Shoei releases X-Fourteen racing helmet
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Posted by: Wes Fleming
Updated on 2 November with pricing information.
If you haven’t heard of Marc Marquez, you just might be living under a rock. Of course, if you’re not paying the least bit of attention to professional motorcycle racing, that would explain it. Marquez is one of the most exciting young riders in the MotoGP circuit, with two straight MotoGP championships (2013, 2014) coming from 24 wins (38 podium finishes) in 53 starts. Before MotoGP, he raced Moto2 and won the championship in 2012.
The point in relating Marquez’s bonafides is this: when a man who relies on winning races by milliseconds looks to a brand like Shoei to help him shave time off his laps, there’s a reason for it. Shoei believes its new X-Fourteen will give Marquez – and any other racer that uses one – an edge on the track.
Shoei is a premium helmet brand, with quality, history and cost to back up that assertion. Racers and sport riders have used X series helmets for years, and the X-Fourteen is the culmination of Shoei’s technical expertise and reams of data from wind tunnels and riders.
The tip of the X-Fourteen iceberg is four degrees – a new, customizable comfort liner (3D Max-Dry Custom Interior System) that allows the rider to adjust the angle of the helmet by up to four degrees, thereby increasing the upper field of vision when in an extreme racing tuck. This system is so unique that Shoei decided to seek a patent for it. Shoei says its new liner system holds the rider’s head firmly while providing a fit comfortable enough to facilitate distraction-free high-speed riding. The rider can replace each section of the center pad with pads of other thicknesses to completely customize the helmet’s fit.
Strategically placed ridges on the chin bar and top of the helmet maximize high-speed stability. The new shell shape features a redesigned rear stabilizer (with replaceable flaps to further customize the helmet’s aerodynamic profile to the individual rider) and a removable air spoiler for the chin bar as well.
Shoei is beyond just fine-tuning the aerodynamic characteristics of the multi-ply AIM+ outer shell, which combines fiberglass and lightweight organic fibers. Perhaps the most interesting new feature of the X-Fourteen is its updated ventilation system, which includes a vent that drives fresh air through the cheek pads, helping to keep the rider’s face cool and dry under hot, stressful conditions.
Rounding out the X-Fourteen’s features are the new CWR-F racing face shield (and its QR-E base plate), the dual-layer/multi-density expanded polystyrene* (EPS) liner and the cheek pad emergency quick-release system (EQRS). Shoei designed the EQRS to help emergency medical personnel get a helmet off a downed rider quickly and without creating unnecessary strain in the rider’s neck; a red tab on each cheek pad enables its removal to facilitate medical attention.
The CWR-F face shield and QR-E base plate combine to give an improved, distortion-free field of view to the rider, and the shield features patent-pending Vortex Generators along its rear edges to reduce air friction and improve air flow overall. Special ribs along the top and bottom of the shield increase its rigidity, preventing high-speed riding from causing any bending of the shield. Equipped with both Pinlock posts and posts for mounting tear-offs, the X-Fourteen’s face shield is ready for any kind of weather, too.
Whether you’re dicing it up on the MotoGP circuit with Marc Marquez, running with the bulls at your local track day or just enjoying the benefits of a high-tech helmet, the X-Fourteen is Shoei’s newest helmet made to enable your riding dreams and keep you safe while achieving them.
As of this writing (late October 2015), Shoei has not released pricing data, but expect the X-Fourteen to price at or above the cost of their last-generation racing helmet, the X-12. The X-12’s MSRP for solid colors is $682 (street price $525); graphic-adorned examples have MSRPs above $800 and tend to street for around $600.
On 2 November 2015, Shoei released pricing information for the X-Fourteen:
- Solid (black, white) - $681.99
- Metallic or matte - $692.99
- Graphics - $807.99
- Race replica - $839.99
For more information, see Shoei's X-Fourteen web page.
* EPS is often misidentified as extruded polystyrene, which is abbreviated XPS. There’s a lot of science behind the differences between these two types of polystyrene, but the short strokes are that EPS costs less than XPS and in most applications, functions better in most aspects.