Sometimes having friends in the motorcycle industry has its perks. For instance getting a new Shoei X-fourteen for a few days and them telling you “to send it back in the same condition.” While most people would keep this amazing piece of equipment under lock and key, we had other ideas. After receiving the “you break it you bought it” speech I was handed the box containing Shoei’s newest flagship. I was so giddy to try this helmet out I nearly ripped the box open. But I took a breath and opened the pristine box and carefully extracted the beauty which laid inside.

With the helmet in my hands I can’t express how light it felt. It felt like a feather compared to my RF-1200 which was sulking in the corner. Before taking it for a ride I swapped over the tinted visor from my RF which always provides ample protection from the sun. Walking out to the bike everything seemed routine and once I put on the helmet it felt like I was wearing nothing. Nothing that oddly smelled like new helmet. I noticed right away the pads fit differently between my RF and this X. The pads felt more supple, and I felt like they did not extend as far down my jaw as the RF’s do.

I headed home and opened up the vents almost immediately. It’s 80 degrees here in southern California and even this white helmet was getting toasty. All the vents functioned in perfect Shoei fashion, and the cheek vent did a great job cooling all of my face rather than just the front. At this point I was thinking about keeping this helmet and trying to ship my RF back in it’s place! That changed once I was doing highway speeds. While the helmets lightweight and serious aerodynamic design meant that it just slipped through the air without hesitation but once you turned your head, it was all over. Even the smallest deviations from straight forward would cause the helmet to become a giant sail that would strain my neck.

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On my commute home I began to think about this serious downside, and how Shoei designed this helmet. The X is a pure, unadulterated race helmet that cuts through the wind with serious ease. While that design is great on a racetrack it’s terrible for the street when you are constantly looking over your shoulder. It was by this point I was nearly home, with just a few miles of surface streets left. I really started to enjoy the cheek vents at low speeds and hope this technology makes it into the RF-1300. By the time I was home I was grinning from ear to ear having loved every minute of wearing this treasure. Even with the design so narrowly focused, the X is still an amazing helmet.

Pros:
Featherweight
Amazing Aero that cuts through the air
The cheek vent Rocks!
All the Shoei features you’ve come to expect

Cons:
The “Sail” effect
Price