Featuring a plush and quiet interior, the Scorpion Exo-R1 Air helmet is ready for a wide variety of motorcycling duties—especially in the Corpus Phantom graphic colorway. Ostensibly a high-performance helmet, with Fabio Quartararo and Álvaro Bautista graphics available, the Exo-R1 Air also works for cruising and touring riders.
The standard Scorpion Exo-R1 Air’s shell is a fiberglass/aramid/polyester-resin composite fiber design, though there is also a resin/carbon-fiber version available. Although the Corpus Phantom graphic we tested has a carbon-fiber-style graphic treatment, it does not use that material. A multi-layer EPS liner absorbs impacts, and has channels to move air across the scalp.
The standard Exo-R1 Air weighs in at 3 pounds, 4.4 ounces with the Medium shell, and that’s at the low-end of the weight scale for full-face helmets. The R1 Air is manufactured in China by Kido Sports, owner of the ScorpionExo brand. Kido Sports is a subsidiary of Kido Industrial, a wide-ranging Korean clothing manufacturer founded in 1980.
Even a glance at the Scorpion Exo-R1 Air tells you that it is a premium product. The exterior finish is excellent, and the plastic venting parts are high-quality. The venting switches—top and chin guard— operate with reassuring clicks to confirm they are locked into position.
Looking at the helmet’s entry point, it seems unlikely that your head is going to fit inside. However, the padding is yielding, and the Exo-R1 Air slips on more smoothly than most helmets.
The interior is a mix of plush cheek and crown pads, with a scalloped top to assist venting. Further, the cheek pads are air-adjustable, with a pump in the chin bar. The pump allows you to fine-tune the fit for the ride. Scorpion instructs you to deflate the cheek bladders before removing the helmet. The pump noticeably changes the fit, though having to deflate and repump at every stop is inconvenient. I am fine without the pump, though every head and face is different. Thinner cheek pads are available as an accessory.
The double D-ring chin strap system is pretty much what you’d expect, with a button to secure the end of the strap. You can wow your friends by pointing out that the D-rings are titanium.
Once underway, the Scorpion Exo-R1 Air is an outstanding helmet in every way. It is exceptionally quiet and delivers effective aerodynamics. The plush interior KwikWick 3 inner lining is supportive and feels great on the skin. The liner is removable and washable. However, if you’re not exceptionally dexterous, you will consider the liner’s removable and reinstallation to be fiddly. Scorpion provides speaker pockets for those who install a communications device.
The distortion-free faceshield is locked down with a large latch at the center of the bottom edge. It securely holds the faceshield at all speeds, and that tight fit helps keep the helmet quiet. The latch’s release lever can be easily operated with gloves—even bulky winter gloves. The faceshield moves up and down along with six detents between fully open or closed. This allows you to select a specific position if you like to ride with the faceshield not locked down. The faceshield can be removed and replaced in less than a minute, and tools are not needed. Two shields are included with the Exo-R1 Air—clear and Dark Smoke—and they are Pinlock-ready.
Venting is minimal. Even with the vent open on a chilly day, I didn’t feel much air across the top of my head. There’s only the single closable intake vent, along with four always-open exhaust vents. This isn’t a surprise, as the intake vent has a small opening.
The fit for my long oval head is flawless. As we always tell you, every head is different, and you should always get a helmet professionally fitted—it is a safety and comfort issue.
The Scorpion Exo-R1 Air helmet is a comfortable, lightweight, and quiet helmet, so it has practical matters handled. The Corpus Phantom graphics match up nicely with a broad range of motorcycles, from a BMW R 1250 R to a Harley-Davidson Softail Standard, and there’s nothing wrong with being stylish. Even if you don’t have a dozen motorcycles in your garage, the Exo-R1 Air is a compelling helmet option.
Action photography by Kelly Callan
Scorpion Exo-R1 Air Helmet Fast Facts
- Sizes: SM-2XL
- Certifications: DOT; ECE 22.05
- Weight: 3 pounds, 4.4 ounces (Medium)
- Colors: Phantom; Neon Red; White/Blue
Scorpion Exo-R1 Air Helmet Price: $430 MSRP