Scorpion Helmets Offer Lots of Great Features and Won’t Sting Your Wallet
Scorpion Helmets is one of the newer players in the motorcycle helmet market, but they’re going for the throat. They’ve got some interesting technology in helmets that sell for less than I thought they would.
All Scorpion helmets that have faceshields have a scratch-resistant coating on the outside and a no-fog coating on the inside. The no-fog coating is supposed to last about two years, and I can tell you firsthand, it works. If you breathe directly on the inside of the shield, it simply will not fog up. And I did this to a shield that’s at least two years old and it still doesn’t fog. Wearing it outside in cold weather, however, it did fog up a bit, probably because of the more extreme temperature difference. Although, I would never ride my motorcycle in weather that cold (it was about 10°F while I was snowplowing my driveway with my neighbor’s ATV).
Another feature with their faceshields is their version of the quick-change shield mechanism. All you do is open the shield all the way and turn a stylized knob at the pivot point on either side and the shield comes right off. To put it back on, you just push it into place. It’s one of the better quick-change shield mechanisms I’ve tried and definitely the best looking one I've seen. You don’t see any of the mechanism through the shield like you can on most other brands, although many of them work this well also.
The comfort liner in all Scorpions is removable for washing or replacement. The liner is also made from a moisture wicking material, which keeps your face dry during hot-weather rides. As a test, I put a drop of water on the cheek pad of an HJC CL-15 helmet and it took at least 4 times as long to absorb as the same place on the Scorpion EXO-700 helmet I borrowed from a friend.
Street Helmets: The current flagship model for Scorpion helmets is the EXO-1000 and is the main reason I’m writing this article. I need a new helmet and haven’t bought one for several years, so I gave the Scorpion helmets a look. This is a case of advertising working because I hadn’t even heard of them until I went to the AMA Superbike races at Road America a few years ago and noticed that the 7-time superbike champ Mat Mladin was wearing one of their lids. That didn’t sell me on one, but just made me aware of their existence.
The EXO-1000 has a fiberglass/Kevlar composite shell, and is wind tunnel tested to minimize noise and maximize comfort at speed. I haven’t ridden with one on and noise level is a pretty subjective thing anyway, so I’d just plan to keep using earplugs when I ride. Mat says his EXO-700 is quiet. (I haven't had a chance to ride with my loaner EXO-700 to check it out yet). As I said in other pages, riding a motorcycle is a noisy activity no matter what so protecting your hearing is a smart idea no matter how “quiet” a company says their helmet is.
In addition to the anti-fog coating, there is a breath deflector to further discourage fogging.
But the best two features in the EXO-1000 are the retractable sun visor and the air adjustable cheek pads. The retractable sun visor flips down by flipping a lever on the left side of the helmet, so you don’t need to carry an extra shield or sunglasses with you. Having air adjustable cheek pads seems like a cool idea so your helmet will have a custom fit. There’s an air release button behind the chin bar when you want to take it off.
The loaner helmet I have is the Scorpion EXO-700. It has most of the same features as the 1000, including the breath deflector, slick quick-change shield mechanism, fiberglass/Kevlar composite shell, removable wicking liner and similar vents to maximize airflow and cooling. However, it doesn’t have the retractable sun visor or the air pump for adjusting the fit. But at about $200 for a solid color and $250 for graphics, this is a pretty inexpensive helmet for one packed with a lot of great features.
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