What happens when a major player on the worldwide premium helmet market decides to update its flagship model? Take a look at Shoei’s new X-Fourteen – which is all you can do until Spring 2016. Since the X-Fourteen is charged with protecting luminaries of the sport, like Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith, Shoei pulls out all the stops when it comes to helmet performance.
To improve upon the previous X-Twelve, Shoei took its designs to its state-of-the-art wind tunnel to refine the helmet’s aerodynamic profile for more high-speed stability and a reduction in negative forces (think of the pressure pushing from behind your back on a bike with a big windscreen). This testing was carried out in more than the just sit up and ride position of a street rider. Instead, the X-Fourteen has been stabilized in a variety of riding positions that are common in racing. That’s great for both MotoGP riders and track day practitioners. The key feature is the pair of flaps utilized by Shoei’s patent-pending Rear Stabilizer system. These flaps can be swapped out with optional, narrower ones for fine tuning of the aerodynamics to personal preferences. Wind resistance is minimized by ridges on the top of the shell and chin bar. Additionally a Lower Air Spoiler can be mounted below the chin bar to further the stabilization.
To keep the racer cool in the heat of battle, the X-Fourteen utilizes 12 vents to flow cooling wind throughout strategic places on the rider’s head. The six exhaust vents were placed to make maximum use of the negative air pressure behind the helmet to draw hot air away from the rider. An innovative cheek ventilation system actually channels outside air through channels in the EPS liner and holes in the cheek pads themselves. Shoei claims the X-Fourteen’s “ventilation system cools and clears warm, humid air from the rider’s face with great efficiency.” To further the benefits for racers, the X-Fourteen was wind tunnel optimized to give good ventilation – even when in a racing tuck behind a windscreen.
The X-Fourteen’s CWR-F shield incorporates patent-pending Vortex Generators to assist in the helmet’s aerodynamic slipperiness. The shield also utilizes the stabilizing ribs developed for the RF–1200 for rigidity without sacrificing optical clarity. A new, double shield locking system will prevent the shield from opening during a get off. Shoei promises that the redesigned QR-E base plate will make shield changes much easier than before, while offering a windproof/waterproof seal. Finally, the shield offers tearoff and Pinlock mounting points.
The helmet will be produced in four different shell sizes to insure a proper fit for heads ranging from XS-XXL. Inside the shell, the Multi-Density EPS liner tunes the impact absorption according to location on the rider’s head will also providing tunnels for ventilation. The liner system is claimed to dissipate sweat twice as fast as other liners. The liner is also tunable via different sized pads on the cheeks and center for a customizable fit.
Look for the Shoei X-Fourteen in Spring 2016. Although price has not been set, we expect them to be similarly priced to the X-Twelve that preceded them. For more information, visit shoei-helmets.com.