Our Racing Helmet Overview Series continues with Shoei’s RF-1200, the successor to the popular RF-1100 that we reviewed not long ago. This next-generation RF features a lighter, streamlined design that still retains everything that makes the RF series one of Shoei’s best-selling models.
The helmet is constructed with exclusive Multi-Ply Matrix AIM+ Shell technology which combines fiberglass and organic fibers, resulting in an 81 gram weight reduction from its predecessor (comparing Large size helmets). The weight savings doesn’t come with any compromises as the helmet carries both DOT and Snell M2010 safety ratings, making this the lightest Snell-certified full-face model that Shoei has ever made.
As always, a large selection of graphics and colors are available. Here are some of my favorites:
The first thing that I did with my RF-1200 was swap in the tinted face shield to complement the Inception TC-1 graphic. It makes the helmet look extra bad-ass and is a necessity when going out under the California sun.
Since the RF-1200 was made with aerodynamics at the forefront of its design, the perfect place for me to see its performance was at the Formula Pacific Racing School where I drove around Willow Springs Raceway in an open-wheeled formula car (go HERE to read about my experience at the school). As I raced around the track, reaching speeds of almost 120 MPH, the RF-1200 felt solid and unobtrusive. Visibility was excellent and the helmet didn’t put any additional g-forces on my neck which was important because the cars didn’t have headrests.
The 1200 kept out wind noise, while still letting me hear the engine, and I was so comfortable that it didn’t feel like I was wearing a helmet at all. As I blasted down the front straight at 115 MPH, the RF sliced through the air, allowing me to look down at the car’s gauge cluster and ahead into the next turn with ease.
This helmet isn’t simply a name change with superficial updates; it’s a generational upgrade.
The Bottom Line: Shoei’s RF-1200 is a lightweight, aerodynamic helmet that offers the best of the RF line in a compact package.
Sizes: XS – XXL
Safety Rating: DOT and Snell M2010