The Nolan Helmet Story
AN ITALIAN STORY SINCE 1972
Nolan group is an Italian company founded in 1972. In that year, Lander Nocchi, a businessman operating in the motorbike and car accessory sector, set up production of motorbike helmets which were injection moulded in polycarbonate, an innovative plastic material developed by General Electric under the trade name of LEXAN™*. This material, which had already been used for the moulding of protective helmets for astronauts on the “Apollo” missions, is still considered the finest thermoplastic material in use for the production of helmets. This was the birth of the first helmet to carry the Nolan brand name (an acronym of the founder’s name). Nolan group is currently the only company in the sector producing all of its helmets in Italy through a fully-integrated production process, from the receiving of the raw materials to the final assembly of the product. Nolan is the largest manufacturer of helmets in Europe, with about 350,000 helmets produced per year, and a team of 340 people working in a single location, which covers an area of 31,000 square metres. Nolan group produces helmets in polycarbonate, under the brand names Nolan and Grex, as well as helmets in composite fibres, under the X-lite brand. These brands are joined by N-Com, an internal division dedicated to the development of communication systems.
A HISTORY CHARACTERISED BY SAFETY AND QUALITY
The first important characteristic of Nolan group is its credibility as a producer; a credibility which is not only the result of its renowned history, but also, and above all, of its continuous commitment to safety and quality.
TWO INTERNAL LABORATORIES
Nolan group boasts two internal laboratories, which play an essential role both in the development stage of the product and in daily production. The first laboratory, certified by the Italian Ministry of Transport, verifies the satisfying and exceeding of requirements set by current national and international regulations, in line with internal standards. In order to comply with the UN/ECE 22-05, crash tests, tests on retention systems and helmet loss tests are carried out on helmets, while the visors are subject to optical and resistance tests. Specific equipment and machinery furthermore allows for the carrying out of tests required by other international regulations. The helmets and visors are then passed to external independent laboratories run by third parties, in order to obtain the relative homologation and certification, therefore allowing mass production to begin. The second laboratory carries out supplementary functional tests, which are not required by regulations, on finished products and on the various components, both in the development stage and in daily production, carried out through the taking of samples. These test protocols represent one of the most significant results of 49 years of experience. Overall, the aforementioned activity results in the testing of approximately 4,000 helmets every year.
Thanks to the attention and care to production, the Nolangroup S.p.A. plants have been awarded ISO 9001:2008 and SG (CPSA Japan) certification, the quality management system for companies: this entails constant improvement of the different production stages, from product design.
REPARTO CORSE NOLANGROUP.
For Nolangroup, races have always been synonymous with Communication and Research. As they represent the ideal testing ground and context for the emergence of vital technical solutions for the mass-production of all models, not just those specifically for racing. The Racing Department represents the “racing” history and heart of the company, recounting its sporting successes through its prestigious collection of legendary helmets. In this division, specialised technicians prepare the models destined for a Team, which is currently made up of approximately 100 riders competing in the MotoGP and Superbike Championships, as well as other minor championships. The technicians in the Racing Department also guarantee assistance to the riders on the various racetracks during the season. Nolan has always provided support to new talent attempting to reach the same goals of the Nolan and X-lite World Champions of past years, who have also grown with the company. Amongst these riders are: Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri. Thanks to their wins, the company currently boasts 67 World Titles.