Sunax Max Sunshield Review
by Glenn W. for webBikeWorld.com
UPDATE: Sunax Sunshields Now Available in the U.S.A. at BMG, a webBikeWorld affiliate!
An updated version of the Sunax Sunshield (review), designed specifically for the newer Arai helmets.
It has a new profile that makes it easier to install than the original while providing more extensive sun glare protection for touring or sport-touring.
I reviewed the original Sunax Sunshield (here) in September of 2010 and both the Editor and I have been using the production since then in our "go to" everyday helmets.
The Sunax Sunshield is precision laser-cut piece of flexible plastic-like material that can be inserted in between the liner and shell on many helmets, at the top of the eye port.
It's unobtrusive and it provides an excellent and good-looking way to block sun glare, especially when riding into the morning or evening sun.
It's a high-quality device that is road legal in Europe. Sunax claims to have sold over 150,000 of the Sunshields to motorcycle riders all over the world.
Yes, there are many other ways to block sun glare, such as the el Cheapo Sun Shade described on webBikeWorld.
Also, some "Cheaper Than el Cheapo" riders even use black electrical tape across the top of the outside of the face shield, although the obvious disadvantage with that method is both light and vision is blocked.
But the Sunshield system looks great, it works very nicely; it's available in a variety of tints; it comes in different shapes for different helmet types; and it's road legal (in Europe).
It's also pretty easy to install -- the full description is in the original webBikeWorld review -- with the only caveat being that some helmets have a plastic cap or assembly at the top of the eye port that covers the gap between the liner and the shell or EPS. If this is the case, then the Sunax probably will not work.
Sunax just sent us a new 2011 version of the Sunshield; it's called the Sunax Max for Arai. It has a new shape and slightly different design than the Sunax Classic, BX or original Arai versions.
The Sunax Sunshield and Max Sunshield for Arai is a specific design because of the dual brow air vents built into the Arai face shield.
The openings for these are at the top of the eye port and an Arai face shield is a special design with built-in vents that snap open or closed. The vent covers in the face shield match up with the vents built into the top of the eye port, so the Sunax shield is cut to fit around this system.
The Arai RX-Q (review) had just been released at the same time we received the original Sunax Sunshields, and it was the helmet we picked for the installation. We discovered that the original version was a tight fit around the vents on the newer Arai helmets.
The original Sunax Sunshield was designed for the earlier Arai helmets, and apparently Arai made a slight change in the dimensions of the brow vents. This meant that although the original Arai version of the Sunax shield fit, it didn't line up perfectly and it took some fussing to get it installed correctly.
Sunax has now released a new 2011 version, called the Sunax Max for Arai. It has a different profile along the top where it slides into the helmet. It it also longer along the sides and has a slight curvature towards the bottom at the sides, which provides better side coverage -- 50% better, according to Sunax.
The new Max version does not have the fabric that was glued to the back of the original, which provides friction for grip, and it doesn't seem to be missed. The Max version is much easier to insert into the helmet; in fact, I didn't even need to use the credit card trick as described in my original review.
The Max Sunshield is based on the profile of the Sunax BX version, and it has just enough surface area in the upper tabs to hold it in the helmet. The bottom edges have a different profile and they do provide better side coverage when riding.
The Sunax Max for Arai is currently available in the "Steel" color shown here, which I prefer because it's the darkest (and looks cool!). Sunax said that more tints will be released soon.
The Sunax Sunshield is an excellent way to block annoying sun glare. Yes, there are other and less expensive ways to do this, but none look as professional as the Sunax Sunshield. It has also been tested by the MPA Testing Institute at the University of Stuttgart and it's EC approved for road use.
|webBikeWorld Review: Sunax Max Sunshield|
U.S. Sales: British Motorcycle Gear (wBW Affiliate)
|List Price: U.S.A.: $39.95 to $45.95 (Arai). Europe: €39.95.|
|Colors: Steel, Blue.||Made In: Germany|
|Review Date: April 2011|
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.
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From "A.R." (May 2013): "I tried using this and found it very useful for stopping the sun glare but very awkward to use with prescription glasses. The Sunax did not interfere with my glasses but made it very awkward to adjust my glasses because of the limited space in the eye port.
I have not used it since but now have cut a piece of car window tint film and attached it to the top inch of my face shield. The great advantage of this is each piece is only a few cents and you can remove it easily if needed. Thanks as always for such an excellent website."
Editor's Note: See the webBikeWorld article el Cheapo Sun Shade.
From "L.S." (April 2013): "Riding in the Utah summers involves a lot of hot and very bright days, and last summer had me thinking about buying a helmet with a peak. However I thought the Super-Visor looked intriguing, so gave it a go on a spare visor I had lying around for my HJC IS-33.
I am fairly mechanically minded, and followed the instructions to the letter, ie sanding the visor down to a matte finish where the glue would be applied, but sadly have to report that I couldn't get it to adhere strongly enough that I'd trust it at any speed.
So, based on your (mostly) positive reviews I decided to give the (Silver) Sunax a go in my Shoei Qwest (review) (Medium), and also the cheaper Sunblocker in my HJC IS-33.
I am also not a fan of the IS-33's internal drop down sun visor for the reason you note, that it's simply not dark enough for anything other than occasional brief use. But having said that, at least the IS-33 has one. Interesting that Shoei has now added a new model to their line with a sun visor.
For the Sunax:
Pros: Looks good installed, optically decent (although it's rarely necessary to actually look through it), surprisingly effective at cutting down direct sunlight glare. I was on the fence as to whether to get the Silver or Dark, have no regrets about getting the Silver.
Cons: Price ($45 shipped, not cheap), Not that easy to install, although that may vary from helmet to helmet, it took a fair few go's with the old credit card to open up enough space to get it in far enough.
Conclusion: Worth the money and effort, effective enough that I've stopped carrying sunglasses all together.
And the Sunblocker:
Pros: Relatively cheap, very easy install, dark enough to do the job.
Cons: No better looking than the home made versions, optically poor (but not an issue except for my first ride with it when I had it positioned too low).
Conclusion: It's still on the HJC's visor, and like the Sunax, I don't carry sunglasses any more, so yes, it's a keeper. Many thanks for all the great reviews and product info."
From "R.T." (04/11): "I have the original and love it! Stays in place all the time. I wear glasses and never have any problems with putting them on or taking them off."
From "G.N." (04/11): "I have an original Sunax on both my Shoei RF1000 and AGV Ti-Tech and love the difference they make. I do wear eyeglasses all the time when I ride and can say first hand that the Sunax (original anyway) does not interfere."
From "B.M." (04/11): "Against my better judgment (boy, is it pricey!) I'm considering buying a Sunax for my Arai. I wondering if it might cause any problem with putting on and taking off eyeglasses while the helmet is being worn. Do any of the riders who use this wear glasses, or did you test for this?"
Editor's Reply: The Sunax Sunshield extends down about 20 mm and the Max version about 25 mm. It doesn't interfere with my eyeglasses.