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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there!:D

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 :D

But how do you choose a helmet??

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

thanks!
:)
 

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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 http://www.helmetshop.com/

good luck!:twofinger
 

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Deus said:

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. Helmetdepot.com has nice helmets for supercheap, but their return policy may be harsh.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips!
:)

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

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

Thanks! :D
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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 brocktoncycle.com 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 brocktoncycle.com 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!

:p :p :p :p :p :p
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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I just got a KBC VX-7 Wolf in Black Chrome and I like it a lot. I picked it because I couldn't find anything that was just the right size and it wasn't carried locally.

For most brands I'm right between a medium and a large (one's too small, the other too big). The KBC's medium is slightly larger and fits my head shape perfectly. Also it included a removable liner and cheek pads which were features I definately wanted. As a bonus it's Snell approved and meets several Euro approved which are even pickier.

I bought it from http://www.helmetharbor.com for $200 and got a dark smoke visor for $20, shipping included.

Try on helmets for fit and offer to buy the helmet locally for around what the online prices are. If they won't give you a fair deal then buy it online.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks a lot! :D

Now at least I know that the other brands aren't so bad..all my friends tell me to stick with Arai or Shoei..but they are fairly expensive :(

I'll go this sunday and check a few out (Saturday I'm marshalling at the race track!) ;)

Thanks fgor all your good tips!

:D
 

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I'm also shopping for a helmet! I've tried on the Arai Quantum (for round oval heads) and the Arai Signet (for long oval heads) and figured I had a medium Quantum head. After taking a look at http://www.motorcyclegearreview.com/ and looking at http://www.kbchelmet.com I decided I'd give the KBC VR-1 Euro a shot. Like the Arais they are Snell certified and they have good ventialtion ,according to the reviews, while being slightly less noisy. I heard that some brands (maybe Suomy?) have Japanese or Brit certifications on them and I've heard that these standards are tougher than Snell M2000 but I haven't done any research to coroborate that. For what it's worth, Suomy has a long list of racers on their site that use their lid.

But I digress. The KBC VR-1 Euros meet my safety req's, I think they look great, they come with a helmet bag, and cost about $180. I'm gonna go try one on this afternoon. Let ya know how I like the quality and fit.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I like the KBC too! (visually that is..Ididn't find one to try out yet..)

It kinda annoys me, because some helmets are good looking and fairly "inexpensive"...but all I keep seing here is Shoei, Arai, Shark and Suomi..
:(
 

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Let your fingers do the walking. Since no two motorcycle shops seem to carry exactly the same gear even if the carry the same lines I do all my hunting by phone.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
NSteveA said:
Let your fingers do the walking. Since no two motorcycle shops seem to carry exactly the same gear even if the carry the same lines I do all my hunting by phone.
Yeah but, I don't even know if a KBC would fit well since I never even saw one yet.
:(
 

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Deus, I wasn't clear. Call around to see if anyone carries KBC's locally so you can try them on. Be specific about model. Then order it online if you like it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
NSteveA said:
Deus, I wasn't clear. Call around to see if anyone carries KBC's locally so you can try them on. Be specific about model. Then order it online if you like it. :)
Actually, you we're quite clear...i had figured things out when I clicked on the reply button..and figured: Oh no!!:eek: I'll look stupid now. :(

Anyways.. thanks for the tips and for being respectfull to pleople like me for who english is a second language :):thumb:
 

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Unfortunately my trip to the motorcycle dealer that said they stocked KBC helmets was in vain. I guess HJC sounds like KBC if you're not really listening. If I can finally track down a KBC VR-1 Euro I'll let you know how the fit was for me compared to the Arai's I looked at today instead. I mentioned Suomy in a previous post. This place carried the brand but didn't have my size. There was a Suomy in XXL size that weighed less than the medium Arai Quantum I tried on! I believe they're slightly cheaper than the Arai's so something to think about if the KBC doesn't work out for you. There are soemthing like 10-15 motorcycle dealerships within 30 miles of me, somebody's gotta have them!
 

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Well.....here's my $.02, Deus:

While there are literally hundreds of helmet manufacturers out there, there are but a handful of ones that really rise to the top in the industry. In my opinion, and it's just that....my opinion, the top makes of lids are going to be, in no certain order: AGV, Arai, OGK, Shark, Shoei, Suomy, and believe it or not......Simpson (After all, if F1 and NASCAR racers feel safe in Simpson, why couldn't I?) With that being said, honorable mention goes to AXO,Bell (Had some great lids back in the day), Bieffe, HJC, and KBC. Part of the reason the more expensive helmets ARE more expensive, is because of the materials used, i.e. Kevlar, Carbon Fiber, and Fiberglass....hence the light weight. Another reason is because most of the Kevlar, CF, and Fiberglass helmets are "Bag molded" into three different shell sizes to accommodate the different noggin' sizes. As a member previously mentioned the seams on a plastic helmet, the bag molded helmets do not have such seams. I could go on and on trying to explain "why" some helmets are sooo expensive, and others are not. But, it all boils down to one reason: Supply and Demand. The Arai, Shoei, Suomy, OGK, AGV, and Shark lids are what "everybody" wants, and the makers know this......the reason they charge what they do is because purchasers are willing to pay that price. As far as DOT certification, if I'm not mistaken, 98% of all street helmets are DOT certified (in the US), regardless of the make. Here are two links to the Snell site for the more stringent M95 and M2000 certified helmets:

http://www.smf.org/certlist/m95cert.txt

http://www.smf.org/certlist/m20cert.txt

One more thing.........If you're gonna buy a helmet online, and you aren't sure what size to get........get a flexible tape measure, like the one's a seamstress would use, and measure your head about 1" above the eyebrows, all the way around the widest part of your head, in inches or cm's. I've found that 90% of the helmet distributor sites have links to their sizing charts.....just cross-reference there for your "suggested" size - - - like someone said earlier, the results may vary depending on your head shape. Hope this helps in some abstract way:D
 
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