Shoei NXR 2 Helmet Review: Does It Live Up To All The Hype?


The Shoei NXR is one of the best road-going helmets you can buy. Small, lightweight, well ventilated, and at a great price point, its popularity with motorcyclists was massive, and now it’s even better with the NXR2.

It’s an evolution of the existing NXR rather than a rip-it-up-and-start-again job, but that’s no bad thing because the NXR is an excellent and very popular helmet already.

The big and most noticeable changes are in the visor and the ventilation, but one major change will probably be invisible to most of us. 

This helmet meets a new safety standard that will supersede our existing one in Europe. This is the first helmet we’ve tested that meets ECE 22.06. 

The new standard will be phased in over to replace 22.05, which has been in place since 2000. The NXR 2 seems slightly bigger than the outgoing NXR because extra protection material is needed to meet the new test standards.

Shoei NXR 2 Helmet Features

Weight

A very small margin also increases weight. For example, the medium-sized NXR 2 weighs in on our scales at 1423 grams, which is around 110 grams more than the outgoing helmet of the same size. 

So those are the bits you probably won’t notice; let’s dig into some of the bits that you probably will. 

Visor

The CWR-F2 visor is all-new, and it’s the first of the recent Shoei’s with a central lifting tab. It lifts by pushing the small piece of plastic located at the front bottom of the visor to release the tab and then lifting it from there.

The new mounting base plates for that visor mean it can be opened slightly to allow in a small amount of air without so much coming in that your eyes start to water, and that’s a clear improvement over the current NXR. 

The visor also has what Shoei calls Vortex Generators on each side. These little extrusions around the side are designed to smooth airflow and make the ride quieter. Those are taken from the existing design of Shoei’s X-Spirit 3 race helmet. 

Anti-Fog

The visor is protected against misting by a Pinlock Max Vision insert, and it’s a Pinlock Evo, which is their highest grade of insert in terms of moisture protection. It is supplied in the box with the helmet. 

The Pinlock also gets a helping hand in clearing mist from a new chin vent, which operates on the slide switch.

Ventilation

It brings cooling air through the top of the chin bar to the helmet’s interior. The vent on the original NXR is excellent, and so is this one. Opening the vent feels like turning on a cold air dryer that brings in a lot of air. 

It works in tandem with three vents on top of the helmet, which are also brilliant at pulling in cooling air. Shoei’s work in the wind tunnel has especially paid off with the vent at the front and the center.

It pulls in a huge amount of air. I first wore this helmet on a chilly April day, and I knew all about the volume of air that was coming in. 

The two sliders on either side are really good, too; the effect from these isn’t quite as noticeable as it is from that one at the front and the center, which is a big upgrade over the existing NXR for two reasons.

  1. It pulls in more air and is also easier to use.
  2. The vent on the current NXR has a smaller switch that’s harder to locate, and it’s also harder to operate, especially while wearing gloves. 

Once the air comes inside the helmet, it moves through channels in the impact liner and exits through the extractors in the rear spoiler. 

Those vents are permanently open, which is another change over the outgoing NXR as that helmet has switches to allow you to close the exhaust vents.

Shell Construction

The shell differs slightly from the existing NXR, mostly around the spoiler area. However, it’s still clearly derived from that original NXR. 

The shell is made from the same Advanced Integrated Matrix, a series of fibers that balance light weight and impact protection. 

Sizes

This helmet has four shell sizes – the smallest covers lid sizes from XXS through to small. Medium and large each have their shell size, and the fourth and biggest shell size covers XL and XXL.

Interior

Internally there are some minor changes from the NXR. The removable lining has a soft brushed material where it drags over your skin when you’re putting the helmet on or taking it off. 

Then it has sections of material that are better at managing moisture where you’re most likely to sweat, such as just above the eyebrows.

Bluetooth

This helmet isn’t prepared for a dedicated Sena intercom like many other Shoei models are. That’s something Shoei say they’ve avoided with this helmet because it’s a sporty helmet rather than a sports-touring helmet. 

You can fit a universal intercom to this, and there are recesses in the EPS to make that more comfortable, but as I said, there’s not a dedicated Sena unit by Shoei. 

Shoei is also one of the manufacturers where you can swap the cheek pads inside for thinner or thicker ones to alter the fit slightly.

Safety Features

The cheek pads have emergency release pull tabs, so if necessary, they can be taken off while the rider is still wearing the lid, making helmet removal easier at the scene of an accident. 

Also, as you’d expect from a sporty road lid, it’s a double D-ring strap fastener on that interior. The covers protect your skin from chafing by the strap; they can also be removed and washed. The helmet also comes with an optional chin curtain and a breath guard.

Safety Ratings

As I said, the NXR 2 meets the new Euro 22.06 standard as a full-face road helmet. Unfortunately, we’re writing this review before this helmet’s even made it into the hands of the ACU, the UK’s racing governing body.

I will be very surprised if this lid doesn’t get their approval for use in racing and on track days. But, perhaps obviously, it’s still too early for the NXR 2 to have been rated under the UK Government’s SHARP impact testing program.

In Conclusion

It’s typically Shoei. The build quality is a cut above the norm. This helmet has genuinely impressed me over the few days I’ve had it. The fact there’s no sun visor means this is a sporty road lid. 

I think it’d be great for people who don’t mind swapping visors 

to suit the light conditions or people who only ride in the daytime and are happy to leave a tinted visor on it all the time. 

That new venting system is really good; it’s an upgrade on the NXR, which is good anyway, and the field of vision through that visor is also good.

The Shoei NXR 2 is a premium motorcycle helmet that offers protection, style, and functionality. This helmet features the latest ECE 2206 certification, a mixed organic fiber and multi-composite shell construction, and a lightweight and aerodynamic design. 

It also has a pinlock EVO-ready CWR-F2 wide visor (insert included), which provides a secure, comfortable, and clear view for you to see. 

This helmet also has four independent shell sizes, a moisture-absorbing Quick-Dry interior for added comfort, and a variety of vents for optimal airflow.

Where To Buy

ModelSports Bike Shop
Shoei NXR 2From £429Opens in a new tab.

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