“Yeah, sure, Transitions shield, whatever. My shield is hella scratched, I could use a new one.” Those were my first thoughts when Editor Surj asked if I wanted to review this thing, “this thing” being Shoei’s CWR-1 Transitions Light Intelligent Shield, a replacement shield for Shoei’s RF-1200, X-Fourteen, and RF-SR helmets that changes tint based on light and weather conditions. I wear an RF-SR, and my everyday riding spans day and night time, and, years ago, after one too many times riding home at night with my dark daytime shield wide open at perfectly legal freeway speeds, I gave up on tinted shields altogether.
But hey, new shield, why not? I’ll try anything once.
Transitions Optical, a company known for eyeglass lenses that turn into sunglass lenses, now also makes light-sensitive face shields for select helmets made by Shoei, Bell, Klim and Lazer. The idea is that you don’t need to carry multiple shields for day and night, thus preventing another night of squinting at speed because you forgot their clear shield.
“This shield is fucking sweet!” reads the text I sent to Surj after a few days of testing. I am a million percent sold. My morning commutes are so much less glaring, my night rides as crystal clear as the plain old boring clear shield I replaced with this one.
It’s all so effortless—I don’t have to think about it, the shield just adjusts. Sunny days the shield is dark, foggy days it’s lightly tinted, and at night it’s perfectly clear. Hell yes.
Sadly, the adjustment isn’t immediate. It takes a few minutes, dashing my science fiction dreams of a shield that snap-adjusts to dappled redwood forest roads. This could prove a problem in tunnels—Shoei recommends that you, “…please lift the shield open, then stop or slow down until you can see the road well.”
Like every Shoei shield I’ve ever used, it installed easily, clicking into place in seconds. And for the price they’re charging, it had better.
Standard shields for my helmet start at about $65, so a set of clear and tinted shields would run about $130—roughly $40 less than the CWR-1 Transitions shield’s $169.99 suggested retail price. It’s Pinlock-ready, although the insert is sold separately for another $34.99. As bitchin’ as the Transitions shield is (hella bitchin’) that’s pretty steep.
Still, for travel, for commuting, for someone who regularly rides day and night, it’s worth a look. When I inevitably scratch the hell out of this one, I’ll strongly consider replacing it with another Transitions shield.
This story originally appeared in our August 2018 issue.