GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

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GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby ragedigital » Sat May 09, 2009 8:39 pm

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I just purchased a Scorpion EXO 700 helmet from Sportbike Track Gear for a very low price of $149. Originally, these helmets went for $219+, so I figured it was time to bite the bullet.

A couple years ago, not knowing an incredible amount about helmets, including design, ventilation and fit, I instead went with what matched my bike - the HJC CL-14 in blue, silver and white that I purchased from a local dealership on clearance for $99. I put the XL helmet on and it was comfortable, but after a short while, it became apparent that I chose too large of a helmet. Needless to say that when you purchase a helmet that is not a good fit for your head, you end up with something that moves around easily, lifts up from your head when reaching proper speeds, is noisy and gives you a constant worry wondering if it will really protect you. While I can't blame HJC for the mistake in judgment, I went with another brand this time around.

One of the reasons for choosing the Scorpion EXO 700 is due to several members of FZROnline.com who have already purchased them and have stated how well they enjoyed them. "Enjoyed them" was not exactly my thoughts with my "bobble-headed feeling, too large for my head" current lid.

One of the things that influencing me when buying certain products is seeing what the “pros” use. This is one of the reasons why I went with the Alpinestar boots. Even though some “pros” wore certain products, like gloves and leathers, from their sponsors, it seemed like the majority of them wore Alpinestar boots. That might be a sponsor thing, but some of them had no A-star sponsorship stickers, and they still wore the boots. Any way you look at it, I took it into consideration and bought them. The problem with this helmet is that no “pro” was wearing them except the sponsored ones. While that didn’t necessarily change my mind, it did concern me a bit. I’m certain; however, that some riders are not going to wear something that might jeopardize their career and cause them physical detriment. One sponsored rider that does wear his Scorpion helmet is Matt Mladin and that seemed good enough for me.

Since I had a Track Day quickly approaching, I did what most "smart" consumers do - go to my local Cycle Shop and try one on for size, then look on the internet for a deal. While I hate doing that, I did tell myself that if I could only find similar pricing to my local Cycle Shop on the net, that I would go back and buy one from them instead. After checking out the current selection of Scorpion helmets on the Cycle Shop's website, I headed on down to see what they carried locally. After scanning the helmets shelves, which seemed like a Shoei mural, I noticed one Scorpion helmet in solid black on the shelf in the size I wanted to try - a large. I pulled it over my head and instantly knew what a helmet should feel like - something that makes your head feel one with the helmet. I liked it - not the simple color, but the initial fit. I must tell you that I am a "man" when buying things. I don't try on jeans or shirts. I go for basic colors and not get creative. Initial impressions sell me and I wanted this helmet. Unfortunately, the local Cycle Shop seemed to want to sell me a $500 Shoei helmet instead of a $230 Scorpion due to the selection ratio which was about 35 to 1 respectively. So, home I went to go cyber shopping, which is something I enjoy because I hate going to stores to look for products.

I do what most people do – pull up Google and start searching – I mean millions of users can’t be wrong. Of course, with any Google search, there tends to be something from eBay in the selling section, which I have nothing against. I scored brand new Alpinestar’s SMX Plus boots for $230 of eBay, so it isn’t all that bad. So, after looking through several internet motorcycle superstores, I decided to look on eBay to find a deal on a Scorpion helmet. I found one and the company selling it was selling it for $80 off most places with the total shipped price of $149.95. That didn’t do it for me since the seller; sportbike-power-sellers only had 144 reviews currently. That really isn’t enough to make me feel comfortable enough to lose $150. They did; however, have a decent listing as well as some videos that they stole from SportbikeTrackGear.com. So, I decided to check out SportbikeTrackGear.com instead and found out quickly that “sportbike-power-sellers” was their eBay selling name.

So, I went to their site and ordered the EXO 700 in the Rivet style and in the Grey/Black Matte finish I didn’t want a really dark helmet since it gets really hot in Missouri and I don’t need to pass out from helmet heat. I also ordered an additional Smoke Grey visor, since the helmet is clad with a clear one, which was another $36. I don’t have a problem with the $36 visor since the deal on the helmet was a killer. Plus, no one else was any cheaper on the visor. After I ordered they stated on their invoice to call if you needed your product as soon as possible and with my Track Day coming up, I started punching the numbers on the Blackberry. “Yes, we have it in stock and we’ll ship it out tomorrow and since we’re in Michigan, it should arrive quickly.” They did and it did. I received my helmet within a couple days via FedEx.

One thing I already liked as I opened the black and yellow colored graphic box was the helmet was in a cloth bag - one of those cloth bags that I didn’t get with my HJC helmet. I looked over the helmet and couldn’t help but notice the quality inside the helmet itself. It looked very well designed and manufactured. I also noticed the sticker on the front of the visor stating that the very flexible face shield was boasting an “anti-fogging” technology. We’ll just see about that.

As I pulled the helmet down, I had the same feeling that I did in the store – “one with the helmet”, like some Kung Fu master teaching quote. I apparently missed the “breath deflector” when I tried it on at the store, but it was there and not necessarily in the way, but I did see it. Unfortunately, it still allowed some fog to generate on my personal spectacles. Yes, I wear glasses and they, at last, felt like they would move with my head instead of doing what they wanted under my previous helmet. I wondered if the fogging would be an issue while riding. See, the last helmet had no breathing deflector and a lot of space around the front, so an abundance of air came pouring in to dissipate the accumulating condensation on my astigmatism corrective lenses. I walked around the house for a bit and yanked on the helmet occasionally, trying to test what the real world might present.

Coming soon – the ride test!
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby ragedigital » Sat May 09, 2009 8:39 pm

The Short Ride Test

Before I went any further I decided to remove the stock, clear visor and replace it with the “smoke” version visor that I ordered as an additional accessory. The sun was out and I wanted to make sure it was the ideal light filter that I wanted. The EXO 700 features a unique visor replacement system where you raise the visor to its highest point, twist the side mechanisms and the visor is supposed to come right out. Mine didn’t and right away and I was afraid that I was going to snap something. After having issues with my HJC CL-14s visor changing system, which was terrible, I was afraid that I was going to be in a similar situation. I decided to try the other side and it came right off allowing the stubborn side to free itself with minimal effort. The new visor snapped on effortlessly and so I was ready to get riding.

Since my bike has recently undergone an oil and anti-freeze change for the upcoming Track Day season, I didn’t have a prepared bike to test out my helmet. It’s funny how rapidly that changes when you have new gear that you want to test. I snapped everything back together and bolted up the fairings in record time. With the “Threadlock” drips still fresh on the garage floor, I dropped the front and rear stands and fired up the GSXR and backed her out of the garage.

Wearing full leathers and strapping on my new Scorpion helmet, I took off for a quick jog on a slightly winding road. As much as I wanted to push the bike in the corners, the oncoming traffic seemed to want my side of the road more than their own, so I kept my cool for the most part. I was able to take some straights and get the bike rolling in the 100+ range, but that was minimal. I was here to test the EXO 700’s fit more than make sure nothing was going to fly off the bike from my hurried re-assembly. The helmet was quiet. Not so quiet that I couldn’t tell when the RPMs were getting close to being maxed out, but definitely quieter than my previous helmet. Without ear plugs, which I use on occasion, I was able to focus on limitations of the helmet’s noise levels. The only noise that I heard that stood out was the whistling from one of the many vent holes on the top. Since the Scorpions vent holes are round, they are perfect for creating the most annoying tone when turned into the wind. Although less likely to happen when facing forward, you will notice the sound when your head is turned 90 left or right when the top vents are fully opened.

The thought of “anti-fog technology” came to mind when I noticed that even wearing full leathers, the out of shape heavy breathing rider, did not fog the visor or the personal eyewear one bit while in motion. However; slight fogging of my glasses occurred when at a stop sign.

After riding for a bit, I noticed that I was breathing more from my mouth than my nose, but that was probably due to the “chipmunk face” feeling I had from the thick cheek padding inside the helmet. I’m not sure if this will eventually be reduced over a certain period of time, but it is certainly a different feeling.

The ventilation of the helmet was very good, but since it was a rather windy day, I’m not certain that I should comment one way or another at this time. Maybe it was the cooler air or the helmet’s many vent holes. We’ll have to ride on a warmer day to decide.

Some of said that the EXO 700 helmet is heavier than some more expensive lids. Since I don’t have the experience with higher priced Shoei and Arai helmets I can’t comment, but the EXO 700 doesn’t feel heavy, but rather well balanced.

Overall my initial impression is that the Scorpion EXO 700 is both designed and made well. The noise levels are very acceptable, except for the wind whistle that is present when the round vent holes have a certain cross wind flowing through them. The adjustments are easy to make while wearing gloves and the visors snap without too much fuss. Some pieces, such as the “chin strap keep snap”, feature thin plastic, which seems cheap, but it is not a critical part of the helmet, so I’ll give it a pass until a “long term” review is written.

I will give another assessment, after the upcoming Track Day, when the helmet will get a very good workout.
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby ragedigital » Sun May 10, 2009 12:35 am

Very nice!

Since I never know when I'll sell a bike and buy another, I went with the safe shades of grey instead of going with a certain color. Some of those really look awesome - like yours.
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby ragedigital » Sun May 10, 2009 9:56 am

I can't tell by the photo - is it more of a matte finish or glossy?
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby cad600 » Sun May 10, 2009 3:11 pm

The first helmet I bought was the EXO700. I like it a lot. It has the best anti-fog I've ever experienced, and that is with out the anti-fog shield. I had to buy a different helmet when I quit smoking and gained a little weight. These do run very snug. I have found it's ventilation and noise reduction to be superior over the KBC VR-2 and the Icon Mainframe helmets. My only complaint about them are the lack of "good" graphics. Granted this is a very personal decision as I like wild graphics.
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby AraiPnai » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:20 pm

finally got to wear my 700! my mini review:

Comfortable fit! Indeed it does fit a little wider than the 400 but I liked it for the fact that, as some of you know with my "special needs noggin", only after almost 2 hours of riding (and as a passenger again unfortunately - sorry!) I had no issue with the fit still! Comfort! Very important factor for me. It was actually easy to move my head around with the helmet on as well, and matte black looks sooooo sexy! :)

There was just the right amount of air ventilation with all vents closed. If anything I really only felt it up the chin area, but minimal nonetheless.

When I did open all the vents, I loved how it kept my head cool in various areas (it was a hot day, and not really windy, but we were going pretty fast on the freeway, avg 85mph, maxed 120+ a few times). I felt the breeze at my forehead, top of the head, upper, mid and lower back of the head/back neck. As rage said, I also noticed that the 2 holes at the top did give a whistling sound sometimes. Overall, the ventilation was soo good, I had the worse case of allergies afterwards cuz it just circulated all that air in my confined space for my head. Hahaha.
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby mszilves » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:02 pm

I've got two exo 700's, one going on it's 3rd season, and I love them both. Great helmets for a great price!
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby haunter » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:37 am

teh 700 is on my short list for my next lid with the newer HJC's with the built in visor.....

I hate my KBC most of the time, and my CL-15 does well, loved my exo 400

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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby haunter » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:10 am

just got an email from paul thompson that the exo 700 in burst and rivet are down to 109!

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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby megaloxana » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:08 am

haunter wrote:HJC's with the built in visor.....


Buddy of mine just got one of these. He let me try it out and it is a very nice helmet. The visor feature feels weird at first because you have a cut off line but you get used to it quickly.
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Re: GR : Scorpion EXO 700 Helmet

Postby sweekster » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:29 am

I just picked up one of these myself for my father in law:

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I took it, and my bike, out for a while. Talk about functioning ventilation. It was 93 degrees today when I was riding and it did a really good job of keeping my head cool and things quiet yet audible. Very little wind noise. Seem quite light as well. The price has come down some more as well. I got it for 118 shipped.
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