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Review: Shoei X-Spirit 3, Marc Marquez helmet

Reviews and tests 29 March, 2016

We analyze...

After its October's announcement, Shoei has released to the market the new version of his most sporty and advanced helmet, the X-Spirit III, used by riders likes Marc Márquez in MotoGP and already available to purchase.  The Shoei X-Spirit III comes with a load of tech innovations and details that we'll explain in this article.

Materials and construction
The helmet’s shell follows the lines of the previous X-Spirit II making it a very aerodynamic helmet designed to be used in pure sporty riding. Shell lines have been tested in the wind tunnel and Shoei says it has improved by 3% in lift force and reduced drag by 10% compared to X-Spirit II.
The materials used for making the shell follow the AIM+ pattern (Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus), which is a combination of layers with different fibers types (organic fiber, multi-composite and other) for optimum hit absorsotion and stiffness. The inner shell, also called EPS features a multi-density composition for a better absorption of energy in case of impact.
Talking aerodynamics, the X-Spirit III has a rear deflector system, which avoid the “buffering” effect meaning less turbulence at high speeds (Shoei talks of up a 50% improvement). We also found side vortex (so far only Schuberth helmets had implemented) for a better lateral aerodynamic flow improving stability of our neck movement when leaning into curves.

The X-Spirit III is manufactured in four different shell sizes: one for sizes XS-S, one for M, one for the L and one for the XL and XXL sizes. The overall weight stands at 1350 grams for an S size.
The X-Spirit III has two air inlets in the chin. One directs air into the screen to impede a foggy visor. The lower intake channels air to the side padding. On the front of the shell we found another air inlet that is responsible for frontal area ventilation of both helmet and rider face, while the upper intakes feature a three position mechanism to direct air through the EPS and then to the rear exits. Talking about exits: there’re six in total, divided between two distinct rear zones. So overall speaking, ventilation is an important element  in the design where the Japanese has get serious.

X-Spirit III’s screen is the CWR-F. This visor is ready for tear-off system installation, a system that keep the screen cleaned at all times thanks to the use of detachable plastic sheets, a common seen attachment on racing. The plastics sheets don’t come as standard but Shoei includes the Pinklock Evo antifog, the best system we can install to avoid condensation screen’s inside. Screen is closed by a cam at the bottom.

The screen realease system uses carbon as material and is highly advanced, featuring screen quick release without tools, as seen in other Shoei helmets. All the perimeter dedicated in the shell for the screen has a rubber crown that helps to isolate the helmet’s interior.

The X-Spirit III is full of innovations that are not found in other helmets on the market. As general feature, the helmet has different density paddings for greater feeling and inner ventilation; also features an emergency extraction system called EQRS (Extra Quick Release System) by which you can extract the cheek padding quickly and its components are fully removable and washable.

If we extract the padding, we’ll see that they present multiple ventilation holes that optimize the helmet transpiration. We can say that the X-Spirit 3 is the first helmet in the market with this kind of ventilation. Another key point is the ability to adjust the foams thanks to mobile anchoring points. This allows us to vary the helmet’s viewing angle by 4 grades up or down, depending on our needs.
Then the upper padding also has mobile and replaceable panels, so if we wish, we can buy foams of varying thickness to adapt helmet’s inner design to our needs or face. These items must be purchased separately.

Other details
The helmet has double D buckle fastener, the most secure system and also features inner ear protections. As standard accessories, we find the nose cover, a chin-cover, and an air deflector for the chin zone plus the anti-fog Pinlock Evo system.

Undoubtedly, the Shoei X-Spirit 3 is a helmet that stands a step above the competence. The most important improvements are found in aerodynamics, interior and ventilation for a helmet that is reaffirmed and consolidated in the ultra-sporty and racing helmet segment.



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