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Old 10-04-2010, 12:38 PM   #1
0010 OP
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Is a $400 helmet safer than a $150 helmet?

I have looked at a number of helmet websites and see a wide range of prices for similar style helmets.

Given a particular style - Full Face, Modular, Dirt, etc..., and similar ratings (Dot and Snell) is a $400 helmet safer than a $150 helmet? I understand that fit is very important to the equation, so if you can't find a cheap helmet that fits, you are compromised.

I know some of the price difference if for weight of the helmet and you can argue that lighter weight has less inertia, so may reduce neck injuries. But from a durablity standpoint, is there much difference?

I've always heard that the chance of winning the lottery increases significantly by buying a ticket (duh!) but doesn't increase significantly by buying, 2,3,10 or 100 tickets. Is it the same here? Your chance of survival/mitigation of injury is increased significantly by any helment, but there isn't much difference as you go up in price.

OK, now widen the question to other gear - Jeckets, pants, boots, gloves.

May be dumb questions, but in case you can't tell - I am on a budget!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
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No! Vote 2nd!

Although, it just might have superior ventilation and doo-dads that keep it from fogging up and/or more comfy.

Theoreticly, less fogging could make it "safer". (?)
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:49 PM   #4
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Possibly but there isn't a way for the consumer to know. The helmets available to you (in the USA anyway) can be marked DOT and/or SNELL. After meeting the minimum safety standards for both of those, everything else is comfort/style.

There could easily be some company who tests above and beyond these standards and some helmets must be better than others regardless of price but there isn't a universally accepted safety scale, only a yes/no pass/fail. No company that didn't want their pants sued off would advertise their helmet as anything more than meeting accepted standards.


For the other gear money makes a bit of a difference. There isn't a US standard for armor so we are stuck with companies who meet CE standards and also market in the US. I won't buy a jacket that doesn't have CE armor, the standards are low in my opinion (a thick piece of foam and a plastic plate over the top) so there is no reason for the jacket not to have them. Boots can also carry a CE mark but more with gear than the helmet you need to look at the quality and decide if you think it will hold up to the crashing that is possible at the speeds you travel and in the places you ride. Triple stitched leather isn't so necessary in the woods but if I wouldn't be on a track without some sort of full leather.
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Z50R screwed with this post 10-04-2010 at 12:57 PM
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
Geoff3DMN
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I'm going with NO as well.

A UK group had a fair number of helmets independently tested, a mix of cheaper and more expensive helmets. Some with Snell, some with DOT some with both safety ratings.

There was very little correlation between price and safety performance and from memory the best performing helmet at the time was a mid price range HJC.

More expensive helmets do tend IMHO to have a better quality of fabric in the liner and seem to last longer before the appearance degrades.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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Time to queue up the old Motorcyclist article to back up the "no" votes:

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ge...iew/index.html

And I am with the no votes as far as safety. That said, I agree that you do tend to get better fabric which can mean more comfort for more money. But my $200 Thor MX helmet (made by HJC) is hands down the most comfortable helmet I ever ever owned. Way better than my last Shoei that cost much more.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:33 PM   #7
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I was going to link that article as well.

The basic answer is "no" but there are variables. The more expensive helmets will likely fit better and have better features. This makes them more comfortable, less distracting, quieter and easier to use, maintain and live with.

Does this make them safer? Possibly. It depends on your projected usage.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:36 PM   #8
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Safer? Maybe not.
More comfortable and better quality? Yep.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:39 PM   #9
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No.

I prefer Soumy Spec 1R for fit and quality. I paid 150 after shipping (I htink the price was mis marked)

I recently found a Shoei RF1000 for $200 new. Its DOT and SNELL.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:04 PM   #10
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Laugh I think most of the Riders say no..?

I buy a comfortable yet cheaper Helmet for MY Christmas present to self! I'm an Ambo (voli) and it worries me to see so many Riders riding with their old 10 year old friend on their head... Lols!! I mean Helmet!! Sorry.
Buy new they're Fresh Comfortable and you don’t need a new visor. Buy the new one...$280 sold last year’s $145! My cost $125 for the year. Some Riders spend more money on cleaning products? Cheers Jim.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:50 PM   #11
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Safer? It's not even necessarily quieter.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:33 PM   #12
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Probably not as far as safety but in fit, finish, quality there's a difference. I do like the fact that Arai inspects every helmet they produce for quality/safety unlike other manufacturers who only grab one helmet out of a batch for testing.

But you pay for it, Arai's are quite expensive. They are one of the few helmets that comfortably fit my head so that is another reason why I have an Arai.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:30 PM   #13
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Helmet=no.
Other stuff=maybe.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:55 PM   #14
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To those of you who are saying that a more expensive lid may fit better, but won't protect any better...

You're showing your ignorance!

A helmet's protective ability is as much a function of it's fit as it is the shell and lining materials.

ANY slack ANY where in the fit will give your head time to accelerate into the lining during an impact, increasing the forces that ultimately slosh your brain around. The idea is to have your head evenly and snugly cradled everywhere so that as soon as there's an impact on the shell, your head is already crushing the EPS lining (which is dispersing all that energy that's trying to turn you into a retard, a mute, blind or just dead).


And yes, I am trying to ruffle some feathers. I don't care how much you pay, just make sure it fits CORRECTLY!
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySniper
To those of you who are saying that a more expensive lid may fit better, but won't protect any better...

You're showing your ignorance!

A helmet's protective ability is as much a function of it's fit as it is the shell and lining materials.

ANY slack ANY where in the fit will give your head time to accelerate into the lining during an impact, increasing the forces that ultimately slosh your brain around. The idea is to have your head evenly and snugly cradled everywhere so that as soon as there's an impact on the shell, your head is already crushing the EPS lining (which is dispersing all that energy that's trying to turn you into a retard, a mute, blind or just dead).


And yes, I am trying to ruffle some feathers. I don't care how much you pay, just make sure it fits CORRECTLY!
I think when people speak of 'fit' they are talking about the how well the helmet 'fits' together, like when we talk of 'fit' in terms of a motorcycle we are talking about how uniform the gaps are in the bodywork, for example.
Has nothing to do with how well the helmet fits the head.
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