Super Hero Look, All Star Performance
Location: Texas = Hot & Sunny
I bought the Gold Spectra CW-1 for my Shoei RF1100 flat black helmet. The reason I bought this particular one was two fold: first, the spectra reflective coating will keep my face cooler, and secondly, because of the looks... it's just flat out awesome looking! Plus, my bike is a deep yellow, so it compliments it nicely.
This is more expensive than a regular smoke lens, but you have to justify the difference yourself. For me, it was the looks... not because of being vain, but it's just different, and different gets you noticed, and being noticed keeps you alive!!
Performance: The tint level is similar to my Ray-Ban sunglasses but not as dark as my dark Oakley's. In Texas, the sun can be intense. While I haven't had to wear sunglasses underneath, I do end up squinting a bit, but not uncomfortably. On occasion because of the intensity, there is a bit of glare back on the inside of the lens... again, not horribly noticeable. The fit onto my helmet required two tries. The first time I didn't read the instructions, but did the job. On my first ride I had a bit of a whistle, so before I adjusted the tension, I read the instructions and did the install again and it worked perfectly. Perfect seal!
Day vs Night Time Riding: This is the big issue for most visors... do I need to carry two visors? For me... No. The tint on this Gold Spectra is dark enough to keep me comfortable during the day, absolutely perfect on a slightly cloudy day, and not dark enough to hinder my riding at night. Now, keep in mind, I'm riding in city / suburban areas, so there is typically ambient light to help illuminate the road, but the visor is perfectly fine. In fact, the day I wrote this review I rode to work on a dark overcast morning and it was absolutely fine... no concerns what so ever.
Issues: Fogging... not a big issue, but I have noticed on cool mornings, it tends to fog quickly when stopped. I may try some divers anti-fog spray, but in reality, this isn't a show-stopper. Yes, I'd love for it not to fog, but I'd also love for it to automatically transition to clear also, but the technology isn't quite there yet. Yes, I know there is a transitions lens coming out for the CW-1, which is what I was waiting on, but they keep delaying it... it's been delayed for over a year, so I decided to get this one and stop waiting. Now, the only other issue is the tint level. I'm even debating as I write this to whether it is really an issue. Because, the tint level right now is perfect for daytime riding and can accommodate night time riding. But, I'd like it a bit darker for daytime, but then that would probably mean I'd need a clear lens for night... so you decide.
Cleaning: One original concern I read about was durability... people say the iridium finish scratches. I don't know about that yet... I store my helmet in the Shoei helmet bag and am not rough with it. It's taken many bugs to the face and cleanings, but looks brand new. I clean it using the Honda Pro Spray & Wax Cleaner that I use on my bike. It lifts the dirt and buffs to a perfect reflective shine.
Verdict: This is a great shield. The gold spectra is just awesome. It keeps it dark enough for day and light enough for night. And the other thing... it's noticeable. Not just noticeable but super hero noticeable... like an astronaut!! I ride a Can Am Spyder so people already think it's a Transformer, but adding this visor just completes the package of awesomeness!!