In the short amount of time that I have spent in the New Shoei Neotec, I’ve developed a newfound respect for modular helmets. My previous modular was several years ago, a KBC FFR. It was a purchase made in haste, and worn because I could not afford anything better. Simply put, It was a plastic bucket compared to the Neotec.
The first thing I noticed is how smoothly the chinbar operates. The button has a quality feel and you hear a reassuring click when the chinbar shuts. Lexus spends thousands of dollars just on the sound that the dashboard buttons make when pressed. Something that may seem insignificant, but it evokes a certain feeling of premiership and security.
The shell of the Neotec is a fiberglass composite, the same material that Shoei uses in all their full face helmets. It has a stiff and rigid feeling, a safe feeling. On other plastic modulars you can flex the cheekpads of the helmet almost an inch an either direction. Some give the feeling that you could literally break them in two if you pushed hard enough. You may not be able to tell the difference between a plastic and a fiberglass shell with a full face helmet because the connected chinbar adds structural rigidity, but in a modular the flex of the plastic becomes pronounced. I am sure this is why many believe that a modular could not provide the same level of protection as a full face. The rigid shell of Shoei Neotec may change that point of view.
The same level of quality and attention to detail are found in other features of the helmet. The internal sun-visor works flawlessly and comes down far enough not to cause an annoying glare. The venting is fantastic and very easy to manipulate with a gloved hand. The standard PinLock insert is great on frosty mornings , but all these features do not set the Neotec apart from the rest. If you purchase the Neotec as your first helmet you may take it for granted, but the defining element is a distinct difference in the level of quality compared to more price-conscious plastic modular.
Every time we throw a leg over our bike and put the key in the ignition, we are taking a risk. We are jeopardizing our own personal safety and putting our family’s future at stake for basically (and maybe literally) a quick thrill. The last thing I want to have doubts about is what helmet I am wearing.
- Jason M.