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Shoei RYD Helmet Review – High spec, competitively priced from $599.90

By Kris Hodgson


Shoei’s RYD helmet now offers a great entry-point into the brand’s premium products for the more price conscious and I’ll admit I’ve been won over, as this is the helmet I’d be buying if I needed a new lid tomorrow. To put that into context I’ve been using a Shoei NXR until now, and had a Shoei GT-Air prior to that.

Shoei's entry level option, the RYD helmet is available at a very competitive price-point
Shoei’s entry level option, the RYD helmet is available at a very competitive price-point

Shoei are by no means cutting any corners to offer the RYD helmet either, with a host of features taken from their helmet line, and packed into a super light-weight offering.

Let’s start with the weight, as the RYD is exceptionally light and this is a feature that helps reduce fatigue while riding, promotes comfort and reduces strain at higher speeds, particularly on bikes which offer less wind protection.

Shoei are happy to boast about just how light the RYD is
Shoei are happy to boast about just how light the RYD is – 1315g standard, or 1350g with accessories

This does mean no internal sun visor, while a 5-Layer AIM shell construction helps ensure that low weight, while offering high strength and protection, with four shell sizes on offer.

The visor system comes from the NXR, and takes a CWR-1 shield, which makes for extremely easy visor changes. Just open the visor, press down on the toggle and the fitted visor clicks out on that side – with both sides done it’s free. Then just place your visor at the right angle and push it into place. It couldn’t be easier and can even be done with light gloves on, if you really needed to.

Shoei's entry level option, the RYD helmet is available at a very competitive price-point
The Transitions visor at full tint in direct sun

Plus there’s plenty of options, from tinted visors through to the photochromatic (Transition) visor that I’ve been testing. This is called the CWR-1 Transitions Photochromic Pinlock Shield, and is available separately for $269.95 RRP. It’s a fair bit more than a standard tinted visor, but offers the best of both worlds.

The Transitions visor is basically a visor that reacts to the sun, darkening to suit the conditions. At night it remains clear, giving good night vision, while during the day it’s effective enough to allow you to ride straight towards the sun – which I’ve tested extensively with my regular commute.

The Photochromatic Transitions shield takes the hassle out of carrying two visors, with a single option that changes to suit your riding conditions
The Photochromatic Transitions shield takes the hassle out of carrying two visors, with a single option that changes to suit your riding conditions

There’s not quite the same level of protection from glare and the sun as a Dark Tint visor, which I use on my NXR, and it feels like contrast isn’t quite as good in the same comparison, which is mainly noticeable when you’re keeping an eye out for hidden vehicles in deep shadow off the side of the road.

The Shoei photochromatic Transitions shield
The Shoei photochromatic Transitions shield

This does means lugging around extra visors, worrying about them being scratched or damaged in transit, or having to switch them around. Quick, easy and effective. Pricey, but worthwhile, especially in winter when you’ll probably be riding in full sun on the way to work and full dark on the way home.

Especially if like me you transport them wrapped up carefully and still find they scratch when something else in your bag rubbed at just the right angle…

The Pin-Lock offers fog free performance for better visibility and safety
The Pin-Lock offers fog free performance for better visibility and safety

The RYD also comes standard with a Pinlock EVO film for the standard clear visor and which will fit all CWR-1 visors. It’s as simple as locking the film into place against the inside of the visor using the pins, when the visor is clean and you’ve got the perfect anti-fogging solution that keeps vision to a maximum in all conditions.

If you wear glasses it won’t prevent them fogging up, but it’ll ensure you no longer have to worry about those cool winter mornings and fogging up your visor when you’re stuck at the lights. Yes, you’ll be able to breath normally!

The RYD features removable, washable and replaceable liners, with different size cheek pads also available separately for the perfect fit
The RYD features removable, washable and replaceable liners, with different size cheek pads also available separately for the perfect fit

Another nifty feature is the RYD’s totally removable liners, which are not only washable, but also come in different cheek pad options (which can be purchased separately), so you can further personalise the fit of your RYD helmet. I find this particularly useful, as after a year or two of wearing a helmet daily, it’s nice to be able to just fit all new liners to make it feel like a new helmet. 

The ventilation system is also simple, with a single chin and dual forehead vents, all of which are easily opened and closed with a gloved hand, but aren’t quite as elegant as those found on Shoei’s more expensive helmets, like my NXR. Two rear fixed vents help carry air out of the helmet, and you can feel the airflow at times, which will be a boon when we get back into warmer weather.

The chin vent is easily opened and closed with a gloved hand
The chin vent is easily opened and closed with a gloved hand

Air flow is great overall, so it’s really hard to complain, especially when the RYD is offered at a much lower price-point than the NXR, and weighs almost the same amount at around the 1350g mark. There’s less air-flow than my NXR, but that works in the RYD’s favour.

The NXR in cold weather requires the chin curtain to reduce the level of wind hitting your face under the helmet, the RYD on the other hand has been fine through winter without the chin curtain.

The forehead vents aren't as elegant as on some of Shoei's more premium offerings but get the job done
The forehead vents aren’t as elegant as on some of Shoei’s more premium offerings but get the job done

I didn’t personally find wind-noise an issue either, and don’t normally ride with earplugs, although I did notice on bikes with taller screens the buffeting caused by all the wind being directed away from my chest and straight into the helmet. It’s not really something I notice unless I think about it however, so the level of noise is well within my expectations.

The EQRS, or Emergency Quick Release System also allows for easy removable of the cheek pads by medical personal, in the event of an accident, meaning the RYD helmet can be removed without risking further injury.

The RYD is great value in the solid colours at $599.90 RRP, the matte and metalic options (as tested) are available from $649.90 RRP
The RYD is great value in the solid colours at $599.90 RRP, the matte and metalic options (as tested) are available from $649.90 RRP

Coming in Solid Gloss colours for $599.90 RRP the Shoei RYD helmet is just amazing value if you ask me. Your head is worth the investment, especially for a piece of kit that’ll last up to five years, and there’s Solid Matt/Metallic options available for a small premium – $649.90 RRP. 

I’m running a Matte Deep Grey version at the moment and I have noticed the matte finish is easily marked and not so easily cleaned, with Shoei making no guarantee with the matte finishes. It’s a small criticism though, and one common with that finish. The solid matte colours just make any marks much more obvious than a matte graphic at the end of the day.

Great value, Shoei's trademark quality, protection and comfort - what more could you ask for at this price-point - especially with a Pin-Lock film included with the helmet
Great value, Shoei’s trademark quality, protection and comfort – what more could you ask for at this price-point – especially with a Pin-Lock film included with the helmet

Sizing is XS through to 2XL and is not quite as snug as my NXR, so I’d recommend having one fitted properly if you’re moving from the NXR to the RYD.

At the end of the day, if you’re going to be using a Shoei RYD for three to four years it offers unsurpassed value, with Shoei’s trademark quality, protection and features. It’s light, comfortable and with washable and replaceable liners, a small investment in a year or two in will leave you with a helmet that feels new.

Shoei RYD helmet
The Shoei RYD helmet comes in plenty of colour options and are now available!

For more information see the McLeod Accessories website www.mcleodaccessories.com.au, or visit your local Shoei stockist.