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Shoei GT Air II Helmet

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MotoNews

Published in: Gear

SHOEI-2019_GT-Air-II-6489INTRO.jpg

Back in the spring of 2019, Shoei launched their updated version of the GT Air and simply called it the GT Air II. So, what are the worthwhile features from this latest rendition? I’ll share with you my findings after a month of almost daily riding to help you decide if it’s worth acquiring this updated lid.

SHOEI 2019 GT Air II 6489 900BODY

The biggest new feature is the option to purchase the integrated Sena SRL2 communications system, an option that fits nicely with the aesthetics of this helmet, giving it a sleek appearance, thus aiding in the overall quietness. Sena partnered with Shoei on at least one other helmet (the Neotec 2) that fits and functions as one unit with the helmet.

SRL2 05 900BODY

Another new feature is the securing mechanism. At times I’ve put on my gloves BEFORE donning my helmet only to realize there was no way to secure the double-D strap. However, with the new micro-ratchet chin strap, it’s easy to work with the gloves ON. The chin strap is also padded, a creature feature that isn’t always present with today’s helmets.

To keep your faceshield from fogging, Shoei uses the Pinlock system to secure an anti-fog membrane which works incredibly well. I tried using the helmet without it and it fogged up rather quickly when at a standstill, even with the new “first position” faceshield opening groove opened. With the Pinlock membrane installed, I purposely tried to fog up the faceshield to no avail. Due to Shoei relying on this device, I also noticed a slight lack of ventilation. I’d sometimes have to lift the clear polycarbonate face shield to get ample fresh air to breathe. With only one avenue of air to get into the front muzzle area, I found it a bit restrictive with the faceshield closed. That said, there is a closable efficient air intake scoop on top of the helmet which aids in keeping the upper and back portion of the head cool. This is matched with two passive exhaust vents at the rear of the lid. The faceshield does have many notched opened positions allowing you to easily control the amount of airflow directly to your face, whereby other helmet manufacturers might only have one or two.

As far as perceived noise, Shoei has obviously worked hard to create the quiet interior. I believe this was achieved with the improved aerodynamics of this helmet, chin bar air spoiler, airtight window beading and the acoustic absorbing inner material within the cushy protective multi-density foam. Speaking of foam, the 3D Max-Dry material is fully removable, washable and adjustable. It felt like a comfortable cradle around my jaw line, face and head in general. With the shell available in three different sizes and fitment from XS−XXL, it’s almost guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

The internal, distortion-free sun shield worked as advertised. It was easy to deploy and retract with one gloved finger, providing 99% relief from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Another feature you will notice is the EQRS (Emergency Quick Release System); prevalent in all the newer helmets. It aids first responders in removing the helmet lessening the possibility of spine trauma in the event of a crash.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhTzEg1fYsY

One observation that sticks out is when looking out towards the horizontal edges of the helmet, in line with my temples, I was distracted by the rounded edge of the anti-fog membrane causing me to second guess what I was seeing. Maybe over time I will get used to this.

As far as colors and graphics, there are 18 different color/graphics combos to choose from and they will all come with a five-year warranty.

Overall, I think the 3 lb.11oz. Japanese-built GT Air II helmet has improved with the new aerodynamic shape, ability to use the seamless Sena SRL2 comm system, and the newly designed strap-ratchet system to secure it on your head. Nice improvements you’d expect from this new rendition of the DOT-approved Shoei lid. But if these features don’t tickle your fancy and you deem them non-essential, then the 1st Gen. GT Air is still currently available for just over $400 at most online helmet shops.

MSRP: $599−$699

Shoei.com

PROS:

  •  Integrated Sena comm system option
  •  Included Pinlock anti-fog device that works well
  •  One of the quiet ones

CONS:

  •  Mediocre venting when stopped
  •  A bit expensive for a non-modular lid
  •  Field of view is distorted along either flank of the helmet when the anti-fog membrane is in use
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