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KBC TK8, VR1

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by demuire, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. I used to have a HJC CL12 that I was very happy with. And then I came off my bike and hit my head rather hard, and so now I need to get a new helmet. I'm not exactly very financial at the moment, so am looking at something sort of cheap but decent (as opposed to cheap and nasty). I am aware that I won't be getting top of the line uber-lightweight GP racer quality gear for tiny money, but I suppose I have to live with the fact that I have no money, and I need a new helmet.



    So yes, been to the shops, had a look around a fair bit. Options came down to Rjays GP1, HJC CL14, KBC TK8 Slick and KBC VR1. All fit about as well as each other, I guess they're all built based on the same shape head.

    Don't like the build quality of the Rjays. Scratch that off the list. Cheapest place I can find the HJC is on motorcycle-accessories, and I've been told that CL14 has been discontinued anyway, so stock is likely to be old. From the few shops that I could find the CL14, this looked to be the case (04-05 build) Plus, the CL14 is kinda big and bulky (the shell appears to be physically bigger than the KBC? It feels that way anyway). So I think I'll scratch that one off the list too.

    So down to the KBC TK8 and the VR1. My thoughts on each (btw, I wear glasses):

    TK8:
    - Vents look sturdy.
    - A little warm when just sitting in the shop. I think this is due to the material of the liner, which is I think the same as my CL12.
    - Glasses easy to put on and take off, and don't fog up even after 10 minutes walking around the shop.

    VR1:
    - I really like the "Ultralux" liner. Comfy and appears to be cooler to wear.
    - I don't like the way the top vents are stuck on. They look like they might come unstuck in time. I've seen other similar helmets that have had their vents come unstuck around the edges. Rear vents also feel flimsy.
    - Glasses are *really* hard to wear in the VR1. Glasses also appear to fog up rather easily when just sitting in the shop. Requires a bit of fiddling to position it in a certain way to make sure they don't fog up so easily

    One point to note is that the TK8 is a "plastic alloy" helmet (lots of different sorts of plastics or something), where's the VR1 is a "composite" (fibreglass?) helmet. People in shops tend to tell me that fibreglass helmets are stronger and better then plastic helmets, but then they may be saying that because they want to sell the more expensive helmet. All the "helmet tests" I've read have been inconclusive whether or not this is really true. One even concluded that while the fibreglass is "stronger", it also doesn't last as long (delaminates) and transfers more G-force to the head. My old HJC CL12 was a plastic helmet.

    So now I'm torn between the two helmets. Given no further input, I think I'd probably end up getting the TK8 just because glasses fit easier in them and they have nicer colours in stock, but that's not really a good reason to choose one over the other...
     
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  2. yer glasses are impossible to wear on my kbc vr-2, just invest in contacts :p
     
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  3. MY first ever lid was a Vr1... basicaly because I have a funny shaped head and no other helmet even cam close to giving me the same room with out sloping around. The only downgrade for the VR1 is the fact that they open up and become loose fairly quickly. The venting structure along the top of the helmet isnt that strong and cracks easily at the end of the ports at the back of your head.

    Even with these drawback I went out and put another black chrome on laybuy, damn sexy lid... Couple of black reflective triumph stickers along each jaw and a BIOCHIP 1 on the back!!!
     
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  4. I do wear contacts sometimes, but I like to have the option of wearing my glasses, and I also like to be able to wear sunnies.

    I commute daily on my bike, which means it is bright sunrise (riding East bound) going to work in the morning, and dark moonshine coming home. I used to change the visor from clear to tinted and back again every day on my CL12, that effort lasted about a week and a half before I gave up and just used the clear visor with sunnies...
     
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  5. i have a VR1, yes fogging and noise are issues with them, but i find they are great for waring sunnies under (So one would assume your glasses should be fine)

    One of the big selling points for them as far as i am concirned is that they offer very good periferal vision.
     
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  6. So... My concerns about the sturdiness of the top vents is justified then... +1 for the TK8.
     
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  7. Falcon-Lord: No, brought along my glasses to the shop, and it is rather difficult to wear them under the VR1. I've got Oakley frames too (with the rubber ends removed), so they're straight armed glasses. I would assume my sunnies would be the same since they're a similar shape.

    Both helmets offer identical periferal vision. And yes, better than my HJC.
     
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  8. aaahh this is after 2 years of continual abuse... I did pick it up by the vent once :oops: thats what cracked it... Anyway 2years is a good life for a hemet.
     
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  9. I had a TK8 Excalibur, and had no problems with it (apart from it being a little heavy). The "plastic" helmet held up well when I had my off (Piccy here). The visor tore off and the vents tore off (that was after sliding down the road on them though).

    Playing with it later on, I could see where the foam had crushed inside, so it had certainly done it's job.
     
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  10. I got a KBC vr2 and were glasses. They fit quite well
     
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  11. If it's anything to go by, the visors and mounting systems on both the TK8 and the VR1 are identical.

    VR1 and VR2 are quite different helmets. VR2 does not fit me...
     
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  12. i had the vr1 as my first lid and it was pretty good, though a little on the heavy side, i changed to a suomy for <$100 more than the price of a new vr1 and the weight reduction was noticeable (and welcomed.)
     
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  13. I'll watch this thread with interest.. :)

    btw I found the pants mate, I'd entered the invoice but not unpacked them :grin:
     
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  14. Tanya: And I'm almost certain you'll be the first to know the end result of this thread :) I'm coming in on Wednesday with Drew, probably about lunchtime. And TeamMoto called me today, they want their $80, bugger :( I might call them up tomorrow and tell them I think it's bloody ridiculous to charge me $80 to adjust my mirrors...

    I'll try pants on, I'd love to take them with me if they fit, but will see how silly I feel about swiping the little red card. On one hand it's more protection for me for now (and we all know I need it!) which justifiy's it, on the other hand I have no money at all right now so I really shouldn't! Else I guess it's layby time for me...
     
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  15. Well, ended up buying the TK8. Have been wearing it around the house a little, wow those cheekpads are tight. Will wear it on the bike for the first time tomorrow when I pick my bike up from the shop :) :) :)
     
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  16. KBC TK8 vs HJC CL12:

    TK8:
    - Vents work much better on the TK8, can feel a fair bit more airflow than with the CL12.
    - Unfortunately vents also appear to work when they are closed (not as well as when they're open, but they don't seem to seal completely), so it gets kinda cold in there.
    - Visor seems to resist fogging better and clear faster than the CL12. This could be due to better venting, or maybe because it's a brand new visor vs my 4 year old HJC one with scratches etc.
    - Side chin vents are difficult to work with gloves on due to almost zero feedback when you open or close them. I'll probably get used to this.
    - Slight visual distortion in the visor, didn't notice this when I was in the shop, but definately noticed it while riding.
    - A fair bit more noisy than the CL12. Actually, it's quieter when not moving, or when riding slow. This is probably due to the TK8 having padding where your ears go. But once you get past about 60k's, it starts to howl and whistle. Earplugs are a must.
    - A fair bit more buffeting from the wind, when going past trucks etc it sometimes feels like you're being slapped around the head a bit.

    All in all, mmm... Probably haven't worn it enough to make a proper decision, and I'm probably biased because the CL12 is so worn in that it's really comfy and all that. I definately really prefer the far superior venting in the TK8, and the fact that my head doesn't feel so big, but apart from that, the CL12 is still my favourite of the two...
     
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  17. Just thought I should mention that i've just noticed that the top front left air vent is peeling off, e.g. the glue does not seem to be stick anymore. The helmet is the KBC VR-2

    Going to take it into Redwing either tomorrow or Saturday and see what they will do since i've only had it for like 3-4 weeks.
     
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  18. Final thoughts after wearing the TK8 for a bit:

    For the price, it makes an excellent "around-town" helmet. It's comfortable (except for the cheek pads that are still rather tight - am hoping they will loosen a bit soon), and has excellent venting. Apart from the slight visual distortion which is probably due to my helmet being an XS, the visuals are good, and peripheral vision is also very good. It's reasonably light, looks nice, and is nice to wear around town.

    On the highway however, I don't like it too much. The wind buffeting is very tiring, and it's really noisy. Even wearing earplugs, it still sounds the same as if I wasn't wearing earplugs and put my head right in front of a deskfan at full speed. Late at night and early in the morning it also gets rather cold in the helmet due to the vents not closing properly. I've discovered that if I slide right back in the seat and crouch my head as low as I can to the tank and try to get behind the slipstream of my speedo cluster, then it gets quite, warm and not so tiring. Unfortunately, this also means I can't grip the tank with my knees, and after awhile my neck and eyes also hurt from trying to look up all the time to see where I'm going. If I had some fairing, this helmet would be great on the freeway. But I don't, so it's not so nice.

    Oh well. All in all, I'm still pretty happy with it. Now if only the cheek pads would settle in a bit!

    :)
     
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