There's an old saying among bikers: “If you have a 10-dollar head, wear a 10-dollar helmet.”

Which is a very appropriate response when Japanese helmet specialist Shoei releases a high-tech new helmet that retails in South Africa for an eye-watering R8300.

But just what makes a football-sized fibreglass dome worth more than an entry-level scooter?

To start with, that fibreglass dome, isn't. The hard shell of Shoei's Neotec Borealis is laid up (by hand, mark you) in five distinct layers of glass and organic fibres, for maximum strength and light weight.

Inside that, there's a dual expanded polystyrene liner with different densities for optimum protection over different areas of your favourite skull.


The built-in retractable sunshield conforms to the EN1836 standard for protective eyewear, blocking 99 percent of harmful UV light. More importantly, these's no compromise to the shell structure to accommodate it, so there's no compromised in protection for the rider's forehead.

The interlocking mechanism on the visor pivots is stainless steel, rather than plastic or mild steel, making it corrosion-proof and easier to use.

And lastly, the bright neon yellow stripes make you more visible to other road users, especially at night.

Is all that worth eighty-three C-notes? Not our call, china; it's your head.