Helmets with face shields have always given me a feeling of claustrophobia, until now. The Shoei J-Cruise helmet, the company’s latest open-face helmet, has changed my mind.The J-Cruise’s CJ-2 shield provides a wider and taller field of vision than any other faceshield I have experienced, and that makes all the difference.It’s not often that a faceshield is the most compelling part of a new helmet, yet the CJ-2 earns that distinction. The shield has no distortion, which Shoei attributes to a 3D injection molding process. Regardless of how it is achieved, the view is perfect.
The mounting system for the CJ-2 faceshield is noteworthy, as it is also new. Designated the QR-N plate system, it makes shield changes easy, locks down securely, and has no problem staying in place at freeway speeds on an unfaired cruiser.As a woman who rides in the Rocky Mountains, I’m always concerned about skin protection. The CJ-2 cuts out a claimed 99 percent of the sun’s UV rays, as does the interior QSV-1 sunshield.As you know, turning corners while riding the mountain roads can change the sun’s impact on your vision quickly. One quick flip of the switch next to my left ear — easily done while riding with gloved hands — and the sun is no longer an issue. This is a very attractive feature for me and, like the CJ-2 faceshield, the QSV-1 sunshield is glare- and distortion-free.Let’s not forget the helmet itself! The J-Cruise comes in four different outer shell sizes (six head sizes, overall) and a Multi-Piece EPS liner, and it fits my Small head with an extremely comfortable snug fit. Different sized cheek pads are available, though the standard pads suited me perfectly.The firm hold makes it comfortable at high speeds, while wind and noise were not an issue, with due credit going to an air dam on the faceshield. I usually wear a half-helmet, so venting is important. The intake and twin top exhaust vents, along with a neck exhaust, provided enough air- flow to satisfy me. The Multi-Piece EPS liner has tunnels to allow cooling air to pass through, and I could definitely feel the effect.The J-Cruise has a 3D Max-Dry liner that is designed to dissipate sweat and moisture twice as fast as nylon interiors — very comfortable. The liner is removable, washable, and replaceable, which can be important after summer rides.I never thought I would abandon half-helmets with their feeling of openness and rushing air, yet the Shoei J-Cruise has made a believer out of me and I do appreciate the additional protection offered by a three-quarters helmet.Story from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here