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New to the forum, I recently bought a 2011 650, really like the bike even though the stated known problems. I am in the market for a new helmet and would like some recommendations. Safety, quietness, and ease of shield replacement are important to me. Thanks for you help
 

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webBikeworld.com has excellent reviews of the quality of construction and features of helmets, including their internal shapes.

Stromtrooper vendor revzilla.com has very good videos showing the features of various helmets including the ones that are designed for best ventilation tipped forward for sport bike riders and worn upright for touring bike riders (most of us). Are you close enough to Philly to drop into the Revzilla showroom?

The U.K. SHARP helmet testing organization tests helmets for the extent to which they exceed the European minimum safety standard and also has good info on fit: SHARP Helmets - Get the Right Fit

The Snell Memorial Foundation has good info on fitting and other helmet stuff along with their list of helmets that have passed their tougher-than-DOT standards. Snell Foundation - home

Here's some interesting info from an Arai vendor; much applies to all helmets. http://www.theservicepavilion.com/questions.html

A very big deal is how well the helmet fits YOU. It must have the correct internal shape to fit your head. For example, Shoei helmets are excellent and exactly wrong for my head shape. I feel that the expanded polystyrene liner inside the helmet that absorbs the impact shock is the most important part of the helmet, and the hard shell is there to protect the EPS liner. The liner must fit the head just right to get that protection. I think that full face coverage is important and that the Snell certification is important, and others have different opinions. I also want a helmet that helps make me more visible to drivers, and that probably means a white helmet, although the safety yellow/green is very visible in cities. You need to try on different makes and models of helmets to find the ones that best fit you, then look at the features and prices to pick the right helmet for you.
 

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IMHO, I recommend you find localish shops where you can try on helmets and wear them around the store for thirty - forty minutes. It also helps if there is a salesperson who (honestly) knows how to size helmets to the wearer.

I'm a guy who HATES to shop! But I thought better of attempting to buy a helmet online and forced myself to travel to motorcycle apparel shops and try out helmets. I also decided early on that price wasn't going to be a concern because I've only got one head...

Turns out I've got a pretty big noggin' and, damn good thing, Arai has a full-face Profile 3XL that fits me just dandy. Cost me some $$$ but I'm extremely happy with it both comfort-wise and vision-wise. Visor change-out requires two hands but is easy once you've done it a few times.
 

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New to the forum, I recently bought a 2011 650, really like the bike even though the stated known problems. I am in the market for a new helmet and would like some recommendations. Safety, quietness, and ease of shield replacement are important to me. Thanks for you help
If you are anywhere near Edison, go to the Cycle Gear store and try out the helmets. They have a 7 day hassle free return policy. There is also a Cycle Gear store in Springfield, Pa. and Allentown, Pa. if you are near either of those.
 

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ARAI...When only the best will do.:thumbup:

Really, there are a lot of good helmets out there. How much you want to spend makes a big difference. The top of the line helmets can set you back something like $500-$600. There's some really nice stuff in the $100-$300 range.

But like others have said, you really need to try them on. I usually wear a Medium or Large, but one helmet I have is a Small. Each manufacturer and each model will fit differently. So make sure and try on the specific model your looking at.

I have 2 helmets that I really like that were in the $100-$120 range (Bell Arrow and Scorpion EXO-400). But my newest and favorite is the Arai XD-3, got it on sale for $399, it's normally $550.

Again you should really try on helmets before you purchase one, sizing can vary drastically.
 

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The second poster had the links I was going to post to webbikeworld and the SHARP test. I do A LOT of research on motorcycle safety gear (US Air Force Motorcycle Safety rep for my Agency). So...

Aside from fit and desired features, you might want to do research on the SHARP site and compare Snell M2010 vs. ECE 22.05 vs. DOT.

Snell M2010 is significantly different than the Snell standards used in the infamous Motorcyclist article from several years ago.

I can say without doubt that Shoei does NOT fit my noggin at all. I've got an HJC shaped head (slightly block headed/round with big chin). The Shoei doesn't cover my chin. Shoei liner was underwhelming on three different models. It seemed quite rough compared to HJC IS-16 liner which is plush and soft.

Arai - depends on the model. I tried on an Arai XL in one model and it was huge. Tried XL in different model and it was too short on the chin but fit everywhere else fine. Arai liner seems adequately soft.

HJC lines seem to use the same shell mold for their helmets and they all fit me the same.

Bell Vortex - (my newest helmet). Fits overall but had ridiculously large cheekpads that made a nuetral-fit helmet far too narrow. Solved by ordering replacement cheekpads that are much thinner. Now it is good. Feels a BIT top heavy when just sitting around with the helmet on. Liner feels good so far.

Scorpion helmets seem made for narrow-headed people with small to normal chins. All scorpion models caused my ears to get folded over and was a pain to fix this. Liners on the 500/700/900 models were a bit scratchy.

G-max fit like HJC helmets.
 

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One important note on the SHARP tests. They test UK/Europe Zone helmets. There can be/are significant differences in US model helmets vs European helmets. Some companies sell helmets in both zones that are just rebranded. Other companies (like Bell) have completely different US and Euro lines. Importing from Europe can be pricey and helmets seem more expensive over there in general.
 

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Everyone else has said what I was going to. Go and try them all on. For me I spent quite a few different days going around to different stores until I put on my Shoei. I guess I have a shoei head because it went on like a glove and is way more comfortable than any of the others I tried on. Also I didn't let the price tag scare me away either. I forked over the cash because I know it's worth it for a top of the line helmet.

Good luck and happy shopping!
 

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Buying a helment is something I did wrong when I bought my bike. I had a helment that didn't fit and after about an hour or so I would have such a headache I couldn't consentrate to ride.

I finally took the plunge and bought a good helment. My wife and I traveled about 1 1/2 hours to Philadelphia to the Revzilla show room. The guy there spent close to 2 hours fitting my wife and I. As you have heard from others there are different shapes for different heads.

I can now ride all day long and feel great. I ended up with a Shoei and my wife an Arai. I can't say enough about the service at Revzilla. If you are anywhere close they will fit you right up.
 

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Still with Shoei after like 35 years new every 5 to 7 years

Currently on RF1100

There is an old Jewish NYC expression

If a dollar is too little
and two dollars is too much
charge Five

High tech schmy tech 2 pounds of plastic and foam is not worth $700 bad enough I end up paying $300 or $500 so it can look vaguely like someone who once went fast on a bike with a helmet he did not even have to pay for.
 
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I always try to check the manufacturing date on the helmet before buying. One local dealer had a scorching deal on helmets but I found that they were 7 to 10 years old.
Something to think about anyhow.
 

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Here's a well-known article about DOT vs SNELL helmets that you might want to read as well: Motorcycle Helmet Performance: Blowing the Lid Off
This was true when it was written in 2005, but those conclusions about Snell are no longer valid following the new M2010 standards.
Snell 2010 Standard - webBikeWorld

About the age of helmets...the EPS impact absorbing liner deteriorates with age. I think Arai recommends replacement of their helmets after 5 years of use or 7 years from the date of manufacture, whichever comes first. This is probably good advice for all brands of helmets, especially the cheaper ones.

Why should you replace your helmet every five years?

The five-year replacement recommendation is based on a consensus by both helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production can affect liner materials. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal "wear and tear" all contribute to helmet degradation. Petroleum based products present in cleaners, paints, fuels and other commonly encountered materials may also degrade materials used in many helmets possibly degrading performance. Additionally, experience indicates there will be a noticeable improvement in the protective characteristic of helmets over a five-year period due to advances in materials, designs, production methods and the standards. Thus, the recommendation for five-year helmet replacement is a judgment call stemming from a prudent safety philosophy.

Snell Foundation - Helmet FAQ
 

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IMHO, I recommend you find localish shops where you can try on helmets and wear them around the store for thirty - forty minutes. It also helps if there is a salesperson who (honestly) knows how to size helmets to the wearer.

I'm a guy who HATES to shop! But I thought better of attempting to buy a helmet online and forced myself to travel to motorcycle apparel shops and try out helmets. I also decided early on that price wasn't going to be a concern because I've only got one head...

Turns out I've got a pretty big noggin' and, damn good thing, Arai has a full-face Profile 3XL that fits me just dandy. Cost me some $$$ but I'm extremely happy with it both comfort-wise and vision-wise. Visor change-out requires two hands but is easy once you've done it a few times.
Good advice from Baba. I wear an Arai, an XD at present and will be ordering a XD-4 soon. Arai makes a good helmet but so do many other manufacturers. I wear an Arai, 'cause it fits. Seems I have an intermediate oval type head. It took me years to find that out. Now I am in helmet heaven.
 

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Interesting to note only one of the Arai helmets was given a 5 star rating on the Sharp tests and apparently its a discontinued model.

What are you paying all that money for? besides the name.

Shoei hemets had 3, so they were better.

All 6 of the Bell helmets were 5 star if any of those fit your head.
 

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Half-face?

I know some would disagree, and for good reason, but I've enjoyed half-face helmets for the last year or so. AGV brand, Blade model.

Pros: Enhanced vision, open road feel, lighter weight, easier fit
Easy to switch windshield (smoke/clear)

Cons: Less wind/cold/rain/crash protection

With a good windscreen, a half-face can deflect a surprising amount of wind/rain/cold.

I still have full-face helmets as a backup. The Arai I had was the best, most comfortable/lightest of any helmet I've owned, though I don't have it anymore.

Oh yes, and modular are pretty cool too; definitely the best of both words, although not all folding mechanisms are created equal (equally rugged/durable/easy to use), and modulars tend to be heavier as well. Be prepared to spend some $$ on a easy-folding, strong-hinged, comfortable modular.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks to all for the suggestions, I think I will spend some time at a retailer and see what feels good.
 

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I know some would disagree, and for good reason, but I've enjoyed half-face helmets for the last year or so. AGV brand, Blade model.

Pros: Enhanced vision, open road feel, lighter weight, easier fit
Enhanced vision??????
This could be up for debate, full face helmets don't block vision.:mrgreen:
 
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