Scorpion EXO-1000 Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Rather anti-climatic after the long wait and buildup, the Scorpion EXO-1000 is built like a tank and loaded with features, but more isn't necessarily better.
Finally! After all this time, the EXO-1000 has arrived.
webBikeWorld had the world's first photographs and product information on this helmet, which we posted on February 17, 2007, live from the Dealer Powersports Expo in Indianapolis (see our original report).
We tried to get a helmet for a review several months ago, but production issues delayed the formal release of the EXO-1000 until late summer in North America -- not the best time to release a brand-new helmet to the market.
We were finally able to purchase an EXO-1000 from one of the first production runs released to dealers, and I've been riding with it over the past couple of months.
I think the extended delay from the original announcement to the touch-and-feel stage sort of threw a chill on the urgency of the review, thus the delay in bringing you this report.
The EXO-1000 was probably the most talked-about and most anticipated helmet of 2007, mostly due to the buzz surrounding the "HelmetPump" inflatable cheek pads.
This generated a lot of interest and, as sometimes happens, this very unique feature developed a "must have" mentality, without much thought to its functionality. It sounded so cool and interesting that everyone wanted it. So was all the fuss really worth it? Let's see...
The quality of the Scorpion EXO-1000, at least based on our example, is superb, with one exception in the way the face shield fits (see the face shield narrative below). The fittings, the paint, liner and everything else is very nicely done. The vents are especially praiseworthy, at least in the way they feel, if not their function.
Flimsy and cheap-feeling plastic vents seem to be the norm even on the most expensive helmets, but Scorpion has set a welcome new benchmark that other helmet manufacturers will have to match. The vents open and close like fine switchgear, which adds to the overall feeling of solidity in the EXO-1000.
The paint quality, the thick clear coat, the liner and everything else on the helmet also is of very high quality. The problem, as we'll see in a minute, is that the helmet is almost over-built; just about every feature that can be imagined has been added, which may be responsible for making this helmet around 400 grams or so (nearly one pound) heavier than it should be.
It sort of reminds me of an old Mercedes-Benz: overbuilt and loaded with features but heavy and a bit plodding.
Score: We give the EXO-1000 an "Excellent" rating for paint and overall quality; it would have received an "Outstanding" except for the face shield problem, which may be a quirk of our example. But otherwise, I'm not sure it gets much better than this in 2007. See the ratings descriptions in the summary table at the end of this page.
We think Scorpion's goal was probably to create a neutral fit with the EXO-1000; that is, a helmet that would fit the majority of head shapes.
But I'd say that the helmet is very slightly biased towards the "long oval" shape. Burn says that it fits him just fine, but I find that the upper part of the helmet feels like a tight round band, while the sides feel slightly too narrow for my round skull.
For more information on the importance of internal shapes and choosing and fitting a motorcycle helmet, please see the wBW Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page.
The band that feels like it goes around the top of the liner not only fits tight, it makes my head sweat, which is unusual. And the snug sides make it difficult to wear full-temple eyeglasses; I have to use my short temple modified eyeglasses instead, and I have a hard time stuffing even those between my face and the liner.
But that's just me. The point is that full round-heads like me may find that the EXO-1000 has a bit too much pressure on the sides, but I do think that the helmet will fit a majority of owners without problems.
The liner is nicely made and it feels like quality material, but it isn't as soft as some. Scorpion calls the material "KwikWick", and both the removable liner and cheek pads are claimed to be "moisture-wicking", but my experience with the helmet differs -- the material seems to be less absorbent than almost any other helmet I've worn, and this is one of the only helmets I can think of that actually makes me sweat and doesn't absorb the moisture.
When I take off the helmet, my head is damp and it just feels hot and swampy inside, even in temperatures down to 60 degrees or so. This may also be partly the fault of the venting, which I'll get to in a minute.
This size XL feels to me like it's about 1/2 size small and this may carry through across the rest of the size range, which runs from XS to XXL.
Score: I'll give the EXO-1000 a "Acceptable" for its internal shape but a "Poor" for the issues with the liner.
The EXO-1000 has 4 separate intake vents: the chin vent, a brow vent and two top vents, each with separate controls. Again, the quality of the vent mechanisms is excellent, but I've been very surprised at the lack of air flow that I get from them.
The chin vent has a flat vertical cover that opens forward, so there is no direct air flow on to the face. The helmet has two vent openings through the back of the chin bar, but I find it very difficult to feel any air coming in, except maybe when running around 60 MPH on a Sportbike in a leaned-forward position. This seems to allow some air to find its way in around the vent.
The brow vent is a nice idea, but I feel no difference whether it's opened or closed. The two top vents surprise me the most; they open forward as air scoops, so you'd think they would gulp a lot of air and push it down on to my head, but I feel less air in the top of the EXO-1000 than almost any other helmet I've tried.
This, combined with the tight feeling head band, makes the top of my head get hot and sweaty, even in cooler weather -- not something I enjoy very much. It isn't until around 60 MPH that I can feel the slightest amount of air flow...strange.
The helmet has two exhaust vents on the chin and two in the rear in addition to a big exhaust vent that can be opened or closed, located underneath the lip of the rear spoiler. Why an owner would ever want to close this exhaust vent is beyond me, so maybe some weight could have been saved by making this a less complicated design.
Score: I'll give the EXO-1000 a "Poor" rating for venting and air flow.
Here's where all the gimmicks and geegaws cause a problem. Our EXO-1000 in size XL weighs in at a whopping 1821grams (4 lbs., 0-1/4 oz.), which makes it #78 out of the 83 helmets we've reviewed at the date of publication.
In fact, this gives the EXO-1000 the very dubious distinction of being the heaviest full-face, non-modular helmet we've ever reviewed. The only helmets that are heavier are all modulars: the Schuberth C2; the Nolan N102; the Nolan X-lite X-1002; the KBC FFR; and the stupendously massive HJC FS-Max (Modular) at 1911 grams (all in size XL).
That's too heavy, and although I will say that the helmet does seem fairly well balanced so that the weight isn't riding up top, the mass can be felt when turning my head side-to-side.
I'd guess that the multiple intake vents, exhaust vents, internal sun shade, the HelmetPump inflatable cheekpad system and probably the Snell compliance have taken their toll.
For more information on helmet weights, see the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page for a chart comparing the EXO-1000 with all of the other helmets we've reviewed on webBikeWorld.
Score: "Poor" to "Unacceptable", depending upon personal preference.
The EXO-1000's clear face shield uses the Scorpion quick release system, which is a round dial that allows the face shield to be easily removed but is a bit fussy to replace. The face shield has an interesting bend at the very top and it's notched to fit under the brow vent.
It's a complex mold and, unfortunately, ours has a problem on the left-hand side, where it doesn't come close to sealing around the gasket surrounding the eye port opening. It starts with about a 1/8" gap on the left and doesn't touch the eye port gasket until almost half-way across the face of the helmet.
This may be an issue only with our example, but prospective owners may want to closely inspect the seal between the face shield and the eye port gasket before committing greenbacks. Not that this is a deal-killer, but it's a surprising faux pas and, I think, may be partly responsible for the elevated noise levels we found.
The face shield has another unfortunate trait that we also experienced on the HJC FS-10; it only has 4 detents to hold it open, and the first is nearly half-way up. There is a lever on the left-hand side that cracks the face shield open just a touch; the lever also acts as a face shield lock, but it's fussy to use and the face shield must be fully opened and slammed home to seal (or as close as it gets to sealing) if the lever is used.
Score: I'll rate the face shield clarity, operation and visibility as "Acceptable", which drops to a "Poor" considering the sealing problem, which may be an issue with our helmet only.
Here we go again: the EXO-1000 comes with what I guess is now a marketing "must have" feature, the internal sun shade.
These devices are a good idea with, so far, very poor implementations, in our opinion. They add too much weight; the rotating mechanisms are usually cranky; they don't rotate down far enough to lower out of the rider's line of sight; the bottoms have weird curves and nose cut-outs (anyone with a nose that big would be wearing an open-face helmet anyway); they don't always have infinite positioning (on or off only) and, to top it off, they're usually not dark enough to block the sun anyway, probably because of liability concerns.
How about this, manufacturers: make a very dark or opaque internal face shield that can be pulled down manually about 25 mm and is cut straight across? That's all you'd need to keep the sun out of your eyes when riding west on a summer's afternoon.
Score: I'm sure some will argue, just as they do with our fondness for D-rings, but I'll rate the internally rotating sun face shield as "Poor". If you don't agree, no problem, but I'm just not a big fan of these things -- yet.
The EXO-1000 does have a relatively "dirty", aerodynamically speaking, shell, with lots of vents, the rear spoiler, exhausts and those big round face shield removal knobs that stick out in the air flow. This makes the helmet louder than I think it should or could be.
Noise and tolerance thereof is subjective, of course, and I always wear high-quality ear plugs, but there is a wind rushing noise that seems to be generated around the top vents and the rear exhaust spoiler on the EXO-1000, along with a continuous low-frequency wind rushing noise around the bottom of the helmet, caused by turbulence and amplified when riding behind a short windscreen.
What I don't hear is the annoying whistling noise that can be caused by air passing over vent holes, and this is surprising. It isn't the loudest helmet I've tried by any means, but I'd say it's probably in the bottom third.
Remember that we always wear correctly fitted, high quality earplugs and an extra helmet liner when riding, and we strongly recommend that you always wear hearing protection also. See the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.
And also remember that your experience with noise levels will probably be different because it depends on many factors, including your head shape, the motorcycle configuration, prevailing winds and more.
Score: I'll give it a break and rate the EXO-1000 as "Acceptable" for the amount of noise that it transmits.
This is what all the excitement was about. The EXO-1000 includes air bladders in the cheek pads and a small air pump in the chin bar to inflate them. The air pump is a rubberized button, similar to...didn't Nike make an athletic shoe with an air pump back in the '80's or so?
Another small button lets the air out. This all sounds interesting, and it's so new and different that everyone thought it would change the world. But think about it -- when's the last time you felt the need to inflate the cheek pads in your helmet? I think once I bought a set of thinner cheek pads for an Arai helmet, but other than that, it's a need I didn't know I had.
With the cheek pads deflated, the helmet fits pretty much like any other helmet; maybe like the cheek pads are slightly thinner, i.e. more roomy than normal. But you don't really notice it until you pump them up. I can't really add much air before they get too tight.
So for those unusual owners who may have a large head but very hollow cheeks, this may be a desirable feature. For the rest of us, it's a complexity and weight additive that the helmet could do without. But then they wouldn't have much to market, no?
We're interested in hearing other opinions; perhaps we're missing something here?
Note to Scorpion: Please, please, please stop using that phony chocolate smell inside the helmets. It's no longer funny, if it ever was.
We first experienced the stench on the EXO-400, where we thought a practical joking retail employee maybe slipped a cheap chocolate bar in the box before shipping the helmet. But it turns out that this is Scorpion's idea of fun.
The smell is overwhelming and it gives me a headache; it smells like very cheap chocolate. Who wants to be trapped inside a helmet with that smell?
I had to leave the helmet outside, wrapped up in a bag with a box of baking soda inside to try and absorb the odor, but it's still in there. I'm sure some of you won't mind it, but I can't stand it and it would prevent me from buying another Scorpion helmet if I didn't have to do it for the sake of webBikeWorld reviews!
The helmet has a chin curtain that keeps some air and, presumably, noise from entering under the chin bar. This has the unfortunate side effect of blocking the air that usually comes up from underneath, which, I believe, normally constitutes the majority of ventilation in most helmets. The chin curtain can be removed; it's apparently designed to offer some protection for the pump and deflation button.
The Scorpion EXO-1000 carries both a DOT and Snell approval. It uses a D-ring attachment system and the extra length of chin strap attaches with a snap. The padding under the chin strap is comfortable.
Let's see: take away the gimmicky air pump and remove the sun face shield, and what do we have? Basically an EXO-700 that weighs about 200 grams more and costs $120.00 more? We think the best deal in the house is the Scorpion EXO-400, a quality helmet which can be had for around $140.00 (solid colors).
The EXO-1000 feels well built, but it has just a wee bit too much of nearly everything. Sometimes simpler is better. That's one rider's opinion; don't forget -- we're not selling the things, so we have no interest other than letting you know how we feel.
|wBW Review: Scorpion EXO-1000|
|Manufacturer: Scorpion Sports, Inc.||List Price (2007): $299.95 to $329.95|
|Colors: Solids and graphics.||Made In: China|
|Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Acceptable, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.|
|Review Date: November 2007|
From "J.K." (July 2012): "Due to my head shape I have a very difficult time finding helmets that fit properly and comfortably. For that reason, I do as much research as possible before purchasing a helmet.
Based on the reviews on this site, I purchased a Shark RSF3. While the fit of the Shark was perfect, the ventilation was insufficient (for me), so I started exploring other helmet options.
Reviews on this site (and price point) led me to the EXO-1000. I've worn it twice, and it has been shelved for good until I find a new owner for it. While the review describing the Shark RSF3 as slightly narrow was spot on, the EXO-1000 is nowhere close. The fit is almost identical to my (former) Shoei Qwest, which this site describes as "neutral."
Couple the fit with monkey-in-the-wind aerodynamics and you get a miserable riding experience. In less than an hour I had a headache so bad (from pressure on my forehead) that I had a difficult time focusing on the road--my attention was almost solely on the discomfort. The only reason I wore the helmet twice was for the ride home after dinner. If it weren't for my absolute refusal to ride bare-headed, the EXO-1000 would have stayed in the restaurant parking lot."
Editor's Reply: Our EXO-1000 review was published in 2007 when the helmet was first released. It's quite possible that many features, including the fit, have changed since then. In fact, this is what happened with the EXO-700 -- the internal shape changed during an update (to the Neon).
Note also that we had some controversy over the fit of the EXO-1000 in our review. We rated it as "Slightly Narrow", which isn't very far from "Neutral", so there is no inconsistency here. Also, the EXO-1000 fit can be modified slightly by using the inflatable cheek pads.
From "J.D." (November 2011): "I wanted to add what I've observed about the EXO-1000. I ride year 'round, and have done a couple of trips across the country.
My first EXO-1000 had the bottom molding melt off within a few days after I bought it (left it in the topbox while in work). I was able to just stick the molding back on, and didn't leave it in the box after that.
I then took a trip in the middle of July. As I rode across Kansas in a 116 degree heat wave, the molding melted off again. Superglue and duct tape were my remedy then, and when I got to California I happened to meet a Scorpion rep who told me it sounded like a manufacturing defect, and he replaced my helmet then and there.
On my way back from California I took a trip across Death Valley, and the floor temperature was again a sweltering 118 degrees. Once again, the molding melted right off. I've been sporting the stylish duct tape look ever since.
The helmet is a comfortable shape, but I have also found the vents to be nearly useless. My second face shield does not seal well and cannot be used in rain. The sun visor sticks and does not always want to come down. It's got the worst fogging problem than any other helmet I've had before.
With my propensity for riding in any weather, I just can't count on this helmet and am looking for a suitable replacement."
From "R.F." (November 2011): "I normally do not leave reviews but I felt that in this case to avoid anyone else having the same issues as me, I had to describe my experience with the EXO-1000 over the last 2 to 2.5 years.
I ride all year round with a lot of mileage per year (10,000+), daily commutes, fun riding and tours. Mainly for commuting purposes and only means of personal transport.
The first one I had was defective, the top air vent was stuck closed due the gel matting that is glued on the inside and the visor also does not remain in fixed positions. A straightforward warranty return that was handle well by the Scorpion dealer.
Several months in, one of the top air vents doesn't open, the vent near the mouth has loosened so more or less permanently open. Following on from that, now the screw that holds part of the visor system in has sheared clean off.
I have also noticed some small delamination on the top section which appears constructed from resin/glue, I guess that the adhesive material has started to deteriorate after exposure to the elements/UV.
Overall, I would never buy another helmet from this company again. Quality was poor, its heavy (you really notice it on longer tours), extremely noisy, starts to fall apart after 2 years (I expect min. 5 years from a decent helmet) and the sun visor, even with the darker insert, is rather poor.
My older Caberg which I bought for a fraction of the price (even though the EXO-1000 was on sale) performs better in my opinion.
A few years in, I really regret not buying that Shoei over the Scorpion to save money. It will end up costing me more and having had to put up with a sub-standard helmet.
I like your website for its good thorough reviews with many viewpoints and little to no biases. Keep up the good work."
From "A" (August 2011): "I owned an EXO-1000 helmet for 2 years now, driving a sport bike. At high speed, the helmet seems quite heavy and noisy but the reason of my review is the quality of the material !!
After 2 months of use, the liner started to "crack", and after almost 2 years, the plastic around the base of the bottom of helmet, holding the pads are dislocating . Seems to be glued, but now, not sticking any more to the base of the helmet, so the pad is not hold any more and fell off !!
Really disappointing, though it was good value for money...but in a long run, a disaster."
From "M.B." (06/2011): "This was the first helmet I purchased as a new rider and I wish I had known about this site before doing so.
It was one of those days where you buy the bike, and are in the store spending too much on stuff you "need" to ride. I've had the helmet for 3 season now and this is my take.
Even though the EXO-1000 does not get a great review here, I think it's a fair helmet. I was drawn to it because of the drop down sun shade which I still feel is an excellent option and the one thing I do love about the helmet. However the list of things not to like is far longer.
The biggest complaint is the lack of air flow. With all these vents you'd think it flows like a son of a gun. But honestly I can never tell if my vents are open are closed because you experience the same lack of airflow in the helmet. Pulling the fabric below your chin does allow some airflow around your mouth, but it's not easy to remove. As a new rider I didn't realize what a heavy helmet felt like.
The following year I picked up an OGK FF5 (review) which is at the opposite end of the weight spectrum and what a difference it makes to the feel. My OGK feels like an extension of my head, it's freedom. The EXO-1000 feels like a football helmet comparatively.
The drop down shield is the redeeming option in this helmet, but would be better if it came down lower and were darker. I tend to have to dip my head down to make sure not too much sun gets under the sun shield. I never use the Reebok pump thing.
I got the helmet to fit properly without it and when I pump it up it just pushes my cheeks making it uncomfortable. It does not add to the experience and probably just adds to the weight of this helmet. I will say contrary to others my EXO-1000 seals pretty well. Not sure why others are having problems. But the seal is of little consolation when the helmet doesn't let air in to begin with and just makes it hot in there.
I usually use earplugs so noise isn't a huge concern for me, I would rate it fair on noise level. I got mine in flat black and think it looks good. It's my commuter helmet now and while not idle in all areas, it works. The sun shade is nice for a commuter as I frequently get stuck at work past dark and the EXO-1000 adapts easily.
Also under 40mph on hot days I tend to open the face shield all the way and just ride with the sun shade down. It cools you down and gives that sort of open face feel."
From "J.S." (7/10): "The Scorpion EXO-1000 has all the bells and whistles and I use all of them. My wife and I both bought the EXO-1000 and we think they were the best fitting helmet and for the price probably the safest.
I wear ear plugs while riding but thatís because Iím used to wearing them at work, but my wife has no problem with the wind noise. I think the vents work fine I couldnít imagine having air rushing in the helmet going 80 MPH if you want that donít wear a full face.
The sun face shield works great and if I know I will be riding into the sun in the evening I just clip on a tinted face shield and then flip down the sun face shield. For $309.00 dollars what a value I am glad I bought this helmet and will probably buy another Scorpion helmet.
As far as longer trips I think the helmets are great but have not experience riding in the rain but with the way the vents easily open and close I donít see any issue in the future.
All in all these are a great value when it comes to safety, fit, finish. Compare the Exo-1000 to other helmets at the same price and the Scorpion will win hands down."
From "T.R." (6/09): "I own a Scorpion EXO 1000 and would like to share my opinion with you. I bought the helmet for the features: anti fog shield, sun shield, air flow, and pump system.
The quality of the helmet seems to be very good. The exterior finish is really nice. The interior pads are comfortable and do wick sweat (I live in central Florida so I know about heat).
I really love the sun shield and air flow. On even the hottest days I get great flow when moving. Most of my riding is in town and I do not usually reach highway speeds. The helmet is a bit heavy but I normally donít notice the weight.
I recently did a quick trip to Atlanta over one weekend. It was a round trip of 960 miles on I-75. Once at highway speeds I noticed that the helmet was loud. The longer I spent at speed the louder it seemed to be.
At speeds above 70 mph the noise was uncomfortably loud. When wearing the helmet for 6.5 hours on the way up to Atlanta I noticed that the helmet was heavy and at the end of the trip my neck was fatigued. On the way home it was raining. I rode at highway speeds in a steady rain for about 450 miles. The helmet leaks. Even with the top vents closed, water leaked onto my head. The shield also leaked at the top edge and occasionally a drop would leak down the inside of the shield.
I concluded that I would never wear the helmet on a long trip again. Around town it is OK, on the highway it is too loud and too heavy."
From "E.S." (10/08): "I purchased a Scorpion EXO-1000 about two months ago. Actually, I purchased three, one for myself, one for my wife and one for a buddy who looked ridiculous stuffing his XXL egg into a medium HJC.
We spent about a week researching and trying on helmets. Honestly, the number one factor aside from a Snell rating was fit. All three of us have heads that just don't seem to fit well into anything and this was the only helmet line that didn't leave a major pressure spot on my forehead. I wore it around the store for 20 minutes before finally settling on it.
A plus is the drop-down shade. I use it a lot. I do wish it were darker and have asked my dealer to let me know if ever they get a darker shade. 98% of the time, however, it is plenty, as I ride to and from work with the sun to my back. Riding into a low sun, however, is unpleasant to my poor retinas. The bottom edge takes some getting used to, but I have discovered it's nice being able to see the instrument cluster without the shade.
The cheek pads I could live with or without, though on longer drives, I like to pump them up for a little psychological security.
Fortunately, the majority of my riding is 10 miles or less, either commuting or just putting around town, so the negatives don't bother me all that much.
The first thing I noticed is that the vents don't seem to do anything at all. If my head gets a bit sweaty, I can tell that there's air moving through because I can feel the evaporation. It's nothing like my Shoei RF-200 (yes, that bugger got retired finally). When I open the vents on the Shoei, I know it. On the Scorpion, I have to feel the switches to know.
The next thing I noticed is that it is considerably louder than the Shoei, which has nearly no padding left. I don't notice the high-pitched sounds which don't seem to increase with open vents, but it is a very boomy lid.
One flaw that may become an issue is the top vent moulding is beginning to peel away. My wife's has come off altogether! There's just a strip of adhesive material holding it on and it's not very permanent. I will be taking both helmets back to the dealer for attention to this problem. Hopefully Scorpion will stand by their product and offer either a replacement or satisfactory repair."
From "R.F.": "While I have no experience to speak of when comparing helmets (first bike, first helmet, less than 1500 miles on both, albeit not for long), I felt I should offer my commentary on the helmet as I see it thus far.
It took a bit of time to feel comfortable with this helmet, I will say, although I don't know for sure how much of that was due to the foibles of this particular armor as opposed to adapting to wearing them in general.
I've got a vertical-oval head, which works nicely with this helmet as per your article, so we'll go with that for starters. I didn't need to remove any padding whatsoever in fitting this helmet - after the first thousand in it, it's softening nicely and is barely an effort to wear at this point.
I think, in general, that this is a helmet for bigger riders. I'm 6'3", and north of 300 pounds, so weight isn't a concern for most things that I wear. I really only notice the heft of the helmet when I'm at speed on the freeway, and then mostly because of wind resistance when I check my blind spots. In fact, I enjoy the heft as it feels more reassuring to me as a novice rider.
There is a lot of commentary about the vents, and I've noticed the concerns too. The vents are fairly useless at low speeds, and I don't really notice more than a subtle change when I open the vents. I really would like more air at the mouth when riding closed, to be honest - I think if the vent opened downward instead, it would work much better. It puts the intakes in a low-pressure area which is horrible for scooping air at anything below freeway passing speeds.
As I reach 75 or better, the effect is markedly better - I've heard stories of these vents originally being designed for riders on high-performance bikes who needed modified airflow to stay conscious, and these experiences would seem to substantiate the story. I've not touched the rear exhaust vent, so you're also right in saying that the mechanism to open and close probably wasn't needed.
What I tend to do to compensate for this weakness in the design is to ride with only the interior mask down, leaving the primary shield up. While it may look a bit silly, I've not caught a bug or rock to the eye yet that the internal face shield hasn't stopped. It covers enough of my face to keep me comfortable and keeps my eyes from watering at speeds below 45 or so (riding an unfaired bike), but also permits air to flow freely.
The face shields themselves are somewhat frustrating, I suppose, but I am an all-up or all-down rider. No reason to put the seam of the face shield directly in my line of sight... extra obstructions need not apply to my field of vision. I've noticed that the primary picks up chips fairly easily, as a side note, and will probably be in the market for a new one within the next two months. Somewhat disappointing, to be honest.
The Air-bladder... meh. I rarely use it, besides reliving the memories of those Nike PUMP sneakers. It's mostly useful for when I loan the helmet to my passenger. She can inflate the thing to secure it on her head, even though it's much smaller than mine.
The one pet-peeve I have about this helmet, and it is sort of a big one, is that I have noticed the tight-around-the-brow feeling to the extreme, especially on long rides.
After 100 miles or so, it feels like there is a brick pressing into the front of my forehead. I'm not sure if I'm just wearing the thing incorrectly (although I doubt it) or if I should remove a pad or replace one, or what, but the padding directly over the forehead is not really that substantial. It makes for an extremely potent headache, to the point of needing to stop and take a 15-minute-breather to allow blood to flow back to where it's used to being.
A response, as well, to the customer who said that the internal face shield was in line with the bottom of his eyes.... what? How are you wearing the helmet, sir, flat across? This helmet wears better for me pulled down in the front.
I'm trying to envision how your eyes can be that close to the bottom of the face shield - in my helmet there's only a half-inch gap between the pads and the plastic - I can think of no other explanation but that you're trying to wear it canted back from the ideal angle. This is a sport-bike helmet for sure. It should sit on your head differently than it sits on the desk.
My regards to your review, editor, a fairly comprehensive and balanced write-up."
From "R.G.": "I recently bought the EXO 1000 ( May 28 2008) and I love it. I write this review because after reading the other owner comments, I found my experience to be quite different in most areas.
First of all, I find the helmet to be very comfortable and not noisy at all when compared to the five others I own (including ARAI and SHOEI). I have a large skull with high cheek bones and a narrow face. The XL I bought and wear, fits snug and the inflatable cheek pads fill in my face causing the helmet to feel very secure, eliminating "high speed helmet rise".
The internal sun shade is what I love most because I wear strong RX contact lenses which make my eyes hyper-sensitive to light. I have no line of sight issues with the shade and I no longer have to fumble with sunglasses which were never quite right in any helmet I've worn. The shade could've been darker but, it's okay and I have a couple of ideas for fixing that.
The weight is not an issue for me, my 19 1/2 inch neck is stout enough. I agree the helmet is warm and the vents are a disappointment. My '07 SV1000 and my '08 CBR1000 put me in decidedly different riding positions and the helmet feels good riding both. I feel very safe and comfortable in this helmet and I live in S.E. Oklahoma where it's humid and hot.
Undoubtedly, there are better helmets but, I really like mine. Perfect? No, and I'm yet to find one of those."
From "D.R.": "Like you guys, I waited and waited for this helmet to arrive on US shores. And waited some more. When I finally found a dealer with any kind of stock, they didn't have the color I wanted in the size I want (XL, which is weird, because I've worn L's for the previous 200K miles with other manufacturers).
You're right, it's heavy. After 3K miles, I've grown accustomed to it, however. The vents don't appear to do a thing, from what I can see, which is a real disappointment. I've noticed a minor amount of condensation down around the bottom of the shield at lower temps (I've ridden down into the thirties so far) and I'm not looking forward to next winter, if it's going to get worse. I find the helmet to be quite a bit noisier than my previous HJC.
The sun shade works well for me, position-wise, though, like everyone else, I wish it was darker. I may try to laminate some DIY window tint stuff to it and see what happens. Being able to leave my sunglasses home is a huge benefit, since I wear the huge old-lady virtual reality goggles that cover my prescription glasses.
The main face shield annoys me the most, however, as there's no detent to let you crack it a bit; you have to use that stupid lever to keep it open a small amount, and it's a pain to use.
Like yours (and another review I saw on your site) my face shield didn't seal against the gasket worth a damn...it was COMPLETELY off it on the top edge, enough to slide a credit card's thickness of cardboard in with no resistance, whatsoever. In a fit of desperate genius, I cut a piece of solid wire, maybe 22 gauge, and slide it into the fold of the gasket across the top. That widened the gasket enough to make it mate to the face shield. But even with this, the face shield closes against the gasket with all the force of Liberace's wrist. And this on a $300 helmet.
Other people's statements that the helmet makes their head sweat really scare me, as I HATE being hot when I ride. Summer's coming, and it this is a major issue, I'll probably just sell the silly thing and go back to my HJC. The sun shade was the real draw for me, but not at the expense all the other issues."
Update from "D.M." (See below): "I wrote in November about my initial experience with the Scorpion EXO-1000. Now that I have had more of a chance to put some miles on it I have to report that I am very pleased with the helmet.
Although A's report (below) indicated that the helmet was noisy, I have to say that this is the most quiet helmet that I ever had. As I mentioned previously, I did own two RSR2 helmets that you rated as one of the most quiet helmets ever tested, I say the Scorpion trumps the Shark. Just so you know, this observation is made after a 700 km (420 miles) ride last Saturday which included both super slab and back roads.
It could be a fit issue where one respondent has a helmet that doesn't fit his/her particular head but I find with the helmet pumped up that I have a nice "air lock" that might keep noise levels down. I also have to mention that this quiet is found with or without ear plugs, although with earplugs it's almost dead silent.
The condensation problem I had in the Fall continued in early Spring. Scorpion are aware of the condensation problem but do not appear to have a solution. In warmer weather this is not a problem.
I see this helmet being my long distance choice this summer. No need to carry extra shields and you do get used to the slightly shorter than expected flip down inner shield."
From "A": "I have a Scorpion EXO1000 and thought I would share my findings for publishing on your site perhaps:
The first thing that is obvious is the XXL, which I need because they are sized small, is huge and heavy! Fit and finish is very good though. The slide/snaps that hold the cheek pads in place are very fragile and they should be checked on every helmet before purchase. Scorpion is very good at replacing these so I'm sure it's a widespread issue.
More face shields should have the anti-fog coating that Scorpion uses. It's amazing how well it works and puts my Shoei to shame. At very low temps it is prone to condensation but not fogging. It is quite a noisy helmet.
Yes, the sun face shield should come down further but I really like it in the Canyons near us here in the Colorado Rockies. On these roads you can ride very quickly from bright sun into cool dark canyons so it works very well. Being activated by the lever at ear level is much better than the HJC that uses the slider on the top of the helmet. The one slight gripe I have with it is that when it is out of use you can still see it vibrating at the top of your peripheral vision.
I have very mixed feelings about the bladder. At speeds over about 60mph I find that the helmet tries to lift upwards which gets really annoying because then it makes my glasses bounce a little. Pumping up the bladder stops the bouncing and stabilises it on your head.
Then I tried my old Shoei RF900 and that put everything back into perspective. Why spend the money on bladders when you can buy a quieter, more comfortable helmet that has been properly designed and is lighter.....but I do wish Shoei had a helmet with that sun face shield and an actual fog-free face shield (since the Shoei face shields fog at all temps below about 80f). That would be the ultimate for me.
Your impressions may vary:}"
From "R.I.": "Just got my new Scorpion EXO-1000 yesterday. Finish, fit and features. Simply put excellent. Not a flaw on the lid anywhere I could see.
Only minor gripe I had was the face shield didn't lock down. A quick inspection showed the shield latch or as Scorpion calls them, the speedshifters, on the left side of the helmet wasn't fully engaged around the opening in the shield. Quick twist to pop off the shield on that side and re-attached properly in less then 5 seconds.
My first ride with this helmet I have to say it was waaaay quieter then my old HJC. Until I opened all the vents. With everything open, it was about as noisy as my old HJC fully closed. That's something I can definitely appreciate.
The Speedview sun face shield will take a little getting used to. Its about as dark as my light smoked shield I had on the HJC, but it doesn't come down to completely cover the lower portion of the face port. I DO like it, and it great to ride with, I just wish Scorpion made it just about 3/4 to 1 inch longer. Maybe they can't and still have it fully retract into the top of the helmet. I took it for a 15 mile or so ride and so far no hot spots or anything. I'll see how well I like it after a longer trip.
Overall, I think I'm really gonna like this lid. On a score of 1-10, I'd give it a 9.5."
From "D.I.": "I think you should put more emphasis on the EXO-1000's incompatibility with glasses - aside from one pair of very thick-armed glasses, every other pair I own is completely mangled trying to get the arms back to my ears. Unfortunately I wore the pair that works to the store when I tried the EXO-1000, or I never would have bought it.
Your short-arm glasses "solution" (wBW article) shouldn't be a factor in the review. Most people won't want to chop up a couple pairs of glasses that easily cost more than the helmet itself. Not to mention that it means carrying a pair of chopped clear glasses, chopped prescription sunglasses, and normal versions of each kind of glasses for a ride of any length.
Four sets of glasses to save money on a helmet? Maybe you guys have a better vision plan than I do, but at $200-300 a pop for lenses alone, I can buy a top-of-the-line Shoei or Arai for the cost of the "chopped" glasses. And unlike the EXO, these other brands tend to work very well with just about any glasses."
Editor's Reply: Thanks for the feedback. The "chopped" glasses do not figure into our helmet evaluations. I've actually found very few helmets that won't fit my normal glasses, which have very thin frames. Some oval shaped helmets give me a problem because of the mis-match between the liner and my head shape, so that may be an issue. But it's always important to wear a helmet by trying it on in the store before purchasing it to avoid problems like this.
Regarding the cut-down eyeglasses, it's best to use an old pair for the modification that might be lying around after a slight prescription change. I have an old pair from 2 prescriptions ago that I use, and I have set of cheap clip-ons to put over them if necessary. Total cost? Maybe $5.00."
From "D.M.": "I enjoyed your review of this helmet. I bought one early in November. I didn't check it when I left the store and found out that the cheek liner on the left was loose. I tried to re-attach it and it wouldn't go in. I found out that the female part that attaches to the helmet had come off. I tried all weekend to re-attach it and it wouldn't go in.
I met the rep from Scorpion Canada at my dealer the following week. He took one look at the helmet and told me that it was shot. Evidently the female connector is not a snap in but a slide in. So if you pull on it like the other two connectors on the cheek pad you will likely rip out the female connector. I was told this has been a common problem. Nowhere in their packaging or "manual" for the helmet do they tell you this is a slider, so beware.
So they have to replace the helmet. The store doesn't have any more mediums in my colour so I will have to wait for a replacement. It turns out the replacement will not likely come until late January. I was back in the store a few weeks later and saw my colour in a large. For fun I tried it on, it fit tighter and actually better than the "smaller" medium so I took the helmet. Can we say poor quality control?
The internal shield is too light in colour and I will check replacements in the Spring. As others have written it is too short. I ride a K1200S so I am leaned over the bike better than a cruiser rider but I still wished that it covered more area. Maybe future replacement shields should be made longer and more square as suggested in your report.
I am hoping that it is due to cold weather but the main face shield has been quite useless despite the fact it is specially treated to prevent fogging. After riding for about 5 minutes the shield is full of wet, condensation so I have to lift it up to clear it. Riding in 35F weather is not something you want to do without the shield in place.
Yes I have opened the vents but it doesn't seem to help. Again, keeping warm is my priority. I have two Shark RSR-2 helmets and haven't experienced this problem nor on Shoei's that I have owned. Hopefully it is a cold weather thing but I won't know for another 5 months as it is hibernation time here in Canada.
The helmet is heavy but it doesn't bother me like you and others have mentioned. I do like the pump. I like a tight fitting helmet and pumping up the cheek area gives me a feeling of security.
Although it seems like I have griped substantially on this helmet I admit that I like Scorpion as a company and feel that for the money you can't beat the quality."
From "J.D.": "Being the helmet junkie that I am, I bought the EXO-1000 with the white and silver graphics expecting it to be one hell of a helmet.
Now I'm ticked I can't take it back!! This helmet is very heavy and is louder that anything I've ever worn. Not a whistling noise but a booming noise, can't figure it out, it happens around 55 mph.
You were dead on about the face shield seal as mine is the same way, doesn't quite seal all the way. It's about 60 degrees here and I was sweating after about 15 minutes riding with it, should be called quick sweat instead of quick wic.
Now to the pump. Reebok used to have a high-top basketball shoe with this same feature back in 89, I had a pair. The shoes didn't last very long because the the air bladder was uncomfortable around the ankles and didn't "help prevent sprains". The helmet pump is also uncomfortable as the bladder is not as pliable as foam and doesn't do a good job conforming to the rider's face.
After riding awhile, you begin to feel the pressure points. Foam moves back and forth and up and down. The air bladder just moves in and out and doesn't move up and down nor side to side which is why you have pressure points. Back to the drawing board Scorpion. Less hype and more helmet."
From "R.T.": "Great review... as always as detailed as can be. I was disappointed to see that Scorpion didn't set the world on fire with the 1000. But perhaps it is a sing of thing to come, as most of the quirks can be revised... at least I hope.
I currently own an EXO-700 and the rear vent whistles on a naked bike. Coincidentally, I wont buy another 700. The 400 on the other hand is all that and a bucket of chicken wings. love it so much, I own 3 of them (Warhawk, Tsunami & Sting).
I also own an Arai RX7 Hayden Replica, an old Arai Quantum /s Harada replica & 3 KBC VR2 (Repsol, Dragon & Gunslinger).
The EXO-400 should be the standard by which all others should be measured upon..."
From "A.K.": "I am speechless. I too own an EXO-1000 yet I have found none of the faults you mention. Yes, it may be heavy, but I haven't ridden in a long time and started with an HJC flip-up, so maybe my standards are low.
The internal face shield was the main feature that drew me to this helmet. It works great. Now I don't have to have a dark face shield on all the time and change change my field of vision as conditions reinvent themselves.
The second most important feature, for me, is the face shield release mechanism. The HJC mechanism was clumsy, very superficial feeling, and was difficult to use. I didn't dare take the face shield off...it was too much of a pain to get back on. The Scorpion mechanism is intuitive, robust, and elegant. I read somewhere else that it couldn't be done with gloves on......so, take the gloves off. I don't get it.
This helmet moves a great deal of air. Especially if you use the slightly ajar setting on the shield lock. I find that I have to close all of the vents when it gets a bit cool, less than 40F, or I get really cold. It worked wonderfully at 100F that I saw earlier.
The air pump feature didn't figure into the purchase decision. It should have. It is great. I have a small head and it is quite difficult to get a helmet to fit me properly. With the air pump system I can "lock" the helmet on my head removing all wiggle, never could do that with other helmets...regardless of the size.
I am sorry that this is so long, but I wanted you to know that Scorpion has one very satisfied customer. It is unfortunate that your experience didn't equal mine. I greatly appreciate your reviews and advice. Keep up the good work."
From "B.": "Just a quick note about the fake "chocolate smell". It's the smell of the plastic/rubber that they use for the helmet, not something they deliberately add to the helmet. A lot of children's toys made of rubber smell the same way. This is also why the baking soda didn't get rid of it . Anyway, thanks for the review. I was excited about the sun face shield thing, but I doubt it makes up for the other shortcomings."
From "E.C.S.": "I just got the opportunity to try out an EXO-1000 helmet by Scorpion. I have to say, I was disappointed!
I tried the XL and the fit was good. I had purchased on of their EXO-400 models for my fiancť and knew about what size I would need. It has enough pressure to feel secure, but not head-ache inducing (I have a bit of a roundi-sh or short-oval head). The liner felt good, pretty plush and thick feeling.
It is a really heavy helmet, although when I put it on, it balanced well and you couldn't really tell unless you quickly turn your head from side to side.
The paint was good (I saw both solid and graphic versions), and it seemed really well manufactured. I couldn't find any mold flashings or glue drips etc.
Here's where the disappointment sets in:
First, the inflatable cheek pads: I could actually wear the helmet without inflating the cheek pads and it fit beautifully (I'm a bit chipmunk-cheeked)! I did try out the inflation mechanism and found that, while inflating was easy, I had a REALLY hard time finding the release button, and I wasn't wearing any gloves! I couldn't imagine trying to find it when I had even lightweight gloves on.
Second and most disappointing the, internal sunshade:
I had been reading your reviews of several helmets with this feature and I report, sadly, that this helmet suffers from the same flaw. The sunshade, which has only the open and closed positions, falls such that the bottom of the sunshade falls right in my line of sight. I ride a cruiser, so I look out of my helmets in a more straight-ahead angle, so it's in just the wrong place. I suppose if you were on a sport bike, then this might not be an issue.
I think the internal sunshade is probably the best innovation in helmets since the advent of the modular helmet. So why can't anyone manage to make he shade drop all the way down to the top of the inside of the chin-bar? This would eliminate any of these weird line-of-sight issues. I guess I'll just have to keep switching face shields for now!
Thanks, and keep up the good work!"
From "L.W.": "I was able to test ride the EXO 1000 and would love to hear what your take is on this helmet.
My impressions of the EXO 1000 is that this is one BIG helmet. It weighs over 4 pounds and the shell is simply enormous. I thought the quality of build and construction was quite good. The pump system feels solid but the inflatable cheek pads seem a bit uncomfortable to me.
Unlike a dual density foam that forms to your face the air pads stay hard and donít conform. Another thing about this helmet is the noise level, it is very loud. I understand that if you inflate the cheek pads firmly it helps to reduce the noise, but the booming sounds in this helmet are loud even with ear plugs in. I was really looking forward to buying this helmet but now Iím looking for something else. i.e. the Schuberth R1."