The Shoei Neotec Helmet has been announced for shipment in Spring 2012. The Shoei Neotec is a higher end, premium modular offering from Shoei which complements the existing Multitec without replacing it.
The new Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet features include lighter weight, focus on noise reduction, increased aerodynamics, increased ventilation, a fully removable interior as well an internal sunvisor and a host of other improvements. As you browse the colorwars below, don't miss the Hi-Viz Brian special, the Shoei Neotec Borealis!
The Shoei Neotec is the successor to the original and very popular Shoei Multitec helmet, which has been a staple of the modular lineup from Shoei, and really from Revzilla for the last few years. It's been in the lineup for quite some time. It is tried and true.
What they've done with the Neotec we're actually very excited about. They've taken all the customer feedback, they've looked at the market, they've seen the most important features to typically the modular-helmet-wearing motorcycle rider, and they've really tried to incorporate that in a very posh manner in this new helmet.
Now, at first glance, you're looking at two D.O.T. helmets. And to call them modular, if you're new to the helmet buying world, "modular" means the face shield flips up. It's not a smoker's helmet. It's really meant to allow you to flip open, get some air at a stoplight, if you need to read your map. A lot of times touring guys really like this.
But you have to think that--the new school thinking is that a modular is a preference, and it typically touches on a lot of different riding styles. You really can't pigeonhole it. It's just a preference.
So when we look at it, the first thing, especially for those of you out there that have known the Multitec, have worn the Multitec, and been anxiously awaiting the new Neotec, the first thing I want to get into is just the key differences. There are a handful of really major changes to this helmet that dramatically push it forward.
The first one is the ventilation. You know, Shoei right now is claiming that it is up to 300% better at venting. And what we've done is we've sat down with them, we've spent time with the helmet, and we've really kind of tried to pick it apart. And there are a few key features that contribute to this increase in ventilation. One is that the frontal venting systems are dramatically different. You can see here on the Neotec, it's a different chin vent. It's a larger ram air style top vent. And for the first time, we're seeing a back exhaust or Venturi vent. That's going to create that vacuum and suck air through.
The other thing is the internal E.P.S. and the way that the channels are formed and the length of the channels is totally different as well.
The other key feature, one of the other key features that's a difference in the Shoei Neotec Helmet is you're going to get a more quiet helmet. The first thing you're going to notice if you compare the two of these, if I flip it up like this, you're going to see it's a much more 3D shape. It's a much more all encompassing seal around the cheek pads, around the neck roll. I'm going to flip down this old Multitec, and I'm going to show you just how much more room you have there. And typically what we find is that, you know, is the basis for quiet in a helmet is really about the seal at the bottom and some of the other things.
The other things that contribute to quiet here on the Neotec: They've changed the locking mechanism, which I'm going to walk through. They've also changed the way that the chin bar mechanism works. They added a ridge here to quiet down any kind of turbulence that would come in and create noise going in that manner, you know, at speed.
Another nice feature of the Neotec that's new is the 3D shape of the comfort liner, which is now completely removable. In the original Multitec, which I have here to my left, you couldn't pull out the liner. It was a high quality liner. It was a wicking liner that was very comfortable, using Shoei's premium liner, but you could not remove it. You can now absolutely remove it.
The other key feature that you're going to notice with the Neotec--and I'm actually going to move this Multitec over, because, you know, we've shown it. We're kind of finished with it at this point. The other key feature that you're going to notice is now we have a very high quality, very deep in its coverage sun visor that we have here, and the mechanism is going to be on the side. It's heavy duty. It's very smooth. The mechanism isn't clunky. We've seen a lot of folks at different ranges, different price points try to do an internal sun visor. They're done it in a way that sometimes is or isn't smooth, sometimes it has clicking or a locking mechanism. Shoei's has a nice tension to it. It's large enough that you're going to be able to use it with a glove on. And again, getting into this ridge, which you can see here that runs up on the side, they have actually done that. That slight flare deflects air over. So again, you have the sun visor mechanism, and you're giving it a good chance to deflect air away from it, so again, not have something that's going to create any additional noise.
Another key feature that's brand new is that he new Shoei shield with this, it is a step forward from the previous type of shield. It's a bit more of a wider viewport, both left to right and top to bottom. But they're also now incorporated--and it comes stock. You're going to get a pinlock lens. It's a pinlock ready shield. You don't have to put the insert in, but it's going to come in a box. So the investment you make in the Neotec now gives you that pinlock visor system with the lens. You don't have to buy anything externally. And now, without the use of an anti-fog coating, you are now having the ability to keep your main shield from fogging up in cooler weather, in rainy weather. And it's really done without a coating. It's using that double-pane construction the traps that little bead of air in there, and what it does is it keeps it from fogging up.
So let's walk through the features at a more granular level now. Let's start with the outside. We can work our way in.
You know, we talked about the venting. We talked about new style chin vent. Again, flow more air, and it's going to be a bit more quiet. We've talked about, you know, it's a three-position top vent here, which is going to vent directly to the E.P.S., so it's half open and all the way closed. And again, by creating this distance here between the top of the shell and the top of the vent, you're actually going to scoop more air. Again, for those of you that are learning for the first time, you know, having a Venturi vent or this back vent, which is open and closable, is actually very important. Because what happens is when you have a sphere moving through the air, you get this--you know, the air flows at high speed over the sphere. An area of low pressure generates back here. And what it's going to do is the airflow that comes in through the front vents that pulls the sweat away from your head, now it's being actively sucked out through the back, through this vent. The old helmet didn't have any vent at all, so you had the ability for air to kind of get trapped in there.
The other nice part--I'm going to show it here really quickly. I'm going to pull my Shoei donut over. And I'm going to pull this apart in a second. But down here along the bottom, along the back of the shell, you're going to notice that there is a channel here right at the bottom. There's actually an opening, and the air flows in. It goes all the way down the back of your head, and it actually exhausts along the neck roll as well. So from a venting standpoint, it's a major, major step forward.
Now, with regard to the shield and the chin bar mechanism, you're still using the aluminum--or it's actually stainless steel--360-degree hinge. It's an all encompassing hinge. So you can get a shot of it here. Actually, right here where my finger is. I'm going to--right up here I'm going to show--there you go. So you can see that when I open and close it, the way that this is done, it creates a 360-degree seal around the stainless steel pin. So again, some of the other modulars on the market, they have more of a J-rail system, that's just kind of a hook. But creating a 360-degree almost like a scissor mechanism, you're getting a better chance of not having this chin bar be pulled up.
Moving back down, looking at the face shield. You know, we talked about it. It's a step forward. You know, on the RF-1100 and the new X-12, we saw the CW-1 shield. This is the new style shield, just for the modular. You're going to be able to get smoke shields and some different things that go here. But one of the key features--again, now, this is a weight saving feature--is you'll notice, if I come in here on the side, you're going to notice that the shield mechanism is on the same hinge as the chin bar. It's one hinge. It actually allows you to better balance the helmet. But also, by having it on a single hinge here--I'm going to show you the difference. If we pull my Multitec here--I'm going to pull this guy over here for a second. See how there's two? So you're going to have--this is for the face shield, and this is for the actual chin bar. The mechanism's almost--you're having these two hinges here. By consolidating, what they have actually done is found a way to balance the helmet better, eliminate some of the weight by having two different hinges, and it allows you to really kind of offset the weight of adding this face shield or this sun visor mechanism which lives within the helmet.
Now, moving into the sun visor, we're going to have--it's an anti-fog, anti-scratch sun visor. And notice the coverage. It almost comes all the way down to the removable breath guards. So one of my gripes with some of the other manufacturers that we see and some other folks that were early adaptors of the sun visor system is you didn't get full enough coverage down past maybe the bridge of your nose. It really needs to come down. The worst thing that can happen is if you have a sun visor that doesn't give you enough coverage down your face, and all of a sudden you have this glaring area of light with a tinted area of dark and it kind of meets somewhere in your line of sight, you don't want that to happen. So the fact that it's going to come down a lot farther is a big selling point.
And remember, I removed my breath guard that comes optional in the box, and your chin vent here is actually going to vent up to the shield. And you can see the intakes right there as well.
The other thing I want to note when we talk about the shield here is that they're eliminated that city position and that locking mechanism, which used to live right here. And it still does in the RF-1100. They've found for this helmet, which really a lot of times the modular helmets are geared to that touring crowd that's just doing lots and lots of miles. They really looked at ways that they could make the helmet more quiet.
And one of the ways that they found was by removing that external piece. And any time you hang anything off the side of the helmet, you're going to get to something that cuts through the air and can generate wind noise that, you know, over 400 miles in a day, you might actually notice. So what they have done is they've changed the locking mechanism, and now you have--in the front you have a lock down here. It's actually pretty slick. It's very subtle in its design. You know, we always say that doing something very technical and doing it in an elegant way, a simple solution to a complex problem, is typically the best design. And what you have is you have this little lip that locks. You crack it, and you still have a city position there. And then from there, you go up, and you have strong V tents [sp] that go all the way up.
And remember, you can see here that the way that this is done, again, is taking this step forward that we saw with the RF-1100, which is you have a spring-loaded mechanism, so that when you go down from up, what you're going to do is at the bottom position, you actually notice that it moves about a millimeter back. It locks in. That spring pulls it into place. And that actually interfaces with another new feature here for the Neotec, which is the double-wall gasket design that goes all the way around the face shield. So you can see it all the way across the top, it goes down along the bottom. And what that's going to do is give you great seal from the wind and the weather, knowing that you probably are going to ride your Multitec at longer distances in and around anything from a major--a light cloudburst to major, major weather for an extended period of time.
The other feature that's nice as well is that we have a ridge at the top of the face shield here, and you can see the ridge go all the way across the top. And what that ridge does is the ridge is actually cut out to interface with this double-walled construction of this gasket that goes along the top.
Now, from a shield change mechanism perspective, it's actually no more easy or no more difficult than the RF-1100. It's a single pull. See, I put my thumb down here. I'm going to pop it. It should come right out. I can do it on both sides very quickly. And then to get rid of the pinlock, what we typically do here is pull it this way. You're going to be able to pull your pinlock right out. There's my pinlock lens. If I don't want to use it, I can just pull it. And notice the posts still stay intact. And the to put the pinlock back on, I'm just going to line up my mechanism here. Go here, get my thumb on the right spot. It takes a little bit of monkeying, but it's typically not that difficult. You have to line it up. And there we go. I'm back to square one.
Now, moving into the guts. Let's move into the guts here of the Neotec. The guts are going to be different. You know, they've added a notch for eyeglasses wearers, so you can see it straight on here, is that there is a notch right here where your eyeglasses would go.
You also notice I showed the difference between the bottoms. You're going to have your double D ring. You still have your high end, your high quality Shoei internal guts. But the way that the contour of the cheek pads system works now again creates that seal across the jawline. It's gonna be a bit more quiet. Let's start pulling this guy out.
I want to show you another feature here as well, which is going to be the way that they've incorporated these helmets so that they're going to be predisposed for communicator systems. So there's my cheek pad. That's my left side cheek pad. And what I want to show here really quickly, if you can come in tight, is that right here on the ear, you have this pad. And this pad, it actually locks in. There are a couple plastic tabs. And what's behind this pad is a complete cutout.
I'll tell you what. I ride a lot in a lot of different helmets, and I have a Bluetooth communicator of every different flavor that I'm constantly testing. Nothing's more frustrating in this day and age than a high-end helmet that doesn't take into account the fact you're going to probably be putting a speaker in between the inner shell and your ear itself.
Now, what Shoei has done is--knowing especially for this touring market, which are near and dear to my heart, because they're a bit more geek focused--now we have these removable panels that have comfort padding on the backs, so they're going to be thick, they're going to be comfortable when they're in. But when you pull them out, you're going to notice here that we have a complete circular cutout, so that when you install your Sena, when you install your Blue Lamp, your Cardo, you're going to be able to put that speaker right in there and have a nice sealed depression that you can nicely slide that speaker in without it giving you any undue pressure on your ear.
And really, it's about comfort. If the helmet fits well, if all the components come together nicely, you're not going to be thinking about wearing a helmet. That's going to keep you more focused on the road. And really, at the end of the day, that is the goal.
So let's start to deconstruct our inner liner here. Now, cheek pads on the Multitec were removable. That's something that we've seen before. High-end cheek pads. The cheek pads on this helmet are going to be different. They're more 3D in nature. They're more all-encompassing. That's a nice touch.
We have our new ear pads, which I'm pulling out.
The big thing that's different here on the Neotec is the comfort liner has a new 3D shape for fit, but it's completely removable. And, you know, when we talk to the fit, the fit in this helmet really is going to be the same from what we found as the original Multitec. It's more of a neutral oval than what we see from the RF-1100 to the X-12, which tend to be longer ovals or a little bit more pronounced ovals. This guy's going to be this neutral oval. I will not call it round. You know, we've seen round from Nolan. We see round from HJC. This is really still that intermediate oval, but it's a little bit less pronounced than what we've seen from its showy brethren.
Now, the tabs, as I pull them out here, you're going to see they pull out. It's a completely redesigned inner comfort liner. The neck roll has padding. The way that it pops in, you're going to have four snaps--actually, two snaps on the back, and then you have along the ridge. The reason why they do the ridge in the front with the snaps that go along the brow is that they don't want to give you any pressure points here up above your temples.
And then notice the amount of cutouts that we have here. It's going to flow a lot of air with the new redesigned ventilation systems. It is one of the big selling points. It's one of the things that we're harping on, is that one of the key negatives--well, not one of the key negatives, but one of the things that was a feedback that we constantly got about the Multitec was that if you run hot, and you need a helmet that flows a ton of air, there are better options out there in the modular range. It was one of the few things that the Multitec hadn't done as well as some of its competitors. And now with this helmet, it's a huge step forward.
So even along the back of the neck roll here, where that exhaust vent comes all the way down the back of the channel, you're going to see that you have the ability to get some good airflow back there as well.
So as I pull my components off, let's look at the interior guts. You can see the amount of holes. Again, we talked about down here. But all of that ventilation comes in through the top. Lots of big channels from both the front, along the top. That airflow is going to make it to your head. Again, it's just optimized to get a ton of airflow through, so that you're going to be comfortable, even in the really, really warm times of the year.
You know, from a profile standpoint, if I pull it back here to my side and take a peek at it, it is a little bit taller than the Multitec, and it's a little bit longer front to back, even though they really haven't changed the fit of it. That gives it a more aerodynamic profile.
And I will tell you, one last thing I want to talk about here is this ridge across the top. So one of the nice parts is that you know with Shoei, you're getting a multi-density E.P.S. That sounds like tech jargon, but the E.P.S. is really the shock absorbing component that sits between the comfort liner and the shell itself. It helps disperse that energy and protect your noggin.
What a lot of folks are doing when they have this internal sun visor--I'm going to put it down here. You can see what it looks like. The sun visor has to go somewhere, and it has to retract back up in between the liner and the shell. So what you're seeing is sometimes here in the brow area, folks, they are decreasing the thickness of their internal E.P.S.
And what Shoei's done is they said, you know what? We don't want to compromise that. We want the same density. We want it to be as protective throughout. Now, remember, with a modular, you're never going to get that Snell rating. It's hard to get E.C.E. as well. It's a D.O.T. helmet, but they said, we're not going to compromise in this frontal area of the helmet.
So they've created this ridge actually in the shell, and they're created actually extra room so that your sun visor retracts up and actually has room without having to actually compromise any of the thickness of the E.P.S.
And, you know, in staying with the E.P.S., I also want to show one thing that's a really nice feature here, is that on the front--and actually I'm going to pull out--it's two tabs. Might as well pull out my removable chin current, which is another new feature.
You also have E.P.S. material that's going to live on the back of our chin bar here. The chin bar is going to allow you to have another shock absorber, different density material that--god forbid you are in a situation where your helmet has to do its job. You're going to have facial protection, you're going to have a little bit more forgiveness if your face comes in contact with the front of the chin bar, versus if it was just hard plastic or if it wasn't built to be a safety feature.
Now, three shell sizes are available. Again, it's a composite shield. It's that same shield that we see for newer style Shoeis. Three different sizes of shells are going to give you the ability--it allows them to use less material and really do a more tailored fit. So, you know, if you're wearing a large, you're not having a shell that has to accommodate all the way up to an extra extra large. A lot of the guys that use, you know, only a few different shell sizes typically then are just changing the interior guts. And sometimes you can end up wearing a little bit more helmet or a little bit bulkier of a helmet than you're looking for.
So in summation, really what they've done here with the Shoei Neotec is they've just taken, again, a lot of the guts, a lot of really the basis in foundation that they've created, they learned, they were very successful with the Multitec. And they've taken just about every component, and they've pushed it forward. So in our eyes, this is going to be one of the staple modulars. Really, it's really well suited to compete with some of the other high-end modulars that you see on the market. And honestly, there are only a few of them as we move into 2012 and beyond.
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