Review by Troy Siahaan
[This Shoei Multitec Modular Motorcycle Helmet Review was originally published in the February 2007 issue of Rider magazine]
Not long ago I wouldn’t ride anywhere without wearing a full-face helmet, but at times would pass up a chance to eat or hydrate because I didn’t feel like taking the helmet off and strapping it back on again. Call me lazy, but I’m like electric current—I follow the path of least resistance. So when the modular helmet was introduced I was in heaven. You mean I can ride and eat (not at the same time, of course) and never take off my helmet? Where do I sign up?
The modular flip-up helmet is the kind of thing that makes you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” You get most of the safety of a full-face helmet with the convenience of an open face. So when Shoei decided to replace its popular Syncrotec modular lid with the new Multitec, I took notice. The Syncrotec was a nice helmet, but there were some things I didn’t like about it. The location of the latching mechanism was hard to find with a gloved hand. It also wasn’t a very quiet helmet, even with earplugs. Lastly, I couldn’t feel a difference in airflow with the vents opened or closed.
How much better is the new Shoei Multitec? For starters, the Multitec is nicer looking. Shoei designed an all-new shell specifically for it to decrease wind resistance and improve aerodynamics. The addition of a rear wind diffuser further illustrates that point and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the helmet. Riding at freeway speeds I noticed little buffeting and was able to turn my head from side to side without straining my neck. No tools are required to change face shields as before, and Shoei’s preformed anti-scratch shields are some of the best out there.
The Multitec fits my oval head well. Shoei actually designed shell shapes for its different markets around the world, and the new North American shell shape is a welcome departure from older Shoeis I’ve worn that put pressure on my forehead. The latching mechanism uses metal pins and hooks to prevent the chinbar from opening during an accident. The button is also bigger and better positioned, allowing my gloved hand to find it with ease. The noise level of the Multitec has also been greatly reduced by using tighter tolerances and rubber inserts between seams to allow less turbulence to enter the helmet. With the provided chin curtain the Multitec provides a much quieter ride than its predecessor, thus reducing rider fatigue.
With so many improvements over its predecessor I had hopes that the ventilation issues were resolved, too. Shoei added a third port in the upper air intake, a neck outlet in the rear and made the lower air intake bigger. Yet I still didn’t feel a difference in testing with the vents open or closed. This wouldn’t deter me from buying one; it’s a great helmet. The Multitec is DOT approved and available in sizes ranging from XXS-XXL for $482.99.