Helmet Reviews: Scorpion EXO-900 Transformer & Shark Evoline Modular (Updated)

Scorpion EXO-900 Transformer Helmet
Scorpion EXO-900 Transformer Helmet

I’ve used a Scorpion EXO-1000 full-face helmet as my daily hat for two years now.  It’s a fairly heavy helmet, but I’ve liked it a lot, as it has a lot of premium features, like the adjustable air bladder to custom fit it, the fuller chin and jaw coverage it provides, and the overall comfort of it.

But, it’s getting a bit old and banged up from daily use, so I decided to buy another.  Since I sometimes wear glasses on the weekend, I always have to use my old modular HJC Sy-Max when I ride.  I don’t like the Sy-Max as much.  It’s not a bad helmet, it’s just not at good as the Scorpion. So, I decided that to replace both of those helmets, I’d get the modular Scorpion Helmet, the EXO-900.

At first blush, it seemed perfect.  The fit was snug, but comfortable, and it has all the premium features of the EXO-1000.  In the shop, it felt great when I tried it on before purchasing it.  You also have the option fo removing the face shield and replacing it with a visor. I also loved the color, Hi-Vis yellow.

It seemed perfect.

What I didn’t notice, until I actually used it during my daily commute to work, was that the ear section on both sides has no padding around the top and rear of the ear. So, the cartilage of your ear sits directly against the hard foam of the helmet impact shell.  After about 30 minutes, turning or moving your head becomes painful, as your ears get constantly crushed against the helmet shell.

After three days of this, it got to be unbearable.

So, sadly, I had to return the helmet today.  It was almost exactly what I wanted, but was just too uncomfortable to wear.

Shark Evoline Modular Helmet
Shark Evoline Modular Helmet

Since I’d worn it for a few days, Cycle Gear wouldn’t give me a refund, of course, but they did offer me an exchange for any helmet in the store.  Ultimately, I chose the Shark Evoline Modular Helmet.

The Shark Helmet is significantly more expensive than the EXO-900, coming in at $425 retail.  But, it is a top of the line helmet.  And as you can see from the image, it does one thing that most modular helmets do not: The face mask doesn’t just tip up, it slides all the way back to the rear of the helmet for a more aerodynamic shape.

The inside is far more comfortably padded than the scorpion, however, and it seems to be a better quality helmet all around.  Which, considering the price difference, it should be.

I haven’t had a lot of experience with it yet, since I’ve only had it for 9 hours at this point.  But, so far it’s very comfortable. And it’s also very quiet.  Unlike a regular modular helmet, it doesn’t have a seam on both sides where the face-shield joins the helmet. The wind doesn’t whistle through that seam, so it’s as quiet as a full face.

Hopefully, I’ll like this helmet much better than the EXO-900.

UPDATE (8/9/10):

After a couple of days with the Shark Evoline helmet, I’ve decided I quite like it.  It’s super comfortable, and not too heavy.  I really like just flipping the face guard completely out of the way.  The flip-down, smoked,  inner sun visor cuts bright sunlight acceptably. And it’s fairly quiet.

It does have one feature that I can’t decide if I like or not, and that’s the venting/airflow. I couldn’t tell, really, if the top vent was open or not. It didn’t get too hot, as I kept it open most of the time, so I’ll assume it’s working.  It’s the vent in the face guard that’s a bit different than what I’m used to, though.

In all my other helmets, the face guard vent redirects the air up and toward the clear face shield. The airflow over the face shield helps keep it from fogging. In the Evoline helmet, the vent blows straight back towards your lower face. So, this morning, when it was 62°F and foggy, I noticed that the bottom of the face shield started to fog a little bit, and that was with the vent open.  If it had been closed, It probably would have fogged a lot more. Raising the face shield to the first notch solved the problem. I’m not sure I’d want to do that if the temps were in the 40s, though.

So, I think I’ve found the one drawback to the helmet, which is that airflow management could do a better job of keeping your breath from fogging the inside of the face shield.  It wasn’t a problem at all in the 80°F ride this afternoon.  In fact, I kept the face shield completely closed. And the breeze coming through the vent was very pleasant. I think the fogging issue might be a problem in cooler weather though.  I guess I’ll know for sure in a couple of months.

Other than that, which is a relatively minor issue compared to the overall goodness of the helmet, I like the Evoline helmet a lot.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.