The modular-helmet game has been hotting up over the last few years. What’s that you say? Hotting up? Yes, like the weekly game of backgammon at the old folks’ home, the modular-helmet genre is now ultra-competitive, and no longer seen as the style of helmet for, well, old folks.
Shoei has been a leader in the modular market for longer than most, with its Neotec and now Neotec II dominating sales for the past decade. It’s a luxurious helmet, if ever a helmet could be considered as such.
The Neotec uses a Shoei-exclusive five-ply matrix AIM shell and multi-piece EPS liner and ratchet closure strap, with multi-layer cheek pads with inbuilt noise isolators to reduce wind and ambient noise. The shell uses a three-position upper air intake with new exhaust extractors for better cooling than on the old Neotec, with the shape clearly following the aerodynamic lines of touring-focused RF1200.
The Neotec II runs a drop-down tinted inner shield but is not yet equipped to run the Shoei CNS-2 transition lens. It is, however, able to run the Sena SEL Bluetooth communications system, Shoei calls SRL (Shoei Rider Link). This particular Bluetooth system has been designed around the Neotec II and integrates seamlessly into the bottom left side of the shell.
The DOT-stamped Shoei Neotec II is available in a variety of colors and sizes XS-XXL (via the Neotec’s four shell sizes). Retail price starts at $699 for solid colors and $799 for metallics and multi colors. The Sena SRL system sells separately for $299 through Sena.
Shoei Neotec II Road Helmet Product Review Lowdown
Standout Feature: Excellent all-day comfort
MSRP: $699 (as tested)-$799
The Shoei Neotec II is—in my book—a bit of a Rolls Royce of flip-up helmets, the style of which has been increasingly prevalent in my collection.
It’s got one of the most comfortable liners we’ve ever felt, and the fact that the Bluetooth system was designed around the helmet, and not just a bolt-on unit that will suit every helmet, makes the system super easy to use with no added bulk.
The Neotec II is noticeably heavier compared to something like the Bell SRT Modular, and fits (my head at least) a thousand times better than the Schuberth C3. That weight is dispersed quite well across the helmet, but it might take a bit of fiddling around with the padding sizes to get the right fit for your head.
At speed the Neotec is comfortable and quiet and has the best face-port opening of any modular we’ve tried with the red-colored lock on the chinbar. The Neotec II runs a dual-locking system for improved holding power when in the fully opened position, but I wouldn’t advise riding with it open if you’re going over 40 mph, as the tall position of the chinbar in the fully open position doesn’t exactly make for the most aerodynamic of helmets.
I’m not a massive fan of the drop-down inner sun shield, but then, I never have been. They add weight and don’t cover your range of vision fully, but the Neotec does a decent job of it. Still, I’d rather not have a drop-down screen at all and just run the transition shield when it becomes available.
The Neotec II is getting up there in terms of price, but it is an excellent helmet. And when you consider the Bluetooth system was made specially for it, that makes the Neotec II argument even more compelling. CN
For more information, visit www.shoei-helmets.com