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Shoei RJ-Platinum R Review

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Review
Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Review
by Rick K. and "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
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Summary

The Shoei RJ-Platinum R is a modern take on an iconic motorcycle helmet design.

It's a popular helmet with touring riders and cruiser owners.

The RJ-Platinum R has an excellent build quality and comfortable interior that is somewhat different from other modern Shoei helmets.

The solid-feeling shell is the Shoei AIM+ fiberglass and fiber composite and it meets the DOT standard and it's Snell M2010 certified.

The open-face design obviously works best on a bike with a big windscreen. It has large but simple brow vent ports and adjustable rear exhaust vents provide good ventilation.

The ear pockets or ear cavities are large and the helmet is well suited for attaching an intercom system and the liner is comfortable and nicely padded; it's also removable and replaceable.

Background

The Shoei RJ helmet type was said to have been introduced back in 1985. It's a classic motorcycle helmet design -- the word "icon" comes to mind.

Helmets that look like this have been around since...well, probably since Harley Knucklehead days. This one, in white with black trim, does a good job at mimicking a typical 1940's style American police helmet; you know, the type they still wear for some strange reason?

Its simplicity is its strength, however. It's comfortable, lightweight and does a surprisingly good job at flowing air. It's also a veritable poster child for motorcycle helmet intercom mounting.

As long as you can get over the fact that this is a "purist" open-face helmet, you'll be fine. When we say open face, we mean it; despite the metal snaps on the outside and under the removable peak, apparently there is no option for an RF-Platinum R face shield, at least that I could find. If you know of one, please let us know and we'll post the info in the Owner Comments section below.

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Top View
What's In a Name?

The RJ-Platinum R name has a long history.

RJ is the family name for Shoei open-face helmets and has been used as far back as 1991, with the RJ-101V (91-98), RJ-Air (99-00), RJ-Air Platinum (01-Mar 06) and the current model RJ-Platinum R (2006-Current).

These were all street helmets and at one time there were off-road models which were designated VJ with the V designating off-road as it still does today in VFX-W.

Also, the J in J-Cruise (review) stands for "Jet" (type), and it was/is used in all of the Shoei ¾ open-face helmets: J-Wing, J-Cruise and RJ, etc.

Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality

The Shoei RJ-Platinum R is currently available in 10 different solid or metallic colors, from the ultra-classic white gloss shown here to various shades of silver, gray or black.

Actually, the only real "color" available is the wine red; we were surprised that there are no Honda Gold Wing or Harley Electra Glide matching colors.

The RJ-Platinum R has that classic 3/4-helmet, open-face look, but it's been updated slightly to keep it modern.

There's a slight crease molded into the rear of the helmet and along the cheeks at the sides, probably to help the aerodynamics but the slightly sharp edges also give the helmet a modern appearance that isn't "too retro".

The white paint on ours is perfectly applied with a smooth, unblemished finish that is similar to any other Shoei helmet.

The white color is a classic for sure and the paint and build quality is excellent and there is a discernible difference between the RJ-Platinum R and lesser types of 3/4-style open-face helmets.

One of those differences comes from the Shoei "AIM+" composite shell construction. This is not your typical polycarbonate helmet; the RJ-Platinum R has the same high-tech shell as some of the other Shoei full-face helmets. This gives the open-face helmet a comparatively firm and solid feel; i.e., not a lot of bending when you press in on the sides of the RJ-Platinum R.

The helmet meets both the DOT standard (naturally) and it is Snell M2010 certified as an open-face helmet. The Shoei website still says that the helmet meets Snell M2005 but our RJ-Platinum R has a Snell M2010 approval sticker inside. Nothing wrong with Snell M2005, by the way and, in fact, the Shoei RJ-Platinum R (Dual Sport) helmet we reviewed recently is Snell M2005 certified.

The RJ-Platinum R has fewer external features than most full-face designs, so there's less to potentially go wrong, but the front brow vents and movable rear exhaust vents work very nicely with a firm feel.

The liner is very comfortable, in standard Shoei fashion and it's also removable, although -- like the RJ-Platinum R -- the RJ-Platinum R liner feels a bit like the previous generation of Shoei helmet liners when compared to the newest designs, such as the Shoei GT-Air (review). The internal shape and fit also feels slightly different that Shoei full-face helmets and we'll describe that in more detail below.

Score: We give the Shoei RJ-Platinum R an "Outstanding" rating for excellent overall quality. See the Summary Table at the bottom of the page for a description of our rating system.

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Slide Show
Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front View Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front Quarter View Visor Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Side View Visor Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Side View Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front Quarter View Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Rear View Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front Vent System
  • Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front View
  • Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front Quarter View Visor
  • Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Side View Visor
  • Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Side View
  • Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front Quarter View
  • Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Rear View
  • Shoei RJ Platinum R Helmet Front Vent System
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Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Fit, Internal Shape and Liner

The open-face design of the RJ-Platinum R means that the helmet shell -- despite the relatively stiff AIM+ construction -- is slightly more flexible across the front. This can help to fit the helmet to a wider (literally) variety of head shapes.

The internal shape feels more "Neutral" to even "Slight Round" than other Shoei helmets we've reviewed recently. Shoei full-face helmets have a more consistent internal shape than just about any other manufacturer, with a "Slight Narrow" bias but the RJ-Platinum R feels different.

The size XL shown here fits to size. Shoei lists the XL as fitting a 61-62 cm head and that seems correct, so we'll have to assume that the other RJ-Platinum R sizes also run true. Shoei recently announced an additional 3XL size for the RJ-Platinum R, so the range now expands from XS all the way up to XXXL.

The brow or upper part of the inside of the helmet does not have the narrowness and the space in front that can usually be felt with a Shoei full-face helmet, which is why we're calling this one more of a "Neutral" internal shape. Again, the slight flexing of the sides of the helmet help it to fit wider head shapes more comfortably.

The liner and cheek pads are easily removable and the liner has distinct channels that help flow the air through the helmet. The ventilation is also assisted by channels molded into the EPS liner.

The ear pockets of the RJ-Platinum R feel comfortably large and they're molded at the bottom for speakers. The molded cavity is large enough to fit a pair of the big Torx XPro speakers (review), which might just be the ultimate speaker solution for this helmet.

The shell, by the way, is nicely designed to accommodate the typical motorcycle intercom mount.

Straight-temple eyeglasses or sunglasses, like the Randolph Engineering Aviator (review), fit with no problems in the helmet.

webBikeWorld Internal Shape Estimator: Shoei RJ-Platinum R
Narrow Med. Narrow Slight Narrow Neutral Slight Round Med. Round Round
Helmet Shape
Helmet Shape
Helmet Internal Shape Examples (see more Motorcycle Helmet Shapes)
Arai
Profile
Scorpion
EXO-700 Neon
KBC
Tarmac
AGV
Stealth
Arai
RX-Q
Bell
Arrow
Arai
Quantum II

More information on helmet fit can be found in the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet FAQ page, along with the chart that lists the helmet weights of webBikeWorld reviewed helmets and also by shape on the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.

Score: We'll give the Shoei RJ-Platinum R an "Outstanding" rating for shape, comfort and padding with a very nice removable liner and padding.

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Liner
The Shoei RJ-Platinum R liner is comfortable and removable.
Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Liner and Cheek Pads
The Shoei RJ-Platinum R liner with view of brow.
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Shoei RJ-Platinum R Face Shield, Eye Port and Outward Visibility

With no face shield, there's not much to report here. The "peak" of the RJ-Platinum R is removable; it snaps into three metal snaps across the top of the helmet. Single metal snaps are also located at the cheeks on the outside of the helmet shell, but we're not sure what they are for -- perhaps a police-style chin strap?

The peak doesn't really do all that much for sun blocking unless the sun is nearly overhead. But it does give the helmet a more finished or "dressy" look.

Outward visibility is unlimited, with just a sliver of each cheek pad appearing in the lower peripheral vision, along with a bit of the peak up top. Also obvious is that fact that with no face shield, the RJ-Platinum R is really designed for use behind a big windscreen -- like the BMW C 650 GT scooter (blog), where the helmet actually works well, as long as the wind doesn't catch under the peak and lift the front.

webBikeWorld Eye Port Visibility Estimator: Shoei RJ-Platinum R
Visibility Poor Below Average Average Above Average Outstanding
Top to Bottom
Side to Side

Score: The Shoei RJ-Platinum R visibility is outstanding and virtually unlimited.

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Top Vents
Shoei RJ-Platinum R brow vents work well.
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Shoei RJ-Platinum R Ventilation and Air Flow

As an open-face helmet, the RJ-Platinum R gets plenty of ventilation, whether you want it or not. But the inside is also nicely ventilated, with dual intake vents built into an assembly on the brow.

The vents are a simple affair; there are two of them one on either side, each with a two-position slider that uncovers a vent hole, either half-way or all the way. For all practical purposes though, the vents are either open or they're not.

The air enters the helmet at the brow and flows through holes in the EPS, which directly open into the interior of the helmet. The air flows through channels in the EPS and the fabric liner for good ventilation.

Unlike many less expensive 3/4-style open-face helmets, the RJ-Platinum R has two opening exhaust vents in the rear. They have a one position open or close slider. As with any other helmet though, it's difficult to determine how much these affect the overall ventilation, but they probably help reduce the pressure and pull the air through the helmet.

When riding behind a windscreen, if the air is directed along the top of the RJ-Platinum R, there's a definite air flow through the top of the helmet that can be felt. Small details like this -- air vents that actually work -- are one of the tangible differences in the quality of this Shoei helmet.

While something as simple as ventilation seems like a given on a motorcycle helmet with vent openings, as we've described over and over again in the webBikeWorld helmet reviews, it isn't always the case and, in fact, it's probably more of an exception than a rule. Strange, but true. So finding what some may perceive as a "basic" helmet that actually goes beyond the norm to provide good air flow is a definite plus.

webBikeWorld Opinionator: Shoei RJ-Platinum R Ventilation
Location Poor Below Average Average Above Average Outstanding
Top/Upper
Chin/Face

Score: We rate the ventilation system of the Shoei RJ-Platinum R as "Excellent" on top and you might say "Unlimited" for the face.

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Rear Vents
Opening rear exhaust vents on the Shoei RJ-Platinum R.
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Shoei RJ-Platinum R Sound Levels

Not much to say here either; like most open-face helmets, the RJ-Platinum R is generally louder than a good full-face helmet. But the very generous padding, comfortable fit, the sides of the helmet and the overall solid build quality make this one less noisy than its contemporaries in the world of open-face designs.

We assume most riders will be wearing their RJ-Platinum R behind a windscreen that blocks most of the turbulence and keeps the overall noise levels low, and this helps, of course.

Wearing the helmet behind the big fairing and windscreen on Burn's "oldie-but-goodie" BMW K1100LT or the BMW C 650 GT scooter is a pleasure. Throw on a pair of sunglasses, of course, or other eye protection and you're ready to cruise. There is definitely something to be said for open-face cruising on a motorcycle; it gives one a feeling of airiness and lightness that you just don't get with a full-face.

webBikeWorld Opinionator: Shoei RJ-Platinum R Noise Levels
Location Very Quiet Quieter Average Louder Very Loud
Upper
Lower

Note that our helmet evaluations are normally a combined effort of several riders over time, on different types of motorcycles with and without windscreens. Evaluators wear correctly fitted, high quality earplugs (even when evaluating motorcycle intercom systems) and (usually) a helmet liner. It is strongly recommended that hearing protection is used when riding a motorcycle.  See the wBW Earplugs and Hearing Protection page for more information on choosing and wearing earplugs.

Note also that perceived noise levels will vary, depending on the individual. Noise can be caused by many factors, including helmet fit; the type of motorcycle and windscreen; wind speed and direction and even the type of clothing that is being worn. For more information on helmet noise, visit the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Noise page.

Score: We'll give the Shoei RJ-Platinum R a "Very Good" rating for average noise control.

wBW Video: Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet
Helmet Weight

This RJ-Platinum R in size XL weighs 1387 grams (3 lbs., 7/8 oz.), which puts it somewhere near the half-way mark when compared to all of the other open-face helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld. We have reviewed 24 open-face or "Jet" styled helmets to date; the weights and internal shapes are listed at the bottom of the Motorcycle Helmet Weights page.

The comfortable liner and "Neutral" fit add to the stability of the RJ-Platinum R and the helmet feels very secure on the head, so there's no problems to report with weight, lift or turbulence issues.

Note that all of the helmets reviewed on webBikeWorld have been weighed and the weights are available on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, along with a chart that lists the helmets by weight and shape on the wBW Motorcycle Helmet Shapes page.

Score: We rate the Shoei RJ-Platinum R a "Very Good" rating for its weight with good balance.

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet Snell Certification
The Shoei RJ-Platinum R is Snell M2010 certified.
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Miscellaneous

The RJ-Platinum R has a double D-ring chin strap attachment system with a snap to secure the loose end. The chin strap padding is adequate and comfortable.

UPDATE: The RJ-Platinum R is made with (surprise) four shell sizes; here's a graphic from Shoei:

Shoei RJ-Platinum R Shell Sizes

The helmet meets the DOT standard when sold in the U.S. and it's Snell M2010 approved as an open-face helmet. The RJ-Platinum R is also sold in Europe under that name, where it meets the ECE 22-05 safety standard.

webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator: Shoei RJ-Platinum R
Picks...
...and Pans
  • Outstanding overall quality.
  • Comfortable liner.
  • Outstanding visibility.
  • Excellent ventilation for its type.
  • Easy to fit intercom and speakers.

 

  • Wish it came in more colors.
Conclusion

The Shoei RJ-Platinum R is a true classic, updated for today. It adds a few styling touches that are just enough to keep it from looking too retro, without losing that classic DNA.

It's a fairly basic helmet but it does everything one expects from this type and it does it well. The shell feels nice and solid and the liner is well padded and comfortable with no hard points to be felt.

The price is also reasonable, especially at the retail discounts that are usually applied. Taken altogether, it would be difficult to beat the RJ-Platinum R if you're looking for a 3/4-style open-face motorcycle helmet with classic looks. Yes, you can find this style for a lot less money, but once you start comparing features, well...there really isn't a comparison. The RJ-Platinum R is a classic icon all its own.

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More wBW Motorcycle Helmet Reviews

wBW Review: Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmet
Manufacturer: Shoei Co., Ltd. List Price: $291.99
Sale Price:
$246.59 here
Colors: Solids and metallics. Made In: Japan
Sizes: XS to 3XL. Shell Sizes: 4 Star Rating (1-5): Four Star Rated
Review Date: August 2013
Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.

Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!

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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 "R.S." (August 2013): "This company (Seer) make an excellent snap-on flip face shield system for 3/4 helmets.

I've been using them on my Shoei for 6+ years and they are extremely well made, durable and functional. You can ride with shield up at highway speeds.

The shield can be replaced without tools and comes in two lengths and many tint combos. It's basic a law enforcement supply company, but you can order online.

They are old fashioned, you pay for it and you don't hear or get any confirmation or tracking stuff from them until it arrives with a hard copy of the invoice. Usually take 2-3 weeks, but it's worth it if you want a good shield for a open face."

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