Full Face Helmet Suggestions? - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Default Full Face Helmet Suggestions?

My wife has just started riding motorcycles (she is on a Shadow 750) and wants to switch over to a full face helmet but I have only worn 1/2 helmets (or none) my entire life. I have absolutely no idea what I should look for and am drowning in a sea of information, most of which is geared toward racing and sport bike riders. She is only looking for something that will provide good protection and be lightweight and comfortable without crazy graphics all over it! Hell, she even has me thinking about it for long trips, so any information that I can get for us would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 03:32 AM
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There is a lot to know, and the product quality greatly varies.

First off, check out sportbiketrackgear.com and look through their helmet selection. In most cases they do video reviews which are full of the details you need and without the fluff you don't.

Here's the criteria you need to search for:

Fit: Many brand's models will have multiple shell sizes. The more shell sizes, the better for a custom fit. Cheap stuff (like say HJC) will use the same shell for small, medium and even large as well only changing the shell for XL and up. Whereas a brand like Shoei will usually have 3-4 shell sizes so someone wearing a small isn't carrying around a large sized outer shell on their noggin. Scorpion is also good about this for a medium pricepoint brand.



Weight: Heavy is a pain in the neck. Literally. Sometimes we sacrifice because we want inner flipdown sunshields and whatnot, but in general you want as light as you can get. Cheaper stuff is generally heavier, it costs more to produce a lightweight helmet.



Safety Rating: DOT means absolutely nothing. The helmet you buy that says "DOT" on it wasn't actually tested. This is your squash we're talking about here... protect it right, go with a Snell Approved helmet. Also ECE is a step above DOT (and both will also be DOT is sold in the USA because Snell and ECE go above and beyond the minimum DOT requirements)



Shell material: You want composite. You don't want fiberglass. Strength and rigidity is paramount and composites are the way to go.



Airflow/Ventilation: Let's face it, full face helmets are hotter than half-shells. But one will save your life while the other does nothing more than hold your hair in place... for this convenience, you must sacrifice. Watch all the review videos you can because they will always discuss this. My Shoei RF-1100 flows AWESOME, almost feels like I have a series of fans inside the helmet when I am riding. My Scorpion EXO-900 flows "decently" but there is a noticeable difference. Cheaper helmets will flow less, almost always.

Sidenote: They all claim anti-fog faceshields but its bullshit... they all fog up and you'll be venting them at every light, or riding with it slightly vented anyway. The cool thing is now you don't need sunglasses, you either buy an extra shield thats tinted, or buy a model that uses self-tinting photochromic shields that tint and un-tint in available light. Bell makes four models that use this and Akuma makes one that does.



Quietness: If she falls in love with a particular helmet, it fits her head perfectly and fills the other requirement... just wear a good set of earplugs. It's not so much the exhaust, but the wind buffeting that can seriously damage your ears. Higher quality helmets will be quieter, cheaper gets much louder.


Aerodynamics: Nothing worse than doing a headcheck and BAM the wind nearly rips your head off because you turned it sideways. Yeah, it sucks.... be sure to get a quality helmet, they will be tested for aerodynamics.



While in SOME rare cases you can spend $200 or under and get most of that, it's the exception rather than the rule. Quality means a LOT of research & development, expensive components, and higher cost of labor. Helmets aren't cheap. One way a helmet can give you most all of the above but still be cheap is by cutting corners in the padding. HJC make a decent protective lid... but the insides break down by the end of the season, so you're buying a new helmet each year. So that $189 HJC will cost you $945 over the next 5 years. That $489 Shoei/Arai/Shark/whatever will cost you only $489 over the next 5 years because it is made of better quality components.



Fit can be tricky. She may be say a small in the first ten helmets she tries, but a medium in another brand. Even within the SAME BRAND, different models might change her size. Find a BIG shop that carries a wide variety. Try them all on, write down which brand & model fits in what size... then shop online for the best price. OR find a good e-tailer like sportbiketrackgear that has a killer exchange policy, and you'll have no worries.


Once you've owned a QUALITY full face, you'll never go back. No wind, no bugs, rain doesn't sting, and you know it'll be as safe as it can possibly be. Many folks who detest full face helmets did not use a high quality one.



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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahook View Post
My wife has just started riding motorcycles (she is on a Shadow 750) and wants to switch over to a full face helmet but I have only worn 1/2 helmets (or none) my entire life. I have absolutely no idea what I should look for and am drowning in a sea of information, most of which is geared toward racing and sport bike riders. She is only looking for something that will provide good protection and be lightweight and comfortable without crazy graphics all over it! Hell, she even has me thinking about it for long trips, so any information that I can get for us would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
ahook
2011 Hammer 8ball
Go to revzilla.com or helmetharbor or webbikeworld for reviews. There is a ton of info on those sites. The Nolan n90 may be up your wife's alley. It's a simple high quality flip up.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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wow thanks for all the info!
It really is amazing the price difference for FF helmets. Anywhere from $50-$600. My major concerns are weight, noise, ventilation, and buffeting but never thought about liners deteriorating and having to buy a new helmet after one season. I'm gonna check out those sights and specifically Shoei and Nolan. One thing that really suprises me is the lack of information on a lot of sites. J&P doesn't have any real info on their FF helmets. Thanks again and please anybody else feel free to chime in if you have suggestions, especially if you have a personal experience (good or bad) with a specific helmet!
Thanks!
ahook
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:24 AM
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I have worn full face since the day I started riding. My best advice is that you have to put them on in the store and wear them around for 20 to 30 minutes. If you don't have any hotspots or discomfort by then it should be good to buy. If you do have any discomfort at all don't buy that helmet. If it has a hotspot after 20 minutes it will be a blister after a couple of hours on the road.

I would never buy a helmet online for two reasons. First, The sizes don't have any comparison between helmets. I have a Shark that is an XL and I have a Fulmer that is a Medium. You have to try them on to see if they fit. The sized don't even match between two different models made by the same company. The second reason is just because they fit doesn't mean they are comfortable. If the helmet is not comfortable then you won't wear it. If you aren't wearing it there was no reason to get it in the first place.

Once you get a helmet that is comfortable they are like an old pair of half wore out shoes. I don't mind putting on my helmets at all. In fact I feel uncomfortable NOT wearing one.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 11:21 AM
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I have worn only Shoei’s my entire life. They are damn fine helmets.
But I have to say that I like my new HJC FS-15 carbon fiber lid as much or more as any of the Shoei’s. I ordinarily wouldn’t give HJC a second glance but after finding one on E-bay for $200 shipped I couldn’t pass it up.

It’s very light, aerodynamic & snell rated. Haven’t noticed any degradation of the liner but I also wear a skull cap under my helmet.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 01:35 PM
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First off, FF is the way to go. Modular is not due to weight and less protection no matter what anyone says. The inner mechanism of the modular can cause a lot of injury when you actually need the brain bucket.

FF protects the jaw, teeth and a lot of other stuff. Read this:

http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo...s.html#Helmets

Shoei is the answer.

Of the Shoei helmets, your wife wants a QWEST in the smallest size she can handle. Bigger feels better in the store but will allow too much wind noise and a lot less protection. Not too tight; but damn snug.

QWEST over RF1100 because the Qwest Shoei is for riding with head up. RF1100 is sport bike head down.

Had an RF1100 in XL and put up with it for a year. Bought the new 2011 Victory Kingpin 8 Ball and treated myself to the black Shoei Qwest in size "L" and much better...way better. Light years better.

You both need custom ear plugs. If you don't think so look at all the hearing aides on guys in their 50's who have been riding for a few years.

Get her good gear. Over the ankle boots. No blue jeans. All the gear all the time (ATTGAT) is a pain in the ass but so is road rash. This guy makes the correct gear:

http://www.motoport.com/

It ain't cheap but neither is road rash. Get her black jean style and some kind of mesh top that will be cool that she can layer under. Do the same for yourself.

Factory gear and leather looks great. Doesn't work anywhere near as well as the Motorport stuff.

You can even match if you want to.

I live in Southern California but am on Maui now. No helmet laws...people riding HD's all over wearing shorts and flip flops. No helmets; wanted to rent one; sorry no helmets...nah we got no gear. I'll wait until I get home.

Ride safely....Yes I do have a shelf full of helmets; I know whereof I speak. Best regards.

John
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 01:52 PM
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Default Helmet info

After buying a couple of helmets online, thinking I was getting great deals...only to not care for the fit...I woudld suggest taking her down to any local dealer or gear shop. have her try on any and all of the helmets she likes, then have her decide on what she likes. Spend whatever it takes. Most of the places will offer some kind of deal if you ask...everything from price matching to various discounts. Remember, if she is happy...you are happy.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 03:49 PM
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Shoei if you can swing the price. I currently have a JoeRocket carbon fiber helmet. It's sharp looking looks great,fits great. In my opinion it has tooo much wind noise for the money and you do not want to get in a rain storm with them. The Joe Rocket vents really good for the summer,but the rear exhaust vents do NOT close. You have to either put plugs of some time in the holes or duct tape over them in a a true down pore.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmax View Post
This guy makes the correct gear:

http://www.motoport.com/

It ain't cheap but neither is road rash. Get her black jean style and some kind of mesh top that will be cool that she can layer under. Do the same for yourself.

Factory gear and leather looks great. Doesn't work anywhere near as well as the Motorport stuff.
Meh... for those prices you can buy much higher quality gear, street & race proven, top-tier stuff. And it won't look as cheap either. (Note that the listed priority was safety over looks)

Wearing regular jeans is totally fine if she can't find riding pants that work for her. BUT she needs to invest in armored shorts and kneepads. I wear armored shorts 99% of the time because let's face it... sometimes we DO get off our bikes, and if you can wear normal street clothes, it will make you more comfortable. If you're more comfortable, you're less likely to say "screw it" and go without gear.

I wear both EVS and Fox armored shorts. You can usually find them for about $50 a pair.

EVS Undergear Ultimate Short:

http://www.google.com/search?q=EVS+U...w=1440&bih=672


FOX Racing Titan shorts:

http://www.google.com/search?q=EVS+U...w=1440&bih=672

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