the next version? Of course, but undoubtedly that would affect the price. However I would like to see a version of the Nishua Enduro Carbon with two extra features which I think would really give it an edge and make it perfect for long distance touring as well as trail riding.

  • WISH 1: An internal drop down sun visor as they are so much easier than carrying an extra smoked daytime visor.
  • WISH 2: An EQRS* (Emergency Quick Release System) for emergency workers to remove the helmet quickly and safely after a crash causing a possible neck/spine injury.

(*)Very briefly EQRS is a system designed to help remove a motorcycle helmet without damaging a rider’s neck and spine by removing the cheek pads which means there’s more space available to carefully remove the helmet minimising the need to move the head around too much which can easily make a neck/spinal injury far worse. It’s a new system that’s starting to become popular especially for riders with increased crash risk, Moto GP/IOM TT racers and the Motocross, Dual-Sport and Adv riders that this helmet is aimed at. Since completing the Emergency First Responder course with First Bike on Scene I’ve seen the massive value in this type of system if I ever need to remove the helmet of a crash victim.

Like I said, this would increase the cost of production and then on to you and me, it would also add a little weight, but this is a really light helmet at a great price already so I think Louie Motos Nishua Enduro Carbon has some room to maneuver some add-ons to another version of it. If the extra cost for my two recommendations was reasonable I’d be happy to pay it. I’ll take any edge I can get to lower my potential injuries in the case of a crash.

 

The Verdict

 
Anyway, my verdict on the Nishua Enduro Carbon Helmet is that it’s a very good enduro/motocross/dual-sport helmet, and considering the features and the low weight the carbon construction offers it comes in at a really good price. All I can say at this point is that if you are looking for a helmet in this bracket then it’s certainly well worth considering.

@RoadTooper

I honestly don’t know why it’s not out there on the shelves with the big well known brands, it really deserves to be because from what I’m seeing from Louis they are putting out some proper competition.

Stay safe,
Denis
www.facebook.com/RoadTrooper

Reviews, Safety and Skills No Responses yet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.