Review by Joe Michaud
[This Scorpion EXO 900 Modular Motorcycle Helmet Review was originally featured in the February 2010 issue of Rider magazine]
Me? I have three road bikes. A new sport tourer, a vintage Triumph and an American V-twin. Each requires its own sense of style in riding gear. Sport riders typically wear armored gear, gloves, boots and full-face helmets. Vintage guys favor jeans, work boots/gloves, a Levi’s jacket and an open-face lid. Cruisers, well, it’s odd here in Southern California to see a custom cruiser rider in anything but minimal coverage. If you don’t want three helmets, Scorpion Sports USA may have the answer for all three riders with the EXO 900 Transformer.
The Scorpion EXO 900 motorcycle helmet is a true modular helmet; it can be modified from full-face configuration to open-face mode complete with a peaked visor in a few seconds. The full-face front section, complete with visor and flip mechanism, can be quickly replaced with an open-face module. Both configurations feature a drop-down tinted eye screen similar to that found in military flight helmets. The flip-front visor is treated to be fog-free; colder mornings will test that.
Venting is provided by three large rockable panels which can be easily accessed by gloved hands. Inlet panels are located in the chinbar, on the brow portion, with an exhaust vent on the rear. Air circulation is average.
All helmets suffer from wind noise above 30 mph. At freeway pace, among the cars and trucks, it’s a noisy world. The noise transmission of the EXO is not much different from other helmets in this respect. The neck curtain has an air bladder that can be pumped up; this aids in sealing the neck area and helps cut the decibels a tad. Constant noise is a cumulative and permanent problem. I wear custom earplugs and advise anyone else to do so regardless of any helmet noise reduction claims.
The interior liner is water-wickable and washable. The shell meets or exceeds DOT and ECE 22-05 standards in both flip and open-face configuration. There’s a small panel on the left lower exterior surface of the shell that appears to be removable…a future intercom port perhaps? Fit and finish are excellent.
How does it feel on my head? My EXO 900 is the same circumferential size, albeit a different head shape, as my usual brand but feels snugger. Perhaps my old Arai is a bit worn inside and simply needed replacement. The EXO feels heavier than my Quantum, but the flip mechanics are a consideration unforeseen in the Arai.
Downside? Rain has always been a bugaboo with any open-face design. No provision is provided in the open-face configuration for a snap-on face shield. Who hasn’t ridden with a gloved left hand covering their faces in rain? Also, the slot for my nose in the drop-down eye shield is snug but a few quick licks with a file fixed that. When in full-face mode, the chinbar is a bit close. If your facial physiognomy is Leno-esque, you may have a problem.
Upside? I wear prescription eyeglasses when I ride and the flip makes it easy to install them. The peripheral vision in both configurations of the 900 is stellar, far wider than other helmets that I’ve worn. The inflatable neck collar and additional snap-in neck curtain will be a nice adjunct in colder times. I haven’t tried installing my comm gear yet, but the liner snaps in/out easily enough.
All in all, this is a sweet helmet. The retail price is under $300, so it’s a bargain, too.
For more information: See your dealer or contact Scorpion Sports USA, 25921 Atlantic Ocean Drive, Lake Forest, California 92630; (888) 672-6774; www.scorpionusa.com