New Shoei RF-1100 helmet, Sever2 TC-1 graphic
New Shoei X-Twelve helmet, Streamliner TC-1 graphic
Shoei's new QRSA (Quick Release Self-Adjusting) faceshield base plate system is ingenious yet simple.jpg
Shoei's new QRSA (Quick Release Self-Adjusting) faceshield base plate system is ingenious in design yet simple in application.
The new RF-1100 now has four rear exhaust vents, positioned in the area found to have the highest negative pressure in order to pull out stale internal helmet air.jpg
The new RF-1100 now has four rear exhaust vents, positioned in the area found to have the highest negative pressure in order to pull out stale internal helmet air.
The new X-Twelve has a total of five intake and ten exhaust vents, making it the most aggressively vented helmet ever made by Shoei.jpg
The new X-Twelve has a total of five intake and ten exhaust vents, making it the most aggressively vented helmet ever made by Shoei
Shoei’s mid-line RF-1000 model has been the company’s best-selling helmet since its inception back in ’03, and for good reason. When you combine excellent function with superb quality at a reasonable price, the sales will come. And its top-of-the-line X-Eleven racing helmet has been one of the leaders in performance and innovation, with superb ventilation and aerodynamics that have spawned copies ever since. So it would be logical to expect that the RF-1000’s and X-Eleven’s successors would be a sensible evolution of their solid and refined designs. Why mess with success?
The new RF-1100 and X-Twelve, however, are literally all-new from the ground up. Utilizing data gleaned from the company’s new state-of-the-art wind tunnel as well as input from dealers and customers, both helmets bristle with new features that definitely set them apart from their predecessors.
Both helmets continue to utilize Shoei’s AIM+ fiber technology that is claimed to produce a lighter and stronger shell material, but now constructed to the new Snell 2010 standards. Also new is shell-forming technology developed from the company’s VFX-W motocross helmet that allows the RF-1100 to do away with the RF-1000’s plastic rear spoiler wing by incorporating the spoiler into the helmet shell’s shape, all while maintaining a consistent shell thickness for proper strength and weight. The X-Twelve, however, has a new larger plastic rear spoiler attached to the rear; because it is intended as a racing helmet, Shoei engineers felt that the higher speeds it was likely to encounter required even sleeker aerodynamics. The shell-forming technology also permits Shoei to offer an unprecedented five shell sizes (rather than just using two or three shells with different size padding) to cover the range of head sizes from XXS to XXXL.
Shoei’s (QRBP) Quick Release Base Plate system is one of the best shield attachment setups, allowing quick and easy faceshield replacement. Both helmets debut the new evolution of that system, dubbed the QRSA (Quick Release Self-Adjusting) base plate system. The QRSA retains its predecessor’s easy-to-use quick-release shield retention system, but also includes a patented spring-loaded setup for the shield pivot base plate that eliminates the need to adjust them to achieve a proper seal. The ingeniously simple yet sophisticated setup uses the base plates to pull the shield evenly across the helmet’s eyeport bead once the shield is closed, ensuring a secure wind and waterproof seal. That eyeport is taller and wider on both helmets, requiring a new shield; the new CW-1 shield is claimed to protect against 99 percent of the sun’s damaging UV-A and UV-B rays, and has the option of using an improved version of Shoei’s Pinlock anti-fog lens system.
Ventilation on both helmets has also been upgraded. Wind tunnel testing resulted in some location changes for the RF-1100’s rear vents (which are now four instead of two), while the X-Twelve now features a total of five intake and 10 exhaust vents, making it the most aggressively ventilated helmet Shoei has ever produced. Both helmets continue to use the company’s Dual Layer EPS liner that allows internal channels to route air inside the helmet for optimum ventilation, as well as the removable, washable, and replaceable 3D liner, with the X-Twelve utilizing Shoei’s proprietary Max Dry fabric that is claimed to absorb and dissipate sweat two times faster than traditional nylon interiors.
Both helmet’s cheek pads are available in variable thicknesses to allow riders to customize the helmet’s fit, with the liner featuring eyeglass channels, plus an integrated neck pad that—when combined with the other aerodynamic features of the helmet—contributes to less wind noise. Borrowing technology from its VFX-W motocross helmet, Shoei also equipped the X-Twelve with its EQRS (Emergency Quick Release System) that allows emergency medical personnel to easily remove the cheek pads from an injured rider’s helmet.
The Shoei RF-1100 retails for $399.99 for solid colors, $419.99 for metallic colors, and $499.99 for graphics, in sizes XXS to XXXL (size XXXL only available in solid and metallic colors, with prices unavailable at post time). The X-Twelve is available in sizes XS-XXL in solid colors for $649.99, metallic colors for $659.99, and various graphics for $769.99. Both helmets are backed by a five-year warranty, and owners can email Shoei’s tech support line (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM PST, Mon-Fri) at email@example.com. Go to www.shoei-helmets.com for more info.