Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed) - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2017, 8:23 am Thread Starter
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Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Hello Everyone. K1200s Rider here in New England. I have my bike set up as an 80% touring outfit. Large bags, handlebar risers, touring windscreen, cruise control, etc.

I am in the market for a new helmet. I have been wearing a Shark RSR for last 7 years. Comfy helmet in general, but a bit too big because the Sharks' sizing is off for my head. Medium is unwearable and large is just a bit too big. Decided that it was time for a new helmet when I scratched my visor and the top vent lever broke. The shark was nice, but VERY noisy. I have a weird head size and vary from Large in some helmets to small in others.

As a NE tourer and commuter, the weather conditions can range from 28 degrees F to 100 degrees F with 100% humidity. I will ride all the way down to mid 20's as long as there is no ice on the roads. My daily ride has me heading into work mid day and not coming home until after dark, and regular commutes from Boston area into Upstate New York (Catskills and Adirondacks) see pretty varied conditions.

Absolute Musts:

1. Helmet must have a great sealing mechanism (no leaking), pinlock, etc. to deal with fogging.
2. Must be on the quieter end of the spectrum. My ears are very sensitive, and whistling noises/ heavy wind noises are an issue.
3. Must either have a photo-chromatic visor option or good smoke / tinted visors available. (I will not wear sunglasses inside of the helmet)
4. Must have great ventilation.
5. MUST have a large viewport and easy head-check visibility and control (no sail while head checking). I have a neck issue that has been surgically corrected and have limited ability to turn my head. Large viewport and aerodynamics for head checking is VERY important.
6. As per #5, safety and having ECE cert or some of the newer technology for dealing with twisting/shearing force during low / mid level crash is important, but not deal breaker per se.

I do not care about comm systems compatibility.

What I have tried/narrowed down to:

I tried the Schuberth C3-pro. Great helmet but FAR to stuffy. Ventilation is very poor and I will not be happy. Cannot wait for the C4: I need a helmet sooner than the C4 is avilable.

Shoei Neotec is nice, but the modular thing does not appeal to me in general, and the internal visor does not extend down far enough (see the GR Air below), and there are not tinted visors available.

Shoei RF1200 has not impressed me. Noisy, mediocre ventilations, and I had the chance to test ride one (friends helmet), and the guys I know who have them wish they had gotten the GT Air or something else.

1. Shoei GT Air (M) fits perfectly. The drop down visor is nice, but does not extend far down enough and allows light leakage. I said "oh, well, I'll just buy a tinted visor and not use the drop down", but then found that tinted visors/ photo-chromatic visors are not available for the GT Air (presumably because of the internal visor). That was a deal breaker for me, and a bummer, as just about everything else on that helmet was perfect. Downside is that visor swapping is a PITA, and the Shoei has the least-efficient mechanism that I've ever seen on a helmet.

2. Arai Quantum-X (S) fits perfectly as well. No photochromatic shield available. Their dark smoke visor is a little bit too light, and their shield change system is also a bit of a PITA, and since I will be changing shields at least once on every ride, the convenience is not there. Field of view is not great for me and my neck.

3. Shoei X-14 (M) Fits great. Field of view is HUGE. Photochromatic visor is available as are various levels of tint. Downside: As a nearly pure sport helmet, I have HEARD that the venting does not work well during upright riding, and that head-checking during regular street riding creates a LOT of sail. This is just second/third hand. If anyone has feedback about regular street / touring riding using this race-bred helmet please chime in.

4. Bell Race Star (M-L) Beautiful helmet by virtually every standard I can think. Photochromatic visor available. Shield change mechanism is quick, simple, and easy. Almost as easy as Shark. Field of view is MASSIVE. Their new system for safety is AMAZING, and they're one of the only helmets available in USA that has DOT, ECE, and SNELL rating PLUS their proprietary system for lessening rotational/shear forces at low and mid range impact. Downside: Helmet is HUGE and I don't know about the Sail issue. Sizing is weird. Medium fits very good in general, but has hot spots at the temples. I am going to try a large and see if that helps.

If anyone has any suggestions/feedback I would be welcome to hear them. At the very least, I hope that maybe others who are looking can take some of the info from my helmet search and use it for their own searches. I have tried on all of these helmets, so please feel free to ask questions about them and I will answer if I can.

Last edited by Ju-Jitsu; Mar 30th, 2017 at 8:34 am.
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post #2 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2017, 8:44 am
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Look over the reviews in WebBikeWorld!

Motorcycle Helmet Reviews - webBikeWorld

Pad. Gajajiva
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post #3 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2017, 9:13 am
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ju-Jitsu View Post

Absolute Musts:

1. Helmet must have a great sealing mechanism (no leaking), pinlock, etc. to deal with fogging.
2. Must be on the quieter end of the spectrum. My ears are very sensitive, and whistling noises/ heavy wind noises are an issue.
3. Must either have a photo-chromatic visor option or good smoke / tinted visors available. (I will not wear sunglasses inside of the helmet)
4. Must have great ventilation.
5. MUST have a large viewport and easy head-check visibility and control (no sail while head checking). I have a neck issue that has been surgically corrected and have limited ability to turn my head. Large viewport and aerodynamics for head checking is VERY important.
6. As per #5, safety and having ECE cert or some of the newer technology for dealing with twisting/shearing force during low / mid level crash is important, but not deal breaker per se.

We always want more than we can get, so you are going to have to do something bold and compromise (something that our politicians have forgotten completely).

FIT IS EVERYTHING. You might want to try http://www.lidpicker.com to find the helmet that has the best chance of fitting and go from there. Aftermarket Shoei tinted visors are available on Amazon and other places, not that it will solve the difficulty of swapping visors. I have the Neotec and love it. Fortunately for me the internal dark visor goes down sufficiently. You might also consider http://helmetsunblocker.com for your clear visor and see if the combination of that and the internal visor is sufficient. I wear sunglasses when it is very bright, even under a dark visor. True aviator style glasses are designed to be worn under a helmet and not interfere is the ear pieces and the noise attenuation (if the helmet even uses that method). I can understand your personal preference either way.

Good luck in your search!



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post #4 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2017, 8:40 pm
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Very satisfied with my Shoei RF1200 with photo-chromatic visor .. very intentionally bought it over the GT Air and don't regret the decision at all. Good luck finding the helmet that works for you.

Interesting head to head review of the two Shoei helmets:


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post #5 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2017, 7:43 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

A couple questions:

What made you choose the RF over the Air?

How old is your RF1200?

How do you consider the noise levels compared to other helmets you have used?

Thank you!
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post #6 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2017, 9:12 am
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ju-Jitsu View Post
Hello Everyone. K1200s Rider here in New England. I have my bike set up as an 80% touring outfit. Large bags, handlebar risers, touring windscreen, cruise control, etc.


2. Arai Quantum-X (S) fits perfectly as well. No photochromatic shield available. Their dark smoke visor is a little bit too light, and their shield change system is also a bit of a PITA, and since I will be changing shields at least once on every ride, the convenience is not there. Field of view is not great for me and my neck.


If anyone has any suggestions/feedback I would be welcome to hear them. At the very least, I hope that maybe others who are looking can take some of the info from my helmet search and use it for their own searches. I have tried on all of these helmets, so please feel free to ask questions about them and I will answer if I can.
I'm curious why you need to change the shield on the helmet. I have the Arai Signet Q which is the previous generation of the Signet, and very similar to the Quantum except for the shape of the helmet. I use the light smoke face shield and the pro shade visor which works very well in almost all lighting conditions. Arai changed the shield changing system on the X model to make it easier, but once you get used to it, is fairly simple when I demoed it. You may have other reasons for not liking the Arai, but having to change the face shield on a daily or hourly basis should not be a deal breaker, in my opinion.


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Recent: 2014 R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic
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post #7 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2017, 10:15 am
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ju-Jitsu View Post
A couple questions:

What made you choose the RF over the Air?

How old is your RF1200?

How do you consider the noise levels compared to other helmets you have used?

Thank you!
Size, weight, better safety rating, comfort, appearance. Bought about 1.5 years ago. Noise doesn't bother me, BUT ... I am on an RT with a larger windscreen and almost always ride with music thru my Sena. Sometimes with earplugs, sometimes not ... I'm probably not a good data point on that front.

I am really pleased with the visor that darkens and lightens in sunlight, but the cost of it is *#%#* ridiculous (more than some folks I know spend on their helmets).

Chris

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post #8 of 11 Old Apr 1st, 2017, 11:13 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubadoc View Post
I'm curious why you need to change the shield on the helmet. I have the Arai Signet Q which is the previous generation of the Signet, and very similar to the Quantum except for the shape of the helmet. I use the light smoke face shield and the pro shade visor which works very well in almost all lighting conditions. Arai changed the shield changing system on the X model to make it easier, but once you get used to it, is fairly simple when I demoed it. You may have other reasons for not liking the Arai, but having to change the face shield on a daily or hourly basis should not be a deal breaker, in my opinion.
Thank you for the feedback. That is very helpful advice.

The issue that I have with the Pro Shade is the same that I have with internal drop down visors: As I do a lot of "straight up" riding, but do not have a large windshield, when I am riding into the sun or with the sun at my right or left during early morning or sundown, the light leaks under the visor and creates a really unsafe vision issue. You can kind of mitigate it head on by tiling head position (bad for my neck with my issues), but on the sides, it's terrible. Rather than go with a pro shade I would just swap out for a dark smoke / clear.

It's not really a deal breaker. I have, in fact, narrowed it down right now between the Arai Quantum X and the Shoei X14. The Shoei's photochromatic visor and vastly wider field of view are very big selling points for me right now.
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post #9 of 11 Old Apr 1st, 2017, 11:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWRoady View Post
Size, weight, better safety rating, comfort, appearance. Bought about 1.5 years ago. Noise doesn't bother me, BUT ... I am on an RT with a larger windscreen and almost always ride with music thru my Sena. Sometimes with earplugs, sometimes not ... I'm probably not a good data point on that front.

I am really pleased with the visor that darkens and lightens in sunlight, but the cost of it is *#%#* ridiculous (more than some folks I know spend on their helmets).
Thank you for this. I don't ride with any music or comm system. My shark was a very noisy helmet and even with beefy earplugs was still loud to the point of being unbearable. Road and engine noise isn't as much of an issue, nor is normal wind-drag noise, as is the high-pitched whistling and squealing sounds that some of the vents/visors produce. Bell is super quiet with vents closed, but the top vents create this insane whistling even at 40 MPH that sounds like someone screaming in your ear.
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post #10 of 11 Old Apr 1st, 2017, 11:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

As far as noise goes, do the vents whistle or scream much when they're open? How would you rate the helmet in terms of sound management?
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post #11 of 11 Old Apr 1st, 2017, 12:52 pm
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Re: Help Choosing A New Helmet (Long & Detailed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ju-Jitsu View Post
Thank you for the feedback. That is very helpful advice.

It's not really a deal breaker. I have, in fact, narrowed it down right now between the Arai Quantum X and the Shoei X14. The Shoei's photochromatic visor and vastly wider field of view are very big selling points for me right now.
Just be sure that the Shoei visor you choose accepts the pin lock system if that is important to you. Not all do.


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