X-Lite X-903 Review: The Best Budget Sports Touring Helmet?


The X-Lite X903 is their sports touring helmet with a pleasing simplicity and the sort of comfort that X-Lite has worked hard to create over the years.

The shell of this helmet is made from composite fiber, which always helps to keep the helmet’s weight down. 

In addition, it’s good at managing impact forces and allows better ventilation than a plastic shell.

X-Lite X-903 Review

Weight

On the weight front, we’ve weighed this size medium X903 on our scales, and it came in at 1590 grams/3.5 lbs. That’s okay, but it’s not as low a number as I expected to see.

When I put this lid on the scales, it feels much lighter on the go than the official figures.

Ventilation

The venting on this helmet is good, and it comes through two inlet points, one at the chin and one on top. 

An easy-to-use chin slider allows air to flow through the chin bar and exit over the top of the breath guard, which allows you to get some circulation through to the eye-port.

A break guard is part of the specification for this helmet. They all come with breath guards in the other vent and that chimney. 

It’s easy to use and similar to the one on X-Lite’s popular flip front X-1005 helmet. It slides open, allowing air to flow through and into the helmet’s interior.

Deep channels in the impact liner allow that incoming air to make its way to the back of the lid, where it can escape through the exhaust fence at the rear.

Visor

Visors are always pretty easy to change on X-Lite helmets, but they’ve gone one step further with the X903 by using magnets. They pull the visor and mounting together, making it dead easy to fit a new visor.

You pull the tab under where the helmet connects with the hinge then the visor is released from the helmet. To reattach the visor, hover it back over, and the magnets pull it together, and it’s reattached.

So, while it makes fitting much easier, in a way, it makes removing it a bit trickier, but there’s a technique to it.

The problem you get is when you pull the lever; you normally pull one side of the visor away perfectly. But then, when you move your attention to the other side, the visor naturally clicks back together, so you’re constantly dancing between the two.

The best way I’ve found to do this is to come from the back of the helmet, use your thumbs to press both levers simultaneously, and then pick the visor away.

You can reattach it just as easily from the same position because the magnets allow it to click back into place.

The visor also has a central lifting and lowering tab, which is increasingly common across all sorts of helmets. 

That means a couple of centimeters can open it to allow a substantial amount of air when you’re riding slowly, such as in slow traffic.

Anti Fogging

It’s protected against mist by Pinlock max vision insert that doesn’t impede your vision as it covers the vast majority of the eye-port.

Sun Visor

As with all good sports touring helmets, there’s a drop-down sun visor inside, and as with other X-Lites and Nolan’s, the two companies are part of the same group.

It’s protected against mist by a coating that does a good job of keeping clear vision.

It operates on the lever by the left ear; it quickly becomes second nature to lower or raise the visor on that lever.

Interior

X-Lite has put a lot of thought into its comfort liners, and that’s been the same with the X903. 

It’s got strands of carbon woven through to help maintain an even temperature, and it’s very pliable and comfy.

The skull pad also has X-Lite’s liner positioning control setup. That means you can alter the lining to change how the helmet sits on your head by adjusting a belt attached to the back of the cheek pad.

I’ll let you dig into the helmet’s owner’s manual to see how to do that properly, as it’s a little bit of an involved process that’d be too difficult for me to explain here.

I found the cheek pads on this size medium helmet a bit thicker than normal around the front, but that didn’t present any real comfort issues while I was riding.

The liner for this helmet is fully removable, although I found the cheek pads a bit tricky to refit. There are four fasteners for each pad, and all four of them are different.

There’s a whole section in the owner’s manual on removing those pads; you should be ready for a little bit of a fiddle. But, at least X-Lite takes the trouble to explain them in the book, which certainly isn’t the case with every manufacturer.

I think it’s because X-Lite has thought hard about how to make those cheek pads emergency release. It’s the sort of feature you hope you’ll never have to think about too much as it makes it easier for a medic to remove a crashed rider’s helmet.

Bluetooth

Behind those cheek pads are plugged recesses for intercom speakers. X-Lite has a dedicated system that fits neatly into this helmet.

I tried fitting a Cardo PACKTALK Bold system, but I couldn’t fit the speakers into the recesses; they were too big.

I’d expect a Cena aftermarket unit to fit as it’s Senna who makes the dedicated X-Lite system, but overall I would expect that dedicated system to fit the best.

Another plus is that X-Lite tested their helmets with that system fitted, so you know 100 percent that you won’t be compromising on safety by fitting an intercom.

Safety Straps

The fastening strap it’s a D-ring fastener which puts this helmet more at the sporty end of sports touring rather than the touring end. 

I’ve seen some praise online for the noise levels generated by this helmet, but my experience and the feedback from the customer reviews suggest that it’s pretty normal.

It’s neither really loud nor very quiet; it’s just normal. Customers who have left a review for this helmet, in general, praise the build quality, the comfort, the vision, the visor mounting, and the way it works neatly with that approved intercom.

I can see what they mean about this helmet for those who fit one. However, I think this is another lid that keeps up X-Lite’s reputation for really impressive standards.

Sizes

The X-903 comes in sizes double extra small to triple extra large. Three shell sizes cover that range; the smallest shell covers helmet sizes xxxs to medium.

Large gets a shell all to itself; the biggest shell covers xl and above. The helmet’s approved to ECE 2205 for the road, and the ACU approves it for track riding and racing. 

However, in the UK, it’s not yet been tested by the UK government’s sharp safety program, so I can’t let you know how many stars it would get.

But X-Lite has a very strong record when it comes to Sharp. All 11 of their helmets have been tested over the years and scored either four or five stars.

In Conclusion

The X-Lite X-903 motorcycle helmet is designed to maximize comfort and safety with a multi-axial hybrid shell.

The ultra-wide, Pinlock-ready face shield with a silicone-sealed profile provides maximum protection against flying debris. 

The liner is made with temperature-regulating active carbon filaments to keep you cool during a hot ride.

The VPS scratch-resistant and fog-resistant inner sun shield with UV 400 protection allow you to see clearly in all conditions. 

In contrast, the MVA (Magnetic Visor Assembly) allows you to adjust the visor angle easily.

The emergency release cheek pads provide easy access to your helmet’s liner in an emergency. 

At the same time, the LPC (Linear Positioning Control) system allows you to adjust the position of your cheek pads and liner.

The eye-wear compatible liner is removable and washable, and the speaker pockets make it easy to access your phone. 

In addition, the X-Lite X-903 motorcycle helmet features DOT-compliant and is ready for the N-Com communication system (sold separately).

Where To Buy

ModelRevzillaSports Bike Shop
X-Lite X-903From $589Opens in a new tab.From £262Opens in a new tab.

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