Motorcycle Full Face Helmet
When the Scorpion EXO-1000 arrived on the market three years ago, a few features quickly stung my interest, including the flip-down internal visor and fog-free coating on the faceshield.
How many times have you been blinded by the sun, but didn’t want to struggle with a faceshield change on the edge of a major highway or somewhere as unsafe? And let’s not even get started on foggy faceshields.
But after a month or so with the EXO-1000, two major gripes surfaced: weight and ventilation. It was a shame, because this prevented me from using the helmet on longer trips.
But Scorpion has addressed these issues, although not in the EXO-1000; rather, these issues are addressed with a revamped model that is surprisingly cheaper than it’s older brother, the Scorpion EXO-500. When I say cheap, I’m talking the sub-$200 mark without graphics (although once you see some of the killer graphic designs the extra $20 may not be an issue).
I knew Scorpion resolved the weight issue the minute I held the Scorpion EXO-500 decked out in Bio-Metal graphics; the medium Scorpion helmet weights 3 lbs., 8 oz., placing it in the same group as the Shoei Qwest and Arai RX-Q. I will no longer fear longer rides while donning a Scorpion helmet.
As for ventilation, the EXO-500 keeps fresh air circulating through two upper chimney vents and relating exhaust vents, and a single, lower chin vent. And they work, though not as great as a higher-model helmet from competing companies, but it’s very efficient for average sport riding when tucked, which the EXO-500 was designed for.
The helmet is DOT and ECE 22.05 certified, although not SNELL approved, so some race organizations won’t allow it. But again, this is designed as a sport-riding helmet that will go head-to-head with helmets quadruple it’s price.
Regarding fit, the Scorpion is crafted in a round-style shell shape, very similar to a HJC. I’m more of an intermediate oval, but there weren’t any parts of the EXO500 that placed pressure on one point of my head. It was a bit tight initially, but broke in after about a weekend of riding (250 miles or so).
And while wrapped around the noggin, the new KwikWick2 liner and triple-density foam cheek pads are extremely comfortable, offering additional comfy over the EXO-1000. And yes, the Scorpion EXO-500 features the Airfit technology, which allows you to pump the Nike Air Jordan-like device to custom fit the helmet around you cheekbone shape, and allow you to deflate them before taking it off.
I was hoping the EXO-500′s cheekpads would help deaden some of the road noise, especially while cruising at higher speeds on open highways. It’s a bit louder than the EXO-1000, but not by much.
Besides the typical wind noise annoyance, there is also a weird buffeting that occurs at highway speeds when not in a sport-riding tuck position. But again, for the price, these issues can be handled easily with earplugs.
Besides the EverClear, no-fog faceshield, the SpeedView Retractable internal sun visor is by far the best feature of this helmet, making it easy, even with the clumsiest gloves, to go from clear to smoked when the sun is ruining your vision. This makes us all safer on the road, without the worry of clumsily changing the shield on the side of the road.
But it’s not as if the shield would be hard to change; the Scorpion EXO-500 features the Speedshift visor-removable system. You just turn two knobs, and pop it off…replacing it is also as easy.
Another nice feature is the wider and taller eyport on the EXO-500; this allows to be aware of more surroundings, keeping us safer on the road.
The UMC Scorpion EXO-500 Verdict:
If you’re planning to exclusive sport ride, and want the convenience of lightweight, flip-down internal visor, fog-free faceshield and some cool designs all around the $200 mark, the Scorpion EXO-500 is optimal.
If you’re looking for a quiet helmet while traveling on a more upright standard or sport-touring motorcycle, there are other choices.
But for the features and price point, it’s going to be a tough decision to sacrifice a bit of comfort for the high-end features. As stated previously, one can always wear earplugs and tuck in a bit more…
The Scorpion EXO-500 is available in standard colors (black, white, silver, matte black, MSRP $199) and graphics (Bio-Metal, Ardent, Oil, MSRP $219), and in sizes XS-3XL. Besides the cheap price, there’s another benefit of the Scorpion EXO-500: a three-year warranty.