Review: Scorpion EXO 1100 Helmet

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Categories: Reviews, Gear

The Scorpion EXO 1100, $199 to $309, features a fiberglass/Kevlar matrix shell that was designed in the wind tunnel to be aerodynamically efficient and quiet.  It features an EPS lined chin bar for extra protection and Scorpion’s AirFit cheek pads.  It also features an internal drop down visor and an easy to use shield change mechanism.

Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality

The example I have here is the Liberty paint scheme. It has a very deep finish, smooth clear coat and has been durable for the two plus years I have used it. Some helmets scratch easily and start to chip or wear in that amount of time.  This helmet still looks new and the graphics are my favorite on any helmet I have owned.

I have one nit pick with the finish. The paint does not wrap into the vents and looks cheap and unfinished, not sure how much more painting that little bit would have cost. This is a minor complaint on a sub $300 helmet that hasn’t chipped, or faded.

EXO 1100 Vent

Overall, I'll rate the EXO 1100 as "Excellent" for initial paint and quality. I would rate it “Outstanding” for durability of those finishes.

Variant Fit, Internal Shape and Liner

The internal shape is round compared to the last helmet I reviewed. I have to wear this helmet two sizes larger than normal in order to not have pain in the forehead area. The liner is Scorpion’s KwikWickII and is very plush. There are nice big ear cut outs that accommodate speakers. There is plenty of room around the bottom to install a communicator with either a sticky mount or with a clamp. The interior is completely removable and washable.

Scorpion installs the AirFit system into the EXO 1100 that allows you to pump air into bladders located behind the cheek pads. This gives the rider the ability to custom fit the interior to your face. In practice it’s a nuisance. The pump is centrally located on the chin bar. It’s in the way when installing a communicator and if you have a non-round head your chin will hit it. Message to Scorpion, make more shell sizes, use less gimmicks.

Overall I would rate the Fit, Shape, and liner as “Above Average”. It really excels for this price bracket and is nicer than many more expensive helmets I have tested. I didn’t knock off for the AirFit because for many it may not be an issue.

Face Shield, Eye Port and Visibility

The face shield on the EXO 1100 is simple to remove, works very well, and has a couple nice features.

The face shield uses the SpeedShift quick change system. There is a twist lock on either side. Check out the video above for how easy it is. The face shield has multiple detent positions. There is a small lever to prop it open for venting and defogging.  This is really a godsend as the helmets ventilation is its weakest attribute. There is also a breath deflector to help with the defogging duties.

Visibility out of the eye port is “Average.” It’s not better and not worse than the average helmet. It does seal well with the shield and is water tight when closed properly.

Internal Visor

The internal visor works off of a lever on the left of the helmet. It is very easy to activate but really has no use. The visor does not drop down far enough and is in your line of sight. The tint is very light and does not block much sun, to top it off it suffers from optical distortion making it harder to see with it down than just dealing with the sun. I don’t use it at all.

Liberty Left Side

Ventilation and Air Flow

Air flow in the EXO 1100 is present, sometimes. There are a multitude of vents, detents, and sliders. Most make a noise when you move them, some even make the wind noise louder. None of them really improve helmet cooling. The best ventilation is the small shield detent lever that locks the shield slightly open. Without it the helmet would be too hot for most warm weather riding.

It does have one minor quirk for those who ride in the rain. The aerodynamics of the helmet creates a low pressure area near the chin bar. This can suck water up under the helmet into your jaw.

The Scorpion gets an “Below Average” rating for ventilation.

Noise Levels

The Scorpion is fairly quiet, there is not a lot of buffeting and the wind tunnel tested aerodynamics help. Conversely these same aerodynamics seem to hurt the ventilation. It would appear that Scorpion may have gone too far in looking for a slippery design they forgot it needs to catch some air to provide cooling.

Overall for noise I would rate the EXO 1100 “Very Good”.

Helmet Weight

The EXO 1100 in size extra large weighs 3 pounds 10.6 ounces. This will be indicative of any of the main sizes of their helmet.  Scorpion only has two shell sizes for the EXO 1100 model.

Conclusion

The EXO 1100 is an “Average” helmet.  With some minor tweaks it could be “Excellent.” Scorpion needs to ditch the AirFit, improve the optics of the internal visor and make the ventilation useful. The fit, finish, and design of the face shield are true stand outs not only in this price range but compete well with helmets costing much more.

Note: Item was purchased by the reviewer.

How I rate: It’s a subjective rating system and ranges from Poor, to Below Average, Average, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

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