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Helmet brand questions

 
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SteMer
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 310
Location: Silverdale, WA (formerly from Cincinnati)
"Vintage" '06 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Helmet brand questions Reply with quote

Looking at new helmets and have some questions. And I'm already aware of the discussion about full-face vs. open-face. Let me also say up front that I'm not interested in a discussion on Shoei vs. Suomy - I'm looking more in the "under $200" range because of budget restrictions. My questions are more about the fitting and upsides/downsides of some different brands I'm interested in.

Does anyone have any input on Nolan helmets? How do they fit compared to HJC or Bell helmets? Nolan has some interesting looking open-face helmets that I'd love to try check out up close. I'm really curious how effective the sun shade on the N42 is. (www.nolan.it)

Also curious about the Z1R Metro helmet (www.z1rhelmets.com). Anyone have feedback on that?

In a full-face, I was trying on the HJC CL-15 and CL-SP today. Seems like a pretty good helment. Pros and cons with these models?

Also looking at Bell - like the Mag-8 and Sprint. Seem to be pretty decent although color selection is bland.

Are there some other brands/helmets within "under $200" range that you would highly recommend?

Thanks for any feedback!
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Scootin_in_MS
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Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 125
Location: New Orleans
Cream Buddy 125 (Minnie Pearl) 2006 Yamaha VStar 650 (Bruiser the Cruiser)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Helmet brand questions Reply with quote

SteMer wrote:
In a full-face, I was trying on the HJC CL-15 and CL-SP today. Seems like a pretty good helment. Pros and cons with these models?


I have the HJC CL-15 Session with Green flames. Only good things to say. No complaints. Fits great for my round head. Goes over my glasses with no problems. Plenty of ventilation. Padding is removable for freshening-up. Visor is easy to relace if you get a scratch or want to get a tinted visor. Easy to fit a scarf or muffler underneath in the winter to keep your chin from freezing off. Cool colors.

Jody
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ericalm
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Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 17637
Location: Los Angeles, CA
STELLA FOUR STROKE FURY! + Vespa LX 150/190 + '87 Honda Helix CN250

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HJC and Nolan are both reputable brands. You can be sure that what you're getting is pretty good quality. I have an HJC CL-22 now but am also looking at the Nolan N-42 because I have yet to find a full face that fits me and want at least a face shield. I don't think the N-42 offers much sun protection (unless you get a tinted shield), but you should be able to wear sunglesses under the visor.

You can find some user reviews of helmets and other equipment here: http://www.motorcyclegearreview.com/
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James Tate
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Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:44 pm    Post subject: Nolan helmet Reply with quote

I have a Nolan N102 modular that I bought on Amazon for a shade under $200 (a seller named Power Sports Accessory Warehouse). The fit is very comfortable and the helmet feels solid and well designed. I also have a Bell full-face, and tried on most of the brands in town. Personally, the Nolan is the most reliable feeling modular I have encountered, including HJC, but I haven't seen any research to support this impression. I will say the chin bar is smooth opening and has good redundancy in the release mechanism. Nolan and PSAW both have great customer service as well, but you may have to roll the dice on fit if you order online.
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ctpaddler2000
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Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to also look at Scorpion helmets. I just bought one and am pleased with it. http://www.scorpionusa.com/ My advice it to not buy a helmet that you have to tried on and am 100% happy with the fit. Go by fit and don't pay attention to price.

Rob
AN400K6
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buddylover
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 19
Location: Denver, Colorado
Genuine Buddy 125 (pink, and all stock!)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject: hjc Reply with quote

I have the HJC CL12 (still produced? I don't know.) and I love it. Cheap, comfortable...what more can I ask for?

My wife has a scorpion and she loves it and tried on much more expensive helmets as well. The scorpion has a very easy method for changing the shield, much better than the HJC. But that's an extra bonus, not THE selling point.

I recommend both, but as mentioned above, try on many before you decide.

DO NOT order online unless you know exactly the size and model you want. Don't roll the dice.

Good luck.
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bwilms
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Joined: 18 Aug 2006
Posts: 123
Location: Cleveland/Akron, OH
Genuine Buddy 125 (Orange)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have much experience with helmets, but...

I started with a Vega Summit II that was given to me. It was a little big, but free until I could try on some other brands and find out what fits better. It turns out I picked up a new helmet just in time, because the chin piece of the Vega broke at the joint.

Anyhow, I ended up with an HJC CL-MAX which I got from MotoEmporium for under $140 (it seems I caught a sale). The fit is great and comfortable. It does fog up a little bit during the cool morning rides, but all I have to do is crack open the shield a bit. I don't know how normal this is. It's not noticably loud (it's quieter than the Vega was). In a nutshell, I'm happy with my HJC.

FWIW, my father bought about 4 helmets before he finally tried and purchased a Nolan. He says it's the only one that feels "just right".
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Beamie
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Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 165
Location: Central CT
Chevrolet Orange Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look for DOT and/or SNELL labels; then whatever fits your melon.
Different brands are different shapes, so you need to try it on.
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Dave R
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Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 67
Location: Seattle
Genuine Dealer

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you should consider going into a motorcycle dealer to try a few on and decide what fits best first. We carry both the HJC line as well as a nice full face helmet from AXO, both are under $200 and both seem to be of comparable quality. IMPO the advantage to the HJC brand will be the strong level of availability of shields and various parts like pivot pieces etc...from just about any m/c dealer out there. #1 selling brand in N.America. The downside to a lower priced helmet like those vs Shoei, Arai, Suomy etc is that the fit of the helmet will loosen up much quicker with regular use compared to the higher priced brands.
Best advice, do not buy without trying them on first !

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SteMer
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 310
Location: Silverdale, WA (formerly from Cincinnati)
"Vintage" '06 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the quick feedback. Keep it coming!

Dave R - Yes, I definitely don't want to buy without trying it on first. I've already been hitting the local motorcycle stores but most only carry HJC, Bell and the more expensive brands. And that's part of my problem - I don't have much to compare them to since that's all I'm really finding. Is HJC #1 because it's just that good of a helmet for the price or is it heavily marketed to be the #1 helment in N. America?

Anybody in the Cincinnati area know where they sell Nolan helmets? Would love to compare them against HJC.
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ericalm
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Joined: 10 Jun 2006
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
STELLA FOUR STROKE FURY! + Vespa LX 150/190 + '87 Honda Helix CN250

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteMer wrote:
Thanks for all the quick feedback. Keep it coming!

Dave R - Yes, I definitely don't want to buy without trying it on first. I've already been hitting the local motorcycle stores but most only carry HJC, Bell and the more expensive brands. And that's part of my problem - I don't have much to compare them to since that's all I'm really finding. Is HJC #1 because it's just that good of a helmet for the price or is it heavily marketed to be the #1 helment in N. America?

Anybody in the Cincinnati area know where they sell Nolan helmets? Would love to compare them against HJC.


I'm having to systematically visit every motorcycle and gear shop in the area in search of the right helmet. And yeah, everyone seems to have the HJCs. I'm even considering getting an "interim" helmet with a face shield to replace my half helmet which I continue searching for a full face.
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SteMer
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 310
Location: Silverdale, WA (formerly from Cincinnati)
"Vintage" '06 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly what I'm doing! I've been borrowing a shorty helmet but would love to move up to something with a face shield and eventually to a full face once I find "the one." Good to know I'm not alone.
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James Tate
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Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anyone in Cincinnati that sells Nolan helmets, but a bunch of local guys have ordered the modulars online. Check the XYL page and maybe someone has a local source, or show up at a meeting and try somebody's on. I personally measured my head, checked the return policy, and took my chances. It is tough to find a helmet that fits just right, and we only have so many brands to choose from around here. If it doesn't pass the comfort and roll-off test you can always send it back. There may also be some shops on the west-side of town with more choices. Again, shoot a message to the XYLs and see what you find out.
http://www.tenyearlates.com/ver2/
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SteMer
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 310
Location: Silverdale, WA (formerly from Cincinnati)
"Vintage" '06 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good call, James. The XYL forum was my next move. Hope to catch up with you soon. Wed. nights are usually busy for me as are Sunday mornings - the times when the XYLs tend to gather. One of these days though...
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ka24desc
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Joined: 27 Aug 2006
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Location: Tucson
Buddy 125, Black/slightly customized

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://leatherup.com/
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MNBuddy
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Buddy 125

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:13 pm    Post subject: ZOX Helmets?? Reply with quote

What does anyone know about ZOX helmets. Good or bad. I want to make sure I end up with a good protective helmet.
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ericalm
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Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 17637
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: ZOX Helmets?? Reply with quote

MNBuddy wrote:
What does anyone know about ZOX helmets. Good or bad. I want to make sure I end up with a good protective helmet.

They just started importing these to the US this year. I've seen them (online) and they LOOK good, but I'm a bit suspicious of low-price helmets unless I can fiind reliable reviews for them. So far, I haven't found any for the Zox helmets.
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angieyou3
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 92
Location: Lakewood, Ohio
Buddy 125

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own a ZOX helmet. It fits quite comfortably and they sell different cheek padding online if you want more leeway. It came highly recommended from my dealer, and was only about $140. Face sheild has a quick release and is easy to use. One of the few helmet brands (from what I have been told) that comes with a protective carrier bag. Fits nicely under the buddy seat even with the bag.
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NarMeowZippy
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Joined: 18 Aug 2006
Posts: 66
Location: Seattle, WA
Orange Buddy 50cc - aka "Screwdriver"

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own two of the Z1R helmets and have really liked them. I bought an open face Metro when I first bought my Buddy and I just bought a second one with a full face pull-down visor for colder weather driving.
They block wind noise really well and are really comfortable to wear. My Metro was only around $60.00 and my new one was around $85.00. I highly recommend them for the price and durability.

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