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Helmet

  1. #1
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Helmet


    I have an Arai Signet-Q, size L. When riding the GSX-R at Palmer, I couldn't readily see far enough up the track, particularly the downhill section.

    A number of manufacturers make "sport" helmets that purport to have better upward visibility. I ordered two from RevZilla, the Arai Corsair and the Shoei X-14. I'm right on the edge of L or XL depending on brand.

    The Corsair isnt really any different than the Signet, but has great venting. The Shoei has much better visibility, but only a couple of small vents.

    Any other suggestions for a helmet that:

    • Intermediate Oval
    • Designed for sportbike / track day use.
    • Snell M2015
    • Good ventialtion

    TIA

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Jewcati's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    AgV Corsa

    Sits higher for better verticals vision


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    For what it's worth (prob not much) I got fitted by Jim Smith, one of the owners at Seacoast... First he measured me... then I tried on practically every helmet they had in various sizes and ended up with a helmet WAY SMALLER than I expected... In my last three helmets, all Arais, I went from Medium... to Small... to fuckin Extra Small...

    Reasoning?

    The less comfort padding you have between your noggin and the EPS the better... and a smaller helmet also sits higher on your head so you can see through the corner better.

    I highly recommend stopping by Seacoast & talking to Jim... Tell him what you're looking for and its intended purpose, then put on every helmet he hands you. Your head will thank me.

    Oh and given that my helmets are really only on my head for roughly 20 minutes at a time I don't really worry about ventilation.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 09-09-18 at 07:02 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Helmet

    I race in an Arai Signet-Q and have no issues with visibility. Are you sure you do not have the helmet pulled down too far forward on your head? Can you push the chin up and slide it back a half inch or so?

    Your head shape seems to be like mine, so I would recommend trying a HJC RPHA-11. It fits very similar to the Arai Signet-Q but with better ventilation. Not so sure the viewport is too much different though.

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  5. #5
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
    For what it's worth (prob not much) I got fitted by Jim Smith, one of the owners at Seacoast... I tried on practically every helmet they had in various sizes //
    Reasonable suggestion.

    I was fitted for an Arai at MotoMarket, and stuck with a L since, which lines up with their size charts as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaPod View Post
    I race in an Arai Signet-Q and have no issues with visibility. Are you sure you do not have the helmet pulled down too far forward on your head? Can you push the chin up and slide it back a half inch or so?

    Your head shape seems to be like mine, so I would recommend trying a HJC RPHA-11. It fits very similar to the Arai Signet-Q but with better ventilation. Not so sure the viewport is too much different though.
    Tried pushing it up but the chinstrap pulls it back down.

    The Shoei (also a L, fits about the same) has good visibility out the top.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 07-31-18 at 11:58 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Helmet

    You probably know this already, but a wise man once taught me to never overlook the obvious.

    Are you aware of the X-14's ability to alter the orientation of the helmet? You can reposition the liner to tilt the shell back and give you better forward/upward visibility. Shoei claims an extra 4 degrees.

    I examined an X-14 at the bike show last winter and this is accomplished very simply, by giving you the ability to move the liner snaps. Nothing fancy.

    When my current track lid (an X-12) ages out I'm probably going to buy one largely for that reason. My riding posture and anatomy make looking up and through the corners a challenge sometimes.

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  7. #7
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jewcati View Post
    AgV Corsa

    Sits higher for better verticals vision
    This seems to check all the boxes (except Snell M2015). So I’m trying out:

    HJC RPHA 11
    Bell Race Star
    AGV Corsa

    And we’ll see how they stack up next to the Shoei.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Jewcati's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    To be honest, I wouldn’t worry about snell, check the Star rating. Snell makes helmets heavier, and is not necessarily better. I had an RPHA 10, and vertical vision was worse than the arais


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  9. #9
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Reasonable suggestion.

    I was fitted for an Arai at MotoMarket, and stuck with a L since, which lines up with their size charts as well.
    I hear ya.... I line up with an Arai Medium, which also lines up with their size charts........ but here I am, wearing an XS... Riddle me that, but I'll be damned, it fekkin works.

    We took some comfort padding away from the top of my head and went even THICKER in the cheek pads...

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 08-01-18 at 04:42 PM.
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  10. #10
    Lifer LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Well if you’re not worried about Snell, then I love my Shark helmets. Mine are way way old at this point though.

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  11. #11
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    My bell race star has a great view.

    Not sure what head shape it fits though. I've been through this problem at Loudon while looking up through turn 7.

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  12. #12
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    Not sure what head shape it fits though. I've been through this problem at Loudon while looking up through turn 7.
    Weirdo.

    My issue was the 3-4 transition. I mostly use the force through there, especially when wearing my Leatt brace.
    (Who the hell am I kidding, I haven't ridden Loudon in 2 years!)

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  13. #13
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Weirdo.

    My issue was the 3-4 transition. I mostly use the force through there, especially when wearing my Leatt brace.
    (Who the hell am I kidding, I haven't ridden Loudon in 2 years!)
    Must be the gee forces pushing the front of the helmet down.

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  14. #14
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    So got all five helmets in, tried them all on, looked them over, and made a choice.

    The manufacturers differentiate between round, intermediate oval, and long oval. To try and figure out where my head was at, I measured the front-back dimension (8”) versus width (6.25”). That’s a ratio of 78%. Puzzle solved? Not so fast: the manufacturers all use their own standards and don’t publish any data, so it didn’t really get me anywhere.

    • Arai Corsair. $765. Lots of venting, but otherwise almost no difference with the Signet Q I already have. Minimal difference in shape although it is an Intermediate Oval versus Long for Signet.
    • Shoei X14. $740. Fit was very good, upward visibility decent. Very pronounced elongated shape makes for a large, long, and odd looking helmet. Not sure about venting, they seem small but reviews seem OK.
    • Bell Race Star. $750. Substantial padding, both EPS and foam. Single center point to open visor. Excellent visibility in sportbike stance. Plenty of vents, but levers are small and open in two different directions. Beautiful finish and the helmet bag is padded, has handles and zippers. Seems to be a bit longer front to back than the Corsair. This one is an XL.
    • HJC RPHA 11. $360. It’s hard to understand why the other helmets are double the price. Well made helmet with decent venting and visibility. Metal vent wheels roll open. Interior materials seem high quality and it comes with clear and tinted visors. Hands down best value but didn’t fit me quite well enough.
    • AGV Corsa. $850. Beautifully made. The finish was a flawless semi-gloss Black. Chin comes to a point, has a metal release for visor. Reviews say great venting. The highest, most open viewport for sport riding. Would have loved to keep this helmet, but the back curves sharply forward. This helps give great visibility, but made getting it on and off really tough.


    So what did I pick? The Bell Race Star - probably. I misread the size chart (the Race Stars differ from the other Bell designs) and ordered an XL. Sent it back for a L. Assuming it fits as expected, that will be the choice.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 08-07-18 at 04:27 PM.
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    Re: Helmet

    My understanding on the Arai is that the shape of the shell is basically the same for all models, it is the interior padding that differs and defines whether it is an oval, long oval, etc...
    Arai wants to keep the outer shell design the same because they strive for some percentage of deflection when crashing, hence why they are always roundish and you do not often see wings or protruding parts. This also helps with the helmet having a good center of gravity which reduces neck fatigue.

    Yeah, I don't think I mentioned the HJC RPHA 11 has just a slightly different fit than the Arai. It is not bad enough to be bothersome to me, only a slight pinch on my ear which I can fix by a quick rotation to get it past the padding. This helmet is also fairly roundish in shape and has good center of gravity and light weight to me.

    I tried on the older Bell Race Carbon model and returned it because of the design of the wing on the back. The helmet had a very pronounced weight shift front to back. It did not have a good center of gravity and wanted to either rotate forward or more often backward because of the weight of the wing. It was fatiguing to my neck just sitting around the house, I knew it would be even worse on the track. I recommend testing the helmet around the house to see if you have any issues like I did before committing. I also had this issue with my old Shoei X-12. I did not notice it until I had purchased an HJC and Arai.

    Good luck, hope you can find the best helmet for your needs. Its not an easy or cheap purchase.

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  16. #16
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaPod View Post
    My understanding on the Arai is that the shape of the shell is basically the same for all models, it is the interior padding that differs and defines whether it is an oval, long oval, etc...
    Arai wants to keep the outer shell design the same because they strive for some percentage of deflection when crashing, hence why they are always roundish and you do not often see wings or protruding parts. This also helps with the helmet having a good center of gravity which reduces neck fatigue.

    Yeah, I don't think I mentioned the HJC RPHA 11 has just a slightly different fit than the Arai. It is not bad enough to be bothersome to me, only a slight pinch on my ear which I can fix by a quick rotation to get it past the padding. This helmet is also fairly roundish in shape and has good center of gravity and light weight to me.
    Very plausible.


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  17. #17
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    I love my race star. First thing I noticed was the visor only had 2 positions, but you only really need 2 for racing.

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  18. #18
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    Re: Helmet

    Chiming in with a first-impression review of the Shoei X-14.

    I'm an adherent of the 7 years from manufacture/5 years from first use replacement rule of thumb, and my X-12 has now aged out. I just bought a Rainey replica X-14, build date 12/16 (so the 7/5 year dates coincide) and saved a bunch. It arrived yesterday and I rode into work wearing it today. First impressions based on an hour on the bike.

    - Overall physical impression: Shoei has always had great fit and finish. This helmet is comparable to my outgoing X-12 on that front.. and if anything, even a bit better when looking at tiny details. They really do it right. Foam in the ear pockets is removable which helps with earbuds or comm systems. Includes a bag, silicone oil for the eyeport gasket, chin curtain, breath deflector for the bottom of the eyeport, and also a rubbery chin spoiler that extends and curls the chin bar edge. I'm running with everything fitted except the chin curtain. This being a race replica they even threw in a "WAYNE" sticker to reflect his actual helmet, but it's kept separate. While I like and greatly respect the guy, I'm not a fanboi so not going to use it.

    - Vertical visibility has always been a challenge for me on the track, even with my helmet intentionally pushed back a bit. I'm one of those guys who naturally holds my head low.. short neck or something, I guess. The X-14's repositionable liner that gives better upward visibility was a big draw for me. I immediately set it to "race" position, which involves moving six liner snaps in little plastic grooves. Have to say it makes a big difference. The top of the eyeport is now all but invisible to me. Side visibility is outstanding as well and if anything better than my prior helmet, which was fine to begin with.

    I wear glasses all the time, but ride with contacts for visibility purposes because in a tuck I can't look through my glasses lenses. Having said that, sometimes I do wear glasses while riding for whatever reason and just have to crane my neck. The Shoeis I've owned all have a groove above the cheek pad that accommodates my glasses, sometimes a bit higher than when I'm out of the helmet (i.e. the nose pads hover instead of resting on my nose). On the X-14 with the repositionable liner set to "race" the effect is exaggerated and the lenses are pushed very high up, to the point of distorting vision significantly. This is based on just trying it on last night. I could probably use it with glasses with the liner set this way if I had to, but it would be far from ideal. With the liner in "normal" position, it'd be much like other helmets.

    - Fit is of course very personal, and Shoeis fit me well out of the box so no complaints. Adjustability of fit is one area where Shoei dramatically upped their game with this helmet and I'd call it on a par with Arai if not better. The liner is actually several foam pieces, held together on a thin plastic skeleton via tiny, tenacious velcro dots. Individual parts of the liner can be replaced. So it's not just the usual thicker or thinner cheek pads... almost every piece of foam in there can be swapped out to tailor the fit.

    - Ventilation is very good. There's the usual Shoei chin vent that blows up inside the shield for defogging, plus brow vent. There's also a pair of top vents (one control for both) and a new innovation... a separate vent below the chin vent that leads to channels inside the EPS that blow air through the cheek pads. I didn't notice any breeze, but I was nice and comfy. Exit vents are well buried underneath fairing pieces so it's hard to tell how many or how large they are.

    - Noise is entirely acceptable. I wear earplugs anyway so I don't really pay a lot of attention to that.

    UPDATE:
    Used the helmet at the track for the first time last weekend. Loving it. Visibility and ventilation are outstanding and it doesn't interfere at all with my race hump or vest when in a tuck.

    One thing I had not anticipated but really like is the removable pads in the ear pockets. These are theoretically there so you can fit a helmet communicator, but having that extra little bit of room around my ears is really comfy and keeps earplugs from getting dislodged.

    Helmet-55776828161__c87e80c0-fd51-4a5a-9bc2-b1ca72f8e039

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    Last edited by adouglas; 09-05-18 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Update based on track use

  19. #19
    Lifer backinthesaddle's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    How important is the SNELL cert these days? My Shoei is expiring. I see TTD and Penguin both require mfg date less than 5 years ago, but I think only Penguin requires SNELL.

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  20. #20
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle View Post
    How important is the SNELL cert these days? My Shoei is expiring. I see TTD and Penguin both require mfg date less than 5 years ago, but I think only Penguin requires SNELL.
    Spoke to Penguin directly and they will allow helmets with the ECE rating, and possibly SHARP.

    If it's a good one (i.e. not plastic) and has the ECE certs, we're good with them.
    Thanks,

    Eric Wood
    President
    Woodcraft Technologies Inc.

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  21. #21
    Lifer backinthesaddle's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Spoke to Penguin directly and they will allow helmets with the ECE rating, and possibly SHARP.
    Thanks - much appreciated.

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  22. #22
    Lifer backinthesaddle's Avatar
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    Re: Helmet

    Scored a Shoei RF1200 mfg date 12/17 today. Great fit and looks pretty good in matte black and lime green.

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