recently purchased a kbc for trackdays and have to admit i am not that impressed with it. the wind noise and buffetting is absolutely unbelievable. the comment , " you get what you pay for ", is undeniably the truth. i cannot wear the helmet without wrap around sunglasses on as it dries my eyes out!
Agreed on the protection thing, I wasn't trying to imply the helmet was substandard.
And you just proved my point in your SV/R1 comparison, you get what you pay for. If you just want transportation, or just want basic protection, then pay for that. I guess my point is that JB was trying(I could be wrong here) to imply that the more expensive helmet may not be worth the money, if you can get all the same features is a cheaper one. If for less money I have to put up with flimsy/self-opening shields, it's no bargain.
Although I would tend to agree with you on you get what you pay for. When comes to Korean stuff I tend to give it a try especially if it is a second or third generation stuff. Right out of the gate the Korean stuff is a little iffy. Remember all those early Hyundais. Koreans are hard working and intelligent i.e. give em time they will challenge the Japanese and Italians and those weird Nolan things.. Also the dollar buys a lot of Korean stuff still. But when it comes to my head, I like the best I can get right now I have a Shoei 800 but will get something better soon probably a top end Shoei. But here in Seattle, where antifog is the big thing, to get a helmet that actually did everthing I wanted i.e. didn't fog, warm, had earphones built in etc, I would have to build my own or have one built for me.
I bought one of those as a back-up when I was living in Korea a few years back. Cost me all of $10
It was a pretty sturdy - if a little drab - helmet back then then, and I'm sure the quality has only improved. Unfortunately, they've also upgraded the price for the US market. Must be a tidy profit margin.
Being a Seattleite, I highly recommend the Arai Quantum series, or for the big bucks, the rx-7rr4 series. The eyebrow vents are perfect for keeping you cool and fog-free. I had a Shoei RF800, and thought it was the dogs balls, until I bought this one. The Arai is a great lid, it's pricey, but I've never regretted it. Bonuses include: you can pull and wash the liner, there are 7 vents, compared to the Shoei's, and there are pockets built into the cheek pads (which are available in different sizes) where you can drop in your headphones. In all honesty, it is the most comfortable helmet I've ever put on. I also think, having seen how my Shoei chipped when dropped accidentaly from 2 feet, and seeing an Arai that survived a wreck, that the Arai is made of much, much better stuff than the Shoei.
The shield removal is quirkier, but not difficult. My only complaint is that the tinted (gold) screen for the Arai chipped all to hell after having some bug guts cleaned off of it. I wasn't pleased. I just wear my Maui Jim's underneath now.
OK, who has tried the Bose noise cancelling headphones? Why the hell doesn't some helmet manufacturer go in with Bose and make these for your lid? You can cancell noise, and listen to music. They're INCREDIBLE!!! I'd plop down an extra $200-300 for such a combination in a heartbeat. You only get one set of eardrums.
Bought a KBC TK7 ($110) because it is DOT and Snell approved, and cheap. But I live in Texas where in the summer you like to open the shield once in a while to cool off, like at stops. But after only 10 months, the shield pops open on its own at only 55 mph because the puny teeth on the shield and side covers are wearing down too fast.
I bought a new shield, but the side covers have been on back order for 6 weeks.
If the VR1 has the same design shortfall, and like me you don't like shields popping open, then you might actually save money in the long run by buying a helmet up front that has a better-designed mechanism that you can trust, even if it costs more.
If it fits right and looks good, etc....great. Just don't forget to check out the mechanism before you put your money down.
I've had the VR-1 Euro for a month. I mainly commute to work or rip around. I had to do the spoon mod to the forhead, (Frankenstein's forehead comes to mind). So far in the 90+ degree days and high humidity the helmet has been very comfortable. I haven't noticed any problem with the shield lifting, if opened a smidge to assist defogging. (I haven't tried it above 80mph.
I've tried others Arai Signet fit well but to me was just as noisey(it was stolen). In fact any helmet with the overhead air ducts should make a load rushing sound. So if I am going to be above 55 for long I use ear plugs (with any helmet).
I tried them on in the store, they have a simulated airplane taxi/take off (quite loud) going on, then they have you put the headphones on and it cuts the noise dramatically. The first thing I told the sales representative was, "If they made these for my motorcycle helmet, I would buy them right now!" She agreed, it turns out she rides, with her husband, and that was the first thing she thought of when she first tried them on.
They potentially would cut the lound droning and bufetting at higher speeds, cancelling the noise by "use[ing] sophisticated electronics to actively monitor and counteract unwanted noise and reduce it before it reaches your ears. A microphone in each earcup "hears" sounds an instant before they reach your ears. Advanced electronics recognize what you want to hear music, an inflight movie, or nothing at all and compare it to the noise you don't want to hear. The Bose electronics then calculate and generate a signal opposite to the unwanted noise and reduce it, leaving you free to enjoy your favorite music or just peacefully relax."
Go to your local mall with a Bose store in it and try them out. You'll see what I mean.
Oh, and what were you doing up at 0437 on a Saturday morning, JB? You need your sleep if you want those razor sharp reflexes on track days. Use your fame and notoriety, and call up a helmet manufacturer or Bose and see if you can get them to make these for motorcyclists. I'd love you forever.
I'd pay an extra $300/helmet in a heart beat if this stuff was provided. No more having to wear ear plugs, being able to hear your stereo (Goldwing et al), being able to hear your radar detector, being able to converse with others easily when stopped, having your hearing preserved etc etc. It seems really pathetic that there essentially have been zero advances in helmet technology. All we get are new paint jobs, new diffusers (which always add noise) and higher price tags. Nolan's new X-Lite helmet claims to have made advances in aerodynamics but I don't think I have read a comprehensive test of it, and more importantly, out of maybe a dozen dealerships that I have visited in the LA area, not one carries it so it is not possible to try one on for fit.
I have checked out the KBC, tried it on etc and while it is pretty it does not remotely come close to fit and comfort of any Arai, top line Shoei or AGV X-vent. I guess if $200 is all that one could afford, then ok, but maybe one should quit smoking and use the money saved...
Noise attenuation without earplugs sounds nice, but I have to ask... if you have noise (ideally wind noise only) being cancelled, and you're listening to music, your radar detector is bleeping, etc, does this become a danger for loosing optimal situational awareness? Like driving while on the phone?
does anybody ride in city traffic listening to music?
Listening to music while riding or driving a car is a passive experience, whilst talking on a cell phone is an active one. This would make listening to music much less of a distraction than talking on the phone. If you want, try it for yourself the next time you are driving in your car and see if you agree (don't talk too long on the phone!).
I listen to the stereo all the time on my Goldwing, whether I am in the city or on the highway. If anything, it acts as a stress reliever in traffic and can help ease the experience. If this is a bad thing, then maybe we should ban stereo use in all vehicles...
I just bought a KBC VR-1 (non-Euro), for about $200, and I'm overall quite happy. It's a little noisier than my '97 AGV helmet (I don't even know the model name--I bought it on closeout from some catalog), but it's worlds more comfortable. The visor mechanism is quite good; I've never had any problems with the visor opening at speed. And while JB feels that the 'rubbery' action of the detents feels inaccurate, I think it has the high quality feel of a well-engineered switch in a german auto (think new VWs). I only wish for more venting, but I wouldn't pay 2x the price of the VR-1 for it. Great value, and a quality helmet aside from price.
I see a lot of "name brand" in the inflated price of the high-end helmets, without a lot more quality. Sure they are good, but are they that much better than this helmet...I think not. I buy helmets that work and could care less about the bragging rights at the Hess station at Bike Week. My **** is big enough...
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