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ADV ProductsFirst Look: Shoei Hornet X2 Dual-Sport Helmet

First Look: Shoei Hornet X2 Dual-Sport Helmet

 Shoei's iconic dual-sport helmet gets its first makeover in seven years.

Published on 01.14.2015
The new Shoei Hornet X2 receives major improvements for both street and dirt.

Shoei recently announced the new Hornet X2, the first major update to its popular Hornet Dual-Sport helmet design since it was introduced in 2008. Frankly, it was a long time coming! The new Shoei Hornet had to surpass the versatility and comfort of the previous model, while achieving the high standards of safety and quality Shoei implements in all of their designs. The new Hornet X2 incorporates a long list of updates and refinements designed for the demanding requirements of the dual-sport riding.

Improved Ease and Aerodynamics

Utilizing their own in-house wind tunnel, Shoei painstakingly tested the Hornet X2 in order to “perfect the proper balance between aerodynamics and traditional visor functionality.” With this effort, Shoei has produced a more aerodynamic revised visor, chin bar, face shield and added a number of vents (11 total!).

shoei hornet x2 in white


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The Visor
The V-460 visor has been carefully redesigned in a larger (wedge) shape than the previous one – incorporating prominent vent louvers which aim to reduce “lift and drag” at highway speeds, while feeding air into the upper intake of the helmet to aid cooling. The well directed air flow saves your head from fatigue and extreme wind noise. When necessary, the eyebrow and single visor intakes are all closable. Plus, when the time comes to give the visor a rest, it can be detached (or re-attached) quickly and easily, thanks to a pair of quarter-turn screws that can be manipulated without tools.

The Chin Bar
The Hornet X2’s Chin Bar has been tucked in a little since the first model. There’s a smaller gap, similar to a street helmet, between the chin and the bar. This is one of the key parts of the new X2’s aerodynamic system that gives it a sleeker look. It comes equipped with a large multi-position (and closeable) lower air intake/defroster vent. The vent’s more compact size and added functionality reduces the amount of dust, dirt and other grit that can enter the helmet.

The Face Shield
The Hornet X2 presents the CNS-2 quick-release face shield that can be removed efficiently, without tools. It is 3D injection-molded, offering a distortion-free view, with a thicker more durable gasket. This Pinlock EVO-ready face shield, along with the QR-N base plate, create a tight seal and the supporting ribs increase the rigidness while opening and closing the shield. Best of all, removing the face shield doesn’t require the removal of the visor – even though the visor, too, is quite easy to separate.

Off-Road Performance
Unlike the previous Hornet visor, the X2’s V-460 is sizable enough to thoroughly block the rider’s face from sun and roost. The large air intakes and exhaust outlets utilize negative air pressure to remove hot air efficiently. The face shield offers a wide eye port that gives the wearer an ample view. Not to mention, this has an added amount of ease and comfort for off-road riders that constantly slide on (and off) their goggles. For adventure motorcyclists who seek immediate reconfiguration, the CNS-2 shield’s highest, open position allows them to wear their goggles without the fuss of removing it. Now riders can move through on and off road portions of a route seamlessly.

Shoei Hornet X2 off-road features
A larger visor and reshaped view port for goggles should make the Hornet X2 an excellent off-road performer.

Improved Comfort
The layout of the dual-layer multi-density EPS liner accommodates a more compact design without compromising ventilation. With unrestricted airflow in key areas, this configuration helps to fend off fog, keep craniums cool and provide as much comfort as possible. Made with the Max-Dry System II, the interior quickly absorbs and dissipates sweat and moisture to resist odor and the potential of mold. The cushy ear pads, chin guard, breath guard offer new levels of comfort and the customizable cheek pads are removable, washable and replaceable — which consumers can swap out for free through Shoei’s cheek pad exchange program. There’s also space for speakers behind the ear pads when music or communication is dire.

Latest Shoei Technologies

The Shoei Hornet X2 uses the Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus (AIM+) shell construction that combines fiberglass and organic fibers to ensure a strong, durable and lightweight helmet design. The X2 employs a dual-layer, multi-density EPS liner for impact absorption. A variety of densities are placed precisely in key ares of the helmet to handle the rider’s most precious cargo — their head. The Hornet X2 also incorporates Shoei’s Emergency Quick Release System (ERQS) which aids emergency personnel in removing the helmet following a crash, helping to prevent further neck injury.

Shoei Hornet X2 Availability

Shoei has responded enthusiastically to their devotees (and critics) to create a more balanced on-road/off-road helmet suitable for long-distance touring, blazing a single track trail or finishing the day fast on the freeway. With its improved aerodynamics, comfort, venting and safety systems, the new Shoei Hornet X2 appears to be a worthy successor to the Hornet DS. The Hornet X2 is currently available for pre-order in an array of solid and multi-colored graphic schemes and is expected to ship this February. Sized from XS to XXL, the helmet ranges from $603.99 to $715.99 MSRP and includes a five-year warranty.

Shopping Options:

MotoSport (Solid Colors)MotoSport (Multi-Colored)

Author: Kyra Sacdalan

Kyra is a freelance journalist and author, as well as the co-creator of WESTx1000 a multimedia company that creates content for the adventure community. Conceived in a coin-op laundry room in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, what started as an excuse to ride dirt bikes in Baja has become a portal into the lives of two authors, photographers and cultural anthropologists. Whether they’re documenting the infamous Baja 1000 off-road race, crossing the country on a pair of Indian Scouts, investigating Japan’s eclectic motorcycle culture, or riding their dual-sports from Barstow to Vegas, the idea stays the same…

Author: Kyra Sacdalan
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