New Shoei Hornet X2 Helmet RevealedShoei Helmets has revealed the new Hornet X2, now the Japanese company’s premier adventure motorcycle helmet. Replacing the Hornet, the X2 brings new technology to the brand, along with integrating features from the X-Twelve flagship into the Hornet X2.
While many adventure helmets bias toward the dirt, Shoei has slanted the Hornet X2 toward the street and touring. The mouthpiece and chin bar are the most obvious example of this, as there is no large air intake vent in front of the mouth, as is standard on off-road helmets. Further, the visor is highly vented, giving it an aerodynamic shape that allows for freeway speed on the Hornet X2 without undue lift and turbulence. Called the V-460 visor, it uses a wedge shape and large louvers to achieve its aerodynamic goals. Strong enough to deflect roost when necessary off-road, the V-460 installs quickly and easily, thanks to a pair of quarter-turn screws that can be turned with your fingers. This is a huge improvement over the old Hornet, which required a special tool to remove the visor.Another new feature is the CNS-2 faceshield. Using a proprietary 3D injection-molding process, the CNS-2 is large, distortion-free, and impressively rigid when in place on the Hornet X2. A ridge along the top limits flexibility, making the shield easier to raise and deploy. Thanks to a new closure system, the CNS-2 shied has a dust, wind, and waterproof seal when fully in the down position. Like the V-460 visor, the Shoei CNS-2 faceshield is much easier to remove on the Hornet X2 than on the original Hornet. Previously, much of the helmet hardware had to be removed to replace the faceshield. Now, the CNS-2 faceshield can be removed with no tools, thanks to the QR-N base plate, and with the V-460 visor in place — another huge improvement.Shoei’s own Pinlock EVO Fog-Resistant System is used on the Hornet X2. Installation of this version of the popular Pinlock System has also been made easier, further improving the user-friendliness of the Hornet X2. There are three visors available — clear, dark smoke, and Spectra Silver.With the CNS-2 faceshield removed (or in the up position), the large eyeport will accept any size goggles for use in dusty conditions. In contrast, for street riding, the visor can be easily removed and the helmet looks very much like a street helmet (the top intake vent cannot be closed with the visor removed).Ventilation has also been updated, recognizing the fact that much adventure riding is done in warm temperatures and at lower speeds. Closable vents in the main shell, along with multiple exhaust vents work with channeled EPS liners to keep the air moving across your scalp at all speeds.The Hornet X2’s construction gets the latest in Shoei safety technology. The outer shell is a proprietary Multi-Ply AIM+ Matrix design, which uses fiberglass and organic fibers. The goal is light weight and high strength. For a specific fit for each rider, Shoei produces the shell in four sizes to cover XS to XXL.Inside the Shoei Hornet X2’s outer shell is a Dual-Layer, Multi-Density EPS liner. This works to protect the rider’s skull from breakage, as well as your brain from concussions. Different foam densities are used in select areas to best protect each part of the head.Further focusing on comfort, Shoei’s own 3D Max-Dry System II liner is used as the interface between your head and the helmet shell. The material is designed to quickly absorb sweat and dissipate it at a high rate. Cheek pads are available in varying thicknesses so the rider can customize the fit to his skull and facial features. Removable ear pads and a chin curtain are also included with the Hornet X2, both of which are designed to offer the rider a quieter ride. Speakers for communication systems can be used behind the ear pads.In the case of an accident, Shoei has incorporated the Emergency Quick Release System that allows emergency medical personnel to pull out the cheek pads safely before attempting to remove the helmet. With the pods out, the Hornet X2 can be more easily removed.The Shoei Hornet X2 will run $595 for solid colors and $604 for metallic colors, while the graphic treatments up the MSRP to $716.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.