We all know how the X-Spirit 3 compares to the RX-7V, but how does Shoei as a brand itself perform against Arai, AGV, or HJC?
We collected and analyzed all data from the dozens of helmets we tested to come up with some clear data. Are you curious which helmet brand can call itself the best of 2022? Then stay tuned!
Since we started recording our road test, we’ve collected data from dozens of helmets from Shoei, Arai, AGV, HJC, Shark, Schubert, Scorpion, Bell, and the NolanGroup.
While we’ve used this data to see how their helmets do individually, we’re now curious to see what results we would get when we look at all their respected helmets together to find out what they have to offer as a brand overall.
We used our usual test setup to get an idea of their safety. We did not include Schubert in this data review because the number of samples we tested for this brand was too small to make a fair comparison.
Best Motorcycle Helmet By Brand
Other than Shark or AGV, this is the brand we have tested the most with Scorpion. Shoei is a high-end brand, and we can see this in its high-quality liners, visor mechanisms, and overall high quality.
Shoei helmets typically come in an oval round fit, with the shell made from Shoei’s Advanced Integrated Matrix material. Our numbers are based on the riding tests of:
- Shoei Neotec 2 (Shoei’s modular helmet)
- Shoei NXR (their touring helmet)
- Shoei GT Air 2 (of sport touring)
- Shoei X-Spirit 3 (their top-of-the-line racing helmet)
- Shoei Hornet ADV (their adventure helmet)
- Shoei Glamster (Shoei’s retro helmet)
- And the Shoei J-Cruise 2 (their super popular jet helmet).
Considering the test result of all Shoei helmets combined, Shoei is doing as well as we expected. For material, Shoei scores 4 stars using their AIM scale. This also translates into a lightweight, earning Shoei another 4 stars.
Since most Shoei helmets are also equipped with an integrated Pinlock lens, the brand also scores 4 stars for its visors. For noise, Shoei does reasonably well and earns 3 stars for this.
Looking further at ventilation, we see that Shoei scores 3.5 stars here. Finally, Shoei deserves 4.5 stars because of the great comfort of the helmets. Shoei is also very safe and scores an average of 4 stars.
HJC helmets are made from the premium integrated matrix and usually have an intermediate oval head shape. We used our data from the following:
- HJC RPHA 90S Carbon
- HJC F70
- HJC i90
- HJC i70
- HJC RPHA 70
- HJC RPHA 11 and
- HJC RPHA 1.
For material, HJC scores 3 stars, which is reasonable. However, if we then look at the weight and the visor, HJC manages to raise its star rating on both parts to 4 stars.
HJC gets 3.5 stars for noise insulation, which is good but still remarkable. The HJC RPHA 70 carbon, the HJC RPHA 90S Carbon, and the HJC i70 are among the quietest helmets we have ever measured.
The moderate noise isolation of the other helmets takes the total score down, which is a shame. Furthermore, HJC scores on is an excellent 4 stars and an average of 3 stars for comfort. This brings HJC to a total score of 3.5 stars.
HJC also does reasonably well for safety, and the brand receives 3 stars for this.
Arai is our second major Japanese helmet manufacturer known for its safety and quality and for adding certain special features that other brands do not have. For example, their visor vents and round shell shape.
Arai helmets are generally made from super fiber via a complex laminate construction. This means that they are among the most expensive in most helmet categories. Arai is also known for providing a wide range of shell fits. This ranges from medium oval to long oval.
For our road tests, we tried out the following:
- Arai Tour X4 (their adventure helmet)
- Arai Profile-V (their touring helmet)
- Arai Renegade-V (their cruising helmet)
- Arai SZ-R VAS (Arai’s jet helmet)
- And the Arai RX-7V (their best racing helmet).
Arai gives Shoei an edge when talking about price, but let’s see how much. Arai scores 4 stars for material, and thanks to the special fiber the helmets are made of, Arai also manages to get 4 stars for weight.
If we then look at the visors, Arai scores 3.5 stars. In addition, the Arai scores 3 stars for noise and ventilation, and for comfort, 4 stars, which is due to the high-quality linings.
If we look at the performance of the helmets from Arai, Arai lags behind compared to Shoei. As a result, Arai ends up with a total score of 3.5 stars. Nevertheless, Arai helmets are safe helmets that score an average of 4 stars overall.
AGV is a very strong competitor in this case, with helmets in almost every category and price range, not to mention that they are producers of the famous Pista GP RR worn by the man himself, Valentino Rossi.
Although the fit of AGV helmets tends to be narrower, AGV also uses carbon fiber materials. We tested the following:
- AGV Pista GPRR
- AGV Pista GP R
- AGV K1
- AGV K3 SV (AGV’s more budget helmets)
- AGV Sport Modular
- AGV Tourmodular
- AGV K6 (AGV’s sport touring helmet)
And finally, the AGV X3000 and the AGV Corsa R to arrive at a score for AGV.
Overall, AGV does as well as its competitors. AGV scores 4 stars for material because the helmets have multiple shell sizes. This also results in a nice 4 stars for weight. AGV’s visors earn 3 stars.
If we look at noise insulation, AGV disappoints with an average score of 2.5 stars. Finally, AGV scores 4 stars for ventilation and another 3.5 stars for comfort. This brings the Italian brand to a total score of 3.5 stars.
Looking at how AGV does on safety, they also do extremely well, earning a nice score of 4 stars for the safety component.
As we mentioned earlier, Scorpion is, together with Shoei, the brand we have tested the most. For Scorpion, we tested the following:
- Exo 1400 Air
- EXO 1400 AIR Carbon
- 520 Air
- Exo-r1 air carbon
- Exo-tech carbon
- Exo-combat and
The fit of these helmets is generally between round and oval. If we look at the performance of Scorpion, we see that this brand scores average.
For material and noise, Scorpion earns 3 stars. If we then look at the visors, we see that Scorpion scores 3.5 stars on this part. This score is because most helmets come standard with a pinlock lens in the box.
We also see that Scorpion for weight and ventilation has managed to get a nice 4 stars. In almost all helmets, the temperature inside the helmet was equal to the temperature outside, which is excellent.
What is unfortunate is the score for comfort. Scorpion scored on this part only 2.5 stars. This brings the French brand to an average star score of 3 stars.
Finally, if we look at the safety of the Scorpion helmets, they also do not fall short on this part, and the brand scores 3.5 stars for their safety.
Shark helmets have a medium oval fit and are well-known thanks to the Shark Evo One Two. The helmets we tested for Shark are the following:
- Shark Evo One 2
- Shark Spartan Carbon
- Shark Race-R Pro GP
- Shark Spartan GT Carbon
- Shark Skwal 2
- Shark Spartan RS
- Shark Streed Drak and
- Shark Skwal 2.2.
Shark is doing well but doesn’t make it into our top three so far. On the material part, Shark scores 3 stars because of their numbers of shell sizes. Shark does manage to earn 4 stars for weight, but if we talk about the visor again, it falls back to 3 stars.
Shark also earns 3 stars for noise and comfort, and for ventilation, the brand scores 4 stars again. This brings Shark to an average score of 3.
However, the Shark is strong on safety and gets 4 out of 5 stars for this part, which is great. HJC always surprises us during our road tests with their incredibly low prices and high quality and performance.
The fit of Bell helmets is in between round and oval. For this brand, we have tested the following helmets:
- The Bell Star DLX MIPS
- The Bell Qualifier DLX
- The Bell Race Star DLX
- The Bell SRT
- The Bell MX-9 Adventure
- The Bell Bullit
- The Bell Eliminator, and
- The Bell Broozer
Let’s see how Bell does. For both material and comfort, Bell scores 3.5 stars. For the visor and ventilation parts, this is 3.
Bell manages to stand out on the weight part with an average star score of 4. However, Bell disappoints with an average score of 2.5 stars on the noise insulation.
Finally, Bell scores 3.5 stars for comfort. All in all, Bell achieved an average star score of 3. If we then look at the safety of the bell helmets, we arrive at a nice 4 Stars.
8. Nolan Group
The last brand to compare is the NolanGroup, for which we combined our results for the Nolan and X-Lite helmets. Both companies come up with helmets with a mid-oval fit, and they usually offer very strong mid-range touring and racing helmets.
In this case, we tested the following:
- Nolan N87 Plus
- Nolan N87
- Nolan N100 5 Plus
- Nolan N100 5
- X-Lite X-1004 Ultra Carbon and
- X-Lite X-803 RS Ultra carbon
For material and weight, they earn 3 stars, while they score 4 stars for the visor. For noise, the NolanGroup also does reasonably well with another 3 stars, and the same goes for comfort and ventilation.
Overall, this gives the Nolan group 3 stars, which is not bad either. They also do very well for safety, and they have a well-deserved score of 4 stars for this.
Which Helmet Brand Came Out On Top?
So, now we have gone through all the brands, and we can start announcing our winner. We apologize in advance to all Arai, AGV, or other competing fans, because Shoei came out on top.
Shoei received 4 stars overall, and they also did as well or better than any other brand in every category, not to mention the great value for money.
Then we see that AGV, HJC, and Arai all do equally well in terms of star ratings, but if we factor in the price, HJC runs off with the 2nd spot in the ranking.
The 3rd place is shared by AGV and Arai, who both scored 3.5 stars.
Next, we have Scorpion in place 4 and Shark in place 5, followed by Bell and the NolanGroup.
So we now have our answer, Shoei is the best helmet brand. However, this does not mean that every helmet Shoei produces is better than the others, as this result is based on an average score.
Also, the helmet you choose depends on what purpose you are going to use it for, and this could just as well be offered by AGV, HJC, or one of the other brands.