Author Topic: Helmet help  (Read 1650 times)

Offline ShowBizWolf

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Re: Helmet help -- DONE
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2019, 05:36:04 AM »
The only true deterrent is "don't give thieves an opportunity."


I very much agree with this one.
People who steal things sometimes do it purely for the rush they get from it. It's not always about the $$ value of the item or if they need it/like it/want it.

mr72 I'm really glad you found a helmet and I hope you enjoy it for a long time :cheers: I know I'm looking forward to the day I finally get myself a new one.
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help -- DONE
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2019, 01:54:10 PM »
I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed you didn't go for a Shoei, but as I said before I don't think HJC makes bad helmets, just that my experience with them has been a little lackluster.  In the end the right helmet is the one that fits best, after all, and a comfortable helmet will ultimately lead to the best enjoyed experience.

Believe me, I really wanted to like the Shoei better, especially the GT-Air. It's just that the HJC fit so much better, there was no contest.

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The only true statement is "thieves will steal helmets".  The only true deterrent is "don't give thieves an opportunity."

I suppose that's true. I live a charmed life in an ultra-low-crime suburb so most of the time I never even consider whether someone would steal something. I just feel like a giant tool carrying a motorcycle helmet around with me. I have used a pistol lock to lock my helmet to the bike's frame, maybe I'll pick up a cable lock that I can throw in my bag to use through the chinbar when I have to leave the helmet with the bike in the city.

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$13 isn't a really big difference.  The real test of the helmet will be once you get it on the road.  The HJC will all but definitely be better than your tired Sedici, but +$13 vs the risk of having a "paperweight" helmet, I'd pay the $13.

I didn't expect the to beat Revzilla's price at all. And I would have paid the price on the tag if they hadn't asked what the best price I had found was and then offered to beat it. I probably spent half an hour in that store, asked a ton of questions, had the sales lady, who was quite knowledgeable about helmets and fit, actually go pull down several helmets off of the wall, explain all the differences in shape and fit and other options, she went into the back to get one the right size for me, and generally just did the work to win a customer. It's precisely the reason everyone says "brick and mortar" businesses should stay around. And then to beat the best online price? There was no way I was going to take advantage of all of this customer service and not follow through with giving them my business when they had what I needed.

I'm not all that worried that some major flaw is going to show up after I go ride. But I will spend literally 30 minutes in the store with that helmet on before leaving just to make sure. I think I would never know how it's going to work out in the long run until it breaks in anyway, which could take a month or more.

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I can see how a good salesperson would make a purchasing impression on a customer, if you get treated right they've earned your business.


That's exactly it.

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That's what I strive to do day to day, try to offer the best customer service in town so customers want to buy from me.

No doubt! and FWIW, if CycleGear would have had this HJC and the Shark and a Scorpion T1200 etc. in stock for me to try, then I would have gladly bought from them. But CG seems to really cater to a slightly different customer type than this other shop.

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Same for having the item in question there in the store, instead of having to order the item in.  I'll do everything I can to get something in for a customer, but if the guy next door has it there and now there's not much I can do to compete with that, other than perhaps bring that item in to get a head start on "the next guy."

Yep. And I know CG would have ordered a helmet for me and then I could have tried it there in the store and "returned" it if it didn't fit right. But being able to try on multiple helmets back to back in one visit without having to wait days for this one or that one to come in, well you can't beat that. And FWIW when I was at CG asking about helmets, literally the ONLY one the sales guy showed me was the RF-SR. I asked to see the RF-1200. And I deliberately asked, "are there any other helmets you recommend I try?" and [kind of like someone else I know ;) ] he was like, "nope. This is the one."

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It's interesting how two examples of the same thing can be totally different.  Seems like you are very happy with your local RideNow based on your recent experience.
Out here, both of the RideNows have an earned reputation of being fairly crappy businesses.  Overpriced, poor customer service, and I've heard several cases where they've damaged customer bikes in the service department (or even switched parts out without consent) and have done nothing or the bare minimum to correct the problem.
In my own personal experiences, the East side location has 100% ignored me every time I've gone in there, and it's been probably half a dozen times.

I didn't know RideNow was a chain. This store actually has been there since the mid-70s as "Woods Fun Center", was owned by someone called "America's Powersports" since 1999 and only recently changed to RideNow. However as far as I can tell, it's the same staff, same inventory, same everything as it was before. Store layout is the same. Their used bikes are a bit overpriced but I'm sure they'd haggle down. Anyway, counter to your experience, I walked in the door and hadn't made it 10 feet into the place before someone stopped me and asked if they could help with anything. I told him I was just browsing helmets and he pointed me to the section of the store with helmets and said to ask someone there if I needed any help. I didn't have to ask, as soon as I walked into that part of the store the helpful sales lady caught me and asked if there was anything specific I was looking for, and it was game on. I've always had this kind of treatment at this store though, and it's an old Austin standby place that's been around forever, you don't stay in business for decades unless you do these things right.

Also turns out Woods (now RideNow) is a Suzuki, Triumph and Honda dealer (along with Polaris and Yamaha), so my dad and I have bought parts from them often and they always either had the part in stock or got it for me next day. Triumph dealers are not that common as you might expect.


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They didn't seem to have a great selection of helmets, either.  Sure, they carry HJC and some Shoeis, but probably 1/3 to 1/4 of the helmets I have in my store.  Same for gear.
The West side location was friendlier to me each time, but they carry even less gear and, for some reason, fewer brands and bikes in general compared to the East side one.  For example, the East side carries Honda, West does not...
I'll likely never set foot in one again.

Wow. Well that sucks. Our CycleGear store here has a lot of helmets but really it's maybe 50% Bilt and Sedici, and most of the rest of what they have are the very entry level HJC and a small selection of Shoei, AGV and Arai, couple of Nolan modulars. The RideNow had at least as many helmets to choose from but a much wider variety of brands and models all the way up and down the range for each brand they carried. Actually I think the huge number of house brand stuff at CG is a mixed blessing. It's kind of like the place is a 50% factory outlet store. If you just need a basic functional pair of gloves or jacket, that's awesome. The house brand stuff is pretty good and gets the job done at a very affordable price point. But if you need something specific or higher-end, well their selection of that stuff is pretty bad. That said, I probably will go there for another jacket. I might even just get another Bilt "Cafe" jacket exactly like the one I have, only a couple of sizes smaller.

Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help -- DONE
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2019, 02:05:53 PM »
mr72 I'm really glad you found a helmet and I hope you enjoy it for a long time :cheers: I know I'm looking forward to the day I finally get myself a new one.

Thanks! I feel like this is a sort of rite of passage. Just a couple of years ago I was a motorcycling noob. I bought all of the gear and a motorcycle and started riding a lot but it took some time for me to figure out what works and what doesn't. Well, now I know a lot more, and I know what works. I had no idea how to choose a helmet when I bought my Strada. This time I knew more but mostly knew what questions to ask and I had 10K miles of riding experience to help me understand what was important to look for.

I am such a cheapskate that I get all bent up about the price of these things. I guess I still think anything over $50 is an investment and should last forever. That was the biggest thing for me to get over. If a $400 helmet lasts me two years then that's like 55 cents a day. I spend so much time wearing it, it's really worth the investment. This is the same exact argument I made buying a $600 smartphone, and why I will replace my dying Nixon Mission with another $300 smartwatch without hesitation. Sometimes you just have to invest in quality of life. We spend hundreds of dollars a year on things that don't make a difference in our lives, I'm trying to get comfortable with spending money on things that do make a difference.

Offline ShowBizWolf

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Re: Helmet help -- DONE
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2019, 12:00:54 AM »

I suppose that's true. I live a charmed life in an ultra-low-crime suburb so most of the time I never even consider whether someone would steal something. I just feel like a giant tool carrying a motorcycle helmet around with me. I have used a pistol lock to lock my helmet to the bike's frame, maybe I'll pick up a cable lock that I can throw in my bag to use through the chinbar when I have to leave the helmet with the bike in the city.


I don't really like carrying my helmet around with me either. Sometimes I use the under seat hook. When I go to Walmart late at night after work, I'll put it in a cart along with my tank bag.

I've often thought of getting a cable lock or something for my tank bag. It's not a $500 helmet but it's the most expensive Nelson-Rigg one they had available at the time (CL 2020 magnetic mount). I certainly don't want anyone to swipe it just for sh*ts and giggles. But then there's the thought of someone wanting to rifle through it while it's on the bike and take what they want.... >:(

I know what you mean about the motorcycling noob situation. Admittedly I have 2 inexpensive helmets... and one Arai... but it's old. Rest assured though, a proper helmet IS on my list of things to buy in the future. Bottom line is... money. Single, homeowner, 3 vehicles, 4 cats... there's only so much $$ left over. I'm thinking that if I rode more often, I would have taken care of this already! I do have all the other proper gear though so at least there's that.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 12:02:35 AM by ShowBizWolf »
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Offline qcbaker

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2019, 01:09:43 PM »
At my last job, when I rode to work I would just bring all my gear into the office with me. Didn't like the idea of my helmet sitting out in the sun. But now that I park in a parking garage, I usually put my gloves in my helmet, and then use the underseat hook to stow my helmet for the day. Not that its not within the realm of possibility, but I find it rather unlikely that someone would walk through 5+ floors of the parking garage just to steal my gloves and/or helmet. I always take my jacket and tank bag with me though, since there's no easy way to secure them to the bike.

Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2019, 03:39:49 PM »
When you've spent somewhere around $1500 on your helmet all in all, you don't leave it outside, period.
It can be very inconvenient at times bringing it all in to a gas station just to buy an energy drink or whatever, but I take zero chances.

Lucky for me I got everything for way less than that, but still.
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2019, 06:41:42 PM »
Hey quick update:

I picked up the helmet today, just got home from the ~30+ minute ride home in it.

Wore it around the store for about half an hour shopping in it. Felt great, fit great, everything perfect. So I pulled gave it a thumbs up and headed out. Was about 93+F and humid when I took off to head home. First thing is this helmet is WAY, WAY, WAY quieter. Just putting it on and starting the bike with the visor up, even the exhaust note was much quieter than with my Strada. Once I got rolling the difference was much more pronounced. It's just quiet. Real quiet. Once you get up above about 50mph you can hear some low frequency portion of wind noise, kind of a gentle roar. This is with no chin curtain and all of the vents open. I was floored with it.

And speaking of vents, oh my how this thing moves air. It actually reminds me a lot of how it feels to wear a high-end mountain bike helmet. There's constant airflow around the top of your head. Talk about night and day difference. I just can't get over how much better this helmet is.

Anyway, probably 35 minutes home in this heat and humidity, helmet felt fine, made my mesh jacket feel very hot by comparison, and it still felt like it was made for my head after the ride home. Absolutely none of that upward tilt like my Strada does with wind. In fact it has basically no wind effect I can tell in any position. Turn your head, look up, down, etc., it just doesn't catch the wind. This is a very different experience than the Strada.

Last thing is the bonus, I didn't think I'd use the sun shield because it's "smoke" aka "gray" in color and I am such a nut about sunglasses, I strongly prefer the more brown tints that block more blue and  enhance contrast. In fact I really prefer the VR28 tint in my Oakleys but I digress. Anyway, for kicks I tried the sun shield and it turn out it is perfectly fine. I might not even wear sunglasses with this helmet. The Strada's sun shield was very blue and pretty much useless for this reason. I only used it once in three years and it was just because I had left my sunglasses. But I think I will probably use the RPHA all the time with the sun shield and no sunglasses because it's just much more comfortable that way and it works.

Anyway, I meant to keep this short but I didn't. I am beyond pleased with this helmet. Worth every penny.

And thanks again all of you guys who discussed this with me to help me know how to shop. Especially Watcher!

Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2019, 05:58:46 AM »
Anyway, I meant to keep this short but I didn't. I am beyond pleased with this helmet. Worth every penny.

I hope you won't stop here, I'd like a future update when you get it broken in, if you don't mind.

I don't have any experience with the RPHA70, just the 11 and the 90.  If it's a legitimate GT-Air competitor I may have to keep it on the list for recommendations.
The price isn't bad, and while I still think the RPHA 11 is underwhelming perhaps the RPHA series as a whole isn't to be judged on the faults I find in one model, nor the issues present in a specific example.
The RPHA 70 may just be that rose among the thorns.

And thanks again all of you guys who discussed this with me to help me know how to shop. Especially Watcher!

:cheers:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 06:45:27 AM by Watcher »
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2019, 11:40:27 AM »
I hope you won't stop here, I'd like a future update when you get it broken in, if you don't mind.

Absolutely!

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I don't have any experience with the RPHA70, just the 11 and the 90.  If it's a legitimate GT-Air competitor I may have to keep it on the list for recommendations.
The price isn't bad, and while I still think the RPHA 11 is underwhelming perhaps the RPHA series as a whole isn't to be judged on the faults I find in one model, nor the issues present in a specific example.

You know it occurred to me that the RPHA series is pretty new, and the 70 is one of the more recent. I wonder if the bad impression you have could be due to some teething pains from HJC and maybe they have worked out some of those kinks by now.

BTW the reason I went with the HJC rather than a GT-Air was not price, on the contrary I could have gotten a shoei for a really amazing deal. It was all about fit. If you have a customer for whom the shoei doesn't fit right, maybe RPHA are worth trying.

Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2019, 06:26:47 PM »
First ride with this helmet was home from the store, as noted. Probably 45 minutes in oppressive heat.

Since I got back from my business trip, I did a number of short trips and then this morning got up early and did a 2+ hour ride on country highways and backroads with speeds up to 70 and averaging about 55-60. It. Was. Windy. This was precisely the type of trip that was the worst with the Strada.

The result? I really love this helmet. The fit is still absolutely perfect. Cheek pads are breaking in nicely. This time without my bluetooth earbuds in I could hear the wind but it was very windy. I'd have to say it's not perfectly quiet by any means but I bet it's avg. 10dB quieter than the Strada. Also kept noticing how much wider the eyeport is. And I have become addicted to the drop-down visor, so handy to be able to put it up and down as the light conditions change like this morning where the sun was way behind the clouds and then peeked out time to time. No wind buffeting at any angle. Above 65mph I can feel the slightest hint of it trying to lift at the chin but it doesn't actually move like my Strada did. Also I got a couple of real hard bug strikes, guessing dragonflies, but somehow the helmet had no bugs on it when I got home. Crazy!

I do have one slight complaint, which may be something I can adjust or modify. The detents where the visor stops are not secure enough to keep it open if you are riding more than about 40 mph, the wind shuts it. The Strada in particular was much more firmly in its position, often annoyingly so. In fact the Strada had this protrusion on the visor that snapped into a matching hole in the helmet when it was closed that made it nearly impossible to get open while you were riding... I filed that off on that helmet.

Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2019, 08:39:11 PM »
 :cheers:
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #51 on: July 30, 2019, 06:07:59 PM »
Ridden a lot more in the helmet, and it's been very hot most of the time. I've probably done 200-300 miles in it. One ride was two and a half hours.

Without earbuds or earplugs in, it is noisy enough for you to want earbuds or earplugs at highway speeds. But it's still much quieter than my other helmet.

Cheek pads have broken in more and the rest of the helmet just absolutely fits perfectly. It's cool, comfortable, light, and basically does everything right. I hardly notice it is on my head. I'm super stoked with it.

Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #52 on: July 31, 2019, 03:19:57 AM »
That's great to hear!  You and that helmet seem to be a perfect fit, glad it's working out.
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