As a continually evolving sport, we have seen motorcycling go from no helmets, to open face helmets, and finally to full face street helmets. Now we are seeing a very large surge in popularity for modular motorcycle helmets, a hybrid between open and full face helmets, if you will. Modular helmets are especially favored by riders who wear eye glasses, as they make it much easier to take your glasses on and off and are comfortable to wear with glasses. Modular helmets also allow for easy conversation at stop lights and gas stops, and allow you to take a drink or have a smoke without removing your helmet. But if you are reading this post, you probably already know that.
There are actually many, many options for modular helmets on the market these days, which can make choosing the right one for you a bit of a challenge. Modular helmets provide a unique set of challenges for helmet manufacturers. The mechanism that secures the chin bar to the rest of the helmet must be strong and robust, the shield needs to seal up well around the eye port while also pivoting with the chin bar, and perhaps most challenging, the helmet cannot weigh an excessive amount. Due to the additional hardware required to make them, most modular helmets outweigh their full face cousins by a significant margin. Lastly, wind noise can be significantly higher on a modular; where the chin bar meets the shell of the helmet can generate extra noise. All is not lost, though. As they say, you get what you pay for. The four premium modular helmets below set the bar for the rest of the field. In many cases, they are even quieter and lighter than regular full face helmets on the market. Schuberth, HJC, Nolan, and Shoei have each provided excellent options for the discerning motorcyclist.
First up in this comparison is the Schuberth C3. Starting at a $699 retail price point, the Schuberth C3 Helmet is by far the most expensive helmet in this lineup. Made in Germany, Schuberth Helmets do cost a premium, but the fit and finish is second to none. A plush interior combined with an extremely quiet ride set the Schubert C3 apart from the rest. The Schuberth C3 was also the lightest helmet in this line up by a decent margin (the new HJC comes close).
Next up is the Shoei Neotec, the first Shoei to incorporate an internal sun visor. To maintain the thickness of the internal EPS liner, Shoei took the extra step to create a small space for the visor to retract into. This in turn maintains the same thickness of the EPS foam liner in the forehead area. In addition to the new internal sun visor, the Shoei Neotec has been aero tuned to be nice and quiet. A Vortex Generator lip has been added to the edges of the chin bar, which directs air up and over where the chin bar meets the shell of the helmet. Having taken this helmet out on the road I can attest that it is noticeably quieter than the previous model, the Shoei Multitech.
The all new HJC RPHA-Max modular helmet is in a league of it’s own. It is by far the most sporty modular helmet that we have seen here at Competition Accessories, taking design cues from it’s road race brother, the RPHA-10. The size large RPHA-Max weighed in at a mere 3.6lbs, beaten out only by the $699 Schuberth. The RPHA-Max also features a very compact shell design, as well as the most aggressive ventilation system in this lineup. The RPHA-Max has a retail price of $459.99, head on over to our website to see our current sale price.
The Nolan N-104 is the least expensive helmet in this comparison, with a retail price of $449.99. The N-104 also boasts the largest eyeport in the buch, with very generous peripheral and top-to-bottom views outside of the helmet. The distinguishing feature of the Nolan N-104 is the chin bar pivot. Featuring an elliptical pivot, the chin bar can be locked in the open position, and stays nice and low to keep the center of gravity manageable. Be sure to take a look at all of the colors and graphics available for the Nolan N104.
To see these helmets up close and personal, watch our video below. We break down the key differences between the Schuberth C3, the Shoei Neotec, the HJC RPHA-Max, and the Nolan N104. We carry a very wide selection of motorcycle helmets here at Competition Accessories; if you have any questions leave us a comment or give us a call, we are here to help.