Our Premium Modular Helmets Face Off

BY Road Rider MCA - October 21st, 2015

If you’re shopping for a new modular helmet, it can be hard to get down to the nuts and bolts of what you’re paying for. We’ve tried to do that here for you in this comparison guide of our premium modulars: the Schuberth C3 Pro, Shoei Neotec, Nolan N104 EVO, and HJC RPHA Max. Below you’ll find a brief overview of these four helmets, their key stats, and a breakdown of the major features that set each one apart from the crowd. Now it’s up to you to decide what strengths you value most highly. Or perhaps you want your helmet to do it all?

 

Schuberth C3 Pro

In A Nutshell: It ain’t cheap, but it’s a thing of beauty. Schuberth has put everything they’ve got into making the incomparable C3 scarily close to modular perfection. The C3 Pro is simply the very latest, very best of Schuberth. It’s quieter, more aerodynamic, and vents more air than its predecessor, and it’s built on the C3 foundation that was possibly already the best performing modular available.

Schuberth-C3-Pro-Modular Helmet Face Off

Price: Starting at $769.00

Weight: 3 lbs, 10 oz*

Shell: S.T.R.O.N.G Fiber (Dyneema and fiberglass)

Included: Drop-down internal sun visor; Pinlock shield and insert

What Sets It Apart:

  • It’s compatible with the optional Schuberth SRC Bluetooth neck roll–a Cardo headset with controls and wiring built right into it–so no ungainly control unit on the side of your helmet.
  • Every Schuberth features their Anti-Roll-Off System (A.R.O.S.), an extra part of the neck strap that prevents the helmet from rolling off of the head from behind or coming into contact with the chest during an accident.
  • Schuberth has reported a 2 decibel reduction in noise level measured at 60 MPH with the C3 Pro compared to the standard C3, which may already be the quietest modular helmet available.
  • There are many more details which are unique to Schuberth and the C3 Pro. Read our full description of the C3 Pro here to learn more.

 

Shoei Neotec

In A Nutshell: The Neotec replaced the Shoei Multitec a few years back, and a host of advancements and upgrades make it today’s main challenger for the C3 Pro’s modular heavyweight belt. Shoei went back to the drawing board–and the wind tunnel–to make the Neotec one of the best modulars to date. The Neotec is designed for optimal performance behind a windshield, and customer reviews continue to confirm that the Neotec delivers excellent venting and a very quiet ride.

Shoei-Neotec Modular Helmet Face Off

Price: Starting at $584.99

Weight: 4 lbs*

Shell: Advanced Integrated Matrix (carbon and glass fibers)

Included: Drop-down internal sun visor; Pinlock shield and insert

What Sets It Apart:

  • If you run hot, the Neotec will keep you cool. One of the Neo’s extraordinary strengths is its incredibly effective top and chin vents.
  • Modular helmets tend to be a bit noisier than your average full-face, but the Neotec isn’t your average modular. Riders rave about its low noise levels. You’ll hardly even hear a peep out of the vents when they’re open.
  • Click here to read our full description of the Neotec.

 

Nolan N104 EVO

In A Nutshell: Nolan brings decades of modular expertise to the newest rendition of their flagship, the N104. Like all Nolan helmets, the N104 is proudly made in Italy and boasts silky-smooth operation and lasting quality. Nolan’s ‘N’ line of modulars have set the standard for years and keep loyal devotees coming back time and time again. The N104 EVO is Nolan’s lightest, best ventilating version yet, and features a cozy, uber-plush neck roll that helps reduce noise levels. For riders who want to add a headset system, it’s designed to partner with Nolan’s N-Com B4, which is a well-liked product in its own right.

Nolan-N104-Evo Modular Helmet Face Off

Price: Starting at $449.95

Weight: 3 lbs, 13 oz*

Shell: Lexan polycarbonate

Included: Drop-down internal sun visor; Pinlock shield and insert

What Sets It Apart:

  • The N104’s unique elliptical chin bar hinge means that as the chin bar is raised or lowered it doesn’t take the shortest path from point A to point B, but in fact swings out slightly as it passes over the face shield. Nolan says this enables the chin bar to be seated on the forehead in a less obtrusive way, resulting in significantly improved aerodynamics when riding with the chin bar raised. The unusual chin bar design is one of the N104 EVO’s most impressive features.
  • It’s prepped with a side port for the Nolan N-Com B4+ Bluetooth Headset (sold separately for $314.95). Once installed, the control unit is nearly flush on the side of your helmet and looks very sleek. The only downside of this is that the helmet really isn’t compatible with any other brand of Bluetooth headset.
  • For an extra hundred dollars ($569.95), the N104 Evo MCS II edition comes with a pre-installed N-Com headset and the necessary cord to plug into Gold Wing and Harley-Davidson factory radio/intercom system.

 

HJC RPHA Max

In A Nutshell: Starting at $459.99, HJC’s RPHA Max is considerably less expensive than the Neotec and C3 Pro, but is no doubt a premium modular and offers a great value for riders looking for a lot of performance for a less-than premium price. It’s the lightest helmet on our list, so if you’re like most modular fans and riding for a long period of time, that weight savings will be a major advantage.

HJC-RPHA-Max-Modular Helmet Face Off

Price: Starting at $459.99

Weight: 3 lbs, 9 oz*

Shell: Advanced Premium Integrated Matrix (carbon fiber, fiberglass, aramid)

Included: Drop-down internal sun visor; Pinlock shield and insert

What Sets It Apart:

  • HJC’s race-derived RPHA shell makes the RPHA Max very strong, but also really light. At 1616 grams (size medium), that’s in the realm of a standard full-face helmet–heavier than some, lighter than many.
  • The RPHA Max has a compact shell, too. When we talk about a helmet being aerodynamic, the primary influencing factors are 1) the size of the area that is hitting the fast-moving air; and 2) the shape of that area. So the shape of the helmet–its lines and its angles–help, but the biggest aerodynamic bang-for-the-buck comes from keeping the front of that helmet as small as possible. So that’s why a compact shell doesn’t just make you look like less of a bobblehead, it’s going to help you cut through air more smoothly.

 

Awards Ceremony

Schuberth C3 Pro: Best All Around PerformanceThe MOST Premium

Shoei Neotec: #1 Venting; Runner-Up Best All Around Performer

Nolan N104: Best Chin Bar Design & Open-Position Aerodynamics

RPHA Max: Best Value, Lightest

 

*You may encounter some differences between our own listed weights and those of the manufacturer or other retailer. All weights listed on RoadRiderMCA.com are for a size medium helmet and are a result of our own in-house weighing.

 
 
 
 

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