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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past decade or so, I have worn modular helmets exclusively. They have their advantages and disadvantages but one simple feature about them makes the decision easy for me: I can put one on and take one off without having to remove my glasses. I am not willing to give up that convenience and I don't want to wear an open-face helmet.

So, for the past year or so, I've been debating on buying a high-quality modular: not just "high quality," but a helmet that is reputed to be "the best modular you can buy." In today's world of modulars, the Shoei Neotec/Neotec2 and the Schuberth C3/C4 Pro are widely regarded as the best available.

The only thing that held me back from a purchase was the rather exorbitant price tag each one carries, so I decided to follow the philosophy of the Ancient Persians and consider this buying decision while drunk, and then again while sober. Following the philosophy of Modern Planalp, I carried this to the extreme and relied on numerous cycles of inebriation and sobriety and, after many cycles over the course of a year, my decisions slowly meshed and I decided to buy one.

I still balked at the price ($700 for either the Schoei or the Schuberth) but I figured if I just laid off the beer for a couple of weeks I'd have the money I needed so that's what I did.

The question remained: Which one to buy? Unless you're fortunate enough to have a high-end retailer around that might happen to carry both or unless you want to order both and return one, there's not much you can do. In the end, I chose the Shoei as more than a few reviews I read of the Schuberth mentioned quality-control issues and in the end I just preferred the looks of the Shoei and followed the advice "You can't go wrong with either one."

I was upgrading from an HJC IS-Max 2 I'd been wearing for the past couple of years, a $200 helmet. In choosing the Shoei, the main issues I was trying to address were noise and wind gusting. I ride a VStrom and they're not exactly aerodynamic machines, with lots of gusts and drafts coming from various components ahead of the rider. So, how did I fare with the new Shoei?

No point in going into the nuts and bolts as there are myriad reviews available, but these are my impressions of the Neotec2.



Noise. Is this helmet quiet? Yes, yes it is. It is very quiet, at least compared to the HJC or any of my other past modulars. I went out for a three-hour ride this morning and started off wearing earplugs and was amazed. After awhile, I decided to try to judge the new Shoei against my old HJC and removed the earplugs. The noise level of the Shoei without earplugs was comparable to the HJC with earplugs. After that experiment, I went back to the earplugs and reveled in the quietness. I was on a couple of lonely stretches of interstate and at speeds up to 100mph the Shoei remained extremely quiet, not reaching "automobile-level" quiet, but the difference was remarkable.

Gusting/Tugging The Shoei is very slick. It's a tad on the heavy side weighing in at a little over 4 pounds but the weight is negated by the complete absence of airflow disruption around the helmet, to include riding in headwinds and crosswinds no matter what your speed. No gusts emanating from any motorcycle components or the windshield seemed to disturb the helmet or jostle my neck at all. Again, I was very pleased with this outcome. I can already tell this helmet will add a lot of comfort to multi-hour stints in the saddle. Speaking of comfort, even in its new and stiff state, I noted no issues after wearing it for 3 hours: no hot spots, no discomfort at all (except for the cheek pads as noted below).

A couple of drawbacks: The neck roll and cheek pads on this helmet (to which it owes its quietness) are immense and it's actually been a challenge getting it on and off without removing my glasses, although once it's on there are large eyeglass temple grooves that result in no binding to your glasses. After some practice I'm finally able to get it on and off without disturbing/straining my glasses, but it requires awkward hand placement to both spread the helmet and compress the bulbous cheek pads at the same time. Getting it off is easier, as I've learned to just rotate it to the rear and slide it more less off the back of my head instead of lifting straight up. I would note that my glasses have pretty wide frames and that doesn't help matters any.



Right now, the cheek pads are quite orthodontic in nature, but I'm sure they'll compress over time as I wear the helmet in. You can buy different thicknesses of cheek pads but I"m not sure if you have to pay for them, or if Shoei/The Dealer will let you do a one-time swap shortly after purchase. I don't think I'll need to do that, but it's nice to know I can if necessary.


"Doesn't Seem Like There's Enough Room For A Head In There"

The only other thing it's going to take some getting used to is that with the micro-ratchet chin strap, the chin strap is so short it looks almost vestigial. In places where it wasn't necessary to lock my old helmet, I still liked to secure it by running the strap through my luggage rack and then using a plastic snap on the chin strap to secure it. I can't do that anymore and now have to permanently keep my gun cable lock secured on the luggage rack so I can slip the Shoei's extremely short chin strap through it and buckle it. The cable lock is there if I want more secure storage, passed through the chin bar of the helmet. I don't have one, but if you use a standard motorcycle helmet lock, you're SOL. One the bright side, I like the micro-ratchet system latch/lock/whatever you call it.

A couple of things that really shine: The visor is outstanding. It's the beefiest visor I've ever seen and offers no distortion whatsoever. As long as it's bug-free, it's hard to tell if it's up or down. Comes with a Pinlock insert that I'm looking forward to trying out when the conditions merit its use. The visor has 6 secure detents. If you have the visor up and lift the chin bar, the visor closes at the same time. Vents are simple and easy to operate. The slider for the internal sun screen is on the left side and is easy to find and operate. The sun visor isn't just up/down. You can stop it at any level if you want to and it will stay there. When you close the visor completely, spring-loaded hinges actually pull the visor back against the visor "gasket," creating a very tight seal.

Included in the package is a special tool to completely remove the internal sun visor if you want the whole thing out to clean or if you need to replace it. Also comes with a small bottle of silicone lubricant for the visor hinges.

So, the verdict? I wouldn't go so far as to "recommend" it as the cost and benefits can only be judged by the user. Still, no buyer's remorse here. I'm glad I shelled out the money for it and plan on keeping/using it for quite a few years. I wish I would have bought one sooner.

Of course, the $700 question: how long will it be before I drop it?
 

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Thanks for the review. I have a Neotec and am somewhat disappointed by the noise and limited ventilation. Moving to a hotter climate and thinking of a new helmet. How do you rate the ventilation?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the review. I have a Neotec and am somewhat disappointed by the noise and limited ventilation. Moving to a hotter climate and thinking of a new helmet. How do you rate the ventilation?
It only topped out at about 85 on my 3-hour ride this morning but I had no complaints with the ventilation. As opposed to my HJC IS-Max 2, I could feel air moving around in front of my face and didn't have to leave the visor cracked open like I did on the HJC to prevent fogging. It seemed like the front/shield of the HJC was a lot closer to my face. If I pushed my chin out a little, it would touch the chin bar. Not so with the Neotec.

I guess I'll have to reserve full comment on the vents until I'm riding in a 100-degree day.

Some reviews say the ventilation is better on the Neotec2, but then again, most helmet reviews are geared toward one thing: helping retailers sell helmets.............
 

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I have a neotech 2 and really like it. I will agree that the ventilation is not great when used on a bike with a tall windshield. I still wear custom earplugs with the helmet. On my fz1 it vents well, on the dl1000 not so much. I have ordered a short moose racing windscreen for summer use on the vstrom.
On my helmet I added the sena srl2 Bluetooth, also expensive but works well.
 

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We have been using this helmet for the last 1 1/2 years. Did the research and settled on the Shoie. As you say, heavier but well balanced even for the Mrs. Had the BMW V7 made by Schubert before this. The Shoei has a more compact shell - not as much room in front of your face, but once on quite comfortable. Bought the AGV carbon modular as a second helmet, very light but way noisier that the Shoei, and for the price fit and finish is not at the same standard. The integrated Sena communicator works well, but a discussion with Sena indicates that the battery is not renewable and once its toast, need new communicator.

When I was looking for a new helmet, tried less expensive ones and a variety of makes. I found that once you use a high end helmet, going to a lesser one was not an option. The mechanisms are not as good and don't work the same. Not to say this is the same throughout as I mentioned above regarding the AGV helmet - bought it because it was a good price on sale.

Cheers
 

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The timing of this review could not be more perfect, as I was literally doing online comparison shopping for helmets immediately before I saw it.

I've upped my helmet game over the years, starting with the 15-year old lid I picked up on craiglist for $10 when I got my first bike (any helmet's better than no helmet, right?) and culminating in my current Shoei Neotec that I picked up very lightly used from another forum member for $300. As these examples indicate, I'm normally a value shopper and don't normally shell out full retail for my gear. But I recently came into a little extra pocket change and have decided to treat myself to a new helmet, since my Neotec is right at its 5-year mark.

I've found Shoei's tend to fit me pretty well, but I did want to consider other higher-end brands too. So I turned to LidPicker. For those who aren't aware of it, LidPicker is owned by MotorcycleGear.com (formerly NewEnough.com). They developed a proprietary method of measuring the interior space of helmets and providing match recommendations to potential customers. The LidPicker kit costs $25, comes with a caliper and tape measure, and also provides a $15 discount on any helmet purchased through MotorcycleGear.com. My brother used it last year to get his new helmet and he was very happy with it. In short, it allows you to virtually test a variety of helmets to narrow down which might provide the best fit.

Even though I've been happy with the Neotec, I wanted to see what recommendations LP would have for me. I got my report today. The Neotec 2 was a close recommendation, but there were others (like the Scorpion EXO-GT3000) that were more highly suggested. However, all the other 'better fits' were either more downscale models (Scorpion, Vemar) or didn't offer the features important to me (lack of a drop-down sun visor is a deal breaker -- sorry Klim TK1200).

So, since I've been happy with the fit of my current Neotec -- and, in no small part, after reading this review -- I think my decision is to go with the Neotec 2. I only have a few wishes:
  • I'm a big fan of Hi-Viz for noticeability, and it bothers me that Shoei doesn't offer it in the fluorescent yellow. One of the reasons I jumped on my current Neotec is that it was in solid yellow, the closest Shoei had at that time to Hi-Viz. The nearest Neotec 2 is the yellow/black Excursion style (which adds $100 to the price tag - gulp!).
  • I watched a FortNine modular helmet review that included the Neotec 2. Generally very positive, and Ryan agreed it is the quietest of the bunch. The only criticism was that the reduced wind noise came in part due to better closing of open gaps, like around the neck, and this resulted in a higher level of interior fogging. Given a choice between less fogging and more wind noise, I'd probably choose the former.
Now my final decision is on color. Without a Hi-Viz option and not willing to cough up an extra C-Note for the bumblebee version, I'll have to make my choice from the available solid colors. White seems most obvious, but I feel like I'd have to clean it after every ride. I like the looks of the burgundy, but I think it's low on the visibility scale. I'll probably end up going with the silver, a similar choice I made when I got my Scorpion EX-900 several years ago. But I'm open to anyone's thoughts on this.
 

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No question that's a nice helmet. I found the Nolan X-Lite modular to fit me better, and it is trimmed beautifully, with all the same nice options and a comparable retail price, but Iron Pony here in Columbus has them at $229. Solid hi-viz yellow, everything I wanted. I can buy it and a coat and gloves and still be money ahead, and i feel it is as good a helmet overall. Just my 2 cents, and no disrespect to the Shoei at all. Just a good value option I think. Best, DD
 

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Is X-Lite a Nolan product? I'm only finding it as a separate brand.
 

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Now my final decision is on color. Without a Hi-Viz option and not willing to cough up an extra C-Note for the bumblebee version, I'll have to make my choice from the available solid colors. White seems most obvious, but I feel like I'd have to clean it after every ride. I like the looks of the burgundy, but I think it's low on the visibility scale. I'll probably end up going with the silver, a similar choice I made when I got my Scorpion EX-900 several years ago. But I'm open to anyone's thoughts on this.
White is actually very visible on the road. You gotta clean a hi viz yellow helmet too.

Relax and have a homebrew

Autocorrect is my new enema
 

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X-Lite is an upscale Nolan, made in Italy. The modular 1004 is the model I have. I believe it is also available in carbon fiber. Some reviews say it comes without the pinlok shield, but that's incorrect, it's in the box. It is ready to accept their proprietary N-com communicator, as well.
 

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I tried the HJC Valiant and returned it mostly because of the fit. I then waited to purchase a Neotec 2 at a bike show in Toronto at a 20% discount. So far I am very pleased as it fits my head quite well. I do not find it heavy. I always wear custom molded ear plugs now since developing a slight ringing in one ear.

I use a Madstad windshield on the DL650 and mostly ride with visor up and sun screen down. This is the first helmet I have had with a sun visor and now cannot believe I spent all those years squinting below the piece of tape I placed along the top of my visor. A sun shield is a necessity! .

Although I cannot find it now, I read an article which states that above about 93 degrees you should ride with your visor closed and limited ventilation since the outside heat will have a worse on your body. Similarly that is when you should close the vents on your jacket. The article is somewhere on this forum.
 

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For Father's Day my wife got me a gift certificate for Cycle Gear, so I stopped in while running errands yesterday afternoon. They had 1 Neotec 2 in my size, so I tried it on and confirmed the fit was good. Interestingly, My current Neotec is a medium and I use the thicker padding. The Neotec 2 will be a small. Unfortunately, the only color they had in my size was black, so I ordered through them. The new Neotec 2 should be here within a week.

As for color, I waffled hard on white vs. silver. In the end, I chose silver for the cleaning issue and I just prefer the color.
 

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I'd like to see a cling product that would apply hi-viz wrap to any helmet without voiding the manufacturers warranty. From what I've been told, any paint or stickers are harmful to the helmet shell. I know folks have their helmets wrapped, but something generic and do-it-yourself would be cool. Best, DD
 

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FWIW, for the high vis type people at least some of the fancy pattern ones have reflective areas in the pattern. And my helmet also came with 4 silver reflective stickers (which I didn't use)
273927
 

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Shoei wearer for years. Good quality and my head shape likes them. I had a few Multitecs and tried a Neotec when they came out. NOT a happy camper. Put my newest Multitec back in service. Tried a Neotec 2 and am a happy camper after 20K miles (+/-). If you feel that it's a bit pricey, just add the custom Sena headset to it for a bit of perspective. I've bought new motorcycles for less than I paid for the helmet/radio combo.
 

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After two Shoeis I am looking for a different helmet for my head shape. I’m a slow learner what can I say. After about 30 minutes the sides of my head are screaming. Seems my head is round and Shoeis are made for more oblong noggins. Think I might try the LidPicker mentioned above.
 

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After two Shoeis I am looking for a different helmet for my head shape. I’m a slow learner what can I say. After about 30 minutes the sides of my head are screaming. Seems my head is round and Shoeis are made for more oblong noggins. Think I might try the LidPicker mentioned above.
The neotech2 is definitely for oval shaped heads.
 
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