Shoei’s GT Air 2 is the latest all-around helmet choice. In 2019, Shoei replaced the original GT Air with this one while adding new, distinct features. This full face headgear has a more sleek design with improved aerodynamic capabilities.
Priced at just under $600, it is proven to be best for upright riding. So, this is not ideal for a tucked under track race position. Many who use it for street riding and touring give high ratings for the qualities we will take a look at below.
Outer shell material : Polycarbonate/Fiberglass
Shell size : XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
Liner : EPS
Weight : 3.79 lbs.
Pinlock : Pinlock ready
Strap System : Micro ratchet chin strap
DOT : Yes
ECE : Yes
SNELL : No
SHARP : Not tested
Shape and materials
It is a standard Oval shape, but it is a bit more pointier than the original GT Air. Shoei added more grooves on the interior to make it more aerodynamic, which, of course, reduces drag from high speed rides.
Shoei’s Multi-Ply AIM Shell has not failed them. This latest shell design includes fiberglass material combined with composite fibers and resins which makes it more impact resistant. When you add the multi-density, multi-piece EPS liner, the GT Air 2 becomes another product known for safety with great lines of defense.
Things I liked
Things I don’t like
The most notable new addition to this latest model is the integrated Sena Bluetooth Communication system. Speaker pockets are located on both left and right sides with a battery pack slot in the back. Despite this add-on, the shell size remains the same due to cutouts made within the helmet which creates a more seamless flow. Channels were also created to keep wires from pushing against your head. As an intercom-ready helmet, this latest design is stylish, modern, as well as comfortable.
It has three shell sizes to accommodate XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL. It also has a reasonable weight of about 3.79 lbs. There are many colors to choose from if you are one who likes to add zing or be bold.
The chin strap is micro ratchet style. This might not be an issue for you. It is easy to set in place and fast securely. However, most owners voice their preference to the double D ring style.
The shield includes standard UV protection and scratch coating. Optional tints are available in different colors. It is also Pinlock ready to alleviate any problems with fog.
The previous version of the GT Air 2 was highly acclaimed as a comfortable fit. This new model is greater in improvement. The fitting is true to size for the most part, although there were a few owners who stated the sizes ran a little big for them. Thankfully, Shoei does well with fully customizable options to conform to your head size.
Most owners actually state that the helmet fits a bit snug at first. The feeling of snugness is quickly replaced with the sense of feeling more secure. Many owners attest that this is a good model for long rides. It has very few pressure points and is fairly lightweight. Plus, the on and off effort is pretty easy.
Shoei’s exclusive 3D max dry interior system absorbs moisture and gets rid of sweat faster than any other material. The interior lining is completely detachable and washable. You can also replace them when needed for maximum comfort. This system offers more cooling air to travel unrestricted throughout the helmet. Basically, you are in for a cooler, dryer ride.
A removable breath deflector and a chin curtain are also included. These items will increase the already improved noise reduction and ventilation.
There is a lot of positive feedback for comfort levels earning it the top rating for the GT Air 2.
Shoei designed this latest model with the CNS-1 face shield. A major bonus is that it offers an obviously wider and taller field of vision compared to its rivals. That includes Peripheral vision. This heightens your street cruise experiences now that you can take in more of your surroundings.
Additionally, the 3D injection molding ensures a distortion-free view. In the optical world, the shield exceeds ANSI Z80.3-2010 standard for non-prescription eyewear. This is so significant that the Japanese military uses Shoei manufacturing to produce their airplane pilot helmets. Most companies do not meet the Japanese Optical standards, according to Shoei.
A second major component is the all new “first position” feature on the shield. Some call it the “cracked open” option that optimizes defogging capabilities while it keeps out excessive wind.This “first position” option adds to the already included Pinlock Evo fog-resistant system. So, fog problems should be at the utmost minimum.
The only complaint thus far is that it takes a little effort to detach and reattach the face shield. The CNS-1 Base plate was redesigned with spring-loaded technology for a more effective, tight seal that keeps out air and water when it’s closed. This form secures the attachment well, but may surprise you if you are expecting a quick snap on and off method. Yet, with a little practice, the assembly process can be just as swift as any other.
In addition to the wider and taller shield, Shoei also improved the dropdown sun visor. It is easy to enact, operated by a simple slider. It is of high quality, both in material and design. The visor drops down smoothly while locking into place properly, without any bending or shaking out of place. Plus, it is 5 mm longer so as to reduce excessive sun glare.
Both the shield and sun visor are significant one-ups compared to the old version, as well as, other rival brands.
The previous version was already rated high in noise reduction. This latest product holds up to that same level of quietness. Improvements were made, but it does not appear that there was a vast difference between the two models. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
While it is always worth mentioning that noise level is subjective, the GT Air 2 is a top pick for a quieter ride. There is much positive feedback that confirms this. Noise cancelling earpads are included to enhance this benefit.
So, what about ventilation? Well, Shoei excels at premium designs. Overall, the ventilation has a high satisfaction rating for great air circulation. However, complaints - or rather constructive feedback - show that some riders are not too thrilled about the passive vents located towards the rear. Since they are passive, there is no option to close them.
For air intake, there is a single chin vent and a large crown vent. The “first position” or “cracked open” invention on the shield also increases ventilation. One of the best things about the vents is that they are easy to use, even with thick gloves on. One quick slide will do the trick. There are a total of three intake vents and five exhaust vents.
One thing to note is that the sun visor can interfere with ventilation since it is located in between the crown vent and exhaust vents. Interference should be at a minimum though with this tradeoff.
This latest design is DOT approved and ECE approved. It is pending certification by SHARP. It is a challenge getting unique features such as the sun visor approved by SNELL. So, Shoei does not have certification from SNELL at this time. However, Shoei’s high quality production and reputation exceeds them. They are consistently rated high for safety and security.
Plus, the emergency quick release system ensures that the helmet is quickly and gently removed from an injured rider. Medical specialists will be able to remove interior padding and provide fast treatment with the least amount of stress against injured parts of the head or neck areas.
There are certain alternatives that could decently compare to the GT Air 2 such as the Shoei RYD helmet or the Arai QV Pro. Both of these offer similar benefits, but also have received 5 star ratings by SHARP.
Overall, we give it a rating of 4 out of 5. One main reason is that it has not yet been tested by SHARP. Although keep in mind that Shoei usually has no problem keeping up-to-speed with safety regulations. It also limits riders to Sena SRL2 Bluetooth system, which may be fine for some, but not a choice favorite to others.
For those who wear glasses during rides, this helmet may be an option. The glasses may fit inside, however they may not sit well over the ears. This is something you would need to try out to determine if it will work well for you.
The GT Air 2 is definitely an improvement to an already highly esteemed helmet. As you can see, the few who expressed dissatisfaction indicated that the concern was primarily minor and related to personal preferences instead of actual dysfunctions. This is a good all-arounder that keeps owners satisfied and Shoei in the top ranks for headgear manufacturers.
Where to buy this helmet :