The new Shoei Qwest is definitely not a warmed over version of any previous model offered by the premium helmet maker. It is a new and innovative design. The four elements that stick out to me in the new Qwest Helmet are fit, ventilation, safety, and quiet. Let’s take these one at a time.
First off, Shoei builds the Qwest in five shell sizes. To know why this is so important, you have to know that many lesser helmet makers try to fit all heads in one or two shell sizes. What that means is that fit is almost completely a function of variations in the thickness of the foam and liner.
In the Shoei Qwest Helmet, the shell is the basis for fit with less need to incorporate outrageously thin or thick interior materials. Of course producing more shell sizes is more expensive, but fit is key to both the protective and comfort properties of a motorcycle helmet. Shoei knows this. To cap off (pun intended) the fit and comfort of the new Qwest, the helmet sports a 3D center pad, fully removable, washable, and replaceable multi-layer cheek pads, and removable chinstrap covers.
Again, in lesser helmets, the vents often look cool and complex. Unfortunately, they often offer little in way of actual air flow. The new Qwest’s ventilation system is an active and effective system. The combination of re-sized and repositioned intake and exit vents has created a noticeable increase in air flow. As Shoei puts it, the Qwest’s new system “takes better advantage of negative pressure suction—yielding dramatically-improved cool-air intake and hot-air expulsion.”
There is a reason that you see the Shoei name on the helmets of a large percentage of top racers. Simply put, they trust the helmets. The Qwest’s composition is fiberglass with organic fibers that are so strong they can only be cut with a laser. After all, it is not the shell that you want being compromised in a crash to absorb the impact – the interior composition serves that purpose.
To that end, the Qwest’s dual layer liner results in enhanced impact absorption by varying thickness and density in key areas. The advanced combination of premium materials and unmatched design allow the Qwest to meet the rigorous Snell 2010 safety standards.
Shoei does not just claim that the Qwest is a quieter design; they prove it with a 2.2 dB reduction in noise as verified in wind chamber testing. This impressive noise reduction is obtained by both its optimal shell aerodynamics, and its liner components which are designed to prevent unwanted road noises from entering through the bottom of the helmet.
Of course, helmet noise is ultimately affected by motorcycle type and riding position. However, a wide variety of riders have reported that the Qwest is truly a quieter helmet.
The Shoei Qwest is an innovative and effective new helmet design. It is clear that the top-tier Japanese helmet maker is not resting on its impressive reputation. The Qwest’s improvements in the four key areas of fit, ventilation, safety, and noise reduction are evidence of that. I have owned 3 different versions of Shoei Helmets: the RF900, the TZ-R, and the RF1000. I see things in the Qwest that raise the bar even from those great models.
The Shoei Qwest is available in a full range of sizes from XXS to XXL. The prices for the Qwest start at $370 for the solids up to about $470 for the more elaborate graphic designs.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com