Shoei X 12 Review

by Alex Meyer

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After a full decade and more on the market, the Shoei X-12 is a racing helmet that still turns heads and gets people talking. Originally designed as an update of the popular Shoei X-11 model, the X-12 came with more advanced features and a higher overall rating.

If it carries the Shoei name then you know you’re looking at a premium helmet, made of the highest quality materials. The X-12 is no exception to this.

Of course, you have to get over the price tag, which is a bit on the steep side. Now, you can argue that you get what you pay for, and when it comes to helmets you definitely want to get the best. With that point of view, there is no such thing as a price tag too high -- and with the X-12 you are definitely getting what you pay for.

So, what makes this helmet so great?











Outer shell material : AIM combination of fiberglass with organic fibers

Shell size : XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

Liner : EPS liner

Weight : 1.766 kgs

Pinlock : Ready

Strap System : D-ring system

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : Yes


SHARP : 5 Star

Shape and materials

The Shoei X-12 is made of a high-quality combination of fiberglass and organic materials. This construction provides a strong and durable casing that keeps you safe no matter what punishment you put it through.

One of the biggest improvements Shoei made from the X-11 to the X-12 is the increased width and height, which allows for more peripheral vision as well as better vision of the road ahead.

However, the increase had one negative effect in that it added to the overall weight of the helmet -- not by much, but with a total weight of 1.766 kgs (as opposed to the slightly lighter X-11) you’ll definitely feel it the longer you wear this helmet.

Still, this helmet is strong enough that you shouldn’t let that be a deal-breaker by any means.

Things I liked

  • Excellent construction
  • Superior safety ratings
  • Multiple shell sizes and designs to help you find the helmet that was made just for you.
  • High visibility

Things I don’t like

  • Could definitely be quieter
  • Ventilation system needs work
  • That price tag, though.

Overall comfort

The Shoei X-12 is an incredibly comfortable helmet, for a number of reasons.

First off, it comes in six different shell sizes. For those of you that struggle to find the exact right size because your head is in between sizes, Shoei has got you covered; you can pretty much expect to find a helmet that fits your head.

Another reason for the excellent comfort of this helmet is the quality of the liner. Maybe it’s an attempt to justify that price tag, but the upshot is a very comfortable lining that doesn’t irritate, itch or distract you as you’re driving. It also has anti-wicking properties that helps to keep moisture away.


As mentioned above, Shoei has improved the visibility of its helmet design with the X-12. By increasing the height and width of the helmet and the shield, the peripheral vision -- as well as the overall visibility -- of the helmet is increased, giving you a better sense of the road.

What’s more, the shield is made of a clear, highly scratch-resistant material that stays clean. It fits tightly, preventing water leaking in during any rain events.

You can also get an optional Pinlock anti-fog insert option to help keep visibility as a maximum.


While Shoei claims that this helmet has been redesigned to reduce friction an increase of slippage through the air, in reality this helmet isn’t any quieter than most on the market. It’s not louder either, though. It fits comfortably in the “average” range.

So, if you’re looking for the quietness helmet on the market, this certainly isn’t it.


If there’s any area where the Shoei X-12 suffers, it’s in the area of ventilation. Sure, Shoei will tell you it’s well-ventilated; the ventilation system on this helmet consists of a Scoop 3 intake in the front to pull air in, as well as both a spoiler-independent top outlet and side extractor vents to

Let air flow back out.

So, they’ve tried. Yet, the biggest complaint from users is the lack of ventilation. Many say that they simply can’t feel any air flow, and it still get much warmer in the helmet than they would like.


Now, moving from a more negative part of the review to one that is definitely more positive: safety. The Shoei X-12 is rated as an incredibly safe helmet by pretty much any group that has tested it out, even earning a 5-star SHARP rating -- and you know they don’t just give those out to anyone!

So, while it might not be quieter than your average helmet, and it might not be more ventilated than your average helmet, it will certainly keep you safer and more protected than your average helmet!


When all is said and done, the serious racer could do a lot worse than check out the Shoei X-12. Sure, it has a high price tag, but that’s more than made up for by the high-quality construction, excellent visibility and outstanding safety ratings.

With its multiple shell sizes you’ll easily find a helmet that fits you, and it comes in so many colors, designs and styles that you’re bound to find the perfect helmet for you in every way, shape and form.

When we take all of this into consideration, we give this helmet an average rating of 85/100, which works out to 4.5/5 stars.

Where to buy this helmet :