I was one of the first lucky few to get my hands on SHOEI’s new Transitions Photochromic Shield for my RF-1200 helmet when the product first became available in United States. It’s been a few months now and I’m beyond pleased with the shield’s functionality.
Like most riders, I’m way too lazy to carry around two shields and swap them out between daytime and nighttime riding. In my earlier riding years, I would consistently rock a tinted shield, day or night. Despite the dangers of riding with a tinted shield at night, it wasn’t practical to carry around a second shield. Once I got older and wiser, I began to understand the risks of not having clear nighttime vision and switched to always wearing a clear shield. Of course I was now dealing with being blinded by sun during the day. Not wanting to switch to a helmet with an integrated sun visor or having to deal with the discomfort of wearing sunglasses in my already extremely snug helmet, swapping shields seemed like the only solution. Therefore I was thrilled when I found out SHOEI is developing a transition shield.
When pestering our SHOEI rep about the delay in production of the shield, I was told that SHOEI’s goal is to not only meet but always exceed safety testing standards. It took SHOEI a long time to ensure that the chemicals allowing the clear to tint transition weren’t compromising the safety of the helmet and not only meeting SNELL’s safety standards but meeting the much higher standard SHOEI has set for themselves. It took over two years for SHOEI to finally deliver the highly anticipated product but some things are worth the wait.
During a bright and sunny day, the shield turns completely dark. It takes less than two minutes for it to turn from clear to completely dark once outside. The intensity of the tint adjusts based on riding conditions. If the weather changes from sunny to cloudy, the shield tint intensity will decrease from dark to light smoke. At night the shield is perfectly clear, it’s magical. Many people don’t know that in addition to the comfort of riding with a tinted shield on a sunny day, the shield also offers UV protection so you don’t become the butt of all jokes when you come back from a long ride with a raccoon eye tan.
I absolutely love this product and having experienced the benefits, would buy it even if it cost $300. The only uncertainty at this point is how long the shield’s functionality will last. According to SHOEI, the functionality will slowly decrease with use but exactly how long it will take is to be determined.
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