Shoei X Spirit III helmet gives European riders an edge
Shoei has always had a reputation for building technologically advanced motorcycle helmets. Its latest flagship model, the X-Spirit III, is no exception with improvements in safety, comfort and aerodynamics over previous flagship models in the company's premium X-series race helmet lineup.
Offered earlier this year as the X-Fourteen in North America, the company has taken the same helmet, dubbed it the X-Spirit III, and has now made it available to European racers and riders alike.
The X-Spirit III features some unique exterior design twists that the company said make this one of the most aerodynamic helmets available. The key is in the patent-pending rear stabilizer system that features a set of rear flaps that can be replaced with an optional narrower pair that allow the rider to make adjustments based on preference and track dynamics.
According to Shoei, wind tunnel tests indicated the rear stabilizer system reduced lift and drag by 3 percent and 10 percent respectively when compared to former X-models. Similar tests showed a 50 percent decrease in yawing, which causes helmet buffeting at high speeds.
Shoei's designers also took into account how racers will adjust their helmet for better vision in sharp lean angles by repositioning the way the helmet sits on their head. To compensate, Shoei incorporated an adjustable interior center pad that can be rotated by about four degrees from the standard position. The result is more room around the neck and a larger field of vision when leaning at sharp angles in deep corners.
Ventilation and comfort come in the form of six air intakes and an equal number of exhaust outlets, and a new cheek pad cooling system that directs more air to that area of the rider's face. Forehead, rear, side and neck padding are fully removable, allowing for a more customized fit and cleaning.
Improvements to the shield have made it more distortion free, less susceptible to bending in high speeds, and less likely to open in the event of an accident. Shoei also incorporated a five-stage adjustment dial that allows the rider to fine-tune the base plate's function in keeping with the design focus on aerodynamics and ventilation.
Shoei pointed out that the X-Spirit III was developed with input from top racers like Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith. While most riders who spend the €799 (US$900) for the highest-priced version of this helmet will never reach the level of either one of these guys, they'll at least know their noggin is covered by a helmet that even the best feel comfortable wearing.
Watch the video to get more details on the design of this helmet and see Marc Marquez put it through its paces.
Source: Shoei Europe