Date Reviewed - January 2019 Reviewed by - Luke Price - £300-400
The Shoei J-Cruise is Japanese company Shoei’s replacement for their widely popular J-Wing helmet and sees Shoei making major upgrades in all their biggest areas of success. With an exceptional ventilation system powered by upper and front vents that ensure a balanced distribution of ventilation, along with a CJ-2 shield visor that offers 99% protection from the Sun’s UV rays and a higher, wider field of view, the Shoei J-Cruise is worth every bit of the £300-400 cost that it will set you back.
With DOT certification as well as a DIN approved sunvisor, you can definitely expect reliability from the Shoei J-Cruise. The Multi-Ply Matrix AIM Shell technology gives the shell a lightweight feel while retaining great strength. The shell’s material is made up of various organic fibres that are arranged in several layers that build a matrix against impacts. When powering along roads at high speeds, the risks involved with motorcycling are tremendously high. Thankfully, Shoei’s multi-piece EPS liner provides enhanced impact absorption, giving rider’s that extra piece of mind that cannot be found in most open-face helmets. The classic Shoei EPS liner has the same thickness throughout the whole helmet and there is extra padding included in the event of a crash.
Due to the open-face nature of the Shoei J-Cruise, and the fact that there is no chin bar, concerns may be raised regarding its safety compared to a full-face helmet. However, the strength and size of the CJ-2 Strength shield offers safety above that of a normal open-face helmet, but without the off-putting feel of a full-face helmet that many motorcyclists find.
The closure system of the Shoei J-Cruise is a steel Micro-Ratchet system and is an integral part of the helmet, sparing no expenses when it comes to safety. The interlocking mechanism is made of 100% stainless steel and makes absolutely no safety sacrifices by using plastic. Not only that, but the buckle is metallic, making it much easier to adjust, open and close. These quality and durable characteristics are what we have come to expect from the Japanese brand.
When it comes to ventilation, you’ll be hard pressed to find any motorcycle helmet that quite compares to the Shoei J-Cruise. There aren’t many things worse than witnessing your helmet steaming up during a long ride, but with its specially designed ventilation system, the J-Cruise effectively eliminates this concern.
The EPS liner is specifically designed to match the ventilation coming from the ports of the helmet and allows for an improved cooling performance. The upper vent features two large holes through the EPS, which allows air to pass through seamlessly to the liner, while also having a large shutter for better ease of use with riding gloves. The front vents take in cool air while the 3 rear exhaust vents draw in hot air from the helmet. This ensures a well-balanced distribution of ventilation, preventing the helmet from steaming up while riding. In cooler weather though, the vents may have to be closed to prevent the helmet from becoming too cold.
Both of the intakes and exits are easily adjustable in three positions, helping for much better ease of use. Furthermore, the ventilation of the Shoei J-Cruise allows for precisely enough air to keep you cool while also making sure that there is not too much noise in the helmet for you to be distracted. The helmet’s air vents are developed in a wind tunnel so that the optimal balance between air flow and silence can be kept while riding.
When riding at high speeds, visual ability is an important factor, and this should be taken into account when deciding on a helmet to buy. Thankfully, Shoei realise the importance of a high-quality visor system. The Shoei J-Cruise features a specially designed face shield known as the CJ-2 Face Shield. There is no distortion from the shield, and Shoei credits this to a 3D injection molding process. The visor system of the Shoei J-Cruise gives the rider a considerably wider and taller field of view, and at times you may not even realise that you are looking through anything due to the CJ-2’s ability to eliminate 99% of the Sun’s UV rays. Shoei use the same polymer used in their GT air helmet, which helps to make a big difference in visual quality.
Most internal visor systems of helmets pale in comparison to the Shoei J-Cruise. The QSV-1 visor, which you can operate via a lever on the left side, allows you to stop the visor in any intermediate position, yet still provides enough coverage from the sun when fully lowered. This helmet’s remarkable internal visor system is also fitted with a locking tab with no moving parts that allows for better ease of use. Not only that, but the Shoei J-Cruise can easily be fitted with a Pinlock anti-fog insert, although the Pinlock system does not come with the helmet.
With open-face helmets, wind noise can be quite the distraction, as the open bottom leaves your face quite vulnerable to wind coming in. Naturally, the Shoei J-Cruise is not completely immune from this, although Shoei do a fantastic job in minimising the impact that wind noise can have while you ride.
The CJ-2 face shield offers almost complete coverage of the face in terms of wind protection whilst also providing superb ventilation. Noise levels can be described as being relatively similar to that of the average full-face helmet, which shows how good of a job that Shoei do in minimising noise. With wind tunnel tested aerodynamics, you are very unlikely to find another open-face helmet with as few noise issues as the Shoei J-Cruise. The face shield also acts as a spoiler, which can help to reduce the noise caused by turbulence.
The shell of this helmet is made in the same Multi-Ply Matrix AIM shell technology as most other premium Shoei helmets, so you can expect similar quality materials with the J-Cruise. Shoei use a similar design to their many other helmets, with the Anthracite Metallic colour of the helmet, as well as using the same plush liner and padding used in their other helmets.
The interior features a 3D Max Dry, which is an antibacterial material that accounts for the evaporation of sweat, which can be an invaluable feature to have when riding in hot temperatures. There are five layers of foam in the padding, which is at its thickest in the cheek area, and while it can still get quite stuffy inside the helmet, you’ll be glad to know that the entire interior can removed, washed or replaced.
Shoei did not implement any techy features for the J-Cruise, so if you like to have Bluetooth connection or a speaker in your helmet, this may not be the helmet for you. The Shoei J-Cruise weighs in at around 1300 grams, which is a very reasonable weight for a helmet with an internal sun visor. Sizes for this helmet range from XS-XXL, with 4 different shell sizes available for each size. However, the helmets tend to be quite narrow and some people may find the fit uncomfortable. The helmet is designed to be quite a snug fit and may require measuring in order to find the right size.
While the price tag of £300-400 may be somewhat off-putting for some, it can be said with much confidence that you are unlikely to find a more well-rounded, versatile and reliable open-faced helmet than the Shoei J-Cruise.
The sleek and lightweight yet remarkably strong shell offers protection that most open face helmets simply cannot. While some motorcyclists may be slightly concerned the lack of a chin bar in this helmet, the face shield provided is large enough to give you sufficient protection, while also allowing for improved vision and sophisticated ventilation.
All in all, long as you’re willing to cough up a hefty sum of money, the Shoei J-Cruise is an almost flawless product for you to make your next motorcycle helmet.