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Flip up full face helmets

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by t_mike, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Just wondering what the real world pros and cons are of these hybrid helmets. My trusty old nolan is starting to fill my eyes with crusty old powdered sponge foam, so the time for renewal is neigh. I'm mainly interested in experiences from those with late or current model helmets. Things such as strength, wind noise, etc, plus quality of construction. Also price ranges, although I know I can refill my wallet much easier than refilling my head.

  2. Nolan have a great flip-front helmet, which everyone who has it that I know, say is the ant's pants!
  3. Hi Mike.

    I'm a fan of the flip-front, primarily because I wear glasses all the time and I find having to take them on and off when I'm putting my helmet on and off is a pain. I know the full-face brigade say that they are not as safe, but I have yet to see any evidence of this.

    I've had an HJC Symax for about 4 years now and it's been great. It was about $450 from memory and it's served me well. It probably is a little heavier than a normal helmet for obvious reasons. And it is a little noisier than my CL12 too.

    I've recently upgraded to a Nolan N102 and it's great, except for one little thing. The eye aperture is a little narrow and so I find myself bending my neck a little more than I would with the Symax when I'm looking up through a corner. Can be a bit of a distraction, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. It's quiet, comfortable and the built-in sun visor is excellent.

    They list for around $450 again, but I got mine from City Coast in Keira Street for $400 cash.

    BTW, as we both live in the 'Gong, I'm happy for you to drop around and look at the helmets and have a chat if you want to. Just PM me and we can arrange it.

    BTW, you CAN buy cheaper flip-front's but I wouldn't bother.
  4. I've had one N101E and two N102Es. They're heavy, noisy, ugly and as RC36 says, if you're right down in a racer tuck they're not the best for seeing out of the top of.

    Still, they rock. I ride around the majority of the time with the chinpiece up, and I love the extra vision that gives you in traffic and on headchecks. Quality is beaut and the N-COM brootoof jigger does a good job too if you're looking to stick that in sometime. The locking mechanism is awesome and a pinch to use one handed (see what I did there?) - plus they're tested to be as safe in a crash as a regular full face provided you've got the chin down.

    If you think you might like the idea of a flip face, that's the one to get - although you might as well do your homework, drop into a beemer dealer and see if you like the System 5, which is supposed to be lighter, quieter and better looking for the extra few hundred bucks they cost.
  5. I picked up a zeus the other day. It's a large and has the double visor thing.

    It's a clever design, but doesn't fit my head, it's only a large ... I've got a big head :(

    My open face Nolan is quite comfy, but the 102 didn't do it for me either. I ended up going for a traditional XL shoei full face.

    ... so I've got a shiny worn once grey zeus sitting on the bench!

  6. Thanks for the input folks.

    I was leaning toward a nolan because of the bang for buck reason, but I didn't want something substandard either. My current nolan has served me well, but was originally bought for drag racing, with no thought of wearing it for more than a few minutes, and wind noise was never going to be an issue. My main reason for considering a flip is not for the ease of getting it no/off, more in case I every really need it in a bad way, I've been told by an A&E doctor that it is a lot easier to get your head out of it is an operating theater. That thought may tease some of the "less safe" theorists.

    rc36, I may take you up on that offer when I'm getting closer.
  7. I recently bought my first flip face helmet which ended up being the N102 and I couldn't be happier. I did notice that the bargain basement brands are terrible in their construction: plastic catches for the face plate, very stiff action, combined with cheap internals would result in major disappointment.

    I had it narrowed down to the Nolan and the Shoei and the Nolan pretty much won out simply due to price. Ultimately I would have been happy with either I reckon.

    Yes, they seem to be a smidge noiser than a full helmet, particularly the higher end models like the XR1000 from Shoei and if you were going to be doing a lot of distance at freeway speeds it may be worthwhile investing in two helmets, but for around town and even short distances at 100 kmh I reckon they are great.

    The Nolan does say that you should not ride with the faceplate in the up position (I assume Shoei say the same) but I've found it quite comfortable to do so up to the 40 - 60 kmh range. I certainly wouldn't keep it raised above that speed as it starts to be impacted by wind speed which is not ideal for head checks. Besides, the faster the speed the more need to have my boyish good looks protected by having the visor locked down in place.

    The release mechanism is very easy to operate with a single hand and lowers into place firmly with little effort. I haven't had any concerns about it accidentally falling closed on me which I suspect may be a result of the eliptical shape of the pivot track for the faceplate. Very well designed.

    I ride a cruiser and around town at sub 60 speeds with the faceplate up it is just fantastic. Your field of vision is vastly improved allowing you to see more of what is going on around you, plus you can hear better which may be a bonus as well. No doubt in summer it will be a winner as well. Can't wait to see you go-faster boys clicking open a couple of tiny catches on your helmet while I can effectively lift the whole front up and breath easily ;)

    Once I end up hitting above 60 I just lower the face plate and I get all the safety and wind protection that I need. It is a compromise though and if I were likely to do a track day I would probably prefer a full face helmet.

    Probably the best recommendation I can give though is that if I had my time again and was in the market for a new helmet, I would happily buy one again.
  8. Quite a few new things coming out worth checking, zues for instance, and the king, the shark evoline. still lets you use your visors/sun visor when the chinpeice is up, but it's pricey, up with the shoei.

    Also, no offence, but search. this topics eben done to death, recently too.
  9. There are only 3 good ones on the market, Shoei,Nolan and the BMW. BMW from what I have been told is no longer bringing them into the country though due to price. The KBC even has a warning on it that the chin guard will not protect in the event of an accident and it weighs a ton as does the HJC. The Shark Evoline is the only helmet on the market that can be used as open face or full face (the chin guard locks in place at the rear of the helmet) it all feals flimsy and cheap though. Try on the Shoei,Nolan and BMW and then buy what fits your head shape.

  10. The evoline doesnt feel flimsy, have you got your hands on it? Compared to the nolans its like...meccano and lego. The shoei feels the lightest/flimsiest. The zuess is allright.

    It's also the only flipup tested and passed with the chinbar up.

    All a matter of opinion really.
  11. Got a Nolan N102 - had it for over three years. Loz sums it well and the pinlock anti fog is awesome.

    If ya looking at one - get a very snug fit, cause they loosen up over relatively short period of time - was using it for Dual Sprting so heaps of sweat contributed as well :?
  12. Another N102 owner here. I ride upright naked so view isn't a problem thru the visor. I've had it for about a year and it has no signs or wear and tear.

    Only issue I have with it is wind noise which is probably due to the n-com system room being open for the ncom system instead of foam/padding for noise reduction. Easily solved with plugs.

    I had a cheapy prior to the nolan, a RXT. after 18 months it was stuffed. When you do the maths, then the RXT was dearer than the Nolan at $199 initial price.
  13. is there any real evidence that shows these are less effective in an off?
  14. Well as far as i'm aware the normal tests don't impact the chinbar, or dont test how much force is required to knock open the chinbar etc.
  15. is there any real evidence that shows these are less effective in an off?
  16. Liquidity- I have spent a fair bit of time with the Shark and find it does not compare at all with the Shoei. Its only good feature is that it can be used as either full face or open face.

    zilli- The evidence is that the KBC has a warning stamped on it saying that it will not protect the chin in the event of an accident.

    The KBC,HJC and Shark all use a similar system for lock up- a cast aluminium pin on each side that slots into the helmet and we all know cast aluminium is not the strongest material. Shoei use stainless steel in their lock up mechanism that consists of a pin on each side of the shell and a clasp on each side of the chin guard. The clasp consists of 2 "C" shaped clips that when closed make a 360 degree lock up.
  17. Both myself and my dad use nolans with the ncom and they are a great helmet. He wears glasses as well so the flip face was a bonus, he brought his after checking mine out.

    I find them to be pretty quiet, but I ride a crusier. Dad's on a gsx1400 and hasn't mentioned it being a problem. I'd recommend them to any one. Been using it every day for about 8 months now and it's not showing any signs of dodginess.
  18. "I ride a cruiser and around town at sub 60 speeds with the faceplate up it is just fantastic."

    I think the concern here is that in a crash anything that protrudes from the helmet can increase the twisting force on your neck and could be lethal.

  19. Absolutely. The manufacturers advise against riding with the faceplate up at ANY speed.
  20. Yup, and I did actually state that in my original post. Under the right circumstances for me it is something I'm willing to risk manage but if I'm feeling that external factors raise the risk of a possible accident then I'll close her up.

    I do like the concept of an open face helmet but having had a previous accident where my full face helmet was severely abraided across the chin area I can't bring myself to wear one full time. The flip face gives me the best of both worlds but I do acknowledge that riding against the manufacturers guidelines does raise the risk of injury. Still, if I wanted to be completely safe I'd be in a car but there's no fun in that :)