Product Review: Shoei Neotec II Helmet
Looking for a premium modular helmet ready to seamlessly take a communication system? Check out the Shoei Neotec II Helmet. Review by Kris Hodgson
I’m a big fan of Shoei helmets, having owned a number, including a GT-Air, NXR and Ryd most recently. The Neotec II is a new addition and stands out for a number of reasons, starting with being a modular design, as well as taking a Sena Comms System.
For those not familiar with the term, modular helmets have been around for a while, but are increasingly popular, as they offer a full face helmet, with the ability to lift up the visor and chin for a half-face like experience.
With the Shoei Neotec II in the Excursion TC-3 graphic you’ve got an eye catching full face helmet, and it’s actually difficult to tell this is a modular helmet at a glance. The solid matte colours, which come in a number of options are a little more obvious as being modular, as there’s no graphics helping disguise the seam of the flip-up portion.
I was keen to get the Excursion TC-3 because it’s highly visible and really stands out, however there’s a range of colour options that should suit anyone’s preference. The Neotec II itself was also particularly attractive due to being built to take a Sena SRL system, but more on that later.
I find personally Shoei helmets a great fit, and nothing’s changed with the Neotec II, with the helmet immediately feeling comfortable and natural, despite the very firm fit. Noticeable features are the ratchet style strap mechanism, and the ‘skirt’ around the base of the helmet.
The ratchet strap is easy to use, even with gloved hands, while the skirt greatly reduces the amount of wind that enters the helmet. This makes for an ideal cool weather option, as well as helping ensure that with the Sena SRL communication system fitted, you can hear via the speakers and be heard from the microphone.
Venting includes a central chin vent and central forehead vent, both of which can be opened and closed, and a rear ‘exhaust’ which isn’t adjustable but as you’d imagine helps direct air out of the helmet. The difference in air flow is also noticeable when opening and closing both chin and forehead vents. The helmet does warm up quickly as a stop too, but you’ve got the option to crack or open the visor, not to mention open the chin-piece, so if you stubbornly refuse to do that, you have only yourself to blame.
The standard visor – a CNS-3 – is a bit beefier than what I expected, but Shoei claim to have improved air and water sealing, as well as noise reduction, and while I don’t have a point of comparison, performance is exceptional in all three areas. Overall the helmet is no doubt the quietest I’ve ever tested.
A PinLock EVO is also included and ready to be fitted, meaning that cool and wet weather or big changes of temperature won’t leave you struggling with a fogged up visor, something which is annoying and can be dangerous. I particularly value these being included when you buy a Shoei, as it’s some additional value from the premium helmet manufacturer.
The field of view is also very good, just limiting the very edges of my vision, and my only criticism is that I do need to glance down to look at the dash on less sporty motorcycles with the bottom seam of the Pinlock right where the speedo shows on some machines. Head checks are also easy as long as you’re not totally rugged up with enough gear to prevent neck movement, which can be an issue in winter.
The red toggle on the chin of the helmet releases the modular section, and I’m happy to say it’s an easy one hand operation, both up and back down. A little extra force may be required to get it locked back into place, but as long as your helmet fits correctly this shouldn’t cause it to shift.
The chin protector, which helps create still air so you can use a Sena SRL mic (sold separately) just touches my chin when I bring the helmet down, but I can easily hold it slightly back – still one-handed – to avoid this issue.
An additional feature which I really value is the internal drop down visor, which is easily toggled on the left of the helmet with an angled up/down switch, requiring minimal pressure. I consider the Neotec II an all-round helmet, and this ensures switching visors is totally unnecessary. You can also wear sun glasses, and I’ve had no issues with a pair of Oakley’s (with relatively thin arms), however I prefer using that visor.
All these features do bump the weight of the helmet up to 1665/1700g, but aerodynamics are good, and I’ve yet to experience any strain or muscle tiredness as a result of wearing the Neotec II all day, and like most Shoei’s I’ve tested, I don’t feel the need to remove it at short stops.
The Neotec II is comfortable enough to leave on, and if I want a bit of fresh air, or to talk to someone, I just flip up the front of the helmet. It couldn’t be easier. The same goes for wanting a bit more fresh air on the move, you can crack the visor open to get a nice flow of fresh air, or for the full ‘wind in your face’ experience just raise the chin section.
The internal drop down visor offers some protection, but I’d stick with a set of sporty sunnies if you’re planning to do this a lot, as they’ll offer better wind protection.
When it comes to safety, you can expect the usual high Shoei standards, with a Multi-Ply Matrix AIM shell and multi-piece EPS liner. The interior system (lining) is also fully removable and washable, not to mention replaceable, so if you use your helmet a lot and want a freshen up, you can grab a new set of interiors. Or if you can’t quite get the fit perfect you could try a size up or down of interior linings.
The other big feature, which I’ll cover in more depth separately, is the Neotec II’s ability to take a Sena SRL Communication System, with removable sections built into the helmet to accomodate the system, including for the earphones/speakers and the microphone.
We’ll be doing a separate review on the Sena SRL, fitment and overall usability on the Neotec II, but from our first impressions, it’s a very slick and effective system, so if you’re considering a helmet and comms system combo, definitely think about the Neotec II.
After over a month of regularly riding with the Neotec II I couldn’t be happier. It’s on the expensive end of things at $999.90 RRP for solid colours or $1099.90 RRP for the graphic varieties, but the build quality is typical of Shoei (excellent) and I would expect this helmet to last a number of years.
Sizes available are XS-2XL, although some solid colour options only go up to XL.
For more information see your local Shoei stockist, or visit the McLeod Accessories website.
The Verdict | Product Review: Shoei Neotec II Helmet
Shoei’s Neotec II offers a high spec modular helmet, ready to take a Sena SRL communication system seamlessly, and includes internal sun visor, ratchet chin strap, PinLock ready visor and Pinlock, and removable liners, all while boasting Shoei’s Multi-Ply Matrix AIM shell and multi-piece EPS liner for safety.