Shoei’s new top-dog dirt helmet: the Shoei VFX-WR

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Review of the Shoei VFX-WR motocross helmet.

It’s been a while since Shoei released a new motocross helmet. But their new VFX-WR (called VFX-EVO in the US) aims to take – in Shoei’s words – the motocross helmet to the next level.

shoei vfx evo josh grant motocross crash helmet side view
Profile view of the Shoei VFX-WR Josh Grant replica

And when you look at the range of features, you can see why they’d say that. It uses Shoei’s advanced AIM+ shell construction tech we usually see in their hyper expensive race bike helmets.

It’s got EQRS, it’s got a total of 16 intake and exhaust vents for improved ventilation; and it’s been wind-tunnel tested to make a modern looking and complex outer shell shape that Shoei hope will give it superior aerodynamic performance.

Plus – and for the first time on a Shoei – it’s got a system designed to manage rotational forces encountered during an impact. Shoei calls their system motion energy distribution system. I’d guess that’s primarily so it gives them the eye catching acronym MEDS – but either way, it’s designed to allow the helmet a degree of independent movement from the rider and, again according to Shoei, reduces rotation by 15%.

All of that stacks up to make the Shoei VFX-WR a mouthwatering prospect.

Looking to buy a Shoei?

We recommend either GetGeared (UK) for outstanding service and competitive prices, or MotoIn (Ger) for great service and wide range of helmets. Please click any link to see the latest designs and deals.

Safety

(more about helmet safety)

The Shoei VFX-WR uses Shoei’s Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus shell tech – or AIM+ for short.

shoei vfx evo brayton motocross crash helmet top view
Top down view of the VFX-WR in Brayton design

That’s the same multi-layered composite material that you find in their top-of-the range track helmet – the X-Spirit III – and in their outstanding sportsbike helmet the NXR.

It uses fibreglass as its base material and Shoei then layers it up with a variety of other materials that Shoei calls organic fibres – designed to be lighter and more elastic to absorb energy.

So far, we’ve seen both the X-Spirit III and NXR AIM+ helmets tested/approved by both the USA’s Snell Foundation and tested in the UK by SHARP.

SHARP scored the X-Spirit III 5 stars for safety (their maximum score) and the NXR 4 stars.

The VFX-WR has already been Snell M2015 certified (as the VFX-EVO) and if SHARP gets their hands on it, we’d expect it to score four or five stars for safety, just like the previously tested AIM+ helmets.

Part of the reason for these excellent scores is because Shoei knows how to make a super-effective helmet shell. But it’s also because they use a multi-density EPS shock absorbing liner inside it which has been proven great at absorbing impact energy.

Unusually (though it shouldn’t be!) Shoei also includes EPS in the chin bar which is a great idea which should give improved protection to the mouth and face too.

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As you can see from Shoei’s diagram, MEDS sits at the top of the helmet lining

And – for the first time on a Shoei – they include a liner that’s designed to offer some protection to the rider against rotational forces. It’s Shoei’s version of the liner we’ve seen used by Bell and 6D among others – with their version called MEDS (motion energy distribution system).

It’s essentially a skull cap that sits between your head and the EPS liner and allows the rest of the helmet to move semi-independently of the shock absorbing liner. The theory being if you allow the helmet to rotate freely in those important first milliseconds of an impact, it reduces the amount of rotational force passed through to your head.

And while we don’t really have any independent verification of whether MEDS works yet, it certainly sounds like a step in the right direction. It doesn’t seem to give as much coverage inside the helmet as the competition, but I guess we’ll only see how well it performs if we see some of the Snell or SHARP test data.

Back to the helmet shell, and Shoei makes the VFX-WR in 4 Shell sizes covering fitment sizes XS-XXL. That’s great for optimising the fit and weight of the helmet (both are important in safety) as well as making the helmet look just right and in proportion to your body size.

Shoei’s also worked to maximise the size of the opening for the goggles. Usually, that’s great for safety because it gives loads of horizontal and vertical vision. But with the Shoei VFX-WR it’s maximised so you can wear oversized goggles which means your peripheral vision is going to be limited by whichever goggles you choose.

shoei vfx evo solid white motocross helmet rear view
Rear view showing rear exhaust vents and that massive rear aero contouring

Shoei’s also included EQRS on the VFX-WR. That’s the system that helps paramedics remove the cheekpads more easily and hence helps them remove the helmet on a downed rider with less chance of damaging their neck.

If you take your dirt riding seriously (or your safety!) that’s gotta be near the top of your ‘must have’ list on any helmet you buy?

And finally, the Shoei VFX-WR has a good, solid double-d ring fastener on it. So as long as you do it up nice and tight, that should keep the helmet firmly in place.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

One of the most important things any dirt bike rider needs is lots of ventilation. Spend a day off road and you’re going to sweat loads, right? Well Shoei seems to recognise this as there’s vents and exhausts scattered all over the VFX-WR.

There’s a brow vent stretching right across the goggle port. There’s a couple of crown vents right above that taking air from the peak and into the helmet.

And of course there’s that massive chin bar vent. That takes air around to the mouth as well as towards the face. And as you’d expect it’s removable, has an aluminum screen and contains a washable foam filter.

shoei vfx evo blazon motocross crash helmet side view
This one’s the Shoei VFX-WR in Blazon design

There’s corresponding exhausts at the crown, top, lower and collar as well as on the side of the helmet too – all designed to provide a ton of ventilation throughout the helmet to keep you as fresh and cool as you can be when you’re riding off road.

Goggles

(more about shields)

Just two things to say about the goggles. First – there’s a large eyeport up front, designed to take oversized goggles. And second, there’s a goggles groove right round the helmet to seat the strap and prevent it coming loose whatever you throw at it.

All looks present and correct on the goggles front.

Peak/Visor

(more about sun visors)

The peak acts as a roost guard/sun visor and has been designed to be aerodynamic and reduce lift and buffeting. It also channels air direct towards those crown air vents.

Out of the box, it’s in its highest position (apparently that’s where most pro riders like it set) but there’s some movement to lower it by loosening off a single central screw and sliding the visor down.

shoei vfx evo josh grant motocross crash helmet top view
Top view of the Josh Grant replica

Three polycarbonate screws hold the peak in place and are designed to shear off under impact – that peak could impart some nasty rotational damage if you have an off and it digs in, so that’s a good thing.

Shoei say the visor’s been fine tuned by their pro off road racing team so fingers crossed it works well.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Inside the Shoei VFX-WR you’ll find a full removable and washable liner. It’s made in two parts, the cheek pads and the cap.

The cheek pads are made from contoured foam covered in a moisture wicking material Shoei calls Max-Dry. It’s designed to wick moisture away from the face and pull it into the foam.

The VFX-WR is also EQRS enabled: you’ll see a couple of red tags at the bottom of the helmet that you can pull to quickly remove the cheek pads out of the bottom of the helmet. This is so emergency services can more easily remove the helmet without putting too much pressure on your head/neck.

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Solid matt black version.

The fabrics that Shoei typically uses are some of the most comfortable around so we’d expect the VFX-WR to give excellent levels of comfort.

Looks & Graphics

As usual, if you buy a plain version, it’s going to be a good chunk cheaper than one with fancy graphics.

Solid colours include gloss black and gloss white as well as a matt black version.

At the time of writing, there’s 5 graphics including the Zinger, Glaive, Grant, Brayton and Blazon. There’s at least one of each on this page… but to see more, click through to our recommended stores below.

Best places to buy a Shoei crash helmet?

We've chosen two of the best places to buy from - whether it's a Shoei or any other helmet/gear.

GetGeared are based in the UK and offer good service (8.9/10 on Trustpilot at the time of writing) along with 365 day refunds and free UK delivery.

MotoIn (Ger) is another highly recommended store, with a score of 4.9/5 on Idealo and 4.6/5 at eTrustedshops, though don't forget you'll have to factor in delivery costs if you buy from here.

Please click any picture/link to visit their Shoei helmets page where you can see all the latest colour schemes and deals. And if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site). Click here for more info on our recommended retailers.

Click to visit Shoei Helmets at Get Geared
Click to visit Shoei at Get Geared
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See Shoei at Motoin (then use site search)

Shoei VFX-WR Video

Here’s an 8m video of the shot by some guys at the Australian Shoei distributor.

Other stuff – weight, warranty

The VFX-WR isn’t a lightweight MX lid – but it’s not massively heavy either. The large version weighs about 3.6lbs (1.65Kg). That’s not enough to really feel heavy while you’re wearing it so you should find it OK.

The good news is it’ll come with a five year warranty (7 years from date of manufacture) so there’s a decent bit of piece of mind if you buy one.

shoei vfx evo glaive motocross helmet side view
Shoei VFX-WR in Glaive design

Overall/Summary

The outgoing VFX-W was a great helmet that owners and riders loved. Which means the Shoei VFX-WR which used the W as its starting point, will hopefully be an even better helmet.

And the signs so far look good…

Its got an improved chin bar and peak, a massive space for goggles and a ton of safety features thrown in, from its tried-and-tested AIM+ composite shell through to its new MEDS anti-rotation system and EQRS to quickly remove cheek pads after an accident.

Basically, it pretty well checks all the safety boxes – which is important on a dirt bike lid, right?

Plus Shoei are known for great build quality and using excellent materials throughout. Couple all that with the fact that the VFX-WR has been tried and tested by a bunch of pro dirt bike riders, and we’d expect the VFX-WR to be one of the most accomplished motocross lids out there. So if you can spare the cash, the the VFX-WR has gotta be worth a look.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Good Alternatives to the Shoei VFX-WR?

You should check out the Bell’s accomplished Moto-9 range – that’s another Snell rated motocross helmet, this time using Bell’s flex tech to reduce impact stresses. It’s tri-composite, got EQRS and it can be had for less than the Shoei.

shoei vfx evo zinger motocross helmet rear view
Rear view of the VFX-WR Zinger

If you don’t need such a focused motocross helmet, you might want to think about the dual sport Arai Tour-X 4. That can work as a motocross helmet or – because it’s got a visor too – can work as a street helmet. It’s also Snell rated. A really versatile helmet the XD4.

Shoei’s version of the XD4 is the Hornet ADV. A well built helmet with an optically correct visor that owners seem to love.

Looking to buy a Shoei?

We recommend either GetGeared (UK) for outstanding service and competitive prices, or MotoIn (Ger) for great service and wide range of helmets. Please click any link to see the latest designs and deals.

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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