If You Don’t Want To Spend The Dollars On An RF-1100, Then Take A Look At the Qwest
When Shoei released the Qwest helmet they made a number of subtle changes to their design. They claim the helmet is on average about 2.2 dB quieter under normal road riding conditions.
For some reason Shoei decided to label it as the ultimate touring helmet. Sure, it meets that need nicely, but it can just as easily be used by the week-end sports rider. But I guess that’s their choice.
When compared to Shoei’s RF range of helmets, the Qwest appears to be lighter, have more precision in the operation and seal of vents and shield, and a slightly more round shape.
The shape of the helmet, as well as attention to the way the helmet seals around the lower part of the riders head is tied up with the wind noise reduction they’ve achieved with this design. See later section on Noise Reduction.
When it comes to the liner, it is certainly the most plush of all the current Shoei helmets. I’ve worn helmets where the liner was a more of a dermabrasion instrument, with repeated use quite capable of removing the top layer of skin. This isn’t the case here.
Consistent with it being marketed as a touring helmet, it comes with ear pockets to make it a little easier for speakers to be fitted.
These days, most tourers will have some sort of iPod/iPhone or MP3 player fitted as well as the capability for rider-to-rider and rider-to-pillion communication.
The Qwest helmet meets Snell M2010 certification. Its energy-absorbing EPS liner is a dual density construction, with the exterior AIM+ shell a six-ply composite design providing the ultimate in safety and protection.
This is a big issue. Feedback from a significant number of owners point to the fact that the claimed noise reduction is tied up with having the chin curtain and breath guard in place. Without these, the noise performance is ordinary.
It also seems to be tied up with the riding position, upright vs sports; as well as the overall aerodynamics of the bike itself (fully faired, dual sports, naked).
Shoei’s claim about it superior noise performance does seem to be dependent on a number of other factors. So be aware!
Fit, Comfort and Visibility
The liner and the overall fit of the helmet is extremely good. This has been achieved by paying attention to the material and the molding of the liner. The main liner isn’t removable in the Qwest, but I’ve never seen that being a big issue in helmets anyhow.
Both lateral (left to right) and vertical visibility is well above average. The vertical visibility is certainly very good.
The helmet uses the QRSA (Quick Release Self Adjusting) system to hold the shield firmly against the weather seals making it pretty much water proof under any riding conditions.
The ventilation is OK. Airflow around the top of the helmet is satisfactory; but the airflow around the face/chin is good. It’s nothing to write home about, but for the vast majority of riding it will be more than adequate.
- Shoei’s proprietary AIM+ shell utilizes a composite of fiberglass and organic fiber for a light tough shell
- New Quick Release Self Adjusting (QRSA) spring loaded base plate system for a tight wind and waterproof seal between the face shield and eye port bead
- A wider taller face new scratch resistant CW-1 face shield that blocks 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays
- Cheek pads that come in six different sizes to get a custom fit
- Breath guard and chin curtain both removable
- Ventilation adjustments that are glove friendly
- Upgradable Pinlock system available for more fog resistance
Shoei offer a five (5) year warranty on all their helmets, which is excellent.
The Shoei Qwest Helmet is available in seven solid colours (black, matte black, white, light silver, anthracite, bright yellow and matte deep grey and they are discounted 10% from the recommended retail to $330.29 in sizes 2XS to 2XL from five different shell sizes. Graphic helmets are available from $443.69.
The Shoei Qwest is a light, quiet, well made and comfortable helmet. It offers superior visibility and fit that is targeted towards the longer distance touring market. It certainly achieves that objective. The only concern is the mixed experiences owners have about Shoei claiming it to be a quiet helmet. It’s been around for a while now, but I’ll give it 4 out of 5.
If the Qwest helmet is a little pricey for you even with these savings the next best thing we can recommend for you is to browse here, specifically the touring category of helmets for some slightly less expensive helmets with prices starting from $269.95 for a Scorpion EXO-900 Transformer helmet (rated 4 stars and available in 7 colors) for example.
Interested In Some Closeout Sale Deals?
While you’re thinking about the Shoei Qwest Helmet, you just may pick up a great bargain by scanning the closeout deals and sales currently on offer from Motorcycle Superstore, Revzilla Online or Cycle Gear Direct.
Prices/conditions valid at time of publication.
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