Shoei Rolls Out New GT-Air II Helmet

Improved aerodynamics, enhanced sun protection, and other new features makes the newest GT a better bet for touring riders

Shoei's New GT-Air II Helmet
Shoei's New GT-Air II HelmetCourtesy of Shoei

Touring riders, take note: There's a new GT in town. Yessir, Shoei has just announced the launch of its latest touring helmet, the GT-Air II, and even though it's not available yet we've seen the spec sheet, and things look promising. Four years on (I know, I know) I still occasionally reach for my gen 1 GT-Air, so I'm probably biased, but with that acclaimed lid as a baseline, I have to believe the new GT will be even better. Let's do a quick spec check, just to confirm.

Shoei GT-Air II Helmet
The internal sun shield is longer, the shell shape more streamlined, and venting is bolstered on several levels, among other welcome improvements.Courtesy of Shoei

Shoei says the all-new GT-Air II sports “advancements in design, functionality, and performance,” so allegedly the firm’s premier full-face touring helmet will now be easier for riders to adjust for changing conditions on the road. Shoei’s targeted aerodynamics, venting, sun protection, and comfort for improvement.

For one thing, the built-in internal sun shield has been lengthened 5mm for better sun glare protection, and it’s easily operated via a large, accessible switch; the shield is also designed to lessen unwanted noise inside the lid.

new micro-ratcheting buckle
A new micro-ratcheting buckle makes for easier helmet removal and adjustment.Courtesy of Shoei

Then there’s the redesigned base plate gear, which sports a new “first position” opening feature designed to improve venting and defogging without letting in too much wind to mess up your ride. The shield itself provides a large, distortion-free view, and facilitates smooth and easy shield changes.

Enhanced aerodynamics and noise-reduction technology include a progressive shell shape on the GT-Air II; it’s now more compact and streamlined to reduce air resistance and drag, and wind-tunnel optimized to maximize airflow and reduce unwanted noise. The GT-Air II’s three intake and five exhaust vents have also been specifically reshaped and moved to improve cool air intake and hot air exhausting, while a redesigned upper air intake shutter and enlarged lower air intake opening are said to offer greater airflow throughout the entire helmet. Shoei also touts improved, airtight window beading.

We’re happy to see the new GT-Air II incorporate a micro-ratcheting chinstrap too; our gen 1 GT has the usual D-ring arrangement, which could often be a pain to secure after a quick stop. The new chinstrap has a patented stainless steel mechanism, and we’re sure it’ll be comfortable and more easily adjustable on the road.

washable 3-D Max Dry System
The removable washable 3-D Max Dry System lets you wash out the stink easily, and it’ll keep you cooler too.Courtesy of Shoei

The new GT-Air II also brings a 3-D Max Dry Interior System that’s fully removable, washable, replaceable, and adjustable. The Max Dry material claims to absorb and dissipate sweat twice as fast as traditional nylon, and is three-dimensionally shaped to match the contours of a rider’s head. You can also order optional interior components in different sizes to better customize fit.

Shoei is also touting the new GT-Air II’s ability to seamlessly integrate with the all-new Sena SRL2 Communication System (there’s a space for mounting the unit at the base), also an undoubtedly handy feature for touring riders which we’ll be eager to try. And, as with the previous GT-Air, version two also sports the Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS) which allows emergency medical personnel to easily and safely remove the helmet from an injured rider’s head with minimal load placed on his/her neck. So far, so good.

GT-Air II
Don’t worry, there’s more than just solid colors available for the GT-Air II. Dig this Conjure design.Courtesy of Shoei

So what’s in the box? Well, according to Shoei, the new lid will come with a Pinlock EVO insert, as well as a breath guard, chin curtain, and helmet bag.

With sizing running from XS to XXL, the GT-Air II will be priced starting at $599 for colors and $699 for graphics. The helmet will be available in US dealers beginning March/April 2019.

For more info, visit Shoei.