Dual-sport helmets, as well as dual-sporting in general, have a fine line to walk among the purest of dirt riders. Neither can be too “street” and both have to look at home in the dirt. For a long time, the short list of adequately functional dual-sport (let’s call it “adventure” and make it cool) lids allowed into the party was one deep with Arai’s XD. Now, it’s plus one with the Shoei Hornet DS.The Hornet DS has been living with Dirt Rider for months. Actually it’s been here for nearly a year since the BMW R1200 GS Adventure introduction last spring. Initially, I rode 30-plus hours in it in those three days of off-road and on-road fun-including an eight-hour highway sprint from the cacti of Phoenix to the plastic of Los Angeles. I’ve also taken the Hornet DS on a back-road road trip to Vegas as well as small bike adventure rides through the mountains on CRF230Ls and WR250Rs. It’s been used for sure.Technically, the Shoei Hornet DS is a chameleon designed to adapt to whatever you throw at it. In stage one it comes complete with a moto-style visor and street-style shield (clear is included, and light smoke tint is available and recommended for sunny days and maximum cool points). The visor is designed short and stout to block enough sun and roost without buffeting too much in higher-speed runs. The combo works well and its limitations aren’t more than the machine’s you’ll likely be riding.In stage two (or full-dirt) you can remove the shield and rock your goggles, albeit smaller-framed goggles as the eyeport isn’t as big as those of full-on moto buckets. In stage three (full-street), you can ditch the visor and cue-ball down the fast lane. Really, though, you buy this helmet for stage one and that’s where we primarily tested it.The helmet works well. Yes, the inside of the shield can and will collect dust in all-day dirt riding. It’s just the nature of the beast. It doesn’t pour in uncontrollably or even in annoying amounts. It’s just something you have to wipe once or twice in a day. Since we’re complaining, it doesn’t come in fancy motocross graphic patterns either. Oh, and inside the Hornet DS your face will feel the heat more than a normal open helmet. The ventilation is adequate for medium-technical riding, but you’ll overheat in warm weather/low speeds with the trade-off of less wind noise and more comfort on the fast sections.While the helmet breathes well, the best ventilation feature is the adjustable mouthpiece; it closes and opens at the flick of a finger and flows serious air. And the face shield has four-position opening so you can toggle from fully closed to fully open in stages to cool your grille. The comfort of the plush removable liner and included chin-curtain are big bonuses on long and/or chilly rides. The fit of the Hornet is a tiny bit big, so if you like snug, go a size down or try it on at your dealer before buying.Overall fit and finish is A+ quality. Road noise is limited to a small rattle in the visor at about 80 mph, and the peripheral vision is great for an on-road-worthy helmet.Since it’s all about safety, rest assured that Shoei build quality and philosophy is inherent in the Hornet DS. And for $456.99 for a black model ($482.99 for four other solid tones) it better be. Attention-grabbing attributes start with Shoei’s Semi-Dual EPS liner (it incorporates varying densities of EPS foam in the dome of the helmet) and extended EPS down into the chin bar. Also, Shoei builds four specific outer shell sizes for its sizing range of XXS to XXL.Want an adventure-specific helmet for those days when your license plate bike begs for some miles? Hate wearing goggles to the grocery store? Want a tougher-looking street helmet while giving one helluva shout-out to your dirt bike roots? The Shoei Hornet DS is waiting.