I have an unusually big head. This is usually not a problem with my day-to-day life, but once I have to go shopping for a helmet, it becomes something of a problem. There are very few full-face helmets that I can cram my head into, but not having anything covering my chin freaks me out. The solution? Go modular. The Helmet I’ve been stuffing my head in for the past half year has been the LS2 FF325 Strobe Civik, and here’s what I think about it.
One of the things I dislike about modular helmets is that they can look, well, a lot like modular helmets. Such isn’t really the case with the LS2 Strobe. A slim chin bar and the graphics break up the profile enough so that even though it’s not smooth all the way around, your eye is tricked into thinking it is. I got the model in white with black accents, which gives it a clean look without being boring. It’s not a super aggressive design that looks like it always wants to be in a full tuck, but it’s not a plain putting about lid either. I think it’s the perfect look for something like a sport-tourer—just a little bit of both elements.
Branding is present, but not obnoxious. There are labels on the front, back, and sides, but they’re tastefully done, and don’t really bother me at all.
The shell is thermoplastic, with channeled EPS foam on the inside for EVE 22.05-level protection. It’s a little snug from ear to ear, but roomy front to back, so my circular head just fits into a 2XL. The Strobe comes with provisions for LS2’s Fog Fighter system, and the shield has a convenient, tool-less removal system, which is as secure as it is handy. The comfort liner is both removable and washable, which is an absolute necessity here in the tropics, and fastens easily into place with tabs and button snaps. It’s soft and comes with a neck roll for greater comfort.
Additional bonuses include a side-actuated, drop-down sun shield, built-in breath deflector, and even a handy, removable chin curtain. It doesn’t have all that many vents. Just one at the chin, and another right at the top of the lid. Both can be shut in case of rain. It comes in at 3.95 pounds, which is light for a modular of this material. It’s not going to be as light as a solid lid, but it’s light for what it is.
User Experience: 4.0/5.0
The first thing I appreciate is just how easily I can get the helmet on. I usually have to struggle with finding a way to get my head into a full-face, since the size of my face makes it difficult to jam everything into a helmet that is of the right size once it’s on properly. With the Strobe, i just leave the chin up, get in there, and shut the lid. It’s easy and painless. Once you’re in there, the field of view is adequate, even in a tuck, though I would have appreciated a little more visibility on the sides.
The liner and neck roll are very comfortable and don’t pinch oddly, though the lack of vents apart from the two mentioned earlier do make it a bit stuffy. Either open the visor up a crack, or remove the chin bar, and you should be okay. For such an affordable helmet, the visor is smoother than some of the pricier helmets, and stays shut securely. The little tab at the base of the visor allows you to get a good grip, so opening the visor isn’t all that difficult. Did I mention how smoothly it closes? It shuts like it doesn’t know it costs less than PHP 10,000.
When the sun gets high, you can reach over to the left side of the helmet and move the slide, which drops a large, tinted sun visor down between you and the face shield.
The clear shield shuts reasonably tight, but the seal on the top quite as good as some other helmets out there. Heavy rain will eventually get through and dribble down the inside of the visor right where you can’t reach it. The seal, and the fact that it’s a modular also means quite a bit of noise gets in, so if you’re like me, and have a bike that came with an obnoxiously loud pipe, you might want to plug your ear holes. Despite the less-than-stellar seal, the large neck roll manages to keep enough sound out, so while it’s modular and has a bit of wind noise, it’s acceptably quiet.
Keeping the helmet in place is a solid ratcheting strap that’s easy to manipulate with gloved hands, thanks to a fabric pull tab on top of the plastic release. You’re not going to be fumbling with the retention mechanism on the Strobe. Speaking of retention, once you get the chin up past its surprisingly smooth travel, to the top detent, it’s not going to go anywhere unless you want it to. This doesn’t mean you can ride it with the chin bar up, but you can trust it not to drop down onto your face when you don’t expect it.
The Strobe is a fantastic helmet with a lot of features, but the greatest one is the price. For PHP 4,500, I got a helmet that looks great, is comfortable, modular, and most importantly, safe. If ever a deal this good existed in the past, I haven’t heard it. Sure it takes a little hit because of poor ventilation, but it does so much right, I’m more than willing to overlook that. It’s all win in my book.
– Great value!
– Solid modular system
– Lots of extras
– Poor ventilation
I don’t buy gear without good reason, and when I do, It’s gotta be great. This is great, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE September 2017
Reviewed by Ren Alcantara