Biltwell Lane Splitter Road Test
October 27, 2016 | By: Pauly White
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the Lane Splitter helmet from Biltwell since I first heard about it. I tried one on at Born Free 8 and really dug the look and how it fit. When I got the chance to do a road test on one I jumped at it.
When I got the new helmet the first thing I noticed was how light weight it was. I remembered it being light, but after riding in my Bell Revolver earlier that morning, the difference was more noticeable. Then I noticed how nice the opening was allowing for great peripheral vision. Double checking the lane to either side was easy and made me want to do just what the name of the helmet suggests. I liked the helmet, but must admit it did feel cheap. The strap material did not seem as nice or comfortable as my Revolver or my RSD Star. The shield also felt thin compared to most helmets. Usually these things would deter me from a helmet, but on the Lane Splitter, these details were part of what made it so light weight. There is a trade-off that youhave to consider.
Sunny Day Ride
My first ride with the new lid was to my favorite taco stand. The helmet felt pretty good, but just didn’t give the ventilation I wanted. I thought about it for a bit while chowing down and decided to remove my windshield when I got back from lunch. When I got back on the road that evening, I could tell a huge difference. Tons of ventilation. These helmets aren’t really for the guys with big windshields and I’m glad I thought about that. If I would have been on my Dyna, it would have been a nonissue. However, if you plan to ride in this helmet with a full size windshield or fairing, be aware that with the lack of topside ventilation, the chin vents are not really adequate on a hot day. Wind noise was high, but not really much more than with my Star, so it didn’t bother me. With no windshield and riding at above posted highway speeds, the helmet felt great. The sleek shape and lightness pay off with a lack of buffeting and much less wind drag and neck fatigue compared to a lot of other full face helmets I’ve worn. I rode all over the city before heading home for the night.
Rain Drops Falling On My Head
The next morning I opened the garage door to a lovely, cloudy, and rainy Texas morning. I threw on my rain gear and hit the road. Rain is definitely not the best place for the Lane Splitter. The shield doesn’t seal well at all and rain runs in. Also, the large vent on the front allows water to come right in. Once the water gets in, the helmet fogs really bad at lights. In Dallas rush hour it’s pretty much fogged, or open, the entire ride.
The helmet is lightweight and comfortable, but feels cheap and is horrible in the rain. That being said, I love it. I wear it every day unless there is rain in the forecast. The helmet is what it is. It’s a less expensive alternative to the other helmets of similar styling. It’s perfect for that Dyna hooligan ripping up the streets. If you want an around town helmet to give you some decent protection, maintain DOT legalities, and look bitchin, then the Lane Splitter is perfect. You will however want to order one size smaller than most full face helmets. I’m an XXL in pretty much every brand, but only an XL in the Lane Splitter. I will definitely keep wearing it around town, and if there is enough demand I’ll write up a one year review next October. As of now, with the time I’ve spent in the helmet, I’d rate it as follows.
Fair Weather 4/5
Inclement Weather 2/5
COMING SOON TO J&P CYCLES IN EARLY 2017!