Help me decide on a helmet. Flip up, pinlocks... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Help me decide on a helmet. Flip up, pinlocks...

I have a Scorpion EX400 and it is my first helmet. I've had it about a year. I now want a flip-up. Also, the moment I get it I'm going to put in a pinlock visor and get an anti-fog insert, so it would be nice if there was a flip-up maker that already had a pinlock visor installed by default.

Anyone have a favorite they want to share?

I don't necessarily think the more $$$ the better. Arai is overrated to me. Shoei seems like good price/performance, although the Chinese manufactured helmets are nipping at its heels. Hence, why I bought my Scorpion.
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post #2 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 08:19 AM
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I've had an HJC symax, I hated it, noisy helmet, and forget using the flip up if you're moving it pulls your head back.
I'm currently using an EX1000 and I love it. It's a little warm in the short summer we have, but no fogging problems. I either open the chin vent, or pop the visor open. I'm not sure about the 400 but the 1000 has a little black "lock" on the visor, and if you move it the other way when it's closed it opens just enough to keep the fog at bay. It also has an internal flip down sun visor. They also claim that their visors are fog free, YMMV.

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post #3 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 09:03 AM
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+1 on forgetting the flip-up. I've had a HJC Sy-Max and a KBC FRR. Modular (or flip-up) helmets are:
  • Noisy
  • Don't seal out wind or weather well at all
  • Give open-face helmet protect, even when closed
  • Noisy
  • Heavier than a standard full face helmet
  • Can't be used open while riding (the makers all specifically say not to do this!)
  • Poorly balanced
  • Really noisy!
Even as hot and humid as it gets here in Texas, the flip-up feature just isn't worth all the negatives. I'm currently riding with a HJC IS-16. There's a great review here: Linky. Great helmet! Comfortable, good price, awesome venting, internal sun, visor, and HJC offers a model-specific winter breath guard for only $10.

Oh, and don't get too hung up on the pin lock feature. You can add a Fog City insert to any face shield for about $22, and they work really well.

Last edited by Warhammer; 10-03-2009 at 09:07 AM.
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post #4 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 10:35 AM
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WH, why do you say they only provide open faced protection?

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post #5 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 10:44 AM
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I also had the KBC FFR (flip-up) briefly until the padding in the chin started falling out. Sent it back... There was actually a disclaimer on this helmet that basically says it does not protect your chin.

Got a Scorpion EXO-700.

I don't know if all flip-ups have this disclaimer, but if I'm going to wear a fullface, I want the protection of one; and from what I've been reading, flip-ups don't provide the same protection... yet anyway.
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post #6 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 10:51 AM
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I've been wearing Nolans (N100, N102) for years and can find very little fault w/ them other than the noise issue which is easily solved w/ earplugs.

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post #7 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warhammer View Post
+1 on forgetting the flip-up. I've had a HJC Sy-Max and a KBC FRR. Modular (or flip-up) helmets are:
  • Noisy
  • Don't seal out wind or weather well at all
  • Give open-face helmet protect, even when closed
  • Noisy
  • Heavier than a standard full face helmet
  • Can't be used open while riding (the makers all specifically say not to do this!)
  • Poorly balanced
  • Really noisy!
Even as hot and humid as it gets here in Texas, the flip-up feature just isn't worth all the negatives. I'm currently riding with a HJC IS-16. There's a great review here: Linky. Great helmet! Comfortable, good price, awesome venting, internal sun, visor, and HJC offers a model-specific winter breath guard for only $10.

Oh, and don't get too hung up on the pin lock feature. You can add a Fog City insert to any face shield for about $22, and they work really well.


Wow WH! That sounds like an anti-flip up rant! :rolleyes:

I have a Nolan N102 that has been an excellent helmet and I love the flip up feature. Sure you shouldn't be riding with it flipped up on the freeway but under about 50 mph it is fine. It has a chin insert that I like to use in winter to keep your face warm. I really like the darkened flip down shade at daybreak and sunset to take the edge off. I used the anti-fog insert only once and found it was terrible at night. (I do half my commuting at night)
It came out and I have never replaced it. It may be a bit heavier than a regular full face but being able to talk to someone and getting a cooling face full of air is totally worth it. I didn't find it to be particularly noisy.
There are a lot of riders around that like this type of helmet so don't be afraid of the anti's . Look at the hard core riders anywhere and you will see what they wear.
Just buy quality and I think you will be happy.

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post #8 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLHS837 View Post
WH, why do you say they only provide open faced protection?
Because you can not be 100% sure the chin bar will stay attached in a crash. I've seen several photos of flip up turn in to open face when the feces hits the fan. Usually the henges break.

regarding the pinlock. You can get the DIY pinlock kit on UK eBay. It come with 3 pins an insert and drill bit. Simply figure out where the holes need to be and drill. I've added pinlock to my last 2 helmets that don't have visor options. (EXO700 and Bell Star)

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post #9 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjonesphoto View Post
Because you can not be 100% sure the chin bar will stay attached in a crash. I've seen several photos of flip up turn in to open face when the feces hits the fan. Usually the henges break.
You can't be 100% sure your full-face will stay intact, either. I've seen a photo of a guy's full-face lid cracked open like an egg. The question is how likely is the failure of a flip-up design? Got any numbers on that? A couple of photos on the internet don't equal causality. There's hundreds of photos of Stroms that wrecked or broke down, is it a dangerous, unreliable bike?

Regarding the rest of the comments:

Noise - yes they're slightly more noisy. Almost helmets are noisy, by audiologists standards. As a blanket statement, it doesn't take into account that some flip ups are quieter than some full faces.

Weather - again, blanket statement. My Caberg Trip keeps weather out perfectly, better than the Bell Star it replaced. So, again, poor argument as a generality.

Weight - need I even say it? Not all modulars are heavy. Not all full faces are light.

Can't ride with the chin bar up - why is this an issue? More to the point, why would you consider this a downside? Of course you can ride with the bar up, you just accept that it's now an open face helmet. If the "chin bar always breaks in an accident" myth is to be trusted, it's a moot point right? Absurd complaint, honestly.

Balance - Mine is balanced....or maybe my head is crooked. Whatever.

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post #10 of 36 Old 10-03-2009, 11:18 AM
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These threads get about as bad as oil threads, engine break-in recommendations, ABS discussions, etc.

As things stand now, my main helmet will never be anything other than a flip-up (I wear glasses). I just got a cheap, new open face for commuting to give my old $100 Zeus a rest (its getting hard to open) until I can replace it with, probably, a Nolan. If I get to do a track day, I'll spring for a cheap FF. My money will go into the best modular I can find.

A flip-up provides more (probably a good bit more) protection than an open face and (somewhat?) less protection than a FF. Choose what you are comfortable with and go ride.

But then again, the OP just wanted experiences with different brands of flip-ups. I have been happy with my Zeus, but it is cheap and I expect more expensive, newer models/brands to be quieter, more comfortable, less fog prone, etc. Though the Zeus isn't intolerable.

In my initial research, I actually found two or three crash reports where the Zeus protected their owners admirably. Surprisingly, several of these were complaining about the failure of aftermarket quick-release fasteners they had installed. Would I buy again? If I were poor, yeah. Otherwise, I expect to get something nicer for some more bucks.

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