The Shoei JO fibreglass open face helmet

Shoei-JO crash helmet
Shoei JO Hawker TC1 design

Shoei J.O – a super comfy, premium-quality open face helmet.

Shoei’s latest open faced helmet is the Shoei JO.

It’s a very retro open faced helmet with an integral drop down visor, very much designed for folks with old bikes or slow bikes – or indeed those of us who are both old and slow and like taking our time over the ride and doing a bit of posing on the way. And hell, why not.

Obviously, it’s an open face helmet, so don’t buy one if you’re after the best protection – either against the weather or the road.

But if you do buy one, here’s what you can expect from your Shoei JO.

    • Open face helmet
    • Fibreglass composite helmet shell
    • Integral visor
    • Double D ring fastener
    • 3 shell sizes
    • Removable lining
    • Sizes XS-XXL
    • Weighs around 1Kg (2.2lbs)
    • Expect to pay £300-£350

Best places to buy a Shoei JO?

Please click below to visit the Shoei JO helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShopBuy from GetGeared


 (more about helmet safety)

The shell on the JO is constructed in the same way many of Shoei’s full face helmets are – namely using their Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM) technology, which is essentially five different layers of fibreglass and other fibre layers (which Shoei keep secret).

shoei jo helmet hawker side view
Shoei JO Hawker with main visor fully lowered

We might not know precisely what their organic and ‘high performance’ fibres are.

But what we do know is that they’re the same fibres used in the likes of the Neotech II and the RYD, and since they both scored four and five out of five (respectively) in their SHARP safety tests, it points to the helmet shell on the JO being equally well constructed and and should do its job equally well.

That tough helmet shell’s backed by Shoei’s multi-density shock absorbing liner too – which works as well as any EPS liner on the market.

So the helmet shell’s a particularly good ‘un. But that’s not to say the JO’s going to offer anything like the same protection overall as a full face helmet. Hit your head where the helmet is and it should give you decent protection – but if you don’t it won’t.

Which is why we score all open face helmets poorly in our rating system for safety.

If you’re in the market for one of these lids, presumably you know the risks your’re taking. If you don’t – buy a full face helmet instead!

shoei jo helmet nostalgia tc10 top view
Top view of the Shoei JO in Nostalgia graphics

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

OK, it’s an open face helmet so most of your face is gonna be exposed and there’s a ton of space for wind and noise to get inside.

So don’t expect it to be a quiet helmet because it ain’t.

Shoei do say they’ve sculpted the helmet and visor in a wind tunnel to reduce turbulance. And with all that nice soft padding inside coupled with a drop down visor, owners who are used to open face helmets reckon it’s quiet.

But if you’re used to full face lids, then you’re still going to find it a noisy blighter – especially at speed.

Having said that, bung in some quality ear plugs and you should be fine to ride for long periods without damaging your hearing and it shouldn’t feel too noisy either.


(more about helmet ventilation)

Same pretty well goes for ventilation. It’s an open face helmet so push up that visor and you’ll get in a ton of air to keep you cool. Mostly.

shoei jo carburetor helmet rear view
From the back – the Shoei JO Carburettor

I say mostly because there aren’t any vent holes in the helmet shell to let any air in and cool your scalp. Which according to quite a few owners means that it can get hot in there during summer rides.

Slightly bizarrely, Shoei has put ventilation channels inside the polystyrene liner to help air circulate – and while there are a couple of tiny rear exhausts in the neck roll, there isn’t any real way for air to get into the channels in the first place.

All of which means if you’re in the UK or Northern Europe, you’ll probably be fine most of the time, because it doesn’t get that hot. And if you’re hard enough to ride wearing a JO in the winter, at least the lack of ventilation should keep your ears warm!

But if you do your open face riding when then sun’s out and the mercury’s high, then you might get very sweaty inside your JO.

Thankfully the insides of the JO is removable and washable.


(more about visors)

It’s probably the JO’s visor that really caught your attention when you first saw it.

shoei jo sequel helmet front view
Front-on view of the Shoei JO Sequel

It’s still quite novel having a built-in visor on an open face helmet, and Shoei has gone to great lengths to make sure it works well. Seems like it’s not perfect, but most owners really like it.

The visor drops down from the top of the face port where it does a good job of tucking out of the way so it’s not distracting.

Some folks reckon the helmet sits higher on the head than many other open face helmets – and part of the reason may be that the front/top of the shell has to be slightly raised to accommodate the retracted visor.

The two opening tabs (both left and right – which is great) stick out slightly so you can easily find them to pull the visor quickly down.

A couple of useful links…

All our Shoei helmet reviews
Other open face helmets

Of course, we’ve all got different shapes of faces and sizes of noses. And many of us ride wearing glasses or shades.

So Shoei’s dealt with this by making the visor stick out a bit so there’s room behind for all manner of nose shapes and glasses (see comfort section below).

shoei jo Waimea helmet side view
If you’ve got a wood-effect bike, then the wood-effect Shoei JO Waimea might be exactly the helmet you’re looking for!

They’ve also put adjusting tabs on each side of the visor which allows you to adjust how far down the visor drops.

There’s three positions, so if you find it drops onto the end of your nose, you can push the tabs up a notch and the visor won’t drop so far down. Great idea and it works well.

As does the visor when you’re going below motorway speeds. Above 60-70 you’ll start to encounter air whipping up behind the visor making your eyes water.

But drop the speed down to more dawdling speeds and it’s great.

If you want to go faster in a JO, you’ll probably need to stick in some shades behind the visor or invest in some goggles (there’s a ridge at the back of the helmet along with a loop to hold your goggles strap in place – UK/EU version only).

The visor’s clear out of the box (same as every helmet) but there are smoked and yellow replacements available too. And like every helmet it’s anti-scratch and gives UV protection.

shoei jo rat grey helmet side view
Mid-grey Rat Grey JO. Note there’s no poppers to fit a sun visor on the Shoei JO

That UV figure’s usually somewhere over 95% – exact numbers are dependent on the type of polycarbonate used and differs slighly from maker to maker – but in the case of the JO, Shoei’s quoting 99%.

Owners mostly love the visor on the JO and it’s super easy to use – though the one downside is that it’s also quick to steam up when it’s cold/rainy. And there’s no Pinlock or similar available which is a bit of a bummer if you’re planning to use it as your daily helmet.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

If you’re an open face helmet fan, you’ll know there’s some proper shonky lids out there.

Well, the good news with the Shoei JO is that Shoei hasn’t cut corners in- our outside the JO and they’ve thrown quality materials at the internals.

That includes using a synthetic nubuck above the visor port to stop reflections and fake leather at the bottom so it doesn’t absorb water and is easier to clean.

shoei jo helmet nostalgia tc10 rear view
Rear of the Nostalgia graphics Shoei JO

Inside, it’s a super soft, moisture-wicking material that owners reckon makes for a really comfy helmet.

The cheek pads are sculpted to (hopefully) fit your face. But if they’re not quite right out of the box, there’s 4 other sizes available to buy to tailor the fit further. There’s also 3 other head linings too so you should be able to get everything bang on.

Couple all this with the fact the JO weighs about a Kilo so is super lightweight – at least compared to a helmet with a chin bar – and owners universally seem to find the JO a mega comfy and lightweight helmet to ride in.

If you order one and you find you’re between sizes slightly, the advice is to order the smaller size as it’s sizes just a tiny bit on the large side.

Looks & Graphics

Most owners are probably going to go for the plain versions of the JO – so you’ll find a matt and gloss plain black as well as an off-white that’s kinda like an aging enamel look as well as a mid grey (called Rat Grey) and a dark Matt Brown.

Shoei JO launch designs. For more, please click through to our recommended retailers

There’s also some subtle retro designs including the Hawker, Sequel, Carburettor, Nostalgia, Waimea as well as one with a big 59 on it called Gratte-Ciel which Google translate bizarrely reckons means Skyscraper.

They’re mostly very cool and very retro so you’re bound to find one that perfectly suits your retro hipster ride – or matches your outfit on the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.

To find the latest deals and designs – please check out our recommended stores using the links below (all fantastic retailers regularly checked for quality of service). Nice one.

Best places to buy a Shoei JO helmet?

Please click below to visit the Shoei JO helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShopBuy from GetGeared

Shoei JO Video

Here’s a useful 6m video taking you around the Shoei JO and looking at how it works on the road.

Other stuff – fasteners, audio, aero, build quality, warranty

The JO comes with a double-d ring fastener. Secure, work well and relatively simple to use. Fits in with the retro/open face theme too.

If you’re looking to use your Shoei JO with a bluetooth kit, unfortunately you’re gonna have to forget it. There aren’t any speaker pockets inside the JO for some reason – and don’t be tempted to buy one and hack at the liner either as that’ll massively compromise the safety of your lid.

shoei jo solid gloss black helmet side view
Plain solid black’s probably gonna be the most popular. Also in matt

The JO’s been designed in a windtunnel to give decent aero performance and we didn’t find anyone complaining about buffeting or lifting, though I reckon there aren’t gonna be too many people riding fast in their JOs unless they’re beind a fairing.

Build quality is said to be outstanding – great materials, paint and finish and it’s all put together beautifully. Just what we’ve come to expect from a Shoei.

And to back that up, all Shoei helmets come with a 5 year warranty – or 7 from date of manufacture which you’ll find inside the helmet.


There’s no doubt about it, the Shoei JO is a great piece of kit. It shouts quality, it’s built well and it uses the helmet design expertise that Shoei’s built up over the decades to offer an outstanding open face helmet.

shoei JO matt brown open face helmet side view 2
Shoei also does this cool matt brown JO

It’s got a great visor system, providing you’re not going too quickly, and it’s all day comfortable too. It can get a bit hot inside but it shouldn’t be a problem in all but the hottest weather.

It’s never going to give you the same protection from the weather or road that a full face or the best performing modular will – so we recommend you go and buy the safest full face helmet instead if you’re after quality protection.

But if you’re after a great performing open face helmet and value quality over price, the Shoei JO really won’t let you down and owners reckon it’s well worth the money.

Best places to buy a Shoei JO?

Please click below to visit the Shoei JO helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShopBuy from GetGeared

Good Alternatives to the Shoei JO?

OK, here’s some other helmets to check out, whether you’re after a nice new retro helmet or an open face.

The Shoei Ex-Zero has a similar visor but has a chin bar too. It uses the same helmet tech as the JO and is well built and mega cool.

So too is the Bell Moto 3 that’s modelled on their old 70’s helmet and is proper back to basics but should offer full face protection too.

For a cheaper open face helmet with a drop down visor, there’s Scorpion’s Exo 100 which would make a decent commuter helmet as it’s so compact.

Or if you’re wanting an open face that looks mean, uses the latest helmet shell tech and gives you some weather protection too, the Caberg Ghost might just fit the bill.

In fact there’s such an array of retro and open face helmet options out there – check out our dedicated Retro Helmets and Open Face Helmets pages to have a look through some of the best on offer.

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.

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