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Shoei RF 1000 motorcycle helmet review

August 9th, 2009 · 2 Comments

My trusty Arai Quantum (Mick Doohan replica) had known better days, so I decided to buy myself a new helmet. The choice was either the HJC

AC-12 Carbon Vader Helmet (newer next generation is now called the FS 15 model) or the Shoei RF1000 (Flutter TC-2).

I did ride with the HJC AC12 for a few hundred km,when I borrowed it from my brother. It’s a hell of a helmet, very comfortable, very light (lighter than the SHOEI I’m writing on), gorgeous looks. But it had two things that bothered me: some whistle like noise at high speed and a too soft opening mechanism of the face shield , that opened unexpectedly at least twice, at high speeds. You can however use the face shield lock button on the side to avoid that. As for the noises, I wore this helmet on a Suzuki C-50 motorcycle, equipped with a fairly high wind shield, so it might be the reason for the whistles. Anyway, from various articles around, it’s not quieter than the SHOEI. Is it noisier? I would carefully say a bit more, but like any good helmet, noise levels vary by head shape, motorcycle model, riding position, speed, and other factors. I did feel the HJC XL was looser (but still nicely fits) on my head than the SHOEI.

The HJC is a fine and very light helmet.

The HJC is a fine and very light helmet with great inner and outer finish. In my opinion one of the best looking helmets out there.

Anyway, I thought checking out the SHOEI as well, and one design I saw, immediately caught my eye. The RF-1000 Helmet sells around 350$ depends on the graphics. As always, no-graphic models should be cheaper.

I got the Helmet from the seller pretty quick, but, without the booklet, the nose guard and the chin guard. I contacted the seller , which has sent the missing parts.

Interesting graphics but without the "I'm in a violant street gang member" looks, and "I know kong Fu!"

Interesting graphics but without the "I'm a member of a violant street gang, and I know Kong-Fu" looks...

Shoei RF-1000 helmet Review:

I’ll try to spare you the usual babel about the space age composite that the whatchamacallit is made of. Instead Ill try to get strait to the points that should really interest you.

LOOKS: First of all, this helmet looks good! I’m not too kin about the latest graphics on helmets but the graphics on this model (Flutter TC-2) was lively, yet it doesn’t make you look like you’re a member in some street gang… SCORE -10.

The size was XL and the helmet fitted a bit too snugly which is great, cause in a matter of time it will fit perfect as cheek pads tend to soften a bit in short time . In general, always choose a helmet which fits you good, a TINY BIT tight on the cheeks, but never any tightness that puts too much pressure anywhere else.

WEIGHT: my RF-1000 XL, weighs 1630 gr. on my electronic scale. Which should be only a few grams more than the AJC AC12. This is very light compared to most helmets today. SCORE – 10.

FINISH: The finish outside is great, the painting is flawless as so assembly outside and inside. The material used for padding is comfortable. SCORE- 9.5.

FACE SHIELD and mechanism: shield is said to be scratch resistant , and up until now is doing good. The mechanism is a bit hard to open with summer gloves and pretty hard with winter gloves. The “problem” is both the hard shield mechanism and the tiny opening tab (Is it tiny to avoid wind noise? maybe).

The fact that the mechanism is a bit hard to open (though smooth in operation) is not really a problem, as it will make sure the shield does not open in high speed rides. If you insist on making it easier to open, you can take the shield off, and put very little of grease on the touching points. Make sure you use grease that is good for plastic . Please don’t use axle grease. One more good thing is that unlike ARAI and other brands too, Shoei does not use “ears” to cover the face shield mechanism. The face shield connects to the helmet and that’s it. No other parts come after, that could break, or increase wind noise.  SCORE – 9.5.

shoei_rf1000_helmet_review_mechanism

Best face shield mechanism you can buy. Shoei does not use "ears" to cover the face shield mechanism, which is good. In the picture you can also see the Shield lock button, which will prevent the shield from opening unexpectedly at high speed riding.

BUILT: My Shoei had an annoying problem . The washable and removable right cheek pad. Cheek pads are connected to the helmet by rather small plastic push buttons . One more thing is the inner material of the pads, which is kind of flexible plastic, far from being firm, making the pad edges a bit sloppy.  My right cheek pad used to loosen every time I wore the helmet (left side didn’t have a problem…). What I did is open the pad a bit, and return it with a bit of hot plastic glue. The hot glue is tough enough to hold the cheek pad in place but easy to take off when washing time will come. Bottom line, helmet is good as new and you can’t see the glue, but I would expect a better quality buttons or other technique to better hold the pads , from a company like Shoei.

Will it happen in any helmet? I don’t know. The left pad does not come off that easily, so maybe it’s just my helmet.  SCORE – 8 (sorry Shoei, fix the pads, and you’ll get a 10)

The buttons that attach the pads to the helmet are too little and the pad may come loose too easily.

The buttons that attach the pads to the helmet are too little and part of the pad may come off too easily.

VENTILATION: The front chin vent is pretty hard to operate with winter gloves- open or close (fair to say- most of the helmets vents are like that). The solution is to do it before you ride. Once open, the ventilation is somewhat unnoticeable. So does the rest of the ventilation system.

I would expect a mechanism that could open more, let in lots of air if you wish, not just from this Shoei, but from other full face helmets as well, which usually have the same little vent holes, that can not channel lots of fresh air IN, which is what you need to cool your head no?

Nose guard (breath deflector) is good as long you don’t wear glasses, otherwise you won’t be able to see at cold weather (you can use anti-fog sprays to sort this problem) Chin guard will not lower noise or prevent cool winter air from entering, but it can lower the chances of an insect coming in…

SCORE – 8.

Front vent not easy to operate. With winter gloves - almost impossible.

Easier being kissed by a nun, than opening or closing the chin vent with your winter gloves on... But, it does get easier to operate as time goes by.

The rear vent exhaust. Summer riding is still hot, but at least the aerodynamic rear fin decreases wind turbulence, maybe the reason this helmet is relatively quiet.

The rear vent exhaust. Open or close rear vent before or after a ride, cause you can't do it while riding unless you're HOUDINI. Summer riding will still be hot, but at least the aerodynamic rear fin decreases wind turbulence - maybe the reason this helmet is relatively quiet.

Shoei Helmets on AMAZON.COM

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  • Gary

    Ok, the Shoei RF-1000 is not your Race Caliber Arai of today, but an excellent helmet none-the-less. The score and info for the cheek pads: Had to be the reviewers helmet(should have exchanged it. I wear the Shoei Caster and let me tell you, for the money it is by far the best helmet you can buy. Mine hasn’t had a single issue to date to complain of in any way. I also bought the dark smoke iridium visor for day riding. A bit pricey but well worth it, and when the time to switch back to clear for night riding comes……….the quick snap design makes it simple to do so in a short time. I have had no issues with summer or winter gloves with any of the vent openings. As with any new helmet, upon purchase there is a break in period that you have to allow moving parts. As for the Houdini comment in reference to the rear “spoiler”, I guess I am as it’s relatively easy. Again, get aquainted with your new gear prior to riding. Bottom line is, before you write(or type) a review about a piece of equipment as well balanced as Shoei try to be professional. If your going to leave scores such as 8 and 9.5 out of 10(fairly high scores), don’t be so ave contradictory in your statements. If you have complaints, score accordingly. Last but not the very least…..please don’t ever buy a piece of equipment that protects your head and apply hot glue for a quick fix method. Go buy something like a Fulmer if you want to do cheap fix tricks.

  • Ilan (admin)

    Hi and thanks for the comment.

    The rear spoiler vent is impossible to operate with gloves, while riding. PERIOD. Try it and let me know…The good part is, that this is sth you will probably do while the helmet is off, so it’s certainly not a deal breaker.

    I bought my helmet while I was abroad and found out about the cheek pad later. I assume if I was near the shop, I would ask to replace it, but I wasn’t.
    So, a pee-size from a hot glue gun fixed the problem, and the pad never came off again. Further more, the hot glue is sth you can take off when time comes, it’s not a permanent welding.

    Btm line it’s an excellent helmet and in some ways (low noise, comfort, shield mechanism) even better than the ARAI quantum I have.

    Ilan.

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