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Discussion Starter #1
Fact number one. You get what you pay for. A true statement. Fact number two. "Helmet "A" that is a DOT and SNELL approved helmet offers the same level of protection as "Helmet B". OK, however;

Cheap helmets have GODAWFUL wind noise. :mad:
Blurry visors that scratch up easily.
Paint that chips if you look at it.
Chinbar lining that comes off, leaving VERY STICKY glue that tediously clings to your fingers when trying to carry the helmet.
Padding that becomes deformed.

There. I just described to you, my HJC CL10 helmet. When I purchased it almost two years ago, I was getting back into riding after a long break. I was going by the DOT/SNELL ratings and nothing else. Now, I am paying for my "cheapness". I hate the damn thing. It takes some of the joy out of riding. My new helmet will be a Shoei or an Arai. Both are great. Aside from brand loyalty, is there a diff between a $400 Shoei and a $400 Arai? I'm sure this will incite some testosterone! I need a new helmet soon, and you guys are going to help me! We're talking quality/fit/finish. AS far as "fit" is concerned, that I know how to do. I just don't want to make a $400 mistake. Thanks.

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Cosmo
"You have some options to choose from: You can lead, you can follow, or you can get out of the way!"
 

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I've wanted an Arai for awhile now but I think hearing about the wind noise from everyone is the only thing that has stopped me thus far---well, that and the $400. I have a Shoei RF-800 and it's great in the wind noise dept.---don't feel the need to wear plugs like others do (still probably losing hearing though). I've got a couple dings in it and it seems to chip easier than I would expect but probably on par with other manufacturers. The visor is still scratch free. The graphics are about my only bitch--Arai rules in this dept.

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"When it rains, we all get wet, the Pope and the prostitute"-Santana
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My HJC has those "side panels" that cover where the faceshield hinges onto the helmet. This thing is NOISY. Even at 55 mph. Which I don't do very often! :D I'm thinking about bringing a big-ass fan to the store and trying on various helmets while standing in front of the fan....hmmm..could work....

It's just the quality of build in the helmet that gets me pissed. That goo on the inside of the chinbar will not come off. I've tried everything except WD40, which I know will take off the goo, but will probably eat into the helmet, and smell like crap for a month or so. Dont' want to pass out while riding! Thanks.

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Cosmo
"You have some options to choose from: You can lead, you can follow, or you can get out of the way!"
 

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I'm speaking from my own experience...I bought a Shoei RF800 first. It hurt me to wear it; after about a half hour I had huge red "hot spots" on my forehead and upper cheeks. I never had this problem with previous(3)Shoei's I'd owned so I thought maybe it would break in. Well, it didn't. So I bought an Arai Signet. Same size (M), but this feels like it's made for my head.
Finish- for both seems about the same- the Arai has a kind of sparkle in its gloss black color as opposed to the Shoei flat glossy black. Both take a great shine and look awesome.
Shields- Both brands' shields(clear and smoke) are distortion and scratch free. The Arai shield installs without tools, but the process takes some getting used too (you feel like you're going to break it when taking it out). But no "racheting" when you open it, just a smooth opening and closing movement.
Insides- the Arai allows the pads to be replaced or switched out for different thickness combinations. Otherwise, padding and comfort seem about equal. The wind noise seesm a bit less in the Arai. I still wear earplugs on long rides though.
Quality- both companies make excellent helmets. Bottom line, whichever one fits your head best, you can't go wrong.

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the reverse side always has a reverse side-
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I have both Arai and Shoie helmets. My experience is both are excellent durable products. Buy which ever one fits you best and you can get the best deal on. I currently wear my Arai Quantum E almost exculsively. I like it many features, like chin spoiler, removeable lining, and breath guard.

Goodluck
Rick
NCVFR


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Aria makes two different shell's. The quantum is for a round head and the signet is for a head that is long from front to rear.
The Shoei is also for round head's. It's pretty much the same shape as the aria quantum.

I have both a Shoei RF700 and an Aria Signet/e. I never realized how uncomfortable the shoei was until I got the aria.

Try them on and pay attention to pressure point's like your forhead and ears. The helmet should fit tight and not move from side to side easily.

Hope this help's.

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---SHREDD!
'98 SuperHawk 996
 

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I find the Shoei RF-R Elite that I have really comfortable and very durable. Have gotten a good 3 years out of it with only the usual nicks and scratches. I will probably wear it through the winter and then get a new Shoei, may be an RF800, in the spring.



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Richard M. Poniarski
'00 Kawasaki ZR750F2, a.k.a. ZR-7
AMA #674623
NY S666C
ZR7OA #3
 

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I have an Arai Quantum/f. Very comfortable, good ventilation, reasonably quiet. All in all, I would highly recommend it.

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Rossco.
 

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I currently have the HJC LT-12 Inferno, which I believe is one of HJC's higher priced helmets, and I must say "It Sucks" The wind noise is absolutly horrific.I have to wear earplugs all the time.
The ventilation system is almost non-existant.
It chips if a mosquito hits it at more than 30 mph.
The shields are a pain in the ass to change.

As displeased with this helmet as I am, I still would never even consider leaving the house without it wrapped around my skull.
When I can manage to come with $400 EXTRA dollars, I will most definitly get a Shoei.

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Dave fzR1

"When I grow up... I wanna be a SQUIIIID!"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the replies; I really appreciate it. It was good to see someone else's opinion of an HJC as well. At first, they (hjc'S) don't seem like that bad of a deal. Actually, for the price it seems that you're getting a good deal. The LT-12 ain't cheap either. around $250 if I remember correctly. You should get a lot more helmet for that kind of change.

I'll probably be going w/a Shoei. I want to see if the local "Megacycle Emporium" will match prices w/Internet places. I doubt it, but we can check.

I don't exactly have an "extra" $400 lying around, it's just that I'm at the point of frustration w/my current helmet. I don't feel "comfy" anymore, and that detracts from the enjoyment I get from riding. Sometimes, you just gotta say "Mastercard". Thanks again.

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Cosmo
"You have some options to choose from: You can lead, you can follow, or you can get out of the way!"
 

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Cos-
Check out www.mcnews.com
It's the website for the print magazine (motorcycle consumer news). They did a pretty good evaluation of helmets back around 1998 - 1999. I THINK the article is posted on the website, but unfortunately I can't access the site from here at work. The computer geeks upstairs have decided to protect me from myself and won't grant access to the site. (I hope I don't offend the geeks out there) :)
In any case, they looked at fit, noise, weight and graphics. If I remember correctly, they liked the Shoei, Arai, and AGV brands the best.
I sympathize with your plight. I put up with a cheap *ss helmet for a long time. I saved my money over the course of a year. I tried on different brands at the shop and then bought a Shoei X-9 via a catalog. I'm VERY happy with it - but I'm a little envious of the Arai and the replaceable pads on the insides. I still have the original shield - no significant scratches after 2 years.
It seems that I've read somewhere that you should buy a replacement every 2-3 years but hell - how can you afford that at $400 a pop?
Good luck. A new lid will bring back a lot of fun to riding. Just don't get that goofy 'fin' glued on the back :p

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...I don't want a pickle
I just wanna ride my motor - sickle...
 

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I went with a "budget" helmet too. I got a KBC TK-7. I think it was in the $100 range, maybe a little more. I have been pretty pleased with it. It certainly doesn't have the fit and finish of the high dollar ones, but I can't complain too much.

I got solid white with the idea of putting on some of the helmet stickers that they advertise in the Competition Accessories catalog. Has anyone tried those or known someone who has?
I was kind of leaning toward the "Speed Bubbles".

I'd like some opinions from people who have seen helmet stickers and whether they liked them or not.

Later,
Eric

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Cosmo, i just recently got back into riding as well...and was faced with all the same questions you had.

i went down to local dealer and tried on the shoei and arai. i chose shoei rf800 and am very pleased. it doesn't have all the niceties such as removable lining, pads...but for the price, it's a damn good helmet. no ear plugs needed here, IMO.

once i knew the size/model i wanted, i searched the net for best price. i went to helmetshop.com, emailed them for a price list and saw the rf800 race replicas going for $299. $8 shipping (UPS ground) with no tax from Florida to TX took about 5 days...hope this helps.

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I have a Criville replica Shoei and I love it. The paint is beautiful and it's quiet. It also has a breath guard, so no fogging problems. The shield is easily changed with no tools. I'd definitely recommend one, although it was over $600... :D

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Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.
 

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Hi,

Okay, this is from last Months performance bikes mag, :-

Arai's rx7rr is seen by most to be the ultimate lid. Impeccably finished with plush removable lining. Chin vent opens direct into the airstream as it does on the othe models and the forehead vents are on the top of the visor (or shield). Closable exhaust on the top in the middle and two intakes and exhaust under those long spoilers. There are furhter two to the rear. Strap is D-ring with a popper to hold the loose end of the strap.

9.5 / 10 - £449.99

Weight 1510g

Second place - arai Quantum F £379.99 9/10
Third Arai Signet / GT - 8.5/10

Forth place AGV Evo - 7/10 £303

Hope this helps - im gonna spend the cash -probably on the AGV Evo - my heads gotta be worht it...




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Be Happy,
James
 
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