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Shoei RF-1200 VS GT-Air: Which One is the Best Option?

Shoei RF-1200 VS GT-Air Helmet

Whether you’re a professional rider looking to replace an existing helmet or a novice who planned to start riding a motorcycle, it’s always hard to choose the right helmet for yourself. You’ll need to consider multiple features before buying a new helmet, and if you have to choose between the two best sellers Shoei RF-1200 and Shoei GT-Air, it will not be an easy decision.

Both these helmets are sturdy and super durable because they’re the product of Shoei and we all know that Shoei’s helmets possess many remarkable features always. Also, they both look quite similar and share many common features. So, which one should you get?

Continue reading as we provide a detailed comparison between the two most popular Full-Face Helmets, Shoei RF-1200 and Shoei GT-Air, so that you can easily decide which one is right for you!

Shoei RF-1200 VS GT-Air Helmet

shoei rf 1200 vs gt air

Shell Material & Shape

Helmet shape and material have a huge contribution to overall comfort and safety. Both Shoei GT-Air and RF-1200 are constructed from flexible composite material which offers a high level of impact absorption. GT-Air integrates Multi-Ply Matrix AIM Shell while Shoei rf-1200 have comparatively strong and durable AIM+ Multi-Ply Matrix Shell technology.

The shape of GT-Air is unique with a much more elongated shell. it is because of the space between the shell and EPS liner for the internal drop-down sun visor which gives the helmet a bulky appearance overall. The shape of RF-1200 is much more compact as compared to the GT-Air giving it a small, ready for track look on the head.

Verdict: RF-1200 with its AIM+ technology offers high-performance and durability in the shell material and construction as compared to GT-Air helmets.

Safety Ratings

Shoei Rf-1200 have SNELL-Certification along with DOT Certification versus GT-Air is only approved by the Department of Transportation in the USA. For eye safety, GT-Air has CNS-1 Face Shield which protects you from 99% of the sun’s damaging UV Rays besides dust and wind pressure. It is equipped with a Pinlock EVO fog-resistant system to provide a better field of vision. 

Shoei RF-1200 stand higher with its CWR-1 face shield which provides a distortion-free view along with protection from 99% of the sun’s damaging UV Rays. Its improved shield locking mechanism and ribs innovation on top and bottom edge enhance safety while riding.

Verdict: RF-1200 with its SNELL-Certifications and added safety features guarantee more protection for almost every motorcycle riding situation.

Air Flow & Ventilation

Wind Tunnel design of both GT-Air and RF-1200 optimized maximum airflow. Shoei rf-1200 have 3-upper air vents for fresh air intake and 4 uniquely-positioned exhaust vents for hot air expulsion.

GT Air helmet has 3 cool-air intake and five exhaust vents along with large upper and lower vent shutters for ease of use with riding gloves on. Its enlarged lower air intake opening allows greater airflow into the helmet which makes it more comfortable.

Verdict: Rf-1200 provides more universal airflow with its uniquely positioned vents. Although GT-Air also has a great ventilation system, airflow is not universal.

Noise Control

GT-Air’s improved airtight window bedding and pin bar air spoiler, block unwanted wind and road noise. Its streamlined styling makes it very quiet especially for long-distance riding. Comparatively, RF-1200 doesn’t provide a very much quiet experience alongside its great ventilation system.

Verdict: GT-Air with its wind and traffic noise reduction feature is best for urban riding where you have to deal with so much traffic sound. RF-1200 can also provide notable noise reduction, but with all the vents closed.

Size & Fit

A correct size helmet that fits right on your head provides better protection indeed. RF-1200 with its compact design and narrow shape classified as the smallest Shoei helmet. It will not give you a massive look on your head. If you have an intermediate Oval head structure this helmet fits you very well. It comes in four different sizes and 29 different colour and graphics.

GT-Air comes in three different sizes and many graphic options. However, with its in-build visor, double eye port gasket and large chin curtain, it may give a little bulky look on your head. You can also adjust cheek pads for better fitting.

Verdict:  No matter how many amazing features a helmet possesses, it will not protect you until it is correctly sized and perfectly fitted on your head. A helmet should fit snugly around your head to ensure maximum protection.

Inner Lining

Both GT-Air and RF-1200 helmets have fully removable, washable, replaceable and adjustable 3D-shaped inner lining along with multilayer cheek pads for comfort and helmet stabilization. Though GT-Air has Mx-Dry I material for sweat absorption, the RF-1200 have Max-Dry System II material which dries out faster and dissipates sweat more efficiently.

Also, GT-Air Multi-Density EPS Liner is single-layer whereas RF-1200 have Dual-Layer Multi-Density EPS Liner for improved impact absorption.

Verdict: 3D Max-Dry interior system II of Shoei RF-1200 is more cost-efficient than the internal system of GT-Air helmet.


Firstly, we compare the cost of both helmets. The market price of GT-Air is $510 approx. whereas Shoei RF-1200 is available for around $498. GT-Air has an internal drop-down sun visor added but if you want to attach a dark smoke visor to the RF-1200, it will cost you more. Here the prices become similar to each other.

Verdict: When it comes to your safety, the cost of the helmet is not a decision point. But, it’s still worth mentioning the difference in the price tag.

Who is the Winner?

The RF-1200 helmet model of Shoei is a great option for both tour-riding and street-riding. Shoei GT-Air is more of a regular use helmet, provides a comfy and quiet ride but we ship the idea of this one only if you are a non-sports rider.

If you have any track-riding plans for the future then the RF 1200 is the helmet for you! It does not have the internal drop-down Sunvisor but it will ensure better protection with its SNELL-Certification and Dual-Layer Multi-Density EPS liner.

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