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Review: Nolan N-86, the daily use helmet

Reviews and tests 3 February, 2015

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The Nolan N86 has been designed to offer the versatility needed when we ride a motorbike daily and  all year round. This helmet is the N85's evolution and it has touring elements, like optimum insulation, internal padding that offers great comfort and feelto the rider and a very studied ventilation system.


The shell of the Nolan N86 is made of polycarbonate; however, its weight is 1,500 grams aproximately. This helmet has three different shell sizes to adapt to the market sizes (from XS to the XXL). The lines of the external shell are more compact and sharpened compared to its predecessor, the N85, and the internal shell, made of EPS, has been designed to incorporate a new component: the sun visor.

General view of the helmet and a detail view of the helmets’ shell and the sun visor of the Nolan N86


The ventilation system has been re-designed completely. On one hand we find an air inlet on the chin bar with a new opening system: through a flange we can pull open and close the air entrances, that lead the air flow into the visor. On the other hand, we find another two air inlets located in the frontal shell and the opening and closing system is an “on-off” mechanism, designed for being operated with the gloves on. The air outlets are located at the back of the shell, in the re-designed spoiler.

Detail of the ventilation system of the helmet: the closure mechanism located in the helmets’ shell (left) and the air outlets placed in the back of the shell (right)


The helmet’s visor has antifog and anti acratch treatment, and the Pinlock visor is included as well. A detail that guarantees optimal insulation is the silicone perimetral band; while the opening system of the visor is intuitive, thanks to an aperture that allows for easy movement of opening and closing. The visor’s mechanism allows us to remove the visor very easily, maybe being the easiest way to take a visor out: just pushing a button when the visor is opened completely it will be removed from the shell. No tool is needed.

Detail of the visor’s opening system of the Nolan N-86

Another mechanism easy to handle is the sun visor of the helmet VPS (Visor Protection System). It is located on the left side of the shell and its manipulation is very easy and intuitive.


The padding of the helmet hasbeen redesigned completely. It is called Clima Comfort and it offers great solutions to the needs of the different areas of our face and head. Playing with three different colors, the padding has three densities with their own goals: the grey one is a microperforated area, that offers great transpiration, while the black one offers optimum feel to the most sensitive areas of our face and neck. The red padding mantains the inner temperature, providing good insulation. We highlight the leather finish that we find on the external padding, with red stitching, that makes it extra sporty. The padding can harbour glasses, all the elements being removable and washable.

Detail of the N-86’s padding, with its three different textil densities, and the option of adapting the glasses to it. 

Other Details

The helmet’s closure system is micrometric, but it incorporates a double mechanism that prevents from opening accidentally. It is called Microlock 2.

The Nolan N-86 can incorporate the communications system N-Com (must be purchased separately).

The N-Com communication system is totally integrated and it does not affect to the integrity of the helmet.

With the Nolan N-86, the Italian manufacturer presents a helmet that combines typical touring features with the sportive ones. If we add the sun visor and the possibility of installing a communications system, we are before a helmet that offers the best features of the touring and sportive motorbike segments with the versatility of a daily helmet.



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