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How much is a helmetless head worth?

Snell rating first, then try on every one you can to get the best fit. If it hurts in trying it on, then it won't get any better latter. If a lid is unconfortble then you start finding reasons not to wear it, and its distracting as hell. I had an AGV years ago that I'm sure caused bone damage to my forehead.

I've had good luck with Shoei, but any brand that fits the best works the best.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

You are indeed wise at MO, as well as being right. Any Snell helmet is good for protection, DOT hats, unless from a recognized manufacturer are iffy. IMHO Nolan and HJC make some fine Snell (and DOT) helmets at a reasonable price, but there are other brands that fall into the same price/performance ratio.

Shoei, Arai, Suomy, Shark are (of course) all superb, but pricey.

Bear in mind the price of shields, the weight of the helmet, and the quality and quantity of ventilation.

The tricky part is getting one that fits. If you can't try it on, don't buy it. Put it on and walk around the store. Remember, snug, not tight, with no uncomfortable pressure spots.

Feel free, fellow MOrons, to bust my chops on the topic.

Francis
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

I live in North Florida, too, and know that ventilation is a priority. I have the Shoei X-Eleven (expensive). Before that I had a Shoei Z-II. Both excellent helmets. The X-Eleven has better ventilation. For something a bit cheaper with most of the features, I'd probably go with the Shoei RF-1000.

Interesting about the SNELL certification. Suomy was mentioned, but if I'm not mistaken, they've chosen to forsake SNELL in favor of European certification. Nevertheless, from the reviews I've read, they make excellent helmets.

I recently bought a new HJC helmet for my daughter. It's obviously not the quality of the Shoei, but I was actually impressed with the fit for the price.

I've dealt with helmetcity.com and gotten good customer service.

Hope that helps.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

It's true: As long as your lid has Snell certification, then your cranium will get protection. Beyond that, you're mostly paying for additional features and comfort. But don't underestimate the importance of features and comfort, because discomfort adds up to fatigue. I have an HJC CL-14 full-face helmet as my back-up. Retail is about $150 and it carries the Snell sticker. I think it's a fine lid and if your budget limits you to the buck-and-a-half range, then you'll do fine with the HJC - as long as your head is comfortable inside. When you start moving up the pecking order to brands like (but not limited to) Shoei and Arai, you'll find linings that are more plush, superior venting and shell materials that add up to noticably lighter weight. Again, these are perks, but may mean you remain fresher and more alert for longer stretches in the saddle. I say go for the best helmet you can afford. My regular helmet is an Arai Quantum/f. Two other points: First, I recommend purchasing your helmet in person at a reputable dealer or cycle shop near you and then establishing an on-going relationship with that dealer. You need to try a helmet on in person. I don't recommend buying lids over the Internet. In fact, Arai doesn't permit the sale of its helmets this way. And finally, if a certain helmet model by a given manufacturer doesn't fit you correctly, then try another model within that company's range. It used to be that helmet makers had trademark helmet shapes. You either had an "Arai head" or a "Shoei head," etc. If an Arai or Shoei didn't work for you, you had to go to another brand. This isn't necessarily the case any longer. Most helmet makers offer different model lines that offer many of the same features, but that are shaped slightly differently. Good luck!
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

I have a Shoei RF900 and my wife has new RF1000, both are pretty good but the RF1000 feels lighter and the venting is much better for around $300 at Cycle Gear they're a pretty good deal.

Anything is going to be better than nothing, but I wouldn't cheap out on helmets. I would stay with a Shoei, HJC, as a price point, or spend a little more on a Suomy or Aria myself. Just get whatever feels best on your head.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

Proper fit is important not just for comfort but for protection. if the helmet can be pushed to one side or the other, or back and forth on your head, it will move in the same way on impact with a reduction in the protection it provides. Personally, the only helmet I have found that fits really well is an Arai Signet for what they call the long oval head. Just about every other helmet I have ever had on was too tight from back to front, but loose enough side-to-side that they could slide easily off center or even be pushed off. Of course, it has been a few years since I bought a helmet and I understand there are more oval-shaped choices now. I hope so as my Arai is getting toward the five-year recommended service life limit, and I would rather not have to pay $400-$500 to replace it (not to mention trying to find a dealer that actually stocks my size since Arai no longer allows Internet sales). I will, thouigh, if that's what it takes to get a good fit.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

Congratulations on selecting the right protection i.e. a full-face helmet. I have a Shoei RF900. Very comfortable. The only problem is winter fog up which I solved with a Fog City Fog Shield . However, you are in Florida so that shouldn't be a problem. I think the old motto is that you get what you pay for. i.e the more money the more comfortable and lighter. There are safe helmets for under $100. But with something like this I say spend at least $300. Wear it around the store awhile before you buy it.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

Okay, let me get this straight. You just spent $6500 for a new bike, and now you're wondering about the price of your helmet? Come on!

qidude

p.s. I also have a new V-strom - great choice.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

Great suggestions so far. I have one to add. Try and walk outside and look towards the general area of the sun. The dark smoke shield on my HJC (otherwise a fine, budget lid) has a most unpleasant whitish cast. I'd not buy another just for that reason. Test the performance of the standard faceshields...not just the price.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

Everyone is mentioning fit, but you might also want to check out some comparison tests, in which they used the helmet on the bike and evaluated noise in the wind. I think Shoei is OK when it comes to wind noise and Arai is good too, but HJC may not be as good. You have to check test reports.

Another thing to consider is ventilation - especially in florida and again you might need to consult the comparison tests.

While you're trying on helmets check out the strap. I prefer plain old D-rings. They are reliable and strong.

Last thing I can think of may not be important on your bike, but on my sport bike I wear a Shoei and leaned over my view is cut off at the top because the helmet is cut kind of low. I tried on a brand that was much better, but now I can't remember which one. I need to replace my helmet - anyone know which helmet gives the most vision at the top?
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

i'm extremely happy with the performance, cost, features and fit of my icon helmets. two particularly nice features are the indents in the foam padding which allow for glasses/sun glasses and the small pockets for helmet speakers (i.e., for chatterbox).

with all due respect, i'd pay the money if i thought an arai, soumy or shoei were worth it, but i'm of the opinion that it's more of an ego issue to get a $500+ helmet.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

I own Shoei, Arai and HJC, all are full-face helmets. The HJC came with a motorcycle I bought from a private party who had it as a new spare and although comfortable it is pure hell on the highway at high speeds as it wants to rip my head off if angled wrong. In the industry HJC is joking referred to as "head just crushed." My Arai is noisy, doesn't vent as well as I'd like, but it's my favorite by far (it feels like part of my head and not a helmet); I like my Shoei too, but not as well as my Arai. Those who think that Arai and Shoei helmets are a waste of money are fooling themselves--the quality shows in many areas where lesser helmets simply cannot compete.
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

Personally I feel the heat, and found that the AGV X-Vent has the best venting, is reasonably quiet, and unfortunately passed crash testing . They fit me well, but like the others say, try it first. Hardest part with AGV is finding a dealer - I normally check them out at shows. Now that I know what fits me, I get mine from the same dealer on eBay, but as always, buyer beware.

Cheers.... Grif
 

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Re: Full Face Helmet Recommendations??

There are many comments re: Snell certification here. What you've failed to point out is that an increasing number of experts (i.e., Dave Thom) are pointing to Snell as being too hard a helmet, and too heavy, and that other certifications may be better in a real-world crash. Many European racers wear non-Snell helmets (ECE and other ratings that cannot co-exist with Snell).
 
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