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Shoei Glamster 06 helmet review: the Shoei retro helmet

Published on: 22 November 2019


The Shoei Glamster has been around for a few years now. It came out shortly after the Arai Rapide (now called the Arai Concept-XE). And, at the time, the two helmets were a revelation, because prior to that there hadn’t been a properly-technical retro helmet. And the truth is that the situation hasn’t changed much since.

In comparison with the Arai and the Shoei, most so-called retro helmets are but toys. They often come in just two shell sizes. Most have no adjustable vents. Rarely is there a rubber seal around the visor; so they end up being noisy, and they let the rain in. None will take a Pinlock visor to combat condensation. And certainly, there’s no retro helmet other than the Arai and the Shoei that has replaceable cheekpads and headliners to allow a custom fitting.

Shoei Glamster 06 and Arai Concept XE

These are the only two ‘proper’ retro helmets.

The Arai Rapide is the bigger and heavier of the two. But with its Simpson Bandit-style nose, the Arai looks a bit more aggressive, and a bit less classic, than the Shoei with its smoother, rounder shell.

Chris Shoei Glamster 06 helmet review

In his video review Chris adds absolutely nothing to this editorial review!

The Shoei Glamster

In terms of its construction and functionality, the Glamster  is, in many ways, similar to the now discontinued RYD, and to the current, but more aggressive, Shoei NXR2.

It comes in four different shell sizes for a better, snugger fit. The shell has what is known as an AIM shell; that’s a mix of carbon fibre and other organic fibre strands. As with all Shoeis, the Glamster has a medium-density shell. That’s a shell that’s soft enough to absorb the energy of an impact, but hard enough to resist punctures and cracking.

Shoei AIM shell diagram

The Advanced Integrated Matrix shell on the Glamster is used on most Shoeis.

As with all Shoeis, we have the ability, in every size, to swap out cheekpads and headliners. And for the Glamster there are four different thicknesses of cheekpad, and three different densities of headliner. The internal shape of the Glamster is more oval than round. Not everybody will fit a Shoei; and if somebody’s head is too round we would normally recommend the Arai as the nearest alternative. What we do find with the Glamster is that, because of its rounder chin profile, it is nearly always too generous in the cheeks; and in most cases we find ourselves having to fit either 43mm or 47mm cheekpads to tighten up the fit.

Venting on the Glamster, in truth, is a little rudimentary. There’s a simple, open-or-closed vent on the brow. The vent on the chin is there more for the look than anything else. It actually doesn’t allow a lot of air to pass into the helmet.

Shoei Glamster chin vents

The Glamster’s venting is a bit rudimentary. The chin vent doesn’t do much.

Obviously, the visor is Grade 1 optical quality. It takes a Pinlock, and indeed a Pinlock 120 comes as standard in the box. There is a rubber seal around the visor aperture; the same as there is on any Shoei helmet.

As this is a retro helmet, the Glamster does not have a drop-down sun visor. Shoei has deemed that this would not be appropriate, because such niceties didn’t exist back in the eighties. So be it.

The bottom line is that if you want to adopt a retro aesthetic, but don’t want to make sacrifices when it comes to safety and comfort, the Shoei is one the two serious options out there.

Matt black Shoei Glamster 06

The new ECE 22-06 version of the Glamster helmet

Some time ago, we were told that the Glamster had met the new 22-06 standard without any alterations. And whilst there is some degree to which one might maintain that this is the case, it is not the complete story.

Visually, you will see almost no change between a 22-05 Glamster and a 22-06 one. The only distinguishing visual marker is a second rivet in the shell to make the strap fixing more secure.

Shoei Glamster 06 extra rivet

The rivet behind the visor is the only way of distinguishing the 22-06 version.

But the truth is that, in most sizes, the new 22-06 Glamster will have a larger shell size than it had in its 22-05 incarnation. This clearly was done so that Shoei could use thicker eps liners.

In fact, because they already had extra thick eps liners, the Extra Small and Small sizes are in the same shells as they always were. But the Medium, Large, Extra Large and Extra Extra Large sizes will all get larger shells than they used to have. But you’d be hard pushed to notice.

Of course, what we do not know, and what we will never know, is whether Shoei has fitted thicker eps liners to meet the new standard, or because they want to exceed it, as this is historically what Shoei has always done.

Shoei Glamster 06 lifestyle

The Shoei, in our view, is the most authentically classic of all retro helmets.

So the bottom line is this, the new 2023 Glamster now meets the 22-06 standard. In four of the six sizes the shell will be larger than it was when it was a 22-05 helmet.

But that’s about it. Otherwise, there are no changes really. It’s the same old Glamster. But it now officially meets the new safety standard.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, as they say in Italy.

You can see all the different colours of the Shoei Glamster helmet here.

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