Carbon fiber helmets have been around for a long time, and they offer a great combination of lightness and strength, as well as the high-tech look of the carbon fiber weave. We’ve seen (and tested) more of them in recent years because improvements in manufacturing have made it possible to produce high-quality lids at a lower price. Premium carbon fiber helmets used to cost upwards of $1,000, but now you can buy them for about half as much.
Scorpion’s EXO-R1 Air Carbon helmet is a perfect example. Its resin-infused TCT-U 3K carbon fiber shell composite weave is said to provide aircraft-grade impact dispersion. Compared to the standard EXO-R1 Air we tested last year, the Carbon version is 3.5 ounces lighter (49 ounces for size medium) and has the same aerodynamic shell that’s designed to reduce drag and improve balance. The Carbon feels really light in my hands and all but disappears when it’s on my head.
Between the carbon shell and the comfort interior is a multi-layer EPS liner designed to absorb impact energy and it has built-in channels to allow air to flow around the head. Scorpion’s Ram-Air intake system sucks air in, which then moves through the helmet and returns to the atmosphere by way of a four-port exhaust spoiler. With a race helmet level of ventilation the EXO-R1 Air Carbon can be a tad noisy, but that’s what earplugs are for. The clear MaxVision Pinlock-ready face shield has an anti-scratch coating and blocks 95% of UV-A and UV-B radiation. A dark smoke shield, a Pinlock anti-fog insert and a helmet bag come in the box. Shield changes are a breeze, and the shield closes securely with a center lock.
In terms of comfort, the intermediate oval Carbon was initially pretty snug, but after a full day’s ride the removable/washable KwikWick III antimicrobial interior molded to my Charlie Brown head. Scorpion’s Airfit inflation adjustment system provides a custom fit for the 3D-contoured Kwikfit cheek pads, which also have an emergency release. Other features include speaker pockets, a breath deflector, a chin curtain and titanium D-rings on the chin strap.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, feature-packed, stylish, and functional full-face helmet, the EXO-R1 Air Carbon is a solid choice. DOT/ECE certified and backed by a 5-year warranty, it’s available in sizes XS-3XL in Gloss Black or Matte Black for $549.95.
For more information: See your dealer or visit scorpionusa.com