In 1984, Shoei introduced the RF line of helmets, and since that time, the RF series has become one of the Japanese brand’s most popular lids. For over three decades, the RF lineup has been refined and with each update comes new technological and functional improvements. Shoei describes this evolution in the RF helmets with the Japanese term Kaizen, which is translated as “change for the better” or “continuous improvement,” and it’s more than evident in the new Shoei RF-1400 full-face motorcycle helmet.
We’ll have a comprehensive review of the new Shoei RF-1400 soon, but for now, we’ll whet your appetite while we get some miles in our test unit.
The Shoei RF-1400 is the latest addition to the RF family and a follow-up to the RF-1200, which was introduced in 2013. To that end, the RF-1400 boasts some critical improvements over the previous generation in terms of aerodynamics, comfort, noise and vision.
Shoei engineers refined the shell-shape of the RF-1400, and while it is visually reminiscent of RF-1200, the improved aerodynamic design is said to reduce drag by 4% and lift by 6%. A reduction in drag is always welcome as it lessens fatigue on the rider’s neck when riding.
Ventilation is optimized, thanks to a relocated forehead vent that now features an additional intake hole to increase positive airflow. Also, the exhaust vents are enlarged, improving the helmet’s ability to shed warm air. All told, the RF-1400 features six adjustable air intakes and four always-open exhaust outlets.
Returning to the fold is Shoei’s proprietary Multi-Ply Matrix Aim+ construction, featured in all the brand’s helmets, a combination of lightweight organic and high-performance fiberglass materials. The brand feels that this design offers the most impact-absorption, strength and elasticity. Adding to the safety features is a dual-layer, multi-density EPS liner.
Sizing of the RF-1400 ranges from XS through XXL and uses four individual shell sizes (XS-S; M; L; XL-XXL), ensuring that riders can achieve a much closer, and therefore, safer fit. Shoei representatives stated that XXXL sizing would become available later in 2021.
As usual, the RF-1400 features a medium-to-long oval shape, just like the RF-1200, GT-Air II, Neotec II, Hornet X2 and X-Fourteen helmets. The 3D Max-Dry interior pads can be removed for cleaning, and owners can change pad thicknesses for a custom fit. This year, Shoei increased the cheek pad volume to reduce wind noise and create a slightly snugger fit around the neck. An emergency quick-release system is standard.
The most distinctive change coming to the RF-1400 is the all-new CWR-F2 faceshield and baseplate system. The new faceshield uses a centrally located lock that helps evenly distribute forces when opened or closed and features vortex generators, borrowed from the race-ready X-Fourteen that improve aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. The Pinlock posts are positioned behind the helmet’s beading, creating unobstructed peripheral vision. Lastly, the helmet’s beading has been beefed up and is said to reduce noise through its improved seal.
The new Shoei RF-1400 is slated to arrive in authorized dealerships in January 2021. Perhaps the best news yet is that the new helmet is only $10 more than the previous iteration, with an MSRP of $499.99 for solid colors and $599.99 for graphic options.
Pricing: Solid color: $499.99; Graphics: $599.99