Last week I purchased the Shoei XR-1100 helmet to replace my old helmet: a 4-month old Arai Axces I which had been stolen (b@$tards took a bolt cutter to my garage door). Rather than go and get the same helmet again, I thought I’d try something different, having never owned a Shoei before.
The Axces and XR-1100 are both the entry level helmet for each brand, and have similar specs - both made in Japan, both fibreglass composites - and comparable pricing (Shoei was £70 more expensive) - .
So far I’m loving the Shoei and feel it is the better helmet of the two for the following reasons:
- Comfortable fit: I have a big head and need an XL. The Arai XL was mostly a good fit except for slight pressure at the top of my forehead which would start to hurt a little after an hour or so. The Shoei in XL doesn’t hurt my forehead, but was a bit loose around my cheeks. That was easily fixed with thicker cheek liners which were fitted at the shop for no extra cost!
- Visor: The visor on the Shoei is easier to take on/off than the Arai (which can be quite tricky), and also has a nifty locking mechanism which, when in the closed position, brings it in firmly against the helmet creating a very good seal. Both visors are able to take Pinlock inserts - Shoei included one clear insert, Arai did not include any.
- Style: In my opinion the Shoei has a sleeker look to it. I’m told this is all in the name of science, but heck it looks sexy too!
- Lightweight: The Shoei feels incredibly light. The Arai certainly didn’t feel heavy, but it didn’t strike me as being particularly light either in the way the Shoei does.
In fairness to Arai, they have brought out the Axces II now which I have not tried, and it may address these issues.