Shoei VFX-W Helmet - DR Tested

When Shoei came out with an all-new helmet, it was not kidding around. The lid's fresh look and feature-stuffed package make it like a fully-loaded new vehicle. If you're really interested in the details, I suggest you hit up the company's website, but here is a brief rundown on the stuff that stands out.The fiberglass and organic fiber shell is created using a new forming technology to keep the thickness constant even in the crazy new shape. The shell is manufactured in four sizes, so it has better sizing for the head and the internal EPS foam. A dual-layer EPS liner allows the foam density to be adjusted in critical areas. The chin bar is entirely EPS covered, and the liner is made from a new sweat-absorbing material. The cheek pads have a quick-release feature to allow the lid to come off easier in an emergency situation, and the eyeport is larger to allow the use of some of the bigger-framed goggles around. Pretty stacked.Shoei has always been one of the top brands in perceived safety and quality, and this new helmet's spec sheet certainly highlights the company's commitment to that cause. In the looks department it is one of the freshest designs sold with both solid color and graphic versions available.The fit of the helmet is about as true to size as any I've sampled, and they seem to suit a pretty wide variety of head shapes as well. My medium was a perfect medium. The only issue I had is that the cheek pads, even though fitting properly, can make putting the helmet on a tight operation, yet it still comes off easily. Then there is the increased venting that Shoei spent a lot of time working on. You can feel it lightly and I'd say it is one of the best I've tried, yet nothing like the Klim F4 in total airflow. It is enough to help with sweating but not enough to actually dry the liner while you ride if you sweat anything like I do. Good thing the liner is easily removed for cleaning.The helmet centers your goggle strap and feels light on your head. The visor had plenty of adjustability and deflects roost or a low afternoon sun just fine. And it cuts through the air well if you are going fast enough to worry about that. I did not wear it with any of the new neck braces, so I can't comment on how the extended rear of the helmet works in conjunction with those, but seeing it in use by others with the neck supports would suggest it is not an issue. The other thing I didn't do was hit my head really good inside the helmet (and I don't ever want to, but I feel safe in this helmet), but it has survived some low-speed falls and the usual dings and scratches as well as any helmet should.Priced between $399-$559 depending on the style and sized in XS-XXXL, the Shoei VFX-W covers a wide range. If you have any reason to believe that having a higher-priced helmet is better for your safety, in the case of this Shoei, you know you are getting 100 percent built-in-Japan quality and a helmet that passes DOT and Snell certifications.No matter what your requirements are, this is money well spent. -Jimmy Lewis

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