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Thread: Helmet Questions

  1. #1
    Lost Texan LostTexan's Avatar
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    Helmet Questions

    I'm new to the motorcycling world and the first purchase I'm going to make is a good helmet. I want to buy a "flip-face" helmet. I read that I need to make sure it'll stay on my head by performing a "roll-off" test before I buy. What's a "roll-off" test and how's it conducted?

    Quote from a wise friend, "if you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet".
    LostTexan #146556
    2008 K1200GT

  2. #2
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    some info here http://www.afxhelmets.com/resources/fitting.php
    also, go to smf.org, snell's website.
    you want to test fit for more than just "roll-off" (forward/back rotation around your head).
    basically, with helmet strapped in place (room for 2 fingers between strap & throat)- HOLDING YOUR HEAD STEADY AND TRYING TO RESIST MOVEMENT, try moving helmet left to right to left. skin should move with helmet, helmet should not move much at all. now try rolling helmet backwards off head, then forwards. again, helmet should not move much (inch or 2, at most).
    you should feel nothing more than light presure against forehead entire time- this area WILL NOT stretch (if salesman says it will, either he's blatantly lying, or doesn't know what he's talking about. feel free to put the helmet down and walk out of the store, or ask to speak to someone who understands helmet fitment).
    wear a helmet that passes these basic tests for 15-20 minutes (yes, that long!) before removing. only (possible) acceptable pressure points should be the cheek areas- these can often be adjusted with different cheek pads, and are the only pad areas that will compress over time. i've had helmets take over 600 miles to fully break-in in this area. if forehead is sore/red, helmet is too small.
    try a number of different helmet brands and models before deciding on the one you want. each company uses different shaped shells, and that can also vary across models wthin the same brand, as well.
    3 nodular helmets have been/are being tested by Snell: AGV, Shoei & Nolan, iirc. if you go modular, be certain that all clasps that lock jaw to main shell are metal, not plasic/nylon.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  3. 01-01-2009, 06:35 PM

  4. #3
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Do some searches...

    Do some searches for "helmet" in the Gear forum. You'll get a bunch of threads that discuss helmet types, fit, etc.

    Also, be sure and try on a few different styles and manufacturer's versions of what you want. Helmet comfort and fit depends on the shape of your head. If you're lucky, you can get some assistance at a dealer from someone that understands helmet fitting.
    -----------------------------------------
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  5. #4
    Lost Texan LostTexan's Avatar
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    Thanks folks. I'm learning! Will get something in Jan or Feb after more research and education. Thanks again.
    LostTexan #146556
    2008 K1200GT

  6. #5
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    some info here http://www.afxhelmets.com/resources/fitting.php
    also, go to smf.org, snell's website.
    you want to test fit for more than just "roll-off" (forward/back rotation around your head).
    basically, with helmet strapped in place (room for 2 fingers between strap & throat)- HOLDING YOUR HEAD STEADY AND TRYING TO RESIST MOVEMENT, try moving helmet left to right to left. skin should move with helmet, helmet should not move much at all. now try rolling helmet backwards off head, then forwards. again, helmet should not move much (inch or 2, at most).
    you should feel nothing more than light presure against forehead entire time- this area WILL NOT stretch (if salesman says it will, either he's blatantly lying, or doesn't know what he's talking about. feel free to put the helmet down and walk out of the store, or ask to speak to someone who understands helmet fitment).
    wear a helmet that passes these basic tests for 15-20 minutes (yes, that long!) before removing. only (possible) acceptable pressure points should be the cheek areas- these can often be adjusted with different cheek pads, and are the only pad areas that will compress over time. i've had helmets take over 600 miles to fully break-in in this area. if forehead is sore/red, helmet is too small.
    try a number of different helmet brands and models before deciding on the one you want. each company uses different shaped shells, and that can also vary across models wthin the same brand, as well.
    3 nodular helmets have been/are being tested by Snell: AGV, Shoei & Nolan, iirc. if you go modular, be certain that all clasps that lock jaw to main shell are metal, not plasic/nylon.
    Excellent advice, and a good, descriptive explanation. If you don't mind, I will use this nearly verbatim in my MSF Basic Rider Course outline.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  7. #6
    yrfuneralmytrial
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostTexan View Post
    I'm new to the motorcycling world and the first purchase I'm going to make is a good helmet. I want to buy a "flip-face" helmet. I read that I need to make sure it'll stay on my head by performing a "roll-off" test before I buy. What's a "roll-off" test and how's it conducted?

    Quote from a wise friend, "if you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet".
    -Hi. Certainly not trying to sway you or preach...just a viewpoint... I've had a few flip-up helmets and I really like the style and function. I've had well-rated cheapies (Zeus) to my current one (Nolan N102). However, I'm seriously considering going back to a dedicated full-face helmet. Each one of my flip-ups has given me problems. The Zeus started falling apart in short order. The Nolan's chin-guard comes undone constantly. Worse, it can take several tries before it truly latches shut which makes me think it could easily unlatch in a crash. Also, LOUD windnoise with all that I've tried. Again, just a flipside view.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Excellent advice, and a good, descriptive explanation. If you don't mind, I will use this nearly verbatim in my MSF Basic Rider Course outline.

    be my guest! i'm pretty good at the process now, as i'm sure you are. you fit that many lids most every weekend, you figure things out.
    that my g/f (local site admin where i usually teach) is also a dealer for AGV/Bieffe doesn't hurt!
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrfuneralmytrial View Post
    -Hi. Certainly not trying to sway you or preach...just a viewpoint... I've had a few flip-up helmets and I really like the style and function. I've had well-rated cheapies (Zeus) to my current one (Nolan N102). However, I'm seriously considering going back to a dedicated full-face helmet. Each one of my flip-ups has given me problems. The Zeus started falling apart in short order. The Nolan's chin-guard comes undone constantly. Worse, it can take several tries before it truly latches shut which makes me think it could easily unlatch in a crash. Also, LOUD windnoise with all that I've tried. Again, just a flipside view.
    i ride with a full-face, always. Except when teaching, in which case i'll either use a 3/4 or an AGV Miglia/Longville modular. that is a pretty quiet modular, and fits much snugger in the cheeks than most modulars. but you're right, in general, modulars are noisier than their ff counterparts.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  10. #9
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Cycle show coming up in February...

    Quote Originally Posted by LostTexan View Post
    Thanks folks. I'm learning! Will get something in Jan or Feb after more research and education. Thanks again.
    You could always check out the International Motorcycle Show, sponsored by Cycleworld here in the Twin Cities. It's the weekend of February 13-15 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Arai, Shoei, HJC and others will be there. You can try on everything right there. The main problem is that EVERYONE has the same idea, so you may have to wait in line to talk to a rep.

    Unfortunately it looks like BMW will not be at the Minneapolis show this year. I guess we're flyover country here compared to the bigger shows.
    -----------------------------------------
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  11. #10
    Lost Texan LostTexan's Avatar
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    Thanks. The salesman that sold me my K1200GT was intent on my trying on helmets and wanted me to wear it around for 15-20 minutes before making a selection. Sounds like a good guy from what I've read from you guys. I'll go to the trade show too and see what I can learn. Just a note: I am seriously impressed by the help people in this community have provided to me, a real green horn. Appreciate all the support.
    LostTexan #146556
    2008 K1200GT

  12. #11
    mymindsok
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    I bought a Shoie RF-100 last year and never was happy with the fit. I wear an XL but it allways seemed like thehelmet was moving around when I was trying to swing my head to look into a turn. The other issue is that the front section atmy mouth is very close and is pretty clostrophic sometimes.

    Last month I was at the MC Show in San Mateo and the Arai folks had a big display and I was ably to have me head measured by an expert. Now I know that the top of my head is an oval but the rest of it is a "round". I liked the ARAI's but found that the nose guard was too thght for my face.

    Soooo...

    I went to my local Cycle Gear store and tried on more helmets. They have a 7 day return policy and after shopping for a couple of days, I settled on a Shoie X-11 in XXL.

    After a few days of use I found that that helmet was still a bit loose so we swapped in a linet from an XL with 35mm Cheek pads and viola! Perfect fit!

    The point that I'm making here is this: Some of us are harder to fit than others and it can take some time and trying to find the right solution for your head and riding style. For me, finding a local dealer who would:
    1) Give me a reasonable discount on a plain white Shoie and 2) Work with me to acheive a good fit, made all the difference in the world.

    Now I can ride in comfort and that allows me to rde more safely.

    Try several styles and brands and then buy from someone you know and trust!

  13. #12
    criminaldesign
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    I really like the modulars but I agree, there is a good bit of noise.

    My main upside to the modular compared to FF is my glasses. With a FF I have to take my glasses off, put on helmet, then put on the glasses. With the modular I can simply put in on. I did ride off once without my spectacles. WAIT IT"S BLURRY.

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