Shoei RF-1400 review: a fantastic all-rounder Snell certified helmet.

shoei-RF-1400-featured

Review of the Shoei RF-1400 sports touring motorcycle helmet.

First up, there was the RF-1000 (great helmet). That was replaced in 2014 by the RF-1200 (great helmet). And so it’s no surprise that Shoei’s further developed the helmet and now we’ve got the RF-1400.

shoei rf-1400 helmet mural graphics side view
See – Shoei can do bonkers graphics too! This is the Mural graphic

It’s designed as an evolution of the old 1200, designed to be that bit better in a few key areas. So now it’s got a slightly redesigned shell with better aerodynamics (to reduce lift and drag) and an improved face shield system and baseplate.

They’ve fiddled around with the internals a little too, but it uses the same AIM+ fiberglass-based composite fiber tech that the outgoing helmet used (see more about that in the Safety section below).

Whatever the changes, Shoei hopes the RF-1400 will be their top dog sports-touring, all-rounder road helmet.

So, here’s all you need to know about the RF-1400…

Looking to buy a Shoei RF-1400?

Please click below to visit the Shoei RF-1400 helmets pages at our recommended store and Amazon. And if you buy from either store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

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Overall/Summary

The Shoei RF-1400 is the long awaited replacement to Shoei’s sales-topping RF-1200.

And, to cut to the chase, it’s a slight improvement on the old helmet – making the RF-1400 a great all-rounder helmet.

shoei rf-1400 matte black motorcycle helmet top view
Matte black Shoei RF-1400

It’s both DOT and Snell certified; so that’s protection taken care of. The shield system’s well thought out, works great and comes with a Pinlock in the box.

It’s particularly comfy for more neutral shaped, rounder heads which is great as there’s not that much choice out there for you guys. Plus it’s got great aero and controls noise very well.

Cons? Well, it’s not the lightest helmet in the world and you might struggle to fit a comms unit – though it can be done (see video below).

But all in all, the RF-1400 is the helmet Shoei promised to deliver. It’s a fantastic all rounder helmet that’s an evolution of the old 1200. And while it’s not cheap, we’d say it’s well worth the money and don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you make the investment.

Safety

 (more about helmet safety)

The only real way to know how protective any helmet’s gonna be is to look at lab tests.

Sure, if someone has a spill and they say they’re only here because of their helmet, that’s kinda worth a listen. But you still don’t know whether a $50 helmet would’ve done the same job. And besides, every accident’s different, right?

shoei rf-1400 scanner helmet side view
Scanner graphics

So, the only real way to get an idea of what level of protection a helmet’ll give is to look at the specs, know the brand’s safety record, then look at the test data.

Specs first. Shoei make the RF-14 in four shell sizes which is a good number. More shells mean better fit and more optimized protection – read why here.

The shock absorbing liner is a dual layer multidensity job. Multidensity liners are better at absorbing a range of impact strengths and managing the shock.

There’s a traditional (and effective) double-d ring fastener to keep the helmet firmly on your head. And an EQRS liner inside to help paramedics more easily take it off if the worst happens.

Of course, it’s the helmet shell tech that’s one of the most important factors in protection, and Shoei’s is some of the best.

The RF1400 uses Shoei’s AIM+ shell technology which is their most advanced helmet shell – the one used in their top of the range dirt helmet, the Shoei VFX-EVO, as well as their top racing lid, the X-Fourteen.

shoei RF-1400 helmet AIM+ construction
Shoei’s AIM+ shell contains four layers of resin and organic fibers in a fiberglass sandwich

They’re both Snell tested/certified helmets. And the great news is that the RF-1400 is Snell 2020 certified too. That’s on top of the DOT rating of course.

All in all, if you’re looking for a helmet that covers all the bases for helmet protection, then the RF-1400 pretty well does it all. And that includes having a wide visor and including a Pinlock antifog insert in the box – both to give better all round visibility and keep it clear whatever the conditions.

Great job.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

Helmet noise is a weird one.

Not only is it hugely subjective, depending on rider, motorcycle, screen, speed, conditions and a host of other variables that mean rarely do two people perceive things quite the same.

But in the quest for a really quiet motorcycle helmet, helmet makers are often scuppered because helmet testing bodies specifically state helmets can’t be too quiet because riders need to hear stuff like emergency vehicles and pillions screaming they need the rest room.

So, if you’re after a super quiet helmet a) in most countries, helmet manufacturer’s aren’t allowed to make/sell you one and b) you might still think it’s not that quiet because you ride everywhere at 110mph on a naked bike, and wonder what all the fuss was about.

shoei rf-1400 helmet solid yellow side view
Solid yellow RF-1400

Still, Shoei reckons they’ve done pretty well all they can with the RF-1400.

They say they’ve spent more hours in the wind tunnel than is healthy, streamlining the shell to remove unwanted noise. They’ve improved the shield seal to stop noise ingress and they’ve pushed in thicker cheek pads to bung up your earholes a bit.

They’ve even followed Schuberth and their C3 Pro and moulded little plastic nobbles (sorry, vortex generators) into the face shield to break up the air flow and reduce noise.

So they have tried. Really they have.

And does it work?

Well, the old RF-1200 handled noise very well and was one of the quietest helmets around. And owners broadly say the same about the RF-1400 – most owners reckon it’s a really quiet helmet on the road.

shoei rf-1400 dedicated 2 motorcycle helmet top view
Shoei RF-1400 in Dedicated 2 graphics

Which is not to say you won’t need to wear some effective ear protection if you ride for more than a few miles and at more than urban speeds – because you will.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

Ventilation’s important for rider comfort, right? And the good news is that again, Shoei’s evolved and slightly improved the old system.

The RF-1400 has the same layout of vents – three crown vents and twin chin bar vents.

But they’ve uprated the sliders covering them, fiddled around enlarging and adding an additional intake hole in the upper vents, and they’ve bored out that exhaust vent for better flow through.


A couple of useful links…

All our Shoei helmet reviews
Helmets that come in extreme sizes


You might prefer a helmet with top vents that are all operated with one slider rather than three of course (I know I do) but at least the vents are now nice and easy to find and easy to use in gloves.

shoei rf-1400 helmet arcane graphics rear view
Rear view of the Shoei RF-1400 Arcane

And they do let a good amount of air into the helmet where it circulates through channels in the EPS liner before venting out of the single large (closeable) exhaust at the back.

That works alongside Shoei’s good quality 3D Max Dry 2 liner to keep your head well vented and reasonably sweat-free.

According to owners, it’s a great all-weather system. Close it off in the winter to keep warm, but open it when it’s hot and you can really feel the ventilation work.

Face Shield

(more about shields)

The shield system’s been uprated for the RF-1400 with a new baseplate, seal and a new shield.

It’s a quick release shield like the old one (dead easy – open the shield, pull a tab and it pops off) but Shoei’s made it optically correct too to reduce any distortion, added on those vortex generator thingies for improved aero/noise control, and they’ve moved the opening tab and shield lock from the side to the center.

shoei-rf-1400-helmet-vortex-generators-closeup
Close up of those vortex generators, designed to smooth the air and reduce noise

Good move that as it now means you can open your face shield more easily with your right hand.

Shoei’s widened the shield aperture for better peripheral vision. Plus they’ve worked with Pinlock to produce the Pinlock Evo antifog insert which you’ll find in the box with your shiny new RF-14.

Essentially, the Evo is just the name given to Pinlocks that work with Shoei helmets. But it’s also a nice big insert, and they’ve moved the locating pins right back out of view, which is a good touch.

Like all polycarbonate face shields, the one on the RF-1400 will give great UV protection. Shoei quotes 99% protection with this one so that’s about as good as it gets.

RF-1400 owners are overwhelmingly happy with the visor – saying it seals well and gives a nice wide view of the road. So all good here.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Internal fitment-wise, the Shoei RF-1400 is more of a round or neutral fit helmet (rather than the regular medium oval most helmets come in). So if you have a longer oval head shape, beware – you may well get pressure points.

Which is not to say all’s lost if you do. Because there are replacement cheek pads and head pads in a variety of thicknesses available – though they’ll cost a few dollars extra.

shoei RF-1400 helmet comfort liner
Max Dry 2 liner is fully removable/washable with alternative skull cap and cheekpads that can be bought and swapped out to adjust the fit

Inside the RF, you’ll find Shoei’s Max Dry II liner. That’s a comfortable liner that’s moisture wicking, washable and antimicrobial.

It features removable ear pads, so you can pluck those out if you’re fitting speakers from a comms unit.

It’s also an EQRS liner which is always good to see. If you’re not familiar, that stands for emergency quick release – essentially you can pull out the cheek pads from below by tugging on the two red tabs at the bottom of the helmet and is there so emergency services can more easily take off your helmet.

Read more about EQRS here – or find other EQRS equipped helmets here.

As long as you don’t have a longer narrower head shape, you should find the Shoei RF-1400 a super comfortable helmet.

Looks & Graphics

There’s a wide range of graphics and colors available for the RF-1400.

shoei rf-1400 helmet basalt grey side view
Basalt grey RF-1400

Solids come in white, black (incl matte), brilliant yellow, basalt grey and matte metallic blue.

If you want graphics, there’s the Prologue, Faust, Mural, Nocturne, Dedicated, Scanner and Arcane to choose from – some in multiple colorways.

We’ve put as many as we can up and down the page, but to see more (along with latest prices and deals) just click on the links to our recommended stores below where you’ll drop straight onto their Shoei RF-1400 pages.

Best places to buy a Shoei RF-1400?

Please click below to visit the Shoei RF-1400 helmets pages at our recommended store and Amazon. If you buy from either store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Shop for helmets at Amazon

Shoei RF-1400 Video

Here’s a useful 8m video of a dude on a Triumph (Scrambler 1200?) riding round in a solid white RF-1400.

Other stuff – audio, weight, glasses, aero, buffeting, chin curtain, warranty

If you’re looking to mount a bluetooth headset onto your helmet, the RF-1400 should be OK. It is more contoured than most helmets so that’s probably going to stop you sticky mounting. And there’s quite a large shaped bottom edge that does make it a bit more difficult using a clamp mount.

Having said that, the guy in the video above has successfully mounted his Sena 20S. And Shoei has announced they’ll offer a universal bluetooth mount so that should be solved if/when they do.

shoei rf-1400 nocturne helmet side view
Nocturne graphics is available in 3 colorways

And inside, there’s a nice amount of space for both speakers and a mic.

If you’re looking for a light weight helmet, the RF-1400 is a chunky beast. At around 3.75lbs it’s not light, but it’s only seven ounces over the average weight of a typical composite fiber helmet so shouldn’t cause any problems.

There’s also space for glasses because there’s a nice glasses groove in the lining.

As mentioned, the RF-1400 has been extensively wind tunnel tested. And the good news is that owners say the aero is very good. Shoei quotes figures of 6% lift reduction and 4% less drag. But they’re figures over the old helmet so don’t really help most of us. What does help is that we’ve heard from several owners who say it does have genuinely good aero characteristics and cuts through the air well.

The Shoei RF-1400 comes with a removable chin curtain and breath guard.

And finally, all Shoei helmets come with a full 5 year warranty (or 7 from date of manufacture). That’s awesome.

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/sportsbike/track helmets.

Good Alternatives to the Shoei RF-1400?

OK, assuming you don’t want a sportsbike helmet or an open face, here’s a few suggestions for similar – and excellent – all rounder full face lids you should check out.

Fluo yellow Signet X

First up is Arai’s Signet-X. That’s another premium sports touring helmet that’s both Snell (DOT) and SHARP 5 star rated (ECE version). It’s better for longer oval shaped heads though and an excellent all rounder.

sedici strada II primo carbon helmet front view
Sedici Strada II Primo

You can get a lot of Snell certified helmet for much less money than the Shoei and Arai. How about the Sedici Strada II? The carbon Primo version is Snell and well liked by owners – another great all rounder.

HJC i10 semi flat black crash helmet top view
Semi flat black HJC i10

Or for a real budget lid, there’s HJC’s i10. It might be budget but it’s still a Snell approved polycarbonate helmet that’s rated highly for comfort and ventilation. It’s decent build quality too.

Other full face helmets

There are loads of great alternative full face crash helmets. You can check out our Top 10 full-face crash helmets list to see our best rated helmets. And we also recommend you take a look at all our full face crash helmet previews and reviews as well as our safest motorcycle helmets pages where you'll only find helmets that are Snell certified or SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.

Looking to buy a Shoei RF-1400?

Please click below to visit the Shoei RF-1400 helmets pages at our recommended store and Amazon. And if you buy from either store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Shop for helmets at Amazon

Star Ratings

1 COMMENT

  1. It seems head shape fitment (round to long oval) can create confusion for consumers in search of the “right fit.”
    What is written by various reviewers, users–myself included–and the descriptions (prescriptions?) provided by manufacturers and retailers can add to the confusion.
    For example, the Arai Signet-GT morphed into the Profile, then into the Signet-Q, followed by the Signet-X, each with their supporters and critics claiming one or the other was the “true” long oval.
    The above noted, I like to think the objective parameters for what constitute head shape are applicable, the descriptors for an incorrect fit, e.g., a hot spot against the forehead=bad fit, are telling and, per the “hot spot” example would indicate a helmet too round, or not long oval enough.
    Needless to say, the world would be perfect(!), if the measured parameters of one’s head shape and the helmet claimed to fit that head shape provided a high level of correspondence.
    As a member of the long-oval tribe who has (happily) worn the Arai Signet-Q for the last 6 or so years, I had planned to replace it with the Signet-X, until I placed it on my head and discovered it had measurably less space between my forehead and the inside front of the helmet, and too much space on the sides of my head.
    The metric is straightforward, and the results between the Signet-Q, Signet-X, and the RF-1400 made the decision making process equally straightforward.
    As follows:
    With the helmet properly (evenly) positioned on my head and fastened, I press the back of the helmet forward then attempt to insert the index finger on my other hand into the space between the inside front of the helmet and my forehead (starting at the center then moving to both sides of the forehead).
    Additionally, when attempting to turn the helmet around my head (right to left/left to right) I make note of where the helmet touches on the sides of the skull above the ears in the widest area of my skull.
    It is important to distinguish between skull shape and cheek pad fitment.
    The above procedure provides repeatable and predictable outcomes, no matter the head shape specified by the manufacturer, or the efforts invested by the salesperson to sell you a helmet.
    I suppose it is possible, too, that head shape differences may exist between XXXXS to XXXXL across helmet brands.
    That said, I can only account for size small.
    When I tried on several helmets at a local dealer and applied the above metric, not only were there measurable differences–and as much my mind wanted to have a long oval fit like a long oval, because that is what the manufacturer said it was–the correspondence between the objective measurement and subjective experience of proper fit could not be denied.
    The results follow:
    • the Signet-Q fit well all the way around my skull.
    • the Signet-X created a hot spot on my forehead and had too much space on the sides of my skull, above my ears.
    • the RF-1400 fit more like the Signet Q, but with tighter cheek pads (which, unlike the skull shape, will soften a bit over time).
    In the small size the Shoei RF-1400 is more long oval than the Arai Signet-X.
    In this case, the RF-1400 proved to be the right fit, and was purchased to replace my well worn Signet-Q.

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