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Discussion Starter #1
Though my heart was set on a Arai or Shoei when I get my first bike, my friend recommended I get a cheaper helmet (like 100 bucks) when I first start off cuz I'll prolly crash or something when I first ride. As we all kno, we shouldn't reuse a helmet even after a relatively small accident and I dont want 400 bucks to go down the drain after using a helmet for only a month or two. So does getting a cheap helmet sound like a good idea to go w/ my first bike?

Oh yea, just wanted to confirm...you shouldn't buy helmets used/preown right?
 

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I think your head is worth more than $100. However, the main differences between a $250 plain solid Shoei with DOT and Snell approvals and a $500 high-end Shoei or $500-700 (wowser) Arai are mainly weght, graphics, ventillation, and removable pads. How about starting with something in nice, basic white (goes with any bike) and if you don't crash in it, you can upgrade later and keep the old one for a spare or passenger?
 

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Cheap helmet

I'm with RayO on this one... don't skimp on the lid! That being said, however, you don't necesarily have to have the latest, greatest repli-racer lid, either. See if you dealer has any of LAST YEAR'S models of Shoei, Arai, Suomy, AGV, etc. left in stock. I picked up a previous model year Arai Quantum for $150 under list that way!;) Also, you might take a look at HJC-- not the lightest or best ventilated, but they ARE both DOT and Snell approved, and solid colored models can usually be found in the $200 range. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thought all full-faced helmets were snell and DOT approved...i guess not.

So what's the cheapest snell and DOT approved helmet?

Also, have there been any tests or anything that prove one helmet company or type is better than another?
 

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I too am a new rider, and since I don't know a single person that rides, I wasnt really sure about getting my first helmet. Unfortunatly finding a helmet in the middle of the "cornbelt" of Missouri is a problem.

I ended up getting a Vega multi color (red/black/white/silver). It is Snell 2000 and DOT approved, and has 4 vents....chin, one on each cheek, and a top one. I payed $129.99 for it.

But....now that I have ridden for a while, I realize why it was so cheap. The helmet is LOUD on the highway...really at anything over 50 mph, its too loud. Also, the visor doesnt seal tight at all. It has never blown open or anything like that, it just doesnt seal the air out very well, there is a draft by my right eye that is irritating but I usually wear sunglasses so it doesnt bother me.

If you just want a cheap helmet and are willing to wear ear plugs, the Vega does pass the Snell test, so it is safe.

Now that I have this helmet, I plan to upgrade to a much better Aria helmet in the future, keeping this one for my passenger or as a backup.

One last note. If the helmet is Snell approved, and it fits right, it will protect you. Most of the money is for comfort and looks when you get up to the $400+ helmets. But....if you ride a lot it is money well spent, since being comfortable allows you to focus better on riding, rather than a splitting headache.

Later,
Sheridan
 

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I have an HJC CL-12. It's DOT and SNELL rated and very comfortable. I paid $179.99 for it. The only drawback I've found with it is the noise. It is pretty loud.
 

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The Shoei helmets like the RF-900 are the quietest. Be sure to get one that fits snug. For example if a small size hurts when you pull it off, then get a medium. Your cheeks should squish out a little when the fit is correct.

The Shoei RF-900 is about $250 - $300 at our local shops. You could always ask for a discount or even try to find last years model (RF-800) to save some money.

Like the others said, the HJC is very noisy. So spend the extra few dollars and get a Shoei.

Andy
 

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Like the old saying goes If Ya Got a Hundred dollar headwear a Hundred dollar helmet:twofinger Never buy a helmet Used or painted. You don't know whats happend to it one way or the other:D :D
 

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Buying a mid-price helmet as a lst helmet is a good move.

TRUE it is not up to snuff of the more costly helmets (protection is often very good), but in those few weeks one will realize if they have a helmet to LARGE (most common) or to small & it might be pressure on the front & back of the scull or at the sides. Also one gets to know the pros & cones about different makes.
THEN the better helmet can be purchased & the buyer has a much better idea of what is a proper fit.
The idea of forking out top money for the best & finding it to large/small is NOT good--it is stupid to have the best on the market only size to large/small.
Hey ALL helmets are noisy once one gets up to 50 to 60 mph so carry & use ear plugs & use them on any decent runs or even short grunts of 20 plus miles.
 

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Sport Rider mag did a big helmet test last year. I re-read it before buying my newest helmet this year. Here's what I got out of the article--

--If you are buying a Snell/DOT helmet, fit is the most important determinator of safety. Mediocre helmet that fits properly will do better job than pro helmet that fits poorly.

--Safety testing is done as a single impact and if a helmet passes, it passes. There is no further determination of safety. You would hope your $400 Arai holds up better than a $79 whatever, but there are no objective tests to prove that.

--Many of the cheaper helmets surprised the testers in how nice they were.

I first looked at new helmets with eyes closed to price tags. I went and tried on helmets until I felt my ears would rip off my head, finding what fit and what didn't. For ME, the coolest, nicest helmets with the most cool-factor fit poorly.

I ended up with an HJC that my head felt totally at home in from the second I put it on. It passed the safety tests. It has tons of venting. It is no louder than my last Shoei. I got multi-color paint, removable liner, breath guard, etc for less than replacing my old Shoei in basic black.

My biggest lessons learned from my first helmet--

--Don't buy one too big. Padding packs down fairly fast, so make sure helmet fits SNUG.

--I will never buy another black/dark helmet. I WILL buy the nicest quality helmet that fits in the brightest (ugliest if need be) color scheme to be more visible.

Don't buy a cheap first helmet because you think you are more likely to crash, buy a cheap bike!
 

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jrm: right on & I have a hard time getting it across to lst time helmet buyers about FIT & how so many buy them to large. Besides the helmet you bought is a good mid-price make & has a good reputation.
Like the tip about the cheap bike for starting. Which is right on the button.
 

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RayO said:
I think your head is worth more than $100. However, the main differences between a $250 plain solid Shoei with DOT and Snell approvals and a $500 high-end Shoei or $500-700 (wowser) Arai are mainly weght, graphics, ventillation, and removable pads. How about starting with something in nice, basic white (goes with any bike) and if you don't crash in it, you can upgrade later and keep the old one for a spare or passenger?
My $400 Shoei Pascal Picotte helmet is probably toast after the crash...and I don't feel bad one bit. It did its job perfectly.

Prepare as if you were to crash
Ride trying to prevent a crash (if that makes any sense:twofinger )
 

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As Far as black goes a study was done quite awhile ago a black helmet is or can be at least 15 degrees hotter than a white helmet of the same type.
 

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i wear a HJC C-12 on my head. It's very comfortable and fairly light. The one problem i have with it is it feels like it's going to pull up off my head at high speeds (120+mph). I know it's not the fit, i've been riding motos a long time and know it fit's well.
Does anyone else have this problem?
 

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HBzx6r02 said:
i wear a HJC C-12 on my head. It's very comfortable and fairly light. The one problem i have with it is it feels like it's going to pull up off my head at high speeds (120+mph). I know it's not the fit, i've been riding motos a long time and know it fit's well.
Does anyone else have this problem?
Sorry to say this but if it really feels like it's lifting off it's at least one size too big.

And as far as quiet goes, my Arai which wasn't cheep even in ugly ass plane white is loud as hell due to air ventilation. I don't have many helmets to compare it to but my guess is you either have good air flow OR quiet. And in my limited experience NO helmet is quiet enough as far as wind noise goes WITHOUT ear plugs.

SO, forget quiet, wear ear plugs, and get the helmet that is snug over 100% of your head PERIOD.

The three most important factors are fit, fit and fit. ratings don't mean squat without fit and price has nothing to do with fit. So if you're on a budget (or not for that matter) try on every helmet you can get your hands on and get the one that almost way too tight. Because after 10 hours when the padding packs down it'll be perfect. Just make sure there are NO pressure points, just even firm pressure everywhere.
 

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it's gotta be the helmet then cus the thing fits fine. If it were any smaller, i wouldn't be able put it on. I wear my helmets tight, yet this one still wants to lift off my head. I thought maybe it's the design of the HJC?
 

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Well in that case then maybe you should look into some of the paste on strips that break the air flow over the helmet. The top of a helmet is somewhat curved like a wing of an airplane. There are some paste on airflow disruptors out there that break the lifting force created by the wing shape. Sorry I can't tell you where to find them but I know a magazine (motorcyclist or cycleworld) wrote up a review recently about them. Basically some small triangle shapes that disrupt the flow enough so that lift is also broken. Look for something like that via google.com is all I can say. If I come across them I'll post back here for ya.
 

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Possibly you will have to look into another make---

--if the helmet is wanting to lift, yet 120+ is a fair pace that one does not hold for to long.
Only time I came across the same feeling is when I had to borrow someone's helmet that fit a bit sloppy on my head.
I wear Shoei helmets (proof would be three retired one's sit on a shelf in the garage).
Fact is the fit is so precise, that I darn well know when I need a haircut & I do not have long or stylish hair ---- who does when 72 yrs of age!!!!!!
 

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thanks for the input, i was thinking something along those lines but haven't seen one in a shop or online. I'll keep my eyes open.
Have fun at Fontana this weekend, i wish i was going. Next time i'll be there. I just bought leathers on ebay and boots from newenough.
 
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