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Shoei Neotec II Long-Term Review

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MotoNews

Published in: Gear

NeotecII-CP-INTRO.jpg

When Shoei launched the Neotec II, we wondered how they were going to improve on an already great platform. Would the new Neotec be a good $700 upgrade and attractive to first-time premium modular helmet buyers? After a couple thousand miles with the Neotec II we offer a few thoughts.

Aside from the styling, which gets a bump in sportiness, perhaps the most notable improvement to the Neotec II is in noise reduction. Part of this comes from the new spring-loaded visor which pulls back against the eye-port, thus sealing it in the fully closed position, and eliminating any air gaps as well as keeping water out during heavy rainfall.

NEOTEC2BODYclosed900

The most notable change in quietness is in the improved sealing around the neck. This may also have something to do with the integrated SENA 20S Evo equivalent built-in communication system. The overall sealing works so well that it might be a bit claustrophobic to some, even with the vents open. Cracking the visor or removing the chin skirt solves any air flow issues, but it makes me wonder if it’s the best helmet for strenuous off-road riding. Different riders may or may not be bothered by this, but it’s something to keep in mind.

One area which didn’t see improvement is the helmet’s ventilation. The original Neotecs shell had about 16 wonderfully laid out chimney vents along the side and top—a number that’s been cut to about half. The once more protruding but easier to operate top vent fed two oversized forehead vents which pushed air around and over the top of the interior. Those are now gone thanks to the new streamlined top vent and the complete removal of eight exhaust vents which once ran down the top-center of the shell. I can’t imagine why they would have removed them, unless it was for safety reasons, but the difference is perceptible.

If you’re happy with the shape, ventilation and noise level of the original, we don’t see much of a reason to upgrade unless you want to have the specific SENA-based integrated communication system. While the SENA works perfectly, it would be difficult to swap it out for another brand or model because the Neotec IIs design makes it near impossible. Even better, if you prefer the original Neotec it can be bought on the street for around $400, making it one of the best deals around for modular helmets.

NEOTEC2 UP BODY900

Overall, it’s hard to improve on an already very competent platform. Quibbles aside, the Neotec II is now my go-to touring and comm-equipped helmet. In fact, we liked it so much, it even got ADVMoto custom paint graphics. The Neotec IIs slightly longer design may appeal to the rider whose noggin previously didn’t fit Shoeis head shape. Visually, the new model is more appealing and many of the improvements, save the ventilation changes, are welcome. From a new buyer’s perspective, the Neotec II should be on the top of your list of modular helmets to consider.

NeotecII CP 900BODY

MSRP: $699–$799

Shoei.com

PROS:

  • Very quiet, thanks to tighter neck seal and spring-loaded visor
  • Integrated SENA 20S Evo communication system is clean and works well.
  • Comes with pinlock anti-fog visor insert
  • Sportier styling

CONS:

  • Less effective ventilation than previous model
  • Top vent harder to use
  • Can only use integrated SENA system
  • Not the lightest modular helmet
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