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Shoei Helmet Review: Qwest, Neotec & GT-Air Face-Off!

I’ve been wanting to post a review of my three Shoei helmets for sometime now but never really got down to it till now. This will be a review of the Qwest, Neotec and GT-Air helmets which I have purchased over the last two years and used every day (in rotation) for both daily commuting and short trips to Malaysia.

All Shoei helmets feature EPS liners which enhance impact absorption and promote ventilation.

My Shoei helmets face off!

My Shoei helmets face off!

SHOEI QWEST

Predecessor to the Neotec and GT-Air, the Shoei Qwest was first released in the Singapore market in mid-2012. I was initially attracted to its vibrant colours and overall shape. Picking it up from the shelf, my first impression of the helmet is that it is light-weight and after trying it on, the helmet fit was relatively snug without being too constrictive like race helmets. I am size-S for this helmet and for the small, it weight a mere 1.5kg, pretty light for a full-face lid.

Shoei Qwest

Shoei Qwest

The helmet has two main vents: one at the front of the helmet located near the mouth underneath the face shield, and the other located at the crown with a pair of rearward exhaust vents. Each vent is easy to operate with or without gloves as they feature a push feature. The front vent only has one option setting: open or close, while the top vent has three settings. The helmet also comes with:

  • 3-D center pad and multi-layered, polyurethane foam cheek pads
  • Replaceable or removable Cheek pads for easy maintenance purposes
  • Breath guard and chin curtain included Lightweight Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus (AIM+)
  • CWF-1 two-dimensional Pinlock® lens inserts/ shields to reduce shield fogging\
  • DOT certified

I like the snug fit of the Qwest, and I feel it is the best of the three. It is somewhat quiet for daily commuting and blocks a fair amount of wind noise. However, it isn’t the best ventilated of the three. However, it also lacks a sun visor which doesn’t rank well with me.

SHOEI NEOTEC MODULAR 

Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet

Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet

Winner of the ZLA Awards 2012 as ranked by Revzilla, the Shoei Neotec is the upgraded version of the popular Shoei Multitec helmet. Evolving on previous designs, Shoei revamped its modular helmet style to feature a more streamlined and attractively sculpted shape in the Neotec Modular Helmet. First of all, let me just say: this helmet is naturally heavier when compared against the other two. Naturally, since it is a modular helmet, the swivel locking mechanisms used in would add to the overall weight of the helmet but what it does make up for is comfort. I’ve enjoyed countless day-trips with this helmet and never complained. To my knowledge though, the Neotec is one of the lightest modular helmets available on the market today.

The helmet controls wind noise very well even while touring yet provides adequate ventilation. The two vents are similar to the Qwest where one vent is located at the front of the helmet underneath the face shield, while the other vent is located at the crown. Each vent is easy to operate with or without gloves as they feature a push feature. The front vent only has one option setting: open or close, while the top vent has three settings.

Some of the other key features of the Neotec Modular helmet include:

  • Multi-density EPS for optimal protection
  • Two vents funnel fresh air through the EPS liner
  • Dual liner channels route and disperse air evenly throughout the helmet
  • EPS liner in chin bar
  • Fully removable 3D interior line
  • Top center pad is removable and washable
  • Easily operable lever mechanism
  • Anti-fog, anti-scratch, 99% UV blocking
  • New Pinlock-ready CNS-1 faceshield
  • DOT 218 safety certified

The main feature of this helmet that drew me to it was that it includes a built-in sun shield/ visor, the QSV-1. The visor tucks neatly away beneath a non-intrusive shell built into the helmet’s liner, and can be lowered with the easy control of a sliding button. I don’t quite like the clunkiness of this helmet for daily commuting but when used for long distance travelling, the comfort is unparalleled. The convenience of having a modular helmet is also a good option for long distance travelling.

SHOEI GT-AIR

The Shoei GT-Air first launched in end-2012 but was only available in the Singapore market in mid-2013.

Shoei GT-Air Journey

Shoei GT-Air Journey

This helmet, to me, is the ultimate riding helmet that is light-weight and features style, comfort, increased functionality with the built-in sun visor and good ventilation. 

The GT-Air combines aerodynamic properties which are maximized through extensive wind tunnel and features a Multi-Piece EPS liner for enhanced impact absorption and ventilation. The molded air spoiler also reduces drag and lift, and diminishes pressure while riding at speed. The helmet comes with a built-in QSV-1 sun shield which provides relief from sun glare in one quick motion. No more fussing with sunglasses while riding! You know the feeling of riding from a sunny environment into a dark indoor carpark when your eyes need time to adjust and you have to fuss with removing your sunglasses? I hate that feeling!

The Upper Air Intake Vent is positioned to maximize air volume into the helmet interior with an easy to operate large lower intake vent. The rear/neck vents allow for effective air exhaust and included in the helmet is also a breath guard and chin curtain to reduce shield fogging. Cheek pads are replaceable or removable for easy maintenance and this new helmet now comes with a brand new safety feature: E.Q.R.S. (Emergency Quick-Release System) which allows emergency medical personnel to easily remove the cheek pads from the helmet of a rider involved in an accident, in turn making the helmet more easily removable. The GT-Air is DOT-218 certified. It certainly isn’t the lightest weight helmet currently available in the market but it comes pretty close to ranking on top when you look at at the overall features of the helmet: style, functionality, ventilation and comfort.

I hope this short review is helpful for those who might be in the market for a new helmet and for all you riders out there, ride safe and always keep the rubber side down.

Once again, thanks for reading!

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5 comments on “Shoei Helmet Review: Qwest, Neotec & GT-Air Face-Off!

  1. daemarius
    April 23, 2014

    Interesting reviews on motorcycle helmets! I’ve just started riding, and I really feel the motorcycle helmets in Singapore are really limited in range (mainly due to the PSB approval thingy). Have you tried using non-approved helmets before (at least ones that are DOT/SNELL approved, but not PSB approved). What are your thoughts on this issue?

    • spattiselanno
      July 2, 2014

      Hi! I am so sorry for the delayed response! I somehow missed it in my alerts. Firstly, thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment. Secondly, I think the market has improved since the 90s. There is now a lot more variety in terms of brands and designs for full face helmets. I’m not so sure about open face helmets because it’s not quite as safe. I am not terribly concerned about the PSB approval (PSB approval – if have, good. if don’t have, it’s ok too) since DOT/ SNELL certifications imply that each helmet has been subject to harsh tests, and therefore, will be more effective in the event of a crash. *touchwood* Hope this helps!

  2. Vlad
    September 3, 2014

    Nice review. What is the difference in noise levels between Qwest/GT-Air? Which one do you prefer? Is GT-Air heavier?

    • spattiselanno
      September 25, 2014

      Hi there! Thanks for your question, apologies for not replying sooner. I definitely prefer the GT-Air because the fit is better and it is also much lighter than the Qwest. The GT-Air also comes with an integrated sun visor which I definitely appreciate given our sunny weather here in Singapore! 🙂

  3. kennedyzen
    March 30, 2015

    Did you purchase a small in the GT-air? Does sizing run the same between the GT-air and the Qwesr?

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