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post #1 of 10 Old 01-28-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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point me in the right direction

I'm a full face helmet wearer... Most the time.

They only reason I don't wear my helmet is because I dislike it. It's cheap, fits terribly, and feels restrictive. Most these attributes are common among full face helmets I think. What I would like to do is lessen the burden.

Currently I wear an HJC CL-14 and I'm ready to toss it in the river. I DO have my eye on a new fancy Shoei. But, don't have much experience with helmet brands. I am looking for a few specific things.

1. Quality. I want it, and I'm willing to pay.. Let's say under 500

2. Fit/weight. I want it to feel GOOD when I put it on, not just tolerable.

3. Low profile. My HJC has such a huge outer diameter I feel like Darth Vader with that thing on. The smaller the outer Dia. the better.

So any suggestions? I would never buy without trying it on, but suggestions on brands/models would be great. I know alot of you have brands you wear religiously, let me know if I could go a size smaller for a better break in comfort.

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post #2 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 12:53 AM
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The number one criteria is fit. Regardless of make or cost, a poorly fit helmet can be dangerous, if only due to not being secured properly. In general, Shoei helmets fit a more round head profile while Arais favor a more oval front to back, so go to a accessory store with a variety of helmets and try as many brands on as possible -- one that fits your head right will be immediately apparent. As an example, at a motorcycle show I tried on a Shoei (my normal brand) and a large was a little too tight while a large Arai wouldn't go past my ears, and the extra large went on, but there was a gap at my forehead I could fit my whole hand into. What you are looking for is an evenly snug fit on your whole head without any significant tight or loose spots.
As for the diameter of the shell, different manufacturers have different standard shell sizes for a range of sizes and adjust fit by varying the thickness of the EPS (Expanded Poly Styrene) foam inner liners, which incidentally is the primary impact absorbtion medium in any helmet. The higher quality helmets have a particular shell size for only 2 to 3 sizes, while the less expensive ones can range as high as 5. Past that, the higher the price the more attention is usually paid to shield retention / release mechanism, ventilation and vent control, aerodynamics to prevent lifting at speed, interior padding material, and airflow management to mitigate interior noise. Oh, and fancy paint jobs, but that is just a matter of personal preference and should not be near the top of priorities when deciding which helmet to buy: after all, you can't see it when it's on, can you?
One last thing: when new, it should feel very slightly too tight -- the liner will bed in to your head and if it starts too loose, it will only get looser (and noisier).
Good luck with your search, and you will find a properly fitted helmet can be worn for hours without discomfort. As a matter of fact you will eventually not notice it much at all.

Rob

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 02:55 AM
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Not sure if it's available from other manufacturers, but Arai can install different padding in the same size helmet to loosen/tighten the fit. Find a good dealer in your area who carries the brand, and also the different padding.

You would have to wait awhile, but since you're in Ohio there's always an Arai trailer at Mid Ohio AMA events. Good guys, all the accessories are there, and the prices are really good. The guys will get you the right fitting helmet. They're good at it since that's all they do. I purchased different cheek padding for mine there. The helmet always fit me well except my cheeks felt like they were being pushed up into my eyeballs.

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post #4 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 05:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRig View Post
I'm a full face helmet wearer... Most the time.

They only reason I don't wear my helmet is because I dislike it. It's cheap, fits terribly, and feels restrictive.
Therein lies the problem my friend and the Key word here is "Fits Terribly" yet... a good percentange of the population ridng bikes are wearing the wrong helmet, even though who have been riding for a while now.

SNUG is the word you want when fitting a new helmet, IT MUST FIT SNUG ALL AROUND YOUR HEAD, try it on and move with it throughout the store for a few minutes... your head will love you for it later.

True story... A good friend of mine who had been riding for more than 10 yrs was an XLG helmet wearer and I kept hammering that it was to loose of a helmet for him, did not bellieve me until we went to Daytona Week and I took him to the Arai Booth were they inmediately told him he was an idiot and he should be wearing a size Med... happy camper ever since.

The only difference between him and you is that he wears the top of the line from Arai so there was more comfort on his helmets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
The number one criteria is fit. Regardless of make or cost, a poorly fit helmet can be dangerous, if only due to not being secured properly. In general, Shoei helmets fit a more round head profile while Arais favor a more oval front to back.
+1 on the criteria but I dissagree up to a point on the Arai/Shoei Profile as Arai caters to 3 different head shapes but, he's got the right idea. I can't wear a Shoei but I will fit into an Arai easily and sometimes you can compromise a bit as long as you are comfortable with it but I don't recommended. Example: I have a Signet/Profile type head (long Oval) but I was never able to find a color combination for it so I opted for the RX-7 (Round Oval), not a 100% fit/comfort but close enough because it had more ventilation (read: more wind noise but in Florida we need it), I don't commute so I don't have to wear it everyday only weekend or sporadic rides. I DON'T RECOMMEND it until you are certain that you can live with it. If you are just starting to ride, fit it properly and go with the one that fits you 100%.

Go to this site and read the FaQ's... this will give you an idea on the different head shapes, sizing, fitment, etc, etc. If you take your time reading it, you'll come out with the winning formula.

http://www.araiamericas.com/support_...faqs_noise.asp


I can sell you any helmet you want (well, 95% of them anyways), but I can offer you a deeper discount on the Arai RX7 Corsair Blacks because I have a bunch of them on a LOT Purchase. Now, DO NOT JUMP on this offer just because of the price because if you are willing to shell out 500 bucks or so, do yourself a favor and try a few of the better brands before commiting to it just because of price, if you compromise now you'll either regret it later or be happy with it.

FITTING a helmet is VERY IMPORTANT... DO NOT BUY w/o making sure of it.

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post #5 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 07:34 AM
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My top recommendations on helmet fit, finish and weight are in the following order:

Shark
Shoei
Arai
KBC
Suomy
AGV
Scorpion
HJC

Bear in mind, these are my opinion and are based off my ownership, head shape and comfort level. The only ones I have used on the track are Arai, KBC and Scorpion. Of those, I prefer the KBC. I used to be die-hard Arai, but I just can't see an obvious winning difference between their top model vs. my current KBC. There used to be a huge gap in quality, but not so much anymore.

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post #6 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 01:08 PM
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Do yourself a favor, get a good quality helmet... No cheap plastic crap for $99, your skull will thank you.

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 01:49 PM
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Shoei RF-1000. Try it. You'll like it.

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post #8 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-29-2008, 03:40 PM
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A suggestion. Have the helmet dealer remove the cheek pads when you try the helmet on. This will give you a better feel, as to the fit of the top of the helmet, around your head. When you find one that fits you, put the cheek pads in and see how it fits. A good dealer should change the liner and or the cheek pads thicknesses to get a very good fit. You can not go wrong with either an Arai rx 7 or a Shoei x11. I have and wear both, but not at the same time.

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post #10 of 10 Old 01-30-2008, 03:06 PM
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Before you toss the HJC send me the shield and piviot kit.Mine's just about wasted.I'm looking for a new hat also.Not ready to buy yet.Still looking.I have an HJC shape head and like the fit.The RF1000 was a great fit also.

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