Initial impressions of the LS2 MX453 helmet.
I first tried this helmet after getting it from someone who works for LS2 and so far I'm pretty pleased. The biggest advantage was that it fit my long-oval head--Jean-Luc Picard and I have the same head shape. Most of the other DS helmets (Arai in particular) were too round and I'd end up with that nasty red spot on my forehead after a ride.
The helmet's shell is fiberglass, the liner's completely removable and washable, strap uses 2 D-rings. Speaking of the neck strap, when the strap is closed (tightened against my neck) the two ends cling to each other with some subtle hook-and-loop sections. I'd never had a helmet before that did so; it does keep the strap ends from moving around or flapping in the wind but took me a while to get used to the "additional" step when removing the helmet.
There are vents on the chinpiece and forehead. I haven't had the chance to really test them out but the forehead openings are so small that I don't expect too much air to flow there. The visor has a fairly good stock position, probably a little higher than an MX helmet and is not adjustable. Graphics are good-looking and are under the clearcoat. The shield is a friction-fit and will stay in almost any position; it was easy for me to leave it open a crack if I wanted extra ventilation. There's some very slight shield distortion around the nosepiece that I noticed only when glancing down to my bike gauges. The interior fabric is very comfortable. Cheek pads are quite thick so I wanted to keep my eyes closed when the helmet came on and off.
It's very quiet on the road for a helmet of this style. I'm sure that was helped by my being able to use a smaller shell since the fit was correct for my head shape--in most other helmets I use a Medium; with this one I use a Small.
Overall, I'm impressed with the quality and fit. It's a keeper. Retail price is $160-170, I think, which is pretty good considering that it's rated both DOT and ECE.
One other bit of trivia: LS2 helmets were used by many of the top riders in the Dakar race, including the winner!