Shoei RF-1200 Helmet Ratings and Review for 2021 – A Good Value?

If you’re looking for an all-around helmet, you should check out our review of the Shoei RF-1200. It’s the latest in the brand’s highly popular RF series or touring and street bike helmets.

This one comes in many colors and graphics as well as several sizes to choose from. It’s versatile, easy to use, and always exciting regardless of your style of riding.

Shoei made the helmet using the latest technology available. As a result, RF-1200 is among the top choices when it comes to premium pieces in its price range.

Continue reading as we discuss all from its construction and ventilation to special features and safety certifications.

You Might Love Shoei RF-1200 If...

  • You’re looking for increased ventilation – RF-1200 has a large lower and a large upper vent for increased airflow throughout the shell. It also has a few more vents along with a unique EPS liner for more comfort and cooling in warm weather. It’s a great choice if you’re often suffering from fatigue during long-distance rides.

  • You value safety certifications – safety should be your first consideration, so it’s a good thing to look for as many certifications as possible. Luckily, RF-1200 comes with two, giving you a better sense of security simply because an authorized someone tested it in different ways.

  • You’re looking for a lightweight shell – although it weighs 5 pounds in total, it doesn’t seem as heavy once you put it on. It feels quite light and is super-comfortable to wear at all times. It’s due to its thick padding and light shell construction that this one feels as light.

You Might Not Like Shoei RF-1200 If...

  • You have a round head – the shape of the shell is intermediate oval, so it usually doesn’t fit round head shapes. Its padding is somewhat adjustable and takes a while to break in, so the general shape can be customized to some extent. Still, there’s no guarantee it would fit a rounder head even then.

  • You’re bothered by road noise – though this one is far less noisy than the previous model, it still generates quite high levels at high speeds. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this is quite usual and tends to happen with most helmets that have several airflow vents.

  • You’re looking for an affordable helmet – though this is a subjective matter, RF-1200 is considered a bit pricey when compared to other similar models. Still, this is a high-end helmet with a few impressive safety features and certifications.

Design and Shape

One of the most remarkable things about this helmet is the wide variety of colors it comes in. The shell comes in 31 different pain finish and graphic designs. This is rarely ever the case since even high-end models come with fewer options.

We’re talking about Shoei, so you can expect the finish to be thick and durable. It’s resistant to weather elements, which means the color won’t fade if you ride in the sun.

Much like all Shoei helmets, this one features an aerodynamic shape. It allows you to move freely through the wind, which is especially useful if you’re often at high speeds.

The shape of the shell is intermediate oval, and it doesn’t fit very well on others. As we mentioned, you can adjust the fit a bit, but we’re not sure how much that would help if the shape doesn’t fit you.

Read more about modular and full face comparisons.

Shoei RF-1200 Design

Construction and Materials

When you first look at it, you won’t notice anything unusual about its shape and structure. It looks much like all similar helmets, but there’s a difference you can only feel when you pick it up.

It feels like it’s made of aluminum, which is one of the primary reasons why so many people opt for it. Of course, it’s made of much sturdier materials featuring lightweight Multi-Ply Matrix AIM material.

The rear exhaust vent, chin vent and the gasket at the bottom of the helmet attach to the shell with a very tight contact line. This gives the shell a sleek and modern look.

The design is slim, but it widens at the bottom, so it’s relatively easy to put on and take off. On top of that, the manufacturer took an extra step to enhance comfort and performance. The interior is covered with an impact-absorbing dual liner made of two layers of different densities.

It’s a rigid shell, but you won’t feel that from the inside. More so, the interior padding balances the potential impact that could occur during crash accidents.

Another thing worth mentioning is its double D-ring chin strap retainer providing additional security and a much better fit. Also, it’s relatively easy to operate with one hand even if you’re wearing gloves.

This is a full-face helmet that covers your entire head and face leaving no areas exposed. Arguably, it’s the safest type for the same reason. Plus, it features an Emergency Quick Release System, otherwise known as EQRS, allowing safe removal of cheek pads in case of an accident.


Much like all Shoei models, this one comes with excellent ventilation thanks to the many vents and the ability to control them. It has a large 3-position lower vent along with shutter control that’s easy to use even with gloves. The combination of three upper vents and four top exhaust vents maintain the inside cool and fresh at all times. This reduces fogging and fatigue, making the RF-1200 especially suitable for summertime.


The CWR-1 Pinlock shield comes with ribs on top as well as bottom for improved rigidity. This design also eliminates bending of the shield under wind pressure and frequent use.

The beading on the sides and in the top keeps the seal tight, eliminating excess air as well as moisture. Plus, the helmet features the brand’s unique Quick-Release Self-Adjusting base plate that’s spring-loaded. This pulls the shield onto the shell which enhances the tightness of the seal, allowing you to ride in the rain.

On top of that, there’s a five-stage rotating dial which makes it easy to tune the base plate and adjust it to your preference.

Front Top View Of Shoei RF-1200

Safety Certifications and Features

Helmet’s primary role is to protect your head and face in case of an accident. This is why you want to be sure that the helmet of your choice can do just that.

Shoei RF-1200 is certified by two big names that are the Snell and the Department of Transportation, otherwise known as DOT.

These two are among the most commonly known certifications. While Snell is slightly more rigorous in its testing, DOT doesn’t stay behind for much.

For the most part, the helmet obtained both thanks to its durable shell. However, other factors had a say as well, such as excellent ventilation and quick-release cheek pads.

Find out more about safety ratings.

Special Features

One of the few unique features of the RF-1200 is the waterproof seal of its shield. As we mentioned, there’s improved beading along with a dual-layered lip construction, making it impossible for rain to reach your skin through the shield. It’s a tight seal, so you won’t feel the wind either.

Available Sizes

This model comes in for shell sizes ranging from small to extra large. They’re all fitted for intermediate oval head shape, so ordering a size up won’t make it more suitable for a rounder head. This is a common mistake, so make sure your helmet fits you perfectly and tightly in all places.

For another model from this brand, view the GT Air review.


Shoei is a reliable brand with many years of experience. Some of our favorite helmets ever carry its name, so it’s no surprise that the RF-1200 is as impressive and popular.

This is a unique piece that performs well in all weather conditions. It’s suitable for all kinds of rind styles, but will only fit you if you’re looking for a more oval shape.

Its many safety and comfort features make it an ideal everyday helmet. All the vents are easy to use and placed conveniently to deliver the best airflow at all times.

Think about the shell size and make sure to choose between many colorful options to find the RF-1200 that fits you the best.

Additional Resources

9.3 Total Score

Construction & Materials

The team at Road Racerz aims to be a source of knowledge for all riders, whether they are beginners, intermediate, or have been riding for 20+ years. We want everyone to enjoy safer rides and have access to rider-specific content to get the most out of every mile.

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