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Shoei GT Air Journey Helmet
Enjoying the ride is what motorcycling is all about and having a helmet that is comfortable and safe is just facilitates that enjoyment. The Shoei GT-Air has been designed from the ground up to be the ultimate all-rounder. With a fully adjustable ventilation system, drop-down internal sun visor, fog-free Pinlock CNS-1 face shield and Shoei’s legendary comfort and quality, the GT-Air has all of the features you need to keep your focus on the road instead of on the discomforts a lesser helmet can cause.
The Shoei GT-Air was developed using wind-tunnel testing at Shoei’s state-of-the-art facility in Japan which lead to an aerodynamically tuned tri-composite shell that mitigates buffeting, as well as wind and road noise. The plush removable liner is comfortable, quiet and removable when you need to wash it. Light, safe and comfortable, the Shoei GT-Air meets and exceeds the needs of contemporary riders, allowing them to enjoy what they love most…the ride.
Aerodynamic Shell Design:
- Aerodynamic properties are maximized through extensive wind tunnel testing and professional riders’ feedback
- Multi-Piece EPS liner enhances impact absorption and ventilation
- Three shell and four EPS liner sizes provide increased fit options that help to comfortably fit most head sizes
- Molded air spoiler reduces drag and lift, as well as diminishes pressure on the rider’s neck while riding at speed
Sun Shield Visor System:
- Built-in QSV-1 sun shield gives riders instant relief from sun glare in one quick motion
- Visor meets ANSI Z80.3-2010 standard for non-prescription eyeglasses
- Large and easy to reach switch activates the 3D injection-molded inner sun shield
- Distortion-free shield blocks 99% of harmful UV rays
- Forehead area of the outer shell is raised slightly to accommodate the internal sun shield, allowing the integrity of the GT-Air’s inner EPS liner to remain intact
- Upper Air Intake Vent is positioned to maximize air volume into the helmet interior
- Large upper intake vent positioned to maximize performance behind wind screens
- Easy to operate large lower intake vent
- Lower air intake/defroster vent reduces shield fogging and increases ventilation
- The rear/neck vents allow for effective air exhaust
- Breath guard and chin curtain included
Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM):
- High performance fiber materials are combined with elastic organic fibers to create a shell structure that is ultra-lightweight, rigid and resilient
- 3-D Max-Dry center pad and multi-layered, polyurethane foam cheek pads
- Chin curtain prevents wind entry and reduces noise
- Cheek pads are replaceable or removable for maintenance
- Eyeglass compatible interior
- E.Q.R.S. (Emergency Quick-Release System) allows emergency medical personnel to easily remove the cheek pads from the helmet of a rider involved in an accident, in turn making the Shoei GT-Air more easily removable
Standard Chin-Strap Clip:
- Neatly secures chin strap
CNS-1 Shield System:
- The CNS-1, three-dimensionally curved shield is both wider and taller than the CX-1V it replaces
- Includes Pinlock Anti-Fog Lens for more coverage of the CNS-1 shield
- Dual-Ridge window bead increases contact with the shield to reduce wind noise
- Scratch-resistant shield coating
- 99.9% protection from harmful UV A&B rays
Note: Due to manufacturer restrictions, Shoei products can only be shipped to addresses within the United States.
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Reviews & Questions
Fit: The neck area of my X-11 went onto my head easier than the GT does. However, the insides of the GT are far more inviting. I have to wiggle it around to unfold my ears after it's on, but once that's done it fits like a glove. I do get a sort of helmet "butt print" on my forehead when I take it off, but it's never uncomfortable when I'm wearing it. I feel like there's almost a bit more room vertically in the GT and the top really fits my head well. The X-11 was great, but it was more harsh feeling. My glasses fit inside this helmet without issue. They're pretty wide, stiff frames, too. If I had slimmer or more flexible frames it would be even easier.
Noise Level: I wear custom ear plugs every time I ride. The GT is pretty quiet. I can hear the air flow, vehicles around me, and the wind. At highway speeds, my pipes are barely part of the soundscape. I'm sure the thicker neck roll and built in chin guard are what does this, but I wore a Wind Jammer on my X-11 all the time. It was probably quieter than it was designed to be. I do find that I can change the sound with a bit of head tilt if I want to, but I'm still experimenting with that and windshield height.
Weight: It's a well-made helmet... with a visor... and plenty of padding. It weighs about what I thought it would. My neck didn't get tired after four hours of riding. I think it'll be fine.
Shape: Who doesn't think this thing was engineered to death? The shape is awesome. Head checks are like nothing's even changing. I like the little duck tail. It's great.
Vision: Holding this up next to my X-11 and my Scorpion, I can tell that the shield is bigger. I had a pinlock visor on my X-11 when I rode from Houston to DC. I swore I'd never have another helmet without that system. It's fantabulous. I didn't realize (maybe it's new) that the pinlock visor only lets in 80% of available light. It says not to use it at night right on the packaging. I think this is ridiculous. If you sell me a helmet with a visor that's not supposed to be used at night, what am I supposed to do? I don't notice any diminished vision at night anyway, but I have to ask why either company (PL or Shoei) would make this situation the default. i will continue to ride late into the night with the pinlock shield on there, and not think about it. It really makes no difference. If you're worried about it, stop worrying. I just thought it was odd that the safety manual says don't use this in the dark. The flip-down tinted shield, however, is AWESOME!!!!! It may not be the darkest smoke available, but it was great in the Texas sunshine last weekend for hours. I got to wear my normal glasses (better setup than my prescription sunglasses), and didn't have to worry about carrying anything extra for that.
Overall: You can see my rating. I've been waiting to buy a new helmet and was going to get a scorpion EXO-1100 for the visor. I'm sure I could have been happy with that Scorpion, and will probably get one for my wife, but I'm glad I went with the Shoei. The optics in the flip-down are great, the pinlock system is great. It's got a noticeably larger field of view. PLUS when I showed my wife the red/white/blue graphic, she said, "There's something cool about that one. Is that what you're gonna get?" ..... It feels sort of throw-back theme colors to me. I was going to just get silver like my X-11. Everyone that sees it wants to touch it. The paint looks great. I wish the little silver stickers were really reflective, but I'm sure I'll find a way to do something about that.
I love this helmet. If you have the cash, fit a Shoei, and want enough air flow to feel your hair blowing around inside your helmet (seriously, I could feel it moving). Get this thing!
Let's start with the internal sun visor. All of the reviews I was reading were leading to the Shoei GT-Air being the top of the line as far as functionality with the sun visor system, and as soon as I tried it on I could easily see why. The cable lever system feels extremely solid and is easy to use even with my gloves on. Once it is down, it's like putting on your best pair of sun glasses in terms of blocking out the sun. Eye strain is non-existent once you lower your sun visor, and the coverage is better than any other helmet I tried on (and I went to a LOT of powersports places testing these).
Now onto the pinlock system. This was one of the factors that convinced me the price was worth it. If I was to buy a different internal sun visor helmet and then buy the pinlock visor and the pinlock insert, the price difference becomes a smaller gap than before. In terms of functionality, you literally can't fog the visor up. No matter what the temperature, humidity, or time of day, this visor will not fog. I tried breathing hard into it, even while still, to put it to the test, and it passed with flying colors. Best of all, the pinlock visor and insert on this helmet are so wide that you don't even notice it in your field of view.
Ventilation and air flow, another one of the things I boast about with this helmet. When I am riding, and I have the chin vent open, it as if I am not even wearing a helmet. There is no breathe coming back in my face, and it's just like being outside the helmet breathing in an endless intake of fresh air. Opening the top and rear vents keeps your head cool even in very hot weather. I could feel the "mohawk" effect that people spoke of...you can feel the air start at your forehead and swoop over your head and out the back. This helmet is unbelievably quiet compared to others that I've worn on rides too. There is a slight whistling (at higher speeds) at one head angle with the top vent, but this is easily corrected with a slight (few degrees) tilt of your head. Last point with the vent system, and another one of the factors that pushed me toward this helmet, is how easily the vents are open and closed. With only 3 large slides to worry about, it's a "breeze" (had to...) to position them to open/half/close, even with gloves on. Never have I had any trouble finding the vents or positioning them to the desired lock while riding, it all takes seconds to do.
To conclude this review, I will mention a few other things I like about the Shoei GT-Air Journey. The style is beautiful for me, I bought the black Journey helmet, and I get compliments on the looks all the time, and best of all, I am in love with the way it looks. The lines and art contour the natural shape of the helmet perfectly and they compliment each other exceptionally well. Speaking of the shape, the engineers did superb on this one. At very high speeds, and any speed for that matter, I feel like a jet streamlining through the air...my head feels like a hot knife cutting through butter, with no pushing around. Even head checking feels smooth and solid. The only thing that worried me at first was how tight it felt around my ears when I first put this helmet on. I thought I was going to need to go up a size, even though I measured myself and had others do it for me many times over before purchasing. However, it has broken in to where when the helmet is actually on me, it feels PERFECTLY fit to my head. It is still very tight coming on and off, especially on my ears, but it is temporary only to taking off and putting on. All in all, I am in love with my purchase and feel that the Shoei GT-Air is fully worth the asking price. I would, and do, recommend this product to anyone looking for all these features packed into one amazing helmet.
On that note, yes this helmet makes no wind noise while riding at any speed, and due to how the neck padding comes down more, keeps the helmet quiet. (Always wear earplugs!) It is drastically quieter than my HJC IS-MAX, ventilation is greatly improved. The double seal around the visor, along with the spring load tension keep wind noise and vibration from appearing at any sane speeds I've been at.
At first it was tight, too tight, I had to get the GT-Air 31. MM replacement cheek pads. After I loaded these in, fitment was better, but still slightly tight. Riding for a couple hours made the helmet fit better. And the more I ride the better the fitment gets. Helmet is just so much more comfy than my HJC. The padding is fully removable and washable too!
Top Notch! Nothing was loose when I got it, Visor movement is just a bit tough, that will ease as the visor action wears in. Smooth movement from all the vents and drop down shade. Visor vision is crystal clear and no distortion. Same with the interior drop down shade. As was mentioned earlier, no vibration from anything at speed. This is a huge plus! Paint/sticker and clear-coat are fantastic in quality.
Graphically the GT-Air Journey appealed to me the most. I wanted as much white on my helmet as possible with just a splash of color design. To each there own.
The included breath guard is near useless if you have the chin guard in place. I used the included pinlock anti-fogging kit and it is amazing, I had it on my HJC and it works the same, you simply cannot fog this setup!
Any Other Issues of Note:
1. while wearing thick warm gloves, finding and actuating the interior slider is difficult.
2. Again with thick gloves, hard to open and close the visor, and snapping into the lock down position is even more difficult. I have found just to push down on the top of the visor works to get it to snap into position. Hopefully this will wear into play better.
3. as mentioned in a lot of reviews, the button snap for the extra chin strap is placed very high, hard to find at first, but you get used to it, and actually keeps the strap more out of the way from my jacket neck.
4. Had to pay extra to get the smaller cheek pads. I bought the helmet over Christmas 2013 and didn't try it out until March 2014, negating the 30 day (free) exchange on the cheek pads.
I've been riding for a little over 16 years now and have ridden almost exusively with Shoei helmets the entire time (RF800 - RF1000 - RF1100.) they simply fit me the best (oval/long oval.)
The basics: The usual outstanding Shoei fit and finish. Show quality paint job, good double walled seals, solid latches, comfy interior.
The GT-Air ups the ante over the RF1100 and the newer 1200 with a built in drop down visor with little to no added weight. Add to that a pin lock visor as standard equipment.
I wear glasses, and the interior dimensions of the helmet allow me to remove/don them with no pinchpoints or irritation.
The liner is (as usual with Shoei) very comfortable and easily removable for cleaning. Their are no places inside the helmet where my substantial cranium touches hard plastic, even with the fully removable liner. And that's saying something - my head is like Sputnik (if anyone reading this is old enough to catch that reference, bravo.)
Airflow and noise are both above average to very good. I wear cheapo foam earplugs, so noise is rarely a problem.
The venting is much easier to manage than the 47 individual vents that the RF1100 had (okay, it had 9. But still, that's like 7 too many) with 2 vents. One in the chinbar area and one on the top rear of the helmet. Both vents are multi position, and neither have exposed fasteners. (Exposed fasteners = whistling.)
Head checks are good at speed, and the visor stays locked. For a little bit more security at stupid fast speeds, look to the X12. But the two helmets are for two different purposes anyway. The GT-Air is a very very good "street/sport" helmet. The X12 is a race helmet.
I have a J&M Integrator IV for Rider2Rider comms ( With a Motorola talkabout walkie talkie, FM radio, IPod integration, and rider/passenger intercom as well) and about the only negative thing I can say about the GT-Air is that the speaker pockets are too shallow for the high fidelity J&M speakers. Oh woe is me, I had to buy normal fidelity speakers instead.
All in all a gorgeous, great fitting, comfortable helmet with great visibility and good airflow. My girlfriend has already requested her own when the time comes.
My head measurement - 21.75"
I read that this helmet ran a little small, which it does, so I got a medium, but I think a small would have fit me more properly. It still fits more snug that my N85 (size medium) though.
Much lighter than my Nolan and I can shoulder check without feeling like my head is going to come off from wind.
I can't believe how much air flow this helmet offers. I can feel the immediate air flow through the back of my occipital which I couldn't before. The design of the vents are amazing since I can open/close with minimal effort while wearing gloves.
I ride a Harley Sportster with after market exhaust, so it's pretty loud. I would get the occasional ringing in the ears with my N85. After riding with this helmet, oh my goodness! What a difference it makes! Much quieter and I can definitely tell the difference because my exhaust tone went down a few decibels!
To sum it up - when I pick up my Nolan, it squeaks. When I pick up the Shoei, it's silent and ready to take on the wind.
My riding conditions have been 49 deg. F to 90 deg. F and the helmet has been fine. Around 50 degrees, I just close the vents and my head feels nice and toasty. At 65 degrees or up, I just open the vents and more riding I go. Wind buffeting is much better with this helmet (maybe because it's smaller).
Overall, I really like this helmet. All the functions advertised by Shoei are true to their words and I'm glad I chose this helmet as my guilty pleasures helmet.
NOTE: I would put on 3 coats of Klasse or Zano to protect the cool graphic design from bugs and construction debris.
The venting is top notch, but I may not be the best person to comment on that since I shave my head, so even a little flow will be felt to a higher degree since my nugget is exposed.
The pinlock system is a snap and since it comes in the box, you don't feel ripped off on models that require a separate purchase. Being in Minnesota you can expect the shield to fog, so I tested it without... foggy, and then again with... Fogless! Perfectly brilliant!
The price is on par for a helmet of this quality, and feel it was well worth the investment. Cheaper helmets will yield to stiff pressure with your hands on either side, but not with this one. It's rigid, yet comfortable.
The bottom line is that if you want to protect your head, leave your shades at home and have a breezy, quiet shell, look no further!
i also love the graphics on this journey. thank you
Unless you are removing them to repaint the helmet and intend to reinstall them immediately after, this is an I'll advised and potentially life threatening move, in, what would appear to be, the name of vanity.
These stickers instruct any emergency personnel who might come to your aid (likely when you are unconscious or at least, very dazed), on the removal of your cheekpads from the outside, prior to attempting helmet removal.
This is an important safety feature which could save your neck/life, by minimizing the chance of further spinal injury while struggling to remove a snug-fitting helmet.
Any minor aesthetic benefit from the sticker's removal, is far outweighed by the increased safety afforded by the ability to remove the helmet with minimum torque applied to the rider's neck… safety, ostensibly, being the reason for spending over $600 on a helmet in the first place!
Remember: Stupid Hurts!
Have shortlisted between the Shoei GT Air and the Shark Speed-R. Can't make a decision between the two and need some thoughts or advice, especially from those that have used both, and on a naked bike? Many thanks.
M = 22 1/2 - 22 7/8
L = 23 1/4 - 23 5/8
I'm between the two sizes, closer to M.
I guess my question is while I didn't get a headache, I did feel a little 'dizzy' perhaps, making me think I might be cutting off some blood flow to my brain : - )
I know they are supposed to 'break in' after a while but my fear is I'll decide it's just too tight and I won't have enough time to return it in the 30 days.
Does anyone else have a 23" noggin and if so what size did you get?
I know this might not be the answer you're looking for but look at it this way. At $600, that's a lot of money to "wait and see" if you'll get that 1/8 - 3/4" to get to your size of 23". I know this is a lovely helmet and I would have a hard time letting it go if I were in your position (I'd be tempted to take the chance too, believe me!). I'd look a one size up or maybe looking a different brand (I know, it's easy for me to say since mine fits). But seriously, it IS $600 and it IS your blood circulation we're talking about here. I really hope this helps you in any way and good luck to you.