Full Review of Scorpion’s full face helmet with sun visor and Pinlock
- Polycarbonate shell
- Drop down sun visor
- Pinlock Max Vision anti fog included
- 5 year warranty
- Three shell sizes
- Scorpion’s innovative air pump system
- Sizes XXS-XXXL
- Prices from £149 upwards
The Scorpion Exo 510 Air looks to pack quite a bit of punch for the money (though check out our alternatives at the bottom of the page).
It’s Scorpion’s attempt at an all-rounder – a helmet that’ll work for most riders, whether you’re touring or commuting. It’s an evolution from their well regarded Exo-500 helmet, which means it’s a thermoplastic-shelled full face helmet that comes in at a very reasonable price – especially considering the spec.
But for that low price (just sneaking into our budget helmets category) you’d expect a few corners to be cut, wouldn’t you? Well read on for a bit of a surprise…
Looking to buy this Scorpion?
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Even though it’s a polycarb helmet, don’t let that put you off – some of the safest lids these days are polycarbonate. And this one comes in three shell sizes – always a good sign that a manufacturer’s intent on making a helmet that fits as well as possible and looks in the correct proportion for your body size.
Scorpion helmets have scored an average of 3.5 stars out of 5 when tested by SHARP for safety, and we’d expect the 510 Air to score around about that mark too. The 510’s predecessor, the 500, was also a polycarbonate helmet and scored four stars out of five which was very good.
According to Scorpion, the Exo-510 Air has been wind tunnel designed. Well, that may be the case, but it seems they didn’t think to put a microphone in the helmet when it was in the wind tunnel, because most folks seem to think it’s pretty noisy.
As always, there’s a variety of opinions, usually dependent on how noisy peoples’ previous helmets were or type of motorbike they ride. But overall, the comments we found (and we look very hard!) ranged from between a bit noisy to very noisy.
Weighing up the range of comments, we’re gonna plump for saying the 510 Air is seen as below average for noise levels – so if you’re after a quiet helmet, you better check out our quietest helmets section instead.
Ventilation looks pretty generous on the Exo-510 Air. It has the usual single chin vent in the chin bar but that’s supplemented with the three top vents, which should pull in plenty of air.
And sure enough, word is that the 510 Air vents plenty of air into the helmet. As you’d expect with three vents, the scalp ventilation is widely seen as particularly good, though the chin/visor ventilation isn’t bad at all either.
Of course, you also need the sliders and switches that cover the vents to be easy to use – especially in gloves. There’s no point having all those vents but not being able to open or close them when you’re riding along.
But the Exo-510 Air seems to do well here too as a few owners rated the switches highly, saying they’re easy to find and operate in gloves.
So if you go for an Exo-510 Air, you should be pretty well sorted for decent ventilation all round.
Which is not to say your visor won’t still fog up, because it will if the weather’s cold or humid. Let’s face it, you’ve got a sheet of polycarbonate scant few millimetres from your mouth and nose so in those sorts of conditions – and if you’re not moving fast enough to generate a ton of ventilation – then it’s going to fog up.
Looking at the visors on the Exo 510 Air, it comes with a built-in drop down sun visor that’s anti-fog treated, and the main visor is both quick-release and comes ready to take the (included) Pinlock Max Vision anti fog insert.
That’s a great addition for those of us who are fed up with suffering from fogging visors and it’s a £30 freebie the box.
Sure, Pinlocks can give a slight bit of double vision on occasion, but the lack of fogging on cold days is a decent payoff. And the Max Vision version means it’ll cover almost the entire surface of the visor so no Pinlock edges to get in your line of sight. Happy days.
The visor on the Exo 510 features Scorpion’s Ellip-Tec system. That means it’s got a quick-release visor and is spring-loaded to pull the visor more tightly shut against the weather-proof rubber gasket.
It all works well according to owners – though it does mean there’s no conventional ‘cracked open’ position for defogging. Instead you’ve got to use the visor lock mechanism at the bottom left of the visor.
One way locks the visor in place to stop it popping open if you don’t want it to – the other way cracks the visor open a bit (although one owner said it doesn’t work very well. Only one, mind).
The Scorpion Exo 510 Air comes with a build-in drop down sun visor too. If you’ve not had a helmet with one before, they’re great and highly recommended.
It’s operated by a level to the rear of the left hand visor pivot which, even though it’s relatively uncommon positioning, is probably the easiest-to-use place for the sun visor lever.
Another plus point for the sun visor on the 510 Air is that quite a few owners commented that it’s just about dark enough. That doesn’t sound a glowing endorsement, but most sun visors are fairly lightly tinted and quite a few riders – especially those who ride in brighter and sunnier places – tend to find them too light to be a true replacement for shades. But on the 510 Air, that’s not the case.
There’s another feature with the sun visor on the 510 Air that’s unusual too.
In front of the sun visor lever, there’s a small screw. This can be rotated into three positions to adjust how far the sun visor actually drops down.
That’s a cracking idea because we’re all built differently and this means you can customise the sun visor drop to suit your face shape and preference.
All in all that’s 10/10 to Scorpion for the sun visor on the Exo 510 Air.
Comfort and Sizing
The Scorpion Exo-510 Air is designed for folks with slightly longer, narrower heads – commonly called intermediate ovals.
But a few owners have said it’s wider in the cheek area too – so if you need a bit more space there, then you might be onto a winner with the 510 Air.
Having said that, inside the Exo-510 Air, you’ll find Scorpion’s AirFit system, which is designed to tighten the fitment up a bit.
Essentially, there’s an air inflating pump in the chin guard. Squeeze it a few times and you’ll feel the cheek pads inflate, pressing the cheek pads inwards slightly to tighten the fit. And to loosen things up again, there’s a valve you can press to release the air.
Does it work?
Well, some folks find it really useful and use it on more or less every ride. Others, who either find the fit of their helmet just right without it or who don’t want the hassle; they just leave it alone.
Inside the lining of the helmet, Scorpion have used padding that’s anti-bacterial as well as designed to wick sweat away – what they call KwikWick 2 material. It’s also removable/washable too.
There’s also a glasses groove in there to stop the stems of glasses – or shades – pressing into the side of your head.
And we’ve not finished yet, because despite being (just about) a budget helmet, the Exo-510 Air also has EQRS – that’s the quick removal system that allows you to pull a couple of red tags at the bottom of the helmet to quickly pull the cheek pads out of the bottom of the helmet to help with removing the helmet in an emergency.
We agree with the guy in the first video (below); that’s the first time we’ve seen EQRS on a low-price motorcycle helmet too. So great work Scorpion!
Best place to buy this Scorpion crash helmet?
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Scorpion Exo-510 Air Video
The first 3m video is from the UK distributor showing the Exo-510 Sync. The second 2m video shows you round the T510 (as it’s called in the States – same helmet).
Other stuff: fastener, warranty, speakers, build quality, weight
Inside, there’s a decent amount of room (and cut outs) for speakers and owners report that the build quality of the helmet is good.
Finally, it weighs about 1.6Kg (3.5lbs) which is just about average weight for a polycarbonate helmet.
On the face of it, the Scorpion Ex0-510 looks like a cracking buy.
It’s not the cheapest polycarbonate full face helmet by a long shot, but with its well thought out visor system, included Pinlock anti-fog, EQRS and excellent ventilation it’s a helmet that should cover everything from your daily commute to your touring holiday. It’d be great if SHARP were to test it for safety (if it scores well it may well jump to the top of our best full face helmets list!) but as it is, it’s a fantastic helmet that owners rate highly and which offers good value for money.
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Alternatives to the Scorpion Exo-510 Air
If you’re looking for a full faced crash helmet with a sun visor for not very much money, then there’s some great options around.
There’s HJC’s FG-ST, that’s a SHARP 5 star rated fibreglass helmet with Pinlock antifog and available for about the same as the Exo-510 Air (maybe a smidge more).
Or there’s the Shark Skwal – a 4 star SHARP rated polycarbonate helmet with a Pinlock included and an interesting strip of LEDs along the rear for extra visibility too. Costs about the same as the Scorpion, if not a little less.
Finally, you might want to check out AGVs K3 SV. That’s a SHARP 4 star rated helmet with sun visor and Pinlock anti-fog. It’s a bit pricier than the Scorpion but owners love em and it’s got that AGV name and quality included in the price!