For this rider, Shoei's Hornet DS Dual Sport Helmet is the best, and is going to be tough to beat.
I try not to make that declaration too often, recognizing that what's "best" for me might not be for someone else. That being said, I'm continually more impressed with the Shoei Hornet than any other Dual Sport helmet I've tried, because:
3-Point Peak Mounting - I've mentioned this in other articles before, that I think the 3 points where the Hornet's "peak" (the visor or sunblocker) are connected are part of what keeps it so smooth and without flutter or vibration. Other dual sport helmets I've tried have only left and right contact points (typically plastic screws around the ears) that can get caught in certain crosswinds and speeds and start to flutter to the point that it's actually painful, not to mention "dangerous." The Hornet DS has a 3rd mounting point though, and a rigid design to keep this fluttering from ever starting. In other words, the Hornet's peak cuts through the air best, stays stable, and doesn't vibrate. For me.
Peak. Oh Yea, The Peak! - For blocking the sun, some riders like those flip-down sun shields that retract into the helmet, and some rely on sunglasses only. I use a dual sport type of helmet for that time of day when the sun is just getting to an annoying & dangerous declination, and neither sunglasses nor a retractable sun shield will suffice. When I was younger, I could handle driving into the sunlight better, but now it seems I'd need welding goggles to do so. Obviously welding goggles are not reasonable. - With just a tilt of my head though when heading into the sun, the Hornet's "peak" allows me to knock out the bright sun such that I almost don't even need sunglasses then. Sure, this requires some tilt/adjust as I go around curves and change the angle to which I face the sun, but this constant adjusting became almost "automatic" quite quickly.Versatility - That's why adventure riders choose these dual sport helmets in the first place, right?
- When I'm getting into a dusty & dirty riding situation, the large face opening allows me to fit goggles into this helmet and better keep the dust out of my eyes (although goggles somehow still don't completely keep the dust out.)
- If I ever really wanted to, I could take the peak off completely and have what is essentially a streamlined street helmet. As this helmet is already quite streamline to begin with, I haven't ever actually done this.
- As mentioned above, I almost don't even need sunglasses when riding into the sun, so if they were misplaced or left behind, I'm still riding...safely!
Of course this means that my head shape seems to also be a "Shoei" type, as the other leading brands have never been as comfortable as this. I've ridden this helmet on some long motorcycle trips in Patagonia and can stay in it for 15+ hours per day if needed. Want to try one for yourself? We don't sell helmets! But you can find a trusted retailer on this link.
By the way, great looking design work here, right? I was referred to Ryan Abbatoye Designs for the custom sticker work, and couldn't be happier with what Ryan came up with. As requested, the original solid white of the Shoei Hornet is still quite evident, and the world's best provider of motorcycle tours and rentals is prominently showcased!
WHAT TO READ NEXT: Take a look at our thoughts on the Heidenau K60 tire review.