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I plan on buying a helmet and was wondering if anybody had some pointers as to what brand? I never sported a helmet and am really clueless as to what to look for. Price range is around $200, any tips are appreciated.
 

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Comfort & fit are very, very important. A bike shop with a large range of helmets or clothing specialist is the place to go find one, take your time & try on everything that you can. A helpful sales assistant is a bonus & will advise you on fit.
 

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Honestly, I paid a mortgage equivalent for this Arai Corsair RX7 and I would never go back. You can wear this for 12 hours straight and not have any problem.

I think there are alot of good looking helmets, but like he already said, fit and comfort + safety.... 1st priority.
 
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Biggest warning I can say is look for pressure points on the front and back of the head those are the headache causers. Along with trying on a large assortment I'd say wear the one that you are thinking of purchasing around for at least 15 minutes in the store just to get kind of an extended feel for it. Also take into considerations haircuts!!! heh, I bought my HJC AC-12 and then a week later got my haircut about 3 inches and now it's a little loose... guess I have to grow it back out for the summer.
Drew~
 

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Try different brands until you find the one that fits you... then pick out the style/color/graphics, etc. Mine is the Shoe X-Eleven (YF Design) and added Fog City fog liner.
 

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As has already been said fit is the most important issue with a new helmet. If there is a Cycle Gear in your area I would pay them a visit. My local store has about 300 helmets on hand at all times. Try on a lot of different brands and ask about the return policy. I have one high end Arai cost more than a years worth bike insurance and I will buy another one when the time comes to up-date. I also have a Shoei and I have been very happy with it as a back up lid. This was less than $200 at Cycle Gear and is Snell certified.
 

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One other thing I can suggest is to try the helmet while sitting on a bike. Preferably the same model bike you ride.

I have a scorpion helmet, while I really like the fit it has a drawback I didn't foresee when purchasing it. It is very hard for me to see forward while in full tuck. This wasn't a big deal on my YZF since the screen is so tall but on the 636 in full tuck the furthest up I can see is the top of the Tach/Speedo.
 

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Off Topic --->
rlwinm., you talk of full tuck,,,ya must be slim..my fat ass gets in full tuck and my head is right in the air flow.. I gues i could loose about 6-7 waistline inches!
 

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Off Topic --->
rlwinm., you talk of full tuck,,,ya must be slim..my fat ass gets in full tuck and my head is right in the air flow.. I gues i could loose about 6-7 waistline inches!
I'm carrying a little extra baggage but not bad, I'll call it winter weight :) You should try a double bubble screen, it should help a little. That's what I'm using now and it does help for me. I found that the stock screen was just ridiculously short. Fortunately the bike came with both the stock and a Puig screen.

I would consider full tuck butt back and helmet/chin resting in the air box cover dent. I just recently picked up the 636 so I haven't had it at the track yet to see if the extra few inches will help getting to top speed any quicker. To be fair I also wear classes so they tend to keep the helmet from rocking back.
 

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I was gonna recommend Scorpion also but seems like everyone's beaten me to it! Great lid IMO, esp for such a dramatic drop in price compared to Arai.
 

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I would recommend trying helmets on, find a brand you like and then look for closeout models in that helmet.

For $200 you can get into a good helmet on closeout.

Here are the brands I recommend -

Arai
Shoie
Suomy
AGV

When buying a helmet fit is the most important factor. If it does not fit right you wont wear it or at least wont like it. Next look at the quality of the padding, the weight of the helmet and the looks.

The fit of the helmet when purchased should be tight. Yes tight. The helmet will brake in and when it does, you want it to fit your face. If it is loose the helmet will shake and lift at high speed....not good.
 

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I would recommend trying helmets on, find a brand you like and then look for closeout models in that helmet.
Roger that on being able to try a helmet on. By most standards I should be wearing a medium helmet, but when I put them on I always end up getting a small. Since the internet is the cheapest way to go in most places, try the helm on in the store and then order it on-line, that is unless the store can match the price. Are, like Cyclemartusa said, look for the closeout items.
 

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Honestly, I paid a mortgage equivalent for this Arai Corsair RX7 and I would never go back. You can wear this for 12 hours straight and not have any problem.

I think there are alot of good looking helmets, but like he already said, fit and comfort + safety.... 1st priority.
I put my Arai Corsair on credit so I could pay my insurance and truck payment that month. But I've never looked back. It's a great helmet, and it's still shiny as I pulled it out of the box over six months ago when I bought it.

I'd say the best ones to go for are Arai, Shoei, Shark, and AGV.

If you want an affordable, but good quality helmet, go with an Icon.
 

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Not sure how other less expensive manufactures operate, Im sure others do this, but with Arai I know first hand if you're in an accident and the helmet hits anything, you can send it to them for a free tech inspection to go over the interior. If you've never had an incident before, this is a good service to have :)
 

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2 bills is a bit lowball. Theres an old saying;"If ya got a $10.00 head,buy a $10.00 helmet".
I've always worn Shoei's. Crash tested a TZ-1 at about 45 mph:banghead and my melon was fine(some would argue that point,but I digress..).
Don't buy anything that doen't have at least a SNELL M2000 cert. The latest SNELL rating is M2005. Suomy uses a British rating thats very stringent.
Avoid helmets that only have a DOT sticker. The DOT testing standard dates back to the early 70's and helmet companies submit helmets for testing,whereas SNELL goes out and buys helmets off of the shelves to test,thereby elimnating the possibility of the manufacturer submitting a 'ringer'. Yes,the DOT does do random purchase testing,but usually by the time they do,thousands of helmets have already reached the consumer.
Proper fit is the key. Every helmet company has its own head form and sizing can very wildy from one manufacturer to the next. For example,my melon is pretty big and I wear either a xl or xxl in a Shoei depending on the model.
A xxxl AGV won't even get past my ears. Also check the chinbar to nose clearance. If you can't get at least a finger between your nose and the chinbar,don't buy the helmet. Go someplace that carries the major brands and spend a couple of hours trying them on. If you intend to wear a balakava,hood or doo-rag under the helmet,make sure you do your sizing while wearing it. You'd be amazed at how uncomfortable a mere 1/16" of material can be.
Though usually not a problem nowadays,check and make sure that the peripheral vision is good. Can you work the faceshield,latches and vents easily with a gloved hand? Hows parts availability? Lotta good its going to do you to buy a closeout or bargain brand helmet if you either can't get a replacement shiels or hardware or have to wait weeks for what you need to come from southeast Asia.
Some FYI on the care and feeding of your new lid:
Rule #1:If you drop your lid from a height of more than 24" onto a hard surface,send it back to the mfg. for inspection. Believe it or not,such a seemingly insignificant impact can de-laminated the shell and compress the EPS liner enough to reduce the effectiveness of the helmet to almost ZERO.
Rule #2: Do not store your helmet in the garage. All the components of the helmet are subject to degradation from exposure to hydrocarbons. Gasoline,oil and solvents are hydrocarbons and found in significant enough quantities in the atmosphere of the average garage to be a concern.
Rule #3: Do not place your helmet on a mirror,sissybar or similar device as its contact with the object may cause a localized compression of the EPS material decreasing its ability to protect you. Also,NEVER sit on your helmet as doing that may damage the shell.
Rule #4: Don't leave your helmet outside. I know this sounds bizarre,but UV radiation will affect the chemical composition of the shell over time,so unless you're wearing the helmet,it should never be left outside.
Rule #5: NEVER transport the helmet by its strap in a helmet lock. First of all the stap is designed to keep the helmet on your head,not support the weight of the helmet. Secondly,transporting the helmet in this fashion exposes it unnecessarily to hydrocarbons and sunlight.
Rule #6: When cleaning a helmet use only a cleaner approved by the mfg. Otherwise use only mild soap and water. When cleaning the liner,follow the mfg. instructions and make sure that the liner is COMPLETELY dry before using.
Rule #7: Custom painting will void almost every warranty on the planet. If you do decide to get custom,make sure that you,or the person painting your helmet knows what he is doing! Use the wrong paint on a helmet and you might as well be using a paper bag on your head!
Rule #8: Replace your helmet every 5 years or sooner if you're a mileage junky or your helmet has been exposed to extreme environments.
 

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ZOX Spectra R Speed Freak. About $150 on E-Bay. 38 years riding; best helmet I've ever owned. A real "looker" too,
 

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2 bills is a bit lowball. Theres an old saying;"If ya got a $10.00 head,buy a $10.00 helmet".
I've always worn Shoei's. Crash tested a TZ-1 at about 45 mph:banghead and my melon was fine(some would argue that point,but I digress..).
Don't buy anything that doen't have at least a SNELL M2000 cert. The latest SNELL rating is M2005. Suomy uses a British rating thats very stringent.
Avoid helmets that only have a DOT sticker. The DOT testing standard dates back to the early 70's and helmet companies submit helmets for testing,whereas SNELL goes out and buys helmets off of the shelves to test,thereby elimnating the possibility of the manufacturer submitting a 'ringer'. Yes,the DOT does do random purchase testing,but usually by the time they do,thousands of helmets have already reached the consumer.
Proper fit is the key. Every helmet company has its own head form and sizing can very wildy from one manufacturer to the next. For example,my melon is pretty big and I wear either a xl or xxl in a Shoei depending on the model.
A xxxl AGV won't even get past my ears. Also check the chinbar to nose clearance. If you can't get at least a finger between your nose and the chinbar,don't buy the helmet. Go someplace that carries the major brands and spend a couple of hours trying them on. If you intend to wear a balakava,hood or doo-rag under the helmet,make sure you do your sizing while wearing it. You'd be amazed at how uncomfortable a mere 1/16" of material can be.
Though usually not a problem nowadays,check and make sure that the peripheral vision is good. Can you work the faceshield,latches and vents easily with a gloved hand? Hows parts availability? Lotta good its going to do you to buy a closeout or bargain brand helmet if you either can't get a replacement shiels or hardware or have to wait weeks for what you need to come from southeast Asia.
Some FYI on the care and feeding of your new lid:
Rule #1:If you drop your lid from a height of more than 24" onto a hard surface,send it back to the mfg. for inspection. Believe it or not,such a seemingly insignificant impact can de-laminated the shell and compress the EPS liner enough to reduce the effectiveness of the helmet to almost ZERO.
Rule #2: Do not store your helmet in the garage. All the components of the helmet are subject to degradation from exposure to hydrocarbons. Gasoline,oil and solvents are hydrocarbons and found in significant enough quantities in the atmosphere of the average garage to be a concern.
Rule #3: Do not place your helmet on a mirror,sissybar or similar device as its contact with the object may cause a localized compression of the EPS material decreasing its ability to protect you. Also,NEVER sit on your helmet as doing that may damage the shell.
Rule #4: Don't leave your helmet outside. I know this sounds bizarre,but UV radiation will affect the chemical composition of the shell over time,so unless you're wearing the helmet,it should never be left outside.
Rule #5: NEVER transport the helmet by its strap in a helmet lock. First of all the stap is designed to keep the helmet on your head,not support the weight of the helmet. Secondly,transporting the helmet in this fashion exposes it unnecessarily to hydrocarbons and sunlight.
Rule #6: When cleaning a helmet use only a cleaner approved by the mfg. Otherwise use only mild soap and water. When cleaning the liner,follow the mfg. instructions and make sure that the liner is COMPLETELY dry before using.
Rule #7: Custom painting will void almost every warranty on the planet. If you do decide to get custom,make sure that you,or the person painting your helmet knows what he is doing! Use the wrong paint on a helmet and you might as well be using a paper bag on your head!
Rule #8: Replace your helmet every 5 years or sooner if you're a mileage junky or your helmet has been exposed to extreme environments.

nice job,

Arai
Shoie
Suomy
AGV
are some of the best brands. U get what u pay for. Pay a little more and u will get a good helmet.
 

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2 bills is a bit lowball. Theres an old saying;"If ya got a $10.00 head,buy a $10.00 helmet".
I've always worn Shoei's. Crash tested a TZ-1 at about 45 mph:banghead and my melon was fine(some would argue that point,but I digress..).
Don't buy anything that doen't have at least a SNELL M2000 cert. The latest SNELL rating is M2005. Suomy uses a British rating thats very stringent.
Avoid helmets that only have a DOT sticker. The DOT testing standard dates back to the early 70's and helmet companies submit helmets for testing,whereas SNELL goes out and buys helmets off of the shelves to test,thereby elimnating the possibility of the manufacturer submitting a 'ringer'. Yes,the DOT does do random purchase testing,but usually by the time they do,thousands of helmets have already reached the consumer.
Proper fit is the key. Every helmet company has its own head form and sizing can very wildy from one manufacturer to the next. For example,my melon is pretty big and I wear either a xl or xxl in a Shoei depending on the model.
A xxxl AGV won't even get past my ears. Also check the chinbar to nose clearance. If you can't get at least a finger between your nose and the chinbar,don't buy the helmet. Go someplace that carries the major brands and spend a couple of hours trying them on. If you intend to wear a balakava,hood or doo-rag under the helmet,make sure you do your sizing while wearing it. You'd be amazed at how uncomfortable a mere 1/16" of material can be.
Though usually not a problem nowadays,check and make sure that the peripheral vision is good. Can you work the faceshield,latches and vents easily with a gloved hand? Hows parts availability? Lotta good its going to do you to buy a closeout or bargain brand helmet if you either can't get a replacement shiels or hardware or have to wait weeks for what you need to come from southeast Asia.
Some FYI on the care and feeding of your new lid:
Rule #1:If you drop your lid from a height of more than 24" onto a hard surface,send it back to the mfg. for inspection. Believe it or not,such a seemingly insignificant impact can de-laminated the shell and compress the EPS liner enough to reduce the effectiveness of the helmet to almost ZERO.
Rule #2: Do not store your helmet in the garage. All the components of the helmet are subject to degradation from exposure to hydrocarbons. Gasoline,oil and solvents are hydrocarbons and found in significant enough quantities in the atmosphere of the average garage to be a concern.
Rule #3: Do not place your helmet on a mirror,sissybar or similar device as its contact with the object may cause a localized compression of the EPS material decreasing its ability to protect you. Also,NEVER sit on your helmet as doing that may damage the shell.
Rule #4: Don't leave your helmet outside. I know this sounds bizarre,but UV radiation will affect the chemical composition of the shell over time,so unless you're wearing the helmet,it should never be left outside.
Rule #5: NEVER transport the helmet by its strap in a helmet lock. First of all the stap is designed to keep the helmet on your head,not support the weight of the helmet. Secondly,transporting the helmet in this fashion exposes it unnecessarily to hydrocarbons and sunlight.
Rule #6: When cleaning a helmet use only a cleaner approved by the mfg. Otherwise use only mild soap and water. When cleaning the liner,follow the mfg. instructions and make sure that the liner is COMPLETELY dry before using.
Rule #7: Custom painting will void almost every warranty on the planet. If you do decide to get custom,make sure that you,or the person painting your helmet knows what he is doing! Use the wrong paint on a helmet and you might as well be using a paper bag on your head!
Rule #8: Replace your helmet every 5 years or sooner if you're a mileage junky or your helmet has been exposed to extreme environments.
geez how can you add to that?:thumbup

I would also mention to do your research on the wind noise ratings on the helmet as a noisey helmet will just annoy you whilst commuting and seriously put you off if you hit the track:banghead
 
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