Nexx Viljord flip front helmet very first impressions

Yesterday this much anticipated (by me) helmet arrived in my front porch. It seemed the slightly pragmatic answer to my plan to use a flip front on my next trips, making immigration, buying petrol and having a drink or snack much easier. The newly released (and v expensive) Schuberth E2 was my first option but trying on a couple of sizes at the MCN motorcycle show back in February revealed to me that my head seems to fall between M and L for Schuberth. So plan B, Nexx was cheaper by a couple of hundred pounds and also, I realised, could save me buying a new Bluetooth headset as I could use my existing XComm and the expensive moulded wired earbuds that are on order, arriving soon.

First nervous impressions out of the box: the sun visor had not been attached, and rattled around and seemed broken. On the verge of returning the helmet I found instructions on how to fit it – first problem solved.

So trying it on: hmmm Large is probably the right size for me but – when closed the helmet is very tight around my manly jaw. Perhaps I could live with that. Perhaps it will give slightly as people say. The opening is a bit more slit-like than my other open face helmets and because I’ve pushed the helmet slightly upwards to make it more comfortable around the jaw my field of vision is restricted downwards – but I can probably also live with that. Sunglasses do fit inside it but slot in at an odd angle. Again that could be made to work. Flipping up is clunky. Flipping down is a bit of a struggle and the visor closes itself when you flip up – annoying – again just a bit. I see why Schuberth made such a fuss about their new helmet not doing that. When it latches closed the tightness around the jaw becomes on the verge of unacceptable. But weighed against the excitement of a new lid, I can probably live with this.

But now the first real disappointment: my Nexx XComm does not fit this helmet. The cut out is too small so I’d need to shell out on their new version XComm2. (Its £195) . Not exactly the end of the world – but a careful look at the XComm2 manual on line shows that it does not have a separate connector for the earbuds so my clever adapter from Sena and custom earbuds on the way will not work with this model. So that could be another £190 wasted. So back to another plan – the Sena 10S if I can get it to fit on the side of this helmet. It is what I had planned to do, after all.

But with so many niggles, am I going to keep this helmet or return it? The decision is too emotional – after having this in my hands it would be a bit painful to return it and start the search all over again even though it might be the sensible option at the moment… lets sit with it for a while.

I’ve just seen Sena 10S is discontinued at Sportsbikeshop, though available at a discount at other places. I will go for it though expect fitting the clamp to be difficult – actually it seems its not a problem. I’ve now ordered a Sena 20S Evo (£165 from Sportsbikeshop) which seems it will meet my requirements with an earbud socket, and with more recent firmware updates so a better option than an already discontinued item.

The more I wear this helmet around the house, the more the uncomfortable parts are starting to soften. It will be very satisfying to get this helmet sorted with the bluetooth and GoPro mount.