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PRoductreviews


SHOEI RF-SR helmet with Transitions shield


By Marcia McGuire #206242


MOTORCYCLE HELMET SAFETY STANDARD TESTS remind me of the sixth grade competition where stu- dents built an encasement to protect an egg from breaking when dropped from the school roof and then had to quickly remove the egg without crack- ing it. Those were also the days when bread making


machines were popular for home kitchens, and my solution involved placing my egg into a hole I bored into a loaf of bread. Using this solution, my egg stayed perfectly protected, though opening the Ziploc bag holding the bread did take a little longer than ideal. This elementary school science experiment


translates well to motorcycle helmets–how to best protect the head and brain from damage upon impact, and how quickly and safely can first responders remove the helmet from the downed rider? Shoei’s RF-SR helmet is designed to do just


that, with both DOT and the even stricter SNELL certifications , and integrates a lot more sophisticated technology for riding comfort, including an optional CWR-1 Transitions Photo- chromic Pinlock Shield. The RF-SR color collection includes neutral white,


grey and black with a couple of matte options and adds to the line a stunning orange and a rich blue. The face of the helmet has a large, black “Y” styling across it, giving it an aggres- sive, war paint look, only sleeker. Adjustable air intakes lie within these lines on the forehead and at the chin, with two exhaust vents at the back. A chin curtain and breath guard can be added, as well as the anti-fog Pinlock lens. The QR-E base plate system makes for a much easier installation of the visor compared to my few years old Shoei GT-Air. Marketed as a helmet for both short jaunts and touring, the


RF-SR is light and comfortable throughout a full day of riding. Riding at freeway speeds behind a tall windscreen on my BMW G 650 GS and without a windscreen on my Yamaha XT250, I was pleased to experience no real buffeting. Aerodynamics test- ing in Shoei’s in-house wind tunnel is evident. I wear earplugs when I ride, but rode without them at times to judge the noise levels: the new Shoei helmet performed about the same as the GT-Air (though when the GT-Air’s internal sun shield is down


18 BMW OWNERS NEWS October 2017 the noise is cut a little bit


more than in the RF-SR). Riding in the rain, the helmet kept me dry, and at the angle I sat, the water beaded off of the visor; I did not need to use my glove’s finger squeegee to clear my view. One of the additional values of the RF-SR is that it is designed to


accept the CWR-1 Transitions Photochromic Pinlock Shield, a prod- uct of a collaboration between Shoei and Transitions Optical. I was very curious to see how quickly the visor transitioned, how dark it got, its gradations, and how it adjusted. The shield blocks 100 per- cent of UVA and UVB rays, and it is the shield’s molecules’ interac- tion with the UV rays that produce the change of darkening or lightening, with temperature being a moderating variable. Indeed, the shield that starts clear can go to a dark where my facial lines are hardly visible behind the visor. Shoei’s description notes that the transition can “become as dark as ordinary sunglasses, with a 23 percent light transmission level at 72° Fahrenheit”.


member tested


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