Monday, 8 January 2018

Motorcycle helmets: Le roi est mort, vive le roi?...

The Shoei Neotec 2 helmet has been in development for some four years, and whilst we’ve known that it was coming for quite some time, we only managed to get our hands on one for our own road testing after it had been officially announced at the EICMA show in Milan, in early November.

Since we got hold of the helmet, we’ve put in some serious miles with it in some serious conditions, and we have to say that, in a number of areas, it’s a huge leap forward over the original Neotec.

The helmet that the new Neotec 2 has to beat if it’s going to be crowned the heavyweight, flip-lid champion is, of course, the Schuberth C3 Pro. The Schuberth is a fantastic helmet, and it’s not without good reason that it’s a favourite of the police, heavy-duty commuters and world travellers. But it’s now a five year old model, and it should not surprise us that, in the intervening period, Shoei has been able to improve upon it in a number of areas.

For those who may not be totally up to speed on such matters, it may come as a surprise to learn that we are not comparing the Neotec 2 with Schuberth’s most recently released flip-front helmet, the C4. But that’s because, quite frankly, we think the older C3 Pro is far away the better and more useable lid.

The C4, whether Schuberth admit it or not, has been designed to suit riders of sportier bikes. With its taller aperture, it works better than a C3 if you’re leant forward over the bars. But it is not quieter, and the ‘trick’ comms system does not work as well as that on the C3. It has also been beset with build-quality issues. All of which mean that, for us, the C3 is still the top dog in the Schuberth firmament.

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