SHOEI VFX-EVO HELMET
— Testing one of the best head protectors you can buy —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
The Shoei brand has been a well-known name in the motorsports industry for quite some time, and it’s because of the research and quality behind their name. The Shoei VFX line has evolved into a high-tech masterpiece with styling that is the envy of wannabe helmet brands. But, Shoei isn’t just a stylish helmet company; there is a lot of science in these helmets. The new VFX-EVO features Shoei’s own Motion Energy Distribution System (M.E.D.S.) engineered to reduce rotational acceleration energy in the event of a crash. Helmets all have more beauty than just being skin-deep, but the “skin” is super important. The shell is technically a form of fiberglass and integrates a six-ply matrix of hand-laid, interwoven layers of fiberglass with lightweight, organic and high-performance fibers.
The shell needs to be strong and light yet be able to absorb impacts. As important as the shell is, the expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) liner is what does much of the work of protecting your noggin. Shoei uses a dual-density EPS liner with cooling channels molded into the EPS itself.
For comfort, there is padding inside the helmet, but it, too, is special. The removable, washable, replaceable and adjustable Max-Dry liner material is claimed to absorb and dissipate sweat two times faster than traditional nylon interiors. Shoei chose material that is soft yet durable for the lower cheek-pad fabric for a plush fit and feel. Shoei makes racing helmets, so the VFX-EVO has removable check pads (required in most racing) that can be pulled out before the helmet is removed.
The venting system has 16 intake and exhaust ports to channel cooling air through the helmet. Shoei used wind-tunnel testing to perfect the venting, as well as the shape of the shell.
GREATNESS IS NEVER CHEAP
This newly redesigned moto helmet comes in a total of 16 colorways and seven sizes from XS to XXXL. With a starting price of $539, you are definitely paying for quality, along with comfort and style that are worth it. This helmet is loaded with technology, and Shoei takes great pains to ensure that its helmets are comfortable. We like that the eyeport is large enough for any of the popular goggles on the market.
Naturally, the VFX-EVO meets both Snell and D.O.T. helmet safety standards. We certainly feel safe wearing it, but thankfully avoided crash testing it ourselves. This helmet has a five-year warranty, so that will help you accept the high-end pricing. When you look at the fit, finish and technology that goes into the VFX-EVO, it is easy to see why it is priced as it is.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
We found that the helmet was particularly well temperature controlled in both warm- and cold-weather riding situations and did a great job of keeping dust out. This was one of the most comfortable liners we’ve experienced, with good out-of-the-box fit and well-placed ear pockets for comfort and optional radio use. It was lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for long-distance rides. One of the main stumbling blocks of helmets worn for UTV purposes is airflow through the visor. Because some drivers average freeway speeds through open trails, the difference in wind resistance between helmet brands is noticeable. With the VFX, the visor was angled far enough with enough airflow to keep us from being jerked up by resistance throughout our ride.
We love the smooth, integrated look of the design and how nice and tight all of the gaps are. Our goggle fit in the eyeport well and allowed a good fit against our face. To get your own VFX-EVO helmet, visit www.shoei-helmets.com or see your dealer.