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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Helmets- loaded question

I'm one of those people who dont wear helmets, my reasons are my own and all that. And no (hehe) i dont wanna debate good or bad.

My question: Through more nagging then any man should endure I am thinking about my first helmet purchase since I was about 10 (no helmet, no mini bike).

Here is the "loaded" part, Im looking for OPINIONS remeber, they are opinions, so like or dislike, express your own without slamming others (yes i use the interent to much and feel i needed to put that little sentacne down).

What do you guys all think, Full face, shorty, Open face? And beyond that which ones.

My concerns are heat as I ride mostly (err... pretty much only) in summer, and comfort. And the old standards fromt he ever going helmet debates, good hearing and vision and protection.

My thoughts (very uninformed) are that i want a shorty. this one.

BUT, visors? need one or not? I fly RC planes alot and understand how much a visor can matter in bright light... maybe

I can see a full face with visor as pretty nice for cold, but I like the wind (and bugs) in my face so not really leaning that way.

What do you guys all use? anything (besides the standard saftey reasons) for one over the other that any of you have seen.

I was thinking a shorty gives me the best sound (while i dont think others restirct it that much, anything that covers your ears does some, even if only a little) and wieght.. it would seem to be the lightest. To be honest its really between the two I listed, and the visor thing is where I'm stuck.

And of course if sombody wants to tell me other reasons (real or percieved) I'm happy to hear um.

I figure helmets are like religion or politics... you should never discuss either with friends (or on the internet) hehe
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 06:23 PM
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I know that a fullface helmet offers the most protection, and according to at least one study, about 35 or 37% of all helmet strikes will be to the lower front jaw area protected by the full face strap.

I currently have a flat black shorty helmet, usable with a visor or a face shield, but so far I have not found a face shield that will allow a visor snapped on over top. I have a large windshield on my bike, but have had enough rocks lofted into the windshield of cages over the years that I usually wear a faceshield when riding as well. I have also driven through two swarms of insects (one was bees, the other was big grasshoppers) that totally covered the windshield with bug guts. Riding through either one of those swarms on bike without a windshield or face shield at 60 mph would likely result in being temporarily blinded, stunned and maybe even knocked off the bike, resulting in further injuries.

Since coming online I have learned a lot about HI VIS colors on clothing and helmets. I do not know if I could abide riding with a Hi Vis yellow or green helmet, but my next one will probably be white. I am slowly talking myself into a modular helmet, especially for cool or wet weather riding.

Edit Jan 6/2011. I have changed my mind about using a modular helmet after reading of a rider who was in a coma for 4 days after a crash where the hinge on his modular helmet smashed into his temple. I have heard a few other similar opinions too.

I like the looks of both shorty helmets you have to choose from. Just be aware when riding with a visor you have to keep it tilted slightly down to keep the wind from pulling it upward.


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Last edited by OlHossCanada; 01-06-2011 at 12:48 PM.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 06:54 PM
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Here is the chart showing percentage of damage to post-crash helmets studied. Note that 34% of those studied took it on the chin, literally. That's a high enough number for me to choose a full face helmet. As for which helmet, I'm going to be a bit cliche and say the best helmet is the one that fits. In my case I have a long, oval shaped skull and Arai was the only manufacture that I could find that makes a helmet specifically designed for long, oval brain casings. All other helmets I tried on, and I tried on every helmet within a 20 mile radius, was not comfortable. The only complaint with Arai is the visor side pods - they break easily. Luckily, Arai is a great company and will replace them free of charge for 5 years under warranty (two so far). I'm told the last replacements I got were a redesign, though they look identical to the original components.

Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 07:01 PM
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if you are big time not into wearing a helmet then go with shorty. both that you posted are nice looking brain buckets. the way I look at it....some helmet is better than no helmet. but it is the riders choice to wear one or not. it's your head and your choice!

I have have one of each helmets (full face, 3/4 face and shorty) with the shorty it's like not wearing anything at all.

Last edited by ruger; 04-22-2010 at 07:05 PM.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 07:02 PM
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Modulars give all the freedom and convenience that you may want. Also, get as close to bright white as possible. That little pumpkin-sized orb whizzing down the highway is the one object pulls the motorcyclist out of the visual noise in traffic. Next time you see a biker with a white helmet, notice how he "pops" in your field of view compared to other riders.

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 07:11 PM
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Like you I never wore one for years after the law was repealed in KY,Now when I ride i may or may not wear one I have a melon for a head to begin with and found a full face 4X that fit and If I am doing more than riding a few miles I usually wear it,I tried the half helmets and the way the wind blows around them deafens me.What I like best about the full face is the lack of noise and on an all day ride it just makes life more comfortable when I don't have all that wind noise and my eyes don't water all the time plus I can actually hear my Ipod . I have been looking at the modulars and open face with the shields also for a second helmet,from a die hard no helmet rider to liking a full face with a shield is a pretty big jump,but the new venting systems and removable washable linings make them livable all summer long and mine is black.Borrow one of each for a day off of a buddy and see what you like best and you'll be better informed about what you are getting,Happy Hunting and good luck.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 07:21 PM
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I ride with a full face helmet. Period. I did at one time ride with a 3/4 helmet and goggles...which to me solve the visor problem on 3/4 helmets.

But after awhile I just felt to exposed with a 3/4 and went back to a full face helmet. I currently wear a Shoei RF 1100, and after a few years with it will never go back to anything less than a full face helmet.

I take head protection fairly serious, and after seeing and hearing about a multitude of accidents , I am also pretty much a ATTGATT type rider...(All The Gear All The Time)...but when it is hot I opt for mesh pants/jacket, and still wear leather running shoes, as opposesed to heavy boots.

Most of this is just knowing being older, ( at 55 years), I value the concept of not having to wait to heal.... But the overwhelming distaste of getting killed has me sold on wearing a full face helmet at all times.

I am not going to preach here, your life (or death) is your choice. But given the fact that one can live with broken bones, road rash, or even a limb torn off, I have yet to find anyone that can live and enjoy life without a brain. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT ORGAN you have, and it deserves the best protection you can afford to give it.

Cars have seatbelts and airbags. The only thing that they have come up with in all these years to make your chances of survival at least possible in a motorcycle accident is to wear a good helmet. Shortie helmets are great............ if you are riding a bicycle....but give the speed one can achieve on a motorcycle, anything less than a full face helmet is at the least only going to increase the time it takes to return to a normal life again...if you are in fact lucky enough to get that option.


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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 08:03 PM
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I wear a full-face model all the time. I would consider a modular (the front flips up) kind but they were too expensive when I was looking. They've come down in price a bit.

I was worried about being too confined and getting too warm in the full-face helmet but unless I'm stopped at a traffic light for a long time on an August day, I don't notice the heat in the helmet. I have a silver/gray one. It seems to control the heat well. I wear perscription glasses or sunglasses when I ride. I usually ride with the visor up. Late last season I changed out the clear visor for a dark smoke tint visor. I don't ride at night much (In the summer in SW Ohio it's light till almost 10pm). Most of it is daytime riding and it always seems to be going east in the morning and west at night, so I'm always headed into the sun. I flip the visor down to act as a second pair of sunglasses. It's worked well.

Bottom line.... Go to several stores and try a lot of styles and brands on. Size varies greatly from one manufacturer to the other. An XL in one brand is a 3XL in another. I went with an HJC helmet because at the time it had the best bang for the buck. Look for the DOT and Snell ratings but above all buy something you'll wear. If that's a beanie helmet then fine, it's better than nothing. We've all seen what even a slow speed fall can do.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 11:25 PM
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I went with a modular helmet and i love it. the wind noise is tolerable, and my helmet has built in "sunglasses" that flip down and are very handy. the only thing is that its a little on the heavy side, so long rides can be a pain in the neck. pardon the pun. as far as cost, mine was only $110 with free shipping.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 11:35 PM
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All I will use is a full face and/or modular.

This is the helmet I have and use now:


I like it because I can flip up the entire face, making it easy to put on / take off, it has a flip down sun shade, so I don't have to wear sunglasses, and it is quite comfortable. I can hear well in it. And the heat here in Georgia isn't too bad in this helmet. No problems...


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