Even if you never lap a racetrack, there are advantages to wearing a racing-designed helmet on the street like this Scorpion EXO R1 Air full-face model. For starters, at 54 ounces in a size large, this helmet is anywhere from 2-10 ounces lighter than the popular street full-facers on our shelves, so if helmet weight is an issue for you the R1 Air is worth a look. Scorpion says its multi-layered Ultra-TCT shell combines fiberglass, aramid and poly-resin fibers that minimize weight while maximizing strength and impact dispersal. Looks pretty cool in the neon-red Corpus model, too.
The EXO R1 also earns the “Air” designation for its aero-tuned shell shape, which Scorpion says helps reduce aerodynamic drag and improve balance. I found the fit to be slightly more snug than usual for a large, but still comfortable, and the R1 Air includes Scorpion’s AirFit cheek pad inflation system to snug the cheek pads around and under your jaw to customize the fit and prevent helmet lift at high speeds. A small bulb in the chinbar lets you pump up air bladders under the cheek pads to the desired level, and there’s a button to release the air before you take the helmet off. Thinner cheek pads are available as well, and they all have an EMT-friendly emergency release system that is obvious from the underside and works well.
Inside, the R1 Air’s multi-layer EPS liner has channels for increased airflow, and the “aero-tuned” ventilation system uses two air intakes in front and a 3-port exhaust spoiler system. It does flow a noticeable amount of air with the vents open, and both front vents are closeable. You can also close the chinbar vent from the inside to keep air flowing to the face shield but not onto your face. (I put some tape over the hard plastic ribs on the interior chinbar vent slider to keep it from scratching my nose when I put the helmet on.) For warmer weather both the breath guard and chin curtain can be removed, though the latter does help make the helmet quieter. We always wear earplugs when riding, but on a short ride without them, I found the R1 Air to be slightly noisier than average like most racing helmets.
Integrated speaker pockets in the R1 Air make installing a Bluetooth comm system a snap. Its Kwik-Wick III anti-microbial liner is removable and washable, and I liked the liner’s softness and feel. Face shields are easily changed with the quick-release system, and there’s a center lock for the ratcheting shield that is easy to use. At lower speeds the shield will stay slightly open if desired to allow more airflow.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a lighter full-face helmet with so many premium features—heck, the D-rings are even titanium! DOT and ECE approved, the Scorpion EXO R1 Air helmet comes with a clear MaxVision Pinlock-ready anti-scratch face shield, a Pinlock anti-fog insert and free additional dark smoke MaxVision Pinlock face shield. Two limited-edition racer replicas, four graphic colorways and solid matte black are available in sizes S-2XL for $399.95 to $459.95 with a 5-year warranty. The racer replicas also have tear-off posts installed.
For more information: See your dealer or visit Scorpion EXO.