Shoei vs Shiro – Are Expensive Helmets Safer?

 

Not all helmets are created equal. And most importantly, not all cost the same. Constructed with different materials, helmets come in different shapes and sizes with diverse safety features. With head injuries still a leading cause of deaths in motorcycle accidents, helmets are, without a doubt, the most important part of a motorcyclist’s armor.

The stigma attached to the words ‘cheap or economical’ may turn off some motorcyclists, especially when personal safety is at stake. If you find yourself equating price with value, don’t feel guilty. Many do it unconsciously, as the human brain is hardwired to automatically prefer the pricier option.  

Here is an analysis that will determine whether there is a link between the price and the safety features of a helmet.

And if there is, would that mean ‘expensive helmets are safer?’ 

 

Product Portfolio

Shoei and Shiro are two international brands that offer quality helmets for both professional and casual riders. For Shoei, the RF-1200 is a winner according to motoexpert.com. It lasts for years and offers ample protection with its stronger shell design.

For Shiro it would be the SH-821. A popular among Amazon customers, this model is lightweight and offers comfortable ventilation.

The two brands classify their products differently. While Shoei defines its helmets by the type of races they are used for, Shiro has a broader description that includes different race types and rider profiles.

 

Price Structures

The cost of Shoei Helmets is more than twice than that of Shiro Helmets*, making Shiro Helmets a part of an entirely different cost bracket.

The average price of Shiro Motorcycle Helmets on Maximo Moto is: $127.3

The average price of Shoei Motorcycle Helmets on Maximo Moto is: $360.24

With Shiro being the (significantly) more inexpensive option, here is a rundown of the safety features that will hopefully determine whether cost actually translates into better protection.

*Note: Keep in mind that this is a very basic analysis of the products currently available at Maximo Moto. Averages have been calculated by the basic formula (Total Price of All Helmets/Total Number of Helmet Types). The number of products varies as they are sold out and newer models are introduced. Also, the prices are subject to change according to various promotional offers ongoing at the Maximo Moto website.

 

Construction, Comfort and Safety

To determine the safety features of helmets, let’s take a look inside the shell and check out how each company fares.

Shoei Motorcycle Helmets

Shield - Shoei helmets come with a shield/visor that protects the rider against wind, insects, dirt and harmful rays of the sun. Shoei visors are designed to give the rider a clear view, void of any optical distortion.

Shell - Shoei helmet shells are constructed to absorb the impact energy and distribute it over a larger area.

The EPS Liner - This is the second line of defense after the shell.

Comfort Liner - Shoei helmets contain an inner padding of high quality polyurethane foam of varying degrees of hardness. This allows the helmet to achieve the perfect fit.

Chinstrap - This part of a Shoei helmet helps hold the head gear in place. This is achieved by using a chinstrap with suitable tensile strength and extensibility.

Ventilation - Shoei helmets are constructed to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the shell. The helmet uses areas of low air pressure towards the rear of the helmet to draw warm, damp air through the outlets and into the outside environment. The prefect positioning of the inlets and outlets allows for remarkable ventilation.

 

Shiro Motorcycle Helmets

Shield - The shield/visors in Shiro helmets are made from anti scratch material and are available in different colors. The double curvature allows for excellent peripheral vision.

Shell - Shiro helmets are typically made with an outer shell of ABS resin and are designed in a way to give optimum protection against the harmful rays of the sun.

EPS Liner - Shiro helmets are lined with multi-density polystyrene, quite similar to Shoei helmets. This lining is available in different sizes, to ensure a perfect fit.

Comfort Liner - Shiro helmets come equipped with removable and washable lining. It is ergonomically designed to achieve perfect fitting and is anti-allergic.

Chinstrap - The various models of Shiro helmets come equipped with a micrometric quick release buckle strap.

Ventilation - Even though ventilation features in Shiro helmets vary according to the design, all of Shiro’s protective head gear offers ventilation. Upper front vents and rear air extractors, covered with wire mesh, keep the environment under the shell pleasant.

 

Now to answer the question whether expensive helmets are safer, the answer is ‘Not necessarily’

When making the final decision, price should be just one of the factors to consider. Several other factors such as the type of riding you do, the kind of tracks you ride on, the overall climate you typically ride in and what does your budget allow must be considered. If a helmet checks all the right boxes, get that one. If it doesn’t, get the next best thing. In short don’t let the price of a helmet make the decision for you, unless you’re on a budget.

Because with a Shoei or a Shiro helmet you can be sure of the fact that you are getting good value for your money.