New Flagship Helmets: Shoei Neotec 3, Arai XD-5

The new Shoei Neotec 3 is the company's latest touring lid. PHOTO CREDIT: Shoei

Shoei and Arai both have new flagship helmets out, but they’re not in the same category. For 2024, we have the new Shoei Neotec 3, a modular touring lid, and the Arai XD-5, a hybrid dirt-street helmet for adventure riders.

Shoei Neotec 3

The flip-front Neotec series has long been a favourite of the long-distance motorcycle touring community, so how could they improve it for this latest update? The helmet now meets Europe’s recently-upgraded and stringent safety regs, which aren’t required in Canada, but certainly don’t hurt to have! But along with the added protection (beefed-up against high-speed projectile impacts, better optical clarity and materials that resist degradation), the Neotec 3 also is quieter than its predecessor, thanks to tighter cheekpads and an eyeshield retention system that’s been trimmed-down and removed from the windstream.

An anti-fog Pinlock EVO insert comes with the Neotec, to stop your breath from obscuring your vision. Six layers of fiberglass and organic materials work together to form the outer shell, which is supposed to increase strength while remaining lightweight. The EPS liner is a two-piece assembly that’s also supposed to be stronger and lighter.

Asking price? MSRP at Canadian retailers appears to be just under $1,300, and that’s before adding the optional Sena comm system…

Arai XD-5

Just as the Neotec has been in Shoei’s lineup forever, so the XD series has been a foundation of the Arai lineup. This is also updated to the new ECE 22.06 standard for overseas buyers, so Canadians benefit from the increased European safety regs.

The XD-5 continues Arai’s policy of having all exterior parts break-away friendly, so you’re safer. PHOTO CREDIT: Arai

Arai’s list of updates for the XD-5 includes:

  • New VAS-A visor system designed to maximize Glancing-Off Performance
  • Enhanced 5mm wider on each side chin bar for easy on/off comfort
  • New forehead logo duct for excellent ventilation
  • Flat spot-on side of the shell for easy communication device installation

The newer chin duct re-design helps reduce the chance of eyeshield fogging, but Arai also uses a Maxvision shield so riders can install a Pinlock.

Better airflow, and better visibility, says Arai. PHOTO CREDIT: Arai

Like the Neotec, this new helmet is pricey. MSRP in the US is in the $900 range; these helmets don’t seem to be readily available in Canada yet, but we’d expect a price tag around $1,200 when they are.


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