Are you a peanut head?

...or perhaps you’re an Arnold!

You remember Hey Arnold right? He’s the cartoon kid from the 90’s who had a rugby ball shaped head. After trying on a bunch of helmets and struggling to find the perfect fit, I can relate.

Having ridden the best part of 35,000 miles in my old one, the AGV GP Tech was starting to smell like the inside of an old fishmongers boot. The padding had lost its support and it washed up like a wet innersole. To top it off the lacquer had started to peel off, £450 may get you a helmet that’s good enough for Rossi but the Italian AGV was beginning to show signs of wear.

There are so many helmet brands to choose from and last Saturday I spent the day at my local dealer trying as many on as I could. First one was an Arai, I got it on and it pushed my nose inside my brain. Next up was a Shark that was so tight across the forehead I could hardly see straight. This was followed by a HJC, which through crushing my cheeks felt like it was rearranging my teeth, and the same happened with a Scorpion. I then tried a Nitro, but was put off by its cheap feeling. Finally, when I was getting close to giving up, I tried this Shoei and it fitted perfectly.

My first ever helmet was a Shoei Z-One Haydon replica back in 2001. I’ve always looked back at that lid as the one that had the perfect fit and that’s the same feeling I got last weekend with the Shoei XR1100. I’d like to see whoever that helmet is modelled on, as I reckon they might have exactly the same shaped head as me!

The XR1100 retails at £419, it weighs 1485g, feels real light and uses the typical D-Ring fastening. The visor release mechanism is super easy to use and the removable pads and lining are… well, removable.

It’s quiet but not silent and the massive chin wind deflector does a great job at reducing draft and blocking out unnecessary noise. The field of view is good especially when crouched and the buffeting when on the move is minimal.

There are two things I really like about the XR1100. The vents are the most effective I have experienced. Open the main front vent and you are blasted with a office fan like gale. The other is the overall construction, everything feels quality and built with durability in mind.

The standard clear visor has anti-scratch and comes Pinlock ready along with clear and tinted fog free inserts. If you want a official Shoei full on dark or colored visor then I got mine from for a smidgen over £44.

There are 28 different colors and graphics to choose from, in my opinion the Diabolic Divinity is the best. The XR1100 gets a 5 star Sharp rating and a ACU Gold badge.