Looking to get adventurous and need the right helmet? Shoei’s Hornet ADV offers an exceptional option with peak, great styling and comfort and their world renowned protection. Review: KH
If you’re looking for an adventure, road and off-road helmet, I highly recommend checking out the Shoei Hornet ADV helmet, which offers a removable off-road peak, interchangeable visors (bought separately), amazing aerodynamics and great comfort.
In other words it’s a helmet that does everything and looks stylish while doing so. Obviously it’s not a full off-road helmet, and weighing in around the region of 1500g isn’t super-light, as you’ll get with some off-road dedicated helmets.
But there’s no feeling of heft when it comes to the Shoei Hornet ADV – having come from a Shoei Neotec II – in fact it felt light to me, and that was something that carried through to a full day on the bike, with only a few breaks to take the helmet off.
Personally I think one of the huge standouts on a Shoei helmet is the quality of the interior, which is an easy area to overlook, but the Shoei internals are top notch, super comfortable and are happy to be washed, without any degradation in shape – at least till they get decently old.
Obviously Shoei helmets suit my head, but putting the Hornet ADV on the fit was perfect, with good support, no areas of pressure and a very very firm fit, which is essential for safety. An old-school double-D chin strap also ensures the Hornet ADV won’t be going anywhere, and it’s still the most comfortable and easy system to use.
The one point of note, and my only criticism, is that the helmet’s quite tight sliding over the temples putting the helmet on, with the Medium size I had, but taking the helmet off is easy and there’s no such issue. This did mean taking a tiny bit of care putting the lid on, but wasn’t too big an issue for me. If you’re constantly taking it on and off, it might become annoying though.
The other immediate point of note was that field of view. You’ll notice the top of the chin at the bottom of your vision, but there’s nothing in the way of your peripheral vision, giving a natural feel alongside plenty of vision, which also helps give that feeling of not actually wearing a helmet.
The peak, which is easily removed via two screws that can be removed in seconds, but offers great sun protection, and is especially important when riding under high changes of contrast, which can greatly affect your vision, as well as really reducing the level of eye strain, as unless the sun is directly into your face, you’re getting a good level of protection.
The other big aspect of the peak is that it doesn’t affect the helmet’s aerodynamics negatively except when you do big head checks, where it’ll catch a little wind. For normal riding you’d never know it was even there, even at really high speeds where this kind of attachment would be expected to catch the wind. Having run a GoPro on the top of my helmet I can tell you, even something small like that becomes a sail on the freeway, but this peak has amazing aerodynamics.
The Hornet ADV is an aggressively styled helmet too, with a very sharp chin area, which no doubt greatly helps overall aerodynamics. What’s also noticeable is how well ventilated the Hornet ADV is, with plenty of air coming up under the chin for easy breathing, even when riding on unsealed roads, without hitting your eyes and causing issues there.
Without the breath guard or chin curtain there’s just a great amount of air coming in, and having ridden with this helmet in as cool a weather as we normally get around Sydney I can say I was exceptionally happy. Add very low noise levels and this helmet really ticks all the boxes for pure touring use as well. If you’re finding the air flow too much you’ve also got those options.
In fact such is the great airflow that I didn’t even run the Pin Lock when doing a two-day trip, with the tinted visor, however I’ll certainly be adding it to the standard visor for when the weather gets really cold and wet, and fogging up your visor becomes a major issue in traffic.
There’s also the adjustable vent in the chin, plus upper vents which allow fine-tuning of the airflow, so it’s not like you’re stuck with a single option, there’s also a good range of adjustability there.
Ensuring your safety is also a whole host of features from Shoei, including their AIM+ shell, dual-layer EPS liner and E.Q.R.S. system for getting the helmet off safely after an accident.
In the Navigate TC2 colours the Shoei Hornet ADV also looks wicked, and you know buying a Shoei you’re getting a quality helmet. Obviously the $999.90 RRP for the Navigate graphics is a premium price, however helmets are an investment and spread over a few years, with the features, comfort and quality on offer I think that’s well within reason.
A few other points of note, the Shoei Hornet ADV takes a CNS-2 Visor, with the QR-N dual stage base plates, coming with a clear as standard and a Dark Tint ($109.95 RRP) and Silver Spectra/Iridium option ($159.95) available separately.
The interiors as mentioned are washable, but you can also purchase different size interiors for that perfect fit, if you can’t quite get it right within the standard sizes. The helmet is also designed to take goggles, but you’ll need to remove the visor and peak to achieve that or wear the goggles with the visor in its most upper-most position with everything else still attached, while it is intercom ready, which is no doubt a point of interest for those doing the big kilometres with friends or a partner.
Shoei Hornet ADV Helmet features
- AIM+ (Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus Multi Fiber) shell
- Four shell sizes
- Dual-layer multi-density EPS liner
- CNS-2 face shield system
- Ribs on the top ridge of the shield improve rigidity when opening and closing
- QR-N base plate system
- Pinlock pins and insert included
- 3D Max-Dry System II Interior
- 3D shaped cheek pads in multiple thicknesses for a custom fit
- Max-Dry System II liner
- Removable ear pads
- Q.R.S. (Emergency Quick-Release System)
- V-460 Visor with innovative wedge shape and vent louvers
- Optimal cooling via visor intake
- Quarter turn screws on visor
- Multi-position lower air intake/defroster vent
- Two shutter-controlled upper air vents
- Four rear exhaust vents
- Three neck outlet vents
- Breath guard
- Chin curtain
The Verdict | Gear Review: Shoei Hornet ADV Helmet
Looking to get adventurous and need the right helmet? Shoei’s Hornet ADV offers an exceptional option with peak, great styling and comfort and their world renowned protection. Here is our review.