Japanese brand Shoei (pronounced “Show-ay”) has been making motorcycle helmets for over 50 years and they have built up a huge following and fan base over that time. The Company sells a large volume of helmets in Asia, Europe and North America yet it remains a relatively small company with close to only 500 employees. Many enthusiasts would agree that their helmets are top class in terms of innovation, materials, comfort and of course safety ratings. In fact, Shoei was the first to use several features found on high-end helmets today including carbon fiber and Kevlar shells as well as dual ventilation liners. Today, most all of their helmets are made in Japan and come with a five year warranty which demonstrates how Shoei stands by its products well after you buy them. They offer both street and off-road helmets and come in a mind-boggling array of solid colors and graphical designs. You’ll find most all of their US full face street helmets are DOT approved and many carry the more stringent Snell 2010 approval rating.
Ask any rider why they prefer the Shoei brand and you typically hear about their unparalleled level of comfort, near perfect fit and outstanding attention to detail. Most agree the name Shoei is associated with “premium” when it comes to the motorcycle helmet market. In fact, many think that Shoei represent the pinnacle of premium motorcycle helmets. In asking ourselves why this is the case you really have to look back at the history of this well established manufacturer. They have always been involved in professional motorcycle racing and from that has come several ground breaking innovations which have made their way into the hands of the consumer. Professional motorsports demands the highest degree of quality, innovation and performance especially in today’s world where the difference between winning and losing is measures in fractions of a second. At the same time, today’s consumers are demanding more and Shoei has been uniquely placed to provide for both professionals and consumers and to ensure both groups are served up the best of the best.
Naturally, this kind of cutting edge innovation and performance does not come cheap. The fact is, you will pay through the nose for your Shoei, up to three or four times the value-based competitors. Some believe that much of the price is simply paying for the Shoei brand. Others will say their helmets are worth every penny if you desire perfection. We’ll let you decide!
Below are some terrific examples of top class Shoei motorcycle helmets available today.
The Neotec is the successor to the tremendously popular Multitec (one of our personal favorites). It’s a modular (flip-up) helmet that looks strikingly similar to the Multitec but with a few special upgrades. Shoei has clearly listed to its customer base and incorporated a few things that the fans have asked for. The key differences include an all new ventilation system, redesigned EPS lining configuration, improved noise reduction capabilities and a new locking mechanism. Overall this is certainly an improvement on the Multitec but you’re gonna pay a lot more for this latest design and you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth it. Still, a great helmet here folks and we’d go as far as saying it’s one of the very best modular’s available on the market today assuming price is no object.
Need more information on this particular helmet? Check out our Shoei Neotec Test and Review.
Brand new for 2013, the GT-Air is Shoei’s latest all-round masterpiece. Shoei has taken the long reigning champion RF-1100 and tweaked it up to the max. New ventilation, improved aerodynamics, enhanced sun-blocking and a real menacing design make the GT-Air stand apart from the RF-1100. It’s a superbly comfortable helmet and extremely quiet in most applications. The paint, graphics and overall quality are excellent as you’d expect from Shoei these days. Air flow is terrific and the upgrades Shoei have made in this area are certainly paying off. It’s nothing ground breaking but Shoei has managed to pull it off better than anyone else. Look, this is a magnificent helmet – that is for sure. Expensive?…You bet, but if you’re passionate about riding then those extra dollars may seem like pocket change when you’re wearing this baby.
Apart from two mentioned above, you may also be interestted in Shoei Qwest – click to see our review.