Shoei RF-SR – 2021 Review

Troy
| Last Updated: May 5, 2021

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If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your motorcycle headgear, this review of the Shoei-RF-SR helmet is for you.

Here, you’ll find an honest assessment of the various pros and cons, as well as the specs and features, of this top-of-the-line product.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Can be used by adult men and women
  • Has an aerodynamic shell design
  • Features a comfortable and protective interior lining
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Shoei RF-SR Helmet, Matte Black, Large

PROS

  • Quiet
  • Comfort
  • Strength
  • Price Tag
  • Ventilation

CONS

  • Straps
  • Fogging

Specs and Dimensions

Color Options: The Shoei RF-SR helmet features seven distinct color variations: black, white, basalt grey, matte black, matte blue, matte deep grey, and tangerine.

Helmet Type: Full-face design.

Shape of Helmet: Intermediate oval design comes in extra small, small, medium, large, XL, and XXL sizes.

Weight: 5 lbs.

Materials: Construction materials consist of several layers of fiberglass and other organic fibers.

Main Features

Check out some of the main features of Shoei RF-SR.

Personal Touch

  • Shoei’s motorcycle helmets are regarded as one of the more high-end products available. Each helmet is handmade in Japan, and the production of this unique and intricate product requires over 50 people.

Design

  • The Shoei RF-SR helmet design fits both short- and long-distance riders' needs thanks to its comfortable yet dense and aerodynamic shell design.

  • The impact-resistant, multi-density expanded polystyrene foam liner will keep your head in one piece and significantly reduce road noise.

  • Shoei’s hand-laid, a six-layer matrix of interwoven coats of fiberglass, organic fibers, and resin that make up the RF-SR's outer shell is said to be the company’s strongest, lightest, and most elastic combination of materials ever used.

  • The emergency quick-release system allows the cheek pads to come out and the helmet to come off by simply pulling down on the two red tabs. Paramedics won't need to twist and turn an accident victim's head and neck to remove their helmet.

  • The varying size options comfortably fit most people.
  • Photo credit: Shoei-Helmets.com

    Ventilation

    • The Shoei RF-SR helmet's ventilation performance is impressive. Its rigorous dissection during its time in the wind tunnel test room has led to a near-perfect airflow balance, which is achieved through uniquely positioned air vents that optimize air intake and improve negative pressure suction.

    • A big lower vent shutter makes opening and closing these vents easy, even with gloves on.

    Face Shield

    • The CWR-1 face shield on the Shoei RF-SR helmet features protection from the sun’s damaging UV rays, as well as a (mostly) fog-resistant, transparent, and distortionless field of vision.

    • The visor is also easy to lock and has rubber ribbing on the tops and bottom edges that add extra durability.

    Base Plate System

    • The RF-SR base plate system not only holds the face shield in place, but Shoei’s patented spring-loaded technology also creates a windproof and waterproof seal.

    • The helmet’s adjustable dial and overall design make changing face shields quick and easy.

    Photo credit: Cycleworld.com

    Comfort

    • 3D interior padding design better matches the unique form of a rider’s head.

    • Variety of cheek pads are available for a tighter fit and helmet stabilization.

    • Interior padding is easily removed for washing, replacing, and adjusting.

    Pros

    Here are some of the pros:

    Price Tag

    One of the Shoei RF-SR helmet's top-selling points is that it's priced and marketed as an "entry-level" helmet, making it about $200 less than other helmets of comparable quality. We found this product drastically outperforms the entry-level title and is suitable for any rider. You can’t find a higher class of helmets at a lower price.

    Strength

    Unfortunately, we got to see the helmet’s strength firsthand when one of our testers collided with a motorist. Though they knocked their head on the concrete with considerable force, they didn’t lose consciousness and suffered no head trauma.

    Photo credit: Womenridersnow.com

    Comfort

    Some motorcycle helmets sacrifice durability and strength for comfortability, but that’s not the case with the RF-SR. The shell construction and design translate to superior strength as well as a comfortable fit. Our testers weren’t exhausted or overly hot even after riding with the RF-SR for hours on end.

    Quiet

    Perhaps the Shoei RF-SR’s most standout quality is its ability to shut out external noise. The noise level difference compared to the other brands we tested was night and day. We had no trouble hearing our music when riding at 70 miles per hour, while the other brands rendered our music inaudible.

    Ventilation

    The placement and functionality of the RF-SR’s vents are some of the best we've experienced. They are a breeze to open and close, and you can feel them working. Most helmets, on the other hand, had vents that were pretty much just for show as we could barely feel any difference between the open and closed positions.

    Cons

    Here are some of the downsides:

    Fogging

    The Shoei RF-SR’s comfortable and airtight feel comes with the occasional fogging of the visor, which lingers for riders who require eyeglasses. Shoei’s pin-lock insert can defog the visor, but you’ll still have a problem with your glasses. However, Shoei has the Air Mask 3 Universal breath box as an available add-on, which minimizes the problem.

    Photo credit: cityride.com

    Straps

    • The D-ring and straps on the RF-SR are tricky to attach and detach, especially while wearing gloves.

    Who is the Shoei RF SR Best For?

    While the RF-SR can be used by anyone, it’s best for more serious and professional riders due to its high-end nature and the corresponding price.

    While the RF-SR can be used by anyone, it’s best for more serious and professional riders due to its high-end nature and the corresponding price.

    Its extensive wind tunnel testing and insistence on professional rider feedback were conducted with the expert motorcyclist in mind.

    Who Should Not Buy the Shoei RF SR?

    A casual rider may want to look elsewhere for their helmet needs. Everyday motorcyclists will get the most bang for their buck, as the helmet’s multitude of features makes up for the above-average price tag.

    The Shoei RF-SR also may not be suitable for riders who require glasses and are unwilling to pay for the Air Mask, as the resultant fogging issues can be both an annoyance and a hazard.

    What Do I Need To Know Before Buying a Shoei RF SR?

    Here are some things to consider before rushing out to buy this helmet.

    Head Size

    Get an accurate idea of your head size to ensure you choose the correct helmet. It’s in your best interest to check out Shoei’s easy-to-follow fitting guide on its website, no matter where you’re buying your helmet.

    Look and Feel

    Don’t pass up an opportunity to try on the Shoei RF-SR. It's the only way to test how the ventilation, visor, and interior padding work before committing to the purchase.

    Photo credit: younghoppers.com

    On the Road

    You should also have an idea of how the Shoei RF-SR feels while driving a motorcycle. Take the helmet out for a test run if you can for a first-hand experience or read up on customer reviews.

    How Does the Shoei RF-SR Compare?

    Let's review how the Shoei RF-SR compare with the other helmets.

    Shoei RF SR vs RF 1200

    You’ll notice several drastic differences between these helmets. Here’s where they differ, as well as the commonalities they share.

    Similarities

    • Both helmets have the same intermediate oval design, while the basic layout of the vents and interior padding is also similar.

    • The helmets are composed of comparable materials and possess similar safety certifications.

    Differences

    • The RF1200’s price tag is about $200 more than the RF-SR’s. However, the RF1200 comes with the Max-Dry System II interior liner, which absorbs and dissipates sweat faster than the RF-SR’s.

    • The RF1200 has a more compact visor. However, it’s positioned slightly higher than the RF-SR’s.

      This subtle difference becomes more apparent while riding in a more upright position because the visor’s height forces most people to tilt their head down to view the instrumental panel.

    • A larger vent size and an extra vent on top give the RF1200 better ventilation than the RF-SR.

    • The RF1200 offers around 30 color options, while the RF-SR has, at most, five.

    Arai DT-X vs Shoei RF-SR

    Photo credit: Wristtwisters.com

    Although the Shoei RF-SR and competitor Arai DT-X exhibit a few interesting similarities, the two products also offer significant differences.

    Similarities

    • The general structure of both the Arai Dt-X and the Shoei RF-SR are nearly identical.

    • Both helmets have more or less the same quality and safety certifications.

    • The fiberglass construction materials are similar.

    • Both helmets offer different helmet sizes, interior padding, and various color choices.

    Photo credit: Revzilla.com

    Differences

    • The Shoei RF-SR only comes in an intermediate oval shape, while the Arai features three different internal head shapes.

    • Contrasting Arai DT-X ‘s single-piece interior liner, the RF-SR has a dual-layer, multi-density design. This additional feature is a softer density foam on top for immediate impact absorption coupled with an outer layer of medium-density foam that offers better protection in higher-speed impacts.

    • The Shoei RF-SR has a better overall comfort level. Its shape makes it more aerodynamic while reducing head instability as well as fatigue during long rides.

    • The RF-SR creates much less noise than the Arai Dt-X, which also doesn’t come equipped with a coverless face shield system.

    How to Maintain a Shoei Helmet

    It’s essential to maintain a high-end helmet like the RF-SR to keep it looking, smelling, and performing as it should. To avoid doing more harm than good when cleaning your Shoei helmet, follow these simple dos and don’ts.

    Don’ts

  • Scrubbing or using abrasive brushes on either the shell or visor will scratch your helmet.

  • Solvent-based or ammonia-based cleaner products can break down the visor’s polycarbonate lenses and reduce the outer shell's durability.

  • Don't use dish soap or other harsh soaps on your helmet or liner.

  • Fabric softeners or detergents containing fabric softeners often inhibit the moisture-absorbing liner properties.

  • Don’t put your helmet liner in the dryer.
  • Photo credit: Instructables.com

    Dos

    • Only use softer soaps like baby shampoo or mild laundry detergent when cleaning the liner.

    • Use a gentle, microfiber towel saturated in hot water to clean your helmet and visor.

    • Only use the absolute minimum amount of force possible when washing the visor and shell to avoid scratching.

    • Use car polish on the shell if your RF-SR is glossy.

    • Use cotton swabs with soap and water to clean out vents, joints, and other hard-to-reach areas.

    • Air-dry only.

    • A coat of car wax will protect your helmet from water spots and help prevent debris from sticking to it.

    • Wearing a skull cap or scarf will protect your liner from sweat and other body secretions from penetrating the interior liner.

    Photo credit: Bikebiz.com.au

    Conclusion

    Buying a motorcycle helmet is both a monetary and health investment. Shoei is a fantastic brand, and the RF-SR is a wonderful helmet. If it fits and allows you to ride comfortably, it's well worth the price.

    People Also Ask

    Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions regarding the helmet.

    Is the Shoei RF-SR Worth it?

    The Shoei RF-SR is definitely worth the investment. You can't skimp on a product as important as a motorcycle helmet, and the Shoei RF-SR is one of the best there is.

    Who Makes the Shoei RF-SR?

    Every Shoei helmet is handmade in Japan by the Shoei Safety Helmet Corp.

    How Do You Increase Ear Padding?

    One of the more popular ways is to swap one of the thinner pads for a thicker one.

    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.