The Future-Looking Shoei VFX-EVO Off-Road Helmet

Looks for the future but here today.

Shoei’s new VFX-EVO will be available in early December starting at $539. Race-replica graphics will go for $739.Seth Richards

Shoei’s new VFX-EVO is a modern off-road helmet that pays tribute to its VFX-W predecessor while updating styling and incorporating a rotational-impact-protection system that Shoei calls "Motion Energy Distribution System" (M.E.D.S.). Bell has implemented a similar system, known as "Multi-directional Impact Protection System" (MIPS), so it’s interesting to see helmet technology moving in this direction, though each manufacturer has its own way of going about it.

This is Shoei’s first helmet—off-road or otherwise—to feature this technology. The design uses a new two-piece EPS liner that reportedly doesn’t negatively affect overall weight, fit, or the impact absorption capability of the helmet. A fixed outer layer and an inner layer are anchored together by a center column that swings in the event of an impact, crushing surrounding perimeter columns to absorb energy. Shoei claims the system offers a 15 percent reduction in rotational forces to the brain.

Using an iPhone flashlight to search the interior recesses of the helmet. Part of the M.E.D.S. is visible beneath the padding.Seth Richards

In addition to aesthetic updates and M.E.D.S, the VFX-EVO incorporates an AIM+ (Advanced Integrated Matrix) shell that is DOT and SNELL certified. With 16 vents and Shoei’s 3D Max-Dry interior, as found on other models, the VFX-EVO should do a proficient job of keeping the wearer cool. Plush materials are used in the lower areas of the cheek pads and, as with several full-face models, this helmet features E.Q.R.S (Emergency Quick Release System) pull tabs to easily and safely remove the helmet from the head of an injured rider. Apparently, Shoei has taken a page from the likes of SRAD-era Suzuki and EXUP-era Yamaha with its heavy use of acronyms—for better or for worse (FBOFW).