The Shoei RYD full face helmet review


Review of the Shoei RYD full face crash helmet (Shoei RF-SR in the US)

The RYD is Shoei’s full face street helmet, designed to look both sleek and minimalist.

It’s also designed to be a jack of all trades – Shoei say it’s suitable for short street rides or long tours – it’s also designed to be quiet, stable and aggressive/mean-looking.

I’m not too sure about that last point, but let’s take a look over the Shoei RYD and find out what it’s good (or not so good) at…

  • Full face street helmet
  • SHARP 5 star safety rated (maximum)
  • 4 shell sizes
  • AIM+ shell (usually scores well for safety)
  • Snell certified
  • Emergency quick release system
  • Pinlock-ready (Pinlock not included)
  • D-Ring fastener
  • Great ventilation
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Expect to pay around £300
Plain old solid blue version of the Shoei RYD. Expect a few more variants before it hits the shelves in Spring 2017


First onto the helmet shell.

The RYD is made with Shoei’s AIM+ tech (that’s Advanced Integrated Matrix plus). That’s a composite of 5 layers of fibreglass and organic fibres that Shoei say makes for a tough, strong and ‘elastic’ helmet.

As usual Shoei don’t actually tell us what the organic fibres are (cotton wool? straw??) but I guess that’s Shoei’s trade secret.

What I do know is that AIM+ has been a top performer in the safety stakes for a few years now.

Of the five Shoei AIM+ helmets launched so far – including their top-of-the-range X Spirit III race helmet (though that’s a 6 layer composite) – four have scored SHARP‘s maximum five star safety rating. Which is obviously awesome.

As far as the RYD’s safety’s concerned, SHARP have now got their hands on the RYD and have given it a maximum 5 stars for safety! So if you’re after one of the safest helmets for your noggin, then you can probably trust the RYD as much as any helmet on the market.

Other good stuff on the safety front is that the RYD is made in four shell sizes. That’s great news because it means you’ll not be carrying around more helmet than you need to – that’s got both looks and safety implications (the bigger the helmet, the higher the inertia in an accident). It also means you should have the right proportion of shock absorbing EPS to helmet shell, and not have a helmet that’s over- or under-padded to make it fit.

Rear view showing exhaust vents and, underneath, red EQRS tabs

Shoei have also added EQRS into the mix – that’s the emergency quick release system to you and me. Pull those red tags at the bottom of the helmet and it’s designed to pull the cheek pads straight out the bottom of the helmet, making for easier helmet removal in an accident.

EQRS is becoming increasingly common in crash helmets these days, which will hopefully mean ambulance staff and paramedics are starting to use it more and more leading to fewer neck injuries when the helmet’s removed. So that’s a great addition.

And finally… it’s got Shoei’s usual multi-density polystyrene shock absorbing (EPS) liner. Multi density is good as it’s needed to help absorb both big and little shocks that come with an accident, and give a progressive level of deceleration.

So all in all, it sounds like Shoei have got helmet safety covered.

And all this box-checking detail aside, Shoei have an excellent reputation for making some great performing and safe crash hats so we’d expect the RYD to be just the same.

Helmet Noise

Uncluttered and, dare we say it, basic? Supposed to be a slippery shape though…

Shoei has been hard at work tuning that fine balance between ventilation and noise ingress – put more vents in a helmet and it’s not just air that gets in!

And Shoei do mention reduced noise in their marketing bumf, so we had high hopes for the RYD.

So how does the RYD perform in the real world?

Well, as usual, there’s a range of opinions out there.

A couple of owners said it was the quietest helmet they’ve owned: one guy on a sportsbike said there’s minimal noise coming through, another guy on an MT07 said it’s about average – and a couple of owners saying there’s quite a bit of noise gets in from the rear of the helmet, which is unusual.

Taking all opinions we came across into account, it seems like the RYD is somewhere between average and quiet – but as usual, it depends on the type of motorbike you ride and a number of other factors (style of riding, previous helmet noise etc. etc.)

So if owning a quiet helmet is important to you, you might want to check out our Quietest Helmets pages.


There doesn’t look to be much special/novel at first glance.

All vents are operated by sliders and there’s a single chin vent and dual forehead vents – with a couple of rear exhausts just under the mini rear spoiler (which can’t be closed).

They’re all made out of durable plastic and are easy to operate in gloves.

Shoei say the black plastic has been chosen to look aggressive, so maybe the forehead vents are designed to look a bit like frowny eyebrows?

Whatever, owners of the Shoei RYD reckon the ventilation is excellent. One owner even said it’s pretty much perfect – with the rest we came across saying it’s great.

Good job Shoei!


The RYD will come with a standard clear visor but there’s no drop down sun visor included, which is a shame.

The RYD uses Shoei’s CWR-1 visor shape though – that’s a visor that’s used on a few of their other helmets which should mean there’s plenty of replacements available – and it also means there’s Shoei’s Transitions photochromic visor available for it, though they’re not cheap.

There’s Shoei’s usual quick-change visor locking mechanism on there too – that’s easy to use though always double-check it’s actually locked in place when you replace it.

The RYD also comes with a Pinlock-ready visor but, unfortunately there’s no Pinlock in the box. Of course, Pinlocks are great because they’re really effective in keeping things fog free – but not so good if it comes with the (old) standard Pinlock because the edges can get in the way when you’re in a tuck position.

So if you do buy a RYD, we’d suggest you get yourself the Pinlock Evo which fits the RYD – that’s Pinlock’s top of the range anti-fog insert, designed to give maximum fog-avoidance and cover all the inside of the visor.

Matt black version of the RYD

Comfort & Sizing

The Shoei RYD is available in fitment sizes XS-XXL.

It features the usual quality Shoei lining – that means it’s anti-microbial, moisture wicking and fully removable and washable.

It also means there’s quite a few size adjustment options such as replacement cheek pads to help you get the fit just right.

Having said that, pretty well all owners we came across said very positive things about the comfort and fit of their RYDs, including that it’s all day comfortable without any pressure points.

A couple also said that it works well with their glasses too.

A few also said that they find their RYD’s particularly light – something that also helps with making a helmet very wearable over long distance and is also great for safety, reducing helmet inertia during an impact.

Looks & Graphics

At the time of writing, there’s only plain colours available. That’s the usual blacks, a solid gloss white, a metallic grey, blue and tangerine, as shown up and down the page.

We’d expect to see one or two more adventurous designs being unveiled in the not too distant future (not too many though – this is Shoei we’re talking about!) so click the links below to our recommended retailers to see the latest designs that’re available to buy.

Shoei RYD Video

Here’s a 6.20m video taking you around the Shoei RYD…

Other stuff – buffeting, warranty

The RYD comes with Shoei’s excellent five year warranty – that’s standard across their entire range.

Gloss white RYD showing vents, rear exhaust and visor lock in black

Finally, because there was lots of wind-tunnel testing and development done, Shoei make a ‘thing’ of the helmet being slippery and stable with reduced buffeting.

Well, the jury’s in and owners we heard from said that the aero on the RYD is great – it feels very slippery and aerodynamic with hardly any buffeting.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides & Top 10s

For other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guides - or have a look at our Top 10 helmet lists where we've got the Top 10 rated helmets overall along with Top 10 Budget/Top 10 Safest/Top 10 Full Face/Top 10 Modular/Flip-up/Top 10 Sportsbike/Track helmets.

Alternatives to the Shoei RYD

The RYD is at the upper end of what we’d call a mid-price helmet – though it’s actually at the lower end of what you’ll pay for a Shoei.

So if that’s your sort of budget to spend on your next full face helmet, here’s our recommended alternatives…

Around that price you can get Shoei’s NXR – low noise, good ventilation and SHARP 4 star rated.

The AGV GT Veloce is a cool-looking SHARP 5 star rated lid that’s light and comes with a Pinlock. Can be found for under the £300 mark too.

Or if you’re looking for something at the sportier end of the market, Nolan’s X-802R is 4 star safety rated, nice and light and with great ventilation too.

Of course, they’re just a few to take a look at but there’s lots more. Why not check out our medium priced motorbike helmets pages for something for less than £300 – or click our full-face helmets page to see all our reviews and previews – or search our helmet gallery page to find a helmet that looks up your street?


There’s no doubt about it – the Shoei RYD is a great helmet.

Build quality’s up to the usual Shoei standard, it’s comfy and uses quality internals and lining – the aero’s class with most riders saying there’s very little buffeting from that nice round shape. It also excels for ventilation and has an excellent visor system. And with it’s maximum SHARP 5 star safety rating, that’s the icing on the cake!

All in all, if you’re after a great ‘all rounder’ helmet, then the Shoei RYD is well worth considering.

Definitely want a Shoei?

Here you'll find all our Shoei crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

Star Ratings


  1. I have this helmet since 3 years ago and all I have to say about it are good things. I can’t really compare because it’s the first one I bought since I left the driving school and I haven’t tried any good quality ones appart from it. To me it feels light and very confortable, the vision is very good and the aerodynamics too. I ride a naked bike so ventilation is not a problem. The only thing I miss in it is an incorporated sunvisor because even thought it has rails for sunglasses some models don’t fit good on them. I would totally recommend this helmet to naked/sport users who want a confortable daily for road use helmet. To end sorry if I commited grammar mistakes, English is not my first language :).

  2. Hey,

    I am looking at getting this or the HJC FG-ST but for some reason this only scored 4 stars on Saftey vs the FG-ST 5 star. Is there a reason for this, considering the RYD is both 5 star and Snell certified and the FG-ST isn’t Snell certified.

    Thanks for the info,

    • Both helmets scored 5 stars when tested by SHARP. SHARP chooses which helmets they test (i.e. the manufacturer doesn’t have a say) whereas Snell (in the US) is paid to test helmets by the manufacturer and very few makers are willing to do this. So both systems (and scores) are totally separate. Hope this answered your question?

  3. Very happy with my Ryd which I’ve had for just under a year now. I find it very comfortable on my XXL bonce. I always wear earplugs so noise levels not really an issue for me. Mine came with the pinlock insert in the box.
    I went along to Motolegends and they swapped out the cheek pads free of charge to get the optimum fit – great service if you can get over to Guildford.
    The only downside is the lack of a sun visor – the photochromatic replacement visors are silly money.
    I’m very happy with the Ryd and would recommend to others.
    Thanks to this website for pointing me in the right direction when I was doing my research.

  4. I like everything you noted. My experience with the noise is I’m finding it to be quieter than my previous Shoei, an XR-1100.
    BUT when it came to doing up the snap on the end of the chin strap, it’s VERY difficult to get to the part that’s on the RH strap. That half of the snap fastener is half inside the helmet chin pad!
    Secondly, the “wells” for an intercom speakers are not large enough for my Sena speakers. Since Shoei obviously appreciates Sena- they use it in their top-of-the-line helmet, you would think they would account for it in their other models.

  5. I’ve just got this helmet on Friday, took it for a ride next day. I was surprised how it is not any quieter than my AGV K3 S, I’d say they have exactly the same noise level, and K3 considered to be on the noisier side of the scale. I thought I’d get away without wearing ear plugs while commuting, not really, no. My expectations were much higher. BTW I’m riding Triumph ST, which falls in to naked bike category I quess. Other than that it is very nice helmet.

  6. Convinced by the tests and users return, I bought a RYD. I was looking for a really well ventiled helmet. I must say I’m driving a Triumph Tiger Sport equiped with a large Puig Windscreen. I had to return the RYD after hundred miles due to the complete lack of ventilation. My old Nolan N86 work better on the top and on the bottom. Yes, this helmet is very well balanced, very light, really comfortable and must be nice on a roadster. But for me It remain a huge deception.

  7. I thought it was about time I commented on the RYD I bought last autumn.(prompted by Sharp awarding it 5stars) The most noticeable feature of this helmet when you put it on is just how beautifully balanced it feels.Comfortable too, best I’ve ever worn.Very quiet, ear plugs not needed below about 65 (bike is SV650A) Very good ventilation, but brow vents do increase noise slightly when open.Easy to put on and take off your specs.Lovely paintwork,easy to fit a comms System.Mine came with a Pinlock evo. The lack of an internal sun visor?Well I have two other helmets with this feature and find them rather annoying.
    Overall, I’m very pleased with my purchase.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here