Helmet safety is a top priority for motorcycle riders, but while it’s imperative to be safe, you also want to be comfortable out on the road. Not only that but investing in the right helmet can ensure that you get the best performance and protection, which helps you ride with confidence.
Enter the Shoei GT Air. When compared to other helmets, this one is a bit pricier, but it’s worth the extra cost. If you’re a rider with an oval face shape, you’ll appreciate the contouring and comfort of this product. This is an excellent blending of aerodynamics, airflow, and maximum safety, making the Shoei GT Air one of the top helmets around.
Outer shell material : Fiberglass and Organic Fibers
Shell size : S-XXL
Liner : EPS Liner/Removable
Weight : 3.67 Pounds
Pinlock : Yes
Strap System : Micro Ratchet Type
DOT : Yes
ECE : Yes
SNELL : No
SHARP : 3/5
Shape and materials
When picking out a motorcycle helmet, you must understand the shape of your head. Some riders have rounder heads with a broad forehead, while others are much more narrow.
The Shoei GT Air is definitely made for the latter. Typically speaking, Shoei helmets are generally on the narrow side, so we highly recommend round-headed riders try wearing it before they buy. In most cases, it may not be the most comfortable, so you might have to go with a different make or model.
If the helmet does fit like a glove, however, you will be impressed by the soft EPS liner and the AIM shell. For the uninitiated, AIM stands for Advanced Integrated Matrix, which is a proprietary blend of fiberglass and other organic fibers. The benefit of an AIM shell is that it’s both lightweight and durable, although this helmet is about average in its weight class.
Overall, each component of the Shoei GT air is remarkably well made, so you can feel confident in wearing it. While it doesn’t have the best safety rating, it’s more than sufficient for most incidents you’ll encounter on the road.
Things I liked
Things I don’t like
Expanded polystyrene foam is pretty much standard wherever you go for motorcycle helmets. It’s not the softest material you can find, but it does work well at protecting your face and ensuring that your helmet fits correctly while you ride.
The primary reason why EPS liners are comfortable is that they hug the contours of your face and head. In the case of the GT Air, you will feel terrific, assuming that you can find the right fit. If the helmet is a little too small for your head, it will create pressure points that can be more than a little annoying.
Another element that adds to the comfort level is the shape of the ear holes. Technically speaking, there are spaces for earphones, but you’ll have to shop around to find a set that fits precisely. That being said, your ears should fit nicely, which ensures that you don’t experience any pinching or rubbing.
Fortunately, to help reduce wind noise, the neck roll and bottom padding for the GT Air are a bit thicker and plusher. This added material helps eliminate gaps that could allow air inside, and it means that the helmet is that much more comfortable.
As a rider, you’ll likely be on the road in a variety of environmental conditions, so you need to be prepared for them all. Sunny days require a shaded visor, while colder weather can fog up your face shield if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, the Shoei GT Air is ideally suited to provide excellent visibility at all times in all conditions. Here’s a breakdown of why this helmet is so good in this section.
Built-In Sun Visor
Typically speaking, if you want to shade your eyes from the sun, you’ll either have to swap out your face shield or add a secondary visor. With this helmet, however, it has one built-in, all without making the inside of the shield uncomfortable.
So, all you have to do to keep your vision intact is snap it down, and you’re ready to go. Even better, you can adjust its position in case you don’t want it down all the way. A lever on the side of the helmet controls its placement, and it will stay there throughout your whole ride. We’re impressed by how well the visor sticks and doesn’t shift.
Road glare and fogging can be real problems for riders, particularly on colder days of the year. Fortunately, there is a breath guard inside the helmet to ensure that you don’t get foggy or misty. Also, the Pinlock visor is designed to eliminate most road glare so that you can see more clearly.
Overall, the GT Air is better than most on the horizontal plane, but it’s not as good on the vertical axis. Also, it’s excellent at adapting to weather conditions, so that’s another plus.
Here is where the worth of a higher price tag comes into play. As you may have noticed with cheaper helmets, they tend to be quite loud. While you don’t necessarily need complete silence or peace while on the road, too much noise can be distracting, particularly if you can’t hear the sounds of other vehicles.
Thankfully, this model is one of the quietest you can find. A significant reason for the lower noise levels is that there is much less space between the padding and your skin. A contoured fit ensures that air can’t get in from the bottom of the helmet, which keeps it from sounding like the inside of a jet engine.
One of the most challenging aspects of building a motorcycle helmet is having to blend the need for air to flow through and maintaining a relatively quiet interior. Somehow, Shoei seems to have mastered this challenge, as the GT Air is both one of the quietest and most ventilated helmets on the market.
Air comes in through the top and the bottom, ensuring that you feel comfortable throughout your ride. The shape of the EPS liner also helps guide the air where it needs to go so that wind doesn’t find its way directly into your ear.
On top, you can open the vent all the way or leave it at half-closed. On the bottom, the chin vent can either be opened or closed, depending on your circumstances. As you can imagine, you’ll want both vents opened during hotter days, and the lower one closed during the colder parts of the year.
When comparing the two vents, we have to say that the upper one performs better than the bottom. However, both options are incredible and will provide adequate relief when riding. You shouldn’t be pouring sweat when you remove the helmet.
Although comfort and visibility are crucial to the overall rating of a helmet, it all comes down to safety. After all, a contoured liner that hugs your face won’t mean much if it doesn’t protect your head in a collision or other accident.
When it comes to safety, the GT Air is slightly better than average, but it’s not winning any awards. Let’s break down the two reasons why this helmet is a little safer than most of the cheaper models you’ll find elsewhere.
Multiple Shell Sizes
With other helmets, manufacturers only produce a couple of different shells (usually, to save money). From there, they adjust specific head sizes by adding or subtracting the EPS liner on the inside.
For the GT Air, however, Shoei has manufactured three shells, which means that you don’t have to sacrifice internal padding to get the right size for your head and face. As a rule, both the shell and the liner should fit you perfectly.
As we mentioned above, Shoei has a proprietary blend of fiberglass and organic fibers that comprise the shell. While this mixture is rugged, it’s not uniformly distributed around the helmet. The sides are where impacts can have the most damage, but that’s pretty common within the industry, so don’t blame Shoei for that.
Overall, if you’re willing to shell out a few hundred extra dollars for this helmet, you’ll be impressed by its quality and performance. Also, make sure that you have the right face shape for the GT Air, as a flat forehead isn’t the best option for this product.
When it comes to most of the specs like safety, weight, and shape, this helmet is a little above average. Where it shines, however, is in noise reduction and ventilation. Also, the Pinlock visor system is incredible at improving visibility on the road - you’ll wonder how you rode without it.
Simply put, you do get what you pay for, so don’t worry about breaking the bank with nothing to show for it. This helmet will be an excellent addition to your riding gear, and it will make you feel better whenever you’re on the road.
Where to buy this helmet :