We try stuff out.
They say you either have a Shoei shaped head or an Arai one. If this is true than I’m a bit of a freak because I have managed the transition from long-term Arai wearer to Shoei lover with no need for a lobotomy. Since 2005 I’d worn the SAME Arai: no, I can’t recall the model, but it was a high-end one and cost me more than £300. After over a decade of use it was past its best, a brief flirtation with a Shark Skwal (sub £200 lid) made me realise you really do get what you pay for – but that’s just my opinion. Last summer this Shoei GT Air Primal entered my life, it’s been my daily lid ever since. I don’t drive, so I probably take my lid off more times in one day than some riders might over the course of the week. The double-d fasteners might at first appear to be a bit dated, but they work: the craze for seat belt fastener straps isn’t something that overly appeals to me and my time with the Shark confirmed this. Again when using a bike day-in and day-out I’ve long since got over the pain of swapping clear visors for tinted ones: perfect vision is my priority, not looking cool on the A1 in a downpour at night… So this helmet is the first full face Shoei that comes with a built in sun visor which works well. The fibreglass shell has a number of vents and scoops and at first I tried different settings out of devilment, after a few weeks I got bored and just left them alone. I also resisted the urge to fit the anti-fog Pinlock insert at first, just to check if it needed it, of course it did, so I gave in and fitted it. Another quirk of mine is that in 32 years of riding motorcycles I’ve never worn earplugs, so I’m always happy to find a lid that’s well fitting, which tends to help keep outside noise intrusion to a minimum, the GT Air Primal is definitely one of the best lids that I’ve worn on this score. The finish is superb on the entire lid, from the removable inner padding, to the deep red, white and blue finish on the shell. It reminds me of a 1980s Wayne Gardner replica lid; he had a Shoei head after all, didn’t he? Ultimately I say ignore the Arai/shoei myth and go try one on – this is a great everyday piece of kit. ■ Scottie Redmond www.shoeiassured.co.uk