Date reviewed: February 2021 | Tested by: John Milbank | RRP: From £119.99 | ls2helmets.com
The LS2 Bob on review here is the company’s premium open-face motorcycle helmet, with three options available – the plain colours of the Bob Solid at £119.99, the Bob Lines on test here at £139.99 and the Bob Carbon – with a carbon-fibre shell – at £199.99.
I’ve used it on the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Honda MSX125 (Grom) to find out how well it performs…
A peak is also supplied
Looking at the plain coloured Bobs, which are available in matt black, grey or gloss black, this helmet’s sitting in a price range that offers a lot of choice. The AGV Legends X70 Mono, for instance, has a street price almost identical at the time of writing, but it lacks the drop-down sunshield and the removable peak.
But while some at this price point have a polycarbonate shell, the Bob is constructed using LS2’s ‘high performance fibreglass composite’, which gives it a harder outer that can mean for a softer interior while meeting impact resistance standards for ECE 22.05 testing.
The finish is very good, with a deep gloss and a very well-fitted trim around the aperture. The overall shape is good too, the narrow form making me not look quite as much like Wallace taking Gromit for a spin.
A matt-black plastic peak is supplied, which clicks onto the three poppers on the shell and helps keep low sun out of your eyes, though I tend not to use it.
The goggle strap is very neat
The goggle strap clip on the rear is excellent – teeth inside keep the strap firmly in place while a strong magnet holds the cover down; a great departure from the usual strap and popper found on this style of lid, while remaining really effective.
The paint finish on this ‘Lines Black Jeans’ model is great, the silver paint between the deep black is hand-brushed to give what looks like a brushed metal finish. Only in a couple of small areas on the bottom edge is the illusion broken, but this is a unique design that I really like, especially with the dark-chrome details at the lower front and on the strap holder.
At 965g for my medium-sized lid, this is 35g lighter than the Shoei J•O reviewed here. As is usually the case though, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference in the hand, let alone on the head.
At high speed, like other open-face lids the LS2 Bob does start to want to pull up off your head, but that’s to be expected given the air blasting in. High speed riding is not what this style is all about.
There are no vents on the Bob, but, obviously, it doesn’t need them. Air has no problem getting around your head in a helmet of this style, so you won’t find yourself getting too hot.
Helmets like this look, I think, at their best when worn with some goggles, like the 100% pair I have here. Paired with a neck tube, it’s a style I do love on a slow summer’s potter around back-roads or through cities.
The LS2 Bob does have a built-in visor though, tucked up under the outer shell much like the Shoei J•O. While it works okay, it feels a little flimsy when pulling it down, which makes it flex and become a little awkward to deploy.
It’s no disaster, but I also find it’s a bit too dark, surprisingly, with a rather strong hint of a blue tint. I’d have liked to have seen it come with a clear visor, or both ideally.
The visor is adjustable for height through three ratchet positions, though even at the bottom there’s a fairly large gap above the nose, which makes for a distractingly bright highlight in the lower centre of vision.
Like other lids of this type, you won’t be able to ride at much speed for long with just the built-in visor as wind still blasts into the eyes.
Realistically, goggles are the best bet.
The lining is comfortable and fully-removable for cleaning, if not having the luxury leather-style trim of the (£200 more expensive) Shoei J•O, though LS2 does supply an inflatable donut for you to rest the helmet on while you strip it. It doubles as a neck pillow in a pinch too.
The Bob has a double-D fastener that gives a secure fit every time, though I do find the end of the strap to be a little chunky, making it a slight fiddle to get through the loops. It’s stopped from flapping though with a handy magnetic retainer that’s quick and easy to find.
The strap has a removable cover for easy cleaning; I did manage to pull this off its poppers once, but it went back okay and you soon get used to its position.
The Bob didn’t seem as immediately comfortable as the Shoei J•O or the Sena Savage (which is a very, very similar helmet with comms built in) but fit is very subjective, and while I did notice some pressure on the back of my head, this didn’t come to anything, and the LS2 Bob proved comfortable, on my dome at least, for several hours of riding. As with any lid, always try it on for yourself and look for any pressure points.
My glasses fit fine with no awkward pressure at the sides of the head or over the nose, though some specs need to go in ‘just so’ to slot nicely into place.
The trim around the aperture is well finished
Over 40mph, unsurprisingly you’ll need to wear ear-plugs, though naked and cruiser-style bikes do tend to produce a lot less drumming or booming compared to faired machines.
For more information on why earplugs are vital with any helmet, and advice on which are the best, click here.
LS2 has been making helmets for some big brands for a long time, and its own Bob open-face has some great features packed into what is one of the most basic helmet designs. While there are cheaper options, it’s a relatively premium lid at a reasonable price. If money’s no object then the Shoei J•O is the more luxurious of the two, but given that the drop-down visor is the biggest failing, yet it’s something I’d rarely use, this is a helmet well worth considering.
Needless to say, an open-face will never provide the safety of a full-face lid, but it’s a style that plenty of people enjoy. Motorcycling is about freedom of choice, and the LS2 Bob offers something quite special at a pretty good price.