Shoei Neotec II Modular Helmet Review
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Welcome to our detailed breakdown of a new Shoei Neotec 2 modular helmet. This is the Shoei Neotec 2. A juggernaut within the modular helmets field, if you are new to the game, what is a modular helmet?
This is a modular helmet it is a helmet where the chin bar flips up for easier access to your face, lack of claustrophobia if you want to have a cigarette. At the same time, you ride, but most people so they can communicate rider to passenger or get a little bit of wind if they are stopping and starting and traveling.
This is the Neotec 2 in front of me, and it's has a bit more refined. This is a Shoei Neotec 2 to my left, which has the new SRL, which is essentially a Cena 20's Evo pre-installed, you can buy it separately it can be a fully integrated comm unit system. One of the upgrades as they move to the next Neotech 2.
On my right, we have the original Shoei Neotec. It came out in the spring of 201.2 if we look at it, it is less aggressive, it still has solid lines this has been a juggernaut one of the best-selling modulars of all time.
It goes toe to toe with the top end from Shubert as they both continue to iterate. Now I will tell you as I put them next to each other, here is the rundown aerodynamics and look got a tweak.
This is it, now a more stable helmet at speed. In my opinion, it looks better inclusive of your catfish event on the chin, which I kind of dig.
What they also have done is they've given you the ability to add on this SRL system that I have over here, from Cena. it has its pros, and it's cons, but ultimately you buy it separately for around 300 bucks.
It has the same functionality as a Sena-20s Evo installs it. Everything is integrated behind the scenes, including the battery and the antenna.
But here's the problem, if you don't buy it they've made it harder to put a third-party comm unit on it.
You just have to stick you mount it and move it back, so that's the downside. It's more of a closed system. I'm also going to note that the quiet factor was something they have attacked this helmet, and you're going to see that the cheek pads and the neck roll are on the bottom.
It's a more the area trying to seal it off from the air. So again, more stable, better balanced, and still, it's going to be a more quiet helmet.
Touring, long-distance commuting, they want to give you that comfort factor over the long term.
I have one major gripe with this helmet. I've knit picked a little bit the closed system on the SRL, the biggest complaint I have is Shoei has been working on this helmet since 2012 when the original Neotech came out.
It changes a lot of things; they make incremental improvements and move forward, but this helmet weighs four pounds, this helmets is four pounds and a half ounce.
It's the same, it's still DOT approved, it doesn't carry a Snell or ECE rating, but it's gone up a half an ounce, so you're in this for pound range.
To be fair, Schubert is in the four-pound range at the high end, but I will tell you the Arfa 90 from HJC is three and a half pounds, the sport mods are from AG full carbon fiber inclusive the chin bar three pounds two ounces.
So, if you're optimizing for a phenomenal helmet over Shoei's long haul with the fit and finish you'd expect to come out of Japan, I've been to their factory.
Go down this road you're going to invest over six hundred bucks, but if you're number one thing is lightweight, other options on the market are going to save you that weight.
Again, it's a well-balanced and an aerodynamic helmet, so it offsets that extra weight, but four pounds versus close to three pounds, you'll feel that on a two to three hundred plus mile day.
Now let's dive in quickly to fitment, and then I'm going to take you on the full tour.
If we look at the helmet from a fit standpoint, you're going to see the profile. Still, four shell shapes again have the same set if the last one was intermediate oval, Shoei tends to run a little longer front to back.
This is the same fit shape, Shoei worked for most of the market and made really few changes on fit. A little bit longer front to back, not round, not overly narrow, and some of the other helmets from Shoei tend to get a bit tighter, this one's kind of right down the fairway.
Looking at the side profile, it's super aggressive, almost steal some more DNA from something like that GT air. We've talked about the SRL system, and we'll get that get to that in a second.
We will start with our mechanism. You will notice how the side pot is done here, and the side pot again links up to where your chin bar and your face shield integrate, they've streamlined it compared to the last Neotech to this new Neotech 2.
What they've also done is they've scalped this profile at the top of the shield, so the shield has been completely redesigned.
Everything is just a little narrower in streamlining, again that's going with that aerodynamic profile, and yet the goal here is more stability. You need balance and stability if you're in a little bit of a heavier lid.
Moving down into our chin bar, and I will tell you the last time it was the same weight, and people loved it, read all the reviews.
Again if you're new to this, don't entirely disqualify it just because it's not one of the lightest modulars on the market. Still, they make up for in a lot of ways.
If we move down here to the chin bar, they've now flared the spoiler down here to break up some of the airflows. Again, increasing the stability, so yet more streamline different areas of the helmet that help transfer air behind it break up the air.
Again, there is no buffeting, but you also don't want that vacuum z coefficient to pull you back and yet keep it stable at speed about a multitude of different riding positions.
Many people that will ride in this will be 3/4 or potentially upright with different fairings and different windscreen configurations. Shoei takes that into account. I've been into their wind tunnel in their factory outside of Tokyo.
If we look at the helmet itself working our way down into the chin bar here, you're going to see this is our catfish vent, single position open and closed. It's aggressive, it ties in vents to the shield but also gives you some excellent airflow to the face.
Remember, if we look at our shield here, you're going to notice the pin lock posts pin immediately. The pinlock allows you to use the laws of physics to get that double pane window effect, and this gives you a pin lock insert in the box.
You're buying this over the six hundred dollars, mark you get that included eliminating any need for D fogging because it's going to be baked in.
If we open up our shield, you'll notice I do have the drop-down Sun Visor. It's a side actuated, this mechanism is cable actuated on the side here easy to find again that hasn't changed doesn't click it's not annoying it stays in place, and it comes down plenty far enough.
It's also optically correct, which is a nice touch. So again, that doesn't take anything away. It allows you not to have to buy a secondary shield, and if we look at the gasket, there is a sizeable weatherproof gasket all the way around.
What you're also going to have is this mechanism on the side with the spring load that brings it back and creates that tight seal.
Again head checks at speed, you're not going to get a ton of air creeping in, but especially in inclement weather, you're not going to get wet again great seal working there.
They've refined the top vent on this helmet, again ten-millimeter vent holes venting to the inside of the motorcycle helmet, and ultimately the last version of that lid did look as aggressive but was more comfortable to use.
One of my gripes on this helmet is, open-closed, very simple big scoops here in the front, handy, but unless I can imagine when you get wet, or if you are using a glove that doesn't have any grip, it's going to be harder to open and close.
There was created a lip as they had on this last one. It's just straightforward to find, but they've minimized it, they've dropped it down there probably trading off streamline for usability. Again there's no perfect solution on that one.
It was moving here to the back. This is a passive venturi vent allowing more moist air that is sucked out of the helmet by the natural vacuum over the sphere at a speed that is creative that very effectively helps extract that air out.
Again you used to be able to close this vent, now based on the spoiler and the orientation of the vent panel, they even gave you a little bit of a lip here to deflect air.
More aerodynamics and the positioning don't worry about getting any inclement weather there, so ultimately, they took away the need to have an actuated panel.
Nice big scoop around here to the back, and you can see how it finished it off down to the bottom.
We have talked as I'm about to flip this over about this comm unit a bit but look at this if you're going to put a sticky mounted comm unit.
Say you like what Cardo is doing these days. You have to put it back here, and you have to reach too far back.
Again they went a little Steve Jobs on us here we're a closed system means you have a lack of flexibility to do what you want when you bolt onto it.
The open systems allow for that flexibility by saying, hey, we have a partnership with Sina. We want you to buy Sina.
Sina makes one of the best products on the market at this point with the Sina's 20s Evo and their consistent evolution.
Still, now you get the benefit of integrating it not having anything throughout the aerodynamic profile. Yet, you don't have the option of putting somebody else's comm unit here, which is a bit of a bummer to me.
I remember the 20s Evo is a lot of riders a mile of range, ten hours of talk times seven days of standby watch our detailed breakdown actually on the scene a 20s to understand all the functions that go into this SRL system.
Again I'm showing you this; it's not installed in this helmet. I keep pointing to it. That's the panel; it's installed right over here. But what will happen is that this panel removes the battery goes into here into the backside of the lid.
Ultimately if you come over here, it moves to the right side wind canceling voice-activated notice how it installs right there; you can see this panel comes off, but it doesn't do anything connected right there there's the battery.
It has some positives where aerodynamically sound, fully integrated lighter-weight. The negatives are a little bit harder and install because that's the sit behind everything, and again the fact that they did it eliminates the ability to put somebody else's device on.
Here's a fundamental change in the underside of this lid if we look at the bottom. Notice the tightness of the entry and exit point, and we're seeing more manufacturers do this by closing this gap in sealing it off you're improving the wind noise factor of this helmet.
One of the ways that they're eliminating noise is they can't control what kind of collar you're wearing, and they can't control your fairing.
They can't control your windscreen or your riding position. What they can do is they can minimize the ability for that turbulence under the ears and around the neck roll.
You will notice they have gone to a double D-ring to a micrometric, here so this is the first time we've seen them do this.
It is a double-jointed system, so what it's not going to do is accidentally open when you don't want it to open.
If we look at this side, the double D-ring will make it a little harder. I'm going to close my face shield to start removing parts here. You are going to see this neck roll going all the way around like that it pops off pretty easy.
They didn't over complicate things I get new contour to the cheek pad, cheek pads going to be supportive, again antimicrobial wicking ability to be removed and rinsed and kept gunk free over time.
And then what you also have if we look in here is going to be this area and this speaker cut out which gives you the ability to put that big thicker seen a 20s speaker in there.
Ultimately dropping it in, it's not going to create a pressure point I'm going to remove the internal guts here thoroughly, stay with me, and while I'm doing that, I'm going to call out that the mechanism for closure has not changed on this helmet.
I'll tell you I accidentally love what they just did here which going to the D-ring can be a pain in the butt and removing these cheek pads but notice how they cut that out, so it doesn't have to go through the full loop it just slides in, and they gave you a much bigger hole.
Again, this tab is just making sure that that micrometric doesn't come into contact with your skin, chafe, or hurt you.
If I open it fully up here, you're going to see our comfort liner. Start to pull it out back first to notice two snaps at the back, and what I like here is they've done plastic at the front.
Zero pressure points at the front. Notice the 3d big cutouts of different densities of foam will hold up well over time, premium materials, and two snaps you'll never feel these. They go down below the occipital Ridge on your head again, fully tucking out of the way.
And we look at the ventilation scheme big channels ten-millimeter vent holes in a multitude of places, pulling all the air through this helmet to keep you ventilated.
Again you need to be able to ride this in Texas in the summer, which I've done on that three sisters ride yes West Texas Hill Country, you also need to be able to take this helmet and ride it to Prudhoe Bay if you so desire.
I need to be able to close everything up great a tremendous tight seal, and again, if you're in a position you have in those 500-mile days, the creature comforts the wind noise and the aerodynamic balance this helmet is going to come into play.
Again, they have to because they're going to need to offset the fact that at four pounds, I would consider up towards the top end of the range from a weight side of things.
When we think about Neotech 2, some of the changes become a large body of work, but if first glance is going to seem like evolution or refinement, it is really to style before you get into the weeds.
It did go up 50 bucks it's still over the $600 mark now it's in the mid 6s, and you always ask typically the fashion with Shoei a ton of solid colors on this guy, which for the touring crowd usually or what people more gravitate to versus the graphics.
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