Helmet-ology

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#1
Alright, if a $160 helmet has the same ratings (DOT etc) as a $400, what makes the high dollar cranium catcher better? Is it just the materials used and the paintjob? Is carbon fiber better than a high grade plastic?

Yours truly is thinking of getting a new helmet. I have an AXO helmet (Kevlar/Carbon) from 6 years ago that I paid $369 for. Is it as good as a new high dollar helmet from Shoei or Arai? The helmet has had no damage inflicted on it--I used it for Jet-Ski racing.

And who makes the helmets for FOX, Oneal, HJC, Thor? I don't think they are all manufacturing their own lids.
 

BEEF706

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#2
HJC and THK(?) are making a very high percentage of new helments for other brands in S. Korea. The high $ helments are usualy lighter, have better materials in the liner (for confort and cooling in the summer), and maybe better finishing details, the $200-$300 level helments are closing the gap though, IMO. As I undrsstand it the sticker means meets or exceeds standards, I suppose the high $ helments exceed the standard more than the mid $ ones, but I don't know where ther woild be real data to substantiate that. (of course the real reason to buy any new halemnt is the cool paint job :) )
 

CaNaDiAn,Eh?

#3
KBC is a Korean manufacturer that makes the helmets for Fox, O'Neal, MSR and Answer. They also make some helmets under their own name, for a better price. The higher dollar helmets are in part more money because they are lighter and a bit higher quality however, I think you are probably paying quite a bit of the price for the brand name.
 

Wraith

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#4
I not for sure about any other Helmet companies, but Arai's helmets are hand made. But I couldn't tell you if that makes a difference. What I can tell of the higher end lids is that they usually have better graphics, more ventilation, lighter weight, and the liners are of greater quality. That Arai cheek pads are great in my opinion. When you take them out to wash them, you can actually seperate the foam from the outer lining covering it. And this is a big plus in my book.
For myself the only helmet brands I have not bought are Fox, Bell and Oneal. But I have tried on the Fox and Bell brands, but for my head nothing fits better than a Arai. It feels just like a pillow :worship: And it feels as light as a one. I now have a Fly Light II and it is a good helmet, but lacks the plushness feel of a Arai. But I think (for myself, everyones different) the M2R revelation comes pretty darn close.
For myself, when I buy a helmet only 2 things matter. 1) Saftey ratings 2)That it feels like I don't even have a helmet on.
But like CaNaDiAn,Eh? said, it boils down to namesake.
 

dirty~d~

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#5
Extra 'options' (more ventilation, removable liners, etc), after purchase treatment (free inspections/repairs when possible), materials used, how they are made and where they are made can make a difference in price.
 

zero_it

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#6
In order for a helmet to be sold in the United States it must be DOT approved, so that means very little. A higher rating is from Snell. They do a drop test from a given height and the bounch back cannot exceed some value. A helmet with both DOT & Snell ratings provides better protection than one that is only DOT approved and it will cost more. As the old Bell Helmets ad used to say..... If you have a $5 head, then buy a $5 helmet.
 

Danman

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#7
I can only speak for some of the "lesser price" helmets. I have an Answer m6 currently. It is snell and dot. I did not know to check for the snell until I had be riding a while and reading this site, but the guys at the shop pointed me in the right direction for my budget at the time. Its just average. The ventalation is not that good. I would like to try a Higher end Helmet. Not just for the cool graphics. Comfort and Ventalation will be high on the list.

Good Topic MEW :thumb:
 
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#8
Thanks for the info so far y'all! I'm liking the "lightness" factor of some helmets, and surely do not have a $5 head--$15 tops, LOL.

Are helmet sizes general? I means is a small Arai a small Fox and a small MSR or are they different? Also when I was browsing some catalogs and such the sizes are S-M-L etc but I don't know what that means in inches. The circumference of my brain bowl is just over 22" measured from the top of my moviestar eyebrows (hehe) in an even line all the way around.

Does that mean I have a big head? My ears are big so my head looks small and I think that is misleading, LOL. I'm gonna go to some helmet sites now...
 
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#9
You pay more for less, well with weight at least. My old HJC AC-X1 was a decent helmet but I constantly got killer headaches after riding. Switched to a Shoei VFX and that all went away. It's lighter (not a lot but every bit helps) and it fits my noggin a lot better.
 

biglou

#10
MEW-For the money, I have been very happy with the HJC line. The first one I got was an XL CLX-3 model. I then got a XXL CLX-4 "Fuel" model. I'm pretty sure my head didn't grow any though... Right after DirtWeek, I got to jonesin' for a "custom" helmet. I went with the Shoei VFX-R "Rabid". I got the largest they make, XL. I think they have a measurement technique on their site. I did some searching to find out what circumfrence = what helmet size from the different manufacturers. That Shoei lists for almost $600. Jeff at MXSouth is selling them for $377. Heckuva good deal IMO. The quality is a step above the HJC. Hard to explain, but if you held one and inspected it, you'd know. I also couldn't believe there was even a helmet in the big outer box when the UPS man arrived! They're light! That's my $.02 on helmets. :)
 

XRpredator

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#11
If I have the jingle, I'll buy and Arai. There ain't nothin' out there more comfy on my big melon. I'll never buy another Bell. It squishes my ears too much. The next pred lid is an HJC CLX-4, and it fits real good, other than I may add 1/4 inch of foam to the top to make my head feel a bit better.

And I gotta figure out a paint scheme . . .
 

mxer842

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#12
at a few pounds the weight of the helmets isn't a big deal for most people, they are all within about a pound or so of eachother but the real bread and butter of a helmet is in its ventilation, at the end of a moto ventilation is the only thing seperating most of the helmets.
 

Michelle

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#13
Originally posted by MadEarthWorm
Yours truly is thinking of getting a new helmet. I have an AXO helmet (Kevlar/Carbon) from 6 years ago that I paid $369 for. Is it as good as a new high dollar helmet from Shoei or Arai? The helmet has had no damage inflicted on it--I used it for Jet-Ski racing.
One thing that has been found here, is helmets used for jetskis are rusting/rotting. The helmet's been okay, but the straps give way with a decent tug. In other words, don't use it for dirtbiking. You may have a goofy smile/grin, but we're used to you around here and heck, I think some people even really like you :p

Also, consider the fact how much you've spent buying your KXF, surely you want to be able to ride it longer than once?

As for which helmet, get the one that is most comfortable & within your budget. I tried on an expensive road helmet at one stage and I have to say, that was the most uncomfortable thing out - it just didn't feel right, so I went with a cheaper one that felt good.

Dirtbike helmets - I'd rather buy a cheaper one & throw it out each year than buy an expensive one & think "but damn, I paid $$$$ for that, surely it's still okay". My husband had spent a decent amount on one of his & he used it well past it's "stuffed" stage. So long as they're dot & snell approved & comfortable, is what counts in this household.
 

MikeT

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#14
I personally was going to get one of the Shoei clones (a HJC) helmet a few years back but I ran into one problem. When I put it on, my jaw would hang out the bottom because these helmets are a little short. I then put on a BELL Moto-7 and my wife said it covered my jaw much better. That also means if I had a direct head impact, the helmet wouldn't make my neck compress as much because it would hit my shoulders sooner. I like the way the HJC looked and it had all the ratings, the BELL just covered my noggin' a little more.
 
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#15
Thanks for the info people. That's a great point Michelle; I did notice rust on my helmet buckles but I never thought of it rotting. I used it in salt and fresh water and always kept it clean but now that I think about it, it does kinda smell.

You may have a goofy smile/grin, but we're used to you around here and heck, I think some people even really like you
My goofy smile/grin is my trademark! :laugh: I hope folks like me after they see me ride. :ugg: