When choosing your motorcycle, you think of versatility, durability, comfort, and of course, safety. Safety depends on so many things, including helmets.
When riding a motorcycle, you are at a greater risk of injury or even death if you don’t wear a helmet. In an unfortunate case of a collision, the helmet reduces the chances of fatalities or life-threatening injuries to the head.
As important as a helmet is, it doesn’t have to be a burden. Helmets can be stylish, comfortable and should even make your ride more enjoyable. Several modifications have given rise to different types of helmets, from the classic full-face helmet to the more fashionable flip-up helmets.
Helmets themselves have come a long way from the initial open face helmets, which only offered protection for the skull and left most parts of the face uncovered, to the full-face helmets, which then came modified with chin guards (bar).
Further modifications have led to the popularity of modular helmets, which offered more excellent breathability, durability, and comfort. And they were a thing of beauty too!
Modular helmets served as the bridge between full-face helmets and the breathability of open faces. It simply took the benefits and left out the disadvantages. It is, however, believed that the full-face helmet is still the guaranteed best protection when riding. The helmet you choose should depend on how you want to ride and, of course, the terrain.
Our review of two helmets pitches two modular brands against each other—the HJC RPHA Max Vs. Shoei Neotec’s. We will also examine the pros and cons of each one. While the HJC RPHA-Max is a tri-composite modular helmet, the NEOTEC is a revamped modular type.
Both are well designed and show the advantages of modular helmets over other types. Let’s look at the two helmets in detail.
HJC RPHA Max
The RPHA Max by HJC is a lightweight modular helmet with excellent qualities and delivers maximum comfort for riders. HJC is the biggest manufacturer of helmets worldwide, and they have put a lot of effort into ensuring that the RPHA Max meets every quality requirement.
One of such qualities is weight. The RPHA Max weighs only 1.45 kg and offers excellent protection without being a burden on the head. It is specially made from light fibers like carbon fiber, fiberglass, and organic fiber.
Because of the advanced features that went into its production, it is aptly named RPHA, which stands for Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advanced.
If you have used different types of helmets in times past, it becomes immediately evident that the RPHA Max offers improved ventilation. The helmet has air vents around the brow, the chin, and the brow.
Striking a balance between protecting the face and supplying ventilation has been slippery for many helmet manufacturers. Although there may still be some tiny loopholes in the ventilation system, the HJC RPHA Max offers excellent comfort for riders with its full-face flip-up option.
Wind noise is one of the reasons people select helmets. A good helmet should shut out most of the wind and surrounding noise. The RPHA Max also stands out for being quiet, although how quiet a helmet is, really depends on the kind of bike you are riding.
But several tests have shown that the RPHA Max recording 84dB at 69 mph. The helmet also comes with a Pinlock antifog insert and is available in XS-XXL sizes.
The internal padding is made fully removable and can be washed whenever you want to. Also, the padding has antibacterial properties, which means your scalp and skin are protected whenever you wear them.
Optimal shell size
Excellent interior with antimicrobial properties
You can use it with your sunglasses
Ventilation allows dust and debris particles to filter into the eyes, especially at top speed.
Sometimes tricky to tighten the chin strap.
Like the HJC, Shoei is also a massive producer of helmets and has been doing so for many years. The Shoei Neotec modular helmet was created in 2012 as one of its new modular helmets.
The Shoei Neotec modular helmet is also a very quality product that comes in a beautiful design. It offers not just protection but safety as well, with an interior that is designed to offer protection to any shape of the head.
Some people with irregularly shaped heads have had problems sitting helmets comfortably on their heads. But the Shoei Neotec can fit in with any shape. This is due to its interior padding, which has a 3D shape.
Let’s look at the specifications that make this helmet unique—first, ventilation.
Ventilation is one of the most critical factors that make helmets a significant burden for many users. However, with several exhausts, the Neotec is designed to help the users ride with maximum comfort, which is done without the rider experiencing any distortion at all.
How is this done? The makers worked hard to ensure air cools the entire head while riding by placing the channels strategically, on the chin, on the top of the helmet, and the sides. So, the ventilation is designed to come in from all sides.
The design is perfect, such that no air is trapped in the helmet while riding. Not only is stale air expelled, but a fresh supply of cool air is also guaranteed for as long as you ride. Also, you are protected from hot temperatures, and when the sun shines too brightly, the sun shield comes in handy and can be activated easily with a switch.
One other unique feature of the Shoei Neotec is the antifog properties that ensure that you will not be affected negatively by any distortion of vision when your helmet is on. The helmet comes with an in-built fog resistance which helps the user retain the clearest sight regardless of the weather.
Also, just like the HJC RPHA Max, the interior of the Shoei Neotec is washable. That means it can be detached.
Let’s do a comparison of the two helmets using some parameters.
HJC RPHA Max
The HJC RPHA is a safe helmet. Before being sold, all crash helmets go through a series of tests, and the RPHA Max passed all of them. So much effort is put into place by the manufacturer to make it so. However, the SHARP test conducted in the UK gave the RPHA a safety score of ⅗. Flip-up helmets are not considered the hallmark of safety, as much as the full-face helmets; however, the HJC RPHA Max has put efforts into place to ensure that protection does not rob the user of comfort.
The safety ratings for the HJC RPHA Max is 7/10
When it comes to safety, the Shoei brand takes it seriously. Using the SHARP test, Shoei Neotec was able to excel, scoring as high as ⅘. Many other helmets from the Shoei brand scored a maximum of five points.
When you want to choose a helmet for safety, you can’t go wrong with Shoei Neotec as your choice, as it tops the safety ratings in many categories.
The safety rating for the Shoei Neotec is 9/10
HJC RPHA Max
If you were beginning to doubt the HJC RPHA Max because of the not very excellent safety ratings, well, check out what it offers in comfort. Developed with vents that keep the rider fresh and a Pinlock antifog to keep the vision clear at all times, you are assured of a comfortable ride.
To ensure your comfort is always guaranteed, HJC used very durable but lightweight fiber materials in manufacturing the helmets. So, the helmet is light yet strong. When you put on the helmet, you feel the softness of the washable, antibacterial, and moisture-wicking fabric.
HJC RPHA Max is excellent for comfort and scores 8/10
If you’ve never used the Shoei Neotec helmet, you may not know what you’re missing. Known for its quality, it is also very comfortable. The chin bar can be easily lifted with just a button, although closing it is a bit more complicated.
It has an advanced ventilation system as well as a removable lining. More importantly, the lining is 3D- enabled, meaning no head shape cannot fit into it comfortably.
The Shoei Neotec scores 9/10 for comfort.
HJC RPHA Max
This aesthetic helmet is not just beautiful; it is well styled with features that make the ride more enjoyable. The idea is to keep the rider safe by incorporating the elements creatively. All the accessories are also beautiful. Modular helmets have more creative designs than other kinds of helmets, and the HJC RPHA doesn’t disappoint.
For aesthetics, the helmet settles for 8/10
Beauty, they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. But, you can’t deny the beautiful structure of the Shoei Neotec. The helmet has smooth curved lines giving a sleek design, and there are spaces for ventilation which adds to the aesthetics. The helmets come in beautiful colors, and it is a thing of beauty to behold.
Shoei Neotec scores 8/10 for beauty.
HJC RPHA Max
Although lightweight, the HJC RPHA is extreme and durable. It is made of fiberglass composite material which gives it durability. Safety tests also suggest that the HJC RPHA is strong enough to protect the rider in the event of dangerous crashes. The materials used in the production of the helmet makes it very durable.
The durability rating stands at 8/10
Not only is the Shoei Neotec sleek in design, but it is also solid and durable. Most Shoei helmets are already well-reputed to be very safe. Safety equals durability for helmets. Made from composite materials that guarantee longevity, the helmet is strong, lasting, and durable.
For durability, 8/10 is a fair score.
Which Helmet Would We Recommend?
Both of them are beautiful, strong, safe, and reliable. They have both passed safety tests, although Shoei Neotec has a higher rating in that regard. But as modular helmets, they have surpassed expectations for many users.
Both have removable and washable linings as well, although we must commend the antimicrobial properties of the HJC RPHA Max. However, while it’s difficult to choose between the two, Shoei Neotec has a slight advantage in terms of safety.
Safety is the major reason why helmets are used in the first place. While we cannot deny that HJC RPHA Max is also very safe, as many users have admitted, Shoei Neotec goes some steps further to guarantee safety.
However, the Neotec is more expensive than the RPHA Max. Just for your information.
Both are also quite durable, made from solid materials, despite being lightweight and comfortable. Your next ride would be better with any of these two beauties.
We have looked at HJC RPHA Max Vs. Shoei Neotec. It was close. But we recommend the Shoei Neotec if you have to choose between the two.
That’s not to take anything away from the HJC RPHA Max, manufactured by the largest helmet makers in the world, though.
The two reviewed helmets are two of the best, anyway!
Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with LetsGoForARide.com, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.