LS2 is bigger than you might imagine. It’s headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, where the company conceives and designs its helmets, and has significant warehouses in both the United States and England along with a massive manufacturing facility in China. The helmet creation process is conducted start to finish in house and, particularly in recent years, the build quality of its lids equals that of helmets listed at twice the price.
Take the LS2 Citation. I’ve spent hundreds of miles in the Citation ($199.98) and am thoroughly convinced it’s an exceptional lid for the cost.
Because at a price point like that, it would be easy to expect the bare bones minimum. But the composite fiberglass Citation is DOT and ECE approved, comes in three different shell sizes and has mutli-density EPS for impact absorption. Its hypoallergenic comfort liner is downright luxurious compared to other lids in this range and remains comfortable, snug and odor free after a few months of prolonged use.
The crown vent has either opened or closed settings and the chin vent has two position options. You also get a rear exhaust vent that opens and closes as well. The three together flow ample air through the helmet, helping to keep fogging to a minimum and things fresh inside. If you need even more, the quick release visor stays put nicely just cracked open.
When closed, the visor seals tightly around the eye port and the baseplates are foolproof when it comes to removing and replacing the visor. They don’t feel cheap or delicate either. LS2 also provides its Fog Fighter inner lens system with the Citation as another failsafe against fogging, marking another step beyond the mere basics.
Those that need to ride with eyeglasses can take advantage of the cutouts in the comfort lining and if you have a communicator, cutouts inside position speakers optimally over the ears.
There’s a dropdown sun shield that has fluid action via a slider on the bottom left of the helmet, and it provides near complete coverage. The only issue I had with it is the fact that the bottom outline cut through the view of my rearview mirror at times. It didn’t impede my vision, but obliged me to move my head up or down to get a clear look back.
Other upscale touches include a chin curtain and breath deflector standard, a neck roll, and ratchet retention system. I’ve not always been sold on the LS2 ratchet design but the strap on the Citation sits comfortably under the chin and after some use I was able to secure the helmet with just one hand, unlike more traditional d-ring set-ups. I really started to appreciate the convenience of the retention strap after a few full days in the saddle.
The look of the Citation is appealing too. I particularly liked the subtle ridges formed into the exterior shell on the chinbar and up the side of the helmet. A sleek, refined look.
From an aerodynamic perspective, the Citation is suitable in most situations. It’s nice and quiet inside, and is steady up to the speed limit on a 65 mph highway. I did have some noticeable pull on the lid at higher speeds when I’d toss a look behind during lane changes, however.
Thankfully, the helmet is lightweight. The XL I used registered 3.4 pounds on our scale, which is comparable to weights you’d see with helmets made from higher spec carbon fiber.
Fit is true to size and comfortable, the cheek pads are soft and supportive and the crown liner is thick and supple. LS2 indicates this is an oval-shaped helmet and it accommodates my long-oval head well for most of the day. I do get a slight hot spot on my forehead after a few hours on the bike, though.
But beyond that minor discomfort, the Citation is laudable all around. You get more than you pay for with this helmet, and touches like the dropdown sun visor and ratchet retention system quickly became features I wished to have when wearing other lids. For touring, commuting, quick trips or really any other surface street riding, the Citation will undoubtedly exceed expectations.