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More High-Viz Helmets:
Fulmer M1 Modus in the
The Scorpion EXO-700 Neon received an Honorable Mention
in the webBikeWorld
2008 Motorcycle Helmet of the Year Awards!
The new Scorpion EXO-700 "Neon" motorcycle
helmet was announced one month ago, in October of 2008. The original press release from Scorpion is
Scorpion recently sent us a production Neon so we could take a closer
look, and this is our report.
Why all the coverage on the EXO-700, a helmet that we first reviewed way
back in December of 2004? Well, it's all about the color...
We've been promoting the use of bright and highly
visible colors for motorcycle clothing and accessories since the
very beginning of webBikeWorld in 1999. Motorcyclists need all the
visibility they can get, whether it's from lighting, clothing, reflective
stickers and decals or helmets, and many of our reviews and articles
explicitly or implicitly address this issue.
Wearing a brightly colored helmet is one of the best things
a motorcycle rider can do to increase visibility because the helmet is the
highest visible point on the combined motorcycle and rider unit.
A brilliantly colored helmet can make a real difference.
Next time you're out and about, look for motorcycles and you'll
probably notice that the riders wearing brightly colored helmets usually
catch your eye long before those wearing black or dark colored helmets.
Fortunately, there are many more helmet color choices in
2008 than there were nearly 10 years ago, and the new Scorpion EXO-700 Neon is definitely the
brightest, most eye-popping color we've seen.
We want to publicly
thank and congratulate Scorpion for making the EXO-700 in this Neon color
and we hope it's just the beginning of a new color revolution! Let's
hope also that other manufacturers will take up the challenge -- there can
never be too many exciting, brilliant
and safe motorcycle helmet colors .
For example, there are many interesting patterns that can be
created with retro-reflective materials (and we have a very interesting
example of that coming soon); paints and -- how about this -- even
electro-luminescent helmet shells?
In the meantime, the Scorpion EXO-700 Neon features a
blazing lime-green-yellow paint that honestly looks like it glows just when you
need it most -- dark morning and evening twilight commutes. These are
the conditions where the lime-green-yellow safety color really pops.
It's extremely hard to capture the true color of the Scorpion EXO-700
Safest Colors for Motorcycle Helmets
Now I don't profess to be an expert statistician or color
theorist, but some casual searching for topics involving safe colors or most
visible colors for motorcycle helmets will bring up a variety of studies and research.
In the U.S., one of the most cited studies regarding the
most noticeable colors for vehicles is the Solomon
and King "Influence of Color on Fire Vehicle Accidents" paper, published in
the Spring 1995 edition of the Journal of Safety Research.
This study helped establish the trend towards lime yellow fire trucks (Influence of Color on
Fire Vehicle Accidents. Authors: Solomon S.S.; King J.G.. Source: Journal of
Safety Research, Volume 26, Number 1, Spring 1995).
Another study, conducted by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (of the U.S. Department of Transportation) states, in
"It is noted that the color red, used for fire
fighting equipment, is one of the least visible of vehicle colors.
Optometrists note that, for its high visibility, lime yellow should
be used by fire and rescue teams, as well as favored by trucks and
car buyers. Lime yellow falls in the middle of the color spectrum
(Schuman 1991)." Shuman M, Traditional Red Colors Safety,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, April 1991;2: 22-24.
Some of the studies I have found, such as the "Motorcycle
Rider Conspicuity and Crash Related Injury: Case-Control Study" in the
BMJ (BMJ, ex British Medical Journal), published in January of 2004, seem to
indicate that black is the worst possible color in terms of visibility
(i.e., wearers are involved in more crashes), while yellow and white are the
Silver is also apparently not a good color under many
real-world conditions, because it tends to blend in with the background
colors of the road surface.
To illustrate the visibility of the Scorpion EXO-700 Neon,
we took some photos in low light conditions,
comparing the red EXO-700 with the EXO-700 Neon.
Although this type of photography is extremely difficult,
and the camera does not capture the light spectrum the same way the human
eye sees it, the
difference in the Neon's appearance and how much more of the helmet is
visible are readily apparent:
Unretouched photos of the
Scorpion EXO-700 Neon (L) vs. Red. ISO 400, f5.6 at 1 second
diffused light from a single window.
Scorpion EXO-700 Neon outdoors at dawn. Unretouched.
Above and below:
Unretouched photos of the Scorpion EXO-700 Neon vs. Red, outdoors at dawn.
Our experience indicates that the lime-green-yellow color used
on the Scorpion EXO-700 Neon is definitely more visible than any other
helmet color I've seen or that we've compared it to. We've tried
orange, plain yellow, red and white helmets in comparison and the Neon
appears to almost have a self-induced glow.
At noon on a sunny day, with light "temperatures" around
5500K, most colors tend to become washed out, and this is probably the only
time that the "Neon" lime-green-yellow color doesn't "pop" as
well it does during
the rest of the day.
In addition to dawn and dusk, the Neon color really works
well on cloudy days or in fog or rain. This is when you need the
utmost in visibility on a motorcycle, and after wearing the Neon helmet in
those conditions, it feels both foolish and unsafe to wear anything else.
The 2009 Scorpion EXO-700 Helmet
Now all this would be moot if the Scorpion EXO-700 was a helmet that no one
wanted to wear. But it has been one of the biggest
sellers in the Scorpion inventory -- which, by the way, has expanded
tremendously since the EXO-series was first released back in 2004.
Since the EXO-700 was first released, Scorpion created the
EXO-1000 (review) and the
EXO-400 (review), one of the best
deals for a high-quality helmet in all of motorcycling.
And Scorpion has also recently released a complete line of
motorcycle clothing -- in fact, we're in the process of reviewing
the new Scorpion XDR "Commander" 3/4-length jacket, and we'll have that
report coming soon.
We had a few nits to pick on the EXO-700 back in 2004, but
all credit to Scorpion -- they've made incremental improvements on this
helmet and all their other products, and the quality of this EXO-700 Neon is flawless.
New vs. Old: 2009 Scorpion EXO-700 vs. 2004 edition.
Pretty much everything we said about the red EXO-700 we
reviewed in 2004 holds today. The helmet uses an advanced fiberglass
and Kevlar "matrix" shell that meets both DOT and Snell safety
specifications and it has very good ventilation.
The visor is now very easy to remove and replace with the
Scorpion "SpeedShift" removal system, and the circular visor removal button
on the side is now rubberized, making it even easier to grip.
The visor also has a large tab on the lower left, which
makes it very easy to find when wearing gloves and it's very easy to lift
and lower. The visor also smartly pops open just a crack for
ventilation, and the Scorpion "EverClear" anti-fog system really does seem
The EXO-700 line also has a number of optional accessories,
including a chin curtain, various colored visors and different sized liners
and cheek pads.
This new EXO-700 seems to have a slightly modified fit
compared to the original red EXO-700 we reviewed nearly 4 years ago.
The size XL Neon shown here runs about 1/2 size smaller than expected; this
XL should fit a neutral to long oval head shape of about 59 to 61 cm
The Scorpion website lists an XL as fitting a 61-62 cm head,
but we think that may be a tight fit, based on this example. But just
as you should for any motorcycle helmet, make sure you try it on before you
Remember that correct helmet fit is crucial for comfort, safety
and noise reduction; see the
Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page for more information on
finding the right fit for your particular head shape.
Scorpion has taken one of the most popular motorcycle helmets available and
made it even better with the choice of this brilliant "Neon" color. If
you're as concerned about motorcycle safety as we are, the EXO-700 Neon
deserves your attention. The new color has just been released and
should be on dealers' shelves soon at an excellent list price of only
Honorable Mention: webBikeWorld
2008 Motorcycle Helmet of the Year!
wBW Product Review: Scorpion EXO-700 Neon
Retail Price: $209.99
Lime green yellow.
Review Date: November 2008
Original Scorpion Press Release for
the EXO-700 Neon
First Look Edited by webBikeWorld.com
Editor's Note: The following press release from
Scorpion arrived on October 7, 2008:
Highly visible but not highly priced.
Developed in real world conditions with features that will
enhance any rider’s experience, the Neon EXO-700 has established an all-new
level of performance for an under-$210 hand-laid, fiberglass Kevlar
The Neon colored EXO-700 helmet is in stores November 1st
and offered in sizes extra-small through double extra-large.
The neon color
increases rider conspicuity for increased visibility and safety while
riding. The EXO-700’s remarkable fit and comfort have become a new standard
in motorcycle full-faced helmets.
From its EverClear no-fog face shield to
its rider tested aerodynamics and breathable, removable and washable
KwikWick liner, the features and construction of the EXO-700 rival much
more expensive helmets on the market.
J.D. Power and Associates ranked Scorpion EXO in the top two
and three places for the Customer Satisfaction category, out of 40 helmet
brands in the United States over the last two years.
Scorpion helmets were
also $25 below the average price index out of those 40 brands.
Features of the Scorpion EXO-700 Neon:
Fiberglass and Kevlar Matrix Shell: Quiet, aero-tuned design
for wind-tunnel tested comfort.
EPS-lined chin bar for additional
SpeedShift quick-change shield system: Easy, secure
tool-less face shield changes in ten seconds or less.
EverClear no-fog face shield: Optically-correct shield
with state-of-the-art, thermally bonded, hydrophobic, fog-free technology
and anti-scratch hardened coating.
KwikWick moisture-wicking helmet liner and cheek pads:
Breathable, easily removable and washable.
Ventilation system: Adjustable, indexed front and rear
vents with aero-tuned rear spoiler reduce lift, create vacuum and maximize
airflow through helmet.
Custom liner and cheek pad kits: Available in hot colors
and wild patterns.
Meets both Snell and DOT safety
Note: For informational use only. All material and
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rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
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►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "B.S." (9/09): "About 8 months ago, I bought a Scorpion EXO700
"Neon". At first I raved about this helmet, both the overall quality
and the eye popping color. I'd been searching for a true "Hi Viz"
helmet for years. I even submitted a nice short review (below).
The first ride I took with this helmet in the rain changed my mind.
The gasket/face shield has a poor seal, just above the
eyebrows, and therefore water just streaked, no, make that POURED down the
inside of the shield. The so called "no fog" treatment failed to do
anything and my vision was so distorted I had to eventually open the shield
about half way, ride through the rain, and get my face wet. Just so
you and the readers know, I was riding a 2002 BMW K1200 LTC. It has
some of the best weather protection of any motorcycle.
I contacted Scorpion and complained about the seal and they
told me how to adjust it so it would fit tighter. I followed their
instructions but there was no room to move the shield back or make even the
slightest adjustment. I re-contacted them again and asked what, if
anything, could be done. (I was hoping they'd tell me to send it to them for
a gasket fix)
This was their reply; "Some time going up or down will
provide the adjustment needed. A 100% seal will most likely not occur;
a mild gap is common on these helmets".
Therefore, I'm stuck with a helmet that can only be used
when there is NO chance of rain during my rides. This is disappointing
to say the least. Most of us mere mortals can only afford one helmet
to last several years. With this being said, I wouldn't purchase
another Scorpion helmet unless they can fix this issue. BTW, I'm not
the only customer who's had this same complaint.
Just thought your good followers @ WBW would want to know in
case they're considering this helmet."
Editor's Note: Just for the record,
there are few/no helmets that are completely waterproof or even close.
From "J.G." (9/09): "I have been waiting for years for
someone to make a high visibility helmet like this one. From a
visibility standpoint there is nothing like it on the market. When I
walk into my garage, day or night, the Neon is the first thing that catches
my eye; it is unavoidable.
Fit and finish on my helmet were as expected for a $200 helmet, though I
needed the 15 mm cheek pads to get the fit right. This helmet fits a
bit tight for a medium; tighter than my Shoei or HJC.
I returned my first Neon for warranty replacement due to a poorly installed
visor seal. In the rain it would not only leak to the inside of the
visor ( as most helmets do) from the center top, it would actually blow golf
ball sized bubbles right between my eyes. Talk about a distraction!
Scorpion replaced the helmet with a new one which works great. T
he only negative thing I have found wearing a Neon helmet is that when
tucked into my sportbike, head on tank bag as I ride much of the time, the
helmet casts a neon hue over my instrument panel and inner wind screen.
At least I can see myself coming! A big thanks to Scorpion for making
From "J.S." (9/09): "Regarding the complaint of fading
in the Florida sun (below), I suggest that if the owner had used the cloth
helmet sack that comes with every Scorpion helmet, there may have been no
fading at all. If nothing else, it will stay cleaner."
From "T.D." (8/09): "In regards to the reader ("R.R.",
below) that tested the Neon helmet in the sun for fading:
Fluorescent pigments by their nature are going to fade over time quicker
than other pigment colors, particularly when exposed to UV rays. The
fluorescent pigment interacts with the UV light to create that bright glow
and it wears out over time. There is no real way around this so a neon
yellow helmet will end up being pale yellow eventually all fluorescent
colors will fade.
The only way to slow it down would be to store the helmet in a dark place
when not in use. I'm not saying that makes this a bad helmet just that
the buyer must know it will fade and they will have to take a little extra
care of their helmet if they want to slow down the fading. Putting it
out in the sun would make it fade the fastest.
I have worked in the art field for about thirty years and know something
about pigments. I don't work for a helmet manufacturer."
From "R.R." (5/09): "I purchased a Scorpion EXO-700 in
High Viz Neon in the middle of March, I haven't been wearing it every day,
but recently I've been leaving it clipped to the side of my bike in the
bright Florida sun. The paint on that side is fading! It's
really obvious where I recently (1 week ago) removed the warning sticker.
I've put in call to Scorpion Warranty so we'll see what happens."
Right side is faded
Right - faded
From "GA" (4/09): "I bought the Neon EXO-700 a few
months ago, and I love the color. Did I say I loved the color?
BUT....the fit.....sigh.....my lips are pressed against the inside of the
chin bar. Break-in didn't help. It's an XL, and the XXL is too
big. So I went to a Shoei Multitec Yellow.
But I hope other helmet manufacturers get on the Hi-Viz bandwagon. I
called over a dozen vendors, and that Neon EXO-700 was sold out in all but
two. There IS demand for hi-viz, and as the over-40 riding crowd
grows, I believe that the hi-viz demand is growing. WHY no safety
orange colors? WHY?"
From "de St. C." (4/09): "I recently purchased the Neon
EXO-700 and I have to say it is one of the best helmets I have ever worn.
My experience ranges from top of the line Arai and Shoei helmets for racing
and street and dirt.
This Scorpion easily ranks up with the cream of the crop.
I liked it so much I went out and got one of their dirt helmets for my
dual-sport and have to say it feels even better... but I digress. The
materials and good and simple D-ring, the loose strap "snap" on its own tab
etc., all premium.
My long oval head shape fits comfortably - I know I will
have some break in but after a few weeks it is fitting like a glove with no
hot spots or pain.
The interior is top notch and easily removed and replaced or
washed ( I always tear down my helmets to see how they go together before I
ride with them).
Most importantly the balance/weight of the helmet is quite
good - the spoiler helps to keep my head calm. With my previous
helmet, if I ducked down about a half inch, while riding, I could feel and
hear a quieting. To my surprise that is gone and replaced with a much
quieter ride - both sound and turbulence - no matter how I sit on the bike.
I can only assume it is the more pronounced spoiler working away.
Visor - is great!!! Easy on and off and adjustable
just fine. If you like notched adjustments. Which until now I
did not but it works the way it is supposed to work and comes on and off
Of note also is how quiet the helmet is - even with the
visor open - I get none of that buzzing or vibrating and it is much more
pleasant riding with the visor open. I can unequivocally also say that
the anti-fog coating works perfectly. I do not know how long it will
last but for now it is working fine.
If I have a con it is a constant, slight venting on the top
of my head - I have a shaved head - the spoiler has three vent channels -
two of which have switches and the one in the center does not. Very
slight and fine in any weather than my Canadian spring - I will put a little
piece of tape over it in the fall.
Overall a great helmet with an amazing price - and of course
that wonderful, wonderful neon."
From "G.S." (3/09): "Yesterday I purchased a neon
Scorpion EXO-700 at my local bike shop and what a fantastic helmet!
I went in looking for a
Shoei TZ-R in orange but,
not surprisingly, they would have to order it. Walking out knowing
that I could order the helmet myself, something caught my eye, literally.
A large sized neon Scorpion EXO-700 was resting high up on a shelf and
standing out amongst all the other helmets. I asked the sales person
to get it down for me and he politely said, "Great helmet, good choice".
I was still thinking I was going to order the orange TZ-R
off the web but decided to compare the fit and quality of a non-orange TZ-R
to the neon EXO-700. Both are high quality DOT/Snell helmets, fit
great, and feel nearly identical in size (large = large). The features
on the EXO-700, however, are far superior to the TZ-R, including an anti-fog
visor, about 10 more vents, and removable pads. Scorpion gives you all this
for $75-100 USD less than the Shoei.
Becoming a more "responsible" rider and living in a
sprawling metropolis made me want a high visibility helmet. My web
research only returned one helmet for high visibility colors- the orange
Shoei TZ-R. I was really surprised to learn this but excited to learn
that there are actually two high visibility helmet models out there- one in
So, I thank the guy who called the helmet manufacturers
requesting high vis colors, and I thank Scorpion and Shoei for making them.
I chose the Scorpion because it is more helmet for less money. Maybe the
rest of the industry should step up to the plate.
Now, if there was only an EXO-1000 in neon or orange.
That flip down tinted visor..."
From "L.H." (12/08): "Let Scorpion know that I also will
be in line for the modular Neon helmet . Riders in the UK and elsewhere have
put safety & visibility before so-called fashion for a long time now.
I suppose the wearing of black clothing & leather might be a
camouflage attempt and as an exercise in Social Darwinism I'm all for it."
From "Brian" (11/08): "Several months ago, I contacted
many of the top helmet manufacturers and asked them if they would consider
painting a helmet "HI VIZ or NEON lime/yellow". HJCs answer was, "we
have no intentions of doing so anytime soon". Arai didn't respond at
all and Shoei said, "no, we aren't looking at that color in the future".
Scorpion just simply responded," we'll send your request and suggestion to R
For years, I have been preaching the benefits of Hi Viz
motorcycle apparel. Especially the helmet. When I asked the 4
companies if they would custom paint one for me they all said no. You
would think that with all the variations of colors that these companies
make, they would jump on the opportunity to be first. I even offered
to buy the first one one the market.
It appears that I'll have to dig up the money and make good
on my promise. Maybe Scorpion listened and decided to give it a try.
I doubt I'm the only person to contact helmet companies and ask for this so
I'm not singing the blues. Quite the contrary. I join you and
send a BIG thank you to Scorpion for being innovative, forward thinking and
down right smart. Apparently my, or should I say our requests and
suggestions were taken seriously.
I went to their site to see if there was any additional
information but it hasn't been posted yet. I don't care. As soon
as I can find one on line, I'll be wearing one! Now, if Scorpion will
hurry up and make a modular in this color, I'll have to have one of those
So, all the rest of you helmet manufacturers take a good
look. This is what you should've done. In my opinion, Scorpion
has just elevated itself to the top of the helmet world. They have
achieved the almost impossible with a reasonably priced helmet that is also
top quality, that's finally, HI Viz."
Response from Teri Gorrell, Media Relations & Rider
Support, Scorpion USA: "Thank you Brian for the suggestions
and for the compliments! All of the staff here at Scorpion Sports
prides themselves in not only customer service, but also in being motorcycle
enthusiasts! We ride, we listen to your suggestions and we make good
things happen for riders like ourselves. The Modular helmet is on the
way, stay tuned for Spring 2009! Get STUNG." (Edtior's
Note, August 2009: See our
review of the Scorpion EXO-900 modular helmet).