How do we choose a helmet? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-14-2002, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 46
Question How do we choose a helmet?

Hello there!

I'm starting to start to ride (I'm taking my class next monday) after having been a superbike series race marshall for half a season.

When I went to register, they told me to that I needed to get myself a helmet.

I know of course of Arai and Shoei. Saw Sharks today. There does seem to be a difference in pricing depending on brand.

I know I'm getting a YZF600R

But how do you choose a helmet??

And is buying at those discount stores on the net a good idea?

Deus is offline  
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-14-2002, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
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go to a shop that has a good selection of different models and brands of helmets and try them all on. the one that fits best is for you. the proper fit should be a tad snug as it will loosen over time as the helmet padding molds to your head. a good test is to strap on a helmet and start shaking your head violently. if the helmet moves, its not snug enough.

i have been wearing shoeis for more than 10 years, adn when i went to by my latest helmet, i found that shoei changed their design adn now the helmets dont fit my head. arais do seem to fit my head now, except they are too over priced. i ended up getting a 2001 arai from

good luck!
splyn is offline  
post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-14-2002, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 182
Re: How do we choose a helmet?

Originally posted by Deus

But how do you choose a helmet??
Put it on. Tighten chin strap. Swing your head around, just like you would to look behind you, etc. If it slips, it's too big. Look up, look down, etc.
Another thing to pay attention to is if you feel pressure on your forehead or the back of your skull. And look out for a chinbar that presses against your nose or chin.
You can go cheapo and get a helmet that fits OK, or spend more for more comfort and lighter weight (which is well worth it if you plan to ride long days). Considering you can wear a helmet for 5-10 years, $300-$400 doesn't seem like much. Also, a tinted visor rocks!


And is buying at those discount stores on the net a good idea?
It's a very good idea if you can make sure the thing fits. On the high end helmets you can save a fortune. Also, most dealers don't even carry enough nice helmets for you to try on. You can save so much online that after ordering and sending back a couple helmets to get a good fit, you can STILL come out ahead. has nice helmets for supercheap, but their return policy may be harsh.
lord tim is offline  
post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-14-2002, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 77
All the advice thus far sounds good; sorry if I am duplicating any.
As far as I know, Arai and Shoei are the leading brands. The differences within the manufacturers themselves, i.e., an Arai helmet w/ fancy graphics vs. a solid one is self-explanatory. Generally speaking, the reason why some of the helmets cost more is because of the fancier graphics and for the comfort of the helmet, as someone aluded to earlier; better ventilation, lighter composition, etc. Among the price difference between the manufactures, i.e., Arai vs. KBC, it's the brand that you're paying for; however you want to interpret that. For anyone who just says you're paying for the brand in the difference, they're definately right. My point would be that there is a "real" good reason why the higher end helmets, i.e., Arai and Shoei commands that kind of price. I don't believe in free lunch. But, keep in mind, that as long as the helmet at least have the DOT, and SNELL label, you're head should be in good hands. As far as using websites to save money; that sounds good. The trick is, to visit the bike shops and try out the helmet there. It's similar to purchasing apparel on-line vs. going into a shop. I, normally wouldn't buy on-line w/o first knowing how it was going to fit. Common sense. Once, you're satisfied w/ THE helmet, call around and locate the bargain on either through the websites or ads listed in the bike mags for less.

Good luck.
kaneda is offline  
post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-15-2002, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 46
Thumbs up

Thanks for the tips!

About the tinted visors.. what tints are the most practical?

In snowboading, we use different tints for different functions+ time of day..what about when biking?

Deus is offline  
post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-15-2002, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
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I had a solid black HJC as my first helmet.. It fit ok for a while until the pads broke in, then when i did a shoulder check to see if a car was in my blindspot, the helmet would keep going after I stopped moving my head... not good.

I ended up getting an Arai Quantum/f Chandler replica. Yes, it was expensive... But oh so worth it. I can hear about twice as good while wearing the helmet, and it fits my head perfectly. It has 9 air vents, and the shield locks into place, which is good. And it is soooo light.. like night and day where weight is concerned. They also have a button to secure the chin strap so it doesnt flap in the wind.. which starts to hurt when you get over 120mph.

I wanted a cool looking helmet because I have a cool looking bike. Hell, its half the reason I bought my lime green 2001 kawasaki zx-6r, is because it looked so cool, was comfy, and still had the power to do anything I wanted.

The design of the helmet is a little different, and most of the time I don't even need a smoked visor, because you can tilt your head down just a bit, and use the top of the viewport to block the sun.
Nektoinphx is offline  
post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-15-2002, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
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i find that the dark tinted vsors are great for most daytime conditions and eliminates the need to wear sunglasses in the helmet. but at dusk/dawn and night they are almost impossible to see clearly. i jsut plan ahead for my ride. if im going to be out after dark, then i will either bring the clear shield with me or leave the tinted one at home.

i havent tried the irridium visors yet, and i found the light tint not dark enough for bright sun.
splyn is offline  
post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-15-2002, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 191
Thumbs up

Surfing on the internet is really a plus b/c you can keep on finding for cheaper prices on helmets, jackets, etc.... Especially, you don't have to hear those hungry salespeople in those dealerships just trying to get their incentive or quota. Buying from the internet can save you substantial amount of money that from the savings you can buy yourself a leather jacket with that new YZF600R. But stay away from they are really expensive. I bought the same jacket for my girlfriend and i only paid $100 list price $389 however, i saw the same jacket at on sale or so called discount catalog...for $200 not even including shipping and handling. This leather jacket is top of the line and the only reason why it was on sale was b/c its an 00' model and it matches my motorcycle. What im trying to say is that internet shopping saved me over $100.

Good luck on the MSF Course...Deus!

P.S. Absorb everything they say to you...i know i did and it really helped!

ferracci69 is offline  
post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-15-2002, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 866
hey chief, I have a kbc vr-1 and have no complaints, it held up in a wreck when I smacked my head, I felt nothing and the helmet only has paint chips, I got it because its what I could afford, I got it for $180 which I think is an ok deal. I currently use a blue tinted visor just because it was 20 bucks and a new clear one(scratched up in the wreck) was 40 bucks, why, who knows. but the blue is cool in the daytime and not to terrible at night. when I buy a new helmet I will be sticking with the vr-1 line as long as its still around, who knows it may be vr-6 by the time I get it
SilentNEKO is offline  
post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-15-2002, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 182

Couple more things:
Don't let anyone tell you that the line down the middle of some helmets is a "seam" that will fail in an accident. Plastic helmets have a line from the mold, but the helmet is still all one piece. A helmet will work as designed if it has a Snell and DOT sticker. An $89 helmet with those stickers WILL protect your head.

When you spend more money on a helmet you get lighter weight, better (arguably) venting, better visors and visor-changing systems, and much more comfortable interior. At a certain point you start paying for fashion (fancy paint).

I have a tinted visor and a clear, and I keep the one I'm not using in my tank bag. It takes 10 seconds to change without tools on my Arai Quantum.
lord tim is offline  
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