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I would look for something from Suomy or KBC or even Nolan. Seems like everyone wants (and will pay full price for) a new Shoei or Arai . I'm pretty sure a two year old Suomy will have all the ratings you are looking for and I have definitely noticed that they get discounted a lot faster than an Arai or Shoei. Also, a friend of mine just bought a flat black Icon. They are still really reasonable in price and he loves his.
 

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I have been buying HJC helmets for the past couple of years. Fit and finish is right up there with Shoei, and cost is much, much lower.





Seems we're paying for a name with the big two!
 

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I end up with AGV X-vent helments. Seems you can only get them on ebay in the US, although they are very popular in Europe - Rossi and other MotoGP guys wear them. The Shoeis can be a little quieter, but the AGVs have great cooling.
 

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The problem I've had with Suomy is that they seem to have non-standard sizing and odd shaped shells. My Arai XL head doesnt even fit into the opening of any Suomy helmet and I have the red marks to prove it. A friend of mine with slightly smaller noggin reports that once you get your head in past the neck opening there is too much room inside....go figure.
 

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Re: Great Shoei Sale

I have a Schoei RF 900 that I absolutely love. For me, at least, it fits perfectly and is very quiet compared to other full face helmets I have owned/tried. I have never owned an Arai, but have had cheaper helmets (KBC, HJC). For me, the Shoei is in a completely different class in terms of comfort for all-day rides. It even works with my glasses better than other helmets I have owned.
 

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I think a lot depends on your shape of head. If you've got a "round" head, you'll probably feel comfy in a Shoei. If you are an "oval" guy like myself, you'd love an Arai. If you're trying to save some $$, go for the KBC. They are great "bang for the buck" helmets. If I'd have known more about KBC's before I sprung for an Arai, I might have gone that route and used the extra cash for some accessories. If money is no object, go for an Arai.....They certainly didn't win all their rewards for being a bad product! I've found some great buys on them through dealer closeouts on Ebay. Good Luck!
 

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I have used ARAI RX 7 II and III a lot and like the fit finish and overall quality. In the last couple of years I have bought some AGV helmets and like them as well. The Demon Top Vent is good with excellent airflow and I like the overall finish. I have also bought higher line models like the top of the line X vent models, one year old as discounted closeout sales. All are nice quality at modest prices

of < $100-$150.
 

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I'll second that. For me, the Arai long oval fits my head much better than any other helmet I have tried at any price. They're expensive, but I find them much more comfortable than anything else I have used, though somewhat noisy.
 

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Try on helmets until you find one that is really comfortable.



This is off-topic, but did anyone see the segment on the Army/Marine corps Kawasaki KLR650 dirt bike on Mail Call last night? With the diesel engine and a 6 gal fuel tank you get over 700 miles in range. Cool. That'd really put the Sierra Club in knots.



We could organize LA to Frisco races. On one tank of fuel.
 

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Spend as much as it takes.

DryFly has some good advice about head shapes. Also see if the store will let you walk around with it on for awhile. I went to HD dealership and bought a Shoei. They were nice enough to let me walk around in the store for awhile with several different brands on my head. Since a helmet is something that can make or break your motorcycle experience, especially a full face lid, I would spend as much money as it takes to get a comfrontable and quiet lid. For me is was the Shoei and it was more expensive than others. I am the same way bout my athletic shoes, I spend as much as it takes.
 

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You definitely have to try them on--it's best to buy one based on comfort.



I also have a question: Does anyone know of a helmet comparison or index that lists the weights of helmets? I get lower neck pain after a few hours of riding and I think that even a few grams can make a difference.
 

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Put me in the "go with what works" crowd. For over 30 years I thought full-face helmets had to be uncomfortable. Then I got my Arai. "Thank you!" to the dealer that let me wear it for an hour while wandering around his shop and then take it for a long test ride (Libby's in New Haven, CT).



I used to rip my helmet off before the bike even stopped rolling and then light up the night with the big red spot on my forehead. Now I don't even take off my Arai when I stop for gas.



I wish other, cheaper helmets would fit my head, 'cause now I'm stuck with coughing up the big bucks every time I need a new lid. (Do you think my dealer knew that?) Oh well, you've gotta' go with what works.



Anyway, the only way to know is to try, and it will take a good dealer and the better part of a nice day to figure our what works for you. Good luck.

 
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