Shoei’s new flagship helmet weighs 1,450g (size medium) to the X-Eleven’s – the helmet it replaces – 1330g (medium). That leaves us a bit baffled as to its appeal over the much cheaper Shoei RF-1100, which again weighs only 1,330g and shares the X-Twelve’s new CW-1 visor and whiz-bang QRSA visor mechanism. The Shoei X-Twelve or the Shoei X-Spirit II, as it’s known in Europe, also shares the RF-1100′s multi-fiber AIM+ shell construction, which is Snell M2010-approved; the RF-1100′s five shell sizes and, as far as we can tell, every other feature except the Emergency Quick Release System. But, the X-Twelve starts at $650 to the RF-1100′s $400.
Weight is such a big deal for motorcycle helmets because it combines
with aerodynamics and fit to determine whether or not a helmet is
comfortable over long periods and during athletic riding. Fancy helmets
like the X-Twelve have traditionally distinguished themselves from
cheaper options by being made from more exotic materials and therefore
In fact, the only potential significant advantage over the RF-1100 may
be improved ventilation — the X-Twelve has five inlet and ten exhaust
vents – but the RF is also ventilated to an extraordinary degree with
three inlets and six exhausts. Unfortunately, we’ve never been able to
get Shoei to return our calls or emails, so we can’t clear up these
issues for you.
The EQRS system is simply a couple of plastic tabs that disengage the
cheek pads when pulled. This enables emergency responders to more
easily remove the helmet post crash, potentially avoiding further
damage to the spine or neck.
Like the range-topping Arai RX-7 Corsair V — the X-Twelve’s closest
competition — the X-Twelve now uses a removable and washable CoolMax
Check our Shoei RF-1100 story for a video demonstrating the function of the CW-1 visor and QRSA mechanism.
If you think the X-Twelve sounds a little disappointing, you’re not
alone. That the weight has increased by over 100g from the X-Eleven
without any explanation points to either careless design or careless
marketing; if that increase is justified or necessitated by some new
feature or increased safety, why not tell us about it? If we were in
the market for a Shoei helmet we’d just buy the cheaper, equally
high-spec, lighter, better looking RF-1100.
Thanks for the tip, Asaph.