What About helmets! - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 1:32 pm Thread Starter
 
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Question What About helmets!

I have never given them much thought, I have only bought two in my life. One or the dirt bike that I have only been ridding for about eight months and one for use for SCCA Autocross events. Both are “cheap” helmets, about 90 bucks each, but both are DOT and Snell 2000 certified. Now that I have gotten my bike, though I have ridden street bikes before just not consistently, I am considering getting a new helmet for me and one for my wife. There are literally millions to choose from and all different prices, kind of overwhelming. Enough dribble. When is a helmet no longer a better helmet, but just a more expensive helmet?.......Educate me please!! :o
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 2:21 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackNblue
I have never given them much thought, .....When is a helmet no longer a better helmet, but just a more expensive helmet?.......
Howdy Greg,

Short answer: When you pay full retail

Long answer:
When there is more than one helmet that meets YOUR requirements, but one costs more. I don't mean to sound glib, but the real question is what are your requirements of the helmet without regard to price.

For me, a decision on the appropriate helmet is based on function. What is it that I need it to do and under what conditions is it required to do it? I'm in the Central Valley of California where Summer temperatures can be well into the 100's.

For me, ventilation is critical as well as a full face covering design to keep the scorching hot air from burning the skin on my face at speed.

My riding tends to be all over the Western U.S. which means a lot of higher speed riding with a large does of Mountain twisties. The Full Face design has the best structural integrity and should fair best in a worst case crash. If I did the bulk of my riding "in town", then I would consider a Flip Face, or maybe even a 3/4, though the latter is very unlikely because I value my "pearly whites" .

When I bought my first helmet, I went with what others described as "the best money can buy". I figured that it was better safe than sorry. I don't regret that choice.

Now, when I buy a helmet, I determine the conditions under which I'm going to use it, then look for, in sequencial order, the design, then features, then ratings, then comfort and, last, aesthetic appeal that will satisfy those conditions.

On ratings systems, i.e. SNELL, DOT, ECE, etc.. I like the approach the EU has taken with rating in the ECE standard. It is much different from SNELL and I think it's a bit more "real world".

.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

'06 K1200R "Wolfgang" White Aluminum Metallic, FB 6/7/05
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 2:21 pm
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Too general a question, Greg. I'll be surprised if you get any responses which help you much, even though the membership is a pretty helpful bunch. Even though we're all motorcyclists, we all have different ideas about what is important to us in a helmet. We have different ideas about style and different tolerances for cost, wind noise, comfort, visibility, and other miscelleneous minor quirks. For some of us, even our headshapes dictate what brands we buy and how much we are willing to spend. Here's my suggestion: Mull it over as to what TYPE and STYLE of helmet you like (not what brand), and then do some online research yourself. Go someplace with a good selection of helmets and talk to the staff. Try a few on. Don't make the decision for your wife's helmet without her input. Her own ideas as to what is important may be different from yours.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 2:50 pm
 
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Chuck's right. There a lot of factors to consider. Here is a good place to start. http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...helmet-faq.htm From here you can link to the article on helmet performance that shook the manufacturers' world (or didn't) a couple years ago and to the comparisons of noise and weight across brands. Noise is one of those things that I think is pretty hard to get an accurate assessment of, but at least they try.

After that, going to the biggest motorcycle shop in town and trying on a bunch of different lids is next step.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 2:58 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys, I don’t mean to be vague but when It comes to helmets I guess I just don’t know what I am looking at. It just boggles my mind to hold two helmets, one in the left hand and one in the right both being the same “type” with the same ratings and there is a $400 price difference. To me, the rookie, the only difference I see is the name and paint.
I do know I want a full face helmet, like Omaha I like my teeth and the skin on my chin.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 3:26 pm
 
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Full face is a good way to go. A student in my wife's MSF class took a spill in a beanie and ended up breaking 2-3 teeth. I'm guessing she didn't pursue her endorsement.

I've had several Arais and now have a Schuberth. The fit and finish of the Schuberth is, IMHO, superior to my Arais (as it should be for the $$). The downside is that it's comparatively heavy and large. The weight is noticeable after a long ride, but day-to-day isn't much of an issue. The size of the helmet means I bump my chin-bar on my shoulder when lane checking. That's also due to the ride position.

The Schu seems to seal up tighter and is quieter for me, but I suspect noise is significantly affected by proper fitting. Ventilation seems to always be lousy when its hot out no matter what I've got on.

I probably won't spend the big dollars on another schubert. Nice, but there are lots of nice helmets out there for about 1/2 the price.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 3:39 pm
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Hi Greg,

Here's another site with some great info:

http://www.helmetharbor.com/siteinfopages/questions.htm


The major differences between a low cost helmet and a more expensive one are the quality of the materials, the finish, ventilation, and comfort.

I personally like Shoei helmets because they fit me well and have good ventilation.

Good Luck!

Paul
2006 K1200GT
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 3:48 pm Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
After that, going to the biggest motorcycle shop in town and trying on a bunch of different lids is next step.
Don't have much of a selection around here, road trip I guess.

Thanks guys, this has got to be one of the most responsive forums I've been on.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 4:01 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattlamotte
Full face is a good way to go.

I've had several Arais and now have a Schuberth. The fit and finish of the Schuberth is, IMHO, superior to my Arais (as it should be for the $$). The downside is that it's comparatively heavy and large. The weight is noticeable after a long ride, but day-to-day isn't much of an issue. The size of the helmet means I bump my chin-bar on my shoulder when lane checking. That's also due to the ride position.

The Schu seems to seal up tighter and is quieter for me, but I suspect noise is significantly affected by proper fitting. Ventilation seems to always be lousy when its hot out no matter what I've got on..
Had a Schu and liked it, but the little air dam in the back is unsupported underneath, and the first time I dropped it, the air dam crushed like an eggshell. I had the same feeling about weight and size. I have a Shoei Syncrotec now, and there is a big difference in outer dimensions. It feels much smaller than the Schu and allows me more freedom of movement. I miss the internal sunvisor, though.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 2006, 6:34 pm
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Another factor to consider is the G-force that a helmet allows to reach your head in a crash. If you haven't seen the helmet test in Motorcyclist last year, check it out. I have worn an Arai helmet for as long as I can remember because I think the fit and finish are first rate. They are also DOT/Snell approved. The conclusion of the tests performed by Motorcyclist is that a Snell certified helmet allows a higher G-force than a DOT or ECE certified helmet. The best performing helmets were some of the least expensive. Arai was so unhappy with how its helmets did that it stopped advertising in that magazine. Many opinions are out there on this issue. I have since switched to a Shark helmet (DOT/ECE) and have more peace of mind.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ge...helmet_review/


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