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Best full face helmet?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by Stop CPR, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Stop CPR

    Stop CPR

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    I am looking for a safe full-face helmet for under $400.00. Talking to my dealer he explained that all helmets are DOT rated to only withstand a 13 MPH impact. According to him a $75.00 helmet is going to protect my skull and its contents as well as a $500.00 helmet. I hate to compromise on my brain so which full-face helmet is the best? The most comfortable?
     
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    This is a hot topic currently. Some schools of thoughts claim that DOT approved only helmets offer better protection than DOT & SNELL helmets. The argument was that the DOT helmets have softer shock absorbsion foams that actually better at attenuating the force transferred to your brain than the SNELL approved helmet which require the helmet to protect your head at (I think) 50-MPH impact. Actually the SNELL requires for your helmet to be able to take two impacts - one is a vertical drop (as in you fall off your bike and hit your head on the road) and a slide/impact (as in you fell off your bike, hit your head on the road, slide and then hit your head against a tree or a curb).

    But to say that a $75 helmet will protect you better than a helmet from a reputable manufacturer that cost anywhere between $300-700 is ridiculous. All of the cars have to meet the DOT impact requirements. Does that mean that the Dodge Neon protects its inhabitants better than a Volvo S40 in a crash?

    For under $400 if you shop right, you can get a very good helmet from reputable makers like Nolan, KBC, HJC, Shoei, AGV, Suomy, and possibly some of the cheaper (less ventilations, no detachable liners, no graphics), Arai helmets.

    The Scorpion EX700 line seems to give great quality/features/price values. Shark helmets from France (yes, France) are around a bit more than $400 and I can tell you that this thing is top notch quality.
     

  3. iceman32

    iceman32

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    apart from the safety aspect that fnfalman pointed out is that generally the biggest difference beetween a helmet that costs 75$ and ones that costs 750$ is quality. every helmet has a different shape to fit a specific head and the higher quality ones fit correctly, so they are more comfortable, quieter and generally have a larger face shield giving you a wider peripheral view. i'd reccomend arai shoei schuberth hjc there all pretty good but i've found shoei and schuberth to be the quietest and most comfortable.
     
  4. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    You'll be hard pressed to find a Schuberth for $400 or less though. I've checked out a couple of the $100-150 helmets and the things that stand out right away is the way the face shields are mounted on (they flop around a lot and not tight or even lockable like the Shoei or Arai), the vents are very flimsy and look like they'd snap off with a few usages. Low quality helmet liners. That sort of thing.

    If you don't ride a lot then the comfort issue - which is separate from fitting issue, is not a big deal. But if you were to ride for hours on end then the comfort issue is a big deal. A lot of the comfortability has to do with fitting a helmet correctly to your head. But once you got a helmet that fitted to your noggin, then the venting features and how well made the helmet liners/cushions are will determine the comfort level of the wearer.

    PS I think that the face shield peripheral vision deal is mandated by the DOT. I think (can't swear to it) that all of helmets must allow for a certain degree of sweeping back so that your eyes won't be blocked. I have yet to see a modern helmet that has bad peripheral vision.
     
  5. Bandalero

    Bandalero

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    I have a Nolan 100-E Flip face like this:

    [​IMG]

    Helmetcity.com has them for $219.95 with free smoke shield and free 3-day shipping.

    All heads are shaped differently and helmets will fit differently and the sizes will be different. You will need to try them on at a local store to see what fits and feels comfortable to you.
     
  6. ZZR guy

    ZZR guy

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    I like my scorpion exo-400. It is a well made helmet with a no fog shield and a removable liner and good ventilation. I gave $150 including tax.
     
  7. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    +1
     
  8. GixxerSixxer

    GixxerSixxer Phil Deez Nutz

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    The best and most comfortable will have you looking at Shoei or Arai IMO.

    Comfort to me is a light helmet and has little wind noise. A HJC helmet for around $130.00 will do a good job of protecting your head. The HJC is not a very light helmet though, nor does it have a good wind cutting design. At high speed, unless you're in a deep tuck, the HJC will make your head bobble around a little. A speed hump on your jacket helps too. The HJC has a lot of wind noise too.

    The higher end helmets will have removable portions so that you can wash out the sweat. The cheaper helmets won't.

    I don't have a lot of $ to throw into helmets so I get the mid-priced ones. Helmets will last about 5 years then need to be replaced due to aging. Also, if you drop the helmet consider it damaged. Helmets are designed to break when they hit stuff. The foam inside gets small cracks even from falls as low as 2 feet.

    You'll see the guys at the back of the pack in AMA races use HJC helmets. They seem to crash more than the guys at the front so there's something to think about.

    IIRC SportRider magazine or Motorcyclist magazine did a helmet comparison. I can't remember the results but some famous brands were really pissed off and threatened to pull advertising. You might be able to shoot either of them an email and try to get the back issue.

    Finally, I don't trust a flip-face helmet to hold together too well in a crash. Pivoting points are just extra weak points IMO. It's your money though, spend it as you please.
     
  9. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    I got my Arai Quantum F for about $250 off ebay. It was used (barely), but still had that new helmet smell. I love the friggin thing. My buddy got a hell of a deal on an Arai RX7-RR4 for $300 brand new. It was a year old model and had a graphic scheme that must not have been very popular (the blue white and black one with the checkered stripe around the bottom, it's not gaudy or anything, just not that great either).

    Arais are awesome and you can find deals on them if you look around.

    But first go to a deale and try some on. They aren't all desinged alike and some will fit better on you than others. Find one that fits and then start shopping for a good deal on it.
     
  10. Njanear

    Njanear Nagant-ophile

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    Another good place to check out is Dennis Kirk They have a good selection of all sorts of motorcycle gear and have always provided me with very good service. Make sure that you check out their Outlet section as they have some great deals in there most of the time (especially their helmets).
     
  11. WellArmedSheep

    WellArmedSheep NRA Member

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    I believe HJC helmets are one of the best values going. I'm on my second. I bought a CS-12 a few years ago for about $160 and it fits like a glove. I bought a SYMAX a couple of years ago. It set me back a little over 2 bills, but it's a flip-face and very nice as I wear glasses.
     
  12. NMGlocker

    NMGlocker BOOM headshot

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    For inexpensive helmets I like KBC.
    For higher end helmets I like Shoei.
     
  13. Cryptoboy

    Cryptoboy Sr. Sr. Member!

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    I disagree, I think the biggest difference between a $75 helmet and a $500 helmet isn't better protection per se, but the comfort (although some probably are). The more you spend, the lighter (hence, more comfortable) the helmet will be, and things like better venting come into play as well. I have a $100 full face helmet which I use for commuting (20 minutes each way at most), and it works fine. Anything more than an hour with that and my neck will start to hurt. I don't do my long rides with that helmet obviously! :)
     
  14. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    Arai makes the best helmet in my opinion with Shoei right behind them. Until you have used high quality helmet and experienced how much more quiet they are you really don't what your missing.
     
  15. Kastivich01

    Kastivich01

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    When I switched from my HJC to an Arai I did not think it was any less noisy. The problem is Arais flow so much air, which is great for keeping cool, but makes them loud. I always wear ear plugs now so its not an issue.
     
  16. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01

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  17. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    I have a Nolan N100E and like it a lot. Very comfortable, but a bit on the noisy side.
     
  18. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    I wear Arai Quantum II and Shoei RF-1000. I can tell you guys that these helmets are not all that quiet. Granted that I don't wear anything else so I can't really tell, but at any speed greater than 60-MPH, you will hear a roar in your ears. So wear your earplugs regardless of what brand you wear.

    The Scorpion EX700 seems like a very good deal. Removable liners for washing, SNELL & DOT, looks like plenty of venting and the fog-free visor (one of these days I'd like to see if this thing works as advertised) at a package that's less than $200 is a very good deal in my book.

    There's a new brand out there from Taiwan called THH. I've seen these things SNELL & DOT certified and they cost $99 MSRP.

    I disagree that a cheaper helmet protects your head just the same as a more expensive helmet. Like I asserted before, they both meet DOT and SNELL specs but one is more well built than the other. British bike mags have destructive tested a bunch of helmets before. While there were some unexpected results (a cheaper helmet finishing much better than its price indicated), the general consensus was that Arai and Shoei were among the top finishers.

    Of course, since that the Brits are testing non-DOT helmets, so it's irrelevant in the US. However it does give indications of who makes a better helmet.

    One thing about Shoei and Arai that stand out more than a lot of helmet makers is that these two outfits come out with different models for different head shapes.

    Fitting is the most important thing. If your head doesn't fit that $700 top-of-the-line Arai racing helmet, then what's good is that helmet for you?
     
  19. fireman jb

    fireman jb

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    My personal favorite is Suomy. I've tried and worn the other top brands and the suomy was the lightest and most comfortable for me. YOu have to remember that each head is different and that a helmet might not fit you the way it's suppose to. I love suomys because they fit my head. My buddy can't wear suomy becuase he said it smashed his ears the sides of his head. Try a bunch on. I raced my first year with a HJC and it fit and felt good. It was a bit louder then the suomy but it was nice. Here's a pic of the suomy it is the SPEC-1R Goorbergh replica
     
  20. gixxer11

    gixxer11 bbrrraaapppppp!

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    If you purchase an Arai at a good dealer, they should be able to change the pads to suit the shape of your head. There are some great deals out there for sure. I just made the mistake on a lunch break of actually sizing an Arai for me. I won't wear anything else. So if you don't want to spend the money, don't try it on! It's a RX-7RR4 Edwards rep. (I've had it a while), but one on the clearance rack can be sized too. Make the parts girl work a little. I've seen some killer prices on NIB couple year old models. Had several Shoeis, including an Abe rep. but I like the Arai better. Best helmet, worth every penny.