We’ve all had a helmet where at high speed you’ve felt like your head was going to blow off with the drag, right? Rest assured you won’t be feeling that with the Shoei X-Spirit 3.
Shoei refer to the X-Spirit 3 as “the pure racing helmet” and it’s easily identifiable with aggressive and extreme styling. The highly sophisticated aerodynamic system was designed purely for high-speed riding and reducing wind drag. The idea is to reduce stress on the rider’s neck and I can confirm it definitely does the job.
Plastic flaps to the rear of the shell, also known as stabilisers, are there to cut buffeting (shaking) of the helmet at high speeds and Shoei say that’s by 50% compared to the previous X-Spirit II.
My previous helmet was Shoei’s NXR and the stabilisation and drag reduction on the X-Spirit 3 does not go unnoticed!
It’s also extremely light, which combines with the impressive aerodynamics and stabilisation to make the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn.
The outer shell is made from various layers of fibres and the EPS liner is made from multiple densities to provide various shock-absorbing levels – safety levels are enough to earn a five-star rating under the UK Government’s SHARP impact testing scheme.
On top of that, there’s an emergency cheekpad release system, which means easy helmet removal in case of an accident, and a double D-ring strap fastener.
The lining and pads are all detachable for washing and can be adjusted, enabling the rider to change the angle of the helmet as it sits on their head, which alters the view from the inside of the helmet.
I find the fit of this helmet is spot on for me so the sizing is neither too small nor too big and there are removable pockets so you can insert an intercom speaker without it pressing onto your ears.
The helmet has six closable air inlets and six exhaust vents, but the airflow is not quite as extreme as some race helmets. With previous helmets I have opened a single vent and my whole helmet would feel like a wind tunnel but the the X-Spirit 3 gives you maximum control.
The benefit of this control is that this is the quietest helmet I have ever owned – a bold statement considering it’s a race helmet.
The helmet comes with Shoei’s Pinlock-equipped CWR-F visor that has posts for tear-offs and a double lock system, meaning it locks down securely but can still be easily opened while wearing gloves.
The quick-release visor system mean you simply push a release lever and the visor pops off! It really is foolproof and it’s the same for putting the visor back on. Shoei’s CWR-1 visor will also fit this helmet and I currently have a CWR-1 in Spectra Silver fitted.
I’ve been using this helmet for a few months and I can truly say it is the best helmet I have ever owned. I absolutely love it – everything from the extreme styling, lightweight feel and comfort through to the precise control over airflow.
I have the Marquez replica and the paint is stunning, the colours are so bright and the design really does stand out, which is what I want! While it does have quite a hefty price tag I believe this helmet is worth every penny.
The vision is generally very good and you can adjust the lining and pads to alter the way the helmet sits on your head to adjust the view if required.
The ventilation system on this helmet gives you full control of the air that’s flowing in, while still remaining relatively quiet.
Fit & comfort
With the reduced drag, buffeting and lightweight feel the X-Spirit 3 really is as comfortable as it gets!
The X-Spirit 3 has a great feel and you won’t be worrying about snapping something when using the visor mechanism to change or remove you visor, which is a problem I have had with some other helmet brands.
The X-Spirit 3 scores a full-house from our wishlist of features we would expect to see on a track helmet.