Racing helmets have been protecting drivers since the invention of motorsports, and with each passing year, more helmets are being offered commercially. Having the right helmet for the right application is a key component to becoming a successful racer, and our Racing Helmet Overview Series is here to help you understand what’s available on the market today.
Our first helmet in the series is Shoei’s technology-packed X-Twelve. This helmet is full of features that were designed with the racer in mind, and is a real head-turner as well. Pulling the X-12 out of its protective bag at the Racing Junk offices immediately drew a crowd, with co-workers stopping by to admire the sleek styling and beautiful graphics.
The X-12 sports a quick release system for the face shield, and is constructed with Shoei’s AIM+ technology which carries both DOT and Snell M2010 safety ratings. The Snell rating is worth noting as it meets the requirements for most club racing and HPDE track days, as well as NHRA Super Pro, Pro and Sportsman series.
Wearing the X-12 is like putting on your favorite leather jacket; it hugs in all the right places. The helmet creates a confident and solid feeling without being restrictive, and range of motion and peripheral vision remain unaltered. Weighing in at 1,715 grams for the Large size, the X-12 remained comfortable for an extended period of time and never felt like a chore to wear.
To see how the helmet performed under race conditions, I went to K1 Speed in Torrance, California and completed 14 time trial laps in their electric karts. The X-12 really shines on the track. It’s such a complete package that it didn’t feel like I was wearing a helmet; it was simply an extension of myself. Visibility was excellent and the ventilation system kept things cool.
The Bottom Line: Shoei’s X-Twelve is a well designed helmet that is comfortable, versatile and full of race-inspired features.
Safety Rating: DOT and Snell M2010
MSRP: $807.99 (as tested)
We just received coverage from Hot Rod Hotline reporter Roger Rohrdanz of the NHRA Auto Club Finals, and you can see Adam Arana (left lane) and Hector Arana Jr. both wearing the X-Twelve; further proof that the helmet meets the demands of world class racers.