I’ve always fancied MX style road helmets. I felt they were well suited to the retro style bikes I like to ride. They offer the ventilation of an open face without the loss of protection offered by a full-face helmet. I’d tried the Bell Moto 3 but the fit was like someone stepping on the sides of my oval head with hiking boots on. Then I came across the Shoei Ex-Zero. It looked like a plush version of the Bell helmet, with a leather-look trim and an ingenious integrated drop-down visor. A test fit revealed that unlike the Moto 3 the Ex-Zero was perfect for my oval-shaped melon. It also had a slightly more refined shape which gave it a unique look, rather than being a direct clone of vintage MX helmets.
Riding around town, the wide aperture of the Shoei EX-Zero viewport offers unobstructed views. The fit was firm and the helmet didn’t feely overly feeling bulky. The gloss black version I opted for looks slick and for some reason, it’s the only helmet that I like that has the yellow text, highlighting the emergency quick release system on it. I feel it gives it a utilitarian look that complements the adventurous aspirations of the helmet. I wore the Shoei Ex-Zero with my mirror lens Fox Racing goggles. They beautifully contrasted the deep black tones of the helmet and looked badass. This combination earned me a lot of positive comments.
The elongated chin and tapered baseline help to slim down the Ex-Zero’s proportions. Compared to other more expensive helmets in the Shoei range, the weight is fairly similar, which is another bonus. Riding at moderate speeds the helmet feels breezy but in a good way. The large opening allows full-sized goggles to be worn, however, I found the top of the opening set a little too low which made the goggles sit lower on my nose. This caused a bit of discomfort after a while, but may not be an issue for other people with different proportioned features. When the sun set, I remove my goggles and flipped down the integrated clear visor. This can be set at different heights to suit the rider. It offers adequate protection for your eyes but you may start to tear up if you’re travelling at higher speeds.
Cruising down the highway, something became very evident – the helmet is noisy, like an army of Korean drummers having a party in your head. This is a by-product of this style of helmet, so earbuds are definitely recommended. On the flip side I experienced little in the way of wind drag and head-checks were still comfortable. This may change if you add a peak visor which I’m yet to test myself.
The Shoei Ex-Zero offers a range of customisable options. These including yellow or tinted visors, various sized cheek-pads and whatever goggles you would like to accessorise it with. The shell is available in four colours including white, matte black, primer grey and of course my pick of the bunch, gloss black. It’s a great looking, comfortable helmet that I can see myself riding with for most of the year aside from wet or extremely cold days. I like my Shoei Ex-Zero. I appreciate quality built products, of which this is definitely one, and best of all it’s the perfect fit for the retro-styled motorcycles I love to ride.