Shoei RF-1100 Helmet

Motorcycle Cruiser (Crash) Tested

The RF-1100 is Shoei's premier street helmet, with massive venting and a plush, comfortable interior, and I recently had the opportunity to really test it. Yep, I crashed while wearing it.

While my get-off was not the most devastating - a 30-ish mph lowside from overbraking, on a suspect surface- the helmet nevertheless performed admirably, giving its life for my noggin's security and comfort. The RF, along with the other gear I was wearing, made getting up and walking away a reality. A big bruise on my hip, a small bruise on my shoulder and a slightly tweaked back were the only repercussions. I wouldn't have known I'd done more than tapped my head if I hadn't seen the helmet afterward.

Crash protection aside, The RF-1100 treated me well in the three years we spent together. It was one of my go-to helmets for around-town usage. I specify 'around town,' because I don't quite have the typical Shoei-shaped head. The RF, while mostly comfortable, will leave a big red dot on my forehead after a long day in the saddle. That said, I have an abnormally oblong noggin, and the RF is a very middle-of-the road shape. The interior is super-plush, and also removable and washable.

The RF-1100's ventilation is beyond awesome. There are six vents (two intake and four exhaust) on top and one on the mouthpiece. If you want a quiet ride, in moderate heat, leave the top intake vents closed and just open the exhausts; you won't feel the flow, but it'll cool you off. Open the top intakes and the wind will literally whistle through your hair.

Changing shields is very easy and instinctive. Just open the shield all the way and pull a tab to release. Line up the new shield and snap it on. It's all over in seconds. Makes you want to clean your shield inside and out at every third gas stop.

Despite sustaining only cosmetic damage, this RF-1100 is now retired. The hard EPS foam in a helmet's shell never recovers from a hit, no matter how small, and after three years on the road, it has held very well regardless. This is one of the finest lids on the road, and is priced to match. But if this helmet fits your head, and money is no object, it's an absolute gem. 4 stars.

Shoei RF-1100 Helmet

Price: $462.99 (graphics $551.99)
Sizes: XXS-XXL
www.shoei-helmets.com

02 Shoei RF 1100 Helmet Pearl Gray

01 Shoei RF 1100 Helmet Crash
02 Shoei RF 1100 Helmet Pearl Gray