Biltwell Lane Splitter Road Test

The Hype

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.

pls

First Impression

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.

pls2

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.

pls3

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.

So…

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.

Value: 4/5

Comfort: 4/5

Fair Weather 4/5

Inclement Weather 2/5

Style 5/5

COMING SOON TO J&P CYCLES IN EARLY 2017!

2017-01-25T12:21:19+00:00 By |Product Information|10 Comments

About the Author:

10 Comments

  1. Paul November 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for the review, Pauly! I always enjoy reading about other helmet brands, especially in different weather conditions. I owned a Biltwell Gringo with goggles and agree with you; they are sized slightly big, and lighter with minimal materials. A good lid for bopping around town or shorter commutes.

  2. Paul November 15, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Thanks for the review, Pauly! Always enjoy info on other helmet brands, especially in different weather conditions. I owned a Biltwell Gringo with goggles. I agree, they are sized slightly big, and lighter with minimal materials, but a good lid for bopping around town or short commutes.

  3. Sam Burns October 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    If gear drive cams are installed in a twin cam engine with an accepted amount of pinion run out, what happens if the flywheels do shift? Since the chain driven cams are problematic and the flywheels shifting are also a problem….does this negate the case for gear drive cams? I’m not getting into ovulation of cam bearing journals (?) or any other stress in the area, just wonder if anything less than replacing or rebuilding the flywheels is really going to allow confident use of gear drive.

    • Mark Weaver October 28, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Great comment Sam, but I think you might have intended to write it on a different blog?

      • Sam October 28, 2016 at 10:35 am

        Since I read a comment on this blog about gear drive cams being the way to go….It’s seems right to me.

        • Mark Weaver October 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

          Your comment is posted on a review of the Biltwell Lane Splitter helmet. I think you meant to leave your comment on this blog: http://blog.jpcycles.com/2012/11/i-love-harley-davidson-but-you-must-know-this/
          I just want to make sure you can join in on the conversation in the right place where others can read your comment.

          • Sam October 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

            I did originally. There was no reply. I thought this was a J&P blog and didn’t realize it’s a clearing house for everyone. A bulletin board rather than a blog. Whatever.

    • James Dean October 31, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Sam, it is recommended to check pinion shaft run out before installing gear driven cams and should be under .003″ The most common reason for this is the inside needle bearings do not like radial movement and will prematurely wear out and potentially cause catastrophic failure. If the run out is greater than .003″ I would recommend repairing the flywheel assembly or replacing it before installing gear driven cams.

      • Sam October 31, 2016 at 12:43 pm

        Thank you for the response. My question is what happens if the flywheels shift, scissor, exceed run out enough to cause a problem. What kind of load or issue is now with the gear drive? The chain drive system, whether the tensioners are loaded by spring or hydraulic pressure impose loads on the camshaft bearings. Gear drive helps eliminate this issue but we know that the gears need to be fitted properly. If the flywheels cause excess run out, what kind of load is now present on the gear drive? We know the catastrophic possibilities with chain driven cams…but?

  4. James October 27, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Looks like on of the giant alien bugs.

    Ugly!!

Comments are closed.