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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A short review of the new Shoei Neotec helmet. First the price: $600 to $700 . Looks : Nice and sleek ( better be for that kind of money).

Pro's:
1. If fitted properly, it is a very tight fit. It is tighter than any helmet I have ever had. Its not uncomfortable, but it is snug.
2. The latch for the flip portion is metal so it makes a reassuring metal to metal click when closed.
3. The latch mechanism is silky smooth compared to the HJC.
4. There are air intake vents and one exhaust vent. Chin and 3 position inlet on top of helmet and the exhaust on the rear. With all open, you can feel air movement through the helmet.
5. The entire padding system can be removed. This is an upgrade over the older Multitech.
6. The chin area has been enlarged to give more room between lips and helmet. A boom mic will fit with ease.
7. The optical clarity of the visor and drop down tinted visor is excellent. No distortion noted when looking from full left to right.
8. Wind noise bleeding in and under the helmet is lower but not by a whole lot.
9. The helmet is very much better in the wind buffeting department. Side winds don't seem to affect it and gusts going over the top don't seem to either. Its very good in that respect.
10. It also feels like it weighs less and hasn't put any stress in my neck area like the HJC did on long rides.
11. The pull down tinted visor goes down way past the eye line. This is great because you can tilt your head back and still have tinted comfort. You really don't even notice that it's there.

Con's.

1. Fitment of the helmet is critical for comfort. I suggest that you go to a dealer who has the helmets and try them on and make sure its right for you. At the store where I bought mine, one of the salesmen could not wear this Shoei but could wear the Multitech. His head shape was such that it put pressure on his eyebrow region. This is not a helmet to purchase online unless they have a good return policy. I believe they make 2 shell shapes for this situation and thats why its important to have it fitted correctly.

2. Between the liner and foam there is no space at all. Add on's inside the helmet is almost eliminated due to this. I had an "in helmet" heads up display for the radar detector that fit easily inside the HJC but I had to leave it out with the Neotec.

3. If you are squeamish about cutting into your new helmet to install mic and speakers then take a close look at what they have done. The speaker recesses are not deep and that part of the helmet is plastic mold. It is my opinion that Shoei and J&M went to bed together and made it this way for a reason. I had the J&M 629 Elite set-up in my HJC. Those speakers will not fit in the recess of the Neotec. The only solutions you have is (1).To send the helmet to J&M where they will install the same 629 system and put on their connector for a tidy sum of almost $300. Now your helmet is close to, if not over the $1000 mark. OR. (2). Take an exacto knife and very carefully cut the plastic out of the recess. Then the speakers will fit inside without touching your ears. You will have to press, and I do mean press the speakers into the space you have made. Its a tight fit so use a small amount of double sided tape to hold them in. The 629 ear pieces are 17/32 inch in thickness and 2 and 15/32 inch in diameter. If you try to install them before cutting, the speakers protrude too far into the helmet and press on your ears. That rubbing will hurt beyond measure after a little riding. I called J&M about this since they now list a new set of 629 that are "thin" speakers. They told me that the diameter of the new speakers was too large to fit either. Their solution was to give them $300 and they would fix the problem. I don't know about you but buying a new mic and headset for each new helmet is out of the question. I was told that if I did it myself I would void the warranty on the helmet but they can do the same thing and even drill a hole in the side for their connector because Shoei had approved this modification. I used the method I described and installed my existing J&M's myself and the sound and fitment is very good. It will put the speakers closer to your ears and thus the sound will be much improved. On my HJC, to listen to the radio, I had to run it at about level 13. With this new set-up, it is running level 2 to 4. Save the money and just do it. Just use the sharpest Exacto knife you can find and make several passes instead of one deep cut.

4. The snap on the chin strap is too close to the buckles. It takes a huge effort to thread the strap through the buckles and then snap it shut. Its an aggravation more than a detriment.

Summary:

Overall, its a quality helmet that fills good when properly fitted but it is not perfect. I haven't used it in the rain or on foggy mornings so I can't make any statements about how well it performs in that situation. It's my first top of the line helmet and it is an improvement by a long shot over my old HJC. Is it worth the money?, well I guess only time will tell. Just don't run in and grab the first one you sit on your head and call it good. Get it fitted and then wear it in the store for an hour or so. That is time well spent and within an hour you will know if its the right helmet for you.:) Isaac
 

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Wow Isaac, if you ever give up that ranching thing, you've got a head start on a writing reviews gig!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow Isaac, if you ever give up that ranching thing, you've got a head start on a writing reviews gig!:D
All you have to do is ask...Thanks for the compliment. I am taking it on a 150 mile trip today so I should have some more input as to comfort, and other little things. Ya'll have a good weekend. Its gonna be 85 here today. Was 92 Wednesday. Skipping spring I guess. Later Feller...Isaac
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We put close to 200 miles on the Wings today so I am going to add a few comments about the Shoei Neotec. Several things to state before I make my remarks. I have always had a problem with bike noise. Road noise, bike noise, all seem to go straight to my brain and I am super sensitive to those frequencies. Almost deaf in one ear and the rumble of road noise makes conversation hard because I can't discern between the noise and real conversation. So, take all this with that in mind.

1. Noise level of the Shoei compared to the HJC SyMax is almost the same. The Shoei is quieter but not by much with a couple of exceptions. I like to ride with the windshield of the bike just below eye level. Doing this with the Shoei produces a distracting rattle as the wind whips over the windshield and just touches the top of the helmet. The turbulence seems to push the helmet down and I feel that because there is no clearance between the padding in the top of the helmet. Raising the windshield to its max height, the quietness of the Neotec is greatly increased. The road noise that comes up around the forks and by the handle bars is still there but the sound of the wind blowing around the helmet is greatly diminished. Standing up on the pegs and getting full into the wind, the helmet really quietens down almost makes me want to take my windshield off completely. This is where the helmet really shines.

2. I put in some Winchester foam ear plugs. You would think the world had gone away, it got so quiet. Had to increase the Radio and CB levels from about 4 to about 14. With the ear plugs I would be happy except that now I am worried that I can't hear emergency vehicles until they are right on me. That happened today when a Fire Rescue SUV and Patrol Car passed us in opposite directions responding to a Jeep that had caught on fire. We saw the Jeep with smoke streaming from it, the people had beat a hasty retreat and a few seconds later, we met those vehicles. I saw them way before I heard them. That cannot be a good thing. I hate ear plugs but to make it feel like I'm in a Roll Royce, ear plugs are necessary. Now if I can just find the right ear plugs, I can be happy.

3. Today the temps were in the mid 80's but it felt way hotter than that. The air flow inside the Neotec was adequate but not excellent. I ran most of the day with the visor cracked one notch. That did not add to the road noise but it did make it cooler inside the helmet. The helmet comes with a clear face shield and a drop down dark inner shield. I think that if I had purchased a dark outer visor, it would have been cooler on the inside. The sun passes through the clear visor and heats up your lower face but the dark drop down shield keeps the brightness in check. That heat build up negates the effectiveness of the ventilation system on the helmet on hot cloudless days. Problem I see here is that the outer visor is about $48. But both are needed in these hot, sunny Texas summers.

4. The quality of the visors, both outer and drop down is absolutely excellent. No distortion of any kind and the enlargement of the visor area over the Multitec provides excellent peripheral vision. I did notice that the "pin locks" which are made into the outer visor are black and are constantly within view. I assume that with time, you will start to ignore them but for now, they are a small distraction.

5. The Pinlock fog free lens which is included is for Day Use Only. Apparently it only allows 80% of light to pass through so night use is not recommended. The manual says that you should take the Pinlock fog free lens off frequently. Seems that if left in place the gasket may stick to the outer visor and damage both. Doesn't say how frequently but I do know that it is a very close fit.

6. Its spring time here and that means bugs. Plenty of bugs. The air scoop on top of the helmet is a magnet for those critters. Might want to keep a tooth brush or tooth pick handy to clean it out every so often. Took the helmet off today and found some butterfly wings on my head. Heaven only knows where the rest of him went.

7. The interior padding did get sweaty but dried nicely after the ride. I still don't like the snap on the helmet strap. It's just plain hard to get it to snap in place without fiddling around with it.

To this point these have been my impressions of the Shoei Neotec and only time will tell how well this marriage will progress. I am sure that others who purchase this helmet will have differing views and I hope they take the time to give us their comments. Ride Safe and keep 'er tween the ditches. Isaac
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dreamweaver, I'd like to resurrect this thread to ask a question. I've recently purchased the Shoei J-Cruise 3/4 helmet and I suspect the headset speaker area is similar or identical to that on the Neotec. I've looked at the situation regarding installing J&M Elite headset (which I use in all my helmets) and, like you, found that some modification was in order.

My question is this: When you trimmed the molded plastic, did you cut a circle out of the plastic (looks like it needs to be approx. 2" diameter), leaving a loop of plastic around the speaker opening, or did you simply cut the plastic loose altogether? I'm concerned that if I just cut the plastic out, without leaving a loop of material around the speaker I'll loose support for the two snap connectors that the cheek pads install to. But, if I cut a 2" hole there's not going to be much of a web of plastic around it anyway.

What did you do?

Steve
I measured the diameter of the speakers and cut a round hole out so that they sat right down snugly inside the cut-out. Double side'ed tape holds them securly. The plastic cut easily with an exacto knife. That recessed the speakers just enough to where they did not touch my ears. Just make sure that the hole and speaker placement is exactly in a direct path across from your ear hole. Take care to get that right or the speaker may be to low or forward and the sound transfer will be not what you want. The Shoei is by far the best helmet I have ever had and as you know it is expensive. Just don't be in a hurry and check, check, and re-check then carve away....:webers: Isaac
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Isaac. Did you leave the padded speaker covers on the speakers, and did you remove the plastic stalks that protect the wiring where it comes out of the speaker?

Steve
Yes, I left the padded speaker covers on. That puts them about 1/8 of an inch away from my ears. Underneath the part you cut out there is foam so you can actually go deeper into the shell of the helmet if needed. No I did not cut the plastic stalks off. I carved a small nitch in the round hole I had made and recessed the stalks down into the hole. I pointed the nitch towards the direction I wanted the wires to go. That left the wires just below the pads so they don't bother me. If you cut the holes a bit smaller than the diameter of the speakers you can easily and very carefully with the exacto knife, trim the holes to where you have to force the speakers down into the hole. Then you may not even need the tape or velcro. I have driven over 10k miles now and they are still secure without tape. Tedious process but well worth the effort and time put in to be happy with the result. Isaac
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Excellent info. I'm going to ride a couple of hundred miles today with the Shoei J-Cruise, without the speakers installed to make absolutely sure the helmet is comfortable before I start carving on it.

Assuming it's a keeper, I'll probably end up buying a Neotec also, as I want to have full-face weather protection on those days that warrant such, but prefer the convenience of a flip-up - even if it isn't as protective as my Shoei RF1000.

Shoei's fit snug, but my RF1000 has never given me issues with pressure points. Hopefully, the J-Cruise will be the same. The Scorpion EXO-900 that I've worn for a couple of years is a nice concept, but it's more of a round-head fit, and puts so much pressure on my forehead that after a couple of hours of riding I've usually got a headache.

Steve
I have always preferred the flip - up's over full face. I have never felt insecure wearing it either. I know there is pro's and con's about them but sometimes you have to go with whatever suits you. This is the first Shoei I have ever owned and I don't think I will ever go back to HJC or any other brand. Do note that if you have the drop down sunshade, that shade is not as durable as the outer visor so take care cleaning it. A grasshopper hit at 60 on that shield would almost dictate a new shield. Have fun on the ride. Isaac
 

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Resurrecting this again, Dreamweaver Isaac ... what did you do with the wires after installing the speakers? I'm having trouble finding a way to route them from the clamp past the semi-rigid rim on the liner.

Doesn't help to know that Sierra Electronics deals with it by drilling the shell!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Resurrecting this again, Dreamweaver Isaac ... what did you do with the wires after installing the speakers? I'm having trouble finding a way to route them from the clamp past the semi-rigid rim on the liner.

Doesn't help to know that Sierra Electronics deals with it by drilling the shell!
I don't have the helmet handy but as I remember, I just routed them under the foam next to the inner skin of the helmet along the bottom part so as to be inside the foam and yet not be felt when wearing. That lower part of the helmet where the clamp is does not touch your head so routing the wires under the foam there poses no discomfort. Hope that helps. :nod: Isaac
 

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I don't have the helmet handy but as I remember, I just routed them under the foam next to the inner skin of the helmet along the bottom part so as to be inside the foam and yet not be felt when wearing.
To complete the loop here ... I had just about given up on routing the cables from the clamp when I called Sierra Electronics about having them do it for me (which would have been tedious and expensive). I was amazed when their tech explained to me how I could do it myself.

First, he suggested that I don't put the boom mike in the clamp, because that does make it too thick. He recommended fixing it inside the helmet with two-sided self-adhesive cable clamps.

Then he suggested removing the polystyrene - there's a release stud under the red "do not modify" sticker - and cutting shallow grooves in it for the clamp and the cables. He agreed that fighting with the plastic rim on the foam liner is bad, and cutting that rim is a total no-no because its structural rigidity is what keeps the foam in place. You could probably cut the poly in place, too; haven't tried it yet.

I wish I had known this before I bought the Neotec. It's expensive enough already, and the choices aren't ideal:

(1) toss your existing J&M speakers and buy the Neotec with the new integrated ones (adds ~2-300)

(2) ship your new helmet to Sierra and let them install the old J&Ms (adds about $150)

(3) cut your new helmet, against Shoei's recommendations and voiding your warranty ($0)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First, he suggested that I don't put the boom mike in the clamp, because that does make it too thick. He recommended fixing it inside the helmet with two-sided self-adhesive cable clamps.

Then he suggested removing the polystyrene - there's a release stud under the red "do not modify" sticker - and cutting shallow grooves in it for the clamp and the cables. He agreed that fighting with the plastic rim on the foam liner is bad, and cutting that rim is a total no-no because its structural rigidity is what keeps the foam in place. You could probably cut the poly in place, too; haven't tried it yet.


(3) cut your new helmet, against Shoei's recommendations and voiding your warranty ($0)
Well, your statement of
"
First, he suggested that I don't put the boom mike in the clamp, because that does make it too thick. He recommended fixing it inside the helmet with two-sided self-adhesive cable clamps" has me perplexed. What are you doing putting a Boom Mike in a clamp? The mic just sits under the flip up portion and you put it next to your mouth and close the flip portion. As far as negating any warranty by trying to fit headsets and mic inside, they have already thrown that out of court by allowing J&M to cut a hole through the helmet. It's my opinion that they were in cahoots with J&M to just get extra money. I agree that getting J&M's inside the helmet is a booger, but just use logic and common sense and it will work. Keep the speaker wires low in the helmet and you will be fine.:icon_confused: Isaac
 

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Well, your statement of
"
What are you doing putting a Boom Mike in a clamp? The mic just sits under the flip up portion and you put it next to your mouth and close the flip portion. /QUOTE]

Sorry, could have been clearer. He means the other end of the mike, where the little bulge is that fits into the clamp. He's suggesting anchoring the non-microphone end of the bendy wire in the helmet, and of course running it out to the front as usual.

I agree re the warranty stuff, but if push came to shove they have deeper legal pockets than I, and I'll bet they'd just drag it out till I ran out of money. That's how governments do it, too.
 
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