It’s not often that a single product has been so well refined—and refined so many times over the last 50 years—as this outstanding helmet from Shoei. The RF-1200 is no less than the tenth iteration of the RF line, all of which have been manufactured in Shoei’s own production facilities in Japan—which we imagine is a very exactling place run by people in labcoats who take their work very seriously.
This long line of iterative improvements collectively stacks up to the sculpted, tweaked and re-tweaked final product you see here. The RF-1200 has become an instant favorite around the shop for its fit, finish and feel, and for all its bonus features.
The short version of the sale pitch is simple: buy this helmet. It's our favorite. We think you'll love it.
The long version: RF-1200 how do we love thee? Let us count the ways:
1) It has five adjustable vents that provide both noticeable airflow when activated and noticeable (relative) silence when closed
2) It has an all-new shield design that delivers a wide-open and optically consistent field of view, complete with a spring-loaded baseplate and dual-bead gasket that create a hermetic seal when locked in the down position. Each RF-1200 comes standard with a Pinlock fog-shield shield in the box, which basically consists of a secondary clear shield with a silicone gasket that works just like a storm window—effectively eliminating the fogging effect with an insulated layer of air. Also, notably, this helmet can be upgraded to the best shield in the business - a pinlock-equipped Transition shield, which automaticall darkens depending on how bright it is, and is clear at night. No more swapping shields to suit conditions—the shield changes for you.
3) It's lightweight: this chassis has been aerodynamically shaped for stability at speed, and is ergonomically correct and comfortable on the inside. It weight just 3.5lbs/1560 grams for a medium.
4) Superior fit: This low-profile helmet comes in four individual shell sizes to optimize fit and function across the spectrum. It's an intermediate-oval fit, and after selling them for two years we find it fits most folks well. Furthermore each shell can be fine-tuned with optional pads to take it up or down a fraction of size. Each helmet can be custom fit with a thicker or thinner center pad, and a thicker or thinner cheek pad set. Cost is normally $50 per pad set but we include the correct size at no extra charge.
Safety-wise, the RF-1200 comes with the all-important dual safety rating with both DOT and SNELL stickers on the back. And as an added safety feature the helmet also has Shoei’s Emergency Quick Release System, which allows paramedics or first responders to easily remove the helmet in the event of a crash.
This helmet vents well but is still quiet enough for longer hauls on the open highway. It’s lightweight in its own right but it doesn’t suffer for lack of features. And for its reasonable price tag, all the details have been attended to: the paintwork is impeccable, the antimicrobial liners are easily removable, there are speaker cutouts for a Bluetooth system, and the startlingly clear face-shield closes and locks down with the reassuring thunk of an overbuilt luxury sedan door.
A multitude of fond online reviews will back this up. Try one out at our Union Street store, or order from this website with free and fast shipping, our satisfaction guarantee and the same price tag as the Big Box motorcycle shops.
Bottom line: this is a high-end helmet at a mid-level price point with an unparalleled pedigree that’s ready for years of solid service.