It’s inevitable that comparisons will be made between this Shoei Neotec Modular, and the similarly-priced Schuberth C3 Pro. I’ve used both, and have to admit that the choice will come down to very personal opinions.
The Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet is a superb flip-front, with a quality removable lining fitted in a composite fibre outer shell that’s made in three sizes to suit the XS-2XL range. A fog-free Pinlock is included, which doesn’t of course stop the drop-down sun-visor from misting, though I rarely find this a problem. The dark shield falls slightly further than that of the Schuberth, so while it still doesn’t clip my nose, it does provide less of a distraction with a smaller band of bright light at the bottom. While sun-shields are more convenient – and of course legal – I still prefer to use a black visor in bright sunlight as it offers a much clearer view than the two layers of plastic and bright bottom band a drop-down provides.
The vents are very good on the Shoei, with the top in particular being easier to use than that of the Schuberth C3 Pro (it’s been improved on the E1). Everybody’s head is a different shape, so trying on any helmet is vital – I find both the Shoei Neotec and the Schuberth C3 Pro to be extremely comfortable all day long, though the Schuberth has the slightly plusher-feeling liner. I’ve yet to find any lid that can be worn without earplugs, and while these are both impressive helmets, the Schuberth is fractionally quieter. I wear glasses, and have no problems on either with the arms.
The Shoei’s flip-front mechanism is very easy to use, but it’s only with the Schuberth that you can flip the lid up with an open visor, and return it to closed with the visor in the same position. I also find the Schuberth has a slightly smoother visor mechanism, the Shoei having a bit more of a harsh jump from closed to cracked open. It’s not a deal-breaker, but I do prefer the German smoothness, as well as the thumb tabs moulded onto both sides, not just the left of the Shoei Neotec Modular.
Both helmets use a ratchet-type chin strap – I know deputy editor and racer Bruce prefers a double-D ring, but on a lid like this I find the ratchet ideal, and very secure. Both helmets are homologated as full-face when closed, so offer good protection in the event of an impact. The Schuberth is rated three stars by the government-backed SHARP scheme, losing points for side, top and rear impacts. The Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet gets four stars, performing slightly better in these areas.
Both are of course CE-approved lids. This graphic scheme has been replaced in the range, but a mixed black/fluoro yellow is still available, offering good visibility without being too garish. I think the Shoei Neotec Flip-front Helmet has a slightly more stylish shell shape, but that’s a very personal opinion. As are all the differences between the two helmets – both are excellent, delivering real comfort in a lid style that I wear more than day-to-day than any other; no more hassle at the fuel pump…
Price : £499