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Old 09-23-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
Butters OP
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Anybody compare the AFX FX-39 and the GMax GM11D ds helmets?

I've been thinking about grabbing a cheaper DS helmet. I had an Arai XD-3, but it was uncomfortable at speed. Don't really want to take another $400+ flyer.

Really, the main reason I'm looking at DS helmets is for airflow. Even with the windshield in the lowest position, my helmet gets pretty toasty on my Vee. So I was thinking I might grab a cheaper DS helmet to get better airflow.

The AFX/Fly ($120) gets pretty good reviews. I tried one on and it fit well, but it felt pretty heavy and the Visor/Peak seemed useless for blocking the sun (I'm not concerned about roost). If I'm getting a DS helmet, I'd like the visor to be there for something more than show. My Arai did a great job at blocking the sun.

The GMax ($90) has very few reviews, but they seem positive and I've had a GMax helmet in the past and thought it was a lot of bang for the buck. I'm wondering how heavy the GMax is relative to the AFX (couldn't even find specs) and if the visor/peak is actually functional.

(And, YES, I have a $100 head in case somebody is inclined to post a generic condemnation of cheap helmets).
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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ADVMoto Magazine did a shootout on a handful of the DS helmets. The Fly Trekker was pretty impressive for the money.The Fly & MSR are all made buy AFX. In doing the review, we did notice that the AFX had a little better airflow and different material on the interior. I don't know much about the Gmax. I don't think you can go wrong with the other 3.
[



QUOTE=Butters;19659978]I've been thinking about grabbing a cheaper DS helmet. I had an Arai XD-3, but it was uncomfortable at speed. Don't really want to take another $400+ flyer.

Really, the main reason I'm looking at DS helmets is for airflow. Even with the windshield in the lowest position, my helmet gets pretty toasty on my Vee. So I was thinking I might grab a cheaper DS helmet to get better airflow.

The AFX/Fly ($120) gets pretty good reviews. I tried one on and it fit well, but it felt pretty heavy and the Visor/Peak seemed useless for blocking the sun (I'm not concerned about roost). If I'm getting a DS helmet, I'd like the visor to be there for something more than show. My Arai did a great job at blocking the sun.

The GMax ($90) has very few reviews, but they seem positive and I've had a GMax helmet in the past and thought it was a lot of bang for the buck. I'm wondering how heavy the GMax is relative to the AFX (couldn't even find specs) and if the visor/peak is actually functional.

(And, YES, I have a $100 head in case somebody is inclined to post a generic condemnation of cheap helmets).[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
Canuman
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I have the Gmax.

Pros: it's comfy (at least for my head), and pretty well built for a helmet at this price point. It's certainly no Shoei. I bought the hi-viz vellow, which is extremely bright. At least for me, it's fairly quiet. The face shield is good, with minimal distortion. It's a great helmet when used on a bike without a windscreen. I find it very good for riding on my DRZ400. The liner is fairly easy to pop in and out for cleaning. Replacement shields are inexpensive, and good quality.

Cons: I find it fogs up fairly easily when worn behind a windscreen, even though it flows a huge amount of air. It should have a breath box. At higher speed, the visor tends to whip your head around, but this is fairly common with any visored helmet. The visor is easily removable. A kit is included should you want to do this for long pavement sections.

I find MX and Dual-sport helmets take a considerable beating because of the environment they are used in. At this price point, I can afford to replace them every couple of years.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
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I don't know the weight difference between the two helmets. I use three helmets in my riding with two of them being high end carbon or kevlar blends and the third is the Gmax which I've had for three or four months now. I suspect the Gmax is heavier for sure but it's not something I ever notice or think about.

I had an opportunity to try the Gmax and Fly on in the same store, the fact that the windshield retracted all the way up out of my line of sight was worth bonus points and I also thought the Gmax peak was lower and more useable. " I ended up doing an easy mod to lower it further so it blocks the setting sun a lot better"

I bought a Gmax and recently used it on a 5000 mile ride on an old xr400. I hit Death Valley, touched into Mexico and ran up to Moab then the Black Hills. I was very happy with the helmet. I rode in temps to 107 and around 100 a lot. I ran into some side winds at one point that really challenged my ability to keep riding, the one thing I haven't tested it in is prolonged heavy rain but living on the Olympic Peninsula I'll have that covered soon enough.

The mod was just a plastic scrap from a webbing buckle that was laying on the shop bench, it made the trip without issue so I'd have to call it tested.

I rode with no fairing or windshield and had no issues with helmet lift, when you get to speed and lower the windshield two things happen, the pressure on your torso lowers because of the streamline effect of the windshield and you get some side steer when you look left or right from the additional surface.

If you have any sort of windshield on your bike I suspect the sidesteer would go away and when you expect it it's not an issue and I also suspect every DS helmet on the market would do the same thing at 70 MPH on an unfaired dirtbike.

I flows a ton of air and heat in the helmet wasn't an issue, of course mine being white has to help, I think I recall there being some cold weather related options available for the helmet as well.

Here's a pic of the mod and of my helmet sitting on the TT500, the sticker on the lower rear of the helmet is an added one..


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Old 09-23-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
Butters OP
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Thanks for the replies! Because I only really intend to use this helmet in temps above 75 or 80, I'm not real concerned about fogging. Having been able to actually see and touch the AFX makes me understand why it gets high marks given its price. I also know it fits my head well. But there are definitely design issues that seem like they could have improved. I also noticed the issue with the visor not rising completely out of view.

The GMax seems like more of a shot in the dark. But I did notice in the GMax thread a post that the visor seemed at least somewhat useable. At $90, I suppose it's cheap enough to have as a backup. Of course, I already have a spare.

I guess I wouldn't be opposed to just removing the visor on either helmet. But having been spoiled by the XD and my internal sunshield helmets, I really like not having to rely on sunglasses. It seems silly to buy a DS helmet only to remove the sunshield. If that's the case, I might as well just find a regular full face helmet that flows really well. But I just don't think they can compete with the extended chinbar on the DS helmets.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
Canuman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butters View Post
Thanks for the replies! Because I only really intend to use this helmet in temps above 75 or 80, I'm not real concerned about fogging. Having been able to actually see and touch the AFX makes me understand why it gets high marks given its price. I also know it fits my head well. But there are definitely design issues that seem like they could have improved. I also noticed the issue with the visor not rising completely out of view.

The GMax seems like more of a shot in the dark. But I did notice in the GMax thread a post that the visor seemed at least somewhat useable. At $90, I suppose it's cheap enough to have as a backup. Of course, I already have a spare.

I guess I wouldn't be opposed to just removing the visor on either helmet. But having been spoiled by the XD and my internal sunshield helmets, I really like not having to rely on sunglasses. It seems silly to buy a DS helmet only to remove the sunshield. If that's the case, I might as well just find a regular full face helmet that flows really well. But I just don't think they can compete with the extended chinbar on the DS helmets.
I tried a friend's AFX before purchasing the Gmax. I also have an AFX MX helmet that is pretty similar to their DS offering. I do think the face shield on the Gmax is superior. It has four very positive detents. They may have remedied this on later models (my friend's was quite an early one) but the AFX was either fully up or fully down.

The visor/shield combo is very handy when riding into the sun, and in the rain. I decided to purchase mine after a 3,500 mile ride with my MX helmet this July. I brought goggles, which were almost useless in heavy rain. I got a sunburn on my nose after a couple of days that was pretty painful. There is very little difference between the MX helmet and the DS helmet when the visor's open, and when I was in the woods, it was open at all times. However, I made a promise to myself that I'd never embark on another long tour without a shield.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:14 AM   #7
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I ended up getting the AFX FX-39, thinking it was the safer choice. Since I had actually been able to try on the AFX and it got such glowing reviews, I went that route. In hindsight, I'm wishing I bought the GMax. I'm not going to return the AFX, but I am a bit disappointed.

Here's my thoughts on it, good and bad:

First, realize my main purpose for a DS helmet was ventilation in the summer, and the AFX does vent well. I also rode with this helmet on both my bikes, although I actually bought it more for my DL1000 (small windscreen) than for my XChallenge (naked). I'm not the least bit concerned about roost. I'd like the visor to block the sun. If it can't do that, it is a liability.

The Good:
The shield is very clear with no distortion. The eyeport is large making over the shoulder checks in traffic very easy. It also vents well. The ratchet strap is also nice.

The Bad:
The quality is pretty poor on mine. I don't believe the one in the store was as bad, but I think with a $100 helmet, you just get lesser quality control so there will be more variance - mine being at the low end of the bell curve. Mine was clearly not a good example - one vent is very difficult to move, one ear hole is shaped differently, and the plastic flashing on one of the exhaust vents was not trimmed causing a poor fit. The quality on my $120 GMax GM68 is much better. The shield fogs VERY easy, even at 60+ degrees. This isn't a huge concern as I plan on using it as a summer helmet, but just a heads up for people who may want to use it year round. The visor isn't totally useless for blocking the sun, but it is pretty darn close to useless. My Arai XD visor/peak was light years better in this regard. You definitely would still need sunglasses or a dark shield.

Overall thoughts:
When riding with it on my thumper, it tugged a bit, but not uncomfortably. It was very loud, even with earplugs. On my DL1000, there was almost no tugging. I don't normally wear earplugs on my Strom, so I tried AFX without them expecting it to be pretty bad. Much to my surprise, I was fine without earplugs. Still louder than my other helmets, but nowhere near as loud as it was on my thumper. I would probably wear earplugs on a longer ride, but it was fine on my 45 minute commute.

On the Strom, it did fine even up to 80mph. The visor did rattle at highway speeds which was very annoying. This didn't happen on my thumper (which I probably only had up to about 65). But I think this was a combination of my windscreen and the fact that one of visor screws was a bit loose. While I'm sure I could remedy this fairly easy, my plan is to actually remove the visor and install one of the flip down sunscreens that are available for the AFX. For my purposes, the visor isn't accomplishing anything, so I'd rather get rid of it even at the expense of some appearance points.

So I do think it will be a decent summer helmet on the Strom, especially after adding the sunshield and removing the visor. But I certainly can't give it the same rave reviews others have. It's not even in the same league as an XD, but it is also a quarter of the price. Other than venting, it really doesn't do anything better or even as well as my other helmets. But it is a decent helmet for about $100. But I think I would have liked to have tried the GMax - especially if the quality is similar to my GMax GM68.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
KilLeR Kawasaki
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I tried on the AFX when it first came out and found that it did not fit my oval shaped head. Can anyone comment as to whether the GMax fits longer heads better?
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