New Sport-Touring Helmets: Shoei Neotec 3, GT-Air 3

Not in North America yet, but we expect them soon

Japanese helmet-maker Shoei has announced updates to two of its most popular helmets, the Neotec 3 and GT-Air 3. There’s only one problem—most ADVrider inmates can’t buy them, not yet, since they are not available in North America.

Neotec 3

The successor to the Neotec 2, this is a flip-front helmet that can be locked into the closed or open position, with safety certification for either configuration (this ties into recent European helmet homologation laws; the Neotec 3 meets the current ECE 22.06 standard). Other than that, it seems to mostly be an incremental update of the design concepts that made the previous generations of the Neotec series popular. It’s Pinlock-capable (a Pinlock EVO is included), and the visor’s notch settings allow you to hold it open just a crack, for anti-fog airflow. This has been a practical, even essential capability that other helmet makers have ignored in the past.

There’s also a micro-click buckle on the strap, instead of old-school D-rings. Some riders prefer the older configuration, but if you’re in and out of your helmet all day, the buckle system is much easier to use, especially in gloves.

Other tweaks include re-designed cheekpads, which are supposed to reduce in-helmet noise and make it more comfortable.

Shoei supplies the Neotec 3 in sizes XS-XXL, with three shell sizes available. We expect to see it in North America by spring of 2024. More details at Shoei’s European website here.

The new Shoei GT-Air 3. This is a standard full-face design, optimized for touring. Photo: Shoei

GT-Air 3

Although this is Shoei’s premium sport touring lid, many of the bits are the same as the new Neotec. Same new micro-click buckle closure, same CNS-1C visor with two locking positions. With this helmet, the emphasis is always on light weight and lots of airflow. On the new GT-Air, we see an improved ventilation system, and a 3.75-lb claimed weight, so attention was paid to both details. Still, most of the changes are minor—revised vents, a new mounting position for Shoei’s proprietary comm system, and so on.

This is not a modular helmet, like the Neotec lineup, which some users may prefer—this series of helmets has traditionally been aimed at the “sport” side of the sport-touring segment. It has also been redesigned to meet new ECE 22.06 regulations, and we would also expect it to be in North America by next spring. More details at Shoei’s European website here.

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