The folks at Shoei made the best of our pandemic situation with their unique launch of the new Shoei RF-1400. They shipped us the new helmet inside a travel carrying case, and that package was in a beautiful, clear polycarbonate box—with a lock. The contents were under embargo and intended to remain a secret until the opening during an online meeting today.
There was some speculation in the motojourno community as to the actual contents. Lo and behold, my curiosity was satisfied during the meeting when I opened the box and helmet bag to find a gorgeous, brand-new Shoei RF-1400 in Matte Black.
This helmet is the anticipated update to the tried-and-true RF-1200 that has been with us since 2013. In fact, Shoei has been producing RF’s since the RF-100 in 1984. Their motto is “Kaizen,” which is Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the better.” Given the technical details of what it takes to produce a top-of-the-line helmet, I’d say Shoei is living its motto.
According to a Shoei representative, the company went through an “extensive array of proprietary materials, and the industry’s most stringent quality assurance practices to develop the all-new RF-1400. Shoei’s lightest and most compact Snell-approved full-face helmet model, the RF-1400 has evolved the pursuit of perfection to the next level.”
This new RF-1400 is available in XS through XXL with four shell sizes (XS/S; M; L; XL/XXL) to best fit different sized heads. Construction remains EPS (expanded polystyrene) in multiple layers and densities. Shoei does not offer carbon fiber helmets, and the helmet maker claims its formula surpasses carbon fiber in weight, flexibility, and elasticity.
The construction and finish are typical Shoei—perfection. Everything is just right to the eye. The fit and profile are the same as my RF-1200, RF-1100, GT-Air, Neotec, and Neotec II helmets, so you can continue to buy the same size if you already wear a Shoei helmet.
Shoei equipped the RF-1400 “with a fully removable, washable, adjustable, and replaceable 3D Max-Dry Interior System II. The 3D center pad components are three-dimensionally shaped to match the contours of a rider’s head,” according to a Shoei spokesman. Shoei continues its fit customization offerings with multiple pad thicknesses—cheeks and others. The new contoured cheek pads are designed for comfort and a tighter wind noise seal.
Shoei extolled the RF-1400’s various new features, with comfort and noise abatement as the central theme. According to Shoei, its in-house wind tunnel testing against the RF-1200 revealed the RF-1400’s new shell design to be quieter, while reducing lift by six percent and drag by four percent.
The faceshield is claimed to be tighter around the viewport when closed, reducing draft and noise. Shoei has added “shield vortex generators,” a trickle-down bit of technology from its race-ready X-14 helmet. These are small, raised points on the faceshield near the hinges to smooth airflow, also in the name of silence.
Shoei redesigned the faceshield baseplate and hinges to allow the Pinlock Evo mounting studs to be spaced farther apart, out of the rider’s field of vision. Also improved are the chin (now two wide air channels) and upper vents (now four channels), and the new vents are claimed to offer a much better airflow compared to the RF-1200.
The new Shoei RF-1400 looks and feels fantastic, and fits as expected for a Shoei. Watch for a full riding test soon.
Shoei RF-1400 Fast Facts
- Sizes: XS-XXL
- Certifications: Snell, DOT
- Colors: 5 solids; 12 graphics/color combinations
Shoei RF-1400 Prices: $500 MSRP for solid, $600 for graphics