Road helmet advice

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Auto-X Fil, May 21, 2013.

  1. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Montrose, PA.
    I currently own an MX lid (Fly Kinetic Dash) and an L2 3/4 helmet with visor. I love the fit of the Dash, but it sucks on the highway. It's not great at keeping external noise out, but it's quiet in the wind, which is nice. Turning my head for lane checks at 70mph is no fun at all, and raindrops always find a way onto my face. It's also cold.

    The L2 helmet offers killer visibility, which I love. But, I want a full-face for safety. And, the L2 just kinda sucks - it was given to me, and the fit isn't great. It's noisy as hell. I don't like the buckle system.

    So, I'm after a street lid. I don't have a good local shop, so I'm going to have to order, and probably order a few and return what I don't like. Can anyone throw out some ideas for the following criteria?

    $200 or less
    quiet - I'd rather not wear earplugs on my commute
    good visibility in an upright position
    semi-oval head shape
    room for glasses

    Most of the full-face helmets seem to the oriented for sportbike positions. If they work fine sitting upright, I don't care about the marketing - I just get concerned when I see the description specifically talking about a 3/4 or lower position.
    #1
  2. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    The Bell Vortex goes for about $180. I wore only Arai helmets for over 20 years because nothing else was comfortable enough to me - and I tried every brand I could, trying to find something less expensive.

    The Vortex is just as comfortable to me as any Arai I ever had.

    And with the Bell Transitions shield (an extra $100 and worth it!), I never have to carry a spare shield any more. It gets pretty dark in direct sunlight and clear at night.

    The only issue for you is, the Vortex is not quiet.

    I also have a Bell RS-1. They're more money, quieter (but still not quiet), lighter, and equally comfortable, to me.
    #2
  3. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    I don't own one so your on your own, but motorcyclegear.com has Shoei Qwest's for $250.
    #3
  4. Urban Toreador

    Urban Toreador Banned

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    May 6, 2013
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    56
    I've found lately that if I keep an I out on craigslist I can pick up really high quality helmets for a fraction of the cost new. I recently purchased a like new solid color Arai Signet Q for $85 bucks; that helmet retailed for over $500. I put a pinlock visor on it and am stoked. I just missed a new Schuberth C3 with the Schuberth bluetooth set up. The guy was asking $350 but that setup would be over a thousand new and the ad said he'd never worn it because of size. It was lime green but I figured I could paint it. I missed it by a day.
    #4
  5. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    Damn, that's a killer price, and it sounds like the perfect helmet for me. With $9 return shipping, I think I'll pull the trigger and see how I like it.
    #5
  6. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    I have a SHoei TZ-R, which has been great. It was replaced in the Shoei line-up by the Qwest.

    When Wifey wanted a new helmet, I suggested Bell and Shoei, since 2 Scorpions fell apart for her in the same time as my Shoei has been faultless.

    She bought the Qwest, and is thrilled. Looks great too:

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I'd have gotten a white one, but...
    #6
  7. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    Forget quiet. There's no such thing as a quiet helmet.
    #7
  8. Vstrom650e

    Vstrom650e Banned

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    Mar 24, 2013
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    101
    Our C3 and C3W are very comfortable, comm kit works nicely and the helmet is the quietest I've used or tried yet. When I first got it my forehead would get sore after about 90 minutes. Now that it's broken in my wife and I are really pleased.
    #8
  9. KungPaoDog

    KungPaoDog Been here awhile

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    Forget quiet, use earplugs.

    I like my HJC IS-16, has an internal visor that rocks.

    The Scorpion EXO-500 can be had around $200, has a very soft lining, some people like the "pump" system, and has an internal sun shield, but I haven't owned one.

    Can you tell that I like internal sun visors?
    #9
  10. wsmc831

    wsmc831 Been here awhile

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    Agree, no helmet made is quiet enough to not use earplugs.

    My latest helmet is for dualsports, an AGV AX-8 Dual Evo. Surprisingly good as a road helmet considering it has a visor. Quality matches any of the Arai's I've owned over the years.
    #10
  11. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    #11
  12. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    That's like saying there's no such thing as a fat chick, just because they all have some mass that is neither zero nor infinite. Some chicks are much fatter than others.

    Do you use earplugs for every little run to the store? I use earplugs if I'm taking a longer ride, but it's nice to have a quiet helmet anyway. Again, it doesn't have to be silent, I just don't want the jet engine that is the L2. But you make a good point - I put on all the gear for my 35 min+ commute, why not earplugs, too?


    The one in the L2 sucks. It's way too high. The one in the GT-Air looks awesome, but $$$$! If this Qwest isn't all that and a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos, I'll check out your suggestions, as I could see a sun visor being useful if it didn't stop three inches above my nose.
    #12
  13. KungPaoDog

    KungPaoDog Been here awhile

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    I get what you're saying about short trips and less noisy helmets. I'm sure there are some helmets that are VERY noisy. Short trips don't usually get plugs, but long ones (over ten minutes-ish) always do.

    RE sunvisors: IS-16 has 3 stops for the visor. I use it on the highest setting, and I've been tempted to dremel the nose cut out to use it lower, but it has worked great for the last two or three years.
    #13
  14. outagas

    outagas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
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    19
    been riding for 25 years, and just replaced my trusted Arai Quantum E (that im ashamed to admit was 17 years old) with a Shoei Qwest!

    I took the advice of a salesman in a big motorcycle dealership, he explained helmets have come a long way and far better now, he himself uses a Qwest and seriously rates them,

    it was a big mistake, the snug fit it had when i first tried it on is now loose.
    the visor lock mechanism moves by itself and when you pull up and wish to open up the visor a little to prevent steaming up (even with a pinlock fitted) you find the visor has locked and you then have to scratch around with the silly lock!

    I and 3 other Qwest owners all suffer with wind whistling threw the side of the visor!

    I used to ride with my Arai visor open just a little for air even in the rain and never did water get in!
    the Shoei you have to have the visor fully closed even in a light shower or rain comes in and flicks up in your face and eyes which isnt an option as someone who wears glasses!

    id rather wear my 17 year old Arai and would if it wasnt for the fact its way past its shelf life!

    having made this mistake I would honestly say its worth every penny for an Arai.

    you only get one head?

    im currently looking at the Arai Tour X, have a friend thats had a few and rates them!

    however there are a lot of people that do like the Shoei Qwest, but I wonder how many of those have owned a high end Arai??

    hope that helps?
    #14
  15. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    Fit is good, so I'm keeping the Qwest. Cheek pads are snug enough that I might peel a layer of foam off if they don't break in after a month or so, but the cranial part is a great match. The snug neck roll can pull my ears when it comes on and off, so I've had to modify my technique to eliminate that.

    Visibility is great. Pheripherally, it's as wide as I could ever use. Vertically it's obviously not a three-quarter, but it's very good. It's certainly a huge improvement over goggles. The last couple mornings were perfect conditions to test the anti-fog capabilities of the helmet. Opening the chin vent blasts air right up along the visor, killing any fog. Cracking the visor with the 3-position latch breaks the seal and vents further, at the cost of a little noise. When in the closed or latched positions, the visor seal is perfect and silent.

    The helmet is quiet, certainly more than my other ones. I am going to start wearing earplugs on my commute, but it's acceptable without, in my opinion. There is one niggle that I hope to resolve - the chin vent whistles slightly. I'm hoping a little tweak of the plastic around the edges can cure this, but I'll be cautious, so I don't make it worse.
    #15