Shoei Multitec Modular

The flip-up helmet, often referred to as a modular helmet, is all the rage these days. So imagine our dismay at having never sampled the design. This was all remedied upon reception of the Shoei Multitec Modular Helmet.

A 2009 model, the Shoei Multitec delivers the Japanese brand’s high-end reputation for comfort, fit and finish. The modular abilities of the Multitec only enhance the Shoei riding experience – melding full-face safety benefits with open-face convenience.

Having experienced the Multitec for the past half-year, we can vouch for the convenience factor. The modular design allows riders to perform tasks that would normally require the tedium of a full face helmet’s removal. Pulling off the gloves, unhooking the D-ring straps, pulling off the helmet, and taking out the earplugs… Even reading the process is tedious.

Going from full to open-face on the Multitec is a snap, with the large single button release easy to operate with either hand – even on the fly if desired. The list of tasks performed by us wearing the modular design is surprisingly long: Filling up a gas tank, taking a quick roadside photo, making a purchase at a convenience store, or even, how shall we say it… “making water” out behind the bushes.

Riding is so much more convenient with a modular design. Don’t believe me? Go take a long-distance spin with a riding buddy who uses one. You’ll be jealous every time you go through, then reverse, the monotonous full-face helmet process.

Convenience isn’t enough, the full-face design must deliver as well. Shoei comes through with the Multitec, as its aerodynamic structure is quiet with minimal buffeting. The Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM) shell delivers exterior protection and the Multitec complies with DOT standards.

Fit is quite comfortable, with removable cheekpads. The liner is also comfortable, but not removable. A removable chin curtain further enhances the helmet’s cozy feel and the Multitec is optimally suited to touring applications.

Venting works well, with good cooling through the head and chin intakes. Our only gripe came during a particularly wet ride, where the shield wouldn’t defog enough without cracking the visor open. Yet, it is doubtful many designs would have been able to handle the extreme conditions and the integrated breath guard works more often than not.

The Shoei shield is quite easy to swap out, with the company’s QRBP (quick release base plate system) simplifying an often frustrating process.

Simple styling lines on the Multitec are sporty enough with solid color schemes available. We got a couple compliments regarding our maroon lid. The clean conservative looks seem to cater to the older, touring crowd.

The only real drawback of the Shoei Multitec is its $495.99 MSRP. Granted, the potential protection of a helmet like the Multitec is beyond measure. Yet… Five C notes is a lot of scratch to drop on a single piece of equipment, and budget-minded riders may opt for a less expensive option. The flip side of that argument is the old maxim that you get what you pay for. Shoei also backs up its product with a five-year warranty from date of purchase, or seven year warranty from manufacture date. After the initial sticker shock, we doubt if any Multitec owner will rue their purchase in the least.