Review: Schuberth to Shoei – A Welcome Change!

November 13, 2011

Words by // Photography by Nita Breibish

My old helmet was pure lust. It was beautiful. I fought for this helmet tooth and nail every time Issa had threatened to bowl it down the interstate. The BMW System 5 (by Schuberth) was it’s name and it truly was lust at first sight for me. It fit my head perfectly and was stunning to boot. I felt like I a fighter pilot on my first mission. It was a modular helmet, which was great when doing short stops. Not having to take off your helmet to have a conversion was nice. It was a sexy shiny gloss black finish with the tinted visor. So stealth!

Issa’s first negative account with Stealthy was while attaching our Scala intercom system to the outside edge of the helmet. What seemed to easily attach to any other helmet was nearly impossible with the System V and the struggle alone trying to keep it on was frustrating. Still, he worked his magic as usual and figured out a decent way to make it work. Me, I continued to be blinded by the light, literally.

We were leaving on a ten day Western Canada loop last fall. Two miles from our house on day one and in temperatures hovering around 9°C it started to fog up. It was a cool, damp morning and we were sitting in a minor amount of early traffic. I figured, like my other helmets, I’d simply crack my visor open a touch to let the temps adjust and we’d be fine once we started moving. Another two blocks and I began to see funny little lines appear, still nothing I couldn’t just look past momentarily. I thought I’d just suck it up until our next stop. To make a long story short, by the time we were in a full down pour on day three, I had to ride with the visor completely up at times so that I could see properly. That night Issa had the visor off of the helmet in the hotel, sitting by a vanity filled with hot water while he scrubbed every last bit of the anti-fog liner from the visor. The funny lines were the first remnants of the anti-fog liner peeling away on its own and had made it nearly impossible at some points for me to use safely. After 45 minutes of intense intervention, it was finally removed. This seemed to fix the peeling problem, but of course added to the fogging up problem. We decided it must have been a defective visor and mentioned we would bring it back into the store upon return home. Let’s just say, two visors later displaying the same issue the damage had been done.

I’ve had some other issues with visibility since then but nothing quite as bad. Although it was enough to finally give it up.

After 9,000 km and experiencing some high intensity glare issues with the Schuberth this year, I recently switched to the Shoei Hornet-DS model, fully equipped with a removable sun shield to enhance my visibility range. I can’t say enough about this helmet so far. The visor feels near double the size. I’ve decided to go with a clear visor and rose/amber colored sunglasses (highly recommend for optimum viewing pleasure) to allow for more options while on long trips so if I do fog up slightly I can still ride with my visor partially up and the wind will not effect my eyes. If you do prefer goggles instead of sunglasses, you can in fact fit a pair under a closed visor on this model. I find it does narrow the peripherals quite a bit with goggles, but to each his own.

I truly feel like I’m seeing the world in HD for the first time. I don’t know what I’ve been doing with a tinted visor. Sure it looks cooler on the outside, but the world has never look better. I doubt I’ll never go back. The Scala units attached with no time spent and a major reduction in wind noise was the cherry on the icing on the whip cream on the custard on the cake.

Time for some 10 pin :)


From the manufacturer

Shoei Hornet DS Helmet

$459.99 – $485.99

  • Designed for the adventure touring and dual sport market, the Shoei Hornet DS
  • Helmet can be used in three configurations: with visor and shield, with just shield, or with just visor
  • A wide, 3-dimensionally curved shield completely seals against the eyeport beading
  • Lightweight, Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus (AIM+) shell
  • Visor includes a front air intake to channel air into top of helmet
  • Shutter behind nose cover directs air flow to clear shield fogging
  • Fully removable 3-D interior, with 5-layer cheekpads that are channeled for eyeglasses
  • Breath guard and chin curtain included
  • DOT and Snell 2005 Approved
  • Shoei products can only be shipped to U.S. customers


I’ve two passion-driven wheels, two small hands and one big nomadic heart. With my weather-beaten camera I’m looking to change the world one click at a time. In constant awe, I’m a professional dabbler, world traveller and the photographer-half of We Love Motogeo. I love breaking down barriers, challenging travel misconceptions and uncovering new notions of home. Thirty-seven countries and counting…

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