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How did you pick your helmet? Would u recommend another way?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by ninjah, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. I'll be picking up my bike soon, and as with most people I have spoken to, I'll be getting it from the dealership as they'll offer me a 'discount price' for buying the bike as well. However, I was just pondering.. how the hell does a noobie like me know what to pick?

    Do I harass the salesman about safety ratings? Do I pick a helmet that will match my bike's colour? Or do I just go for any cheap and nasty and half decent looking helmet?

  2. Establish your price range. Mine was about $300. I tried on every helmet they had for that price and chose the one with the best fit. It should be snug on the cheeks so that when you pull the helmet around your cheeks will be forced to follow, but there must not be any strong pressure on any part of your head. Once you find a possible one, keep it on for 10-50 minutes to make sure it doesn't get painful.
  3. i have a large head so i had to go with the one that fits !! ended up in a kbc xxl!!
  4. Ah sizing.. I forgot to mention that. XXL? you must be the hulk! I actually thought I had a huge head until I tried some helmets on. I've been told my whole life my head looks out of proportion to my body size too. Apparently my big fat head fits into a M.. I guess I overestimated my brain size :oops:

    Are there any certain brands I should avoid?
  5. +1 for best fit. You're going to be wearing the thing for a darn long time, make sure you get it right.

    Also try a few helmets above your budget to see what a really well built helmet should feel like for comparison.

    Test the fit for your (sun)glasses if you need/intend to wear them, or any other accessories. A few helmets I tried on fitted well, but hurt when I tried to wear my glasses.

    And this may be pedantic, but try not to purchase the helmet that's been sitting out for everyone to try on - you never know if someone has dropped it by accident and then put it back on the shelf.
  6. In my albeit limited experience this is definately NOT what to do! The Salesman will almost certainly tell you that the $900 Shoei is the safest lid in the shop and may even back it up with a very pretty graph based on a study paid for by... Shoei... that surprise surprise suggests that the Shoei is far better than its competitors.

    Impartial studies seem to debunk the idea that price is a good indicator of performance in a crash situation - (Not that exe helmets are necessarily BAD - they just arent necessarily any better!).

    So go for comfort. Tough thing here is you cant test for noise - Ideally you want to sit there with a 90kmh wind blowing over your head to see how loud it is - but alas the weather inside most dealerships tends to be a little more still than that!

    (XXL? Wow you must be a freak! - I was surprised to discover I was a 'S' - Small head on an XXL body - weird!)
  7. A correct fit is paramount, otherwise you might as well wear a plastic milk crate on your head (great ventilation during summertime!). I mean, if you're by law required to wear a helmet, you might as well make sure it's going to work in the event of a crash. :grin:

    You'll find that each brand tends to fit a different head shape. Some are for 'longer' faces, some are for rounder faces. I have a Shark/BMW head, m'self.

    Most brands have a nice range of helmets with different prices, so you can decide where you want to go pricewise once you've found brands that fit. They all come in a big variety of colours and designs, so that's less of a concern than getting the right fit for the right price.

    Some nice features for helmets to have: Removable helmet liner; the use of 'Coolmax' or similar breathable materials; a breath-guard (makes you look like a fighter-pilot and helps reduce visor fogging), lighter weight, etc.

    Edit: A plain-white helmet can increase your visibility on the road, especially if you ride a white Honda ST1100/ST1300 or white BMW tourer. Then riding through traffic is like Moses parting the Red Sea. :LOL:
  8. +1 Spots

    Fit is the No.1 priority
  9. +2 spots.
    With my last lid, the lids I tried on all fitted to some extent in sizes from L - XXL from different brands. I got the one that fitted best (HJC) and had the features I wanted. I then ordered one in black/silver/white that matched my bike.

    You'll get a good mid range lid for $400. You'll get a basic one that meets the same standards for $100 but it will be basic.
  10. Fit, price, looks in that order.

    I was lucky I got one that fit perfect, was on special and IMO the coolest helmet in the store. Try one on, ring around for pricing as well. :cool:
  11. +1 to what most people have already said. Go in, try on helmets until your head spins, and narrow it down to the helmets that fit the best. Then decide how important looks and features are to you and if they are worth your money.
  12. +1 to everything above. I spent a couple of weekends experimenting with various makes/models/etc.

    I ended up getting a Shoei because (a) it fit and (b) the quality of the internal padding (it seemed to be firmer than other cheaper brands). This helps with comfort, but I reckon it also helps with noise (at 80km/h I don't need ear plugs...but wear them anyway)

    I also spent a couple of afternoons (at work on a slow day :wink: ) doing research on this website: http://www.webbikeworld.com.

    Finally, and this is the big tip, after you've found the make/model you like, get the best price. After checking a number of websites, I found these guys were BY FAR the cheapest: http://www.budgetbikes.com.au.

    If you don't want to pay for shipping, just tell the store (where you're buying your bike from) how much you've seen it for, and try to get them to match. I got an XR-1000 Cutlass (normally $800) for $560. Bargain!
  13. And make sure you can turn your head far enough to head check properly.
  14. Mm.

    The manual for my Shark RSX mentions that when you look down as far as you can, up as far as you can, and lean your head from side to side, the helmet itself shouldn't touch your shoulders/torso/back.

    (Ironically, you only get to see the manual after you've purchased the helmet, but hey - it's the thought that counts)
  15. Spots, Try that while on the bike and see what happens :wink:
  16. Not sure what you mean?

    I know why Shark would say that helmets shouldn't touch your chest or back - because a helmet pinned against your back or chest would transform into a really effective neck-snapping lever (think of the layout of a wheelbarrow).
  17. Turn your head to head check (on a sport bike) and see what happens to the chin guard, it will hit your shoulder and some you have to turn your whole body a bit to get a good head check, this is only a major issue when in a tuck but something to be aware of. Yes I know what you are saying about leverage.
  18. Nup, my fat head only squeezes into an XXL KBC, too.