AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST April 2019
Shoei J•O Helmet
- Info: www.shoei-helmets.com
- MSRP: $379-$449
- Sizes: XS-XXL
When I first started riding motorcycles, the two-wheel attitude I learned was, “There it is; go get on it.” No one told me I should wear a helmet. My peers did not wear helmets and neither did I. This was possible because, in Ohio, where I learned to ride and where I currently live, we have the right to choose whether to wear a helmet or not.
But as the years went by, my opinion changed. I learned that it is much safer, and smarter, to have some protection on your noggin. Today, I take the AMA’s advice to wear a helmet when I ride.
Despite my shift in thinking, I admit I still appreciate minimalist headgear. Luckily, today we have a number of DOT-approved options to consider.
That led me to the Shoei J•O helmet. It is very light and comfortable—almost as if you were wearing no helmet at all. I can relate to the retro style, and the fit for me is perfect. The shell is compact, with a 1950s-inspired ducktail design that adds style. Whether you’re a child of the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s, you’ll find something to like in the J•O’s colorways.
The integrated retractable shield adds comfort, as well as protection from damaging UV rays. The shield has a distortion-free view through the entire field of vision. It also comes in a variety of shades. While in the down position, my glasses fit easily under the shield. I did not notice any wind turbulence with the shield down.
Shoei is one of the leading helmet manufacturers in the world, and the company’s race helmets protect the heads of some of the world’s fastest road and off-road racers. Much of that race-proven quality finds its way to the recreational riding helmet designs. That means the J•O isn’t cheap. In fact, it costs more than many full-face helmets from other brands.
In my opinion, though, the quality is worth the investment. The fit, finish and features of the J•O put it at the top of the open-face options I’ve tried.
For bikers like me, who developed some less-than-safe habits as we learned to ride, the J•O lineup is an excellent choice. The open-faced design and premium fit make it comfortable to choose to protect my head properly, and the style and features make it easy to grab it off the shelf for every ride.—Rob Baughman