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I decided to "upgrade" my antique Shoei RF900... It still works "fine" but I thought it was time to update it. I know, it's old...

Anyway, I walk into the gear shop and they have literally hundreds of helmets... one wall is covered with 'em. Shoei, AGV, Arai and a dozen other brands. Some with flip down shade, some with a "modular" movable chin bar, some with bluetooth built in, some with a boom microphone, some tinted, some clear, some with Pin Lock features, some with intense graphics, some with $600+ price tags, some with $120 price tags, some even less.

Plus you don't really know if the helmet performs until you buy it and and go ride which is a "no no".

What's your favorite helmet? Why? Would you buy it again? What's the major benefit from the high priced helmets? How much do your vents help with cooling? Is it fairly quiet or roars like a wind tunnel? Does the color matter?

Please comment, profusely...

Thx.
 

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This'll start a debate for sure. My opinion...the "expensive" brands aren't always better. The top-of-the-line helmet of a lesser brand (like HJC) is usually very similar to a comparable super brand.

MY ONLY TRUE RECOMMENDATION -- get a helmet with pinlock. Amazing! I can't believe I've ever owned a helmet without it.
 

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This'll start a debate for sure. My opinion...the "expensive" brands aren't always better. The top-of-the-line helmet of a lesser brand (like HJC) is usually very similar to a comparable super brand.

MY ONLY TRUE RECOMMENDATION -- get a helmet with pinlock. Amazing! I can't believe I've ever owned a helmet without it.
Couldn't agree more - the liner on my HJC RPS 10 felt 5 times better than my Shoei Qwest - it also fit much better which i was surprised by.
 

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If you plan on doing track days, a lot of this is chosen for you. Most track day organizations won't permit you to use a helmet that is modular or has the drop down inner sun visor. They force you to use helmets that are pretty bare bones in terms of features, and many require a SNELL certification (but will make exception for helmets that carry its European equivalent, the ECE 22.05 certification). Additionally, they don't permit you to use a helmet that's more than 5 years old.

I own two helmets presently:

Scorpion EXO 500 - Drop down inner sun visor, inflatable cheek pads, otherwise pretty basic full face helmet. Street focused. Visor is treated with an anti-fog treatment that actually WORKS. I like it a lot and the quality is good.

HJC RPHA 10 - Race-style full face helmet, SNELL 2010 certified, pinlock visor. VERY good helmet. Very light weight, perfect fit for my head. My only issue with it is that the vents are positioned with the idea in mind that you're in a tuck, so when sitting upright, there's a little bit of unwanted noise caused by the vents catching air at an odd angle. Nothign earplugs don't fix, though. Highly recommend.
 

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Find the one that fits the best!


I upgraded to the Icon Airmada Sensory and I'm lovin' it. Sweet graphics, great safety standards and airflow for days.
 

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Safety ratings and reviews are a good place to start. Then what type of features do you want out of your helmet? Do live in a sunny area where the drop down visor is important, plus ride at night so the clear visor is immediately available? Sizing was a big deal to me as I wanted safety, but not a bobble head look......so I looked for helmets that had different SHELL sizes that adjust according to helmet size. Some manufactures offer one or two shell sizes, so a guy with a size small, may have the same shell as a size large. Shoei RF1200 was my choice, and I have a RS Bell, and an AGV-naked. The shoei is my favorite. Check out Revzilla for reviews and video breakdowns maybe.
 

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What's your favorite helmet? Why? Would you buy it again? What's the major benefit from the high priced helmets? How much do your vents help with cooling? Is it fairly quiet or roars like a wind tunnel? Does the color matter?
Favorite: Shoei X-Twelve

Why: Because it's the only helmet I could find that has an individual shell size for every helmet size. Every other helmet on the market (that I know of) has three shell sizes for the entire size range (some brands have only two shells for the entire size range). They just increase the thickness of the interior foam to make a large shell fit smaller heads. I wear an XS size helmet, so what I was actually buying was a Medium helmet with six inches of foam inside. This leads to a Great Gazoo effect...

where you have this little body with a giant head... and is also adding unnecessary bulk, weight, and wind resistance.

Buy Again: Absolutely

Benefits: Some of the benefits of higher priced helmets are helmet liners that are removable so you can wash them. Liners that pop out with emergency tabs so EMTs and First Responders can remove the helmet more easily if you've been in an accident. Liners that come in different foam thickness and density so you can fine tune the fit. Better warranties. Some other stuff to...

Vents: Work great, but wow... the helmet is crazy loud when they're open. I had a Shoei X-11 prior to my X-12 and it wasn't as loud but vented just as well.

Color: I've always rocked a white helmet because studies have shown it to be the most noticeable color to drivers. That study is kind of old now though, so a hi-viz helmet might be more noticeable now... but X-12 helmets are not available in hi-viz anyway.
 

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Favorite: Shoei X-Twelve

Why: Because it's the only helmet I could find that has an individual shell size for every helmet size. Every other helmet on the market (that I know of) has three shell sizes for the entire size range. They just increase the thickness of the interior foam to make a large shell fit smaller heads. I wear an XS size helmet, so what I was actually buying was a Medium helmet with six inches of foam inside. This leads to a Great Gazoo effect...

where you have this little body with a giant head... and is also adding unnecessary bulk, weight, and wind resistance.

Buy Again: Absolutely

Benefits: Some of the benefits of higher priced helmets are helmet liners that are removable so you can wash them. Liners that pop out with emergency tabs so EMTs and First Responders can remove the helmet more easily if you've been in an accident. Liners that come in different foam thickness and density so you can fine tune the fit. Better warranties. Some other stuff to...

Vents: Work great, but wow... the helmet is crazy loud when they're open. I had a Shoei X-11 prior to my X-12 and it wasn't as loud but vented just as well.

Color: I've always rocked a white helmet because studies have shown it to be the most noticeable color to drivers. That study is kind of old now though, so a hi-viz helmet might be more noticeable now... but X-12 helmets are not available in hi-viz anyway.
The RF1100 and RF1200 also have a different shell size for each helmet size (except for Medium & Large) and have the same set of features as the X-Twelve. The main difference between them is the lack of spoilers and less aggressive ventilation, with vents positioned in a manner that makes them more effective when sitting in an upright position, which is better for street riders. Unless you're a dedicated track rider, the current iteration of the RF series is simply a better helmet than the X-series.
 

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The RF1100 and RF1200 also have a different shell size for each helmet size (except for Medium & Large) and have the same set of features as the X-Twelve. The main difference between them is the lack of spoilers and less aggressive ventilation, with vents positioned in a manner that makes them more effective when sitting in an upright position, which is better for street riders. Unless you're a dedicated track rider, the current iteration of the RF series is simply a better helmet than the X-series.
I politely disagree. When I get to work I'll take a pic of the Shoei catalog where it clearly shows that the RF1200/1100 only has three shell sizes.
 

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Hmmm... will be cracking open the catalog shortly. Not trying to argue, just genuinely curious.
 

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7-17-2014 9-02-30 AM.jpg

Definitely 4 shell sizes for the RF1200.

I already have a huge head so it doesn't bug me too much!
 

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I tend to not buy too expensive. I usually get a new one every two years. I just got the HJS IS-17 in Matte Black. It does the job and was only $160.
 

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OK. I stand corrected... 7.gif

This is the shell info for the RF1200



I think I was confusing it with the GT-Air helmet...

 

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Also, something that I was reminded of while flipping through the Shoei catalog is the fact that they offer free impact inspection service. If you're ever in an accident and aren't sure if your helmet has been compromised enough to warrant replacing, you can ship it to Shoei and they'll inspect it and give it a thumbs up or down. They even pay for the return shipping.
 

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I purchased the Arai Defiant great helmet it has the cheek safety feature so if they have to take your helmet off they can pull the cheek pads out with out moving our head so much.It has vents every where the brow vent is nice because the air goes to the temple instead of the forehead.It's a very quiet helmet with out vents open.It was specifically made this year for the up right bike.
 

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Also, something that I was reminded of while flipping through the Shoei catalog is the fact that they offer free impact inspection service. If you're ever in an accident and aren't sure if your helmet has been compromised enough to warrant replacing, you can ship it to Shoei and they'll inspect it and give it a thumbs up or down. They even pay for the return shipping.
That's one of the best things about buying a Shoei that many owners don't use!
 

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I picked up a Bell RS-1 a week after buying my FZ. A lot quieter than my HJC SyMax III, and my head doesn't wobble at speeds nearly as bad as my HJC did.
 

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I just have some Vega helmet. It was inexpensive, but it fits and is comfortable. I probably need to replace it soon..


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