Did you know that in one year Shoei makes up to 15 helmets for @marcmarquez93? #MotoGP
How are the MotoGP helmets made?
The manufacturing process of a Shoei helmet is quite sophisticated, and most of it is done by our Japanese employees. We have over 50 years of experience in the field.
Do you take into account the size and shape of the rider’s head?
Yes. Shoei helmets are known for their perfect fit. We have been collecting information for a long time about different head shapes to improve the fit.
Do the riders tend to make specific or demanding requests?
In a way, yes. We provide an assistance service at all the MotoGP circuits, called the Racing Service, that specially prepares the helmets for the riders, so that they are adapted to suit different meteorological conditions such as rain, heat, etc. At times they make greater demands, but we always try to offer the best service possible to the rider.
What feedback do you get from Marc when he tries out a new helmet? What does he value most?
When Marc tries out a helmet for the first time, it’s all about the fit. Once the fit has been perfected, he gives us more feedback on the ventilation, aerodynamics, and how it feels in general.
How many helmets are brought to a Grand Prix?
At the beginning of the season we bring around 40 or 50 helmets. After that, the riders bring the helmets themselves. In addition to this, our Racing Service prepares over 100 helmets each weekend, and many of them are brought to subsequent Grand Prix.
How many helmets are manufactured for Marc in a season?
That depends a good deal on the rider, or rather how often he manages to stay on the bike. It could be anything between 6 and 15 helmets.
Did you know that the wind tunnel is used to improve the aerodynamics of a helmet? #MotoGP
What are the main differences between a MotoGP helmet and a normal one?
There isn’t much difference: all of our riders use helmets that can be bought in a regular shop. Of course, most of the riders have a customised design, but from a technical perspective, it’s a helmet that’s on sale to the general public.
How many materials are used?
A wide variety of materials. From reinforced plastic with fibres on the shell to polyurethane foam for the padding and Japanese stainless steel on the double ring, for example.
How have the competition helmets improved and changed over the last decades? What would you highlight in this respect?
Above all the aerodynamics of the helmets have improved considerably. Demands for aerodynamic performance have soared in recent years.
We know that you use a wind tunnel. How does this assist the helmet design process? Do all riders equipped with Shoei helmets go through the wind tunnel?
The wind tunnel is a highly valuable tool used in the development of our latest helmets. It means that we are able to determine exactly how the aerodynamics of the helmet works at different speeds. We can take objective measurements using our robotic rider who can repeat the same movement hundreds of times. This allows us to develop a perfectly functional helmet in much less time compared to when we didn’t use the tunnel.
Unfortunately our tunnel is in Japan, and not all our riders can visit our facilities. However, during the Japanese GP many riders use the chance to visit our factories and try it out.