Tested: Shoei X-Fourteen Helmet
A buddy of mine had a brand new Shoei X-Fourteen helmet that he was testing out. He wanted to get a second opinion on it so he asked me if I wanted to try it too. As I’m a cheap bastard and it would take hell freezing over for me to spend my own money on this top-of-the-line helmet, I definitely jumped at the opportunity to try it out!
I’ve been using the Shoei RF-series of helmets since I began riding because they represent good bang for the buck. I started off with the RF-900, currently have the RF-1200, and have owned the two helmets in between (RF-1000 and RF-1100 of course). Shoei made a significant change in the design of the RF series when the RF-1200 was released. It was significantly lighter than the RF-1100 and also tighter fitting. The opening for the head to go into the helmet seems to have gotten smaller. I’ve always worn a small size helmet and the new RF-1200 was really hard to put on and take off the first half dozen times until it was broken in. It was definitely a tighter fit than the older generations in the RF series. The X-Fourteen I tested was a size medium. The new X-Fourteen fit about the same as my old broken-in small RF-1100. Two performance differences stood out immediately at highway cruising speeds: airflow and stability.
The two vents above the visor are more effective on the X-Fourteen than the RF-1200. On the X-Fourteen, with the vents directly above the visor open, I could feel the airflow onto my forehead. This is not the case with the RF-1200. It’s a little difficult to feel the sliders for the vents with gloves on, but it’s still easier to actuate the single upper vent on the X-Fourteen compared to the two upper vents on the RF-1200. The single upper vent on the X-Fourteen also provided noticeable airflow to the top of my head whereas the small two individual vents on the RF-1200 are not as effective. The X-Fourteen upper central vent is basically fed by a scoop which is probably why it’s so effective at pushing air through the helmet.
The RF-1200 has a small central vent and two side vents opened by the triangular shaped sliders. They don’t work as well as the vent and scoop design of the X-Fourteen.
Below the visor of the X-Fourteen are two air feeds. The big and wide one just below the visor does a great job of directing air towards your face. The small lower central opening directs air through some channels towards your cheeks. I only tested this helmet at highway speeds, so I didn’t notice anything from this air feed.
The X-Fourteen has this visor locking feature where you slide the mechanism up to the lock the visor in the down position. It can be a little tricky to find it with your gloves on the first time, but it’s not that difficult afterwards.