X-LITE X-802RR ULTRA CARBON HELMET REVIEW - National Motorcycle Alliance (2024)

This, as you may or may not know, is the diabolically pointy end of Nolan’s solid range of mostly excellent Italian helmets.

Behold the X-Lite X-802RR.X-LITE X-802RR ULTRA CARBON HELMET REVIEW - National Motorcycle Alliance (1)

If it was a girl, it would be walking down the Victoria’s Secret runway while men ached lustfully at the sight of her.

This is one hell-sexy lid – and that’s coming from a bloke who doesn’t much like full-face helmets.

However, I can appreciate outstanding aesthetics – and the X-802RR has them. All of them. Every aesthetic available has been incorporated into this amazing lid.

X-LITE X-802RR ULTRA CARBON HELMET REVIEW - National Motorcycle Alliance (2)Even putting it on feels like an occasion. The dense, uber-plush, carbon-infused lining (for the eating of fear-stink) is green and black (with contrasting green stitching), and the words “World Champion” are embroidered underneath a golden victory wreath on the rear padding – so you read them every time you pull this masterpiece onto your head.

The result is a truly striking helmet which actually works as good as it looks.

It is made in Italy – hand-layered actually – and it is quite rightly Nolan’s premier helmet. The gorgeous carbon-fibre overlaid on the Kevlar composite shell transfixes the eye and pleases the senses. Visually, it is one of the most beautiful helmets I have ever seen. I constantly find myself staring at it like a retard when it’s not on my head.

When it is on my head, it’s pure top-end race helmet in its fit (it does hug your cheeks and jaw in a most comforting manner) and its behaviour at speed. Big speed. This is, after all, the helmet Casey Stoner and Danilo Petrucci wear.

It offers great vision, even with your chin down on the tank. And I experienced no lift or buffeting when my chin wasn’t on the tank despite the speed being slightly over the 240 mark. The tank my chin wasn’t on belonged to a KTM Superduke R which explains the silly numbers on the speedo.

X-LITE X-802RR ULTRA CARBON HELMET REVIEW - National Motorcycle Alliance (3)

I spent several days and did maybe 4000km with the X-802RR on my head, and they were very happy days indeed. Do you know why? I forgot I was wearing it most of the time. And that is a wonderful thing.

I had no break-in period with the RR. It didn’t rub my skull in places it shouldn’t have, and while I found the fit to be close-to-my-mouth around the chin-piece it wasn’t at all off-putting. A snug helmet fit, is the correct helmet fit.

It’s not a loud helmet by any means, and while it’s not exactly a silent tomb, I found the wind-noise muffled and relatively even, even as the speeds rose. Good trick that.

Another good trick, or tricks, are the vents.

Nolan has its Racing Air Flow (RAF) kung-fu going on.

The chin-vent is either open or closed, and it directs air up at your visor as well as your mouth and nose. At either side of the chin-piece are passive air-extractors which draw out all your moist panting and puffing as clean air passes over them. I know this because I was hyperventilating in terror on the run into Bombala.

There is another vent in the middle that sends air into the top of the helmet and two more ram-scoops either side about midway along the helmet. Once again, open or closed. And finally there’s a big vent at the back of the helmet which, like the side-extractors, acts to draw air out of the helmet at speed. The top lip on this vent is adjustable outwards a few millimetres, presumably for different riding positions.

X-LITE X-802RR ULTRA CARBON HELMET REVIEW - National Motorcycle Alliance (4)The visor has a positive and smooth ratchet action and your thumb-tab lives at the front. You can actually crack it open a little for traffic use, but it is spring-loaded and when fully closed sits snug against the seal. Yes, you get a tube of silicone to…um, lube the seal from time to time. See? I told you this was sexy, huh?

The visor pops off quite easily (and I’m usually an idiot when it comes to this kinda stuff), is Pinlock ready, and comes with a Pinlock visor. In the RR’s case, you don’t have to remove the visor to fit the Pinlock, but it’s no chore to do so anyway.

It’s a most impressive package. It’s even glasses-friendly. I just went and tried that.

It looks the goods, acts the goods, and makes you feel a little bit special when you put it on.

I especially got a kick out of seeing some of my industry colleagues and mates heft the helmet, nod approvingly, then look wistfully at me with hatred in their hearts that my helmet was so much better than theirs.

And this is what the clincher is. The price. You would think a helmet this good, this light (a mere 1500g) and this beautifully made would be a grand-plus, right?

Nope. $749.95. You will not find better value, I reckon.

If you want a Stoner or Petrucci replica, that’s gonna go for $899.

X-LITE X-802RR ULTRA CARBON HELMET REVIEW - National Motorcycle Alliance (5)

Also, be advised there are three different shell-sizes and six different EPS helmet liners, and since each helmet is hand-laid, each helmet size has a slightly different weight. The Ultra Carbon can vary from 1180g to 1370g.

Yes, shut-up and give them your money. It’s the right thing to do. You will not regret it.

And the X-Lite helmet site is here


Words by Boris Mihailovic

X-LITE X-802RR ULTRA CARBON HELMET REVIEW - National Motorcycle Alliance (2024)
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