WHAT IT IS:
LS2’s Pioneer helmet has a number of features that will appeal to UTV and ATV enthusiasts. This full-face helmet has a visor like most off-road helmets and a clear flip-up face shield that gives instant access to cooling air and eliminates the need for goggles. It also has a retractable, tinted sun shield behind the clear face shield. That’s more equipment than you get in a conventional dirt or street helmet, but at $175, the LS2 Pioneer doesn’t cost much more than other helmets. We spotted the Pioneer on sale at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC for $140. There are more and less expensive helmets with visors and face shields, like the $135 Fly Street Trekker, $165 AFX FX-41, $200 Bell MX-9, $645 Shoei Hornet X-2 and up to the $660 Arai XD4, but not all have a retractable, tinted sun shield.
The LS2 Pioneer has a Kinetic polymer alloy shell, multiple air vents, a removable and washable liner, a quick- release chin strap, quick-pull cheek pads, and meets DOT and ECE 22.05 standards.
At first, taking off to ride in the dirt wearing a helmet with a face shield instead of goggles seemed a little strange, but we soon found we didn’t miss goggles much, especially in a UTV. The Pioneer provides great visibility and more peripheral vision than a conventional off-road helmet with goggles, because there’s no obstruction from goggle frames as you look out the large eye port. With roll cages, seat belts and seats blocking your view at times, that extra visibility helps. The retractable, tinted sun shield and the clear flip-up face shield kept us ready for bright sun and low-light conditions. The sun shield retracts easily with a lever on the helmet’s lower left edge, so you don’t have to flip up the clear shield or touch the sun shield to operate it.
In heavy dust the shield and the sun shade can get dusty more easily than goggles, but both are simple to clean. Shield fogging is rarely a problem in UTV driving, but strenuous ATV riding fogs the shield quickly. Opening the shield briefly clears it fast.
We’re so accustomed to double D-ring helmet straps, we thought the LS2’s ratchet-strap quick-release closure would take some getting used to, but it was instantly easy to use and proved well made and secure. The large Pioneer we tested weighed 3 pounds, 6.8 ounces, only 2 or 3 ounces more than average off-road helmets without visors, so it doesn’t feel heavier than a conventional helmet. We like the fit, and there is plenty of venting for warm-weather riding, though only the mouth-guard vent is closeable for cold weather.
The LS2 Pioneer helmet is a welcome option for UTV and ATV enthusiasts who want eye protection for changing light but don’t want to mess with goggles. For a helmet with so many useful features, the price is outstanding.
CONTACT: Your dealer or www.ls2helmets.us/products/off-road/pioneer