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haven't been on a bike in years. just picked up a vstrom (650). looking for some reviews on Arai vs. Shoei helmets...thoughts? How about jackets? Cortech GS with CE armor...can you get used to the armor?
 

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+1 on the armor. Laid my bike down on the freeway and didn't lose any skin. Broke my shoulder but I hate road rash even more.
 

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Arai and Shoei are bith good helmets - but they fit different shaped heads - so try them on.+.make sure you have the size correct.
HelmetCity.com has good prices...
 

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The internal shape of the helmet must be a good fit for the shape of the rider's head. Round, oval, long oval, etc. The impact-absorbing liner inside the helmet shell must fit right to do its job of cushioning the head.

Shoei is good, but doesn't fit me. Arai is excellent, offers a choice of internal shapes, but I don't see the value at that price.

Here is some good helmet info:
http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmet-faq.htm

The U.S. DOT standards are a quality floor. The European ECE standards are probably better. Snell's new 2010 standard is excellent and a big improvement over their previous 2005 standard. The U.K.'s SHARP helmet rating scheme shows how much each of the helmets tested exceeds the ECE minimums, but...but many of the helmets are either not quite identical to helmets sold here and have a different model name, or aren't available here.
 

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The two brands of helmet you are looking at are both exceptional. I'll throw in the name Scorpion just for kicks. It's another brand of exceptional quality at a much better price than Shoei and Arai. But, the best advice has already been given - find the helmet that fits YOUR head. Brand should be secondary as long as the helmet is DOT approved (and perhaps SNELL) and offers full coverage.

You ask if one can get used to the armor in a riding jacket. I say you don't have to. I've got three different jackets of three different brands. None of them even give me reason to notice that the armor is there. Most jackets and armor are so well enginered that you shouldn't have any problems with them.

Good on ya for getting into good gear. I know it can be a real kick in the head to have to spend that kind of money after dropping the cash on a new bike, but it's a worthy investment. I only wish I'd bought the good stuff first instead of working my way up through lesser quality and less versitile gear.

Ride safe.
 

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haven't been on a bike in years. just picked up a vstrom (650). looking for some reviews on Arai vs. Shoei helmets...thoughts? How about jackets? Cortech GS with CE armor...can you get used to the armor?
I've had several Shoeis, most recently an RF1000. Shoei has replaced the lackluster RF1000 with the RF1100.

I replaced it with an Arai Vector, which has a more Shoei-like head shape. If you have a rounder head, the Arai Profile may fit better.

The Shoei is more comfortable and quieter on the highway than the RF1000. And costs more. I think for this item the price is worthwhile, although in fact there is no accident data to support the idea that one brand or model of Snell or DOT-certified helmet is safer than another.
 

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haven't been on a bike in years. just picked up a vstrom (650). looking for some reviews on Arai vs. Shoei helmets...thoughts? How about jackets? Cortech GS with CE armor...can you get used to the armor?
I was in the same boat, and sadly I tried on an Aria RX-Q helmet first. Everything else I tried after that felt cheap and uncomfortable to me. I didn't try a Shoei but I did try Nolan, and HJC. I figured over the 5 year life span comfort out weighted the cost. AFA armor goes I don't notice it.
 

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All of the certified helmets are going to do their job if needed. Cost really does not determine how much it will protect you. What you pay for is comfort and fit.

Jackets are pretty much the same deal. You can spend a lot on a good jacket or not so much.
The armor is not noticeable for me in either jacket or pants. Any that I have tried have the armor incorporated in such a way that I don't really notice it. What I did notice on cheaper gear was a lack of quality in the zippers and general lack of creature comfort in things like having softer material around neck, water-resistance, venting and overall adjustability in the fit.
 

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All of the certified helmets are going to do their job if needed. Cost really does not determine how much it will protect you. What you pay for is comfort and fit.

Jackets are pretty much the same deal. You can spend a lot on a good jacket or not so much.
The armor is not noticeable for me in either jacket or pants. Any that I have tried have the armor incorporated in such a way that I don't really notice it. What I did notice on cheaper gear was a lack of quality in the zippers and general lack of creature comfort in things like having softer material around neck, water-resistance, venting and overall adjustability in the fit.
Not exactly. The helmet standards, especially DOT are a minimum. The manufacturers self-certify that the helmets meet the standards. DOT tests a few each year, and some fail. http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/testing/comply/fmvss218/2008s218.pdf A helmet that meets the ECE standards as well as DOT may be superior, one with more SHARP stars is superior, and one that meets Snell 2010 is clearly superior. Of course, full-face offers the most protection, 3/4 offers less, and the puddin' bowl helmets, even DOT certified, offer much less protection.

Coats and pants can be made of fabric that melts into the skin under abrasion on the pavement, or fabric that doesn't melt when abraded. The armor can be the weaker Level 1 EN 1621-1:1997 standard or the better Level 2 EN 1621-2:2003 standard, or even a really wimpy piece of foam. The garment must be sewn of tough thread so it doesn't come apart either from lots of riding or while sliding on pavement.
 

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I just bought my wife a Shoei helmet on ebay (new not used) and saved a substantial amount of money. She found the size and model by trying them on locally. I'd give the local guys the business if I didn't hate them so bad.
 

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armor

About getting used to the armor...If it is integrated into a well-made jacket, it is not a problem. If you get used to it, then you can almost feel "naked" not wearing it! I see people zooming around in T-shirts on motorcycles in the summer and shudder to think what would happen if they suddenly went down. I have a mesh jacket for summer (Joe Rocket) that has elbow, shoulder and back armor...not the greatest, but better than hitting the dirt or pavement in a T-shirt. It was the back armor that was the most uncomfortable for me. Hate to admit it, but I finally took it out and it made the mesh jacket a lot more comfortable.
 

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Icon helmets

Anyone have any info or experience with Icon helmets? I picked one up the other day- has a DOT rating and is orange and black to match my Wee. But I have not been able to read much up about them. Are they owned by either Bell or Shoei?
 

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Another place

try helmet harbor.com lots of information on all helmets, and videos too.
good people to deal with too

be well ride enjoy rid enjoy repeat!!!!!!!!!!:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::fineprint:
 

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I was in the same boat, and sadly I tried on an Aria RX-Q helmet first. Everything else I tried after that felt cheap and uncomfortable to me. I didn't try a Shoei but I did try Nolan, and HJC. I figured over the 5 year life span comfort out weighted the cost. AFA armor goes I don't notice it.
I have always sworn by Arai helmets. Had more than a few and never objected to the $ because of build quality and how well they fit. I tried a Scorpion EXO 1000 last year and liked it for the money (~$300) but it was never like putting on my Arai.

I went helmet shopping a few weeks ago and like you, started with the RX-Q. It fit perfectly. But so did the new Shoei RF-1100, at more than $200 less. It's my first Shoei and the only complaint so far is the dark smoke shields are sold out / backorder til next month.
 

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DOT helmets and Aerostich Darien

haven't been on a bike in years. just picked up a vstrom (650). looking for some reviews on Arai vs. Shoei helmets...thoughts? How about jackets? Cortech GS with CE armor...can you get used to the armor?
Read the somewhat controversial helmet testing statistics and you'll likely come to the conclusion that DOT-only helmets subject the head to roughly half as many G forces in an impact as do Snell-rated helmets like the Arai's. Less G-forces means less head injury. After that, it's all about fit and features. Cheap helmets tend to be worth the price (and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way). However, HJC makes some inexpensive helmets DOT-only (I use the SyMax-II) that are very good values: you get more than you pay for them. There are a lot of other good brands as well.

As far as jackets go, IMHO, the gold standard is the Aerostich Darien / Roadcrafter. I've worn my Darien in every condition imaginable, from 9 degrees F to 100 degrees F. It's got armor in the shoulders and elbows and I highly suggest you buy the back protector as well. What's nice is the jacket is waterproof without requiring you to put in a separate waterproof liner.
 

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Read the somewhat controversial helmet testing statistics and you'll likely come to the conclusion that DOT-only helmets subject the head to roughly half as many G forces in an impact as do Snell-rated helmets
True for helmets made to the old Snell 2005 spec, especially in smaller sizes. For the 2010 spec Snell changed their energy absorption requirements to offer the protection you're talking about. http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/snell-2010-standard.htm
 

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I'm also looking for a jacket, though I'm sort of clueless as to what is out there. I'm a little worried about fit when I start searching. I'm tall and skinny and usually go with Large Tall size if I can find it. Large fits fine around the chest, but the overall length and the arm length is too short. XL fits well with length but is too baggy around the chest. Any jacket manufacturers produce extended sizes like I mentioned?

Thanks,
Jason
 

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...XL fits well with length but is too baggy around the chest. Any jacket manufacturers produce extended sizes like I mentioned?
Aerostich Dariens can be custom-fitted for extra tall riders, including longer sleeve lengths.
 
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