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Review: Shoei J-Cruise Open Face Helmet

The most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn!

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
5/3/2016

If you’ve read any of my helmet reviews before, you know I’m a fan of open-face or ¾ helmets. They are not as confining as a full-face, but offer much more protection than a half shell helmet.

I recently got my hands on two new ¾ helmet styles from two of the leading helmet manufacturers: Arai CT-Z, I reviewed here two months ago, and the Shoei J-Cruise, (pronounced show’-ee), I’m writing about here. Both are premium helmets with price tags to match, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering the best protection for your head.

The J-Cruise is a new helmet in Shoei’s line-up offering the latest bells and whistles I like in a helmet. The J-Cruise predecessor is the J-Wing, which was produced from 2005 to 2012. 

review shoei j cruise open face helmet
I tested the Shoei J-Cruise helmet in matte black on a weekend ride through Wyoming and Idaho that included a stop at this historic grain elevator in Ashton, Idaho. I like how the helmet fits close to my head rather than seeming to plop on top giving me "mushroom head" like some lesser-quality helmets do.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet shield
The face shield provides a wider and taller field of vision over its predecessor covering more of my face. See how the shield drops below my chin giving me more coverage? Fortunately, Shoei incorporated UV ray protection into the shield, blocking 99 percent of the damaging rays. But I’m still going to wear sunscreen just in case.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet riding
My friend Bob wears his J-Cruise with the sun shield down, my favorite part of the J-Cruise. The gray tinted visor is easily raised and lowered with a slide-type button on the side. The sun visor eliminates the need for sunglasses and is great when light conditions change on the fly.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet design
If you’ve ever used a helmet with a cheap face shield then you’ve experienced distortion and weird light rainbows across the surface. It’s pretty annoying and distracts from your ride. The J-Cruise shield ensures a distortion-free view and I can attest that at times I forgot I was looking through anything. On an overcast sky day, the sun shield was too dark for me so I wore my light brown tinted sunglasses seen here. Still, you can wear this helmet without eyewear because there’s virtually no air turbulence under the shield.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet vents
In a premium helmet such as the J-Cruise you’d expect superior venting and indeed Shoei thought of everything. The large vents are designed to open and close easily with gloved fingers. The front, shown here, allows for just the right amount of air to keep you cool while ensuring the helmet is still “quiet.” Have you ever “listened” to your helmet before? Notice how much ambient noise there is when the vents are open.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet rear
Shoei develops its air vents in a wind tunnel to ensure the optimal balance between air flow and silence. I am impressed at how quiet and solid this helmet feels on my head, like a cocoon of comfort and quiet. The rear vents here are also glove-friendly and slide (instead of pressing to open) to two different openings depending on how much air you want to channel through.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet sun shield
My friend Joe loves his Shoei J-Cruise because it’s one of the most comfortable helmets he’s ever worn. I can honestly say the same thing. I’ve tested a lot of helmets and just like Goldilocks, something’s always just not quite right. But with the J-Cruise, it contours to my head shape giving me one of the most comfortable fits ever. It’s lightweight too. I found myself keeping it on while gassing up because my head never felt fatigued or weighted down. Turns out Shoei boasts that its center pad components are three-dimensionally shaped to match the contours of a rider’s head, allowing for an extremely comfortable fit while maintaining the firm hold necessary for distraction-free riding.

Part of what makes a helmet feel good is that you’re fitted to the right size. I measured the crown of my head and chose a size small. I knew when I wore it the first time that it should fit more snugly to my head. I could lift the helmet up from the nape of my neck, which is a sign of a poor-fitting helmet. 

When I determined the helmet was just too big my options were to stop at my local Shoei helmet dealer to get measured for the right size or attend an upcoming motorcycle trade show where I knew Shoei would be attending to have them measure me. Fortunately, the AIMExpo in Orlando was the following week so I visited their booth and discovered I needed thicker pads.

A week later a thicker crown pad and cheek pads were sent to me. I replaced the crown pad in my small helmet that had a label of S9 on it, with the one they sent me labeled S13. A perfect fit! I didn't need to change the cheek pads. Switching the pads is very easy as they simply snap in. Shoei has different size crown and cheek pads for a customizable fit, so if the helmet just doesn't feel right, go get measured.  

review shoei j cruise open face helmet fitment
I visited with the Shoei reps at their booth at the AIMExpo in Orlando last fall who measured my head using a special three dimensional helmet measuring tool and determined I needed thicker pads.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet liner
Everything about the J-Cruise says luxury from the moisture-wicking liner to the easy-to-remove face shield for cleaning and replacements. The shield also comes Pinlock-ready, a product that attaches to the face shield to help prevent fogging, which I find you don’t really need with an open face helmet.

The J-Cruise comes in seven colors, the matte black one I’m wearing in the photos above, and the six shown below. The black and white helmets are priced at $499.99; all the others cost $530.99. Visit Shoei-Helmets.com to learn more about the J-Cruise and to find a dealer near you.
review shoei j cruise open face helmet black
J-Cruise in black.


review shoei j cruise open face helmet white
J-Cruise in white.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet anthracite metallic
J-Cruise in anthracite metallic.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet matte deep gray
J-Cruise in matte deep gray.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet brilliant yellow
J-Cruise in brilliant yellow.

review shoei j cruise open face helmet wine red
J-Cruise in wine red.


Related Articles
Review: Open-face Arai CT-Z helmet
Review: Scorpion EXO-CT220
Review: Bell Custom 500 Helmet


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