Shoei X-11 Review
I just received my new Shoei X-11 yesterday, and took it for a 120-mile test drive today in temperatures ranging from the low 60s at the coast to the low 90s in Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley. I was riding behind a cut-down windshield on my Harley Softail Classic.
This is one beautiful helmet. Unlike most others, the vents are not stuck on like an afterthought; they're faired into the helmet, making for a very smooth laminar air flow. The finish is perfect, mine being called "Light Silver" which sparkles in the sunlight. I chose that color for visibility and heat reflectivity. First thing I did was peel off that rather tacky looking Shoei sticker on the front of the helmet.
This is also a very, very light helmet. How light? I don't know exactly, but an order of magnitude lighter than my previous Caberg Justissimo. Also, the field of vision is incredible. Peripheral vision is extremely wide, such that I don't have to twist my neck around to do a head-check, and the vision up or down is also superb.
Attaching and detaching the shield may be the simplest and best system in the helmet universe. Push down a little latch on each side and the shield pops on or off. That's it. Two seconds flat, either way.
Some have complained about how the extra bit of chinstrap is secured. Yes, it's hard to do with gloves on. So put the helmet on first, THEN put the gloves on. I don't see what the big deal is.
The thing fits like it was tailor-made for me, with an extremely plush, soft interior and firm cheekpads. I have a slightly oval-shaped head, so round helmets (which typically include all the European helmets, including Caberg, Nolan, etc.) cause a hot spot across my forehead after a short time. This one fit perfectly. (The only other helmet to fit this well was the Arai RX-7 Corsair, which is similarly shaped.) The Shoei RF-1000, in contrast, was too round for me.
Vents. Does this thing ever vent. I hit the coast with all vents open, and had to close them as the cold airflow, especially across the top of my head, was too strong. In very hot weather, I opened them and my head never sweated. This is a first for me in a full-face or flip helmet.
There was no buffeting at all, either looking straight ahead or when performing head-checks. Nor was there any lift. I look over my windshield, so the helmet was directly in the airflow but wasn't fazed by it.
The Less Good:
This is a noisy helmet. I mean Noisy with a capital N. To a large degree, the vents cause the noise. Things got a lot quieter when I closed them. It's also the case that helmets are almost always noisier behind a fairing or windshield. But seriously, I started out without earplugs, which I always wear, so that I could gauge the difference with and without, but when I put the earplugs in, it was still one noisy helmet.
There's something called a Whisper Strip that Shoei sells in the UK that goes around the bottom of the helmet and which Shoei claims cuts the noise in half. But I'm very reluctant, after having shelled out big-time for the helmet, to pay another $40 or so for something that should have been included in the first place. Makes me think that senior Shoei management have all attended the Harley-Davidson marketing seminar taught by Professors Dewey, Cheatum and Howe.
I will probably buy the Whisper Strip. The helmet is too superior in every other category to allow the noise issue to marginalize it, especially when a simple fix is available. In addition, today was a particularly windy day, which may have added to the cacophony.
List price for this model is $539. I paid $435, including shipping, at Helmet Harbor , plus another $35 for a dark smoke shield. Fast shipping, knowledgeable service.
Hope this helps someone.