If ever there was one piece of rider protection that shouldn’t be skimped on, it’s unquestionably the helmet. And in the world of lids, there are two brands that continually sit atop as the benchmarks for which all others strive. Both are Japanese and one is Shoei. And Shoei has just released a new top-of-the-line street and roadracing helmet: The X-Twelve.
Replacing the previous X-Eleven, the new dome features Shoei’s proprietary AIM+ technology, which combines fiberglass with organic fibers to make a composite that is said to be so strong they can only cut it with a laser. The shell is available in five different sizes for improved fit across the XS-XXL size range. For improved aero effect its new Aero Edge 2 Spoiler helps minimize lift at high speeds. As a result we found both overall fit and high-speed buffeting to be noticeably better.
Inside sits a dual-layer EPS liner, which is quite comfortable as well as very snug without any pressure points; long-term use came headache-free. As for the shield, it features Shoei’s latest QRSA (Quick Release Self-Adjusting) base plate system, which includes a locking mechanism that allows one to swap shields without any tools. This was easy to do, even while wearing the helmet, something very few lids are capable of.
Putting the all-new lid to the test on BMW’s S1000RR. The helmet proved to be better in nearly all areas with the exception of weight, which comes from its ability to meet Snell 2010 standards.
The CW-1 shield itself is new as well and features a larger open area for improved viewing. Though we never noticed any issues with the old helmet, no doubt the X-Twelve is even better. Ventilation is noticeably improved as well, without sacrificing noise damping, something this new helmet excels in. The only downside we saw was that it’s slightly heavier that the X-Eleven, though hardly noticeable, which is a result of changes made for it to be able to meet the new Snell 2010 standards – a good thing if you ask us.
Adding to the appeal, we had our lid sprayed by the always-talented Tagger Designs to really set it apart from the crowd. The paintwork was flawless and gets loads of compliments from all who see it. If standing out from the crowd is your thing, custom paint is the only way to go. Not to mention Tagger turned it around in less than three weeks – very impressive. Although if the added cost of custom paint isn’t for you, it comes in a host of stock solid colors as well as various designs from Shoei.
All told, it’s impossible not to give the X-Twelve two thumbs up – better ventilation, quieter and less buffeting at high speeds. Doesn’t get much better than that…