Shoei X-Fourteen TestShoei has been hard at work for the past few years putting together the new X-Fourteen—a replacement for the highly regarded X-Twelve—and the results show.With consultation from heavy-hitter MotoGP stars such as Marc Márquez and Bradley Smith, the consumer market isn’t getting a “race-inspired” model; the X-Fourteen is exactly what they’re wearing on the MotoGP circuits. More than an update of the X-Twelve, the X-Fourteen is a from-the- ground-up redesign featuring a completely new shell profile, as well as several new features to the Shoei line-up.
Constructed out of a Multi-Ply Matrix AIM+ proprietary blend of fiberglass, organic fibers and several other composite materials, the result isn’t particularly lightweight. Tipping the scales at just over three pounds, 11 ounces, the X-Fourteen is almost exactly the same weight as the X-Twelve (Buy: 40% off Sale), and four ounces heavier than the X-Eleven. More important, of course, is the balance and how the helmet feels on your head. In the case of the X-14, it does not feel heavy when riding.
The X-Fourteen’s profile is extremely aggressive, with a swept, angular design that combines form and function. Across the crown and chinbar are ridges designed to direct wind towards Shoei’s Rear Stabilizer System, which is adorned with flaps lifted straight out of the aeronautics world. According to Shoei, the company spent years in their state-of-the-art wind tunnel facili- ties testing the ap system.
The flaps come in two sizes—large and small; that means finer tuning of helmet behavior, giving credence to Shoei’s “When Milliseconds Count” slogan. The array of flaps definitively works. Headshake and buffeting when well above 100 mph is drastically reduced, and almost nonexistent at speeds 100 mph and lower.Six adjustable inlets and six always-open vents can be found on the X-Fourteen. Air channels align with the ridged Dual-Layer Multi- Density EPS Liner and do an excellent job of bringing in fresh air through the padding, while drawing out hot air through the rear.This improved airflow comes at the price of noise reduction, though it is not above what you would find in an RF-1200. With the snug fit around the neck, air doesn’t buffet under the faceshield, reducing turbulence and noise.Boosting the vertical field of vision four-degrees may not seem like much; however, when in full tuck, corner exits can be spotted earlier and without added neck fatigue. A face shield sporting the race staple tearaway posts means one thing – it is race ready. Vortex Generators along the edges of the face shield give reported aerodynamic advantages, as well. A simple push-pull locking system is easily manipulated with gloved hands.Inside, the X-Fourteen has Shoei’s new 3D Max-Dry Custom Interior System. Made of a sweat-wicking material, the interior pads can are also customizable. Optional front, sides, top, and rear pads are available to accommodate virtually any skull shape and size. Additionally, the upper pad has two positions to suit your needs. For those who have helmet fitment issues, this is crucial. All pads are snapped in and out of place with ease.The Shoei X-Fourteen is a competition-ready, professional-grade helmet that has placed ease of use and adjustability above gimmickry. It works with the rider, whether that be on the track or the street.For additional information, visit Shoei.