Shoei Neotec II: a sports touring flip-up helmet that owners love

Shoei Neotec II modular motorcycle crash helmet review.

The old Shoei Neotec had been around for a good few years.

If you’re not familiar with it, it was Shoei’s top-dog flip-front helmet, designed to offer outstanding comfort and build quality for everyone from commuters to cross-continent-blasters who want a quality modular helmet.

If you don’t remember the old Neotec – in a nutshell, folks loved it for it’s great ventilation, visor system and comfort. You can read that review here if you like.

And so, Shoei’s updated it and called it the Neotec II. Which is about right because the new Neotec II is very much a development of the old version.

Shoei says they’ve redesigned the cheek pads for improved comfort and reduced noise and the visor’s been re-shaped for better sealing and optical qualities. They also reckon the chin bar’s had an upgrade so it’s now P/J dual homologated so you can ride with it up.

So, if you’re thinking of buying a Shoei Neotec 2, here’s our full review – and don’t forget to check out our alternatives section at the bottom of the page where we recommend some other great modular helmets you should check out too.

  • Modular helmet
  • Fiberglass composite shell
  • SHARP 4 star safety rated (*UK version)
  • Chin bar scores a disappointing 70% (*UK version)
  • Drop down sun visor
  • Pinlock anti-fog
  • Integrated for Sena bluetooth (not included)
  • Micrometric fastener
  • Four shell sizes
  • Expect to pay around $699-$799

Looking to buy this Shoei?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping, and both Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service, free shipping and returns. Or you can click through to the Shoei helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from there. Please click any link to drop onto their Shoei helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

There’s a few safety claims Shoei makes for the Neotec II.

First up is that it has an AIM shell with a dual density shock absorbing liner to give outstanding protection.

Also that the micrometric fastener is made of steel and the chin bar is now dual homologated with a stainless steel locking mechanism – both for added strength and durability.

Like the first Neotec, the shell on the Neotec 2 is made from Shoei’s AIM material – which stands for Advanced Integrated Matrix. Basically, that’s a fiberglass composite that’s used to create 4 different shell sizes – again, just like the old Neotec.

And three shell sizes is a good thing – good for optimizing fit, size and safety.

shoei-neotec-II-excursion-TC-3-motorcycle-helmet-side-view
The Shoei Neotec II Excursion graphics

All of which has helped Shoei to show very well in our Safest Motorcycle Helmet Brands top 10 list – at the time of writing taking No. 1 spot.

In 2019, the SHARP helmet safety testing folks in the UK got their hands on a bunch of ECE versions of the Neotec II and scored it 4/5 stars for safety.

That’s the same as the old Neotec, which is a  decent score. And ordinarily, we’d leave it there.

But SHARP also records how often the chin guard remains locked and closed – a key metric if your riding in a modular lid.

And in the case of the Neotec II, the chin bar only stayed locked and closed 70% of the time during testing – which I’d say is pretty poor.

The best performing modulars, including some of our recommended alternatives at the bottom of the page, score 100%.

As I say, SHARP tested ECE European versions of the Neotec 2 – and Snell hasn’t tested the DOT helmet at the time of writing. We’ve no information as to whether the US version is any different from the European, so I’ll let you make up your own mind whether that 70% figure’s relevant and/or good enough for you.

Of the other stuff that helps with safety – the Neotec’s got a metal micrometric 2 fastener, Pinlock anti-fog face shield to stop it steaming up, and a drop down internal sun visor (great for when the sun’s low).

It also features a dual-density shock absorbing lining and Shoei have used a stainless steel chin bar locking system to complement its dual-homologated certification – (in ECE territories, this means you can lock the chin guard in place if you want to ride in open-face mode legally).

And while the blurb doesn’t mention it, that new rear shape of the helmet is usually shaped like that to reduce the likelihood of injury if the helmet’s pushed back during an impact – as well as help it clear your collar or hump.

So on the face of it, it’s potentially a mixed bag of results. There’s a few decent features in the helmet to help keep you out of trouble, and if you do take a dive, that SHARP 4 star European rating on the helmet shell is pretty good and should give you decent protection.

There’s just that bit of question mark about the chin bar locking mechanism.

If you’re after a quiet helmet but also want a modular, then you’re probably going to be largely disappointed. That’s because most modulars are just noisier than full face helmets – in general.

Shoei has put some effort into making the Neotec 2 a quiet modular though. There’s their ‘integrated vortex generator’ which is something to do with that lip on the bottom of the chin bar that’s designed for better aero and reduced noise.

Plus they’ve reworked the internal cheek pads and including what Shoei calls a ‘noise isolator’ – though there’s not really any detail of what that is or how it works.

The old Neotec was a bit of a disappointment in the noise department. So we’ve scoured the net to find out comments from tons of riders about the Neotec II and the result is… inconclusive.

As usual, some people reckon it’s whisper quiet whereas others say they expected it to be really quiet from the reviews, and were massively disappointed when they bought one. One person says it isn’t as quiet as their old Caberg whereas another says it’s quieter than their last Schuberth C3 Pro – and yet another says it’s not as quiet as their C3 Pro!

Just goes to show how everyone’s opinions of a quiet helmet can differ massively.

We found about an equal number of owners calling it noisy to those calling it quiet – so we’ll mark it down as about average for noise.

The last Shoei Neotec was designed to have tons of ventilation – and owners reckoned it worked well.

And the Neotec II is made to let in even more air, according to Shoei.

There’s a single chin bar vent covered by a nice, large, glove-friendly panel. And there’s also a single crown vent, again covered by a large slider.

These pull air into the helmet and it’s all extracted at the back through a large twin extractor.

Owners of the Neotec II say tons of air gets into the Shoei. They reckon the vents are easy to find and operate in gloves and they’re easy to use too.

The only downside is that the shield doesn’t have a cracked-open or city position, with the first detent being around an inch gap. Many riders use a cracked open position for a bit of extra ventilation while keeping protected behind the face shield, so that’s a bit of an omission.

Other than that, venting on the Neotec 2 is bang on.

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shoei-neotec-II-gloss-black-motorbike-crash-helmet-side-view
Gloss black Neotec II.

Shoei says the new shield is redesigned and shaped to give a better weather seal and has been formed to minimize optical distortion.

There were no worries with either the seal or distortion on the old Neotec that we’re aware of, so an improvement in either will hopefully just make things even better!

It features a locking, Pinlock-ready shield but there’s no word yet whether the Pinlock insert will be included with the helmet. We suspect it will though, simply because the old Neotec did.

And like the old Neotec, the Neotec II has an integral drop-down sun visor that operates by a slider to the bottom left of the visor pivot.

According to Shoei, it offers 99% UV resistance and it’s distortion-free.

Owners say it works well, is easy to find, operates smoothly and gives decent coverage – so all should be fine with the sun visor on the Neotec.

The chin guard of the Neotec II is all new. It’s been redesigned to be sleeker with better aero properties and has a new dual-locking mechanism that’s been dual-homologated (or P/J homologated) in Europe.

It’s not mandatory in the States but it means Shoei’s had to put a locking mechanism on there to keep the chin guard secure when fully opened. That’s gotta be a good thing.

Shoei say they use a stainless steel locking mechanism on the new Neotec too – which is another good thing because all the modulars with the best performing (safest) chin bars do.

What’s not such a good thing is that when the helmet safety bods at SHARP tested the Neotec II (again testing the ECE version of the Neotec II don’t forget), they found that chin bar only remained fully locked in only 70% of the tests.

Which means it unlocked – potentially exposing a rider to danger – about 9 times during testing.

When you’re selling modular helmets on the premise that it offers the ‘safety and protection of a full face helmet’ then that’s not good at all. And it’s a double kick in the teeth to Shoei given the old Neotec scored a much more respectable 93%!

On the plus side, owners do say it’s easy to operate and you can comfortably ride with the chin bar raised up to around 5Omph without and problems.

It’s just a shame that new design of chin bar doesn’t seem to have made the grade.

Shoei helmets are known for producing comfortable helmets.

The last Neotec was widely loved for being comfortable and made from quality materials; and owners of the Neotec 2 say pretty much the same. Everyone we came across seem to say that it’s a massively comfortable helmet.

That’s even though the Neotec II is a little on the heavy side, weighing somewhere around 4lbs (1.8Kg) depending on size. For reference, the average weight of a modular is usually a smidge under 3.7lbs (1.7Kg).

Shoei-Neotec-II-motorcycle-helmet-interior
Interior shot – showing micrometric fastener

Inside the helmet, there’s a removable and washable interior – including cheekpads and chinstrap cover – while those cheekpads have also been redesigned to reduce wind and noise ingress and provide even greater levels of comfort than before.

And if you find the fitment not quite right, then Shoei does offer cheekpads in different sizes to tailor the fit more.

Of course, the fact that the Neotec is made in 4 shell sizes (3 according to Shoei UK) will help with optimizing the fitment too – making sure you’ve got just the right amount of EPS and comfort padding for your head size.

So all in all, while it’s on the heavier side of motorcycle helmets, the Neotec II is seen as cosy, comfortable and uses great quality materials to make a helmet that’s really easy to live with on the road.

Looks & Graphics

On launch, there’ll be all the usual plain/solid colors available – blacks, whites – and a range of classy greys. There’s also a wine red and a matt metallic blue.

They also have a fancy graphic version called the Excursion – available in grey, black/white and black yellow.

You’ll find some examples up and down this page but click through to our recommended retailers using the links below to find the latest designs and prices.

Best places to buy this Shoei crash helmet?

Please click below to visit the Shoei helmets pages at our recommended stores. At the time of writing, it's available in all these stores - and if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).

Shop for Shoei helmets at Amazon

Click above to drop onto their Shoei helmets pages or *quick view store T&Cs here.

Shoei Neotec II Video

The official Shoei Neotec II launch video – 2m37s.

Other stuff – audio, aero, glasses, build quality, warranty

The Neotec II has been designed to integrate with new Sena SRL/SRL2 communicator. That’s a great system based on Sena’s 20 series and an excellent solution if you’re looking for a best-in-class integrated bluetooth kit.

It means there are pockets to fit the control panels and batteries within the fabric of the helmet and it’s been specially designed to perfectly fit the Sena speakers inside. OK, one or two owners said it’s tricky to find the buttons to operate the kit, but that’s often the case for most helmet mounted bluetooth systems.

For those of you who’d be looking to use a different, non-integrated kit, it might compromise fitting your set a bit. A couple of folks we came across said they found it a struggle while some other guys said their Uclear HBC200 and Interphone systems fitted quite easily.

So if you’re going to try and fit a 3rd party system to the Neotec II, I guess it’s just going to take the usual bit of trial and error before you get it to fit right.

shoei-neotec-II-metallic-matt-blue-helmet-side-view
Metallic blue version of the Shoei Neotec II

As for aero, the whole shape of the Neotec II has been wind-tunnel designed to reduce buffeting and lifting – as well as noise. We’ve covered noise above. As for turbulence, a few people said the aerodynamics seem to work well with the helmet feeling very slippery and giving very little buffeting or bobbling in the air flow.

Inside the Neotec II there’s a glasses groove to take the stems of your glasses. Owners seem happy with it. From the reports we’ve seen, they’re plenty big enough and the sun visor drops down with a decent clearance so you you shouldn’t have problems wearing glasses in the Neotec II.

Build quality is one of the big features of most Shoei helmets and the Neotec II is no exception. Owners say everything looks and feels well made with operation of things like the visor and chin bar feeling solid and having a premium feel.

There have been one or two small quality control issues covering things like visor seals and chin bar closure but these seem to be very isolated cases and should be quickly handled by your retailer under warranty (as always make sure you buy from a responsive store who don’t leave you hanging – like our recommended shops)

And finally – warranty. The Shoei Neotec II will come with a 5 year warranty (or 7 years from date of manufacture – whichever comes first) which is pretty much as good as helmet warranties get.

Overall/Summary

We look forward to finding out exactly how good the new Shoei Neotec II is on the road – and we’ll report back here once the jury’s in.

Having said that, the Neotec II scored the same overall score for safety (four stars out of five) when a UK helmet was independently safety tested by SHARP – but the chin guard score of 70% was actually worse than the old helmet and lower than most buyers would probably accept from their modular helmets (see safety section).

In terms of levels of comfort, ventilation and build quality, we’d expect the Neotech II to be a great performer and for the helmet to sell well. And if you love Shoei’s it’ll undoubtedly serve you well. It’s just that, for the money – and often for a lot less money – we reckon you can probably get a better performing modular.

Read on for some recommended alternatives…

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Good Alternatives to the Shoei Neotec II?

We mentioned three sensational modular helmets up in the helmet noise section – they’re all well worth looking at.

shoei-neotec-II-excursion-TC-5-motorcycle-helmet-side-view
Another Neotec II Excursion – this time the TC-5 version

But there’s also the SHARP 4 star safety rated AGV Numo Evo ST. That’s a thermoplastic shelled modular with a sun visor – thermoplastic meaning it’s nice and cheap. But the chin guard also stayed locked 100% of the time (unlike lots of modulars) so you can ride feeling secure.

Or how about the Schuberth C3 Pro which is a popular alternative to the Neotec II. It’s got great build quality, a Pinlock and sun visor – though it’s only about the same as the Neotec II for noise suppression (despite the hype).

Other Modular Helmets

If you're after a new modular/flip-up helmet, they've never been more popular and there's a ton of choice out there. You can find our latest top 10 modular helmets list here or check out all our modular helmet reviews here. You can also visit our smart filters page where you can click the flip-up/modular check box then choose a few other features to find the best flip-up helmet for you.

Looking to buy this Shoei?

We recommend Revzilla (PA) for outstanding service and free shipping, and both Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (UT & KY) and 2 Wheel (CA) for great service, free shipping and returns. Or you can click through to the Shoei helmets pages at Amazon if you prefer to buy from there. Please click any link to drop onto their Shoei helmets pages or see here for more info about our recommended stores, including T&Cs.

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