Quality, comfort, and a star in the making
I will begin with a serious question: When you have rolled up at a biker café, how often has a fellow biker strolled across and said how much he liked your helmet?
It’s usually the bike… right? So, a bike, secondary to a helmet. That’s a new one on me. I’ve worn this Scorpion Exo on various machines, and without question I have received nothing but compliments about the lid.
To be honest, when the box first arrived and I took the helmet from its really nice quality, padded bag, I thought exactly the same. First thing that drew me in was the colour, in a deep red carbon composite shell, which sparkles in the light whichever way you turn it. Without doubt, the addition of such an elegant carbon touch adds to the stunning look. Then you have the lightness of weight, at a mere 1250g. Now that’s impressive for a sports-touring helmet, with the addition of a comfort liner. Delving further into the box, there was a Pinlock and complimentary dark visor, although the helmet already has installed a drop-down sun visor.
And I haven’t even touched on the price yet. £299. Let me repeat that just in case you were thinking yeh, right. £299. For an extremely well featured touring helmet, complete with a free Pinlock and dark visor.
I’ve been wearing the Scorpion for a few months… my go-to helmet, in fact, for any bike I have ridden, from my Harley Fat Boy to the new Royal Enfield Scram. Criticisms…can’t say I have, of any relevance anyway.
I own another Scorpion Evo, the open face Belfast Fender, and it has been a fun summer helmet to wear, although I have found it be slightly tight, even in a Large fit. I am normally a Medium fit, and the Exo-1400 came in a Medium size (58cm). Once on, the fit is snug, but comfortable, with no pressure points to speak off. Noise levels are good, and I like the fact that the helmet will accommodate glasses, although I usually wear daily disposable contact lenses when riding.
Talking of comfort, when the helmet first arrived and I was looking around it, I noticed a large round red button positioned in the chin section. Mmm, some investigating to do here. Press the red button and it operates a pump system which inflates a bladder on either side, thereby personalising the helmet fit through air-adjustable cheek pads which, in turn, affect additional noise reduction and, according to the manufacturer, make the helmet easier to put on. I didn’t notice any unwanted pressure when I tried it. So, how to deflate it, then? To the bottom left of the large red button is a small red button which you press in. Simples.
Based in Strasbourg, France, although Scorpion Exo is a relatively new name to other more commonly known brands emanating from Europe, is has been quietly but effectively developing many technical elements since found on more recognised brands. Shark and HJC, for example, I believe are now using the Airfit pump system pioneered by Scorpion Exo.
The helmet has a hypoallergenic, removable, machine washable, soft KwikWick3® lining. Should an accident occur, emergency responders will note quickly that the cheek pads have clearly marked emergency removable pull tabs, making it easier and safer to lift the helmet clear, thereby causing less strain on the neck. I also like the fact that under a pair of pop-out sections of lining you will discover two deep recesses for intercom speakers.
Other major features include adjustable, indexed front and rear vents with an aero-tuned rear spoiler to reduce lift, create vacuum and maximise airflow through the helmet; and a breath-deflector for enhanced fog-free performance. The chin cover contributes to noise reduction, and the chinstrap is of the double D ring type.
As a sports-touring helmet the styling looks quite aggressive, designed to a point at the rear, and track riders will be pleased to note that the rear of the helmet includes an ACU Gold sticker, so you can wear it on the track. The weight is claimed to be 1250g +/-50g, so when I mentioned earlier it was light, it really is.
As for the vents, the Scorpion Exo-1400 boasts chin and top vents with single slider offering up two open positions, plus closed. I’ve tried them in all positions, and all are effective. You can also remove the chin skirt for more air when required.
As I also mentioned earlier, the helmet comes with a dark visor, to my mind a brilliant addition, as I far prefer these to a drop-down sun visor, operable via a slider on the left-hand side. Whilst on some of my other helmets it has proven to be an utter nightmare to replace a visor, the Scorpion Exo is simplicity itself. Utilise the sprung catches on either side to remove the Max-Vision clear visor, then line up the replacement tinted visor correctly and press it in.
VERDICT: ***** A quality helmet. lightweight, of premium quality, comfortable, noticeably quieter than some other helmets, even at far higher prices, and at a cracking price. There are three shell sizes for a precision fit.
REVIEWER: MICHAEL COWTON