I'm thinking about getting a new helmet. My old AGV has lasted me about 5 years now, so I think it's time for a change. I went to Peter Stevens on the weekend and was rather shocked by how expensive they all are. So I'm still looking. The primary reason for the visit was to get my g/f her own helmet for when she pillions (rather than my spare old helmet). I did get away okay on that (about $170). I could have gotten a matching helmet for me, but I thought that would be a bit naff. What I'm wondering is just why there is such a difference in price. I mean why is a carbon fiber shell so much better than plastic? After all it's the foam inside that does the protecting. From my experience with composites I would have thought plastic would have been somewhat better (less brittle). After all they all pass Australian Standards. There is also this interesting article: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/motorcycle_helmet_review/ It suggests the DOT standard may be better than the Snell as far as deceleration forces on your head. Yet Snell rated helmets typically cost more. I know I want my brain experiencing the minimum number of g's if I crack it off something. Has anyone had any issues with the cheaper brand helmets? And does anyone have any thoughts about those helmets with the chin section that hinges backwards?