I have always had champagne tastes. I’ve also always had a beer budget. So this $310 LS2 Metro Evo is a helmet right up my alley. It’s feature-packed, with an integrated internal sun visor, flip-up front and quick-release visor.
The Metro Evo is DOT and ECE 22.05 certified, though the ECE sticker was absent from our unit.
It’s also pre-plumbed to accept the Linkin Ride Pal audio and Bluetooth device. And then, because they figured they may as well throw the whole kitchen sink at it, LS2 also fitted a removable peak.
Add high-viz citrus colour options and a striking set of graphics options and the LS2 Metro Evo looks the business, too.
Except the peak. I rode once with the peak on, just to see if it was as turbulence-prone at high speed as it looked. And despite being mounted at the two sides only, the peak didn’t move around much on the highway, and it never caught air and grabbed at my head like I expected it to. If you like the peak, you can leave it on, even when the modular chin bar is raised — it’s not detrimental to the riding experience at all. I only took it off because I didn’t like the way it looked.
Once the peak is removed, the screw holes on either side of the visor can be covered with supplied rubber grommets, which cleans up the appearance and the noise level. The visor is positioned on a quick-release mechanism that is easy to use and intuitive. It’s not necessary, though.
I can’t imagine wanting to swap the visor. There’s no need for a tinted one. The internal, integrated “twin shield” tinted visor works very well. It is lowered and raised by an easy-to-reach slider on the helmet chin, which is usable even with thick winter gloves. Likewise, the flip-front is easily operated with a button on the chin, and I became accustomed to lifting the front at every stop for comfort. The flip front is strictly not to be raised while riding, according to a little sticker on the chin bar, so I never did.
Raising the main visor and lowering the sun shield gave me the rare sensation of wind in my face without my eyes watering. It also meant my lower jaw and face was still protected from any potential impact.
The strap for the LS2 is a “quick release” chin strap. I can understand the appeal for newer riders who like the simplicity, but when you can simply flip up the entire front of your helmet it’s not like undoing a regular double-D loop would be a chore. This strap’s best feature is that it makes me appreciate the double-D set up even more.
I couldn’t get this strap to tighten properly because the adjuster device got in the way, and I never felt secure. The quick release mechanism is simply a ridged strap that’s held in place by a couple of shallow teeth. I didn’t feel confident in this set up, and longed for a normal double-D.
The other problem with the LS2 is the two hollow indents that are laser-cut into each side of the hypo-allergenic liner. Those two rigid hollows are positioned right next to your earhole. That means when you don’t have the Linkin Ride Pal and its accompanying speakers to insert into the divots, you have an echo chamber adjacent to your ear drum. A better design would have seen this helmet ship with little pads in those indents, which could be removed when you want to put in the speakers.
Only one other quirk of the LS2 shows its price bracket. It comes with a “neck support” that is no more than an inflatable cushion — the sort you buy in a travel kiosk at the airport. I tried to wear it under the helmet as suggested, but found it awkward and needless. It stayed on the shelf with the peak.
In all other regards, the LS2 is a very good helmet. It has great finish and it’s as light as you can expect a modular to be (around 1,600 g) which is heavier than a solid helmet thanks to the extra mechanism. As well, wind noise isn’t too bad, and the helmet isn’t prone to buffeting or wind turbulence.
You’d be hard pressed to find this many features for the money. The Metro Evo is $20 less if you prefer a solid colour, and if you shop around, you can find savings of up to another $30 from the listed price. Indeed, the AGV we’re also reviewing has less features for three times the price. On the flipside, the SportModular also has AGV’s many years of research, and is made from carbon fibre.
LS2 is an emergent player in the Canadian market. It’s a Chinese brand that’s been in North America since 2010. It is the third brand-name evolution for the company, which was known in Asia as FengXing, and elsewhere in the world as MHR.
Its helmet range covers everything from motocross to supersport, and several lines of commuter helmets, too. Like any upstart, LS2 is looking to make a big name quickly, and a well-priced, feature-packed helmet is one way to achieve that goal.