Date Reviewed - January 2019 Reviewed by - Ella Price - £450 - 530
The Hornet ADV is the new and improved version of Shoei's popular helmet, the Hornet DS. Like always with Shoei, despite the high price tag, you know you're getting fantastic quality as well as outstanding safety features and protection. The Hornet ADV is no exception, made from lightweight AIM shell material, you can expect a fantastic-looking helmet that will still protect your head in a collision. Not many motorbike helmets come in 4 shell sizes to help you get the perfect fit, which means you get a comfier helmet, as well as improved protection.
Although the Hornet hasn't been SHARP tested, it is ECE, Snell and DOT approved, so it's clearly pretty safe. Something most helmet manufacturers don't offer, is making the helmet in more than 1 shell size (which can be a little dangerous), however, Shoei have clearly tried to make this a key feature of the Hornet. It's made in 4 different shell sizes with a multi-density shock absorber sewn into the lining, so you can tell this is a top of the range helmet. Shoei have chosen to create 4 different shell sizes to accommodate to ALL head shapes and sizes. If you're wearing a helmet which is a little big, or small, the consequences in a crash can sometimes be disastrous, so size really is important.
Shoei have employed a useful safety feature for users if they were ever in an accident called EQRS (emergency quick release cheek pads). These cheek pads allow the emergency services to get to your head a little easier after a crash. Removing a motorbike after an accident can be life-threatening since it can cause damage to the spinal cord and head. However, this feature also has other benefits too! If you want the helmet to fit a little tight (or looser) than it already does, you can buy replacement cheek pads to help you get the perfect fit. It's evident that Shoei have really thought about safety while making this helmet, and it's certainly paid off for them.
In terms of ventilation, the Hornet excels, which is a huge advantage for motocross riders who often work up a sweat. The Hornet ADV features three sets of vents, placed on the chin, top of the helmet and the brow. If you're not in scorching hot conditions, the ventilation is pretty good for this helmet. The air enters into the three vents and exits out of the helmet, and if you want to close the vents at any point, they're pretty easy to operate. Once you've closed the vents, of course, you'll probably be having some issues with the visor steaming up, which again can be pretty dangerous. Luckily, Shoei have thought about this issue and created the helmet to be Pinlock ready, so don't worry about a steamy visor with this motorbike helmet.
The Hornet's optically correct visor has clearly been thought out by Shoei, shown in the fantastic peripheral vision it provides for the rider. It cuts out 99% of UV light and comes Pinlock ready (although a pinlock doesn't come with the helmet).
If you prefer goggles to visors, you'll be pleased to know the Hornet ADV can accommodate you. In fact, you can even wear your goggles underneath the visor, due to the amount of room between the riders face and the visor. If you'd prefer to remove the visor fully, this is easy to do however you'll have to remove the peak too, which can be a bit of a pain.
In comparison to other helmets, the Hornet ADV is a pretty quiet helmet, especially considering it has a peak (a factor which generally means increased noise levels!) Shoei have gone to great lengths to help reduce wind noise by putting the helmet through rigorous wind tunnel testing.
The peak on the Shoei Hornet ADV is one of the best peaks you'll find on a motocross helmet. If you enjoy riding out in the hot weather, the peak will help to deflect the sun glare from your eyesight. As you'd expect from Shoei, it's solid and durable, so don't be afraid of getting a flimsy peak like you do on some motorbike helmets. Shoei have crafted the peak to have a streamlined design; therefore wind doesn't get trapped in it, so noise isn't created. Most owners actually say that at speeds of around 80mph, you can't tell the difference in noise between this helmet and a full faced helmet! This is a pretty impressive statement since full faced helmets are the quietest helmets you can buy. The positioning of the peak is not changeable however most owners praise the perfect positioning of the peak, in every weather condition and climate!
As always, the lining of the helmet is fully removable and washable, so if it's beginning to get a little smelly, washing it won't be a problem. It even has Shoei's 3D Max dry liner which is anti-microbial and moisture wicking, so sweat shouldn't affect the fabric either.
Considering the price you're paying for this helmet, you're probably expecting it to be comfy. Of course, Shoei deliver on this aspect. They have even constructed the cheek pads in different density levels to allow glasses to be worn while the helmet is being worn. Ear pads are also used in the Hornet ADV to help exclude noise and if you want to use a communication system, the Hornet will accommodate for this too.
The double D ring fastener is practical yet safe, in fact, it's the safest buckle system on the market! If weight is something you're worried about, the medium Hornet ADV with a pinlock, peak and visor attached weighs in at around 1.6kg, which is a little heavy though once it's on your head, very few owners complain about the weight, especially considering all the features and materials used in this helmet!
In terms of appearance, this helmet is pretty cool. Shoei haven't created many of these helmets with fancy graphics and colours, however the Hornet ADV really speaks for itself. With its sleek design, it doesn't need bold colours to make it stand out.
If you're looking for a cheap motocross helmet, the Shoei Hornet AGV isn't for you. If you're looking for a quality helmet, designed to protect your head whilst you're riding around the tracks, you won't be disappointed with the Hornet. As you'd expect from any Shoei motorbike helmet, it comes with an impressive 5-year warranty, so if you do have any issues, you can rest assured that Shoei will sort them for you. If you're happy to spend £450-530 on a motorbike helmet, then the Hornet AGV is a fantastic option due to the sleek appearance and practical safety features, earning itself a respectable 7 out of 10.