How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 8:25 am Thread Starter
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How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

I don't want to say how long I've been wearing my old XXL Nolan, but for how loose it's gotten, it sure causes me a lot of pain in the forehead.

Been trying on some new helmets, but boy do they feel tight. The sizing on the new ones always seem to say that my 7.5 hat size should be an XL, but that feels way too tight. In fact even if I get an XXL, I'd be anxious for it to loosen up.

So the question: How tight should a new helmet fit?

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
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post #2 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 10:05 am
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

We went trough a LOT of trial and even more error and expense, buying our helmets. We ended up getting 3) Nolan 102C's and 1) Nolan 3/4, not sure which model (my buddy has that one, so I have no idea).

I first bought a nice looking 3/4 Nolan and bought a XXL I believe (very tight fitting) and was going to order the XXXL. My first ride with the new XXL, the visor would not stay up, so very fortunately, the dealer allowed me to exchange it.

At that point, I felt I wanted a full face and liked the design of the 102C. We spent weeks going to different shops and met with a sales rep for one of the helmets. He explained they should be rather tight and form to your head after a couple of weeks.

I then decided on the Nolan 102. After wearing it a few hours, it had some hot spots. I called Nolan for some fitting tips.

What I ended up doing was; remove the entire lining, use something similar to a cue ball and a spark plug or similar socket and round off any corners of the styrene that are causing problems. I then used a 3/8" extension to open up the vent holes.

I had to remove the nose guard, not knowing there was a different style Nolan full face that would have fit better, but too late. Made do with what I had.

I had purchased the 102C in L. I then ordered cheek pads in XL, and did not like that fit, exchanged those for M. They fit well. I can still get a very thin BMW face mask in there. Anything more, I would need a larger helmet.

We then added the Cardo Team Rider COM system. Again, had problem with the helmet not being long enough. Just barely able to squeeze the mic between our lip and the helmet, but it does work. If I had known better, I would have spent the additional $80 and got the longer style/shaped helmet.

The other two people that I bought for, the helmet fit them with all the accessories as it came, including the addition of the COM.

So, I had one XXL, and one L, both from the same company, same time, and both fit completely differently.

Interestingly, their helmets are all, ONE size. The only difference is the liners, styrene and cheek pads.

BTW, my hat size is 7.25.
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post #3 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 10:22 am Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Wow... you went through quite an ordeal. It's my understanding that Nolan's are more ideal for "round" heads and mine (perhaps yours too) seems to be longer from front to back, making an otherwise correct size too small.

It still seems like a gamble having some sale clerk preach to me that they are suppose to fit tight when the real pain of a wrong size won't kick in until an hour down the road.

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
'96 R1100RT - Sinus Blue - Sold
'86 & '94 Concours - Sold
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post #4 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 10:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
Tight enough that the helmet does not slip or move around on your mellon when it's strapped; and loose enough that it's not pinching your skull.
Maybe it would be ideal then to make sure I try on one that is definitely too big and then back down from there.

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
'96 R1100RT - Sinus Blue - Sold
'86 & '94 Concours - Sold
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post #5 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 10:41 am Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Where did you get your Caberg and for how much? I can't seem to find them for sale online. Which leads to another problem in getting the correct size. Many of the helmets I could be interested in are not readily available in my area to try on. Ordering online without trying on might open the possibility of way more choices, but definitely increases the odds of not being happy with the fit.

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
'96 R1100RT - Sinus Blue - Sold
'86 & '94 Concours - Sold
'84 GPz900 & '88 ZX-10 - Sold
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post #6 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 1:11 pm
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by webwzrd
Wow... you went through quite an ordeal. It's my understanding that Nolan's are more ideal for "round" heads and mine (perhaps yours too) seems to be longer from front to back, making an otherwise correct size too small.

It still seems like a gamble having some sale clerk preach to me that they are suppose to fit tight when the real pain of a wrong size won't kick in until an hour down the road.

Here's an article that may help you with your question, Arai makes helmets for the oval shaped heads.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...helmet-faq.htm

Bob Brendel
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post #7 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 3:11 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rab1967
Here's an article that may help you with your question, Arai makes helmets for the oval shaped heads.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...helmet-faq.htm
That's good article. I've been reading quite a bit at http://webbikeworld.com. I wish the article gave a longer list of which makes fit which types of heads. I'm looking for a modular and I don't think Arai makes one. Guess it still comes down to trying them on, it's just that I'm out in the boondocks.

webwzrd
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'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
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post #8 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 3:28 pm
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

I was glad to see this thread today. I just purchased my first helmet this week. A Nolan 102. The helmet fits snug and does not move about on my empty head at all but....the helmet seems to be too low in front. Much like if you had a baseball cap on your head and pulled the rim down a little too far. I find myself pushing the helmet back so it is not down so far over my eyes. This only lasts for a few moments and it is back down. Any tighter of a fit would cause me to black out and see stars Any looses would bounce around on my head.
My daughters simple solution.....lower your eyes dad...
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post #9 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 3:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Launchpad
I was glad to see this thread today. I just purchased my first helmet this week. A Nolan 102. The helmet fits snug and does not move about on my empty head at all but....the helmet seems to be too low in front. Much like if you had a baseball cap on your head and pulled the rim down a little too far...
Nolan's are known to run small. If you can't take it back, maybe you could put some extra padding in the top to force it to sit higher.

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
'96 R1100RT - Sinus Blue - Sold
'86 & '94 Concours - Sold
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post #10 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 3:47 pm
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Yup, some nice breathable foam under the top of the liner will lift the helmet.
It's also good to have room in there if you use a heavier balaclava in colder temps. The one I got for 30 degree temps, is just too much inside this helmet. On the other hand, the helmet would be too large now, had I got it big enough for the cold temp liner.

I had to remove the additional foam from the top, but nice to know you can make so many adjustments. They are way too costly to give up if they don't fit after trying one in the store for half an hour.

I went to every cycle shop in 35 miles from here, no one had much of a selection. Our local BMW shop, ordered about 10 helmets for us.....WOW!!! No one else would do that. I just was not aware Nolan made a helmet for longer shaped heads, or I would have ordered that.

Otherwise, I have been very pleased. Nolan has treated us well, and I love the modular style helmet, micro chin strap is excellent, and the dark shield is great for summer.
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post #11 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 4:27 pm
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by webwzrd
So the question: How tight should a new helmet fit?
I was told that if you strap the helmet on and then vigorously shake your head like you are saying "no", the helmet should stay in place if it is the correct size. If you shake your head and the helmet slides around your head, the helmet is too loose. Makes sense to me when doing a quick head check before changing lanes. I have an Arai Signet GT FF helmet that is tight to get on (bends my ears) but is comfortable once it is on. I think Arai also sells different size cheek pads so you can tailor the fit a little. Maybe the other manufacturers do also.

Jim S.
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post #12 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2008, 5:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

The XXL Nolans, Shoei's and HJC's are far from moving when I shake my head and I'm not seeing larger sizes to test.

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
'96 R1100RT - Sinus Blue - Sold
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post #13 of 19 Old Jun 6th, 2008, 9:14 am
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by webwzrd
The XXL Nolans, Shoei's and HJC's are far from moving when I shake my head and I'm not seeing larger sizes to test.
Did you try the Multitec?

I wear a 7-3/4 hat, and the Shoei Multitec XXL is the first to fit my noggin comfortably in years. I have been through many helmets (Arai, HJC, different Shoei models) - and in desperation even considered a salad bowl, just so I could ride more than an hour without having to stop and relieve my splitting headache.

A lid would feel good at a dealer, but after time in the saddle, start getting an aching forehead. Tried minor adjustments to all the helmets' shell from the inside too.

Decided that the salad bowl (while quite comfortable) didn't protect my gorgeous mug well enough (after one ride, zero protection), and then came across the Multitiec XXL. I can wear it for hours - although it is a little low on my brow - I may consider trying some extra foam on top.

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post #14 of 19 Old Jun 6th, 2008, 10:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

I did try on a Multitec, modulars are all I'm interested in. And that would probably work. I'll have to trust that if there was a xxxl Multitec, I realize the xxl was the one. I have to keep in mind how they break in and then loosen up more from there.

Given that the Multitec is in the price range of a Schuberth, I'd be curious to know how they compare. Thought I heard Schuberth's were good for longer heads too.

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
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post #15 of 19 Old Jun 7th, 2008, 7:08 am
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

I've just been through the process of choosing between Shuberth and Shoei. For me the Shoei is an overall much more generous fit. Even when the melon fits the Shuberth it still pinches the lower jaw area very uncomfortably and I am no Jay Leno. The Multitec does not have any lining or padding in the chin area and gives comfortable room for a mic. My Shoei is in the mail so time will tell whether I made the right call - I find you really need a few 1000 miles in the saddle to get comfortable with a new helmet. By the way Parts411.com is selling Shoei's for $362 - best deal I could find. This makes it considerably less than Shuberth. It is simply engineered - minimal moving parts and very solid, easily repaired components. I am confident it will outlast any other modular helmet that I examined.

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post #16 of 19 Old Jun 7th, 2008, 7:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Yiet, I appreciate your thoughts since the Shoei is readily available in my area to try on, the Schuberth is not.

I was at parts411 last night. What trick/code do you use to see the lower price because all I saw was $495?

webwzrd
'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite Metallic
'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
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post #17 of 19 Old Jun 7th, 2008, 11:11 am
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Try contacting the manufacturer of your helmet. Some will provide different padding you can switch out to make the fit much better.

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post #18 of 19 Old Jun 7th, 2008, 3:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Just got back from trying on helmets at Moon Motorsports. Out of the Shoei, Nolan and HJC, the HJC fit the best.

I kept wonder how the clerk could say "that one is too big" or "that one fits better". I was thinking how the heck does she know how it feels? Then I realized she was looking for gaps between the liner and my face. For some they don't carry xxl in anthing but the Nolan,

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'04 R1150RT - Piedmont Red - Sold
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post #19 of 19 Old Jun 22nd, 2008, 12:33 pm
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Re: How Tight Should a New Helmet Fit?

Here is a link to some helmet ratings. "http:sharp.direct.gov.uk" .

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