As helmet manufacturers go, few have a reputation for aggressive style and customization like Shoei. Deriving its look and design from the original Neotec modular helmet released in 2012, the Neotec II is Shoei’s flagship modular design that makes for more convenient commuting and wear without the need to unstrap your lid when making a quick pit stop.
The Shoei Neotec II helmet is the culmination of five years spent learning lessons and listening to fans about potential improvements and changes. Its evolution has wrought a renewed vigor to the Neotec line that makes the Neotec II quieter, more comfortable for nearly every head shape, and aerodynamics that rival the best designed modular helmets on the market.
Best of all, Shoei Neotec II’s superb build quality, ventilation, and visor options are even better than their price point would lead you to believe. It’s to be expected, though. After all, this is a Shoei helmet we’re talking about. Let’s take a look at what makes this modular helmet such an exceptional buy, and why it offers such excellent value for the money.
Outer shell material : Multi-Ply Matrix Shell
Shell size : 4 shell sizes
Liner : Interior comfort system/ EPS liner removable, washable, replaceable, and adjustable liner
Weight : 4.2lbs
Pinlock : Included
Strap System : Micro-ratchet strap
DOT : Yes
ECE : Yes
SNELL : No
SHARP : 4 out of 5 stars
Shape and materials
Where to begin? The multi-ply matrix shell is encased in a matte finish beyond reproach. There’s no “eggshelling” to be found anywhere, and you’re not going to find seam wrapping or color variations either. The only dash of color on the entire helmet is the chinbar release.
The Shoei Neotec II helmet is a masterwork in minimalism, and yet its presentation gives it a luxuriant look that only comes with high end construction materials and a masterful finish job.
Shoei made a few other improvements for creature comfort and a sleep look too. The chin vent is a bit smaller and matte black, while the rear of the helmet features a more streamlined look with a graceful curve from front to back that settles lower than the Neotec I design. The rear vent has also been streamlined significantly, making it stick out less like a sore thumb compared to the rear vent on the Neotec I.As good as Neotec II looks and considering the materials, there are a few caveats regarding the finish. Matte finishes on helmets are notorious for being less durable and wearing quickly despite careful use. My opinion is they could have clear coated the matte finish to protect it from this, but sadly this is not an option you’ll find in the Shoei catalog.
Mind your grip, be careful when opening and closing this one, and don’t drop it. That‘s a good advice for all helmets, but if you plan to keep your Neotec II looking good it’s even more important.
Things I liked
Things I don’t like
The words “neutral fit” get thrown around regarding Shoei helmets on a regular basis, especially when discussing the first Neotec modular. For the most part, the Shoei Neotec II helmet upholds the reputation of its predecessor nicely. Some users have commented it fits a little snug, but rarely will a rider complain of experiencing discomfort from pressure points even on long rides. Weighing in at 4.2 lbs you may find it a bit heavier than some modulars, but it’s balanced so well you hardly notice the 0.8 lbs.
Speaking of straps, the Shoei Neotec II has a micro ratcheting system for customized adjustment and fitting. It could be better as it feels a bit cheap and I’m a little concerned the tiny ratchet holds are going to break with extended use or frequent adjustment. If they do, it’s not something that’s made its way around the reviews and forums online. Regarding internal padding, everything is cushy and comfortable without compromising the fit, and the liner is moisture wicking, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. No complaints there.
The Shoei Neotec II helmet also features a signature interior comfort system that minimizes unwanted sound and vibration as you ride. That’s an uncommon feature, and has a direct impact on the performance of the helmet, too. Not only are your face and head comfortable, but it’s got some additional shielding to keep you more comfortable as you ride.
Finally, one of the best comfort features of the Shoei Neotec II helmet is the configuration for a SENA SRL Bluetooth connectivity kit. You can make and receive calls, play music and use your smartphone navigation completely hands free, and there’s no fiddling with pads or fitting plates to worry about. Buy the kit, pop it in, start using it. That’s it.
All in all, this is among the most comfortable modular motorcycle helmets money can buy, and it is evident in the careful design and development of the Neotec II’s interior.
It’s hard to improve on the original eyeport that made the Neotec so popular, but the Neotec II has preserved the best while making a few nice refinements along the way. The Shoei Neotec II helmet offers excellent peripheral visibility, as well as unrestricted movement when turning your head left or right. The drop down sun visor slides smoothly into place or back up into it’s storage space, and both visor and sun shield are distortion free.
The face shield is UV-blocking and moves smoothly and securely without feeling like it’s going to snap shut at any second. Best of all, the Shoei Neotec II helmet comes with a built-in pinlock system to help keep your visor fog free in any weather. I have yet to find a rider that had a complaint about the Neotec II’s visibility or visor functions.
Thanks to its excellent design, aerodynamics and internal comfort system, the Shoei Neotec II helmet is one of the quietest modular helmets in the world. It’s even quieter than some full face helmets that don’t flip open thanks to its integrated gasket-surround seal and improved aerodynamics, too. Even with the vents fully open, there is only a minor increase in road or wind noise.
Shoei definitely tweaked the ventilation system on the Neotec II, and the vast improvements in both ventilation and cooling are clearly apparent. Even in hot desert weather, your head stays cool and dry even at low speed. Damp and cold weather riding also present no challenges, and you have to actively try to fog up the inside of the visor even when at rest. The fact that the Shoei Neotec II also has an integrated pinlock preinstalled is just icing on the cake. I’ve got zero complaints about the ventilation on this model.
The Shoei Neotec II helmet is DOT rated for the US and Europe, and just this year got a 4 out of 5 star rating from SHARP regarding its safety during impacts from multiple directions. As of the time of this review, there still isn’t a SNELL rating, but that could come at any point in time. This is definitely going to be one of the most popular modular designs of all time, and additional testing is definitely justifiable.
Buying a Shoei helmet is making an investment in your safety and comfort while riding. No rider needs to be distracted by an uncomfortable fit, noisy or insufficient ventilation, or difficult to adjust features. With the Shoei Neotec II, you don’t have to worry about these problems now or in the future. I’d still caution riders to be extra gentle on the matte finishes, but it's minor complaint compared to some more problematic modular helmets in the same price point.
If you want the best and don’t want to go broke in the process, buy a Shoei Neotec II. You are buying an exceptional value that will make for comfortable riding for many years to come. Get one and find out what all the fuss is about for yourself.
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