I’ve said in the past that I wouldn’t buy an Arai or a Shoei. I couldn’t afford their dear helmets and I didn’t believe their cheaper helmets were worth what they were asking. I’ve recently trashed two helmets and was riding around with my very old and dodgy one, so I needed to replace it. The problem was the search was getting ridicules. On most modern helmets my chin hits. It seems the modern motorcyclist has devolved. Add to this a lack of service and a lack of availability of helmets, in the $250-400 range I was looking, I was becoming very frustrated. So, when the Shoei come on special ($650 down to $530) and taking a mates advice I bought it. Noise; I’ll start off on a good point and say the helmet is very quiet. It’s not so much it doesn’t make wind noise, rather the noise is insulated out. Shell; the shell looks very well made and the finish is good. I don’t think I would buy a helmet that was pink with purple fairies, but otherwise I don’t give a rat’s about colour scheme. Having said that, the one I got wasn’t unattractive. Vents; all of the helmets I’d been looking at had d!cky vents. Not only were the mechanisms too small for gloved hands, they looked like they only had about ten operations in them. The Shoei is half a step better then that. The mechanisms look solid, but the front vent is still too small for gloved hands. Also the top vent doesn’t make a lot of sence. It is operated by pushing an aerofoil back. When you do, it exposes two holes to the outside air and rain. They are located on the top of the helmet near the leading edge. It would have been easy to design them so they were still under the aerofoil, when it was pushed back and still have them suck the air out of the helmet. Also, they are not at the back of the helmet. It seems to me this isn’t going to work when it gets hot. Overall I think the venting is sub-standard. Comfort; put it this way, it’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not exactly the step change I expected by going to a more expensive helmet. It may get better as it wears in. Liner; to be honest this really is disappointing. Firstly it’s not all removable, just the cheek inserts. Secondly it really is a bit on the cheap side. It’s not the liner of a cheap helmet but it’s only half a step above that. The gel liner of the Vemar I just wrote off was far superior in quality and comfort and it was only a $350 helmet. So, would I pay $650 for one of these? Definitely not. Would I pay $530? Possibly, but I would, however, be doing a lot more research into helmets in the $350-$550 range.