Shoei’s top-dog dirt helmet: the Shoei VFX-EVO.


Review of the Shoei VFX-EVO motocross helmet.

Shoei’s latest motocross helmet, the VFX-EVO (called VFX-WR in Europe), aims to take – in Shoei’s words – the motocross helmet to the next level.

And when you look at the range of features, you can see why they’d say that. It uses Shoei’s advanced AIM+ shell construction tech we usually see in their hyper expensive race bike helmets.

It’s got EQRS. It’s got a total of 16 intake and exhaust vents for improved ventilation; and it’s been wind-tunnel tested to make a modern looking and complex outer shell shape that Shoei hope will give it superior aerodynamic performance.

Plus – and for the first time on a Shoei – it’s got a system designed to manage rotational forces encountered during an impact. Shoei calls their system motion energy distribution system. I’d guess that’s primarily so it gives them the eye catching acronym MEDS – but either way, it’s designed to allow the helmet a degree of independent movement from the rider and, again according to Shoei, reduces rotation by 15%.

All of that stacks up to make the Shoei VFX-EVO a mouthwatering prospect.

So we researched what owners and riders had to say about their VFX-WR helmets so you’ll know if it’s worth buying – and here’s everything we found.

Looking to buy a Shoei VFX-EVO?

Please click below to visit the Shoei VFX-EVO helmets pages at our recommended stores – all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any 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).

BTO SportsShop for helmets at Amazon


 (more about helmet safety)

The Shoei VFX-EVO uses Shoei’s Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus shell tech – or AIM+ for short.

shoei vfx evo brayton motocross crash helmet top view
Top down view of the VFX-EVO in Brayton design

That’s the same multi-layered composite material that you find in their top-of-the range track helmet – the Shoei X-Fourteen – and in their outstanding sportsbike helmet the RF-1200.

It uses fiberglass as its base material and Shoei then layers it up with a variety of other materials that Shoei calls organic fibers – designed to be lighter and more elastic to absorb energy.

So far, we’ve seen both the X-Fourteen and RF-1200 AIM+ helmets tested/approved by Snell and tested by SHARP.

SHARP scored the X-Fourteen 5 stars for safety (their maximum score) and the RF-1200 4 stars.

The VFX-EVO has already been Snell M2015 and M2020D certified too, and if SHARP gets their hands on it, we’d expect it to score four or five stars for safety, just like the previously tested AIM+ helmets.

Part of the reason for these excellent scores is because Shoei knows how to make a super-effective helmet shell. But it’s also because they use a multi-density EPS shock absorbing liner inside it which has been proven great at absorbing impact energy.

Unusually (though it shouldn’t be!) Shoei also includes EPS in the chin bar which is a great idea which should give improved protection to the mouth and face too.

As you can see from Shoei’s diagram, MEDS sits at the top of the helmet lining

And – for the first time on a Shoei – they include a liner that’s designed to offer some protection to the rider against rotational forces. It’s Shoei’s version of the liner we’ve seen used by Bell and 6D among others – with their version called MEDS (motion energy distribution system).

It’s essentially a skull cap that sits between your head and the EPS liner and allows the rest of the helmet to move semi-independently of the shock absorbing liner. The theory being if you allow the helmet to rotate freely in those important first milliseconds of an impact, it reduces the amount of rotational force passed through to your head.

And while we don’t really have any independent verification of whether MEDS works yet, it certainly sounds like a step in the right direction. It doesn’t seem to give as much coverage inside the helmet as the competition, but I guess we’ll only see how well it performs if we see some of the Snell or SHARP test data.

Back to the helmet shell, and Shoei makes the VFX-EVO in 4 Shell sizes covering fitment sizes XS-XXL. That’s great for optimizing the fit and weight of the helmet (both are important in safety) as well as making the helmet look just right and in proportion to your body size.

Shoei’s also worked to maximize the size of the opening for the goggles. Usually, that’s great for safety because it gives loads of horizontal and vertical vision. But with the Shoei VFX-EVO it’s maximized so you can wear oversized goggles which means your peripheral vision is going to be limited by whichever goggles you choose.

shoei vfx evo solid white motocross helmet rear view
Rear view showing rear exhaust vents and that massive rear aero contouring

Shoei’s also included EQRS on the VFX-EVO. That’s the system that helps paramedics remove the cheekpads more easily and hence helps them remove the helmet on a downed rider with less chance of damaging their neck.

If you take your dirt riding seriously (or your safety!) that’s gotta be near the top of your ‘must have’ list on any helmet you buy?

And finally, the Shoei VFX-EVO has a good, solid double-d ring fastener on it – so as long as you fasten it up nice and tight, that should keep the helmet firmly in place.


(more about helmet ventilation)

One of the most important things any dirt bike rider needs is lots of ventilation. Spend a day off road and you’re going to sweat loads, right? Well Shoei seems to recognise this as there’s vents and exhausts scattered all over the VFX-EVO.

There’s a brow vent stretching right across the goggle port. There’s a couple of crown vents right above that taking air from the peak and into the helmet.

And of course there’s that massive chin bar vent. That takes air around to the mouth as well as towards the face. And as you’d expect it’s removable, has an aluminum screen and contains a washable foam filter.

shoei vfx evo blazon motocross crash helmet side view
This one’s the Shoei VFX-EVO in Blazon design

There’s corresponding exhausts at the crown, top, lower and collar as well as on the side of the helmet too – all designed to provide a ton of ventilation throughout the helmet to keep you as fresh and cool as you can be when you’re riding off road.

And tons of riders agree that the venting on the VFX-EVO is really good. Apparently a bit of water can get in the chin bar vent if it’s raining but I guess that’s not going to be a problem if you’re working up a sweat.

Overall though, we heard that venting’s anywhere from great to incredible so you should be fine riding when it’s hot and you’re working hard.


(more about shields)

Just two things to say about the goggles. First – there’s a large eyeport up front, designed to take oversized goggles. And second, there’s a goggles groove right round the helmet to seat the strap and prevent it coming loose whatever you throw at it.

A few owners said that the goggles groove works really well, keeping your goggles at just the right height and stopping you having to continually adjust them.

The eyeport’s large enough to take pretty well all the different brands of goggle you can throw at them too.

All looks present and correct on the goggles front.


(more about sun visors)

The peak acts as a roost guard/sun visor and has been designed to be aerodynamic and reduce lift and buffeting. It also channels air direct towards those crown air vents.

Out of the box, it’s in its highest position (apparently that’s where most pro riders like it set) but there’s some movement to lower it by loosening off a single central screw and sliding the visor down.

That adjustment’s also useful because peaks can generate a bit of lift at speed and adjusting it helps reduce it.

shoei vfx evo josh grant motocross crash helmet top view
Top view of the Josh Grant replica

Three polycarbonate screws hold the peak in place and are designed to shear off under impact – that peak could impart some nasty rotational damage if you have an off and it digs in, so that’s a good thing.

Shoei say the visor’s been fine tuned by their pro off road racing team and we’ve not heard of any problems reported so it seems like it works just like it should.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Inside the Shoei VFX-EVO you’ll find a full removable and washable liner. It’s made in two parts, the cheek pads and the cap.

The cheek pads are made from contoured foam covered in a moisture wicking material Shoei calls Max-Dry. It’s designed to wick moisture away from the face and pull it into the foam.

The VFX-EVO is also EQRS enabled: you’ll see a couple of red tags at the bottom of the helmet that you can pull to quickly remove the cheek pads out of the bottom of the helmet. This is so emergency services can more easily remove the helmet without putting too much pressure on your head/neck.

shoei vfx evo crash helmet matt black side view
Solid matt black version.

The internal shape of the VFX-EVO is medium oval so it should suit most of us. Word is that if you buy one, it breaks in pretty quickly – though if you find it’s not quite right, Shoei does sell different cheek pads to help you get the fit just right.

And when you do, it’s a really comfortable helmet. We found owners rating it in really glowing terms saying they found it fits like a glove and the materials are particularly nice.

They also seem to reckon the sizing’s about right too (occasionally, helmets can size a bit big or small) so use our helmet fitting guide and order the correct size and you should be good to go.

Oh, it’s worth noting for any serious dirt riders out there – if you wear a neck brace, some riders have found the back lip on the VFX can hit the brace. It doesn’t with all brands but if it might impact you, make sure you buy from someone who’ll refund or exchange without quibbles – and always keep the stickers and tags intact until you’re definitely keeping the helmet.

Looks & Graphics

As usual, if you buy a plain version, it’s going to be a good chunk cheaper than one with fancy graphics.

Solid colors include gloss black and gloss white as well as a matt black version.

At the time of writing, there’s 5 graphics including the Zinger, Glaive, Grant, Brayton and Blazon. There’s at least one of each on this page… but to see more, click through to our recommended stores below.

Best places to buy a Shoei VFX-EVO?

Please click below to visit the Shoei VFX-EVO helmets pages at our recommended stores – all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any 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).

BTO SportsShop for helmets at Amazon

Shoei VFX-EVO Video

Here’s an 8m video of the shot by some guy at the Australian Shoei distributor showing you round the VFX-WR (that’s the ECE version of the Evo but essentially the same helmet).

Other stuff – weight, comms, aero, warranty

The VFX-EVO isn’t a lightweight MX lid – but it’s not massively heavy either. The large version weighs about 3.6lbs (1.65Kg). That’s not enough to really feel heavy while you’re wearing it so you should find it OK.

If you’re wanting a helmet you can fit a bluetooth headset into, you might wanna give the VFX-EVO a miss. That external shape doesn’t make it easy to mount at all and we’ve heard stories of owners giving up trying.

It sounds like that complex shape does help with aero though. It’s apparently pretty stable and there’s not much lift until you get to silly speeds. You might find it catches the air a little when you’re looking round, but other that that, aero’s neutral and controlled.

The good news is it’ll come with a five year warranty (7 years from date of manufacture) so there’s a decent bit of piece of mind if you buy one.

shoei vfx evo glaive motocross helmet side view
Shoei VFX-EVO in Glaive design


The outgoing VFX-W was a great helmet that owners and riders loved. And it seems the Shoei VFX-EVO, which used the W as its starting point, is an even more accomplished helmet.

It’s got an improved chin bar and peak, a massive space for goggles and a ton of safety features thrown in, from its tried-and-tested AIM+ composite shell through to its new MEDS anti-rotation system and EQRS to quickly remove cheek pads after an accident.

Which means not only is it DOT certified, but the testing team at the Snell Foundation have certified it for safety too.

It’s also got excellent build quality; and the aero, ventilation and comfort are highly rated by owners too.

Couple all that with the fact that it’s been tried and tested by a bunch of pro motocross riders, and the VFX-EVO is one of the most accomplished motocross lids out there. So if you can spare the cash, then we’d say the VFX-EVO is definitely worth a look.

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 VFX-EVO?

You should check out the Bell’s accomplished Moto-9 range – that’s another Snell rated motocross helmet, this time using Bell’s flex tech to reduce impact stresses. It’s tri-composite, got EQRS and it can be had for less than the Shoei.

shoei vfx evo zinger motocross helmet rear view
Rear view of the VFX-EVO Zinger

If you don’t need such a focused motocross helmet, you might want to think about the dual sport Arai XD4. That can work as a motocross helmet or – because it’s got a shield too – can work as a street helmet. It’s also Snell rated. A really versatile helmet the XD4.

Shoei’s version of the XD4 is the Hornet X2. A well built helmet with an optically correct shield that owners seem to love.

Looking to buy a Shoei VFX-EVO?

Please click below to visit the Shoei VFX-EVO helmets pages at our recommended stores – all checked for great online ratings. And if you buy from any 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).

BTO SportsShop for helmets at Amazon

Definitely want a Shoei?

Here you'll find all our Shoei crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

Previous articleAggressive streetfighter helmet that converts to a 3/4 helmet: Bell Broozer.
Next article6D ATR-2: motocross helmet with hugely innovative protection system
review-of-the-shoei-vfx-evo-motocross-helmetThere's no doubt, the Shoei VFX-EVO is a well loved helmet. And it's no surprise, because this pro-rider developed sequel does everything very well. Great ventilation and comfort, adjustable peak and nice large space for goggles - plus it's been tested and passed the Snell 2015 and 2020 certification process so it should really give great protection. If you're looking for a serious track helmet, or just a really great functional helmet for your crosser, then you really ought to check out the Shoei VFX-EVO.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here