Monday, November 15, 2010

Product Tested: The Shoei Qwest Helmet

Finally a full face helmet built for sport touring! Most of us are familiar with the typical full face helmet: Lighter, faster, more expensive and cooler graphics. You can expect to spend $600-$700 dollars for a real high end full face helmet. Aria's RX series, Shoei's X12 series, Nolan's X-Lite series...the list goes on. Problem is these high end full face helmets evolved to encompass performance. They are light, look incredible, vent air very well and the liners are often the best (moisture wicking, different sized pads offered, etc...)

Then there are the "middle of the road" full face helmets that each manufacturer offer as a cheaper alternative to their flagship models. These more reasonably priced helmets often look the part of their higher priced brothers and sisters but seldom perform as well. Often times much heavier, noisier and less comfortable.

Enter Greg from Helmet House and his newest offering from Shoei. The Shoei Qwest full face helmet has sport touring written all over it. The main focus of this newest generation Shoei as mentioned earlier: QUIET, well ventilated, uber-comfortable liner and guts and VERY large peripheral visor and cutaway. Shoei scored BIG on every single one of these points. Here is a link to Shoei's sales pump in the Qwest:
But since all too often the hype doesn't match the performance I'll give you my personal run down.

My riding over the past two years has really gotten away from the mileage side of things. 90% of my rides are 300 miles or less, at a spirited pace on my sportier bikes and almost never at night. 50% of these remaining miles are racked up at track days. This pretty much eliminated my need for a modular helmet which although convenient are always a lot heavier than a full face helmet.
I have been a long time user of the Arai brand of helmets. Problem is the Arai that fits me best and performs the way I like was the Quantum. And every 2 years I could expect to drop $600 on a new one. It was a considerable expense but one I chalked up along side sticky tires...over the top but absolutely imperative. But despite my love of the Quantum helmets there were a few nagging issues that left me unsatisfied. 1 - You need a degree in mechanical engineering, a lamp with a genie in it and no less than 10 Our Fathers to change the damned visors. 2 - The inner liner feels like a 12 cent roll of toilet paper against the skin.
The Qwest uses the typical Shoei visor replacement method: open visor, pull little release tab, remove visor, place new visor over pivots, close visor and relax. The liner also typical Shoei: Soft, smooth, replaceable, adjustable and above all comfortable. The peripheral vision is incredible. The inner shell tapers up and out from the user's face giving a huge view left, right, up and down. The gasket that runs around the visor seat is super soft and thick giving the lockable shield a perfect seal. The price was a VERY reasonable $369. Lastly, my personal favorite point, the helmet is QUIET. Extremely, flea's sneeze quiet. Not ONE of my motorcycles has a windshield and this helmet manages to keep the ambient noise levels well within reason.

In keeping with tradition I got the pink one:

So if you're in the market for a full face helmet and a tired of the same old offering from the usual suspects look no further than the Qwest.

Thanks for reading,
-Sean DeAngelis

1 comment:

  1. Hi all,

    Nice picture! This is a really informative post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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