If you look back at the history of the Shoei flip-front helmets, you notice a pattern – they release a new one every 6 to 7 years. Syncrotec, Multitec, Neotec, Neotec II and now the Neotec 3 – like clockwork! So with my Neotec II just over five years old earlier this year, I’d been looking online for info about a replacement. Disappointingly, other than speculation and fantasy, hard facts regarding a replacement by Shoei were none existent. And so the dilemma …. take a gamble and buy another Neotec II knowing it could be replaced imminently or simply wait, maybe well into next year. Choices, choices!
Then yesterday, September 1st, out of the blue, Shoei released the Neotec 3! First I saw it pop up on sportsbikeshop.co.uk ….. then I went over to Shoei Europe website for a sanity check and afterwards throughout the day, watched in amazement as the online retailers updated websites and all manner of bloggers etc who had been trialling the new helmet were released from a non-disclosure embargo and began posting videos and reviews. All rather surreal!
From what I read and watched, I was mildly impressed overall. The changes seem subtle but an overall improvement from the II – but nothing ground breaking. Is it a ‘drop the II and grab a 3’ helmet …. not really. If however you’re replacing an end of life helmet, then it’s most definitely worth a look. For those moving from a II to a 3 the most annoying thing is that the Sena SRL-2 audio system won’t fit in the 3 – yet. I did read on one YouTube channel that an adapter kit will be available to make the SRL-2 fit the Neotec 3, but until that happens you are stuck with having to fork out even more money for the SRL-03 system. But then again, I have to ask myself what percentage of Neotec owners went ahead and fitted the SRL-2 anyway? My guess is the statisticians at Shoei have worked out the gains and losses across the markets already!