Great value full face – but not in Europe just yet.

Scorpion EXO-R420 budget full face motorcycle crash helmet review.

The Scorpion EXO 410 Air we reviewed a few years ago has now been replaced by… the imaginatively named Scorpion Exo-R420!

If you check out the old helmet, you’ll be struck by just how different the new one looks. While the old one was a smoother rounder shape, the new one is much more angular with a design inspired by race helmets with that big rear spoiler jutting out back.

But while it might look like a track helmet, if you read the Scorpion blurb carefully, they don’t say it’s been developed for the track. It’s designed to be a competitively priced all rounder helmet that’s aerodynamic, ultra light weight with great ventilation and low noise.

But they all say that, don’t they? So, let’s work out what’s real and what’s not, based on riders and owners comments from around the web.

Looking to buy one?

Well, it's not available in Europe yet so you'll have to either jump on over to our US site where you'll find a few great stores you can buy one from. Or if you want one NOW, you can hop straight over to Revzilla (USA) who'll ship one over to Europe, no problem. But remember, it'll only be a DOT certified helmet without an ECE certification sticker on the back so isn't legal to use anywhere in the UK or Europe. Please see here for more info on our recommended retailers.


(more about helmet safety)

OK, the Scorpion EXO R420 is only DOT certified which means it’s been made to meet DOT safety standards. So far it hasn’t been ECE certified so isn’t legal for use in Europe.

scorpion exo r 410 motorcycle helmet Sugar Skull pink side view
In your face Sugar Skull R420.

It’s also been tested by those nice folks at the Snell Memorial Foundation in California who’ve subjected a bunch of R420s to all kinds of anvil and drop-testing related shenanegans and passed it with a Snell M2015 stamp.

Short of launching yourself off your bike on the motorway, Snell certification is one of the world’s best testing standards for motorcycle helmets and means the Scorp R420 should give you a great level of impact protection.

So, yeah the R420 is a polycarbonate helmet, and yeah that means it’s a helmet at the cheaper end of the shelf. But yeah, it’s still going to give you great levels of protection for not much money.

Which is great news if your pockets aren’t too deep but you still want great protection from your full face.

It’s also got EQRS or emergency quick release system cheek pads which is really great to see in a helmet at this price.

scorpion exo r 410 shake black gold motorcycle helmet front view
Here’s the Scorpion EXO-R420 Shake. Remember, all R420s come with a clear visor, not dark

Click the link above if you want to find out more about EQRS, and let’s hope more helmet makers start to follow suit because it must be cheap to implement but could be the difference between walking away from hospital or rolling away in a chair.

Of course, the visor is a key feature for safety. And Scorpion has added a visor with an anti-fog coating and visor lock to stop it popping open. It’s also got got decent peripheral vision too.

Read more detail in the visor section below as usual, but that’s a stack of features which should help from a safety perspective.

Finally, the Scorpion EXO R420 is made in two helmet shell sizes. That’s not the most but better than one – read here why more shell sizes is better for helmet safety.

All in all though, with that Snell sticker on the back and DOT approval, the Scorpion EXO R420 has gotta represent some of the best tested level of safety for not much money that we’ve seen in a while. But note, DOT isn’t accepted across Europe so because the R420 isn’t ECE approved, it’s not legal to use there.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

OK, you know helmet noise is subjective, right?

scorpion exo r 410 motorcycle crash helmet techno graphics grey
This one’s the Scorpion EXO-R420 Techno in grey/black.

So if we say folks reckon a helmet’s whisper quiet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will too when you hit 90?

OK, glad that’s noted. Because – like there is with every helmet – there’s a wide range of opinions out there as to how quiet the Scorpion R420 is.

In the case of the R420 though, views seem to range from ‘quietest helmet ever!’ to ‘noisier than average’ which is actually a glowing review of the helmet’s noise suppression as there’s usually a few folks saying it’s the next noisiest thing to an F15 at take off.

We’ve looked all over the internet (and I mean to places that’ll make grown men weep!) and the median line seems to be that it’s a reasonably quiet helmet.


But don’t roast me if you buy one and it makes your fillings rattle!


(more about helmet ventilation)

There’s a single chin vent, single crown vent and single rear exhaust vent in the EXO-R420 and that’s your lot.

scorpion exo r 410 motorcycle helmet Sugar Skull gold rear view
From the back. Big rear exhaust/spoiler combo dominates on this Sugar Skull R420 in gold

But that chin vent is actually a 3 way vent with a slider that moves from closed to visor vent to face vent. And the word from owners is that it works great. Enough said.

That top vent is an opened-closed slider and routes air into the helmet and through the generous internal channels and out the rear exhaust vent.

But word on this top vent is less than glowing. A couple of owners said it works if you’re in a tuck position, but otherwise forget it. OK it does vent some air in – enough to give you some cooling, but if you’re after a helmet that really pulls in tons of air, then you might wanna look elsewhere (such as our best venting helmets pages).

Obviously, apart from keeping you cool, we need air to blast onto the back of the visor to keep things clear there, and that chin vent combined with the anti-fog coating that comes as standard seems to do the job in most circumstances. But more on that below.


(more about visors)

The Scorpion EXO-R420 comes with a clear visor if you buy one (not the dark visor in all the photos you’ll find everywhere!) and has what Scorpion call an Ever Clear visor with an Ellip-Tec II ratchet system. Rrrright.

scorpion exo r 410 crash helmet tracker grey side view
The Scorpion R420 Tracker in black & grey is a class act. Remember though, you’ll get a clear visor only in the box if you buy one.

Ever Clear is their anti-fog coating on the rear of the visor which is a pretty good anti-fog system. Owners mostly say it works really well, except for when things get really cold when you’ll probably have to crack the visor to let some air in.

And if the Ever Clear doesn’t work for you, well there’s always the option of buying a Pinlock, though you’ll have to buy a Pinlock ready visor too which is going to bump the price up quite a few quid.

Ellip Tech is the name of the face visor hinge system which is designed to pull the visor back towards the seal to keep things nice and wind/weather proof. It’s pretty good, though a coupla folks said theirs gets a bit drafty at times – though no one complained about water getting in so that’s good.

The visor works on a ratchet, has a nice defog/cracked open position if that’s your thing, and it has a central opening tab and lock combo. A few owners said the visor lock’s really fiddly to work and can be tricky to find too when you’ve thick gloves on. But others reckoned it just takes a bit of practice and you can unlock it while pushing up the visor in one deft move with no problem.

I can’t find anywhere on Scorpions’ official pages saying it’s an optically correct visor, though a few reviewers say it is. Either way a) I’ve never had a problem with any helmet distorting my vision to the point it’s distracting – or even particularly noticeable and b) they reckon the visor’s pretty damn optically correct anyway. So all good there.

scorpion exo r 410 motorcycle crash helmet techno graphics red white top view
Here’s a top view for ya – of an R420 in Techno colors.

And finally, while there’s a decent amount of horizontal vision from that visor opening, it’s a little more restricted vertically. So while it looks like a sportsbike helmet, if you’re planning to spend most of your days with your chin on the tank, you might want to look at our sportsbike helmets section instead because the Scorpion isn’t a true track helmet.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Like all Scorpions, the internals of the R420 uses contoured foam covered by Scropion’s KwikWick II material.

That’s a moisture wicking material that’s nice and comfortable to the touch and easily washable. It’s also anti microbial.

Tons of owners say the lining of the EXO R420 is a really comfortable place to stick your head with the majority reporting it’s great for hours in the saddle.

Obviously, that only works if you get the right size and fitment in the first place. That’s also crucial for safety: having your head firmly held in a correctly fitting helmet is your number one priority there.

The Scorpion EXO R420 suits medium oval shaped heads (which is most of us) but a few owners said that Scorpion’s sizings aren’t quite right and you might need to order a size larger than normal. What I’d recommend is that you check our fitment guide and if you find you’re between sizes, maybe go for the larger size. And make sure you can return the helmet for a replacement with no questions – but do make sure you keep the helmet box-fresh with all tags intact, otherwise there ain’t a store around who’ll accept a used helmet back.

scorpion exo r 410 Shake motorcycle helmet side rear view
Wow – there’s some fantastic detail on this black/white Shake R420.

Of course, all our linked stores will do no quibble refunds and returns 😉

So, what else? Well the only other thing is that a few owners said the popper that you use to secure the flappy end of the strap is too high up. Which can be annoying, yeah, but it also shows that if folks are complaining about such a minor point that the rest of the helmet must be pretty good, eh?

Oh, and a couple of other owners said it looks a bit big when they’re wearing it. Which is probably a result of only coming in two shell sizes because the size L helmet will use the same shell size as the XXXL helmet. Which can mean it’ll look a bit oversized on L owners. Note XS-M sizes use the smaller helmet shell and L-XXXL uses the larger shell size.

Finally, there’s a glasses groove in there and a couple of guys reckoned it’s easy to slot your glasses/shades in no problem.

Looks & Graphics

If you’re after a solid color, Scorpion do a cool titanium as well as the usual 2 blacks and gloss white.

scorpion exo r 410 titanium motorcycle helmet top side view
Classy matt titanium EXO-R420. Note, single crown inlet vent and chin vent

But they’re also starting to take a leaf out of Icon’s catalog because they now offer a some edgy graphic versions too. That includes the Shake range that looks like someone’s gone crazy with a sharpie, the Sugar Skulls (name says it all!) and the high voltage Trackers.

If you don’t find a design you like on our review page, then click on through to our recommended stores using the links below where you’re sure to find a load more along with the latest discounts.

Best place to buy one?

Remember, this helmet isn't DOT approved for use anywhere in Europe. You can buy one from the US, but it'll be a DOT certified helmet without an ECE certification sticker on the back so isn't legal to use anywhere in the UK or Europe.

OK, if you still want one, you can jump over to our US site where you'll find a few recommended stores. Or if you're looking for a quality US retailer right now, we recommend Revzilla (USA). They're based in Philadelphia and offer outstanding service (at the time of writing 9.8/10 on Reseller Ratings) along with free delivery (within USA only but reasonable shipping rates outside - see our recommended retailer link below for more info).

Please click the link below to drop onto their Scorpion helmets page. And if you buy from any shop, 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 LS2 at Revzilla
Click to visit Scorpion helmets at Revzilla

Scorpion EXO-R420 Video

Here’s a 5m look around the R420 Shake from Rider’s Domain.

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

The Scorpion EXO R420 comes with a good ole double-d ring fasteners. While they’re a tad fiddlier than micrometric fasteners, if you’re not used to them, they’re old style but good and safe fasteners that don’t take long to get the hang of.

On to communicators. The Scorpion EXO-R420 is communicator ready; there’s some nice deep speaker pockets cut into the EPS shock absorbing liner which should suit all but the biggest bluetooth speakers. One owner of a Sena 10s said it took his bluetooth without a problem, as did a Sena 20s owner.

Here’s a great high(ish) viz version – the Tracker in black/white/hi viz yellow

As for weight, Scorpion said they planned to make an ultra light weight helmet with the R420. Did they succeed? Hell nope, they didn’t. A size large R420 weighs about 3.75lbs (1.7Kg) which is way heavier than the average full face and a bit heavier than the average polycarb helmet.

That said, weight really doesn’t seem to be an issue with a few riders saying it feels light weight and just a couple saying it feels a bit heavy. The bottom line is that you’ll most likely be fine with the weight of it. No, it’s no carbon helmet but you’ll probably not even notice the weight on the move.

Aero might be something you do notice though. OK it looks like it’s been wind tunnel designed (might’ve for all we know – though Scorpion’s not saying) but a few owners think the aero’s not the best: one said it lifts at highway speeds and another saying you can get quite a bit of buffeting.

Of course, aero that works is also dependent on the bike you ride and your riding position – and there weren’t that many people complaining. But we like to report if there’s potential for a problem so there you go.

A few more people were vocal about build quality though. Yep, several said, for the price, build quality’s great with good quality fit, finish and materials used.

Which might be one of the reasons Scorpion provides the R420 with a very generous 5 year warranty from purchase date (or seven from date of manufacture, whichever’s the soonest) – because they believe in the quality of their workmanship (should that be workpersonship these days?! 🙂 )


OK, the Scorpion EXO R420 is at the lower end of the price range, so it’s a more entry-level motorcycle helmet. Which makes the number of features you get for your money all the more amazing.

View from the top of the Sugar Skull

Sure, it’s a polycarbonate shelled helmet that’s only made in two shell sizes; and the ventilation’s not the best.

But don’t forget, it’s also a Snell certified helmet, meaning it’s been shown that it’ll offer great protection – which not all helmets can say.

Plus it’s got a great visor system with antifog, EQRS (which not many helmets at this price point have) and is hyper comfortable and reasonably quiet. Oh, and don’t forget it looks cool too – very important that. All for way under £200.

All in all, if that’s your budget, you don’t mind buying from a US vendor and you’re looking for a great all rounder, then the Scorpion Exo R420 is a really attractive package that you should really check out.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides & Top 10s

For (hopefully!) 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 best helmet lists where we've got the top 10 best rated helmets overall along with Top 10 Best Budget/Top 10 Safest/Top 10 Best Full Face/Top 10 Best Modular/Flip-up/ Top 10 Best Sportsbike/Track helmets.

Good Alternatives to the Scorpion EXO-R420?

OK, there’s a shedload of full face helmets out there – but if you’re after a helmet that’s been tested to offer great protection and which won’t suck your wallet dry as well as give you tons of bang for your buck, then you should check out these bad boys.

First up, there’s the Italian AGV K3 SV – that was tested by SHARP where it scored 4 stars out of 5 for safety. It’s got a built in sun visor too and comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert.

The HJC FG-17 is another SHARP 4 star rated (and Snell certified) full face that’s comfortable and a great all rounder (but with a more sportsbike focus) – at a sub £200 price point too.

For a bit more money, you could be riding in a Shoei RYD, that’s a great all rounder helmet that’s a SHARP 5 star (maximum) rated full face that’s US Snell approved as well. It’s got EQRS, Pinlock and great ventilation all in a premium package.

Looking to buy one?

Well, it's not available in Europe yet so you'll have to either jump on over to our US site where you'll find a few great stores you can buy one from. Or if you want one NOW, you can hop straight over to Revzilla (USA) who'll ship one over to Europe, no problem. But remember, it'll only be a DOT certified helmet without an ECE certification sticker on the back so isn't legal to use anywhere in the UK or Europe. Please see here for more info on our recommended retailers.

Star Ratings

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scorpion-exo-r420-budget-full-face-motorcycle-crash-helmet-reviewThe Scorpion EXO R-420 is a great value package. It's DOT and Snell M2015 certified meaning it'll give great protection (though it's not ECE certified for Europe). It has a quality quick release visor system with anti-fog, it's highly rated for comfort and build quality too - all at a hyper competitive price point. Well worth a look if you're after a low price all rounder motorcycle helmet.


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