Shoei Transitions CWR-1 Adaptive Face Shield | SR Tested

Face shield adapts to amount of available light and darkens accordingly

Shoei Transitions CWR-1 Adaptive Face Shield

Carrying a dark or clear shield with you for differing daylight conditions is a hassle for many riders, but the new Transitions adaptive optics face shields are looking to make that a thing of the past. The latest Transitions shield is now being sold by Shoei for its best-selling RF-1200 helmet, and we got the chance to try it out. Utilizing photochromic technology that features a layer inside the shield containing trillions of photochromic molecules, the Transitions face shield actually darkens according to the amount of UV (ultraviolet) light in the environment. This means its tinting actually adapts to the amount of available light, so it's not just all clear or all dark; and that adaptation adjusts continuously as available light changes.

We had the opportunity to test an early prototype of the Transitions shield about 15 years ago, and while it worked well for the most part, it never really got dark enough during bright daylight for our tastes. It appears that development since then has taken big steps forward, as the Transitions face shield for the RF-1200 worked very well, getting dark enough during daylight hours to keep out the glare while adapting just enough during overcast days to maintain good contrast that allowed our depth perception to be at its best. The only drawback is that the change from tint to clear on colder days is slower, so if you ride into a dark tunnel on a bright day, things can be a bit dark for a few seconds. Otherwise we were extremely satisfied with the Transition face shield’s performance, though it is a bit on the pricey side.

Retail: $169.99