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Arai - Signet Q Riders Review

Arai Signet Q with Laurel graphic - Rider Review

The Signet Q is a full-face sport helmet that takes technologies and construction methods gleaned from the race track. These attributes are incorporated into a high-performance street helmet. 

Our short take on the Signet Q is that it's a fantastic helmet and the Laurel graphic is amazing. I haven't really been a fan of graphic helmets but this one has changed my mind. It's a GREAT looking helmet - especially with the black visor. The black visor blends in with the black graphics on the helmet for a really integrated look. 

You'd be hard pressed to find much to dislike about this helmet. Construction is top notch, visibility is great, ventilation is excellent. It's a great helmet. The only thing is - it's not cheap. Canadian online retailers are selling them for around $770 CDN. Sometimes you do get what you pay for and I don't think you'd be disappointed in this purchase. It is an expensive helmet so be sure to have it properly fitted.

The only slight niggles if I were forced to come up with any would be that there is an abundance of vents on the helmet and it can be a bit complicated to adjust them all while on the move. There's a total of five vents on the front of the helmet - which are all operated separately and a single exhaust vent (opens/closes two vents) at the rear. The front chin vent is near the bottom edge of the face shield and you usually end up touching the face shield when making adjustments, which could lead to scratches or smudges from your gloves. It is really low on the helmet so even if you do end up with scratches or smudges I don't think it would affect visibility all that much.

The numerous vents could be considered a major benefit too because you have a lot of options to customize air flow. The in-visor vents (also referred to as brow vents) are pretty nice and they direct air towards, you guessed it, your brow. Arai believes it's the best way to provide that sort of venting because they want to minimize openings so near what is already the biggest opening in the helmet shell - the facial opening. I felt like it works quite well.

Some notable features:

- Lots of venting, a total of 7 vent holes. 5 in the front and 2 exhaust vents
- Optimized R75 shape
- Chin spoiler (can be pulled down to block wind a bit more in the chin area)
- Fantastic graphics
- Top notch construction and materials
- Includes pinlock ready shield

Full details:

Arai has been making helmets for a long time and according to them: "Arai is not some massive corporation run by rotating boards of directors with rotating missions, all of which have one thing in common: more profits and cheaper productions costs. Arai is a small family company, driven by the same family, with the same mission, through three generations-three generations that have all been riders. This fact tends to make you look at things differently than the big guys do.

Aria don't build Arai helmets to meet any safety standards; we build them to EXCEED the standards. At Arai, safety standards like Snell or DOT are the baseline, not the goal. Why? Because standards create minimum criteria. And while many helmet makers design their helmets to meet those minimums, "good enough" has just never been good enough around here. Not for us, not for the riders we serve. (Remember, we answer only to ourselves.) The absence of exaggerated edges or protrusions in the shell is not a lack of creativity, but a commitment to maintaining the integrity of the shell with impact performance in mind.

Our standards are made for the real world. The world of distracted drivers, unpredictable situations, sharp angles. Things that don't move when you hit them. A world you can't duplicate in a controlled, predictable testing laboratory environment looking for a common denominator. For example a major feature of the Signet Q is the shape and exterior pieces - It's a very smooth design without a lot of big pieces on the exterior to catch on anything should the rider be involved in an accident. You definitely don't want your helmet catching on anything if you're sliding along the pavement!

While outwardly nearly identical to the RX-Q, on which it is based, the Signet-Q interior is a world apart. In simple terms the Signet-Q is an elongated version of the RX-Q, adding 5mm front to back, providing the room necessary for a truly Long-Oval (L/O) interior.  This L/O shape can trace its roots directly to the legendary Signet series, the namesake of this new model. The “Q” designation signifies the innovations and benefits proven so successful on the RX-Q.

The elongated shell and interior liner, front to back, give the new Signet-Q the ability to end forehead pressure and hot spots for riders whose heads are significantly longer front to back and narrower side to side. For head shapes that are longer, but still have a bit of width, the Signet-Q interior head liner has 5mm peel-away pads on both sides to allow the rider to micro-fit themselves without the need to change size or purchase optional comfort liners. The Signet-Q is the result of Arai’s long history of understanding the complexity of the relationship between head size and head shape.


Arai America's website - Signet Q section.

Shoei Neotec - Rider Review

We've got several months worth of experience with the Shoei Neotec modular helmet under our belt now so the plan is to tell you what our experience has been so far and add some periodic updates.

So let's get started...

The Shoei Neotec - modular is a well crafted helmet. It exudes quality in EVERY detail. Ours is solid white and the colour is beautiful and shiny, the Shoei logo's are prominent on the front. If you couldn't tell from the shape of the helmet alone, you'll know, and so will everybody else - that you're wearing a Shoei helmet. Note the curve at the rear top of the helmet - that's a shell integrated spoiler to reduce lift and drag at speed. Pretty cool!

- The flip up mechanism works wonderfully and once you put it on you'd never know you weren't wearing a solid full face helmet. Except when it comes time to put your glasses on, pump gas, talk to somebody, get some fresh air at a long stop light, etc. You've now got the luxury of flipping up the front of the helmet and voila - everything is suddenly a little easier!

- VENTILATION: This helmet vents better than any helmet I've ever worn. You can feel the air flowing through this helmet even at low speeds. The vents are very simple to operate - there's a chin intake and another just front top of the helmet which you just slide back to open and forward to close and a third vent, which is an exhaust vent towards the back. They're VERY simple to operate with gloves on which is nice. It's very easy to become familiar with their location and operation which makes using and adjusting them quick and safe while riding.

On cold days the ventilation might be a little too good. You can actually feel a bit of air leaking into the helmet via the vent and it seems to hit you just above the centre of your eyebrows where the inner liner touches your forehead. Apparently Shoei is aware of this and that some people have expressed some dissatisfaction with it. They indicate the helmet is designed to flow a little bit of air through the intake even when closed to keep things fog free. You can get special piece, which according to Shoei fixes the issue, if it bothers you.

This season so far has been a good test of cool weather riding with this helmet. It's typically been in the 2-6 degree celsius range for my rides to work in the morning and I can definitely feel the air leaking in a bit at the top/front of my head. It's not so bad but I may see about getting that fix just to see how it works and if it makes the ride more comfortable. The area under my chin gets the most cold air on the ride in to work and that's not really a helmet issue - I'd need a balaclava or neck warmer to cut the draft coming over the top of my jacket and under the helmet.

FACESHIELD/OPENING: The shield is great quality and vision through it is fine. No complaints there. The opening allows for excellent peripheral vision and I haven't had any issues seeing while tucked down. Upwards and downwards vision is excellent.

The shield has lots on indentations so you can open your helmet just a crack if needed and seals very solidly against gaskets. There's one spot on the visor to flip it up and it's on the left side of your head so when you're riding and want to adjust it I tend to use my throttle hand so as to avoid any jerky one handed throttle inputs while doing that adjustment. This means that you're crossing your hand over the opposite side of your head to open the visor. It becomes second nature after a bit but some helmets have the tab on both sides. Aerodynamically I suppose having it on just one should minimize noise.

FOGGING: The shield seals really firmly and in cool weather (used without the included pinlock system) I've had some fogging issues. Whenever I'm stopped I get fog and have to crack the shield open to clear it. It clears very quickly but it's more than a little fog - it's a lot. I've been cleaning the shield with Plexus but probably not enough admittedly. I'll have to find a product small enough to fit in my tail bag so I won't have any excuses. I really need to get that Pinlock shield in place as that may rectify the fogging I've been experiencing. (I'll update the article once I'd tried it out).

UPDATE: Tested out the pinlock system - SUCCESS! The pinlock system works wonderfully. No fogging at all. I do wonder why the pinlock system is so necessary with this helmet though. Even just putting the helmet on inside it'll fog up without the pinlock.

INNER VISOR: The inner visor has no indents - it operates smoothly through its entire range via a lever on the left side of the helmet. If you've ever had a dark inner visor on a helmet I'm sure you enjoy this feature. Honestly, I didn't use it much on previous helmets I've owned but this one is fantastic. The optical clarity is superb and I find it actually improves my vision on sunny days. I use the inner sun visor a lot on this helmet. Its fantastic when you're riding into the sun. As opposed to wearing a tinted visor this one is there when you need it and gone when you don't.

The optics quality is excellent and it has sufficient range so the bottom edge doesn't provide a visual distraction.

From the Manufacturer:

Multitec’s modular design was used as a backbone, analyzed with scrupulous eyes, and tweaked ever so slightly to yield the most progressive flip-up helmet on the market today—the all-new Neotec. Boasting improved shell aerodynamics, a wider and taller field of vision, a reduction in wind noise, an internal sun shield, and a fully removable, washable and replaceable liner system, the Neotec is the next level of modular helmet design for today’s hybrid motorcyclists.

The Neotec’s flip up design offers the convenience and versatility of a full-face helmet that converts instantly into an open-face configuration. Utilizing an enlarged lock release button to facilitate easy handling with gloves on, the Neotec’s lightweight chin bar and face shield rotate with smooth precision on a single axis point, yielding the seamless versatility of a true two-in-one design.

For more information and details specs for the Shoei Neotec be sure to visit their website HERE.

Canadian MSRP pricing is $759.99 -$779.99 but you can pick one up online in the $683.99 - CA$701.99 range for a solid colour.