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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my recent exhausting search to replace my aging Bell Vortex, I have narrowed my choices to these two. They will both cost me about the same as I would order a mirrored shield for both. The Arai is a little more expensive for the helmet itself, but I would have to order the GT-Air shield from Europe which would balance the costs. I am looking for some opinions from the community who have used these helmets while riding the 09.


How do you like it? How quiet is it? etc.


Just trying to get bike specific opinions before I drop this much money on a helmet.
 

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Sorry, but I don't have specific experience with either of those while riding the FZ09. But...

It's been said before...buy what fits you best. Everybody's head shape is a bit different. And it's those small differences that can make a huge difference in how quiet the helmet is.
I've always owned Shoei. And the GT-Air is a fabulous helmet. Does Cycle Gear allow returns on helmets? If so, I would pay the premium to buy from them and if it doesn't work for you, then return it.

With that said, I now ride with an Arai, solely because it was a gift. Otherwise, the Shoei GT-Air would be the one for me for it's superior fit and total lack of wind noise.
 

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+1 On trying before you buy or at least getting good return policy. This goes for gloves and shoes also.
 

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If you're planning on purchasing a mirrored shield go with the Defiant. The Shoei's main selling point over the Defiant is the drop down inner sun visor, and that benefit is completely nullified when you swap the main visor with a tinted or mirrored one. Honestly if I were you I would be comparing the RF-1200 with the Defiant, NOT the GT-Air. The RF-1200 is generally a better helmet in every way than the GT-Air in terms of safety and wind noise. Not only that but in the event you ever wanted to do track days on your bike, many organizations won't permit you to use the GT-Air. For the record, I have owned two helmets that had drop down inner sun shields. It's a nice and convenient feature but if you swap the outer shield for something tinted or mirrored you completely ruin the main reason for purchasing that particular helmet over one that didn't have it (and didn't have to compromise the shell integrity to make room for it).

I'm going to pretend you're comparing the RF-1200 to the Defiant rather than the GT-Air, because the GT-Air would be a completely pointless purchase if you're intent on a mirrored shield. (For the record I own a Defiant)

-The Defiant has a slightly "rounder" head shape.
-The Defiant is a lot louder (not a concern if you ride with earplugs though)
-The Defiant gets better air flow with the vents open.
-The RF-1200 creates a better seal with the visor closed.
-The new optional photochromatic shield for the RF-1200 is the best thing going in terms of visors right now (as is the one for the Bell).
-The Defiant appears to have a higher quality finish in solid colors (however graphics for both are equally good).
-The Defiant's vents are positioned to get better airflow when sitting perfectly upright on the bike.

Based on my personal experience with the two I would say that the RF-1200 is the better helmet, but not SO much better that I would choose it over the Defiant if the Defiant fit my head shape better (which in my case it did).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, but I don't have specific experience with either of those while riding the FZ09. But...

It's been said before...buy what fits you best. Everybody's head shape is a bit different. And it's those small differences that can make a huge difference in how quiet the helmet is.
I've always owned Shoei. And the GT-Air is a fabulous helmet. Does Cycle Gear allow returns on helmets? If so, I would pay the premium to buy from them and if it doesn't work for you, then return it.

With that said, I now ride with an Arai, solely because it was a gift. Otherwise, the Shoei GT-Air would be the one for me.
Thanks for that response. I have tried both on at cycle gear and both fit well. I was curious as to real world experience with these helmets specifically on the 09. I know how quiet it is is subjective and fit affects that, merely interested in just various opinions from those riding the 09 with these helmets. May or may not make my decision a little easier.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy 5 S using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you're planning on purchasing a mirrored shield go with the Defiant. The Shoei's main selling point over the Defiant is the drop down inner sun visor, and that benefit is completely nullified when you swap the main visor with a tinted or mirrored one. Honestly if I were you I would be comparing the RF-1200 with the Defiant, NOT the GT-Air. The RF-1200 is generally a better helmet in every way than the GT-Air in terms of safety and wind noise. Not only that but in the event you ever wanted to do track days on your bike, many organizations won't permit you to use the GT-Air. For the record, I have owned two helmets that had drop down inner sun shields. It's a nice and convenient feature but if you swap the outer shield for something tinted or mirrored you completely ruin the main reason for purchasing that particular helmet over one that didn't have it (and didn't have to compromise the shell integrity to make room for it).

I'm going to pretend you're comparing the RF-1200 to the Defiant rather than the GT-Air, because the GT-Air would be a completely pointless purchase if you're intent on a mirrored shield. (For the record I own a Defiant)

-The Defiant has a slightly "rounder" head shape.
-The Defiant is a lot louder (not a concern if you ride with earplugs though)
-The Defiant gets better air flow with the vents open.
-The RF-1200 creates a better seal with the visor closed.
-The new optional photochromatic shield for the RF-1200 is the best thing going in terms of visors right now (as is the one for the Bell).
-The Defiant appears to have a higher quality finish in solid colors (however graphics for both are equally good).
-The Defiant's vents are positioned to get better airflow when sitting perfectly upright on the bike.

Based on my personal experience with the two I would say that the RF-1200 is the better helmet, but not SO much better that I would choose it over the Defiant if the Defiant fit my head shape better (which in my case it did).
Thanks man, that's some good info. I will look into the rf 1200 as well.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy 5 S using Tapatalk
 

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I have a GT Air - and I did install a mirrored shield on it. And on most days, I have the drop down visor in use as well (the mirrored shields do not normally have too dark of tint alone).

If you leave the stock clear shield on, it is really nice to be able to drop down the visor in the day, and as the sun starts to go down, flip it up - no swapping of shields mid ride or any planning needed.

I have never had any track day say one word about it in my experience (only 4 track days, so still a full on rookie). There is some safety rating that helmets with drop down visors can not pass or make, but I don't know the specifics.

What I do love about the GT Air is - the air. The thing flows really nicely, and here in So Cal it gets pretty warm out. Especially on a 100 degree track day.
 

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I have the GT Air. The shape of the two Shoei helmets make the helmets very stable when riding a naked bike. WebBikeWorld.com has reviewed both the GT Air and the RF-1200. You would benefit from reading those reviews and should start with the RF-1200 review. For me quit is relative. With ear plugs in the Air is quit to me. I can clearly hear calls on my Sena SMH10R without my hearing aids in and ears plugged. No matter what helmet, moving your head around will cause some vent wind noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a GT Air - and I did install a mirrored shield on it. And on most days, I have the drop down visor in use as well (the mirrored shields do not normally have too dark of tint alone).

If you leave the stock clear shield on, it is really nice to be able to drop down the visor in the day, and as the sun starts to go down, flip it up - no swapping of shields mid ride or any planning needed.

I have never had any track day say one word about it in my experience (only 4 track days, so still a full on rookie). There is some safety rating that helmets with drop down visors can not pass or make, but I don't know the specifics.

What I do love about the GT Air is - the air. The thing flows really nicely, and here in So Cal it gets pretty warm out. Especially on a 100 degree track day.
I have the GT Air. The shape of the two Shoei helmets make the helmets very stable when riding a naked bike. WebBikeWorld.com has reviewed both the GT Air and the RF-1200. You would benefit from reading those reviews and should start with the RF-1200 review. For me quit is relative. With ear plugs in the Air is quit to me. I can clearly hear calls on my Sena SMH10R without my hearing aids in and ears plugged. No matter what helmet, moving your head around will cause some vent wind noise.

Thanks for the info guys. Good stuff here. I did return to cycle gear to try the rf1200 on today, fits great as well. I also tried the defiant and gt-air on again and found that in order for the defiant to not move on my face, I would need a Med. where I usually wear a large. The shop manager was incredibly helpful and even allowed me to test ride with it. Unfortunately, the Arai's chin bar was about in contact with my mouth. I guess the Arai is just too round for me.

So now I am down to 2 helmets again. Weaponzero, you said I should be comparing the RF1200 to the defiant not the Air, but it is my understanding that the Air is more suited for the upright riding position where the 1200 is more sport riding posture. I could very well be wrong, but it is the reason I did not initially consider the 1200. My main concern over everything is wind buffeting. The Vortex has such bad buffeting under the helmet, that it gets hard to ride. Is the 1200 good at eliminating that on the 09?
 

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I went to Cycle Gear looking at the GT-AIR and the sales man suggested that I look at the RF1200. He said the inside shield makes helmet longer and in the up position cuts down on air flow (which I was looking for living in Florida). I tried on both and ended up purchasing the RF1200 in Mat Black for $404.00 I love the helmet it fits me like a glove. Its a very sound deading helmet with the shield closed I can barley hear my engine (with stock pipe and surrounding traffic), In the heat of the day I drive with the shield open 2 clicks for all the air flow that I need and I can hear that 3 cylinder going thru the gears. Its a fantastic helmet and at the price that I paid I got great buy. I love this helmet. As stated in a prior post choose a helmet that fits you best. As far as buffering under the helmet, I have a sport wind screen and I have none. I would recommend the RF1200.
 
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