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Helmets, what's the what, what nowadays


All bikes are dirt bikes
Feb 8, 2022
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N America
after almost a decade in a box getting toted around, my ~15 year old Scorpion EXO helmet has decided the glue just can't hang anymore. So while I've got some caulk glue stuff currently curing around the base to get me through at least 1 more week, what are the things and features that are worth a shit these days?

Obviously "buy the one that fits your head", so that will narrow a bunch of stuff down.

Is there a price range that cuts off "pure garbage" from "decent" these days? I'd like to stay at decent rather than high end.

I'm not fancy enough to care for blutooth, are there certain brands that are less likely to have techno wizardry and more likely to use better materials instead?
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Subscribed. My EXO is still in service so interested in this info as well. My wish list includes the drop down tinted shade and a visor that locks in a venting position closer to 3/4" than 1/8".
Subscribed. My EXO is still in service so interested in this info as well. My wish list includes the drop down tinted shade and a visor that locks in a venting position closer to 3/4" than 1/8".
while shopping online and thinking about things, that's a good point.

took my visor off earlier to clean it and was thinking about just cutting in some more positions on the little lock thing 😆 I'm a big fan of partly open riding, blocking the wind mostly but open enough to fully vent everything is wonderful. More positions/options at the nearer closed position as opposed to several in the top 50% of open makes more sense to me.

also the auxiliary flip down dark sun screen. the more I think about it, the more I think I like it. It doesn't work as good as dedicated dark screen or sunglasses, but for morning/evening riding it is mighty convenient to be able to toss it down/up as needed.
I agree, but as an eyeglasses wearer it's really been convenient. When I got this helmet I had a pair of prescription sunglasses and wearing them with the flip down tint I could easily ride into the sunset.

Exo-1000 is what it says on the tag, the base piece was coming off. Not too big of a deal, but annoying as it would catch on my collar when turning my head. :lol2

Now to see if I can see what shape it is to compare to newer stuff. 100+ degree heat for a while takes a toll on old adhesives
Get a type that has recently arrived on the market. Then you avoid purchasing helmet that has sat in warehouse for few years.
Decide between open, system and full face helmets.
There is not really a price point that separates bad helmets from good ones. Look at material and weight.
Like above I personally like drop down sun visor, pinlock, microstepping visor.
Test the helmet on your bike before purchasing, the noise levels can differ a lot. (Don't take manufacturers advertised noise levels too seriously. Schuberth is advertised as very quiet helmet. When Promotor tested 10 different helmets it was one of the loudest at certain speeds.)
Good thought about asking for a test ride, hadn't thought of that. Almost all of my riding is 80mph straight and gentle commuting, flowing well with the windscreen is important
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2007/2008 sounds about the right time frame. ~$300 in 2007 equals ~$425 in todays money. not sure I'm comfortable going that high, but it's been a darned comfortable helmet so that at least gives me some sort of a cap 😆

the article calls it "neutral towards long oval shape" and claims it weighs just over 4lbs. can't say the weight has ever bothered me, but it's a good reference point.
welp, there is a cycle gear store near my work. figure that is the closest place for me to go and actually try on helmets in person.

In the mean time, I went ahead and ordered an AGV K6 helmet that they had online as an open box. Size large and free shipping/free returns. At the very least, it will give me one to try on first and I can always take it with me to try a bunch on in store and see if it is better or worse than whatever they have.

$380 to my door in 2 days for a ~$550 MSRP hat seems like a good enough deal to try out.

and all this talk, it doesn't even have the built in flip down screen. Claims it is glasses friendly though.

Anyways, please feel free to add comments and suggestions and advice as this is not likely they be all, end all to this adventure :beer
I have a Shoei Neotech II now but will be going back to an HJC for my next helmet (one in the RPHA series). The Shoei faceshield doesn't have the first detent in the right place, forcing one to open the shield too far. Also, Shoei wouldn't stand behind the product while under warranty.

Good luck.
You do know that most current advice is to replace your helmet every 5 years right? Materials break down, not just glue but shells suffer from UV damage etc.

Currently I'm running a Schuberth E1, it's my first ADV style helmet and I like it. I really like a flip lid for touring and getting around, it makes life easier. It's my 2nd one. The pinlock on this lid finally failed so I go rid of it and I'm not happy that in the rain I get water inside the visor. The location notches in the visor are starting to wear too, I should just get a new visor. I'm going to switch brands and next I plan to try out the Klim flip lid but I forget the model.

This helmet was listed at $1200 CDN if I remember correctly but I got it 25% off at a shop and then proceeded to demo a couple of bikes there. Good day. Obviously at the top of the market.

I've heard a lot of people complain about helmet prices but I figure it's my head, I may not be the smartest guy in the world but I want to protect the brain I have. I have no issue spending the dosh for the best helmet I can find.
Since that helmet was comfortable for you I can say that LS2 and AGV helmets also fit the same head shape as those are all what I use.

I got my AGV K5S ( sunshield) for $145 on clearance and it's normally a $400-450 helmet. You can get deals.

LS2 sunshields are nice and dark. AGV sunshields are medium darkness but they sell darker lenses if needed.
Yes, the 5 year interval is good advice.

However, I'm poor 😆

Truth be told, I don't even change my engine oil on the proper service interval
If a helmet is unsafe at 5 years does that equate to being it being 20% degraded per year? So a 1 yr old helmet is already 20% degraded?

Who wants that?!? Better change em out every six months just to be safe....
I rock an AT950 on the dual sport and an RF1200 on the road bikes.

The AT isn't bad, but you can tell its a little chincy.

The RF you can tell is better made. Just has that feel to it. Though, its a lot noisier than I thought it would be. I wear ear plugs at all times now.
The 5 year limit is due to UV exposure. UV breaks down all plastic.
even buried the internal foam naturally degrades.

I'll have to see if i can find the buried insulation study, it was pretty interesting the difference between EPS and XPS

edit: https://goplymouthfoam.com/EPS vs XPS-Rigid Insulation Facts/ close enough, this references the study.

why does that matter to helmets? because the crush zone helmet hard foam stuff off gasses and degrades just sitting on the shelf. Sure, we aren't using it for insulation, but the R value is reflective of the weight and remaining structure. the structure is what we are relying on to hold up and resist in the event of a crash. 10% loss in strength may not "seem" like a bunch, but on a helmet where it is built to a standard and measured and engineered to a certain thickness, that 10% becomes a big deal.

plus the loss in strength at the shell and strap layers as well to result in what is likely a very significant reduction in strength.
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Well, dang. Sad to report the agv showed up today and shame of shames, my head is not a large. Other than being just slightly too large, very comfortable and surprisingly light.

Oh well, into the store tomorrow I go. 7-1/2 to 7-5/8 is what the tag says. Some reason I didn't see that listed anywhere prior to buying it.

7-1/4 or 7-3/8 are the two hat sizes I normally wear depending on who makes it.
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