One of the best helmets I have owned in recent years was a Shoei XR-1100. This NXR, its successor as Shoei’s sports helmet for the street, incorporates all the older helmet’s qualities into an even more stylish package.
The Shoei NXR shell is constructed using what Shoei call Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM), which consists of various layers of organic fibres and glass fibres (fibreglass).
Shoei say AIM shells are lighter and more elastic than those made purely from fibreglass, yet are just as strong and also more resistant to penetration.
Despite this shell strength, the Shoei is light – a factor that figured prominently in my choice. A misspent youth saw me throw many a GPz or LC at the scenery, and years later I bear the scars in the form of occasional neck or shoulder pain.
Consequently, heavier helmets can give me a “bit of jip”. This may be down to head angle, screen height or other conditions, but experience tells me the weight of the lid makes the difference.
Weighing in at a claimed 1350 grams the NXR is a good 150 grams lighter than its predecessor and is even lighter than some carbon-fibre helmets on the market.
Ventilation is taken care of by three vents on the forehead plus one in the chinbar. Cooling air is drawn in through the front and the warm air exits via exhaust vents under the rear spoiler.
Emergency-release cheekpads allow paramedics to remove the helmet more safely and there are removable ear pads to allow a quieter ride if you prefer.
The NXR strap secures with D-rings and it comes with a Pinlock insert, breathguard and chin curtain as standard.
To help keep the helmet’s proportions the NXR is supplied in four shell sizes, which is particularly nice if you take a smaller size but can’t pull off the deep-sea diver look!
There is a subtle space in the padding where you may be able to locate a slim set of intercom speakers. I tried fitting an old pair of Interphone speakers but they caught on my ears when pulling the helmet on and off, so I left them out. A slimmer, more modern set of earphones may be more suitable.
Having established some years ago that my head shape suits Shoeis, the NXR’s fit and comfort are predictably excellent for me – and just as you’d expect from a premium brand. The strap fits fine, is comfortable, secure and does not cause me any issues around the windpipe area.
The visor removal system is an absolute doddle – apply pressure on a small plastic spring lever and bingo! It’s off in seconds and it’s just as quick to refit.
Over the years I have found Shoei visors to be less prone to scratching than other brands, including Arai. I live in an agricultural part of the country and during wet weather there’s often tractor mud on the road, which is flung up on to my visor. Shoei visors do not appear to scratch up quite so easily when I wipe the mud clear.
Some may complain that the NXR is not equipped with an internal sun visor. This is not an issue for me as I much prefer the look of a tinted external visor – and as long as you have room for a spare visor, it can be changed in seconds.
The Pinlock insert provides excellent fog-free vision and to date has remained perfect in all weathers, from torrential rain to just-above-freezing temperatures.
Ventilation works exactly as it should do, although I don’t think it pushes quite as much colder air through as the XR-1100 that went before it.
Wind noise is subjective of course and can depend on a host of different things. I was wearing an Arai Tour X4 before the NXR and the Shoei is considerably quieter, even though I wasn’t using the peak on the Tour X.
There are very odd occasions however when just the right sidewind will hit the NXR and a small amount of air will whistle up into the interior.
To sum up, the NXR is a beautifully styled helmet with elegant but aggressive lines. The rear spoiler moulded into the helmet is by itself a selling point as it looks great.
The finish is excellent, the comfort is 99.5% as comfortable as an Arai (there’s a gnat’s todger between them in my opinion). The vision is excellent, the ventilation works a treat, but the most amazing thing about this helmet is how light it is. People will pick it up and be gobsmacked just how little it weighs. And that works for me.
A top-spec Pinlock Evo anti-mist insert is supplied as standard and the visor offers a good field of vision.
Although I feel the NXR doesn’t flow quite as much air as it’s predecessor the XR1100, it does the job nicely.
Fit & Comfort
Very comfortable interior and well finished, I’ve docked a couple of points because it’s almost as plush inside as an Arai but for the price, it ought to be.
The quality of finish is just as you’d expect from Shoei. This is a very popular helmet with Sportsbikeshop customers and it’s easy to see why.
The only thing missing from the list of possibilities is an internal sunvisor. Although this isn’t a feature I personally look for, it would be for many riders.