Helmet Question - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-15-2018, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Helmet Question

First off, let me say that I was not sure which forum would be the best for this question, so sorry if it is not a perfect match.

I have 2 helmets and would like your opinion as to which one is the safest/would provide the best protection in a crash.

The fist is a brand new Bilt discovery, with a retail price of around $79 US. DOT certified.

The second helmet is an Arai Quantum F, about 14 years old, in perfect condition, DOT & Snell certified.

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-15-2018, 01:16 PM
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14 years old, I would have dumped that Arai 9 years ago.
Studies were done years ago, Snell isnt the protective benchmark it was purported to be.

The Bilt(or any recent full-face helmet) will have better absorbing foam, more modern features.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-15-2018, 01:39 PM
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A helmet which has been out in the sun a lot will for sure degrade due to UV rays, but an aged barely used helmet would be no issues. Agree the whole SNELL thing is hogwash, the Bilts are fine and dandy helmets.....buy and wear with confidence. Likely the Arai needs retired, go with the Bilt.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-15-2018, 01:51 PM
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The design criteria are different for these 2 choices as to achieve Snell certification requires meeting different objectives.

That said, a 14 year old helmet has significantly changed since its manufacture. The foams used inside the shell will have chemically gassed-off and a lot of the "structure" of the foam will not be the same as when it was made. Essentially, the extruded polystyrene will "harden" (become brittle) and lose a measurable amount of its effectiveness. If it has been exposed to air over the last 14 years, then there is ozone degradation, if it has been exposed to sunlight then there is UV degradation.

So, from a purely practical standpoint, the brand new helmet is "safer". As for comfort, design, ventilation, noise reduction, etc. there may be no contest with the older Arai.

As an aside, when I bought my current helmet, an Arai Signet Q, the date stamp on the d-ring showed it was already over 2 years old. Cycle Gear gave me that helmet to wear on a planned road trip and ordered me an up-to-date version of the same model as in VA, some shops check dates on helmets when getting your bike inspected and will fail if helmet is over 5 years old.



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Last edited by K9 Wee; 04-15-2018 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Added Snell vs. DOT link
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-16-2018, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Big B View Post
A helmet which has been out in the sun a lot will for sure degrade due to UV rays, but an aged barely used helmet would be no issues. Agree the whole SNELL thing is hogwash, the Bilts are fine and dandy helmets.....buy and wear with confidence. Likely the Arai needs retired, go with the Bilt.

Snell revised it's standards after a study showed that helmets built to Snell specs transmitted too much G force to the brain. Helmet foams were too hard to meet the old spec.

New Snell standards are much more in line Euro helmet standards.

Typically a Snell rated helmet is a nicer helmet that a DOT, better materials, fit and finish. Higher price of course.

Snell actually tests each model of helmet then certifies. DOT helmets are randomly tested to insure that the manufacturer's statement that they meet DOT standards are truthful.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-18-2018, 01:47 PM
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That ancient Arai would make a cool lamp, but should not be used for riding.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-21-2018, 02:24 AM
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I used an old helmet as a guinee pig house, she loved it in there. Give that Arai to the piggies.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-21-2018, 10:29 AM
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14 years ago SNELL Standards were quite different from what they are now. I agree that the older SNELL standard wasn't any better and in what most would consider more common crashes less safe than a DOT helmet, but the SNELL standard has been updated mostly thanks to the Blowing the Lid Off article that lost Motorcyclist a lot of AD Revenue. At that point SNELL had no choice but to update their standards for motorcycle use.

I'd make that Arai a wall hanger and use the Bilt, but save up for a "better" helmet. I used to be in the camp of screw expensive helmets this 100 or 200 dollar helmet works just fine. Then popped the coin for Shoei Neotec and never looked back. I go 5 years after purchase date instead of date of Manuf. But that's something I do, do whatever makes you comfortable.

When my last Neotec hit that number I bought a Scorpion EXO modular thinking that I'd save money. I even went with one of their more expensive models. But I wound up buying a Neotec anyway after wearing the Scorpion for a few months and just not jiving with it. Would have been cheaper for me in the long run to just bite the bullet and buy the Neotec again.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-23-2018, 07:29 PM
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Park 'em both and visit a cycle store. Try on anything in your price range to find the right helmet fit. Wear the lid for a few minutes to find which you like and discover pressure points (feel like a 'hot' spot) if any. A properly fitting helmet should not have a pressure point after a few minutes. If you feel tightness front-to-back, you need a more narrow helmet shape. Pressure on the sides of your head call for a rounder shape. Loose fit = go down a size.


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post #10 of 12 Old 04-23-2018, 09:19 PM
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If you want to protect yourself get a non-modular, real full face helmet. When you go up in price you are buying lighter weight shell material, better interior materials (comfort not safety) and graphics.

I once found a top of the line, carbon fiber shell, AGV racing helmet...around $800 retail (not what I paid, it was on blow out sale) and I would not trust it anymore or less than my old, much cheaper HJC brand that was made from polycarbonate. The AGV was better vented and the interior lasted a little longer.

If the Bilt fits correctly (the most important) and does not feel heavy to you, you are well protected.

I keep my helmets longer than 5 years. Usually until the interior starts to fall apart. If you keep the helmet out of the heat and sun except when using it, the shell will last forever and the polystyrene foam almost as long. Both my current helmets, a Shoei RF1100 and the AGV GP-tech have hit the ground with my head in them, they both have fallen off my handlebars too and I am still using them. Yes, I pulled the interiors and inspected them both, no I did not need to throw them away.

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