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Shoei Ex-Zero helmet | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

The quality of this retro-styled lid is so high, it ought to make the hipsters cringe

Remember when hipsters were a new thing? We laughed at them riding around on their resurrected Yamaha SR400s, protected by little more than riggers gloves and a 20-year-old helmet found in a secondhand store. The odds were stacked against them surviving natural selection, but they did, and now they are helping to prop up the motorcycle industry. Not only do most manufacturers have a retro-inspired bike in their range, but accessory manufacturers are also designing entire clothing ranges to suit.

Retro-styled helmets are a lucrative business at the moment because they offer modern safety features in an old-school package. And Shoei’s Ex-Zero full face lid is no exception. A brilliant blend of stunning retro looks and modern safety features including the five-layer AIM propriety technology shell construction which offers lightweight and high strength and three shell sizes spells a snug fit across the six-size range.

Safety is further enhanced by the full circumference impact-absorbing EPS liner and Shoei’s Emergency Quick Release System cheek pads. The brow line features press studs for a matching peak ($49.95), allowing you to switch between the retro MX and the Mad Max look. There’s no external visor, so you can match the Ex-Zero with a pair of old-school goggles, but there is an integrated visor with a switchable lens so you can choose between, clear, dark and yellow – if you can’t find your fluro-pink goggles from the 80s.

What we liked

Straight out of the box, the helmet was comfortable and in a range of temperatures. The integrated visor is adjustable, so it doesn’t scratch the bridge of your nose and, despite not fully closing, it keeps out a surprising amount of wind. There’s plenty of room for your glasses and swapping between the clear and optional dark or yellow lenses is simple and quick, as is actuating the visor control with a gloved hand. Being essentially an open-face helmet means there is some wind noise, but it’s surprisingly quiet for a visorless lid. This probably has something to do with the wind-tunnel design that uses the chin bar as a type of windshield, working with the integrated visor to reduce wind blast and noise.

What we didn’t like

It’s hard to fault a helmet that does exactly what it is intended to do. Not having a visor has the apparent drawbacks when it rains, so it’s probably best as a fair-weather lid only (did someone say hipster?).

Verdict

Shoei is a master of manufacturing top-quality helmets and you can feel the Shoei build quality and excellent design ideas that have been passed down from the more expensive race helmets.

Star rating 4/5

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Good looks
  • High quality

Cons

  • Limited face protection

Price

$599.90

Size

Sizes XS to 2XL

Colours

Off White, Black, Basalt Grey, Matt Black, Shine Red, Brilliant Yellow, Equation ($699.90)

McLeod Accessories

(07) 3621 9000

mcleodaccessories.com.au