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Shoei Shoei X-Spirit III: My new favourite motorcycle helmet? | Review

Visordown tests out the Shoei X-Spirit III motorcycle helmet at the race track and on the streets; Here’s how it got on.

Impressive high-speed stability
Fiddly front visor locking system

With a ride up the Goodwood Hill Climb and a Kawasaki ZX-6R trackday looming I needed a race-focused lid that was not only safe but also looked the absolute part. After some scanning, the Shoei X-Spirit III fit the bill perfectly.  

I wanted the brightest design possible so photographers could easily spot me, and the Power Rush TC-8 scheme was spot on. The design is so bright and extreme that it’s been mistaken for custom on multiple occasions. 

Available from: Shoei UK

Price

Depending on the colour the X-Spirit III ranges from around £599.99 to £799.99, which is by no means cheap but with a 5 Star Sharp safety rating it’s reasonable. For an extra few pounds, you can pick up a wide selection of tinted visors and different internal padding thicknesses.  

Shell

The shell is constructed of an organic shock-absorbent 6 layer AIM+ polymer which has an internal multiple density EPS liner. In layman's terms that means the polystyrene liner has different levels of thickness to help better protect your head in the event of a spill.   

Available sizes: 1) XS-S, 2) M, 3) L, 4) XL-XXL

The shell and lining are secured to your head with a double D ring, which feels soft and snug under the neck once secured. 

Lining 

Along with the ‘modular pad system’ being easily removable and washable, it can also be adjusted inside the helmet by 4° to accommodate different head shapes and requirements. I only needed to remove a couple of frontal lobe pads in order to make the helmet fit just right.

The lining also features Shoei’s E.Q.R.S (Emergency Quick Release System) that allows the emergency services to remove the cheek pads of the lid and the rest of the helmet with ease. 

Comfort 

At first, the X-Spirit III did feel a tad bit tight on my lollipop head (in a Medium), but a quick pad removal made it fit as snug as a bug with no tight spots. It still felt very planted with these pads removed but ditching them allowed for more long-distance comfort. 

Thanks to its lightweight, reduced drag, and MotoGP inspired aerodynamic design the helmet comes into its own at higher speeds - proven as I ‘chased’ down Chis Walker at Brands Hatch GP. Even at 140mph+ down the back straight, the helmet didn't wobble or buffet one bit, you can literally feel it stabilise the airflow and keep the helmet pointing true. The rear aero fins really do work and aren’t just for show.

In terms of noise, no motorcycle helmet is noiseless and nor should it be. Plus, wearing earplug/phones is perfectly comfortable even after several hours in the Shoei. So, the Spirit III isn’t silent, but more importantly, it doesn’t have any distracting high pitched whistles (my pet peeve) - which is good for mental health. 

Ventilation

The Spirit III has a grand total of six openable air vents (intakes) and six outlets, which I felt working straight away even on the toastiest of summer days. The openable vents all feel well-made and can be fine-tuned like a volume fader to get the airflow just right. You know, if you’re into that kinda thing. 

Also, the upper front air vent flows air to the cheeks, which is the first of its kind on a Shoei helmet. 

Visor

The clear double lock CWR-F fog retardent visor rarely mists up, and cracking the visor open slightly normal clears any residue on it. I opted to get an additional dark smoked visor (to try and look even cooler) which is just as fog resistant as the clear one. Thankfully both come with a Pinlock system if required, although I haven’t needed it. 

There are 9 levels of adjustment on the visor mechanism which is plenty enough. And the mechanism itself is not only nice to look at (with its carbon fibre effect) but also really simple to use. Honestly, detaching and attaching the visor might just be idiot-proof because I got the grips with it straight away. This design is significantly better than many other top brands in my opinion. 

What I like most about the visor is the large field of vertical vision it offers when in a fully tucked position. In fact, the field of vision is so good that I could keep Chris Walker in my sights at Brands as he disappeared into the distance…

My only genuine grip about the Spirit III is the front visor locking system, it’s tricky to figure out exactly how it works, especially with gloves on. Either that or I'm a simpleton. Likely, a bit of both. 

We like: 

  • Spoilers and turbulators for improved aerodynamics (that actually work)

  • Bright and funky designs

  • Quick and easy visor removal  

  • Emergency Quick Release System 

We don’t like: 

  • Frontal visor locking clip difficult to figure out 

Verdict

So is the Shoei Spirit III my new favourite helmet? Yes, for track and fast riding it’s my go-to. It does exactly what it says on the tin and none of its racey features are for show. They work. Granted, the price of some of its designs might sway people, but if they look custom then £599.99 to £799.99 is somewhat reasonable. And that 5 Star Sharp Rating is nothing to scoff at. 

If you're looking for a race/track-focused helmet that’s practical, safe, stable and looks the business the Spirit III might just be the answer. 

Click here to find out more.

Impressive high-speed stability
Fiddly front visor locking system

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