Shoei DS Hornet – An African Experience

What Everybody Ought to Know About Motorcycle Touring in Africa

I’ve been a fan of Shoei DS Hornet helmets Shoei Hornet Helmet for years and I took this helmet on my African tour. I find them a good helmet for the kind of riding I do; long distance touring through a wide range of riding weather and road conditions. The Shoei DS Hornet helmet has been around for a few years now, but it still holds its own as far as motorcycle adventure touring is concerned. Nothing against other helmet brands. I have riding colleagues who are Arai helmet devotees.

CLICK HERE for Shoei DS Hornet helmets ON SALE.

Prior to departing for a 10,000 kilometre (6,200 mile) tour across southern Africa last winter, I decided to purchase a Shoei DS Hornet. I had spoken to my local motorcyle shop, and after a quick look and fit in the shop, made the purchase.

The tour was in three stages, with the first stage commencing in Pretoria, South Africa and heading north-east with Hazyview (Kruger National Park) as the first stopover. Weather was cool, with the odd bit of misty rain on the first day. After an overnight stay in Hazyview, headed south to enter the kingdom of Swaziland where the weather became decidedly warmer. This was the first test of the helmet in the rider comfort stakes, and I was pretty happy with the helment’s ventilation/cooling. Wind noise was OK at highway speeds of around 130kph (80mph). The speed limit on a lot of the major roads in South Africa is 130kph.

Travelling from Swaziland’s capital of Mbabane back into South Africa, it was onto Rorke’s Drift. Road conditions were a mix of sealed and reasonably well maintained unsealed stretches. Riding conditions were pleasant around that part of the country, with warm days and not a lot of traffic to contend with.

Next stop was the beautiful town of Clarens, riding up through the Golden Gate National Park. Riding towards evening, and into the sun made me start to appreciate the visor. I did have some reservations about buying a helmet with a visor, thinking it may have issues at higher speeds, but I must confess I didn’t really experience any problems with wind buffeting at the speeds I was travelling. It was then back into Pretoria.

The next stage of the tour was the longer in terms of distances. Riding from Pretoria, crossing the border into Botswana and then up to Chobe National Park. From there crossing the Zambezi River into Zambia. The riding conditions getting hotter all the way, not surprsingly. From there we travelled into Namibia, heading towards the west coast along the Caprivi Strip (border with Angola). From Etosha, the roads took us south through the Kalahari Desert, to Swakopmund on the coast.

The west coast is subject to incredible fogs caused by the cold ocean currents that run up past the coast. Scary stuff. The Shoei DS Hornet didn’t show any real fogging while riding along. There was just enough air passing over the shield to keep clear visibility. With the vents open, my head was on the cool side, but nothing that was too punishing.

Headed further back into South Africa, all the way down to Cape Agulhas, made famous by Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor on the “Long Way Down” tour. Overnight stay in Capetown, which has some of the best mororcycling roads in the world. Chapmans Peak, ride to Cape Point amongst the many great stretches of road.

Last stage of the tour was to ride back across the Garden Route to Port Alfred, and then turn north past the Drakensburg to get back to Pretoria. The weather was cold (5 degrees Centigrade), blowing like Hell with showers of rain. Again, provided I was moving along, fogging was minimal; which was good. When I stopped it was a different story, but that’s to be expected. I was glad to be off the bike, as I just clocked past the 10,000km mark as I rode into Clarens for the second time. Then the short hop back to Pretoria.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Shoei DS Hornet. Comfortable, good visibility, great ventilation and not too heavy. For what you get for your money, I’d put it as very good value. Nothing really irked me, at least not that I can remember. Having riden 10,000 kms in 26 riding days is a pretty good test. 4.5 stars out of 5.0 from me.

If You Were Ever Going To Buy Yourself a Shoei DS Hornet, Now Is The Time…

Right now there’s a major deal going on with Shoei Helmets. A friend of mine informed me that the reason is because they’re running a huge promotion to boost their brand and stand out amongst their market even more.

Essentially they’re heavily discounting their product just so they can dominate the motorcycle helmet market. However I won’t be surprised if they increase the price back to normal shortly, so I would recommend you go straight to their site right now and buy yourself a DS Hornet…

To buy an Shoei DS Hornet helmet from a reputable retailer with over 100,000 motorcycle products offering you a price match guarantee, and the best free shipping deal plus quick and easy returns.

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