The Shoei RF-1200 Helmet Does Everything You Want and Need, and Then Adds Some More

Comfortable, aerodynamic, well-ventilated, great visibility—and all the gimmicky add-ons actually work.

byEdouard Portelette|
Accessories photo

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The first helmet I ever owned when I started riding my Suzuki Bandit 400 in 1992 was a black Shoei, and I've been a big fan of the brand ever since. And yet I realized, surprisingly, I hadn’t tried one in almost 10 years. So I started this review curious and eager to see how these helmets have evolved.

I wasn’t disappointed. The top-of-the-line street-oriented RF-1200 helmet is amazing: light (the lightest of Shoei's Snell-certified full-face line up, in fact), comfortable, and featuring fantastic airflow and good ventilation.

Shoei calls it the “pinnacle of helmet performance and technology” and I have to agree.

Aerodynamics are industry-best. My other helmet, much less aerodynamically designed, makes me feel the wind above 70mph; not the case with the RF-1200. Really impressive. My head stayed steady even at high speeds, and with very little noise to boot.

The CWR-1 shield provides a very wide field of vision, comparable to what a non-helmeted riding experience would be. I also tested the photochromic lens (or as Shoei calls it, its Transitions adaptive shield). Manufacturers' past attempts at this concept—a lens that darkens when the light gets brighter—have received mixed reviews in the past. This one works exactly as advertised, and quickly, too. It turned back to translucent in just a few seconds when I entered a tunnel, for example.

The regular set-up fogged a bit when stopped at a red light. The fog would quickly go away within the first few yards of riding—another testament to the great ventilation. This was all resolved once I installed the Pinlock evo fog-resistant system.


The helmet received the DOT and Snell certification. And in case of an accident, Emergency Quick Release System cheek pads can be quickly removed by simply pulling on the red tabs.

The helmet comes in 7 sizes (XS to XXL), fits true to size, and is easy to put on and take off if sized correctly. There are 35 colors to choose from, from your standard black or grey to more elaborate Marquez designs.

MSRP: $485.99 - $626.99