If we are looking for a flip-up helmet with fiber shell, the market offer is limited, but the models available are the top of every brand. And we have here to compare them: Shoei Neotec, Shark Evoline Pro Carbon, HJC RPHA Max Evo and the new Schuberth C4 and X-Lite X-1004 Ultra Carbon.
Five helmets, a common element: a shell made of fiber. The market for modulars is dominated by thermoplastic resin helmets and these five models we have here represent the exception. By using fiber in its construction, the five helmets offer us a safety plus, but there are differences in the type of fiber.
The Schuberth C4 is made of fiberglass, while the X-Lite X-1004 and Shark Evoline Pro use carbon fiber. In contrast, the Shoei Neotec and HJC RPHA Max Evo are multifiber because these two models use a combination of several types of fiber. The resulting weight is 1500 grams for the HJC (in size M), 1550 for the X-Lite (L), 1600 for Shoei (M) and Schuberth (L) and 1650 for Shark (M).
There are also differences in the opening system of the chin rest. While the Shoei, Schuberth and HJC use the classic single-button system, X-Lite relies on a lever-button system, shared with its twin brand Nolan. In addition, the X-lite has a lock to hold the chin rest in the opening position and drive safely.
The Shark Evoline Pro Carbon has a chin rest whose characteristic is that it can be retracted to the back of the helmet. This system also fixes securely the chin rest when we move, there is no possibility of it moving. And its second advantage is that it has less aerodynamic drag and a comfortable weight balance in jet mode.
The five helmets have an upper front entrance, with a rear exit, and a second entrance to the chin. There are no many differences except the opening mechanism, more generous in Shoei, Schuberth and HJC.
As for the screens, all these helmets have fast disassembly and a conventional closure except in the case of the HJC, which is front cam.
And speaking of mist: the Shark has anti-fog treatment in his screen, but the rest of models have anti-fog sheet included as standard.
As a good helmet touring, all these models have a sun visor, with cam. In the case of Shark and HJC the cam is on the top of the helmet; on the Shoei, the Schuberth and the X-Lite on the left side.
All models have a touring DNA, and this is noticeable inside. We find very soft paddings in the five helmets, designed to travel long distances and totally removable for cleaning.
The interior of the X-Lite X-1004 Ultra Carbon has a slightly more sporty touch thanks to the use of mesh fiber that improve the perspiration.
The interior of the X-Lite X-1004 has a slightly more sporty touch thanks to the use of mesh fabric in areas of its interior, to improve the perspiration. Another unique aspect of the X-1004 is the padding of the base of the helmet, which functions as a cervical protector and is removable by zipper, designed for heat times.
Closure and details
In all five models the closure is micrometric, a fast system that facilitates the use. As a curious fact the micrometric closure of the Shoei Neotec is made of stainless steel.
Another point that you will be very interested is the possibility to install an intercom.
In the HJC, Shark and Schuberth there is a gap for the installation of these communicators, which must be purchased separately. The Schuberth C4 has a specific space to install the intercom and its battery, in addition to integrated the antenna, speakers and microphone. Just install it and it can already be used.
What we liked most about the Shark Evoline Pro Carbon is its chin rest system that makes it more aerodynamically efficient and that shows when it comes to driving in open mode. On the other hand, the system also implies that we have to stop to return to integral mode because it is difficult to operate on.
The strength of the HJC RPHA Max Evo is the value for money: it has many of the characteristics of its rivals for a price more content. It is the lightest of the five helmets. Of course, the quality of the finishes is not the same as the rest of the helmets.
The Shoei Neotec is understandable to be a best seller of the Japanese brand: it is practical, with quality finishes, comfortable… In short, it is the standard of what represents a good modular helmet.
Of the Schuberth C4, we like its innovative design in several areas and the ability to integrate the intercom in a simple and fast way. In other sections does not disappoint, in line with the rest of products of the German brand.
The X-Lite X-1004 Ultra Carbon is a helmet that has surprised us positively at all levels: interior, materials, quality. The screen doesn’t convince us as much as the other helmets. Removing this small detail, we have an amazing modular helmet with a character more sport than its rivals.
If you’re looking for a fiber-optic modular, one of these five helmets is yours. Guided by your preferences and you will have the perfect modular for you.