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For riders who want to try to get the best of all things when it comes to their helmet selection, a good modular motorcycle helmet is generally an excellent choice. I own a few myself and love them.
Shoei Neotec Modular Helmet
Schuberth C3 Pro Modular Helmet
HJC IS-MAX II Modular Helmet
Scorpion EXO-GT920 Satellite Modular Helme
Shark Evoline Series 3 Helmet
5 year warranty
If you've never seen one before, think of a full face motorcycle helmet, and then imagine you can flip the chin bar up over the top of the helmet to make it an open face helmet (or just Google "modular motorcycle helmet" and save yourself some time!).
Those of you in the market for a new helmet might have a few questions about which top quality models will give you the most value. There are tons of features to compare when evaluating the best modular motorcycle helmets, so with that in mind, I figured it was time to see how things stacked up with a few standard and Bluetooth modular motorcycle helmet reviews.
Wouldn't it make more sense just to get a full face helmet? For some, perhaps, but there are plenty of riders who like having the option of flipping up that chin bar to get the benefits of an open face helmet as well. They might want to ride full face on their own and just flip the helmet up when with their crew to have a quick conversation. They might like having the full face mode when cruising, and flip up when they are at a red light to get some extra air or a snack. Some riders with glasses report that most modular helmets accommodate their spectacles better.
Whatever their reasons, modular helmets have fast become a popular option for riders because of their versatility. If you're considering getting one, though, there are a few things you'll have to keep in mind.
Aside from all the run-of-the-mill motorcycle helmet questions like safety ratings, helmet shape, and interior helmet room, there is at least one specific detail that will apply to your modular helmet and no other helmet type: the mechanism that allows you to switch from full to open face mode.
How will you go about evaluating this part of the helmet? You'll first want to look at which style of release the helmet has. Most fall into two categories, the central release, and the side release. The difference between the two is that a side release usually requires two hands to operate, while a center release only requires one. Which one will be more convenient for you? Also, think about how sturdy that mechanism is? You wouldn't want it accidentally coming up during a collision, or falling down on you repeatedly when you're trying to use the helmet open style.
Since modular helmets have a bit more going on, they also tend to weigh more than all other helmet types. A few ounces here or there might not seem like much at first, but after wearing your helmet continuously for a while, you'll find that they will start to weigh on you! For this reason, the best flip-up motorcycle helmet for you is going to be one that doesn't put undue stress on your head and neck from the unnecessary extra weight.
Construction material will have a large impact on how much a helmet will weigh overall, but you'll also have to be mindful of the fact that lightweight materials that also provide superior protection are going to cost you top-level dollars.
Which brings us to pricing (it's just one thing after another with these modular helmets!). By and large, the pricier helmets will be the ones made of the best materials, that are the lightest in weight, that fit the best, that have all the extras, etc. but can you find a helmet that does everything that you need?
Maybe the best Bluetooth modular motorcycle helmet with the tri-composite build and the integrated spoiler is out of your price range. The fiberglass helmet with proper ventilation fits your current budget situation better, and you can just add your own Bluetooth system later (if you're a freelancing maven like me and aren't regularly paid on the 1st and the 15th, this might be the way to go!).
You should also keep in mind that just because your modular helmet can imitate the outward appearance of a proper full face helmet, that doesn't mean you're getting the same traditional full face protection. Sure, they can be made from the same shell materials, but that chin bar is most often constructed from a lower-grade plastic and not as well cushioned (to accommodate the releasing mechanism). Compare that with your actual full face, which uses EPS foam for the chin area (just like the rest of the helmet) providing superior shock-dispersing abilities during collisions.
As you can see, your flip style helmet has a lot going for it, just be mindful of the drawbacks, and the variables that will influence which will be the best modular motorcycle helmet for you.
We're going right into the big leagues with the Shoei Neotec. For over 50 years this Japanese manufacturer has been at the cutting edge of helmet design, and their products are internationally acclaimed for their outstanding quality. On that front, the Neotec is adhering to tradition. Just a glance at this two-in-one and you can tell that it's a work of art. The shell is tri-composite fiber that is durable, shock-resistant, but still lightweight. The overall shape is reminiscent of a long-distance or touring style full face, and Shoei has provided a generous selection of colors, from bright yellow all the way to flat matte black.
Acutely aware of some of the disadvantages associated with having a pivoting, chin bar, Shoei has designed the Neotec to reduce the amount of moving parts, making the helmet easy to open and close. This allows riders to lock the chin bar and face shield with the same action and reducing the overall weight of the helmet. I was able to operate the mechanism with ease, even with my riding gloves. They've included a "360 Pivot Locking System" that helps keep the chin bar secured, and have even added an EPS liner, mostly negating worries about reduced shock resistance in the chin and jaw area of the helmet.
The Neotec also has a great many of the top-of-the-line design features you would expect from a high profile helmet maker: advanced ventilation and aerodynamics, a fully removable liner, an integrated spoiler, etc. What could be the drawback?
No grouping of modular helmets would be worthy without even a glance at Schuberth, long considered the pinnacle of luxury for motorcycle helmets for their outstanding design and build quality. The C3 Pro is an improved version of the original C3, which many regard as one of the most noise-reducing, feature-packed helmets in existence. What has Schuberth done to enhance the classic further? Try extensive wind tunnel tests to improve aerodynamics, a superior rear spoiler, and an optimized shell to further cut down on wind noise.
The shell is constructed from Schuberth's proprietary S.T.R.O.N.G. fiber, a glass fiber with added resins to increase protective capabilities, lower weight, and improve overall performance. The interior is lined with COOLMAX fabrics that wick away moisture and, in conjunction with the advanced ventilation provide a cool riding experience. The interior has also been pre-cut to allow easy installation of the Schuberth SRC-System a multi-function Bluetooth intercom that facilitates communications, navigations, music, and more. It's sold separately, but this still might be one of the smartest options if you wish to get one of the best Bluetooth modular motorcycle helmets you can find.
To top it off, Schuberth has equipped the C3 Pro with an "Anti Roll-Off System", a safety feature they incorporate into all of their helmets to keep the chin strap secure and prevent the helmet from flying off your head.
Not ones to be boxed out of a lucrative market, HJC also has a strong entry in the modular helmet field with their IS-MAX II, an advanced polycarbonate helmet designed for excellent fit and comfort. They managed to keep the weight low (3.81 pounds) while still delivering a lot regarding protective capabilities. It's designed for oval head shapes, and doesn't feel too constricting if you fall in that range.
For the interior, HJC went with SuperCool fabric, which has the moisture absorbing and anti-bacterial properties most riders have come to expect from their linings. It's also removable and washable, which is helpful in keeping it fresher for longer (and if you want to swap it out for a different size). In conjunction with the lining, the IS-MAX II has an “Advanced Channeling Ventilation” (ACS) system that flushes air all the way out the back of the helmet, helping to keep it cool while riding.
The chin release mechanism is a single button design located centrally on the chin bar, which simultaneously releases the face shield for added convenience. The face shield itself is UV resistant, and can be replaced without the use of tools. The helmet also has an integrated SunShield, which deploys with a single button. It comes with a smoke-tinted shield, but can be swapped out for another style if the rider prefers.
Scorpion Sports is known for their visually appealing, comfortable helmets, and the new GT920 fits right into that category with ease. The design is slick, featuring a series of simple but attractive red (or yellow) lines. You can also get this model in solid black or white as well. The shell itself is constructed from a lightweight polycarbonate, perfect for absorbing and displacing impacts. This ability is further augmented by the interior EPS layering, which displaces energy in the event of a collision.
To counteract a common rider complaint, fog, Scorpion fitted the GT920 with an "Ever Clear" anti-fog face shield. It's also scratch resistant and provides significant UV protection. The helmet also has an integrated "SpeedView" retractable sun visor to filter out excessive light. It's retractable, via the use of an easy to operate sliding mechanism, and heavily tinted (which looks pretty cool in my opinion).
The interior liner is made from the KiwiWick II fabric seen on many other Scorpion helmets. It provides excellent climate correction, keeping riders cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather. It is also removable and washable. Two intake ports for ventilation and one exhaust on the back of the helmet do an excellent job of allowing hot air to flow right through, affording a good level of heat control and wind reduction.
Designed to give riders a more complete “open face experience” Shark put a lot of thought into the design of their Evoline Chin bar. With just a push of the center release button, Shark's Auto-Up system helps riders make a natural transition from full face to open face riding modes. They've integrated this motion with the face shield for added convenience, and while riding in open face mode, the chin bar is situated behind the head so that impacts can still be absorbed.
The Evoline's polycarbonate shell is lined with a CoolMax interior, providing excellent climate control. Shark integrated a drop-down sun shield, along with a Shark Easy Fit system to make the helmet more comfortable to wear with glasses. This helmet includes front and back ventilation for enhanced aerodynamics and airflow, and also has interior cut-aways to accept the Sharktooth Bluetooth comms system.
It would have been nice if they could have fit all of that into a lighter weight helmet. They've marketed the Evoline as “reduced weight” but it's still significantly heavier than all the other helmets on this list.
It might be appealing to go with a cheaper helmet to save some cash, but if you're looking at modular helmets, you want to make sure you truly get the best of both worlds. That means ensuring that the chin bar is of the utmost quality, on par with the full face breeds. With that in mind, the Shoei Neotec leads the pack, with a sturdy design that renders it almost indistinguishable from many full face helmets until you actually release the chin bar. Add on the other bells and whistles, like the comfort lining, ventilation system, spoiler, and smooth operation, and you've got a surefire contender for best modular motorcycle helmet on the market.
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