Shoei RF-1100 First Look
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
(Below) | wBW
RF-1100 Review now posted!
Note: The Shoei RF-1100 is also known as the XR-1100 in Europe.
After running a rather strange advertising campaign that
introduced the helmets about one month before they were actually on dealers' shelves, the
new Shoei RF-1100 was finally released on October 1, 2009.
We purchased an RF-1100 in the TC-1 "Monolith" graphics in size XL, along
with a new Shoei X-12 TC-1 in the "Streamliner" graphics, also in size XL, and
we'll have a First Look on each, followed by a full webBikeWorld review of each
helmet as soon as possible. In the
meantime, here's an RF-1100 taste-tease with a couple of quick photos and some initial
I have two initial impressions of the RF-1100 after pulling it out of the box
First, the quality of both the RF-1100 and the X-12 is outstanding.
webBikeWorld readers know that in general, motorcycle helmet quality has
improved dramatically over the last two years or so. There are some
under-$200.00 helmets now available that rival the quality of helmets costing
2-3 times more.
This has raised the bar for everyone, and as always, the competition benefits
all of us. So when you're charging $500.00 for a helmet, as Shoei is for the
RF-1100, the quality better be superlative -- that's an absolute given! It
will be interesting to see who bites on a 500-buck Shoei in these hard economic
times, when you can get a pretty decent helmet for about 80% less.
But I have to say, after handling the RF-1100 and checking out the
paint/graphics and the operation of the moving parts, I'm very impressed.
The rest of the webBikeWorld Irregulars -- i.e., the evaluation crew -- hasn't
seen either of the new Shoei helmets yet, but I'm sure they'll agree.
Notice the label does not indicate the Snell year series approval; the Snell
2010 label is under the liner.
RF-1100 CW-1 Face Shield
My second impression after a quick first look is the very tight fit of the face shield
on both helmets. The RF-1100 and the X-12 both include Shoei's new "CW-1" shield,
and the version used on the RF-1100 is claimed to be wider and higher than the
previous CX-IV face shield use on the RF-1000 and others.
The CW-1 is also claimed to provide 99% UVA and UVB protection (what
happened to the other 1%?) and it's also Pinlock ready, according to Shoei.
By the way, we've noticed several helmet manufacturers are now basically
throwing in the towel on anti-fog treatments and going with the
Pinlock anti-fog insert system
instead. Our feeling is that the Pinlock inserts work, but they have
several disadvantages, including cost, installation issues and the care that
must be taken to clean the face shield with the Pinlock installed.
Shoei claims that the Pinlock for the CW-1 face shield is sized to provide
"fog-free viewing to the top of the helmet’s larger eye port" (a Pinlock insert
is specific to each helmet face shield design, unfortunately).
Also noticeable is the incredibly tight fit of the RF-1100 face shield.
Again, this is a first impression, but I was intrigued by Shoei's description of
the new Q.R.S.A. (Quick Release Self-Adjusting) Base Plate System.
The popup window that describes the Q.R.S.A. system on the Shoei website
isn't scaled for a 16:9 HD monitor, so I can't read the entire description (?)
but it does say something about the new face shield design and release mechanism
being designed to keep the face shield tight to the eye port gasket.
We'll try a new evaluation procedure to determine how well the seal really
works to prevent water leaks. This issue has been a concern lately with
many webBikeWorld visitors.
RF-1100 Helmet Weight
I quickly placed both of the new Shoei helmets on the scale, and I'm both surprised
and disappointed to discover that the RF-1100 has gained 136 grams over the size
we reviewed previously.
The Shoei X-12 also put on the lard; the X-12 in size XL weighs 1766 grams
compared to the
Shoei X-11 at 1635 grams.
The RF-1100 is one of the first helmets to meet the new Snell 2010 safety
standard (more here), but it is not clear whether this or the addition of new
features, the new liner, the shield removal system or other parts is responsible
for the weight gain.
Here's a chart comparing the RF-1000 and RF-1100 and X-11/X-12 helmet
weights, taken from the
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, which lists the
weights of all 124 helmets we've reviewed to date:
||3 lbs. 8-3/4 oz.
||3 lbs. 9-5/8 oz.
||3 lbs. 13-5/8 oz.
||3 lb. 14-3/8 oz.
The numbers in the left-hand column
indicate the ranking of the helmet out of the 124
helmets listed to date. 62 is the median, so the
equivalent RF- and X- series Shoei helmets went from
just below the median to well over it.
RF-1100 Shell Sizes
Also, here's some very, very interesting news: the RF-1100 comes in
five -- that's right, 5 -- different shell sizes! That's amazing, and
I can't remember any motorcycle helmet manufacturer making more than 3 shell
sizes (although there may be). This shows a commitment to the RF-1100,
which is probably Shoei's "bread and butter" helmet.
The RF-1100 is available in sizes ranging from XXS, which is
a very small helmet possibly appropriate for children, to XXXL (NOTE:
Updated October 14, 2009 with new information from Shoei; an RF-1100 in size
XXXL will be available soon -- good news for riders with larger heads!).
UPDATE (October 15, 2009): Shoei sent us information on the shell sizes for the RF-1100:
Shoei RF-1100 Shell Size Chart
Shoei RF-1000 on the left and the new Shoei RF-1100 on the right.
The helmets just arrived and none of us have had a chance to ride with them
yet, so I can't comment on balance, air flow or even internal shape.
First Look Conclusion
That's a very brief first look and first impressions of the Shoei RF-1100.
Stay tuned for more; we'll of course have our full webBikeWorld review,
slide show, video and more. We'll also compare the RF-1100 with the
RF-1000 (which was one of my faves) and we'll do the same with the X-11 and
But overall, I can definitely say that the new Shoei RF-1100
has noticeably higher quality than most/many other helmets we have around
here. Based on these two random examples, I'd guess that Shoei must
realize that nothing less than perfection will be tolerated, considering the
powerful competition now in place at every price point.
RF-1100 Review now posted!
In the meantime, you can but your new Shoei RF-1100 at our
affiliate, RevZilla, using the link below:
Reviews Home |
Motorcycle Helmets Page | Motorcycle Helmet
First Look: Shoei RF-1100 Motorcycle
Shoei Co. Ltd.
||List Price: $399.99 - $499.99
|Sizes: XXS to XXXL
Shell Sizes: 5
Colors: Very large selection, including high visibility
solid orange, red and yellow.
Date: October 2009 Note: Review in process.
|Ratings Scale: For
reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable
to Poor, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
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