Shoei Hornet X2: A Dual Sport Helmet Review

The Shoei Hornet X2 dual sport helmet takes a step forward.

Shoei Hornet X2 Seeker TC-1 helmet

Hybrid full-face dual sport helmets like Shoei’s Hornet have done a lot to keep the intrepid rider comfortable and protected in a very wide range of conditions.

The new Shoei Hornet X2 helmet ups convenience and versatility in a few big ways. Foremost is the new V-460 visor that’s longer and wider than the one used on the previous Hornet and, due to its size, got louvers added during testing in Shoei’s own motorcycle-size wind-tunnel to help reduce lift and drag. And during straight-ahead high-speed cruise, you aren’t aware the visor is there from an aero perspective. You definitely feel the drag when you turn your head at speed, but in most normal riding conditions your neck won’t be fighting with your head, so to speak.

An adjustable visor angle would be nice, but the X2’s placement is good for blocking low sun. Also, a dip of your head protects your face shield (or face) from roost. But the best feature by far on this dual sport helmet is the visor’s quick-detach nature, thanks to new quarter-turn fasteners and one center thumb-push. The visor comes off in seconds—a great thing on a lengthy street ride...as long as you’ve got room to pack it.

Ventilation is ample with four closable intakes at the front and seven always-open exhausts. But even with the solid, street-style chin bar, it was still breezy in my face up to eye level. Fitting the included chin curtain was a big help. Closing all the vents sealed things up pretty tight on the colder (high-40s) riding days I encountered. Also, on a rocky, off-road single-track climb with the temperature around 80, full-open ventilation was excellent.

The interior liner of this dual sport helmet is easy to remove and offers loads of adjustment. There is even a “cheekpad exchange program” where you can swap these out for best fit at no cost (at Shoei dealers or by mail as long as the pads are in as-new condition). As a rider and volunteer firefighter/EMT, I am glad to see the cheekpad Emergency Quick Release System that allows quick, easy removal of the pads to aid getting the helmet off an injured rider in an emergency.

Ear pockets have removable foam inserts to allow for speaker installation. I fitted a Sena 20S Bluetooth communication system with ease. This is the quietest adventure helmet I've worn, making phone conversation or music listening about as good as it can get in our otherwise windy, noisy environment.

Shoei Hornet X2 Helmet ear pads

The UV-blocking clear CNS-2 face shield is larger to fit the new larger eyeport and also features a no-fog Pinlock EVO insert (tinted shields are also available). In off-road conditions, the shield did not fog. It now attaches with the QR-N baseplate system and can be removed without tools or disturbing the visor. Goggles fit with the shield in place, or you can easily pop off the shield. I always prefer to leave it in place, even on enduro-like off-road adventures, because if the weather turns cold, or you encounter rain or hail or sleet, protecting your face with a closed shield is one of the great luxuries.

In fact, this whole helmet is a great luxury. Fit is excellent, the plush interior is tops and the paint and “Seeker” graphics of our tester were superb. This is my new go-to adventure/dual-sport helmet. It’s all-day comfortable, supremely flexible, and one of the best things to wear on your head when riding almost anywhere.

UPS DOWNS
Shoei Helmets www.shoei-helmets.comPrice: $594.99–$715.99 Sizes: XS-XXL * Snell 2015 and DOT certification in four shell sizes * Removable, washable liner * Easy comm system installation * Hurry up with Transitions light-sensitive face shield * As ever, Pinlock no-fog insert not good for night use * Shoei needs to educate first responders about the great Emergency Quick-Release System cheek pads

Seeker TC-1.

Seeker TC-6.

Seeker TC-8.

Matte Black.

Matte Deep Grey.

Light Silver.

Black.

White.

No shield.

Pinlock EVO Shield and Insert.

Shield open.

Goggles.

Rear view.

Overhead view.

Front view.

Front view (no visor).

Rear view.

Rear view close-up.

Bottom view.

Top view.

Rear vents.

Visor vent.

Front mouth vent.

Ear pads.

Interior pad.

Shield.

Pinlock EVO Shield.

Spectra silver shield.

Dark smoke shield.