Shoei NXR helmet
Meet the all-new NXR road helmet, which Shoei claims to be lighter, smoother, quieter and cooler than its popular predecessor, the XR-1100.
The Japanese giant has heavily invested in the NXR and crammed it with a host of clever features, many of which you hope to never put to the test.
It’s otherwise the quintessential quiet achiever that simply gets on with the job to leave you to get on with riding. It’s also by far the quietest helmet I’ve worn.
Shoei says the time spent during wind tunnel tests has created a more compact and aerodynamic shell than the XR-1100, with a subtle rear diffuser. It is the lightest Snell (a tough US certification system) helmet in Shoei’s current line-up.
The proprietary multi-ply shell is made up of a blend of carbon fibre, organic resins and fibreglass, or what Shoei calls ‘AIM+’, that’s said to be strong and extremely light. It comes in four shell sizes to ensure a better fit for scones ultra large and ridiculously small.
The first few things you notice about the NXR is the plush, premium feel around the collar, the helmet’s wide profile to easily get it on and off and the ‘Emergency Use Only’ warning stickers at the chin area to alert medical personnel of the cheek pad’s quick-release system. This technology is borrowed from Shoei’s X-Twelve flagship model, which is aimed at roadracers.
With the chinstrap out of the way, the emergency quick-release system is activated by pulling a pair of red tabs, which allow the cheek pads to be individually removed from the bottom of the helmet while the lid remains on. This then gives ample clearance for the helmet to be removed without moving the rider’s head.
There’s ample air flow via five switchable vents front and rear that are as effective at keeping your head cool as they are commendably quiet when open (an open chin vent naturally creates some noise). All the vents can be easily switched on the fly with a gloved finger, too.
The wide visor is a cinch to swap and also comes with a Pinlock system for the inside to prevent fogging. It’s a simple, yet clever system that works similarly to a double-glazed window by trapping a layer of air between it and the visor (see next story for more).
The visor itself opens up nice and high and out of your peripheral vision. Another clever feature is the ability to adjust the visor’s locking tension, which looks like a basic flathead screw but actually allows you to fine tune the spring tension of the last closing position before the visor snaps shut.
Shoei also has improved the shield-locking mechanism by simplifying and relocating it to where your left hand naturally goes to open your visor.
Where the old model had a fiddly trigger-like switch near the left base plate, the NXR’s is just a little ledge. Simple.
Wind noise is suppressed through a variety of features including a double rubber gasket and seal around the helmet’s eye port. This ensures the seal never goes flat and prevents wind and water creeping in.
Internal highlights include the usual removable, replaceable and washable liner (in this case a premium, dual-layer, multi-density foam item) and removable cutaways for the speakers of communications systems. Shoei offers a range of optional cheek pad sizes for a custom fit if you’re a bit thin in the face.
Also in the box are handy chin and breath guards to fit above the nose and below the chin respectively.
Sure, it comes with a premium price tag, but you’re getting a premium product that’s well worth it for sport riding, touring, track days, commuting or any of the above. The old model wasn’t popular for nothing and its replacement is even better.
The NXR is available in a large range of colour and graphic options and priced from $719 and $799 respectively.
PRICE: Solids: $719, graphics: $799
AVAILABILITY: All good motorcycle stores
MOTORCYCLE TRADER’S RATING SYSTEM (out of 5):
First Class: *****
Damned good: ****
Worth a look: ***
Keep looking: **
Give it a miss: *