Review of the Shoei RF-SR full face crash helmet (Shoei RYD in the UK/EU)
It’s also designed to be a jack of all trades – Shoei say it’s suitable for short street rides or long tours – it’s also designed to be quiet, stable and aggressive/mean-looking.
I’m not too sure about that last point, but let’s take a look over the Shoei RF-SR and find out what it’s good (or not so good) at…
- Full face street helmet
- 4 shell sizes
- AIM+ shell (usually scores well for safety)
- Snell M2015 certified
- UK SHARP 5 star safety rated (maximum)
- Emergency quick release system
- Pinlock-ready shield (with Pinlock Evo lens in the box)
- D-Ring fastener
- Great ventilation
- Sizes XS-XXL
- Expect to pay around $399
Looking to buy this Shoei?
We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping, and both Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service, free shipping and returns. Or you can click through to the Shoei helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from there. Please click any link to drop onto their Shoei helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.
First onto the helmet shell.
The RF-SR is made with Shoei’s AIM+ tech (that’s Advanced Integrated Matrix plus). That’s a composite of 5 layers of fiberglass and organic fibers that Shoei say makes for a tough, strong and ‘elastic’ helmet.
As usual Shoei don’t actually tell us what the organic fibers are (cotton candy? straw??) but I guess that’s Shoei’s trade secret.
What I do know is that AIM+ has been a top performer in the safety stakes for a few years now.
Of the five Shoei AIM+ helmets launched so far – including their top-of-the-range X-Fourteen race helmet (though that’s a 6 layer composite) – four have scored SHARP‘s maximum five star safety rating. Which is obviously awesome.
As far as the RF-SR’s safety’s concerned, SHARP have now got their hands on the RF-SR and have given it a maximum 5 stars for safety! So if you’re after one of the safest helmets for your noggin, then you can probably trust the RF-SR as much as any helmet on the market.
It has also been tested by Snell and like quite a few other Shoei helmets, it’s M2015 certified which is great and means you can rely on your RF-SR to give decent protection in an impact.
Other good stuff on the safety front is that the RF-SR is made in four shell sizes. That’s great news because it means you’ll not be carrying around more helmet than you need to – that’s got both looks and safety implications (the bigger the helmet, the higher the inertia in an accident). It also means you should have the right proportion of shock absorbing EPS to helmet shell, and not have a helmet that’s over- or under-padded to make it fit.
Shoei have also added EQRS into the mix – that’s the emergency quick release system to you and me. Pull those red tags at the bottom of the helmet and it’s designed to pull the cheek pads straight out the bottom of the helmet, making for easier helmet removal in an accident.
EQRS is becoming increasingly common in crash helmets these days, which will hopefully mean paramedics are starting to use it more and more leading to fewer neck injuries when the helmet’s removed. So that’s a great addition.
And finally… it’s got Shoei’s usual multi-density polystyrene shock absorbing (EPS) liner. Multi density is good as it’s needed to help absorb both big and little shocks that come with an accident, and give a progressive level of deceleration.
So all in all, it sounds like Shoei have got helmet safety covered.
And all this box-checking detail aside, Shoei have an excellent reputation for making some great performing and safe crash hats so we’d expect the RF-SR to be just the same.
Shoei has been hard at work tuning that fine balance between ventilation and noise ingress – put more vents in a helmet and it’s not just air that gets in!
And Shoei do mention reduced noise in their marketing, so we had high hopes for the RF-SR.
So how does the RF-SR perform in the real world?
Well, as usual, there’s a range of opinions out there.
A couple of owners said it was the quietest helmet they’ve owned: one guy on a sportsbike said there’s minimal noise coming through, another guy on an MT07 said it’s about average – and a couple of owners saying there’s quite a bit of noise gets in from the rear of the helmet, which is unusual.
Taking all opinions we came across into account, it seems like the RF-SR is somewhere between average and quiet – but as usual, it depends on the type of motorcycle you ride and a number of other factors (style of riding, previous helmet noise etc. etc.)
So if owning a quiet helmet is important to you, you might want to check out our Quietest Helmets pages.
There doesn’t look to be much special/novel at first glance.
All vents are operated by sliders and there’s a single chin vent and dual forehead vents – with a couple of rear exhausts just under the mini rear spoiler (which can’t be closed).
Shoei say the black plastic has been chosen to look aggressive, so maybe the forehead vents are designed to look a bit like frowny eyebrows?
Whatever, owners of the Shoei RF-SR reckon the ventilation is excellent. One owner even said it’s pretty much perfect – with the rest we came across saying it’s great.
Good job Shoei!
The RF-SR will come with a standard clear shield but there’s no drop down sun visor included which is a shame.
The RF-SR uses Shoei’s CWR-1 shield shape though – that’s a shield that’s used on a few of their other helmets which should mean there’s plenty of replacements available – and it also means there’s Shoei’s Transitions photochromic shield available for it, though they’re not cheap.
The RF-SR also comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert and a Pinlock Evo in the box. That’s great because Pinlocks are really effective in keeping things fog free – but not so good if it comes with the (old) standard Pinlock because the edges can get in the way when you’re in a tuck position.
The Evo is Pinlock’s top of the range anti-fog insert, designed to give maximum fog-avoidance and cover all the inside of the shield. So that’s a great addition to the RF-SR.
Comfort & Sizing
The Shoei RF-SR is available in fitment sizes XS-XXL.
It features the usual quality Shoei lining – that means it’s anti-microbial, moisture wicking and fully removable and washable.
It also means there’s quite a few size adjustment options such as replacement cheek pads to help you get the fit just right.
Having said that, pretty well all owners we came across said something positive about the comfort and fit of their RF-SRs, including that it’s all day comfortable without any pressure points.
A couple also said that it works well with their glasses.
A few also said that they find their RF-SR’s very light – something that also helps with making a helmet very wearable over long distance and is also great for safety, reducing helmet inertia during an impact.
Looks & Graphics
At the time of writing, there’s only plain colors available. That’s the usual blacks, a solid gloss white, a metallic grey, blue and tangerine, as shown up and down the page. We’d expect to see one or two designs unveiled pre-launch (not too many – this is Shoei we’re talking about!) so click the links below to our recommended retailers to see the latest designs from Spring 2017 onwards.
Best places to buy this Shoei crash helmet?
Please click below to visit the Shoei helmets pages at our recommended stores. At the time of writing, it's available in all these stores - and if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).
Click above to drop onto their Shoei helmets pages or *quick view store T&Cs here.
Shoei RF-SR Video
Here’s a 7.40m video taking you round the RF-SR…
Other stuff – buffeting, warranty
The RF-SR comes with Shoei’s excellent five year warranty – that’s standard across their entire range.
Finally, because there was lots of wind-tunnel testing and development done, Shoei make a ‘thing’ of the helmet being slippery and stable with reduced buffeting.
Well, the jury’s in and owners we heard from said that the aero on the RF-SR is great – it feels very slippery and aerodynamic with hardly any buffeting.
Crash Helmet Buying Guides
For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.
Alternatives to the Shoei RF-SR
The RF-SR is at the upper end of what we’d call a mid-price helmet – though it’s actually at the lower end of what you’ll pay for a Shoei.
So if that’s your sort of budget to spend on your next full face helmet, here’s our recommended alternatives…
Around that price you can get Shoei’s NXR – low noise, good ventilation and SHARP 4 star rated.
The AGV GT Veloce is a cool-looking SHARP 5 star rated lid that’s light and comes with a Pinlock. Can be found for under the $399 mark too.
Or if you’re looking for something at the sportier end of the market, Nolan’s X-802R is 4 star safety rated, nice and light and with great ventilation too.
Of course, they’re just a few to take a look at but there’s lots more. Why not check out our medium priced motorbike helmets pages for something for less than $300 – or click our full-face helmets page to see all our reviews and previews – or search our helmet gallery page to find a helmet that looks up your street?
There’s no doubt about it – the Shoei RF-SR is a great helmet.
Build quality’s up to the usual Shoei standard, it’s comfy and uses quality internals and lining – the aero’s class with most riders saying there’s very little buffeting from that nice round shape. It also excels for ventilation and has an excellent visor system. And with it’s Snell M2015 and maximum SHARP 5 star safety rating, they’re very much the icing on the cake!
All in all, if you’re after a great ‘all rounder’ helmet, then the Shoei RF-SR is well worth considering.