Shoei X-12 First Look
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
(Below) | wBW
UPDATE (December 10, 2009):
Shoei X-Twelve helmet review now posted!
new Shoei X-12 was released on October 1, 2009, along with the new Shoei
RF-1100, described in
We purchased an X-12 in the TC-1 "Streamliner" graphics in size XL, along
with a new Shoei RF-1100 in the "Monolith" graphics, also in size XL.
A full webBikeWorld review of each
helmet will be forthcoming as soon as possible. In the
meantime, here's an X-12 taste-tease with a couple of quick photos and some initial
Everything I said about the RF-1100 with regards to quality is ditto for the X-12.
This is after only a few hours of ogling and handling after receiving the X-12
and the RF-1100 yesterday.
The quality of both helmets appears to be outstanding.
The X-12 looks stunning in the Streamliner graphics, with its deep red
metalflake accent stripes and the metalflake stars along the side.
But, this is as it should be -- I'm am positive that X-12 owners will accept
nothing less than perfection in a helmet costing...are you ready for this?
$769.99 list price! Yikes!!
Whether or not there is a market for a helmet costing that much and how large
that market will be is yet to be determined. Obviously, the Shoei X-12 is
a direct competitor of the stomach-churning price of the
Arai Corsair V
(review), which can set you back up to $870.00, depending upon graphic and
The question is this: does a $700+ helmet protect your skull any better than
a helmet costing half as much -- or less? If a helmet meets DOT, ECE,
Snell 2010 -- or a combination thereof -- isn't it just as good? That's
the whole idea of standards. Does money buy more safety? Once
everyone else comes out with a Snell 2010 approved helmet, what will be the
We'll have to leave that up to our readers to decide. But here's one
more factor in the equation: experiencing first-hand the quality of the RF-1100,
I'm not sure what you get for your 50% premium when buying an X-12. The
RF-1100 seems that good.
In another universe, if I were King of Shoei, I think I'd want to consider
marketing an Arai Corsair V equivalent "race" oriented helmet at a much lower
price point. Just because Arai is asking huge prices for a helmet doesn't
necessarily mean it's a good idea to match the price.
When all is said and done though, the X-12 is initially just as stunning as
the RF-1100 when it comes to perceived quality.
Notice the label does not indicate the Snell year series approval; the Snell
2010 label is under the liner.
I have yet to carefully study the differences between the X-12, the X-11 and the
RF-1100, so perhaps there is something else that justifies the astronomical
price of the X-12.
It has the same CW-1 face shield as the RF-1100 with the same tight fit; the
AIM+ shell in 5 sizes ranging from XS to XXL; along with many other features
shared with the RF-1100, including the 5-year warranty, which is effectively the
life expectancy of the helmet.
The X-12 does add an emergency release system for the cheek pads. A
pair of red "Pull" tabs are located on the bottom of the helmet, between the
liner and shell. These can be pulled to release the cheek pads, which
allows the helmet to be more easily removed from an injured rider's head.
Both the RF-1100 and X-12 feature face shield locks, which is usually only
something found on a race-oriented helmet. And the X-12 features Shoei's
"3D Max" liner system, claimed to be "proven to absorb and dissipate sweat
two-times faster than traditional nylon interiors", according to Shoei.
The X-12 is also available with the
Pinlock anti-fog insert system
X-12 Helmet Weight
I quickly placed both of the new Shoei helmets on the scale, and, like the
RF-1100, the X-12 has gained weight over its ancestor, the X-11.
As with the RF-1100, I'm surprised
to discover that the X-12 has gained 156 grams over the size
we reviewed previously.
The X-12 and the RF-1100 are among 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 X-11 and X-12 helmet
weights, taken from the
Motorcycle Helmet Weights page, which lists the
weights of all 124 helmets we've reviewed to date:
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.
Shoei X-11 on the left and the new Shoei X-12 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.
UPDATE: Shoei sent us information on the shell sizes for the X-12:
Shoei X-12 Shell Size Chart
First Look Conclusion
That's a very brief first look and first impressions of the Shoei X-12.
Stay tuned for more; we'll of course have our full webBikeWorld review,
slide show, video and more. We'll also compare the X-12 with the
X-11 and RF-1100.
As with the Shoei RF-1100, first impressions are shaded by
the very high quality of the fittings, paint and graphics on the X-12
compared to most/many other helmets we have around here.
UPDATE (December 10,
2009): Shoei X-Twelve helmet review now
Reviews Home |
Motorcycle Helmets Page | Motorcycle Helmet
First Look: Shoei X-12 Motorcycle
Shoei Co. Ltd.
||List Price: $769.99
|Sizes: XS to XXL
Shell Sizes: 5
Colors: Selection of colors and graphics.
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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