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Discussion Starter #1
I am somewhat of a safety paranoid kinda guy, so am debating helmets to purchase. want the open face / half helmet look. So with that do you guys have any recommendations? I guess the two ends of the spectrum are the $30 brainbuckets, to the $500 UK vintage helmets.
 

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i have had 4 concussions, 1 of which came in a crappy helmet. listen to the voice of experience here...THIS IS YOUR HEAD...BUY THE MOST YOU CAN AFFORD. you are losing protection by going with the half helmet look, but there are quality half helmets out there. make sure you AT LEAST get something DOT rated (stick on the back of the helmet) but a SNELL or BSI (british standard) is also a great rating. $30 brain buckets just help you look protected on the way to the morgue. Being a racer, i feel most comfortable in a full face helmet, so no matter if i am on a sport bike, dirt tracker, harley, or cafe, i wear a full face. there are no head transplants. go to www.parts-unlimited.com and look at their selection...the rating for their helmets will be in the listings
 

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1/2 helmet or 3/4 helmet? The half helmets aren't that safe as they leave a lot of your head exposed.
This is the RJ platinum from Shoei, about $250.


Or the St Cruz for $170. A little more coverage than your average half helmet, and of course that bottom ear skirt comes off.


I personally kinda like the Nolan N30


Don't even bother with the $30 helmets. You get what you pay for. A thirty dollar helmet is going to be uncomfortable, unsafe, and you won't end up wearing it anyway. I can't say much for the UK vintage helmets, I've never had my hands on them. Just keep in mind that for a decent helmet that you'll actually want to wear, you're going to be spending $130+ in the half and 3/4 helmet arena.
 

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thats a good looking nolan helmet! i did a little research and found a Bell "drifter" half helmet that is DOT approved. and the HJC has a CS2M that is also DOT approved. "ZAMP" has one, the S-2 that is DOT rated, but i have never heard of them...probably wouldnt trust it. There are some others, follow this link...http://www.motosport.com/harley/category.php?c=540135
 

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quote:Originally posted by owace

I am somewhat of a safety paranoid kinda guy...

... want the open face / half helmet look.
i hate this debate, happiness is all that matters, but i have a second to spare.

first, you're not somewhat of a safety paranoid guy at all if you're willing to wear an open face helmet, not even a little bit. i've been down a few times, some fast, some slow, but everyone of my full-faced-crashed-helmets has big chips and huge scrapes across the chinbar and visor...right where by nose and mouth would have been rubbed off my face had i been in an open face jobber.

second, i don't buy the "most expensive helmet is the best helmet" thing either. i've switched from HJC to the ultra cheap Scorpion and love it....you can buy three or four of 'em for the cost of one "high end" lid...and i probably will have to.

-tt
 

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Well, I'll debate the "most expensive is best" with you, and I think they are, but the Scorpions are a very good helmet for the price. Having said that, just a few years back before Scorpion came into the game, there was a big difference between low end helmets and high end helmets. Scorpion just bridged that gap first and there are many manufacturers now in the middle market game.

An EXO-700 or 1000 will never compare to an RX-7 Corsair or X-Eleven. But those helmets are all sorts of special!
 

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I strongly recommend full face helmets. My daily rider helmet is a full face snell rated KBC. Before that it was an HJC full face and before that it was a Shoei. If you are safety paranoid then full face is the only way to go. There are a million places on the web where you can find crash and helmet info, but let me just say this: the majority of motorcycle related head trauma resulting in death comes from impacts related to the jaw area. Boxers call the jaw "the button" because if you hit someone squarely on the chin (like mashing a button) it knocks them out.

That being said I also own a variety of half helmets and 3/4 helmets. During the summer I ride primarily with a David Jet 3/4 helmet. These remind me of the 3/4 helmets I grew up with and look very vintage. They are DOT legal and come with a hefty price. I use a Hailwood replica because I really like Mike "the bike".

Momo came out with a helmet a while ago that was an open face with a removable chin bar. It kinda looked like a football helmet if you could make a football helmet more badass. Definatly the best protecting 3/4 helment I have seen. They have retooled it to look more like a full face helmet for this year but personally for that price I would rather have a carbon fibre full face. MOMO's fighter and the Cromwell hurricane helmets offer the protection of 3/4 helmet but with the look of a half helmet or fighter plane helmet.

The worst thing you can buy is a davida half helmet. These are replica helmets in every sense of the word right down to the cork lining (which in a wreck will leave your skull looking like a roadmap of cleveland instead of a localised fracture). Anything with cork is bad news.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
whoa, i just realized that i left a massive part of my original post out. :)

currently my gear consists of a rx7, alpinestars 2 piece suit, oxtar TCS evo boots, and gp tech gloves :). so i am still a hugely safety paranoid guy and will argue to the death that everyone should buy more than is affordable gear.

hence why im in such a bind with this half helmet look. So no need for the argument here of cheap is bad, $30 is useless, i guess im more looking for IF i had to buy a half helmet or a 3/4 helmet, what would you guys recommend.

oh, and hi.
 

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my favorite helmet right now is the suomy spec 1R. it has all the fit and feel of the RX-7 corsair. im telling you Arai, Shoei and Suomy are the top of the game as far as helmets go. Supposedly that new Bell Helmet is really good, but i sure love my suomy! I try to go by the $300 rule of thumb. i can't afford a $700 RX-7 or X-Eleven, but the suomy retails for like $460 i think, i got it a bit cheaper..but i try to stay in the $300-$500 range and you can still get nearly the best of the best. I really hope we convince you to go full face. did i mention that you dont get bugs in your face with a full face?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
and having read the replies and done research, it is settled $400 seems to be price range i will have to settle at to get the appropriate look, comfort and safety (in no specific order) given that i don't want to do a full face. (this bike will be Manhattan only)
 

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quote:Originally posted by TonyDanger

Well, I'll debate the "most expensive is best" with you, and I think they are, but the Scorpions are a very good helmet for the price. Having said that, just a few years back before Scorpion came into the game, there was a big difference between low end helmets and high end helmets. Scorpion just bridged that gap first and there are many manufacturers now in the middle market game.

An EXO-700 or 1000 will never compare to an RX-7 Corsair or X-Eleven. But those helmets are all sorts of special!
TonyD, A couple years ago Motorcyclist Magazine did their own extensive testing on helmets to answer many questions about helmets, including value vs. price. It turned out that the best protection offered from any of the helmets tested was in fact from a Z1R that you could buy at Pep Boys for $69. Arai, which was one of the many brands tested, pulled their advertising from the magazine.
Price does potentially get you build quality, fit and comfort, and possibly factory support/warranty, but it doesn't neccesarily buy you safety.
In other words, a Snell '05 rating on a $100 helmet is going to give you the same impact protection as it will on a $600 helmet.
I'm sure I'm over-simplifying the study, but that's the jist of it.

FR
 

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Ditto what Geeto said. He might be an ass, but he's right. Get a full face helmet. Both of my street crashes (caused by left turning cars) ended up with me sliding down the road. First on my back, the on my face. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't wearing a good helmet (Shoei at the time). I would have huge scars all over my face if it wasn't a full face helmet. Your justification for a half helmet is stupid. City only riding? Manhattan? Yeah, the car drivers there are very cautious and courteous. You'll never get bumped/cut off/left turned. You'll never hit a wet manhole cover or painted line.

HJC makes good inexpensive helments. Shoei has some very good helmets for good prices. DOT helmets aren't worth the sticker that they printed up by themselves and paid some Chinese slave $0.10/day to stick on them.

You can buy a Shoei or HJC for around $200.

But then, its your head. Do what you want.
 

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Arai and several other manufacturers make a helmet that is full/open face. the whole front part just flips up if you need some extra ventalation. you may look into that as an option. not sure of the model names, but i have seen several out on the street.
 

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My last street accident, the helmet told quite a story. The insurance agent only said "wow" when I gave them the helmet.

I was riding at 30mph, station wagon left turned me. I went into the ditch avoiding the car. I fell back and left off the bike. Two huge impact marks on the helmet in the back. As I was sliding down the road, the pavement grabbed me and put me on my stomach. The whole front of the helmet was ground up, from the top vent to the bottom of the chin bar.

I was wearing jeans, gloves, sneakers, helmet, and a heavy leather jacket. On a hot summer day. Saved my ass. I didn't have a scratch on me. My shoulder was sore, so my wife drove me to the hospital that night. As I was waiting in a room, the father of the kid in the next room stopped by. He heard I was in a motorcycle accident, just like his kid. He was surprised that I didn't have a scratch on me. I showed him all my gear.

As we were leaving, we walked past his son's hospital room. He was sitting up, both arms out. Two nurses were scrubbing the abrasions he had all over his arms, chest, and side of his face. Didn't look like fun. He went over the handlebars at a low speed braking to avoid a car.

Just remember, a 20mph crash is still over twice as fast as you can run.
 

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I have a z1r johnny retro 3/4 helmet. It is a very nice quality helmet. I like the davida better but for $69 for a 3/4 it isn't bad. It collects dust on my shelf because I use the KBC.

I ride in manhattan and I can gaurantee it is no enviornment for any kind of open helmet. The amount of shit that gets kicked in your face from the cars, plus the dirt, just makes it uncomfortable and dangerous. I have had pebbles crack the glass avaitor gogles I was wearing and some have even cut my face. Not that this doesn't happen everywhere where there are pebbles and road but just by sheer volume it is going to happen to you more often in NY.

The SO rides with an ICON I bought her on clearance. Snell rated, the helmet is flat out awsome and I think it cost me $70 as a closeout.

Newenough.com has HJC AC-12s usually under $100. the AC-12 is a kick ass helmet. The carbon version is even more kick ass and probably within your $400 range.
 

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FR, I was reading this and thinking of that same article, probably worth tracking down. In a recent Motorcyclist article they reprise their argument and apparently some of the helmet manufacturers and standard makers have almost begun to acknowledge that different people have different shaped heads that may possibly weigh different amounts as well. Huh, hooda thunkit. I cannot imagine riding in an environment like Manhattan, living in flyover country and all. I would imagine field of view and peripheral vision are key, but dang, my chin(where my chin would've been) was the first thing to hit in my slow speed incident. BTW Geeto, I think this year NFL teams or individual players will be given an alternative helmet designed to dissipate more energy through the use of additional layers of material. Can be removed from players more safely and quicker in case they have to be immobilized.
 

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in AMA sports the pro's are SUPPOSED to be using the "hat's off" devise. the Arai (i think) comes standard with this in its high end helmets. it basically lets EMT's get the helmet off without pulling on the riders neck. the verson i saw, it was like an air bag with a tiny little finger pump, and it pushed the helmet off of the riders head with no strain to the neck. On my soap box again (i like it here) in defense of the full face helmet, i like the fact that when my shield is closed, it is like my own little world. maybe it is a racing thing, we keep our shields open until the starter points at us, but when the shield comes down, i am in my "zone". wind noise is also GREATLY reduced, and they are aerodynamic, and they take a little strain off of your neck. when i am on the street, i leave my shield just BARELY cracked for a little extra air too. plus, full face helmets just LOOK fast. if you dont like the designs that you see out there a very good friend of mine is a helmet painter and does good work at a VERY reasonable price. same guy is going to paint my RD. anyway...let us know what you end up with
 

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The MOTORCYCLIST article can be found here:

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/motorcycle_helmet_review/index.html

The recent recap they printed said that Snell is revamping their program for the 2010 certification and the helmets that qualify should be much better in a crash than any of the previous Snell helmets.

I've helped a lot of budding motorcyclists get a bike going but my help always comes with two conditions:

1. If they're new or returning after a long absence, they must take and pass a rider ed course. In Jersey it's really a lot easier to get your endorsement this way and they teach critical survival skills you really need for urban riding.

2. I teach them everything I can about modern safety gear. There's a lot of comfortable and safe options now and there's really no reason to be riding in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops when it's warm out.... I get them to at least consider a kevlar/armor jacket, draggin jeans, vented gloves and boots. Yeah the stuff is expensive initially (although with closeouts from New Enough and Ebay, that's not much of a valid reason these days either) but usually less than most insurance deductibles for a hospital visit and much less than the costs of skin grafts that the insurance company won't pay.

Ironically, I had one of my former "students" prove me right this past weekend. He slid out on some gravel in a right turn and the bike went down at probably 15-20MPH. HJC full face, leather jacket & gloves (Joe Rocket IIRC), draggin jeans, and case work boots. Everything is scuffed. The jeans wore through the denim but not the kevlar layer below. The HJC is scuffed and he'll be replacing it just in case. He's got a small nick on the back of his hand and his shoulder is sore from where he landed but otherwise he got up and rode the bike home.... It could have been a lot worse...

Anyway, I love the look of the vintage style half helmets. I even have a pudding bowl style helmet - it's not a Davida and has normal foam padding rather than cork but I would never wear it riding somewhere on the open road.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #19
hmm... now i am really rethinking this, cos to be honest its not as if haven't argued against the half / open face helmet ever before.

i guess i should rethink this old school open face half visor goggles look. heh :)
 

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quote:Originally posted by owace

hmm... now i am really rethinking this, cos to be honest its not as if haven't argued against the half / open face helmet ever before.

i guess i should rethink this old school open face half visor goggles look. heh :)
Yup, it's safety gear, not a costume. That's what cracks me up about the H-D craze. So many of these people just can't bring themselves to wear something practical, 'cause it would ruin the "look".


FR
 
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