Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Review of the Scorpion EXO 1000 Helmet

On Friday I bought a new Scorpion EXO-1000 helmet, and now I have done some actual riding with it. 

This helmet is built like a tank. The outer shell is a bit larger than the typical helmet. For comparison, I can't fit this helmet in the rear position under the seat of a Burgman 400.  All my other helmets will fit.  It weighs 1820 g. My HJC Symax flip-up helmet was only 1667 g., and that was probably my heaviest helmet until the EXO 1000. The new helmet Mary Ann bought, the HJC IS-16 also with a flip down sun shield, was 1653 g. I have done several rides now to Port Dover (90 minutes), and the extra weight does not bother me. It's just an extra 150 g. or so. Much of that increase in weight is due to the Snell certification, which seems to usually add about 100 g.

Another interesting feature is the air pump system. There is a warning label on the underside of the chin bar to emergency personnel, to deflate the cheek pads before attempting to remove the helmet. And even if they do, this helmet is a bugger to get off. It may loosen with time, but right now, if some medical emergency people have to remove this helmet, I am done for. Of course, there is a technological solution for this problem too. Just buy a "Shock Doctor Helmet Removal System" and install it in the helmet. Once you install this accessory in your helmet, the Emergency Team will be able to squeeze an air bulb to pump the helmet safely off your head without aggravating your spinal injuries. I suppose one day this may be mandatory, and 10 million helmets might have to be recalled to retrofit the system.

Now for the internal sun visor which I tested yesterday in brilliant sunshine, with white snow and wet roads. For a while I also was riding directly into the sun, and the shield is not dark enough for that. No shield ever is. One solution for the setting sun is to have a black tape strip across the top of the face shield, and then you can tip your head to just block the sun. To handle the reflection off the wet road, polarized glasses work well. The helmet's built in flip down sun shield is a light smoke colour. A dark smoke colour shield is available on for under $30.

The one feature that I didn't like the look of before the ride, was the lever that props up the face shield a few millimeters to allow some air to circulate. It also functions as the face shield lock, which I did not use or need yet. But when I was actually riding, the prop worked perfectly to open the shield just a crack. While riding, I can easily find the lever, even with my winter gloves. You can pop it back down easily by pressing the shield.  This works to clear fog on the shield while moving.  Yes, the faceshield has anti-fog coating, but it only works down to about 7 degrees C when there is also rain and high humidity. 

The anti fog coating works reasonably well. It's the first time I have been able to fog up my eye glasses before the face shield. 

On my Vulcan with the handlebar windshield, the flip down sun visor all by itself was enough wind protection with the face shield up for short runs at lower speeds.

I don't know if it may be too hot for some people (we don't get really hot weather here), but at 10c the top vents actually make the top of my head cold. The rest of the vents don't seem to make any difference when sitting behind the handlebar windshield.

This is a heavy, large helmet with lots of features and a Snell safety rating. I like the look of it, it has a modern shape, with a compound curved face shield (horizontal and vertical) and tasteful graphics. So far, the extra weight seems to be worth carrying.

Picture: Me, wearing the Scorpion helmet, and the Vulcan in Paris, Ontario. Tuesday March 9, 2010.


  1. Wow! That's some helmet!

    How come I'm put in mind of the Russian cosmonauts? ... LOL!!

    Ah, well ... perhaps it's time for a trip to Zdeno's to see if I can find a replacement for my aging lid.

  2. Another issue has come up, with many more miles of riding. There is a slight air gap in my helmet between the top of the visor and the gasket. So it makes a current of air inside. Not really bothersome, especially with the inside sunvisor down. But sometimes on long trips, it can dry out the eyes and cause watering. This may be a problem only on my helmet, you can test any helmet's gasket by inserting a piece of paper, closing the face shield and pulling on it.

  3. The helmet is a few months old now. Last night, the silver knob on the left face shield hinge came off, and I had to remove the face shield for the rest of the ride home. I hope to find a repair kit today. I guess with helmets getting ever more complex, it was inevitable I would run into problems like this. I don't use flip up chinbar helmets any more because one of those hinges broke.

  4. Update on the silver (actually Titanium colour) knob that went missing from the side of the helmet.

    They are sold in pairs, $36 a pair. The shield can function without it, the knob's function is to cover the mechanism and protect it from dirt, and as a mechanism to squeeze the pins to unlatch the shield.

    The spare covers are on order, and should be here in a couple of weeks. And when I put then on I must be careful to snap them on exactly in the right place, and make sure they are fully snapped in. It seems both covers are the same, there is no left and right part number. But Scorpion does have different part numbers for different helmets, making it dicey to swap these expensive plastic covers between helmets.

    It's all kind of annoying as I have never before lost a part of a helmet, and HJC's helmets don't need these fancy plastic knobs.

    Simple is the most reliable, and I think motorcycle gear should be reliable.

  5. I discovered this trick to close the gap between the top gasket and the clear face shield. The rubber gasket is actually folded over, and by inserting a piece of string (about 1 mm thick), the air gap is eliminated. Now there is still air behind the shield. I actually have to crack it open more often to avoid fogging my eyeglasses.