Shoei Hornet X2 Helmet Review
Dual-sport adventure riding, at its core, is all about versatility, and the new Shoei Hornet X2 hybrid helmet embraces this theme. With the engineering objective of combining the best characteristics of a premium off-road helmet with the comfort and quiet of a road helmet, the Hornet X2’s success criteria is quite ambitious.
However, after thousands of miles of abuse from dusty off-road terrain to high-speed tarmac, and everything in between, I can safely say that the Shoei X2 is my new go-to helmet for just about any riding scenario I may embark upon.
I value all-day comfort, and that requires head protection that is quiet, aerodynamic, keeps out dust and rain, and also breathes well for slower speed technical off-road riding. The visor on the Hornet X2 underwent extensive wind tunnel testing that resulted in a louvered design that reduces wind-lift, except when turning my head at extralegal speed. The visor remains completely functional in protecting my vision from glare, and stops roost from the rider in front of me from hitting my face.
The faceshield snaps tightly in place and seals completely, yet can be ratcheted open when additional ventilation is required. For wet conditions, this design allows for rain to wick away quickly to keep vision clear.
Both the visor and faceshield are easily removable without tools, which comes in handy in a couple of different ways. In dusty off-road conditions, goggles can be worn with or without the faceshield in place, although it is cleaner and less hassle to remove it and stow in a backpack. Conversely, for high-speed road conditions or heavy rain, the visor can be removed and the Hornet X2 transforms into instant road helmet.
Ventilation is accomplished through four closable intake vents, with one located on the chin guard, two above the eyebrows, and one on top of the visor. Air is channeled through a multi-density EPS liner and exhausted through four rear vents and three neck vents, which also create a Venturi effect to suck air through the system. This is, by far, the best ventilation system I have experienced in a hybrid dual- sport helmet.
At 3 pounds, 13 ounces for the small- shell version, the Hornet X2 is not in the featherweight class, but is right in line with most of the other helmets on my shelf, which have begun to gather dust. Whether I’m venturing on a thousand-mile dual-sport ride, or commuting to the office, the Shoei Hornet X2 is the helmet I reach for.
For additional information, visit Shoei.
Story from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services click here.