Shoei Helmet Reviews – 2021 Guide

Troy
| Last Updated: April 23, 2021

Speedy Moto is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The first piece of motorcycle safety gear that comes to mind for most riders is the helmet.

However, there is a wide range of styles, performance levels, and price points.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive review of the best Shoei helmets on the market.

Our Top Picks for Shoei Helmets

  • DOT approved
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Easy maintenance
View Latest Price →
  • Easy maintenance
  • Double D-ring chin strap
  • Use with eyeglasses
View Latest Price →
  • Best for the Money
  • Comfort and protection
  • Attractive design
View Latest Price →

Comparison of the Best Shoei Helmets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • DOT approved for safety features
  • Scratch-resistant, durable shield coating
  • Removable, washable cheek pads for easy maintenance
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Removable, washable liner for easy maintenance
  • Features a double D-ring chin strap
  • Cheek pads designed to be used with eyeglasses
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best for the Money
  • Offers plenty of comfort and protection
  • Has an attractive design
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Features a comfortable and protective interior lining
  • Has an aerodynamic shell design
  • Can be used by adult men and women
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Dual density EPS liner
  • Offers optimal sun protection
  • Tested and approved by professionals
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Shield is distortion-free and blocks 99% of UV rays
  • Quick, smooth closure/release system is easily adjustable
  • Inner liner is ergonomic for fit, safety, and comfort
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Made with extremely durable materials
  • Lightweight and aerodynamic design
  • Has an integrated visor
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Adjustable/rotating liner allows for custom fit
  • Interchangeable rear flaps offer great aerodynamics
  • Scratch and fog resistant shield
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Has an incredibly versatile design
  • Lightweight and very aerodynamic
  • Made with expanded polystyrene
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Who is Shoei?

Shoei is a premium Japanese brand known for producing high-end, heavily tested and well-built motorsport helmets. The company’s products are all handmade and designed with care to be both functional and eye-catching.

Shoei is also backed by some of the fastest motocross riders in the sport such as Josh Grant and Marc Marquez.

In 2020, Shoei was rated a 4.15/5 for safety, which put it in third place out of all helmet brands on the market last year. Additionally, two of Shoei’s newer products, the Ryd and X-Spirit III, scored a perfect 5/5 for safety.

Review of the Best Shoei Helmets

Now that you know more about the Shoei brand, let’s get right into their top helmets. We’ll review the best overall, runner-up, best value, and many others.

Best Overall:
Shoei GT-Air II

PROS

  • Comfortable ventilation that keeps you cool
  • Better aerodynamics so it’s quieter on the road
  • Emergency cheek pad system works well and can be easily removed
  • Intercom and Bluetooth compatible so you can connect with other riders
  • Fiberglass, carbon, and resin outer shell is designed to be strong, but also lightweight and flexible

CONS

  • High price point
  • Visor and sun shield reduce optical quality

What Recent Buyers Report

This helmet is known for its excellent soundproofing, ventilation, and comfortability. Users are happy with spending extra money on the GT-Air II. However, many reviewers said the visor isn’t very easy to use while on the road.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The GT-Air II is one of the highest-quality helmets on the market right now. The clear Bluetooth integration system, easy-to-use ratchet chin strap, and potentially lifesaving emergency quick-release system (EQRS) make this product well worth the investment.

Bottom Line

You get what you pay for with this helmet. The GT-Air II has a high price point, but it delivers excellent quality and peace of mind.

PROS

  • Modern look thanks to a sleek and stylish design
  • Removable cheek pads compatible with eyeglasses
  • Easy-to-use dropdown sun visor can be adjusted in three positions
  • Dual EPS liner provides better ventilation and more comfort than other models
  • Ultra-lightweight and strong outer shell for maximum resilience and protection

CONS

  • Loud on the road
  • Not fully protected from exhaust and dust

What Recent Buyers Report

The J-O Carburetor’s style is its most commonly loved attribute. Its fit and comfortability have also been lauded. Some customers believe it’s on the louder end, so you may want to consider earplugs when riding long distances.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This helmet is equipped with many great features if you’re looking for a retro ¾ shell. The J-O Carburetor is also moderately priced when compared to other Shoei products. Its advanced integrated matrix (AIM) shell keeps riders comfortable and safe, while the ventilation keeps you both cool and dry on warm days. Additionally, not many helmets offer a dropdown visor that can be adjusted in three different positions.

Bottom Line

The J-O Carburetor is one of the most comfortable and stylish ¾ helmets on the market. Unless you mind a little noise on the road, we can’t say anything but good things about this helmet.

Best for the Money:
Shoei Hornet X2

PROS

  • Wide shield for a greater range of vision
  • The lightest and strongest of Shoei’s models
  • Suitable for all weather and riding conditions
  • Dual-sport helmet is ideal for both on- and off-road performance
  • Chin bar is designed for maximum air ventilation on long drives or heavy breathing on the trail

CONS

  • Could use better ventilation
  • Difficulties with connecting to Bluetooth

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviewers believe the Hornet X2 is well worth the money. They love the ventilated visor aerodynamics, which allows wind to pass through quietly when riding at fast speeds. The lack of airflow within the helmet has been cited as the main downside.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s no easy feat to make a helmet that’s great on both the highway and trail. The Hornet X2 is designed to withstand every element, from rain and snow to dirt and mud. This model’s uninhibited range of vision is unbeatable compared to other helmets. You can see everything around you while either on- or off-road. The incredible aerodynamic shell also cancels out noise wherever you’re riding. Plus, it comes with EQRS, which is a necessary safety feature for dual-sport helmets.

Bottom Line

The incredible quality that you get with this dual-sport model is why it's a great value. This helmet’s versatility makes it a great choice for riders who prefer the safety of full-face helmets.

Shoei RF SR Review:
Shoei RF-SR

PROS

  • AIM shell is extremely lightweight and resilient
  • Fog-resistant lens for safer riding experience
  • The shell minimizes turbulence and neck strain
  • Air-tight seal designed to reduce noise and wind
  • Excellent ventilation system with both upper and lower vents

CONS

  • Relatively small fit
  • Not suitable for all riders

What Recent Buyers Report

There are many positive reviews about the RF-SR. Many mention that it’s much more comfortable and quieter than other helmets on the market. The shield system has also received many compliments. Some buyers report that the helmet fits very well, but it’s tighter than other models.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The RF-SR effectively reduces wind and noise despite its numerous vents. The helmet’s excellent soundproofing is primarily due to the CWR-1 shield and QR-E closure system. It’s also quite stylish with its sleek black matte finish. Additionally, this model is made of lightweight carbon and doesn’t create excess head pressure. Plus, less turbulence and neck strain create a smoother riding experience.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been searching for a lightweight full-face helmet, look no further than the RF-SR. It may be more expensive than other brands, but this model’s soundproofing and safety are worth the price.

Shoei RF-1200 Review:
Shoei RF-1200

PROS

  • Exceptional ventilation system
  • Carries the Snell certification, ensuring safety and performance
  • The shell is barely noticeable due to its lightweight and aerodynamic nature
  • Cheek pads are designed to improve the range of motion in the head and neck
  • Rigid CWR-1 Pinlock shield prevents wind pressure even when traveling at high speeds

CONS

  • More suited for sportbike riders
  • Not suitable for oval-shaped heads

What Recent Buyers Report

The RF-1200 is known for its comfortable fit. A few users even commented that this helmet saved their lives during a crash. However, some reviewers believe it’s best suited to riders with round heads.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This premium full-face helmet’s additional features make it a great find. It’s more affordable than some Shoei models and it doesn’t disappoint. The pin-lock shield reduces noise thanks to the thicker padding on the cheek guards and sides of the helmet, and the airflow is amazing. Plus, the cheek pads are easily removable with the EQRS system in the event of an emergency.

Bottom Line

The RF-1200 has everything you would expect from a full-face helmet, and more. Although it can work for any style of rider, this model gives you better visibility with your head tucked down. So, if you’re a sportbike rider with a round head shape, this might be a good option for you.

Shoei Neotec II Review:
Shoei Neotec 2

PROS

  • Quieter than many other modular models
  • Comes with an optional headset integration system
  • Excellent aerodynamic capabilities to ensure a smoother ride
  • Fog-resistant liner allows you to drive in any weather condition
  • Micro-ratcheting chin strap makes the helmet easy to remove and secure

CONS

  • High price point
  • Not as quiet as many full-face models

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers say the Neotec 2 is one of the best helmets they’ve ever owned. Some say it’s so comfortable that they forget they have a helmet on. However, others think it could be quieter when they’re traveling at high speeds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This modular helmet features the safety of a full-face model with all of the benefits of an open-face helmet. You can easily flip up the shield, making it a good choice for both quick commutes and long road trips. We also love that it can integrate with the Sena SRL communication system. You can connect to music, GPS, or other rides from up to a mile away with excellent sound quality. Despite the helmet not being perfectly soundproof, it’s still 10% quieter than the previous models thanks to the noise-isolating wind deflectors and chin bar.

Bottom Line

This helmet is a great investment if you have a little bit of extra cash to spend. You can’t go wrong with a touring helmet that is both functional and of high quality.

Shoei RF-1100 Review:
Shoei RF-1100

PROS

  • The strongest model Shoei makes
  • A padded neck collar minimizes wind noise
  • Plenty of ventilation throughout the helmet
  • Ergonomic interior for a more comfortable experience
  • Shell has an aerodynamic tail fin for minimal drag and maximum airflow

CONS

  • Not lightweight
  • Tighter fit on cheek pads

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers most frequently comment about their love of this helmet’s airflow with this helmet. Even on hot days, there’s minimal fogging. This model is mostly regarded as an upgrade from the RF-1000, though some users say it’s tight on the cheeks

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of Shoei’s best-selling helmets for a reason. The RF-1100 is currently one of the company’s strongest helmets. It’s been heavily tested in wind tunnels and by professional motocross athletes to ensure the highest performance standards. The upgraded ergonomic plush interior makes it an excellent choice for riders looking for a comfortable full-face helmet, and the ventilation lets you head out on those long rides while remaining cool and dry. Additionally, the third-generation tail fin is an amazing feature that greatly reduces wind noise at high speeds.

Bottom Line

Shoei knocks it out of the park for those looking for a full-face sport-touring helmet. This model’s rigorous testing will ensure that you’re protected while riding.

Shoei X-14 Review:
Shoei X-14

PROS

  • Maximum safety ratings from Snell M2015 and SHARP 5
  • Excellent air ventilation system for hot days on the track or highway
  • Comes with a shock-absorbing EPS liner for better protection upon impact
  • The double-locking visor latch prevents the shield from opening while riding
  • Aerodynamic shell created for minimum air resistance even at racetrack speeds

CONS

  • It’s not soundproof
  • More expensive price point

What Recent Buyers Report

Although the X-14 is not the quietest helmet, it’s known for its comfort and quality ventilation. Users also seem to agree that this model’s quality greatly exceeds the price. Many customers love its noticeable stability while they’re riding at high speeds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of Shoei’s high-end models designed for the racetrack. It’s hand-manufactured to withstand high impact and maximum speeds while being comfortable and lightweight. But the helmet’s equally efficient on the highway. Plus, the Snell and SHARP 5 certifications make it top of the line for safety, and it comes in a variety of flashy graphics as well as a sleek-looking matte black or white, depending on your style.

Bottom Line

The X-14 helmet is designed for racing, so being soundproof isn’t its top priority. But this model makes up for its lack of quietness with good protection, safety, and aerodynamics on both the racetrack and highway.

Shoei Qwest Review:
Shoei Qwest

Shoei Qwest Helmet - X-Small/White

PROS

  • Face shield and visor provide excellent visibility
  • Shell has an integrated spoiler to reduce wind drag
  • More affordable price point than many other Shoei models
  • Comes with a comfortable plush internal lining that fits snugly
  • Made to withstand extreme weather conditions with a water- and wind-resistant seal

CONS

  • Not great soundproofing
  • Won’t fit riders with round-shaped heads

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers love the comfortability, affordability, and aerodynamics of this helmet. It does an excellent job at keeping wind and rain out while still providing ventilation and wicking away sweat on hot days. However, some users report that it’s a bit loud when riding.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Qwest is one of Shoei’s top touring helmets because it keeps you well-protected. It’s also weather-resistant and comfortable, enabling you to take it out on long rides without having to worry about the elements. Any helmet that’s designed for touring requires a certain level of comfortability and Shoei doesn’t disappoint. Having greater visibility is equally as important when on the street or highway. A greater optical range is easy with the wider and taller shield.

Bottom Line

Qwest offers maximum protection and comfort. You’ll have to deal with a bit of extra noise, but this model is crafted with nothing but the highest quality at an excellent price.

Types of Shoei Helmets

Shoei makes helmets for every motorcycle sport. Here are some types they offer. 

Full Face Helmets

Full-face helmets provide the most comfortable around your entire head, as well as some of your neck. These are the safest types of helmets because of the model’s chin bar. However, it can be difficult to hear while wearing this model and they’re somewhat restrictive. Some of Shoei’s full-face helmets listed in this roundup include the Hornet X-2 and the RF-SR.

Photo credit: shoei.com

Open Face Helmets

Open-face helmets, otherwise known as ¾ helmets, cover your neck and head. However, they lack the chin bar, so your face won’t be completely protected. This also leaves you exposed to wind, rain, sun, and insects. But these helmets are lightweight, don’t create blind spots, and you can easily hear screeching tires or sirens. The Shoei Carburetor is the only ¾ helmet we’ve reviewed here.

Modular Helmets

A modular helmet combines the aspects of a full-face and open-face model. You can flip up the chin bar when stopped or filling up gas, then put it back down when on the road. However, these helmets tend to be louder than average because the shell is made up of two pieces and doesn’t block out the wind. One of the top modular helmets reviewed here is the Neotec 2.

Helmet Sizing Chart

Finding the motorcycle helmet that fits best is important to reduce damage from potential impact. For information on choosing the right size, look at our helmet sizing chart below.

Note: This is a general chart not specific to the Shoei brand. 

What Makes Shoei Products Stand Out From the Competition?

It’s difficult for most brands to compete with Shoei’s high standards in terms of safety, comfortability, and protection. Its products are built to last, and the five-year warranty provides riders with extra peace of mind. Additionally, each

Shoei helmet is handcrafted by over 50 people, most with beautiful graphics and sleek designs, which speaks volumes about the care that goes into the brand. The company’s customer service is also excellent. Shoei will replace everything covered under its warranty with no questions asked.

Shoei Helmets: How Do They Compare?

Shoei has some stiff competition for motorcycle gear. Check out the way they compare to some other popular brands. 

Arai vs Shoei

Arai and Shoei are both Japanese brands that produce premium motorcycle helmets. They’re both known for their high safety standards.

However, Arai’s helmets aren’t handmade. Arai also doesn’t design helmets with a coverless face shield. Additionally, Shoei places higher importance on comfort than Arai and produces more open-face and modular helmets. Arai’s price point tends to be a bit higher as well.

HJC vs Arai

These are two very different brands. The HJC helmet is known for producing budget-friendly helmets while Arai is one of the most expensive brands. Arai’s helmets are much more aerodynamic and lightweight.

AGV vs Shoei

Both AGV and Shoei helmets score excellent safety ratings. They both produce a wide range of models designed both for the road and the track.

Shoei’s helmets are usually of premium quality while AGV tends to design mostly mid-range helmets, though it’s also produced some higher-end models.

Shoei vs Bell

Both Shoei’s and Bell’s helmets are held to the industry’s highest safety standards.

The two brands differ in terms of physical appearance, though. Shoei tends to lean toward moderate designs, while the Bell helmet has a classic look. 

Although the two brands are similar, Shoei produces models with more features that are easier to use.

Icon vs Shoei

Both Icon and Shoei are DOT certified.

Icon generally produces helmets within the mid-price range, while Shoei leans toward the higher end for most of their premium helmets. The Icon brand is produced by HJC, while Shoei is its own manufacturer.

Photo credit: bosshunting.com.au

How to Clean Your Shoei Helmet

  1. Rinse – Be sure to rinse your helmet off with water if it’s dirty from a long drive or a day on the track.

  2. Clean the outer shell – Use helmet cleaner and a non-abrasive, soft cloth to avoid scratching and damaging the helmet while cleaning the outer shell.

  3. Clean the air vents – Utilize helmet cleaner and a soft toothbrush to clean dirt and debris in those hard-to-reach places such as air vents.

  4. Clean the removable inner lining – Remove your helmet’s inner lining, then wash the lining by hand or in a washing net on a delicate cycle.

  5. Clean the non-removable and EPS lining - If your interior liner is non-removable, use a gentle cleaning agent and a soft cloth to clean inside. Repeat the same procedure for the EPS lining.

  6. Let it dry - Never place your helmet in the sun to dry. Instead, place it on a rack facing a fan indoors or away from the sun.

Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of the steps required to clean a Shoei helmet.

Conclusion

Whether you’re an experienced rider or an amateur, Shoei is a reliable brand known for its exceptional safety and performance standards. There’s a helmet designed for riders of all types, including those who enjoy either touring or racing. Spending a bit more money is worth it if you want a high-quality product that’ll last for a long time.

Recap - Best Shoei Helmets

Before you hit the road, here's a recap of the three best Shoei helmets:

  1.  Shoei GT-Air II
  2.  Shoei RF-SR
  3.  Shoei Hornet X2

People Also Ask

Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions buyers have about the Shoei brand so you can make an educated decision on if this brand is right for you.

Why Are Shoei Helmets So Expensive?

Each helmet is handmade with a team of over 50 people manufacturing each one. They’re put through rigorous testing to ensure exceptional safety and performance standards. The saying “You get what you pay for” has never been more true with Shoei.

Are Shoei Helmets Worth the Money?

Many buyers who were initially unsure about purchasing a Shoei helmet later report that it’s worth the money. As far as we’re concerned, no sum of money is too big when considering the protection of your head.

Photo credit: denniskirk.com

What Kind of Warranty Does Shoei Offer?

Shoei helmets are backed by a five-year warranty policy from the date of purchase or seven years since the date of manufacture. The warranty covers all manufacturing defects.

How Much Are Shoei Motorcycle Helmets?

The prices vary greatly. Shoei offers budget-friendly products for around $150. However, the company’s moderate prices seem to be around a few hundred dollars, while the most expensive model, the X14 Marquez, is just shy of $900.

How Long Will Shoei Helmet Last?

Your Shoei helmet is guaranteed to last at least five years from the date of purchase. Any defects are covered under the warranty. There are no guarantees against high-impact crashes and cosmetic damage, so it depends on how well you take care of the helmet.

How to Pronounce Shoei?

Phonetically, the brand is pronounced “Show-ay.”

Shoei Helmet Buyer Guides

Looking for all of our guides on Shoei? You've come to the right place. Here are all of our Shoei related guides:

Troy

Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.