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I own the Arai Astral and the Shoei RF1000 which has a similar shape and fit. Both helmets fit a similar shape head and are very comfortable. I like the Shoei helmet better, however, as it offers a better shape for wind resistance and somewhat better visiblity. Good luck.
 

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Check out the helmet shop in Daytona, they have a website, and they are competitively priced. They will not sell Arai over the internet though. I own an Arai and have bought HJC helmets for my girlfriends/friends, which are really nice and not so expensive, meeting the Snell 2000 spec.
 

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I notice that the Z1R helmet that totally kicked butt on ALL the Snell 2000 rated lids in Motorcylists test is pretty widely available for under $100



Snell is clearly on the wrong side of the science, why pay more for a lid that does a poorer job of protecting your brain?
 

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I have an "Astral" shaped head as well. The SHOEI RF1000 is very comfortable also. For less money and less air circulation through the helmet the SHOEI TZ-R should be a good fit. In the last year alone KBC has made huge strides in the comfort level of their helmets and for less money than the ARAI's or SHOEI's. If there is a Cycle Gear store near you they should have lots of helmets in stock to try on, plus they have a policy of allowing you 30 days to return a helmet if it is not a good fit.
 

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I wear an Astral and it is super comfortable on my enourmous gourd. Shoei is similar, and that's what my last helmet was. When I replaced it (after 7 years) I tried to cheap out first w/ KBC but they don't even make a helmet in my size. Then I bought an HJC AC-11. It tried to deform my skull and I ended up selling it at a 50% loss on ebay. Then I bought the Arai and have been happy about it ever since.



My opinion: If you ride a lot, fork out the bucks for the good helmet and be happy in the long run.
 

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Not sure which shape skull the Astral is for, but I wear a Signet GTR for my odd-shaped gourd.



I tried a Scorpion on the other day and was surprised how well it fit my XXL noggin. Now that the Signet is $800+, and they don't make the Cathcart anymore, I'll be looking for an alternative in a year or three.



 

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I also wear an Astral. Untill I tried one on, I always thought I needed an XXL helmet, but the shell shape was so perfect, I only wear an XL in the Astral. I've tried on the RF1000 and TZ-1s, and dozens (literally) of other brands and models of helmets - they don't fit as well (in fact the TZ-1 didn't fit at all).



A good snug fit on your helmet is also important to the safety of the helmet. A helmet that's too tight or too loose is still a great deal better protection than no helmet, but you're more likely to get a concussion or other less serious head injury than you would with a properly fitted lid.



BTW, did the Astral get scuffed up from a crash? Insurance will usually cover riding gear (at least mine does (Progressive), up to $1000).
 

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I have the same problem. XXL and the Arai astral fits me best. I also live in an area where not a large selection of helmets are sold. If you are a true rider at heart, you don't miss an opportunity to visit bike shops when you travel. I go out of my way to get to various shops, particularly in large cities. I try on various helmets and make notes of what fits the best. Then when I need one, I can order the right type, size and design. Also, Daytona, Honda Hoot, Americade, Sturgis, etc are great places to try on all sorts of helmets. I never miss many opportunities to try on a helmet.
 

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Never had an Astral on, but Arai in general tends to fit people with narrower, longer heads as opposed to the Charlie Brown style, like mine, which fits a Sho-ee better. But, you right, if it costs mor'n a hundred bucks, try it on or don't buy.
 

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Read through all the posts here so far. Lot of good feedback. I would only add that Arai makes three different helmets for three different noggin shapes (Signet, Quantum, and Astral). In shorthand, the Signet is narrow between the ears, Quantum is for wider head shapes, and the Astral is the biggest all around. I wear an Astral XXL. (Tried a diving bell but the air hose kept running short and the inner lining wasn't very comfortable.) There is a BIG difference between the three shapes. The Signet XXL won't get past the tops of my ears. I wore a Shoei for years and was OK with it but since getting the Astral I will stick with it. Lot of money I agree but one of the most important pieces of gear you will invest in and one that has a lot to do with your enjoyment of the ride. Let us know if you find a cheaper lid that fits.
 
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