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keithu

Shoei Neotec 2

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It was time to replace my four year old Scorpion EXO-GT3000 modular helmet. It was starting to deteriorate with cracking trim pieces and other issues. My biggest issue with the Scorpion was the faceshield that leaked badly in rain, and we're coming up on rainy season. Time to go shopping. 

I wore Shoei RF-series full face helmets for 15+ years, but when I decided to go modular I found that the original Neotec didn't fit me well. So I wore an HJC Symax for a while, and then had the Scorpion. But I was told that the Neotec 2 had a revised shape, and when I tried it on it fit perfectly. $700 is a lot of scratch, but the quality seemed good so I had the local shop order me an XL in red. 

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My previous Shoei helmets had excellent fit and finish, and this Neotec 2 is no exception. The rich metallic red paint is almost too beautiful to wear. It's not a hue or lightness match for my red 2015 FJ-09, which sort of bothers me because I'm a color specialist at work. Oh well, I'll get over it. I've been on a couple of rides now and here are my observations:

  • The liner feels plush, and I can easily don the helmet even with the chinbar closed. This is something I couldn't do on the Scorpion, which seemed to squeeze in too much at the bottom. Closing the Neotec chinbar is a little difficult with the chin curtain in place, and the chinbar doesn't seem to lock closed as positively as the Scorpion did. 
  • The first ride was in 55F (12C) with occasional rain sprinkles. The helmet comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert, and the guy at the shop where I bought the helmet was kind enough to install it for me. The Pinlock shield seems to work well, but the edges of the shield and my glasses fogged badly at anything less than highway speeds. Opening the faceshield in town helped, but clearly this wasn't going to work. I don't think this is a helmet defect, it's just me. When I'm riding in a car with other people, the windows around me always fog up first. 
  • For the second ride I removed the chin curtain and the fogging issues went away completely. Weather conditions were a little different (60F/15C and dry) but this is normal for me. I've never been able to use a chin curtain on any helmet due to fogging. 
  • The chin bar is a lot easier to open and close with the chin curtain removed. 
  • The Neotec is significantly quieter than the Scorpion. The only time I notice significant wind noise is with cross winds, which does cause a bit of a roar. I will probably continue to wear earplugs on long rides in case of cross winds, but I no longer feel they are necessary for daily commuting. Removing the chin curtain let in a bit more motorcycle noise, but overall it's still quite tolerable.
  • In typical Shoei fashion, the vents make almost no discernible difference. Open or close the chin or forehead vents and nothing feels different. I think I could just barely feel a slightly cooler spot on the top of my head with the forehead vent open, but it wasn't a huge difference. This was my experience with the RF-series helmets, too. 
  • Optical clarity of the main shield, Pinlock insert, and drop down sun visor is excellent. The Scorpion sun visor was laughably bad, but the Shoei visor has the clarity of premium-quality sunglasses. 
  • The Neotec is a bit heavier at 196 grams compared to 166 grams for the Scorpion, according to my kitchen scale. I don't notice the weight while riding. I guess this is the price to pay for less noise. Despite the greater overall weight, the Neotec chinbar feels lighter and it's easy to ride with the face open. 
  • I haven't ridden in heavy rain yet, so I don't know if the faceshield is adequately sealed. But it can't be as bad as the Scorpion, in 30 years I've never had another helmet that leaked like it did. 

I think I paid $350 for the Scorpion in 2016, and I just paid $700 for the Shoei. Is the Neotec twice the helmet of the EXO-GT3000? No, of course not. But the optical clarity and noise reduction make the Shoei a far more pleasant bucket in which to shove my head while riding. 

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As someone who's never had a modular helmet, can you explain the use?
I always see people gravitating towards them but have never understood.

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26 minutes ago, kilo3 said:

As someone who's never had a modular helmet, can you explain the use?
I always see people gravitating towards them but have never understood.

It's nice when I stop for gas or run into a store because I can more easily interact with people or just get some fresh air without having to remove my helmet. Even a well ventilated full face will feel stuffy when you're not moving. 

I also like it when riding around at lower speeds. I can raise the chinbar to get a little more fresh air and feel more connected to the environment. I know some people will read this with horror and exclaim, "But SAFETY!!!!11!1!!!!1!!! 😵 🤬 😖" 

And they're right, of course. But I ride around on bicycles at 15-30mph without a full face helmet (or pants) and really this is no worse than that. 

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I’ve had my Neotec 2 for about 6 months now, after using the original Neotec helmets for the previous 8 years or so.   Good review and assessment by the OP.   My biggest adjustment was getting used to the snap buckle type strap as opposed to the old fashion “D” rings.   

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37 minutes ago, keithu said:

It's nice when I stop for gas or run into a store because I can more easily interact with people or just get some fresh air without having to remove my helmet. Even a well ventilated full face will feel stuffy when you're not moving. 

I also like it when riding around at lower speeds. I can raise the chinbar to get a little more fresh air and feel more connected to the environment. I know some people will read this with horror and exclaim, "But SAFETY!!!!11!1!!!!1!!! 😵 🤬 😖" 

And they're right, of course. But I ride around on bicycles at 15-30mph without a full face helmet (or pants) and really this is no worse than that. 

Actually, the neotec II is in some countries approved with the lid open.

For someone who wears glasses a system helmet is almost a must. My opinion as a person with glasses.

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31 minutes ago, Michiel900GT said:

For someone who wears glasses a system helmet is almost a must. My opinion as a person with glasses.

That too. Glasses are much easier to wear in a modular helmet. 

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1 hour ago, keithu said:

That too. Glasses are much easier to wear in a modular helmet. 

And so are hearing aids!   😉

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I have had mine over a year now and agree with all your points. Most $$ I have ever spent, since I got the bluetooth system as well, but it is the most comfortable helmet i have ever owned.  And yea...in 90+ degree weather it gets a little stuffy and the vents don't do much...but when it is cold....i open the top vent for a second and my scalp is frozen lol.

I do wish the visor had one notch between the lowest notch and the first notch. Just to crack it. It always slams closed if i go over 50 mph. And if I have it open with the dark shield closed....it directs anything on the road directly to my eyes...It is weird.

I got the matte blue. And promptly made sure i dropped it the first time handling it . RIGHT IN THE ROCKS!!

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39 minutes ago, FJ29ER said:

I do wish the visor had one notch between the lowest notch and the first notch. Just to crack it.

My Shoei RF-108, RF-200, and RF-700 helmets had a little lever on the side to do exactly what you describe. It would crack the shield open slightly and hold it there for extra airflow. It was a clever feature, I wish the Neotec had it. 

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I am wearing the Neotec 2, first gen Neotec before this. I agree with all points made by @keithu but I think ventilation, particularly across the top of the head, is pretty good.

the red looks great.  I went with white seeking greater visibility.  My first gen was hi viz yellow, which isn’t available in the Neotec 2.  I called Shoei USA and was told they were having issues with flaking of the hi viz yellow, which is what I experienced.

This is a great lid and Shoei have priced it accordingly.


IBA Member #59800

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Great review.  I have the original Neotec.  Washing the inner pads seems to make it feel like new, so it'll be around for awhile.

I think the reason you feel no difference in ventilation from the chin vent or upper vent, is you have the chin curtain off.  The amount of air coming up inside the helmet will overcome the smaller amount of air coming through the vents.  Also, on the original Neotec, there's a rear vent.  That makes a difference too, because especially in the case of the upper vent, if there's no way for air to escape, it'll block the ventilation too.  Mine makes so much of a difference, that I have to close it in the cooler months.  

Regarding the Pinlock, if you look at the posts it fits into, you should see that they are elliptical or egg-shaped.  That allows you some adjustment to bring the Pinlock edges closer to the visor and prevent fogging.  The side that fits against the visor has a silicon seal.  If that is not touching the visor, you'll get moisture between the visor and Pinlock...and it is impossible to see out of it then.  Bottom line, if you're getting fogging, then the Pinlock is not sealing fully.

Chris

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34 minutes ago, daboo said:

I think the reason you feel no difference in ventilation from the chin vent or upper vent, is you have the chin curtain off. 

I don't think so. I tested it with and without the chin curtain and my impression of vent performance was about the same in each case. I should note that I have a barn door windshield which probably negates some helmet ventilation.

Quote

Bottom line, if you're getting fogging, then the Pinlock is not sealing fully.

The fogging was on my glasses and the edges of the faceshield around the Pinlock insert. The faceshield under the Pinlock didn't fog at all so I think it's sealing correctly. The guy who installed the insert seems to have done this dozens of times, and he described the pin adjustments. I've had this exact same issue on every other helmet with a chin curtain. They just don't work for me. YMMV.

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Edit: I read my scale incorrectly, the Neotec 2 weighs 1960 grams, not 196. So the weight difference between the two is 1960g vs 1660g. 

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ah...darn. was trying to stay away from Neotec 2 due to the pricing and looking at average or should i say 50% cheaper than neotec 2, each time i view a site/youtube, my heart goes back to Neotec 2 again. now your poison with RED looks sooooo....damm nice, complement my 2020 red GT !!!!  

there has been many comments full face is safer than modular, modular is safer than open face ! with our climate here average 90F, 90% humidity, no way can one wear full face, unless one travel non stop from point a to point b. 

 

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I have the Neotec 2, but for next season I am considering buying a Shoei jet helmet for those 30°+ (Celsius) days. I know a jet helmet is not as safe as a full or modular helmet (system helmet as it is called in the Netherlands) but getting a heat stroke isn't really safe either.

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