The new Shoei RYD offers a great value sport or sport-touring helmet that is extremely light but offers the brand's famous protection. Review: Kris Hodgson
Shoei’s new RYD helmet is a very nice piece of kit, incorporating features from many of their top end helmets, but offered in a competitive package starting from $599.90 RRP.
The Shoei RYD I’m rocking is actually the Matt Deep Grey, which is a little more at $649.90 RRP, and is joined by a Matt Black, Matt Deep Grey, Tangerine Orange and Matt Blue Metallic in the same price range.
Having come from the Shoei NXR, the new RYD sits in a significantly lower price bracket, and at this time is just available in single colours. The Matt Deep Grey, Tangerine Orange of Matt Blue Metallic would be my choice of the lot, as I’m not a fan of black helmets due to low visibility, while white helmets need to be stickered or custom painted in my opinion.
Now at first glance the RYD just doesn’t look as fancy as a helmet with graphics, which I put down to the eye being drawn to features like the air vents and visor. It also features the same visor system as the NXR with the CWR-1 Sheild, which was a particular bonus for me as I’ve already got them in clear and Dark Tint.
The vent system is simple, one on the chin, two above the visor, with two rear vents helping air flow through. Only the vents on the front of the helmet can be opened and closed, and they aren’t quite as elegant as those found on the NXR.
Ventilation and airflow is great however, and I’d actually probably say it’s a more balanced helmet than the NXR in this regard. I always found the NXR had too much wind up under the chin, especially in the cold in winter if the chin or nose piece where not fitted. The RYD on the other hand is pretty much perfect.
Part of that is no doubt the Pin-Lock system which comes in the box, helping prevent any fogging up on the inside of the helmet, which in turn reduces the need to have the visor open. In the wet that’s a godsend. Keeping the visor fully closed means no rain on the inside and better vision.
Wind-noise wasn’t particularly noticeable for me, except on our Long Term Yamaha MT-07 Tracer, which features a tall screen, which offers good wind protection but increases the level of audible buffeting at helmet level. I don’t feel that buffeting but it does increase the level of noise inside the helmet substantially. On a sportsbike like my Daytona 675R noise is minimal, while testing on the Royal Enfield Himalayan and more spirited Suzuki GSX-S750 launches gave an opportunity to test the helmet in different riding and bike styles.
The liners are a fully removable and washable, as you’d expect from Shoei, which makes it easy to keep your helmet interior in tip-top condition. With several hours a day, of daily wear, I’ve found they last at least a year, and are normally still in good condition, but when you’re riding that much it can be worth a new set of liners, even if it’s just the cheeks. If you’re interested in reading more about replacing Shoei liners we’ve done a write-up here: Shoei NXR Lining & Visor Replacement.
It’s worth noting that coming from an NXR the RYD is a slightly looser fit, so I’d recommend trying one on properly in store before buying.
Back to the visor, it uses the easy release system which makes changing visors work of seconds, however I find scratching the visor is always the riskiest part of the whole process during transport, and as such I’m running a Transitions Adaptive Shield from Shoei. I’ll do a full separate review on this visor though, as it deserves a bit of attention.
The RYD doesn’t of course include an internal drop down visor, which you wouldn’t really expect, not because of the price, but because of the RYD’s seriously light weight. At only 1315-1350g (depending on shell size), this is one extremely light helmet. It’s actually a smidgeon lighter than the NXR, which is frankly impressive, as the NXR has always been a helmet that other riders have been amazed at the lightness of.
It’s also one of the primary benefits in my mind with buying a more expensive helmet, apart from the obvious safety benefits, with a lighter helmet offering less fatigue and much greater comfort, especially over longer trips.
The RYD joins the NXR in being a helmet I can literally wear all day. Taking the helmet off at stops is more about being able to have a chat face to face than actually feeling the need to remove it.
The shell itself is what Shoei call a 5 Layer Aim Construction, which keeps weight down and offers good strength, while a Dual Layer Multi Density EPS Liner offers premium impact absorption. I hope to not need those features, but feel secure in a Shoei if I do.
The Emergency Quick Release System is also present, allowing emergency services to easily remove the helmet in the event of an accident, which helps reduce the chance of causing further injury, especially spinal, while removing the helmet.
Overall the RYD offers pretty unbeatable value in my mind. It’s comfortable, features replaceable liners which can also be swapped out for different sized options for an even more tailored fit, it’s simple yet elegant and it does everything I need, particularly with the transition shield fitted. If you can live without a drop down inner sun visor I definitely highly recommend the RYD. It’s a bargain for a Shoei and you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.
The only downside I have noticed is that the matt finish on my Matt Deep Grey helmet does get easily marked when dirty, and being a solid colour it’s more noticeable than on my matt NXR, where the graphics tended to hide any marks or fingerprints. A wash with soapy water cleans it up, but I can see there being a bit more work involved with keeping the RYD in a matt finish clean (if that worries you at all!).
The new RYD is supplied with PINLOCK EVO Anti-fog film, Breath Guard, Chin Curtain and Shoei Helmet Bag. The RYD is available in Solid Gloss Colours: Black, White, Basalt Grey for $599.90 RRP, or in Solid Metallic/Matt Colours: Matt Black, Matt Deep Grey, Tangerine Orange, Matt Blue Metallic for $649.90 RRP, in sizes XS-2XL.
You can also check out out other Shoei helmet reviews here (click to open in a new window):