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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shoei Neotec Review

I'll keep this one brief. I'd love to write a comprehensive test and review with photos and diagrams but I'm just too busy so I'll skip to the conclusion.

Excellent, as I've come to expect from a top-end Shoei product. The removable liner has a plush luxurious feel, the shell feels solid, the paint is flawless and has a deep, rich clearcoat. The moving parts all work smoothly and everything opens and closes with a reassuring click. Three shell sizes make for what feels like a custom fit. Comfort is A1 for me. Your mileage may vary. My only 2 complaints here: 1. The chin bar is molded plastic (unlike the fibreglass shell) and there is no finish on the inside of it and I don't like that all the hardware is visible. 2. I don't like the metallic "clang" the clasp makes when the lid is shut. It rings in my ears.

Best I've ever experienced. I get zero buffeting, positive or negative lift, or wobbles no matter how my head is positioned. Even if I turn my head to the side the helmet slips through the atmosphere smoothly.

Even better than my previous Shoei X11 benchmark, which is one of the top helmets for airflow. When the chin vent is opened, a curtain of fresh air flows up across the front of the face shield. When the top vent is opened, little fingers of cool air rush in and tickle your scalp. The exhaust vent seems pointless though... I can't tell the difference from open to shut.

Heavier than I'm used to (the X11 is supremely lightweight) but not uncomfortably so, and the superb aeros help make up for it by reducing neck strain.

Excellent peripheral veisibility with a wide wrap-around visor. Vertical visibility somewhat limited... When the helmet is rotated down to a comfortable position (for me) the top range of my view is somewhat cut off when I have my head down. If I rode a more upright motorcycle it wouldn't be a problem but the VFR puts me in a mild sportbike crouch. Not a big issue. I hate the pinlock posts. They put black blotches in my periphery which plays tricks with my brain. I hope I get used to it, otherwise I'll look for a visor without them. I love the flip down fighter pilot shade. I feel like I should stencil "Goose" or "Maverick" across the front of the helmet.

Overall: Love it. 9 out of 10. Can't wait to put more miles on it. I was initially planning to go with yellow (for visibility) but in my experience, bugs are attracted to yellow and I don't like bugs swarming my head when I'm stopped. So I went with the next most visible colour: gloss white.