Introduced in late 2013, the Shoei RF-1200 raised the bar for what to expect from a premium helmet, becoming the helmet of choice for many riders and the yardstick by which new competitors are judged. Its intermediate oval fit appears to be comfortable for most riders who try it, it was one of the lightest helmets available for years, it helped introduce Pinlock face masks and speaker cutouts for communication systems as standard features, and more recently, was one of the first to offer a Transitions photochromic visor. It feels premium despite debuting and holding a price tag of less than $ 500.
Hardcore RevZilla customers may already know that it led our Helmet Gear Guides for three years in a row as one of our picks for the best helmets of the year. Even after he disappeared from the guide as an official choice, he was often referred to as the main resource for many Zillans.
And despite all the new helmets we’ve seen released over the past seven years, it’s still one of the best-selling helmets every year. So how is Shoei expected to update and replace such a legendary cap? Very carefully. The change is here, however, in the form of the RF-1400. After a few days of testing, here are the top five changes I have found with the new Shoei RF-1400.
Weight: shoei rf 1400. shoei rf 1200
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: the RF-1400 gained weight over its predecessor. The new helmet tips the scales at three pounds, nine ounces on a medium, three ounces heavier than the RF-1200 at the same size. Shoei claims that the weight comes from the increased thickness of the EPS (the protective foam in a helmet that compresses and keeps your noodle safe in a crash) on the sides of the helmet. This also creates a tighter fit on the helmet cheeks, which we will cover in the next section.
Shoei did an excellent job improving the aerodynamics of the shell so it doesn’t feel heavier in motion as there appears to be less wind resistance. That said, while I don’t think the average rider will notice the added weight, they will immediately notice that tighter fit on the cheeks.
Fit: shoei rf-1400
One of the most common questions we get at RevZilla is from people asking us what a helmet is supposed to look like. While I don’t want to go too deep into that topic here (we have a helmet size guide for that), I do want to emphasize that a helmet should fit as snug as possible without being uncomfortable.
This new fit maintains the intermediate oval design around the crown of the head that was so popular with the RF-1200, but improves the fit around the jaw. RevZilla gear expert Pat McHugh said it feels more contoured and comfortable for him. For me, I feel like it offers more support at high speeds. Stay in place. Brandon Wise, who arguably has the longest riding time with this new model yet, says he definitely feels more comfortable when putting on or taking off his helmet, something that will definitely show coming from an RF-1200. However, once you put it on, it is more comfortable on longer trips. He also noted that it helps create a better seal around the neck, reducing noise.
noise: shoei rf1400
Ultimately, this is the hardest category to discuss about a helmet. Noise is extremely subjective and when manufacturers test their caps, most of the time it is done in a wind tunnel with no external elements like your motorcycle’s specific windshield or tractor-trailer burning beside you on the highway. So feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but we didn’t find the RF-1400 to be quieter than the RF-1200. I would like to point out that installing the chin skirt (the little piece of material that goes under the chin) helps a little to reduce road noise. This is an important note because Shoei has designed this helmet to seal in as much of the wind from below as possible. And the chin skirt is responsible for much of that. Personally, I hate a chin skirt. I feel like it usually ends up making it harder to get in and out of the helmet. Ultimately though, if you want the quietest cap possible (road noise doesn’t bother me), you’ll want to make sure you use this.
Brandon also noticed a hiss when testing one of our samples. In the end, he found out that part of it came from …