First impressions: Shoei GT Air helmet

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by El Gato, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    This helmet is sounding better and better. The webbikeworld review made it sound like its purpose built for my head:clap

    Thanks again. I may have found my next helmet:freaky
    #21
  2. Bravo21

    Bravo21 Been here awhile

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    I have the GT-Air and love it. It's as close to the perfect helmet for me as I could ask for. I've owned a Shoei Hornet and RF-1100 and this simply out-performs either of those by a long mile. Snug fit, super quiet, and the internal visor of second to none, IMO.
    #22
  3. andrewhtf

    andrewhtf Been here awhile

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    Now this makes me go nuts. I was thinking Caberg Ego should be the one touring helmet thatbfits the bill, but now GT Air is here too. Well, ignore the orice difference, that is.
    #23
  4. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    I knew that if I purchased a signet-Q in Oct/Nov that the GT air would hit the US in a few months and be awesome.

    You can all thank me later.
    #24
  5. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    Thanks ph0rk! :D

    I need to find a GT-Air to try on, as I have a narrow head with a point on the top of my forehead. The Signet-Q is the only lid I can find to replace my aging Profile with that fits me. I'm hoping the GT-Air might work as well, as it's more of what I want in a helmet.

    Alec
    #25
  6. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Another Profile user here. If you pick up a GT Air, can you comment on sizing between the two? It looks like you need to go up a size in this helmet, but as much data as possible would be nice!
    #26
  7. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    As soon as I can, I definitely will!

    I need to stop by the dealer for an inspection sticker, but it would help it is would stop snowing... Hopefully they've started stocking the GT-Air already and I can at least try one on.

    -Alec
    #27
  8. scootertrog

    scootertrog Been here awhile

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    I currently have a medium RF1000 that has been my favorite helmet so far. How does the GT Air fit compared to it? How about air flow (compared to the RF1000)? When shopping for another helmet, I was disappointed with the fit of the Qwest and RF1100, and went with an Arai RX-Q instead. But even that does not fit me as nice as my old RF1000.
    #28
  9. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    I also use a medium RF1000. What size are you wearing in the RX-Q? This is another one on my short list. I posted above that I measured at 58cm/23", but that was from memory. I just got done remeasuring and I'm at 58.6cm/23.1" This puts me almost exactly between a medium and large for both Shoei and Arai. Do you know your noggin' measurement?

    What didn't you like about the Qwest?

    Just to throw another one out there, Arai is coming out with a new one called the "Defiant" which looks very interesting.

    To remain on topic and not thread hijack, some GT Air stuff: I called around and could not find a medium GT Air to try on. I did find a large at the Cycle Gear store in St. Louis, about 125 miles away. I'm reluctant to drive that far unless I can try on both the medium and large.

    Helmets are one thing I'd buy from a local dealer, even at a cost premium, if they stocked them so I could try them on.
    #29
  10. scootertrog

    scootertrog Been here awhile

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    I wear a Medium RX-Q as well. Sorry, I don't know my head measurement. At least with Arai, you can always get thinner or thicker padding and tailor the helmet interior.

    It just felt "stuffy", their attempt to make it a quiet helmet also resulted in less venting. Also, the 2010 Snell rating required that the shell increased in size - but pretty much all helmets with that rating were affected as well. Compare it closely with your RF1000 helmet and you'll see what I mean. The RF1100 felt like it was more oval and created "hot spots". I really wanted to like it but for the money it just was not comfy.

    Yes - I would very much like to check one of these out! I ride a naked bike and the Defiant is being marketed with features that are tailored for riders of nakeds.

    I hear you, but moto dealers in this region of the country are pretty sad when it comes to finding good gear.
    #30
  11. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    Thanks for the info.
    #31
  12. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    Sorry to be "that guy" who has to bear bad news, but... I'm not happy with this helmet.

    Background: I've owned a Shoei Qwest for 1 1/2 years. Size Large hi-viz yellow. LOVED the helmet.

    Fortunately for me, I've lost a lot of weight in that time, but unfortunately for the helmet, the Qwest was now too big on my head, it just wasn't a safe fit for me. Having tried on the Medium Qwest recently I knew that it would fit fine, but I knew that the GT Air was coming out, and the addition of the sun visor is worth its weight in gold (for the *only* complaint I had about the Qwest was its lack of an internal sun visor).

    Well, here's the problem: the GT Air doesn't fit my head! At all.

    Actually, not *technically* true-- the Medium GT Air fits me perfectly... ONCE I get it on. The problem with the helmet is that it's very hard to get on, and nearly impossible to get off. I don't have big jug ears or anything, but the fact that I have ears at all resulted in serious, enduring physical pain getting the Medium GT Air on and off. Just felt like it was ripping the ears right off, I couldn't find a way to maneuver the helmet without hurting me.

    I tried the size Large-- *too* big. Helmet goes on and off fine, but once on my head, it's too big (and larger than my Size Large Shoei Qwest, even after 1 1/2 years of break-in).

    Bottom line: I really, really wanted to love this helmet. If it had been sized and shaped like the Qwest, I would have. Unfortunately, the sizes are just odd-- the Large GT-Air fits larger than the Large Qwest on my head, whereas the Medium GT-Air fits impossibly tighter than the Medium Qwuest on my head. Just couldn't find the sweet spot, daggnabbit.

    P.S. I ultimately ended up addressing the problem a couple weeks ago by replacing my Qwest with a Neotec. I didn't really want a modular, and I certainly would have preferred the price of the GT Air versus the Neotec, but the bottom line is I wanted another Shoei *and* I wanted the internal sun visor, so the Neotec-- which fits my head *precisely* as the Qwest does-- was my best option. It's a nice helmet, not much louder than the Qwest but flows air much better. Still, I wish the GT Air had been for me, it's such a nice helmet! :cry
    #32
  13. El Gato

    El Gato Been here awhile

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    The fact that the Neotec fits you perfectly explains why the GT Air doesn't fit you well. They're on opposite ends of the oval=>round continuum of Shoei helmets.
    #33
  14. Ebnerd

    Ebnerd n00b

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    This could replace my current Arai Profile if it fits me well. Love the integrated visor. Thanks for the review!
    #34
  15. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    Well, there ya go then!

    Like I said, I found the Neotec and the Qwest fit my head identically, or nearly so. The GT Air, however, wasn't the same shape, but interestingly enough, in contrast to most helmet shapes IME (where the *tops* of the helmet fit differently), the shape difference was most pronounced at the *bottom* of the helmet (again, once the GT Air was on my head, it felt quite comfortable. It was just impossible to easily get on and off my head).

    My experience seems to mesh with what Webbikeworld wrote, BTW. Only difference is he had no issues getting his head in and out of that opening. Wish I was so lucky!
    #35
  16. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    Hey levain,

    I haven't picked one up yet, but I did get a chance to try one on today at the local dealer while waiting to get my bike inspected.

    Short short review: it fits me well and will be my next helmet!

    My head and current helmet:
    - I have a mutant head. My shape is long-oval for sure, but I also have a point on the top of my forehead that creates a hot spot in almost any brand of helmet. Arai has been the only brand I've found until now that fits me well.
    - I currently wear a medium Arai Profile. After almost five years and wearing a wind blocker hood under it in cold weather, it's no longer super snug, but still snug enough to be safe. I don't have a hot-spot in it.

    The Arai Signet-Q:
    - I've tried on a medium Arai Signet-Q and it fits about the same as the Profile. I don't know if it's because I've broken in my current Profile, but the Signet-Q I tried does put a little pressure on that point of my forehead. Not much, but I can feel a small hot spot. The Signet-Q fits well enough that it was top of my list for my next helmet. It was also the only helmet on the list...

    The Shoei GT-Air:
    - The Shoei GT-Air in medium fits me at least as well as the Signet-Q. The fit to my head felt the same as a new Signet-Q. I can still feel a small hot spot on that mutant point on my forehead, but its no worse than on the Signet-Q. I may have to use the back of a spoon to compress a small indent into the EPS liner to get rid of that hot spot, or it might break in on its own.
    - The GT-Air's neck roll and bottom of the cheek pads is a much tighter fit than either Arai, in a good way.
    - Because of the better neck and cheek fit, plus the chin curtain, I'm betting the GT-Air will be a better cold weather helmet, and quieter.
    - Is a little harder to take off than either Arai because of the fit, but I'm not in danger of losing my ears as some have reported. I think if you really have a long-oval head shape sizing may be similar to Arai. If you have an intermediate oval or big ears, the bottom of this helmet is narrow enough that you might need to size up. Lots of people have reported that the comfort padding in the GT-Air compresses a little in the first couple weeks of use, loosening the fit up just a tad.

    See if you can find a dealer to try one on. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    Alec
    #36
  17. vintagebob

    vintagebob Been here awhile

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    I noticed the same thing. My Small Qwest fits perfectly. I could not even fit my head in a small GT Air. I ended up buying a Medium GT Air. I notice more wind noise with the GT Air than the Qwest but I'll assume that is because the GT Air does not fit as snug. Love the visor though!

    Is the Neotec as quiet as the Qwest?
    #37
  18. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    It was cold and rainy here today so I made a trip to Gateway BMW in St. Louis to pick up some parts. There is a Cycle Gear store and Donelson's (large Triumph/Ducati/Yamaha dealer with a large stock of accessories) within 6 miles of a Gateway so I visted them all and tried on helmets. All three stores stock a pretty good selection of gear. My last three helmets have been a Shoei RF200, an AGV - don't remember the model, and my current RF1000. All in medium. The 2 Shoeis were very comfortable. The AGV was very comfortable until I took a muli day trip. By the third day the backs of my ears were so tender from pressure on my glasses that I couldn't hardly stand to put it on. Which just goes to show, you really can't tell until you wear a helmet for a few days in a row.

    I only wore each helmet for a few minutes, so FWIW here's my findings:

    GT Air: the medium was tight to put on. Folded my left ear over and it took a lot of fiddling to get it straighened out. Very hard to get my glasses hooked over my ears. It actually didn't feel bad once I got it on, but like others have said, it was pretty much a no go. The large went on ok. Pretty much like any other helmet. Getting the glasses on was still fiddly, but at least I didn't have to straighten out my ear first! The large felt pretty good. If it "breaks in" I'm slightly concerned it could get a little loose. Jury still out.

    Qwest: The medium went on fine. Glasses not a problem. It felt very good - a lot like my RF1000. I liked it a lot in the store.

    Neotec: In medium it felt pretty good. Very plush. Being a modular the glasses slipped right in. This is the first modular I've ever tried on. I'm still not sure I really want a modular, but it felt pretty good.

    RF1100: One dealer recomended it since I like the RF1000. He said he went from a 1000 to the 1100 and loved it. I didn't. It just didn't seem to fit my head as well as the 1000, Qwest, Neotec or Gt Air. The cheek pads in the medium were way too tight. The large was borderline too large. In all fairness I replaced the cheek pads in my RF1000 with thinner ones shortly after I bought it so the medium with thinner pads might be the ticket. Don't know :hmmmmm
    Glasses went in ok.

    Arai RX-Q: It felt good. Really good. Here's the weird thing. It felt like I could wear the medium or the large. The medium was just slightly snugger. Of all the helmets I've ever tried in two different sizes this was the only one where the difference was so slight. I even checked the inside tags to make sure one wasn't mislabled. Glasses went in ok.

    Based on fit in the store, I'd rank them in comfort for my 58.6 cm head as follows:

    1. Arai/Qwest
    2. Neotec
    3. GT Air
    4. RF1100.

    I want to add that the folks at Gateway and Cycle Gear were great. I'm sure the folks at Donelson's would be too (I've dealt with them several times over the years), but they were busy with other customers and I didn't really need any help, so I just wondered around trying stuff on. All good stores. My only crtitcism of any of them, was the overabundance of Bilt gear at the Cycle Gear store. No suprise there I guess. Hope this provides some additional worthwhile data points for those trying to decide.
    #38
  19. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

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    I just picked up my GT Air yesterday and did a quick 125 mile ride with it.

    High quality, perfect fit for my normal Shoei Large sized head. Highly recommend. By far the quietest helmet I've had. Ultra convenient tinted visor insert is such a smart design. The vents work well. Thank you Shoei for designing this comfortable good looking helmet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. zynthaxx

    zynthaxx Been here awhile

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    I too must add to the choir of praise for the GT-Air.
    I was on the fence, choosing between the XR-1100 (European RF-1100) and the GT-Air, for price vs features, and in the end the features won. In my opinion, the fit between the two (size L) is similar, but as others have noted, getting in and out of the Air requires some more planning. It does make the helmet nice and quiet, though.

    Speaking of which: on my first test ride, I had an annoying whistling sound coming from the upper part of the visor when I looked right at speed. It disappeared completely after I used the supplied silicone oil on the rubber seal.

    The shell shape is great at minimizing turbulence, so the helmet buffeting I've had with my old helmet, as a result of my Zero Gravity wind screen/Palmer Brackets combo, is pretty much gone, even when leaning straight into the boundary layer beside the screen in active riding.
    #40