Helmet Preview: The New Shoei Neotec II


Shoei Neotec II Excursion

Choosing not to rest on their laurels, Shoei has taken an already excellent modular helmet design in the popular Neotec (see our review) and made it even more worth our hard earned dollars in the new Neotec II.

Features and Benefits


Multi-Purpose Utility

The Neotec II is touted as the premier, multi purpose helmet by Shoei. Comfortably used for upright or sport riding positions and even as an open face helmet.

If you’re an uncompromising gentlemen who (like myself) rides several different classes of motorcycles frequently the luxury of only needing one helmet is alluring indeed.

Modular Design

Shoei Neotec II Modular

I’m a big fan of modular helmets. Flipping up the chin bar to give my wife a kiss farewell, take a drink, have a mano a mano conversation with the police officer who just pulled me over, or simply being able to ride open face in high heat is my cup of tea… all easy thanks to the modular design.

Shoei improved the Neotec II chinbar locking mechanism in such a way that it officially passed their criteria to be used open faced if desired. The old Neotec wasn’t endorsed as such, but everyone used it that way regardless. Fight the power!

Shoei knew this and so the locking mechanism was improved to accommodate us rebellious types as such.

User-Friendly Controls

The big red button on the front isn’t for initiating a self destruct sequence or ejection off your bike. That might be on the Neotec 3 possibly…

It’s for lifting up the chinbar easily even while wearing bulky gloves. Ditto for the controls of two vents and a switch on the left side to raise or lower the integral QSV-1 sun blocking lens. Once you wear a helmet with this feature in it you’ll never use sunglasses again. It effectively blocks 99% of the UV rays encountered and is replaceable if damaged.

Visor

Shoei Neotec II

The CNS-3 Visor and base have an improved seal from the original Neotec to keep water and dirt out of your face. Add to that the PinLock anti fog system which Shoei claims is the best in existence at keeping your view fog free.

Shoei visors are a cinch to replace in seconds compared to say an Arai visor which is more challenging and takes practice to do without damaging something in the process.

DOT Approved

Shoei Neotec II Modular

The Neotec II unsurprisingly received a solid safety rating from DOT testing. It’s equipped with Shoei’s exclusive Multi-Ply matrix shell on the exterior and several layers of impact absorbing, varying density foam on the inside.

The mixture of organic and synthetic fibres on the outer shell were carefully chosen to keep the weight down wisely. The original Neotec weighed in at about 3.5 lbs. I couldn’t get an exact weight spec for the new helmet as of yet.

I have no doubts about the life saving potential of this or any Shoei helmet, but was a little surprised not to see a SNELL Memorial Foundation pass. It’s very rare for SNELL to stamp approval on a modular helmet, but I was hoping the Neotec II would reach what I view as the highest level recognition.

Silence is Golden

The biggest gripe with modular helmets is how much wind noise has to be endured by the wearer. Shoei chose to specifically target that and make this helmet quiet through extensive wind tunnel testing and design strategies.

Shoei Neotec II Modular

The vaguely coffin-shaped intake vent on the top not only draws cool air in nicely, but acts as a spoiler when the wearer is riding in an upright position.

In other riding positions the numerous ridges and scoops molded into the shell exterior work together to quiet airflow over the helmet and reduce or prevent drag and lifting. The skirting around the underside minimizes turbulence and the cheek pads have specific noise deadening qualities in them.

Sizing Options

The Neotec II is available in 4 sizes of outer shell ranging from XS to XXL. Six total sizes are possible by swapping out interior padding. This should ensure a custom fit when combined with the Interior Comfort System. This is the name given to the myriad of different sized pads available for the helmet that are removable and washable.

Micro Ratcheting Chinstrap

Shoei Neotec II Ratchet Buckle

I recently bought a new Harley Davidson modular helmet that doesn’t have a ratcheting chin strap figuring I could live without it. I was wrong. I’m really missing it now, since I had it on my previous helmet and liked it a lot. You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

Fortunately it is a feature on the Neotec II.

The quick release strap is very useful for emergency removal of your helmet in the event of the wearer needing medical attention for example. Paramedics will often just cut a chinstrap to access a patient which would ruin the helmet.

Staying Cooler: Improved Air Flow

Shoei Neotec II Airflow

Venting from two front air inlets route cool air effectively through channels inside the EPS foam and liner to exit cleanly out the rear “exhaust” opening. No one likes a sweaty head and not all venting systems are created equal. This one has a lot of engineering and thought behind it. It looks like a winner.

SENA Seamless Integration


Shoei Neotec II SENA Integration

That air flow will come in handy to remove all the hot air you’ll produce using the SENA SRL Communication System (Shoei Rider Link). It has a talk time capability of 10 hrs after all.

Pair with your phone to access music media, make/take calls or talk to other riders in your group with very minimal weight increase. Nothing was missed by SENA in the SRL system, it’s got all the options anyone would list on their helmet comms wishlist.

SENA designed this system specifically for the Neotec II. The components install easily and completely on the inside of the helmet, so there’s nothing outside to create noise through added wind turbulence. The custom design ensures there’s no negative effect to the helmet’s level of protection either (no holes to be drilled in the shell or padding adjustment).

You have to buy the SRL system separately as it’s not included with the helmet. I couldn’t find an exact availability date for the system at the time of this writing, but more in depth details for the SRL are available on Sena’s website here.

Price Tag: “Cha-Ching!”

With all these features protected by a 5 year warranty and the level finery found in a handmade helmet, it’s no surprise the price to own a Neotec II isn’t low. It starts at $699 USD for solid colours and $799 for the detailed, graphic-rich ones.

Then you have to shell out some more bitcoin for the SENA… because it wouldn’t be right not to listen to music and call all your friends to tell them how much fun you’re having while out living life to its fullest on two wheels.

Let me add my voice to the many claiming that it’s worth the cost. I know someone whose life was saved because he was wearing a premium quality brain bucket. Specifically it was a Shoei on his head at the time of his accident. The helmet absorbed nearly the full force of the crash, destroying itself in the process, but without doubt preserving him.

Availability

Shoei already released the Neotec II to the European market back in October 2017. They expect to release it everywhere else this year. That leaves us here in North America and those in Asia some time to save up for this can’t miss offering in head protection technology.

Photo Gallery


8 Comments

  1. TPB
    January 13, 2018
    Reply

    “The quick release strap is very useful for emergency removal of your helmet in the event of the wearer needing medical attention for example. Paramedics will often just cut a chinstrap to access a patient which would ruin the helmet.”

    Really? Because I’m thinking that if you’re ever in a situation where a paramedic needs to cut the chinstrap on your helmet:

    A) you have worse problems then the cost of replacing your helmet; and,
    B) you’re helmet is probably already damaged and unusable in the future.

    If you prefer the wratcheting chinstrap to the standard double D-rings, fine. But it really isn’t a selling point as far as safety is concerned. OTOH, the removable cheekpads on the Nolan helmet reviewed earlier this week IS a selling point as far as safety is concerned.

    Note that I’m not criticizing the helmet–I’ve been wearing Shoei helmets for over 30 years.

  2. Jim Pruner
    January 13, 2018
    Reply

    I don’t disagree that in the case where someone has crashed and severe trauma is evident that a paramedic might just opt to cut a chinstrap in the name of speed. It’s their call and they know best how to respond, of course. Yes, a helmet is no good after a crash too. Agreed.
    What you will notice is that the release latch is bright red on the chinstrap. It’s not that colour for the wearer’s benefit or style. It’s high visibility for easy identification by an onlooker. Ditto for the flip up release button for the chin bar: bright red.
    There are many circumstances where medical assistance may be needed outside of one where the helmet is damaged. Allergic reactions, strokes, diabetic sugar deficiency and heat exhaustion can all strike suddenly when the rider is stationary, but wearing their gear and perhaps unable to remove it themself..
    I actually am a volunteer firefighter and recently in some training I received we practiced various techniques for removing a helmet from a patient. The instructor pointed out the fact helmet manufacturers are cognizant of the needs of responders and put features like these in their products partly for that reason.
    Preservation of the helmet isn’t the main reason for having these features, but it does leave the option there to be taken. If nothing else it just makes removal that much easier.
    Thank you for the comment!

    • TPB
      January 13, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks for your response. I don’t disagree with anything you wrote. In fact, for many years, the little nylon webbing tab that Shoei uses to make undoing the D-rings easier is…red.

      • Jim Pruner
        January 14, 2018
        Reply

        You know something funny about that helmet removal training I took? We first practiced removing the helmet carefully to avoid further head and spinal injury after pretending to cut the chinstrap. It was a real pain.
        It was only after all that we realized it was a modular helmet and flipped up the chinbar for easy access. Everyone at that point agreed in the future we would be looking for that magic button right off the start.

        • TPB
          January 14, 2018
          Reply

          Hah! That’s a little like forgetting to turn the kill switch to and being confused why the bike won’t start.

          Just curious: have you encountered any riders wearing a helmet with any of these various emergency removal aids?

  3. Jim Pruner
    January 14, 2018
    Reply

    Not personally I haven’t yet. I’m a volunteer mine rescue team member/firefighter up at a mine site so we don’t often have much going on beyond training, but no one is upset about our safety record that way.
    My friend who is a paramedic full time tells me that the majority of the time they just undo the strap carefully. Cutting them is more rare from what he says, but sometimes it’s the way they go.

  4. Garry Euler
    January 18, 2018
    Reply

    Shoei has always had a problem with weight of which you do NOT mention….as well as pricey…..to bad they make a very nice hat but these two item at least for me can be a deal breaker!!!

    • Jim Pruner
      January 18, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Garry. I did contact a Shoei representative to ask about the weight of the new helmet because the information was missing from the press release I received. Unfortunately the rep didn’t have an exact weight to give me for the DOT version at the time of this writing. I like you was disappointed not to get full info, but can only pass on what they give us since this is a preview and not a hands on review.
      I do mention in the write up that the old Neotec weighed about 3.5 lbs. I would guestimate the new one is around there or lighter based on the materials used in the Multi-Ply Matrix shell materials used (carbon fiber mixed with organic and synthetic fibres).
      The price is steep as you say. Everyone should buy what they can afford, but I’m convinced there is a difference with a Shoei or Arai that make them worth the extra dinero.

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