Shoei Hornet DS - Sonora TC-8 Orange
One of the fastest growing segments of the motorcycling family over the past few years has been the dual sport market. As legal off-road riding areas become harder and harder to find, dual sport riding has been filling the gap for many riders that want the freedom and excitement of riding in the dirt without the headaches of loading their bikes in a truck and driving for hours to find legal off-highway riding areas. With a dual sport bike, any dirt road that a motorcyclist spots in their travels suddenly becomes an opportunity for adventure. Up until now, the dual sport rider was stuck with two options. Most chose to wear an off-road helmet with goggles and fight with a visor that is constantly buffeting in the wind while enduring all the road noise and wind entering the front of the helmet. A few others would endure the stares of other motorists as well as the blinding glare of the sun as they rode with a street helmet aboard their dual sport bikes. Shoei has changed all of this with the introduction of their dual sport specific helmet, the Hornet-DS!
Since the Hornet-DS is a hybrid helmet fusing the capabilities of both on and off-road helmets, Shoei was able to combine the best of both worlds! With a removable shield as well as a removable visor, the Hornet-DS can be configured in three different ways to compliment all forms of motorcycle riding. With both the shield and visor fixed to the helmet, the Hornet is the perfect tool for exploring trails and back roads with your friends. The shield will keep the noise down and protect your face and eyes from bugs and dust. The visor protects your eyes from the glare of the sun, and can also deflect the roost that your buddies throw back at you in the dirt. If the trails get really tight or muddy, the rider can opt to remove the shield and ride with a pair of goggles. If the rider has to do some high-speed highway commuting to get to their favorite trail, the visor can be removed to completely eliminate the buffeting that can be caused by a visor.
The visor on the Hornet-DS was one of the most carefully thought out parts of the helmet. Not only is does it protect the rider from roost and glare, but it is actually part of the ventilation system of the helmet. To begin with, the visor is positioned slightly higher on the top of the helmet than a typical off road helmet for optimal visibility. The wedge shape visor was designed in Shoei’s in-house wind tunnel to reduce uncomfortable wind resistance and buffeting. The reduction of drag and lift help eliminate neck fatigue and keep the rider more comfortable during long stints in the saddle.
The Hornet-DS comes equipped with a 2mm thick 3-dimensionally curved shield that can be positioned in 4 different locations from fully closed to fully open. The shield can also be removed so the helmet can be used with goggles. Shields for this helmet are available in clear and light smoke tints and block 99% of UVA and UVB rays.
Ventilation was a primary concern when designing the Hornet-DS. Long days of riding combined with the relatively low speeds typically encountered while dual sporting create a real challenge for designers who are trying to develop effective ventilation. The Hornet-DS has one of the most advanced ventilation systems ever found on a motorcycle helmet. With four intake and three exhaust vents, the Hornet-DS is up to the task of keeping a rider cool and dry in even the most extreme conditions.
The stylish nose cover on the Hornet-DS is equipped an internal deflector mechanism that forces fresh air upward to help prevent fogging of the shield. The nose cover vent is also equipped with a shutter to enable to user to shut the vent if they choose to. The nose cover vent is easy to remove and disassemble, making cleaning a snap.
The upper intake on the Hornet-DS is a real engineering feat. The intake is positioned in the center of the visor, taking advantage of the ram-air effect and forcing air through a gasketed seal into the top of the helmet. The ram-air vent is mated with traditional forehead vents to ensure effective ventilation.
After entering the helmet, the air travels through channels set between the layers of Shoei’s exclusive Semi-Dual EPS liner. Not only does this two piece expanded polystyrene liner offer better ventilation, but the utilization of dual density EPS foam allows for improved impact absorption performance as well.
All of this fresh air coming in would do you no good if the hot air had nowhere to go. The Hornet-DS is equipped with two Cross Vortex exhaust vents and a neck outlet that are positioned to take advantage of low air pressure zones at the rear of the helmet that actually work to draw hot air from the helmet.
Ventilation is only part of what makes the Hornet DS the most comfortable dual sport helmet in the world. The Hornet-DS is fitted with Shoei’s 3D interior system. Shoei’s 3D interiors use several different densities of foam in shapes corresponding to the shape of the rider’s head to ensure not only a comfortable feel, but superior stability in high speed riding. Shoei utilizes our 3D Max Dry liner material for the interior of the Hornet-DS. This proprietary blend of fibers is capable of absorbing 35 times its weight in moisture. The Hornet-DS’ 3D interior is completely removable, making cleaning easy. Shoei offers range of cheek pad sizes to allow for a custom-fitting option. Our cheek pads even feature slits so you can comfortably wear eyeglasses inside your helmet.
A chin curtain is added to the Hornet DS for additional comfort. The chin curtain prevents wind from entering the bottom of the helmet, reducing noise and increasing comfort on cold days.
Safety is always the number one priority here at Shoei, and the Hornet DS has many features which help it live up to Shoei’s reputation for safety and quality. The AIM+ shell construction of the Hornet DS is a multilayered composite utilizing several different materials with different properties to create a shell that is very rigid and light weight. This rigid shell is mated with a three piece EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner system that utilizes varying densities of EPS. This allows the EPS to “give” more easily in light impacts (helping to reduce concussions), while still providing protection from severe forces. Shoei even utilizes EPS in the chin bar area of our helmets to protect your face. This is something that isn’t even required by Snell or the DOT!
By now you know that the shell is the most expensive and complicated part of the helmet. Many of our competitors try to save money by only utilizing 2 or 3 shell sizes across their sizing line. They make up the difference with additional EPS or interior padding, contributing to a “bobble head” appearance. Shoei makes no compromises when it comes to comfort and safety.
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