Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

Scorpion EXO-700 Raider Helmet Review

Friday, December 9, 2005
Our cruiser correspondent Bartels liked the way the EXO-700 performed  plus he was able to look good on whatever bike he rode. It doesn t hurt that the EXO-700 gets the job done with a retail price under  200.
Our cruiser correspondent Bartels liked the way the EXO-700 performed, plus he was able to look good on whatever bike he rode. It doesn't hurt that the EXO-700 gets the job done with a retail price under $200.
I'm a helmet snob. There are very few lids out there that I want to put on my head for any length of time. In fact, it wasn't until I donned an Arai for the first time that I became convinced that the helmet thing was a good idea and traded in my "beanie." In the decade since my discovery, I've gotten into riding far more high performance equipment, where a good helmet really can be the difference between life and death.

To make matters worse, I have a weird head - long from front to back and top to bottom, but skinny on the sides. Any helmet without adequate interior padding is likely to feel like hell, and this includes some expensive ones.

So, to put it mildly, I was surprised when I actually liked my Scorpion. Sure it's their top-of-the line EXO 700, but at $199 it's less than half of what most helmets I find acceptable are priced at; solid colors are $20 cheaper. Over the last seven months the black and grey "Raider" model has been my only helmet to hell and back (or to Sturgis, in any case) and about 10,000 miles of riding. Despite being a
The shield easily pops right on or off with one of the easiest mechanisms in motorcycling. However  the right one on this helmet was reluctant to release after 10 months of service.
The shield easily pops right on or off with one of the easiest mechanisms in motorcycling. However, the right one on this helmet was reluctant to release after 10 months of service.
full-face lid, it looks right at home on a cruiser.

Scorpion USA does much of the design and development at its California headquarters, but the helmets are manufactured in China. The company's philosophy is to give big-brand features at a Chinese price. So the EXO-700 has things like a soft wicking liner, lots of vents, and an anti-fog shield (something I've often wished more high-end helmets had). In fact Scorpion's low-end EXO-400 has all of the same stuff, the only difference is that the 700 is fiberglass composite while the 400 is polycarbonate, which results in a slightly heavier lid.

How do all those trick features measure up? The anti-fog faceshield is pretty good, but an hour's ride in the rain had condensation creeping up the shield from near the mouthpiece, although that was with the helmet's breath guard removed because it interfered with my nose. Replacement shields (smoke, dark smoke, clear) retail for $35.95.

The "Kwick Wick" wicking liner seems to work well, but I'm not a serious sweater either. One nice thing about the liner is that you can pop it out and wet it on a hot day, open the vents, and have air conditioning for your head. In addition, you can customize the helmet by ordering optional liners ($34.95) with different patterns, including zebra, leopard,
The light and soft liner was one of the highlights of the EXO-700. It s comfortable in a variety of conditions with a wicking material covering most of the surface and free-flowing mesh on the rest.
The light and soft liner was one of the highlights of the EXO-700. It's comfortable in a variety of conditions with a wicking material covering most of the surface and free-flowing mesh on the rest.
checkered flag, and two types of camouflage.

The vents (mouth, eyebrow, crown intakes) aren't bad, but due to the some weird airflow issues in the mouth area, there's not much difference between the mouth vent open and closed; there's always air swirling around up there regardless. In fact, I got frustrated enough at the wind blowing right up my nose that I bought the optional "Aero Skirt" chin spoiler ($7.95).

Speaking of wind, the EXO-700 seems to have been wind-tunnel tested to cut down on noise.. but only in one position. Facing forward, it's about average for a well-vented helmet. Turn your head to the side a few degrees at speed though and there is lots of whistling. Turn all the way to the end of neck extension and it's quiet again.

The strap retention system is good, a standard snap-style, but the foam strap guards are the floppy kind found on the cheapest helmets. Soft and thin, I could feel the D-rings on my jawbone. Shield replacement is a snap, literally. Spin the two spring-loaded releases and your shield is free. Line up a pin with a socket and push and your new shield is on.
Bartels found the optional air dam a must or wind from his fairingless bike would become a problem.
Bartels found the optional air dam a must or wind from his fairingless bike would become a problem.
It's the best system quick-release shield system I've ever used.

My favorite part about the EXO-700 is its overall comfort. It has a nice, soft foam liner that feels good against your cheeks and holds the helmet relatively securely to your pate. Typical of helmets with soft padding, once it's broken in there is some degradation and movement, but not too badly. The liner also does a good job of absorbing the "hot spots." When you have a weird head like mine, almost all helmets will have a couple tight spots; it's just a matter of how annoying they get, and in the 700 it's not bad at all. My size large EXO fits my head like a Medium Arai or an XL Suomy.

This is the helmet I wish existed back when I first started riding. The cheapies back then were all so bad, and I wasn't about to spring for a $500 lid as a college student. While there are some little issues with the EXO helmets, the lids
Our Editor Duke has enjoyed his EXO-700  Raider   explaining that its excellent comfort and fit belie its sub- 200 pricetag.
Our Editor Duke has enjoyed his EXO-700 "Raider," explaining that its excellent comfort and fit belie its sub-$200 pricetag.
have enough nice features to convince a beanie or non-helmet wearer (who aren't just dumb fashion victims) to step up to a more-protective lid.

Editor's note: I've had my blue EXO-700 Raider for nearly a year and, like Billy, have been very impressed with the quality it offers at such a reasonable price. Sure, it's not as light, quiet or as well finished as a Shoei X-11, but it's about $400 cheaper! I didn't have a problem with the shield fogging when I wore the EXO (with the standard breath guard) at the CBR600RR intro while riders with more expensive lids battled condensation. And I can't believe you can get a fog-free faceshield on a $179 helmet but can't on a $600 lid. It's comfy, looks good, and has been trouble free.

More info - Scorpion Sports

Check out more Scorpion Helmets and Motorcycle Helmets at Motorcycle Superstore.
Recent Sportbike Gear Reviews
ABUS Detecto 7000 RS1 Lock Review
We test the ABUS Detecto 7000 RS1 brake disc lock, which boasts a 3D motion sensor alarm and hardened steel reinforcement.
Wulfsport Kit Bag Review
If you're looking for a bag big enough to fit all your racing gear and then some, check out the Wulfsport Kit Bag.
Puma Roadster V3 Motorcycle Boot Review
It’s tough finding a motorcycle boot for petite lady riders. Fortunately Puma offers a solution with its Roadster V3 motorcycling boot, with MotoUSA’s contributing editor offering her review.

Login or sign up to comment.

Comments
matt lynch -exo 700 review  July 2, 2009 07:59 PM
i actually found this article while looking for an email address for scorpion's support people. my exo 700 has never met my expectations and i have just learned to deal with it, but now after only a half year of usage it's falling apart! the rubber thing on the back of the helmet, where the ring is around the base, has fallen off. the rubber ring is also drooping in the front. it looks like its about to just completely come off.
Andrew -EXO-700  May 25, 2009 08:24 PM
I've had the EXO-700 for a couple of years and really like it but it is heavy. The faceshield is the only one I've ever used that is absolutely fog-free. Why the heck other companies can't do this I find really frustrating. It's great value for the $$
W.R -EXO 700  May 5, 2009 03:12 PM
I recently purchased an EXO 700 based on the comments and reviews from this website and others. In the end, I returned it after a 100 mile test drive. I found the helmet to be excessively noisy and the wind buffetting to be the same. The overall fit, finish and quality of the helmet are very good, and the price (Anchorage, AK) reasonable at $219.00 for the EXO 700 w/graphics. However, as a rider of a "Naked" bike this helmet was not a good choice for me. The vents are great and a rider in a warmer climate may sacrifice wind noise and buffetting for a cooler head. But, the large number of vents do result in tons of noise(even w/ear plugs)and the buffetting translate into fatigue for me after only a few hours of riding.
C.B. -EXO 700  April 13, 2009 06:45 PM
Bought my exo 700 in 2005 and have been very satisfied, especially for the price. Fit is great, moisture wicking material works well, visor is definitely anti-fog, and I don't find any issues with whistling, weight or any leaking when it rains. The vents seem to work well...I think any full-face helmet will be toasty at a stop light on a 90+ degree day...no complaints here! Great helmet at a great price!
Craig Johnson -EXO-700 Review  March 18, 2009 09:48 AM
I purchased this helmet in the summer of 2007, and have worn it riding ever since and have no complaints. First, the helmet is DOT and SNELL certified, so you know it is a safe helmet. The shield is great and really fog-free, and the helmet is lightweight and comfortable. I have really only ridden in rain a couple of times (Luckily) and did have some minor issues of fogging during that ride, but nothing I couldn't handle. I ride a bike without a fairing and having the Aero Shield installed is a must as there ends up being so much wind noise. I have read reviews that other helmets are quieter, but for the price you can't beat the EXO-700. I also like the fact you can remove the liner so you can really clean it thoroughly, and you can purchase custom liners so you can personalize your helmet. I would definitely recommend this helmet to anyone.
robert arnold -helmets  February 21, 2009 04:22 PM
this is my first helmet and i was wondering about the first one i should buy, and i like the scorpion EXO-1000. i tried it on in the store and i had a little problem it fogged up on me sitting in the store. Was there something that i should have done and maybe it was that there wasnt any air flowing but is that what happens or would it be different when out in the air. my email address is. robert.t.arnold@us.army.mil please send me a response on this helmet because i will buy this helmet in the next month at the end of March thank you
Jon R. Los Angeles, CA -EXO-700 review  January 18, 2009 04:57 PM
I purchased this helmet through Helmet city.com. I paid for the 400 model, but they didn't have the one I wanted in stock. I asked for the upgraded 700, and to my surprised they shipped it to me in exchange! The 700 is a great helmet, and well worth the cheap price. Scorpion is making a name for themselves with this competitive helmet. It is very comfortable to wear, even for long rides. The padding is very soft and the helmet has great features. Ventilation is great, but with open vents it can get noisy inside. Shield is REALLY anti-fog. I pulled it out and tried my best to breathe on it to fog it. I could not. I was worried paying for a cheap helmet. But I am glad I did.
Gary Vailes -EXO-700  November 14, 2008 05:35 AM
The EXO-700 has one big problem. If you get caught out in the rain with 700 the water will come down on the inside of the shield and will make it very hard to see. This makes for a very hazardous riding condition. I called and talked to the people at there office and they sent me another helmet but is wasn't any better, I sent that helmet back and they sent me another helmet that was a little better but not much. I can't speak about there other models but until they get this problem fixed I won't be buying another Scorpion helmet.