Shoei has 3 full face street helmets in their lineup: The Shoei Qwest, the Shoei RF-1100, and the Shoei X-Twelve. Each of these helmets serve a different purpose, and cater to different riders. They also come in at 3 different price levels, with the Qwest starting at just over $330, the RF-1100 starting just under $400, and the X-Twelve starting at over $600.
Because of these different price points, we often get questions from customers wondering what features there are to justify the extra expense. Well, when it comes down to it, these three helmets are really built to serve different needs. The Shoei Qwest Helmet is geared very much towards the touring rider. Vents are moved further back on the helmet, ideal for the upright riding position of many sport tourers and cruisers. There are also less vents on the Qwest, making it a quieter helmet, but sacrificing some airflow.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the Shoei X-Twelve helmet, a purpose built helmet for the race track. This helmet has the most aerodynamic shell out of the three, a very aggressive ventilation system, and as a result, the most wind noise.
That brings us to the Shoei RF-1100 helmet. In my personal opinion, the RF-1100 is one of the best do-it-all full face helmets on the market today. You have a race inspired shell shape that is aerodynamic and stable at speed, and a ventilation system that is the ultimate compromise between airflow and wind noise (or the lack there of). The Shoei RF-1100 is just as at home on a long tour or on the track, which I think is what makes it so appealing to me. It also amazingly comes in slightly lighter than it’s X-Twelve big brother, which is definitely an added bonus. Pulling the RF-1100 on, it really feels like it cradles your head. The vision out of the RF-1100 is excellent, with an unrestricted view top to bottom, whether you are riding a sportbike in a tucked riding position or a touring bike that leaves you sitting more upright. A Pinlock ready shield and inserts are also ready, which will keep your vision clear even in cold, wet weather. Ventilation on the RF-1100 is excellent, with two closeable brow vents, and four closeable exhaust vents, you can really customize how much air you allow to go through the helmet. A chin bar vent provides some extra airflow up onto the faceshield, which also helps to reduce fog and keep you comfortable. The interior of the RF-1100 is fully removable, so if you need to wash the interior or install a communication system, that is a big plus. Speaking of communication systems, the RF-1100 now has more room in the chin bar, so there’s more room for a mic now, too. The RF-1100 is a great option for just about any rider considering a full face helmet. The Advanced Integrated Matrix plus Multifiber shell is incredibly strong, and is backed by Shoei’s 5 year warranty and carries a Snell 2010 certification. Check out our comparison video between the three above helmets, and if you want to get really detailed, watch our video review of the RF-1100 below that.