How Does the New Guy Compare
IIn the spring of 2005, I went to an open house at my local dealer to have my ECU remapped, and it turned out to be an open house day. There were vendors there pushing new products, bikes to ride, free food and a fun atmosphere. I dropped the bike off to the service department and decided I was going to go out and ride something else. The Daytona 600 caught my eye, but it was promised to someone else first, so I had a walk around. One of the booths that caught my eye was a little offering with a fullsized cardboard cutout of a woman in leathers holding a helmet. Shallow man that I am, I walked directly over to see what the booth was about.
What I found was a new company called Scorpion. They make helmets. I had seen their ads in several motorcycle magazines over the last few months. Their big claim to fame was their EverClear Shield, which they claimed was totally fog-proof. Now, I have only been riding motorcycles for a few years, but I've been snowboarding for quite a few and I've learned that the phrase "fog-free" is impossible. I immediately sorted through the display helmets looking for a size large, determined to get into an argument with the sales representative when the shield fogged. Before the salesman even had a second to notice I was rummaging through his display and had found my size.
I pulled the helmet onto my head and before I could even exhale, I was overcome with the liner in the helmet. The shape was perfect for me (I'm a Shoei/AGV shaped head) and the liner was the softest, most comfortable thing I had ever felt in a helmet. "Wow this thing is comfortable!" I muffled through the helmet to the salesman who was quickly approaching me. He gave me a quick nod and a smile. But now I was ready for the real test. I will expose EverClear as a fraud! I inhaled as deep as I could, and pushed hot air directly at the shield of the helmet, repeatedly. Nothing. Not even a spot. Hmmm. I tried again. I tried and tried, until the point of almost passing out. "Wow! It really doesn't fog!" Again I got a smile and a nod from the salesman. As I stared at the lens of the shield, looking for an indication of fog, I noticed the amazing optic quality of the shield. It was clear and distortion free.
I had almost instantly fallen in love with this helmet. It fit me well, was really comfortable, and refused to fog. I was beginning to get scared. A helmet this great must surely be $800. There is no way I can afford this. I opened the face shield and asked the salesman for a price. He replied with the same smile on his face, telling me "$199". Oh dear. Now I have to get one.
A few weeks later I had a Scorpion EXO-700 in the red "Geronimo" paint scheme. As I took it out of the box, a big smile spread accross my face. I immediately grabbed my riding gear and donned the new helmet. I started my Triumph and headed out on a quick, little ride to make sure everything was ok. I was pleased at the aerodynamics, optics, sound (its quite quiet) and lack of fogging. The shield stayed put when riding with it partially open. There was great airflow in the helmet, both through the ports as well as from the bottom of the chin bar. I was quite pleased. As the weeks went on, I spent less and less time riding in my "expensive" AGV helmet, and more and more time riding in my Scorpion. At the track, on day rides, even to my local riding club's meetings.
The Long Haul
After several weeks with my Scorpion, I embarked on the most epic adventure I have ever experienced. The CanyonChasers took an 11-day tour of northwestern America and parts of Canada. With my positive experiences with the Scorpion, it became the helmet of choice for the trip. We covered 3,600 miles over those 11 days (with the first 3 days covering almost half of that) and the Scorpion performed very well the entire time. The QuickWick liner kept me dry. the EverClear shield never fogged. It vented very well in the hot sections, but with the vents closed and my gator on it was fine in the cold and rainy weather. It couldn't have performed better in my opinion.
At one point, strictly due to my own lazyness and stupidity my helmet encountered a solid object, very briefly, while I was moving my bike. It took a pretty good smack to the shield. It scratched the shield, but no transparent material in the world could have survived unscuffed. Luckily, the shield was only marked-up on the left side, next to the attachment hardware. Hardley even noticable while wearing it.
All in all, this is a great helmet for Sport Touring, Track riding or Street riding. I love mine, and will be riding it until it's time to retire it. At that point, it will be on the top of the list of candidates for a replacement. There were two small problems we at CanyonChasers experienced. Firstly, when I scratched my shield, I had a hard time finding a replacement on the road. Realistically, that's my fault as we were in very rural areas of Canada and the US-- and had problems finding motorcycle shops at all. When we did find shops they were pretty understocked compared to our local shops in Salt Lake City. I probably should have been carrying a replacement shield with me on an 11-day trip anyway. Scorpion is a newer company, so finding replacements is not yet as easy as it would be for a Shoei or Arai. As Scorpion matures and gains coverage, this won't be a problem. Already in Salt Lake I know of two or three shops that carry the the helmets, stock shields and parts.
Secondly, Dave complained about "too much airflow" coming from below his chin bar and drying out his eyes. Personally, I like this sensation as it keeps fresh air rotating into my face and keeps me refreshed. When I went to Scorpion's site to find a replacement Shield, I found this little item to keep Dave quiet. The AeroSkirt is a chin bar attachment that cuts down on airflow from under the chinbar and into the helmet. After seeing this I ordered a dark tinted shield, an AeroSkirt for Dave and even contemplated a custom liner or chromed visor knobs. The customization of these helmets really suprised me as it's not currently something many other helmet manufacturers are doing outside of shield colors.
And speaking of parts, I had a small warranty issue with one of my stock visor knobs not functioning quite right. When i contacted Scorpion via email, I got a quick response and a request for my mailing address so they could ship me a replacement. My replacements showed up a few days later, free of charge, and even included a second replacement... so I now have a spare! Customer Service is becoming harder and harder to find these days, which is odd considering the amount of money we seem to spend on our bikes every year, but Scorpion scored A+ in my book.
Unfortunately our test Scorpion came to an unfortunate demise when I had a run-in with a pile of rocks on the side of the road. How did the helmet fare? Well, I'm still here. The Scorpion did its job of self destructing to absorb the energy of the impact, thus protecting my delicate grey matter.
Mike, CanyonChaser since 2003
So if you're looking for a new helmet, don't overlook the new up-and-comer, Scorpion. They perform well and are priced to be quite affordable. Dave said that he's never seen another helmet in the same price range that offers the same level quality, finish and features of the Scorpion. And you can take that $400 you saved on your helmet and buy tires!
- Inexpensive @ $199
- Amazing Optics
- Fog free (really)
- Great Customer Service
- Parts currently harder to find
- Airflow inside helmet (get an AeroSkirt)
- Heavier than similar Arai helmets
- Plastic Talon "S" doesn't look good on all colors