Author Topic: Helmet help  (Read 465 times)

Offline mr72

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Helmet help
« on: April 13, 2019, 01:21:21 AM »
Hi all.

Looking for wisdom from the collective.

My head hurts on the crown of my head after an hour or so of riding. It's a sedici Strada. Seems to fit fine and is very comfortable until about the hour mark. Whether it matters, it also seems to move a bit up with wind.

So, I seriously am considering my next helmet. What do I need to solve this issue? Should I expect you to be able to return a helmet after discovering this kind of issue after several hours ling rides?

Offline IdaSuzi

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 05:42:35 AM »
So I can't help too much because I haven't tried a lot of different helmets, but I have tried a few. I tried on a couple helmets when I first started riding, ended up with the budget HJC cl-17 and it was okay. The screen changes were kind of annoying and I would really feel the pressure points after and hour or so but it was a decent first helmet. I had an Icon Alliance for a while and wasn't a big fan of it over all. The lining was nice but the it fit even worse than the HJC and visor changes are even worse. Now I have a Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS and it rocks! It is all day comfy, the liner is plush and the chin and neck roll are great. It's also a VERY safe helmet and comes with a transition lense that adjusts to the light, and it actually works great. The helmet also has a spot for a Sena or Cardo in it if that's your thing. It is a little loud but I always have earplugs in anyways.

Most helmets have pretty good warranties and maybe they'll take it back, it's worth a shot anyways. If it is pretty new you can always try for a private sale to at least get some money back. Sorry I don't have more specific answers for ya. All I can say is since I've had the Bell I have no desire to go back to others.
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Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 07:23:26 AM »
The best thing is to go to a bike shop that has a good helmet selection. Once you find one you like just wear it for an hour in the shop to see if it bothers you.
Some BMW shops let you take their helmets on rides to test for comfort or even borrow them for a few days. However, BMW motorcycle shops usually only sell Scheuberth, Shoei, Arai, and Klim helmets at full retail price (I guess thatís how they can afford such nice loaner services). Something tells me you donít want to spend $500+ on your next helmet.
In general I would not expect to be able to return a helmet thatís been on a ride. Usually itís yours once you peel the plastic off the visor.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 07:27:39 AM by Bluesmudge »

Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 11:24:05 AM »
Thanks bluesmudge. I think it's likely the effect of wind on the helmet during a ride that is adding to my problem. An hour of just wearing the helmet doesn't cause any pain. Likewise an hour of sub-40mph riding doesn't really do it either.

I may very well spend over $500 on my next helmet if it's the right one but I'd rather keep it closer to $300. I guess I was hoping for was a little diagnosis of what specific helmet feature or shape leads to this kind of top of head pain, so I can narrow down the shopping list rather than just trying everything and hoping to get lucky.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 03:55:17 PM by mr72 »

Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 03:48:11 PM »
The best option would be to go somewhere with many helmets you can try on, and some place with a great return policy.

CycleGear would be that option.  Hopefully you have one nearby, if you have that Sedici (unless you ordered it online).
They have professional staff that can properly fit you, and a 30 day return policy (helmet "unused" or in "like new" condition).


For what it's worth, 5/7 of us at the Tucson store all wear Shoei X14 helmets.  The X14 is potentially the best helmet on the market today, but they START at around $750.

I love mine, but I also love my Shoei RFSR, and those are just $400.

Compared to your Sedici, you'd be getting a more complex shell matrix that is stronger and denser, making the helmet safer and quieter.
Shoei owns a wind-tunnel that they make extensive use of.  This means a few things.
First, that despite the vents looking rather small they're actually very effective.
Second, that the helmet is engineered to be quiet.
Third, that the helmet is engineered to be smooth at high speeds, and will apply less pressure and turbulence to you overall.

You'd lose your drop-down sun-shield, but there is a photochromic shield option (though it's $200).
The Shoei GT-Air is being closed out so the price isn't bad on those ($400-500), and those do have the drop-down, but the RFSR scores much better in SHARP testing and has better ventilation.

Being in the industry, I'm happy to offer my opinion on any other helmet as well, but to me Shoei is the best at what they do with Arai somewhat close behind.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 03:54:28 PM by Watcher »
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 04:12:21 PM »
CycleGear would be that option.  Hopefully you have one nearby, if you have that Sedici (unless you ordered it online).

Yes I bought this at the local CG. I can't say I was impressed with the knowledge or advice of the sales staff at this store. They didn't talk to me at all about fit or suggest I try anything other than the Sedici helmet. I did insist on trying a few but the Sedici was far and away the most comfortable of the ones I tried. And BTW it was >$200. ISTR it was closer to $300.

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They have professional staff that can properly fit you, and a 30 day return policy (helmet "unused" or in "like new" condition).

Maybe your shop has professional staff, but I have less confidence in our CG.


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I love mine, but I also love my Shoei RFSR, and those are just $400.

Yeah I could probably talk myself into that. I wonder how closely the tangerine color matches my "intense orange" Triumph. But it'd have to be pretty perfect for me to spend $400.

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Compared to your Sedici, you'd be getting ...

Yeah I'm sure it's a better helmet in every way :)

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You'd lose your drop-down sun-shield,

I don't use it. I'm ultra picky about sunglasses, and I just wear sunglasses under the shield.


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Being in the industry, I'm happy to offer my opinion on any other helmet as well, but to me Shoei is the best at what they do with Arai somewhat close behind.

I appreciate it. Any idea what specifically about the Strada is causing this head pain? Or what is the difference in shape between the Sedici and the Shoei?


BTW when I bought the Sedici my top priorities were:
safety  .. I wanted a fiberglass shell and ECE+DOT rating, not a polycarbonate shell and just DOT
safety ... I actually like the hi-vis color, and the Shoei doesn't have a similar color unfortunately.
comfort ... this helmet mostly fits the bill

The Sedici helmet was the best priced option that had the features I cared about.

But after riding it for a while I discovered that it's loud, I never use the sun shield, and I really wouldn't mind a little more space in the cheek area. Also I am riding a lot and longer trips so I am ready to jump to a more premium helmet but it has to tick all the boxes. If it doesn't, then it had better have some huge upside to compensate. I actually think the color of the helmet is the most important safety feature so that's a big problem for me.

Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 08:31:44 AM »
CycleGear would be that option.  Hopefully you have one nearby, if you have that Sedici (unless you ordered it online).

Yes I bought this at the local CG. I can't say I was impressed with the knowledge or advice of the sales staff at this store. They didn't talk to me at all about fit or suggest I try anything other than the Sedici helmet.

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They have professional staff that can properly fit you, and a 30 day return policy (helmet "unused" or in "like new" condition).

Maybe your shop has professional staff, but I have less confidence in our CG.

That's disappointing.  Perhaps (hopefully) it has changed between then and now.

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You'd lose your drop-down sun-shield,

I don't use it. I'm ultra picky about sunglasses, and I just wear sunglasses under the shield.

Shoei does consider glasses users when they design their padding.  We have more luck in them with glasses wearers than any other brand.
If you prefer to just wear sungless I still do recommend the RSFR.

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Being in the industry, I'm happy to offer my opinion on any other helmet as well, but to me Shoei is the best at what they do with Arai somewhat close behind.

I appreciate it. Any idea what specifically about the Strada is causing this head pain? Or what is the difference in shape between the Sedici and the Shoei?

Nothing specifically.  If it didn't used to do this it may just be that the padding is starting to wear out.  You've had this helmet for a few years, right?
If it did always do this, then it's perhaps just the wrong shape, but since you seem to believe that it's related to higher speed riding it may just be a symptom of poor aerodynamics and the helmet being pressed into your forehead from wind resistance.

The internal shapes of both the Shoei and Sedici are described best as "intermediate oval", and are both quite similar.  Granted, I don't own a Sedici Strada, but from the limited amount of time I spend in it just trying them on every so often I would say they're fairly close.  If you don't get any forehead or temple pressure "at rest" then you'll fit the Shoei just fine.  On the whole, Shoei uses a softer and more comfortable padding than Sedici so they tend to be more comfortable for longer periods of time.

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BTW when I bought the Sedici my top priorities were:
safety  .. I wanted a fiberglass shell and ECE+DOT rating, not a polycarbonate shell and just DOT
safety ... I actually like the hi-vis color, and the Shoei doesn't have a similar color unfortunately.
comfort ... this helmet mostly fits the bill

The Sedici helmet was the best priced option that had the features I cared about.

But after riding it for a while I discovered that it's loud, I never use the sun shield, and I really wouldn't mind a little more space in the cheek area. Also I am riding a lot and longer trips so I am ready to jump to a more premium helmet but it has to tick all the boxes. If it doesn't, then it had better have some huge upside to compensate. I actually think the color of the helmet is the most important safety feature so that's a big problem for me.

There aren't a whole ton of fiberglass DOT+ECE helmets on the market, not a lot I recommend at least.
A good example of why is HJC's RPHA series.  The CL-17 from them is a SNELL rated Polycarbonate helmet for under $150, and IIRC it scores either a 4 or 5-star in SHARP with a not awesome but still decent side impact score.
By comparison, HJC's RPHA-11, their fiberglass shell "high end" helmet for $350, scores an incredibly disappointing 3-star SHARP rating with utter failures in side impact.

Scorpion's offerings tend to fair similarly to HJC, being in the 3-4-star range for their fiberglass helmets, though offering decent SNELL options for the price.  But overall disappointing for the higher priced options, considering they're approaching Shoei money but not Shoei quality.

AGV's K5 series seems to score decently, and the price isn't too bad at $300.  They're also wind-tunnel designed, which is a plus, and the padding is pretty nice.  I'm not particularly impressed with the shield base mechanism, though, seems low quality.  The shields are surprisingly expensive, too.

Shark SKWAL is another 4-star $300-ish helmet, but I know little to nothing about Shark helmets in general.  We just don't deal with them a lot.

And I can't comment on the Sedici by comparison, as they don't participate in the SHARP testing scheme.

I'd say the best fiberglass helmets sub $300 are the AGV, Shark, and Sedici if just for that $200 value.



The biggest complaint we get about the Sedici Strada are that it's noisy, so it's not just you thinking they're loud.  Part of it are those big vent channels on the top.  It's just not that well designed.  But once again, the helmet is an excellent value for the money.
Re: the cheek space, I already commented that the Sedici pads tend to be a little denser than Shoei's.  At any rate, Shoei allows one to purchase different thickness pads to custom fit the helmet to the user.

Since we were talking SHARP ratings, the RFSR scores a 5-star, with slightly less than perfect side-impact.  It's the second-highest rated Shoei, the first being the X14, and the third being the RF-1200 which scores a 4-star with less than ideal side-impact, but it's still better than a lot of competitors.
In a surprising twist, very few Arai's score a 5-star, and many score 3-star, which is incredibly disappointing considering the company's pedigree and the cost of their lids.


On the topic of helmet color, I don't think the conspicuity of the helmet is really measurable in the kind of detail we expect.  I think anything that increases conspicuity is a good thing, but I don't believe any one color is the end-all beat-all when it comes to this, so just I divide helmet colors/graphics into either bright (conspicuous) or dark (inconspicuous) categories.

I'll pick a helmet based on crash-test rating first, features second, then decide on a color last, and I typically go for a bright helmet.
As an example, my Marquez Motegi X14.  It's a blend of white, red, and bronze colors with some black accents, but overall is very bright.  I'll sometimes get compliments on it in traffic, so I know it's eye-catching.

White is nice and bright, and there's also a possible psychological angle to it.  My RFSR is white, and I like the theory that it may raise extra conspicuity since it's similar to the design and color of helmet local law-enforcement uses.
Despite being on a yellow Ducati, the black and white helmet along with my black and white jacket may lead some drivers to take a second look at me, and if they do that then the color worked as I hoped it would.
And I've seen this, many drivers do a double-take if I'm riding nearby, and often will slow down if I'm behind them, which is something I don't notice as much when I wear my X-14.
I won't make a bold claim that "the white helmet makes people think I'm a cop," but I DO think that it's an effect that is noticeable, if not quantifiable.

But at the end of the day I don't think any rider should trust that any driver will see them, not even with hi-viz gear on.
Being conspicuous is a good thing, but it's not something that's reliable.
I wouldn't let the lack of a Hi-Viz option dissuade you from an otherwise high-quality helmet.


Something extra to consider, a quiet helmet will not only be more comfortable for a longer ride, but will be less distracting, and will allow you to hear MORE things around you.
Less wind means you'll hear things like running engines and tires a little better, and may increase your own ability to perceive traffic around you.
I can trust myself far greater than I can trust other road users.  Being able to hear a car in my blind spot is a big help to me when navigating in traffic.


Once again, for $400 I think the RFSR is one of the best helmets on the market today.  I believe the X14 is THE best helmet on the market, but it's a little out of reach for most people.
$400 is expensive, but a much more manageable investment.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 08:34:38 AM by Watcher »
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2019, 02:42:46 PM »
That's disappointing.  Perhaps (hopefully) it has changed between then and now.

Around here CG earns the reputation of being the Walmart of motorcycle gear stores. They also have pretty poor selection and nearly every time I've gone there for something I needed they don't have it in stock and offer to order it for me, which in this day and age is pretty ridiculous. Why on earth would I come into the store if I wanted to order an item sight unseen? The other motorcycle shops, which are dealers, seem to be far more knowledgeable and helpful and additionally have much better inventory than CG. I just think Cycle Gear in Austin is not doing nearly enough to justify their existence as a brick and mortar store.

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Shoei does consider glasses users when they design their padding.  We have more luck in them with glasses wearers than any other brand.
If you prefer to just wear sungless I still do recommend the RSFR.

Yeah it'd be nice if my Oakleys with the rubber earsocks would work with my helmet ... Maybe Shoei has figured this out.

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If it didn't used to do this it may just be that the padding is starting to wear out.  You've had this helmet for a few years, right?

I bought the helmet after I bought my GS. First street bike, first street helmet. I've ridden about 10K or so with this helmet. Going on 3 years old IIRC. I do think this is a recent development, since in 2017 my dad and I did a 2hr-each-way trip and I had no issues, and it was windy with half the ride both ways being about 70mph. So maybe the helmet is changing. I also have lost a fair amount of weight lately, maybe the helmet just doesn't fit like it once did.


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it may just be a symptom of poor aerodynamics and the helmet being pressed into your forehead from wind resistance.

Just for clarification, it's the very top of my head that hurts, not my forehead. Kind of feels like someone's been pulling my hair for an hour after I ride.

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On the whole, Shoei uses a softer and more comfortable padding than Sedici so they tend to be more comfortable for longer periods of time.

Yeah. I think I just need to move up from an "entry level" helmet to a better one.

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There aren't a whole ton of fiberglass DOT+ECE helmets on the market, not a lot I recommend at least.

I'll take DOT+Snell .. just not only-DOT.

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AGV's K5 series seems to score decently, and the price isn't too bad at $300.  They're also wind-tunnel designed, which is a plus, and the padding is pretty nice.  I'm not particularly impressed with the shield base mechanism, though, seems low quality.  The shields are surprisingly expensive, too.

AGV is on my list to check out but it seems that they think the first thing you do to make a higher-end helmet is put a bunch of graphics on it. I want a solid-color helmet. I don't ever change the shields and would only change it due to damage like if there was a bad scratch on it etc. Like I say, I use sunglasses.

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The biggest complaint we get about the Sedici Strada are that it's noisy, so it's not just you thinking they're loud.  Part of it are those big vent channels on the top.  It's just not that well designed.  But once again, the helmet is an excellent value for the money.

Agreed.

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Re: the cheek space, I already commented that the Sedici pads tend to be a little denser than Shoei's.  At any rate, Shoei allows one to purchase different thickness pads to custom fit the helmet to the user.

Yeah this is another huge disappointment with me and the Sedici helmet. It was advertised as having "adjustable" cheek padding, which is a flat out lie. I took mine apart and cut down the cheek pads, which are glued together layers of about 5mm foam, by cutting away a layer of that foam on each side. Still doesn't fit just right, but it's much better than before. Also I took the liner out and washed it, and now the ear cup liner won't stay where it is supposed to be and I have to re-tuck it every time I put on the helmet. There's just a lot of longer-term ownership flaws with the Sedici helmet. I think they designed a very good shell and safety features into this helmet but the sort of soft features you learn to expect from a premium helmet are just not the same. But of course you never know to expect this stuff buying your first helmet, and you only learn what you want after it fails to meet your expectations after years of use. Frankly I think for a passenger helmet for my wife, the Strada would be great. She may never ride more than 500 miles with a helmet on, and a protective helmet without the long-term wear and tear features would be fine. But for a daily user, the Sedici just doesn't have five years of 6K/year lifetime in it.

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On the topic of helmet color, I don't think the conspicuity of the helmet is really measurable in the kind of detail we expect.  I think anything that increases conspicuity is a good thing, but I don't believe any one color is the end-all beat-all when it comes to this, ...
I'll pick a helmet based on crash-test rating first, features second, then decide on a color last, and I typically go for a bright helmet....
But at the end of the day I don't think any rider should trust that any driver will see them, not even with hi-viz gear on.
Being conspicuous is a good thing, but it's not something that's reliable.

I think this has a lot to do with how, where, and under what conditions you typically ride, and you can potentially grade your risks and pick the appropriate safety gear. I have adapted to use my motorcycle as a way to combine some kind of moto-therapy with the need to get somewhere, so if I have to go into the office (I work from home 95% of the time) or run an errand or just go somewhere for something and don't have to carry cargo or passengers, then I take the bike. That includes rush hour traffic sometimes and generally urban/suburban driving with loads of moms in big SUVs and minivans who are texting while yelling at their kids and driving is way down the list of their priorities. These are the types who think "safe driving" means being in a vehicle so big and heavy that nothing else could hurt you no matter how you drive. So to me, the biggest risk is not that I'm going to have a high-speed crash where impact to the helmet is critical, but more that I am going to be cut off or turned into by an oblivious driver who is wholly inattentive to their surroundings. That's why for me, visibility is a top priority. Personally driving around I can tell you that I notice a bright helmet above all else. I'm not into the high-viz jackets or vests or whole riding suit with orange and neon green stripes, but a helmet is right in the field of view of nearly all drivers so that one thing may make a difference.

That said, white may be close enough, it's pretty visible especially at night, but so many cars are white that it doesn't contrast against the backdrop of the rest of the road. I'd prefer orange actually, since it's a far less common color, but the hi-viz yellow of my Sedici is a no-brainer. You always notice that color.

Thanks a ton Watcher for all of your thoughtful input and advice. I appreciate it! Now I have to convince my wife that another helmet is worthwhile. And since I've lost some weight, and have another 20-30 lb to go, I think my beloved Bilt "Cafe" jacket is likely to get mothballed later this year, probably wind up with another leather riding jacket before fall. Hopefully my adjustable mesh jacket will get me through the summer.

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2019, 11:40:29 PM »

But at the end of the day I don't think any rider should trust that any driver will see them, not even with hi-viz gear on.
Being conspicuous is a good thing, but it's not something that's reliable.
I wouldn't let the lack of a Hi-Viz option dissuade you from an otherwise high-quality helmet.



I certainly don't mean to interrupt here but I just had to say how much I agree with this. Even crazy me, driving around in my Turtle Van, people don't see me all the time. I've only ever been in one "accident" with it (thank God) but it involved a vehicle hitting into me while I was completely stopped... and when the driver got out, they said they didn't see me. :dunno_black:

There have also been plenty of times where I've been driving and see someone I know... and wave or beep at them to say hello... and they were totally oblivious lol! Scary though when I really think about it....


Ok please carry on, this is a very good thread and I'm enjoying reading it!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 11:59:12 PM by ShowBizWolf »
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Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2019, 10:57:27 AM »
I think this has a lot to do with how, where, and under what conditions you typically ride, and you can potentially grade your risks and pick the appropriate safety gear.

LOL!  If it's me you're talking to, it's safe to assume it's basically EVERY condition that I either regularly ride in or have ridden in at some point.
Rush hour, ass-crack of dawn, city, interstate, country, small town, suburb, high traffic, low traffic, no traffic, weekend, weekday, day, night, rain, shine, with luggage, with passengers, in season, out of season, blazing hot, freezing cold, even light snow and a tornado.

So, my only pieces of Hi-Viz kit are a yellow (green?) rain jacket, because that was an obvious choice as opposed to a black one, and an orange safety vest I'll sometimes use in particular situations.  Typically it's less for being conspicuous as a motorcycle rider and more for being conspicuous among motorcycle riders.
Either because I'm teaching or leading a group ride or something like that, but I'll also use it if there are some non-rain related low-visibility conditions and I want all the help I can get.

For the vast majority of riding conditions I feel that personal vigilance is all you really need, so I guess I'm more the kind of person who would augment my kit if I feel I'm going to be difficult to be seen, rather than wear the most visible stuff 24/7.
And I'll admit to it being a stylistic choice as well.  I just don't like Hi-Viz stuff.
I do look out for reflective stuff, though.  Reflective black is a decent way to look cool (subjectively) and be seen (assuredly).  On the topic, reflective tape is a great way to enhance the visibility of any helmet, and you can find it it many colors.



Thanks a ton Watcher for all of your thoughtful input and advice. I appreciate it! Now I have to convince my wife that another helmet is worthwhile.

You're always welcome!  I'm not free of my own biases but if I have knowledge to share, especially when it concerns the safety of a fellow rider, I feel obligated to share.

If you ask me, anything that can prevent serious injury or death shouldn't be subject to "convincing".
Spending a little extra to get into something that is measurably safer is an expense that is easy to explain your way around.  The whole first type of cool vs second type of cool (first being functionally cool, second being aesthetically cool).


Even crazy me, driving around in my Turtle Van, people don't see me all the time. I've only ever been in one "accident" with it (thank God) but it involved a vehicle hitting into me while I was completely stopped... and when the driver got out, they said they didn't see me. :dunno_black:

This actually brings up a good point.

Conspicuity as a rider can be very effective through movement, behavior, and positioning semi-regardless of color of gear.

Anything that breaks the normal patterns that drivers are used to seeing.

Lateral movement in traffic (side to side swerving), hopping off the bike at a red light and dancing to whatever music is available, even just choosing a lane position that makes you stand out separate from other cars around you, whether that's off to the sides or dead center.


Now I have a Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS and it rocks! It is all day comfy, the liner is plush and the chin and neck roll are great. It's also a VERY safe helmet and comes with a transition lense that adjusts to the light, and it actually works great.

The Qualifier DLX is an awesome value considering all the features, but it does have quite a few shortcomings.

The liner is quite nice, and I think the photochromic lens is one of the best technologies to come to helmets in years.
The MIPS liner, if yours has it, is also a great technology that does increase a helmet's safety factor.
The Qualifier is also ECE rated which is a step in the right direction.

But, it is a Polycarbonate shell, so that's less than stellar.  The shield is borrowed from an older, different model helmet and has a vestigial locking tab, no doubt this was in an effort to save developmental and manufacturing costs.  It's not bad, necessarily, just seems cheap.
The trap-door for the Bluetooth is an interesting move, but it only supports an outdated system, makes the helmet noisy, and here is the kicker, it means the helmet totally fails the left side-impact test from SHARP.

Bell is teasing that they'll be removing the trap-door for future versions of the Qualifier, which I think is a good move.  It'll make the helmet quieter, safer, and accept a wider variety of Bluetooth systems.
If they could make it fiberglass for $300 I think they'd secure a solid spot at a very competitive price-point.
Could be a "twist my arm" helmet at $350; it'd be edging dangerously close to the price of the RFSR, but considering it comes with the photochromic the value is still high by comparison.

Bell to me is love hate.  They are all pretty good value, but I think some of the features are too gimmicky, and in some cases they try to take advantage of the wrong features.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 11:46:00 AM by Watcher »
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Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2019, 04:27:12 PM »
Pain on the top of the head almost seems like a symptom of the helmet being too large. Is it a snug but comfortable fit? I always say when you move the helmet around on your head, you should feel the skin moving, not the helmet.
Helmet shapes are usually described as oval, long oval, round, etc. talking about the shape in the x-y plane if looking from above. Most helmet fit problems are either too snug on the sides (or ears) or on the front, which means you need to find a helmet with a different shape. Or that the cheek pads are too snug, meaning you need to swap for cheek pads from the next size up. You are the first I've heard with top of the head pain. Is there a seam or anything inside the helmet that could be causing it?

Have you looked at scorpion helmets? I have a full face Snell approved Scorpion that I got on closeout for $65 on motorcyclegear.com and it's the quietest most comfortable helmet I own, and it scores really well on SHARP. If it wasn't for the fact that I really like flip up helmets I would prefer it over my $700 Scheuberth C3. The Scheuberth, like most German products I've used, is over-engineered to the point that their manufacturing doesnt seem capable of reliably producing the product they designed. Seems like a bunch of well designed parts that dont quite fit together.

Regarding the Hi-Viz discussion, studies have shown that other than Dawn and Dusk, the best thing you can wear is a solid white helmet. The color of your bike and clothing makes no discernable difference in a drivers ability to notice you. In general, hi viz helmets are not as good as white.
Beyond a white helmet, you are probably better focusing on auxiliary lighting and reflective tape for safety than the color of anything on your or the bike.
The biggest difference I notice in how drivers react to me is whether or not I have my hard side cases with white and reflective stickers. In the USA, drivers are not looking for two wheeled vehicles, so anything you can do to more closely match the profile of a car is in your best interest. I notice the side cases do more for getting drivers to respect my space than my LED driving lights. I've started leaving the cases on whether or not I need the storage that day.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 04:57:44 PM by Bluesmudge »

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2019, 04:03:51 AM »
This is really great stuff here in this thread, thanks for all your contributions. I really would like to try on a shoei for my next lid but didn't have the money this time around. I agree the Qualifier would be better without the integrated com system mostly because I don't use it and the noise isn't an issue because of foam earplugs haha, at least the weight is low and buffeting isn't too bad. I am actually considering the RS-2 next because it is fiberglass, and ECE rated but not sure how I feel about the flip down visor. I suppose I have really liked Bell as a low cost, decent quality helmet compared to my CL-17 and Icon Alliance. I'll get that Shoei when I graduate haha xD
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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2019, 05:52:37 AM »
If it wasn't for the fact that I really like flip up helmets I would prefer it over my $700 Scheuberth C3. The Scheuberth, like most German products I've used, is over-engineered to the point that their manufacturing doesnt seem capable of reliably producing the product they designed. Seems like a bunch of well designed parts that dont quite fit together.

Interesting way to put it.  I'll agree that they don't quite fit together, but I disagree with any statement that they're over-engineered.  The one's I've had the pleasure of interacting with are all crap.  In truth, I think they're just a pretentious company.  Seems like they output stuff worth half or less than they charge, but people seem to pay it willingly because "it's a Schuberth."  Maybe they used to be quality, but also maybe they've been coasting on their name for too long.

Rant incoming!

I've ordered something like 7-8 E1s for customers when they were on closeout for $500, and ALL of them got returned.  I took the opportunity to try a few on and play with them while they were there.  First thing I noticed, they were LOUD.  Tapping on the shell while wearing it I immediately thought "This is a polycarb.  I expected it to be fiberglass but it sounds and feels like a polycarb."  Quickly googled it.  Confirmed.  It's a really expensive poly helmet.
Fit and finish wasn't impressive either, just opening and closing the mechanism in your hands was hit or miss whether you'd get both sides to make contact.  A Scorpion EXO-AT950 is a better helmet.  It uses the same materials, has a more repeatable lockup, and is less than half the price.
A plastic helmet with poor fit/finish on sale for $500!?  Not impressed. But maybe their high end helmets aren't a rip off?

At least one of those E1s turned into a C4, but that one got returned as well.  Once again, took the opportunity to touch and feel.  Sure, fiberglass, but it was shockingly flexible in the jaw and the gap for the internal sun-shield was MASSIVE.  Also seemed kind of noisy when tapping on the shell while wearing it.  What's more, Schuberth only uses TWO shell sizes for their helmets.  A hallmark of premium helmets is a shell catered to the head size, apparently not with the Germans, so I feel bad for you if you wear a small or a large as you've got a helmet that's way too big for you.
Another disappointment.
Until my personal hands-on experience with them, every time I've gotten the "I love my Schuberth, it's the best helmet I've ever worn!" my reply was basically "Awesome!  They don't tick all the boxes for me, but everyone who owns one seems to like them, they must be well made."  After playing around with the brand some, my response has become "Well, then you haven't been in any good helmets."

I've maybe sold ONE Schuberth in the two years I've worked here that didn't come back, and that was to a customer who HAD a C4 already and was just getting another one.
It's gotten to the point where I question everyone who comes in asking for one.  Like, "What did you hear?  Who told you this or that?  What is your personal experience with them?  Why do you want this?  What features drew you towards the Schuberth?"  Because I can basically poke a hole in every aspect of what makes that helmet a good helmet and then actually show you a good helmet.


Recently my company commissioned one just for our stores: the C3 Lite.  It's $400, so the price is decent considering the lineage.
The padding is ok. Now allow me to stop praising it for a second so I can explain why it's terrible.

The plastic ratcheting chin clasp seems to be made of the same cheap, soft feeling plastic my old roller-blades used, it's not very confidence inspiring.
They claim some superior airflow through the vents, but when you compare it to the vents on a Shoei Neotec or an AGV Sport Modular or other similar high end helmets they're relatively small and ineffective looking, and the top vent seems to be placed in the wrong spot.
It's claimed to be wind tunnel tested to be quiet, but seems to achieve this through low/ineffective ventilation and through strategic use of padding, which seems kind of half-assed.
The latching mechanism is rather recessed and sometimes difficult to find while wearing gloves.
It does have some reflectivity to it, which is cool to see on a helmet from the factory, but it's just done with cheap decals.
There's a large gap for the internal sun-visor, and actuation while wearing the helmet is noisy and plastic feeling.
Once again, there's only two shell sizes...

But the real kick in the teeth is in the shell itself.
I can literally twist and flex the shell around with gentle pressure enough that the chin won't latch.  The latch mechanism will straight up miss the lug half the time when just holding the helmet and closing it.  This is almost comical considering that the company states "The C3 Lite helmet is made of S.T.R.O.N.G fibre, a special glass-fibre and resin mix compressed in a vacuum at high pressure to form a helmet shell which is exceptionally sturdy."  That all sounds interesting and hi-tech until you get it in your hands and it has the rigidity of a fishing pole.

They seem to do this a lot.  They'll spout off this really great sounding technobabble that seems to be unsubstanciated in reality or simply misleading.
"The shell is aerodynamically tuned, providing more downforce and reducing buffeting"
It's literally just a sphere.  By comparison the NeotecII from Shoei has obvious aerodynamic features like a little ducktail wing on the back and how it overall follows a gentle teardrop shape.  THAT is aerodynamically tuned.  Literally nothing about the Schuberth will generate downforce, unless you consider the wind pushing that giant ball into your forehead at interstate speeds "downforce".

"The comprehensive acoustics package with optimized helmet shell, wind deflector, and ergonomic shape of the neck padding make the C3 Lite – at 84 dBA – one of the quietest helmets on the market."
"Acoustics package" makes it sound to me like it should have some noise-cancelling electronics at work, but no.  "Optimized helmet shell" simply refers to the S.T.R.O.N.G. shell which is supposed to be dense and robust (not really).  The "wind deflector" is just the chin curtain that most helmets come with these days, and they mention the neck-roll which makes a good seal against wind coming up from the bottom of the helmet.  Lots of helmets are doing neck rolls as well.  But, theory confirmed, they're achieving the claimed sound results with strategic use of padding.  But I'm not convinced theirs is better.  If you're the only one using a particular standard, then you can't be compared to anyone else, so that basically means nothing.  Shoei mentions that their extensive wind-tunnel testing maximizes aerodynamics and reduces wind noise, but they don't follow up this statement with a dB rating.  Props to Schuby for actually getting a number to claim, but the Shoei could very well be quieter...  Just saying.


And how about a comparison to a low cost helmet?  We sell a Sedici modular called the Sistema.  It has it's own shortcomings, but, compared to the Schuby, the fiberglass shell of the Sedici is more rigid and feels more robust, the latching mechanism is repeatable, it actually has a DOT and ECE rating instead of just a DOT rating, it also has a chin-curtain and a neck-roll, and it's only $200.
To me the C3 Lite is a slightly better Sistema for twice the price.  It has larger vents, a more convenient chin clasp, and a shield baseplate system that doesn't involve pieces that can detach and go missing.
If you were to make the C3 Lite $250 I can sell it all day long as a "budget mid-level" modular helmet. Make it $300 and I would probably just recommend the Bell SRT for $50 more.  At $400 I'll definitely recommend the Bell SRT for $50 less.


After all this research and touch and feel experience I can't understand the people who are all "yeah, Schuberth, best helmet ever, German engineered!"  They're painfully overpriced.  They can make themselves sound good, but when you cut through the bullshit they're just cheaply made, underdeveloped helmets that have no business competing for market space with the likes of Shoei and AGV.
I can't understand how they are even as popular as they are.
Must be a case of the BMW salesman super hyped it up when selling an R1200GS because of a spiff or something and got his customer convinced that they were the best because BMW was the best and the Germans really know their stuff.

I shoot straight.  If something doesn't sit right with me I say so.
Some helmets I have for sale are backed by a spiff, some as high as $20, which is a huge incentive for me to sell one.  I don't really care about that, if I don't like the helmet I won't push it.  I'll still sell one to a customer if they demand it, but I will rarely suggest it outright and will often attempt to dissuade a purchase if I feel like they're better off with something else.
100% the case with the C3 Lite and Schuberth in general.  I'll sell you one if you really want one, I am running a business after all, but if I can sell you something better, even for cheaper, I will.



Sorry if I went on a bit of a tirade here bashing Schuberth, and know that I'm not trying to be like "you made a bad choice."  I just get this whole superiority complex vibe from them and many of their users and it drives me nuts.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 09:06:18 AM by Watcher »
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2019, 12:43:07 PM »
First I want to clear up a possible miscommunication... Any of you reading this, if you are taking my complaints about my Sedici Strada to be a poor review, well that's not what I intended. I have ridden quite a lot over 3 years with this helmet and even now I think it was a great value and is an excellent helmet with only a few drawbacks. But nearly every helmet is going to have some drawbacks that you begin to notice or get annoyed by after 10s of Ks in it. My own experience with CG aside, I still would heartily recommend a Sedici Strada helmet if you are looking for a value-priced option with excellent safety features, good ventilation and in particular that sun shade. There's just not another fiberglass-composite full-face helmet out there in this price range. I wasn't kidding when I said I would buy one for my wife to use, a new one, if she were to ever want to ride with me.

I think this has a lot to do with how, where, and under what conditions you typically ride, and you can potentially grade your risks and pick the appropriate safety gear.

LOL!  If it's me you're talking to, it's safe to assume it's basically EVERY condition that I either regularly ride in or have ridden in at some point.
Rush hour, ass-crack of dawn, city, interstate, country, small town, suburb, high traffic, low traffic, no traffic, weekend, weekday, day, night, rain, shine, with luggage, with passengers, in season, out of season, blazing hot, freezing cold, even light snow and a tornado.

OK, I think I didn't get the point across. I think when there's a choice to be made between two different safety features, then you have to pick the totality of your riding style and conditions in order to make the right choice or compromise best. If you absolutely never ride above 70mph like me, very rarely ride above 60mph and spend probably 95% of your time riding below 50mph, as I do, then the benefits of the very best high speed impact safety in a helmet are not well matched to the risk, if that means I have to sacrifice visibility. OTOH if you ever do a track day or if I were to be routinely riding on one of our 85mph toll roads then high-speed impact would be my chief concern. For me, my chief concern is visibility, just because in the particular suburbs I live and ride in, inattentive and distracted driving is the primary hazard. So if I have a choice, I'm getting a hi-viz helmet. I'm almost convinced that white is hi-viz enough. Almost.

My guess is that the reason a lot of helmets are not available in hi-viz colors is simply because they don't sell, and I think the big reason they don't sell is because motorcyclists (or "bikers", especially) seem to deride hi-viz gear users as nerds who are overly concerned with safety. It only took me one time waking up in an ambulance half an hour after a driver didn't see me (on a bicycle) for me to put away any last bit of vanity about being visible on the road.

Anyway...

This, by the way, is the most complete and best discussion of motorcycle helmets I've found anywhere on the internet. You guys rock!  :thumb:

Pain on the top of the head almost seems like a symptom of the helmet being too large. Is it a snug but comfortable fit? I always say when you move the helmet around on your head, you should feel the skin moving, not the helmet.

That was my initial thought too. The helmet seems to be nearly a perfect fit. It's snug but comfortable but it's possible that since I was ~25+ lb heavier when I bought it and broke it in, now having lost just a little weight, the helmet is just a bit looser now.

Quote
Or that the cheek pads are too snug, meaning you need to swap for cheek pads from the next size up. You are the first I've heard with top of the head pain. Is there a seam or anything inside the helmet that could be causing it?

I already thought the cheek pads were too snug and trimmed them to make them better but still they are too snug. There's no seam or anything. But there is a central round pad in the top of the helmet that pretty much aligns to my area of pain on my head.

Quote
Have you looked at scorpion helmets? I have a full face Snell approved Scorpion that I got on closeout for $65 on motorcyclegear.com and it's the quietest most comfortable helmet I own, and it scores really well on SHARP.

Yes, and I am going to look very seriously at them when shopping time comes. Again my big beef with Scorpion is that their higher-end helmets, that is those with fiberglass or composite shell, are all loaded with ridiculous graphics. They seem to think solid-color helmets are for entry-level users. Plus, the reality is I can afford a $400 helmet, that's not a lot harder than a $200 helmet for me, so if I'm going to buy another helmet at all then I have to compare the Scorpion to Arai and Shoei and AGV (and even Bell), and I think they may just not be in quite the same league apart from safety ratings.

Quote
Regarding the Hi-Viz discussion, studies have shown that other than Dawn and Dusk, the best thing you can wear is a solid white helmet.

I'd be interested in those studies. My eyes tell me a different story, but maybe it's "red car syndrome". I always 100% notice hi-viz helmet riders, and white ranks only slightly above black according to my own experience. However, (and not to re-open the "Josh is sexist" debate) I know that women and men perceive colors differently and many of the suburban drivers I interact with happen to be moms, so I'm not sure my own perception is a reliable gauge of other drivers' perception in my neighborhood.

And by the way, Watcher, I don't have to convince my wife that I need a helmet, or even that I need the safest helmet money can buy. But the argument here is over comfort. I already have a reasonably good, safe helmet. It's fine until I ride over an hour, and my wife's response is going to be, "just don't ride more than an hour". Talking her into letting me spend $450 on a new helmet only so I can be comfortable riding more is not a winning strategy; she's already not super pleased that I ride a motorcycle at all. My better strategy is just to get what I want and don't bother justifying it. If I truly thought there was a safety deficiency with my current Sedici helmet, then there'd be no hesitation for me to get another one immediately regardless of cost. But I don't.

I think I have gotten back to basically where I started this whole conversation, which is to say I am willing to consider a Shoei or AGV fiberglass-composite helmet as an upgrade, but I still am not sure what feature or shape or whatever about my current helmet is causing my head pain or how to know that a new helmet will fix it. My best guess currently is that after three years of use the top pad of the helmet has broken down enough that it can be more fully compressed when riding at high speeds (over 50mph...) due to wind, and it allows the hard part of the inner shell to press on the top of my head. The fact that my head may be just barely smaller now than it was 3 years ago could be exacerbating this condition. All of this to say that a new helmet with more/better/unworn padding in the top of the helmet and perhaps one I can break in again could potentially help. So that's my current theory. Of course, by this theory I can probably get a replacement top pad for my Strada and it might give me at least a few more months in this helmet.

I really enjoy this helmet discussion and I hope we keep it up here. Since I am pretty much smack in the middle of what will likely be a 6-8 month weight loss journey, it will probably be at least another 3-4 months before I will actually buy another helmet. I don't want to break in a new helmet and then lose another 30 lb and wind up with the same problem again. So you may not see a conclusion to this story for a few more months. But don't let that stifle the discussion! :)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 01:41:46 PM by mr72 »

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2019, 12:13:24 PM »
Did a 2 hour ride yesterday, probably 70% above 65mph and over a third into a 15mph head wind. This was brutal and I almost swore off this helmet altogether. With this much wind it was clear that the cause of my head pain is the helmet being lifted upward by the wind, not the other way around. When I slowed below about 40mph I could feel the helmet drop an inch. and it developed a whistle to go along with the jet engine level of noise inside the helmet.

So there we go. The helmet fits snug but the liner can move. The shell is moving under wind and pulling on the liner, but the liner stays put in my head.

AGV is running a 20% off trade-in deal, so I might run over to Ducati Austin who is participating in this special and see if they have a white K-5 that I can check out. Getting $80 for my Strada would be pretty worth it... or I could trade my spare helmet in (which is almost completely unused), since I literally only paid $40 for it on clearance, could get $80 back, then go buy another passenger helmet.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 01:31:55 PM by mr72 »

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2019, 08:01:09 PM »

The latch mechanism will straight up miss the lug half the time when just holding the helmet and closing it.  This is almost comical considering that the company states "The C3 Lite helmet is made of S.T.R.O.N.G fibre, a special glass-fibre and resin mix compressed in a vacuum at high pressure to form a helmet shell which is exceptionally sturdy."  That all sounds interesting and hi-tech until you get it in your hands and it has the rigidity of a fishing pole.


This is the part about my Scheuberth helmet that really rubs me the wrong way. The mechanism you interact with the most seems poorly executed.
I agree with almost all your criticisms of the brand.  If I thought they made a good helmet for the money I wouldnít be comparing its noise level, comfort, and safety to a $65 scorpion helmet. I really like my Scheuberth helmet but it seems overpriced for what it is. Itís not like an Arai that gives you that ďwow this must have been an expensive helmetĒ feel. Luckily I got my Scheuberth  for a few hundred dollars off or I would probably be more upset by the finicky latch mechanism. Iitís one of the more expensive helmets on the market and you canít tell by holding it in your hands.
It has one of the smallest shell sizes of any modular helmet which makes it more comfortable at high speeds and cuts down on the bobble head look but I also think itís why it doesnít score perfectly on the Sharp tests.

At the end of the day, when the money is long since spent, when I go for a ride and can decide between the 4 helmets of different make and style sitting in my garage, 95% of the time I reach for the Scheuberth. Itís the first helmet Iíve ever owned that comes close to making me forget about the helmet is on my head. It is stupid comfortable on all day rides (talking 8 - 12 hours)  quieter than a car when wearing earplugs, has a low profile Bluetooth option that doesnít subtract from the safety,, has good ventilation (I actually own the DUal Sport variant of the C3 with more vents), pinlock anti-fog (100% essential in the Pacific Northwest). Itís so close to being the perfect helmet, I wish they had just improved the fit and finish of the hard parts a little more so I could be 100% happy.

In a few years when I retire this helmet Iíll probaby give the Shoei neotec a try. It just looks so big and clunky. But... it seems to be the helmet I usually see law enforcement wearing and I trust them to pick a helmet that is all day comfortable.

The one place you and I will have to disagree is that a rigid helmet is indicative of a better or safer helmet.  If you are crashing into hard objects at highway speeds or sustaining repeat hit, then I agree you want a rigid shell. However, all  of my street crashes have been under 45 mph where I would want a nice soft shell and eps that is self destructive like a bike helmet to help avoid a  serious concussion. This is why I prefer DOT and ECE which are designed for street use over Snell which is designed for the track.  I donít know if the newer Snell certification got rid of the requirement for repeat impacts but in the past that resulted in Snell helmets being super rigid. That translates to less catastrophic skull fractures at high speeds but more severe concussions at lower speeds.


Editing my post to add some more thoughts: Looks like the Hi-viz vs White helmet thing is not as cut and dry as I remember. The study I could find was done before the production of neon green and orange helmets became commonplace.

"The Motorcycle Rider Conspicuity and Crash Related Injury study conducted over 3 years in New Zealand (1993-1996) found that:

-Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk.
-Self reported light colored helmet versus dark colored helmet was associated with a 19% lower risk."

I'm sure a modern Hi-viz would perform closer to a white helmet than a 1996 "light colored helmet."

Here are a couple photos from ADV rider that may be a helpful comparison. I know I for one notice the white helmet very quickly compared to any of the Hi-viz colors. Anecdotally, I find the same is true on the road. White helmets just really stick out. Try turning your head back and forth while looking at your screen but not focusing on it. What catches your eye, more? The neon jacket or the white helmet?

« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 08:10:00 PM by Bluesmudge »

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2019, 07:18:11 PM »
It has one of the smallest shell sizes of any modular helmet which makes it more comfortable at high speeds and cuts down on the bobble head look but I also think itís why it doesnít score perfectly on the Sharp tests.

Odd, considering Schuberth does 2 shell sizes and Shoei does 5.  You may be lucky to have the largest size for your shell, or it may be an optical illusion.

In a few years when I retire this helmet Iíll probaby give the Shoei neotec a try. It just looks so big and clunky. But... it seems to be the helmet I usually see law enforcement wearing and I trust them to pick a helmet that is all day comfortable.

Our local PD uses the Neotec 2 now.  Has some of the "better" features from the Schuberth but turned up to 11.  The ratcheting chin clasp, for example, is steel rather than plastic.
They may look big and clunky, and I won't argue that they're smaller than a Schuberth, but I will claim that a lot of that is just an appearance.  They do more aggressive styling and have little winglets and such.  But since Shoei does shell sizes for helmets S, M, L, XL, and 2XL, you're getting the smallest shell they could make for each helmet, unlike Schuberth where if you wear a L you've got on a 2XL shell with extra padding...
You also get all the "premium" features, like the pinlock insert (not sold separately!) and the basically guaranteed quiet ride.
They're on a whole other level, if you ask me.

The one place you and I will have to disagree is that a rigid helmet is indicative of a better or safer helmet. 

Don't misunderstand.  I never stated that I thought a harder shell is a safer shell.  In truth it's more of a balancing act between flexibility and rigidity (and hardness and rigidity are very different things).
I thought Schuberth's claim of their shell being strong and rigid was complete BS, and I thought it was very flimsy considering the money.

But I do want to explore the topic.
At the shop I have two "naked" shells.  One is a Sedici kevlar-reinforced fiberglass shell, which is very comparable to shells for the HJC RPHA series, Scorpion, and Schuberth.  I also have an Arai shell, which is similar to a Shoei shell.

The Sedici shell is fairly flexible, and I can somewhat deform it with just moderate pressure, like the Schuberth.  A fully assembled helmet feels pretty strong, and I might consider standing on an off-the-shelf Strada, but the shell on it's own doesn't seem quite up to the task considering how flexible it is.  If I knew I could make a phone call and get another display shell I'd stand on it and see how it does, but it does feel like under my weight it would shatter.
It's also very thin and light, and when I tap on it you can hear it resonate.  This does show that energy passes through the shell pretty readily, which isn't ideal, but the flexibility of the shell does offer some absorption.  Fiberglass shells are mainly good at being light and low profile.

By comparison, the Arai shell I have to grunt and groan to flex to the level of the Sedici shell, and I can and have stood on it as a demonstration.  It flexes considerably under my body weight, but it doesn't fail.  I went to an Arai presentation where the largest person there, a man probably 350lbs, stood on a shell and got it to squash fairly dramatically, but the shell didn't even make a peep of a sound as if it was having a hard time.  It's considerably more rigid than the fiberglass shell, which still being fairly flexible, and it's also much denser.  When I tap on it the shell goes "thunk" and that's about it, so it absorbs a lot of energy just through it's materials.
Strong, flexible, and dense seems to be the ideal shell.  It's a little heavier and more expensive to produce, but makes for a safer, quieter helmet.

The Shoei Neotec scores a 4-star, and has less than ideal side-impact scores and excellent front, top, and back scores.
The Schuberth C3 Pro scores a 3-star, with poor side-impact, excellent front and top impact, and less than perfect back impact scores.

I'm not going to flat out say that the disparity is the fault of the shell, but there's a good chance that the disparity is the fault of the shell...


Polycarb, by comparison, has the rigidity of the Arai shell and the thinness of the Sedici shell, but it has a higher hardness.  This is bad.  It is very poor at absorbing impact energy, and relies on the EPS to do the heavy lifting, so to speak.  That's why poly helmets are usually associated with "bobblehead" appearance, the EPS is much thicker to compensate.

This is why I prefer DOT and ECE which are designed for street use over Snell which is designed for the track.  I donít know if the newer Snell certification got rid of the requirement for repeat impacts but in the past that resulted in Snell helmets being super rigid. That translates to less catastrophic skull fractures at high speeds but more severe concussions at lower speeds.

The SNELL you are thinking of is the SNELL 2010 rating, in which ECE WAS better.  The SNELL 2015 has been revised, and now is a level above ECE.  It is still a multi-impact testing scheme, but so is SHARP, and multi-impact does make sense as you're rarely going to hit your head once during a crash.  The pitfall was SNELL 2010 basically wanted the helmet to perform the same impact twice in the same capacity, which is not realistic.  You won't ever smack your forehead at 100mph, then somehow do a front-flip and smack your forehead again at 100mph.  But a 100mph impact followed immediately by a 40mph one?  Quite possible if you bounce, which you probably would.
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Offline mr72

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2019, 07:33:48 PM »

Editing my post to add some more thoughts: Looks like the Hi-viz vs White helmet thing is not as cut and dry as I remember. The study I could find was done before the production of neon green and orange helmets became commonplace.

"The Motorcycle Rider Conspicuity and Crash Related Injury study conducted over 3 years in New Zealand (1993-1996) found that:

-Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk.
-Self reported light colored helmet versus dark colored helmet was associated with a 19% lower risk."

Yeah, which to me says that white is not really a whole lot better than black. But there's no data I could find that compares white to hi-viz orange or yellow.

Quote
I'm sure a modern Hi-viz would perform closer to a white helmet than a 1996 "light colored helmet."

It may very well perform much better than a white helmet. We don't have the data.

Quote
Here are a couple photos from ADV rider that may be a helpful comparison. I know I for one notice the white helmet very quickly compared to any of the Hi-viz colors. Anecdotally, I find the same is true on the road. White helmets just really stick out.

Certainly compared with the gray helmet in the picture, I totally agree. And I also agree a HELMET is more visible in general than a vest. It's way up in your line of sight. I think those hi-viz vests are all but useless. But I bet if you had pictures the same way with the rider with a black jacket in both pictures but the white helmet in one and the hi-viz in the other, you'd have a different response. Particularly if we had pictures of a motorcycle rider in complex traffic with background of buildings and road signs and lots of other vehicles, not alone on a road like this. Against a backdrop of urban traffic and roadscape, I think a white helmet is better than black/gray/etc. but not even close to the hi-viz colors.

It may be that a solo rider on a back road with no traffic and nothing but natural surface landscape behind them like in this picture, a white helmet is perfectly adequate, or maybe even superior to a hi-viz helmet. But what about when you are riding next to a white cargo van on a dense urban street? One big advantage of the hi-viz colors is that pretty much nobody paints anything else that color on the road, in addition to the way that particular color attracts attention.

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2019, 10:47:02 PM »
It may be that a solo rider on a back road with no traffic and nothing but natural surface landscape behind them like in this picture, a white helmet is perfectly adequate, or maybe even superior to a hi-viz helmet. But what about when you are riding next to a white cargo van on a dense urban street? One big advantage of the hi-viz colors is that pretty much nobody paints anything else that color on the road, in addition to the way that particular color attracts attention.

There will be a few instances were a white helmet will blend in (like briefly passing a white van or truck), but the vast majority of cases the helmet will stand out in contrast to the dark road and periphery. There is very little in the world that our brain registers as white, but a lot that we perceive as black or near black because of the contrast limits of our vision. Its the same reason an oil painter will use black paint even though true black rarely exists in nature.
See random stock photo:

Very little in this photo would be black if we were up close and had ample lighting, but like the camera used to take this photo, our eyes perceive a lot of shadow detail as nearly black.

I think being in contrast to the environment is far more important than being a different color than the environment. Short of making your helmet retro reflective, nothing reflects more light (creates more contrast) than white.

I think contrast is more important than color because we are worried about attracting the attention of a driver who previously didn't know we are there. The unaware driver will likely be seeing us out of their peripheral vision. Human peripheral vision is bad at picking up color, so even if green is the easiest color to see, it is better to focus on our contrast relative to the environment and let color be of secondary importance. At night, this is critical as color perception moves from 30 degrees off angle to just 18 degrees. Basically, Hi-Viz color makes you stand out more once someone is already looking at you but at that point the battle is won. If your hi-viz helmet is in a driver's peripheral vision it might as well be a neutral grey.

Look back at those two Vstroms in my previous post and try turning your head back and forth quickly while looking at your screen but not focusing on it. What catches your attention more? The neon jacket or the white helmet? Probably about the same. Now try turning your screen brightness as low as it can go and repeat. I can almost guarantee the white will stand out more.

Here is a graph showing how we have far more rods (black and white) than cones (color) in our peripheral vision:


From Wikipedia:
"The distribution of receptor cells across the retina is different between the two main types, rod cells and cone cells. Rod cells are unable to distinguish color and peak in density in the near periphery (at 18į eccentricity), while cone cell density is highest in the very center, the fovea, and from there declines rapidly (by an inverse linear function)."


On the Schuberth topic, Watcher, you have definitely convinced me to give the Neotec 2 a try. Maybe even before my current helmet needs replacing. I guess I got lucky on the Schuberth shell sizing because I am a size Medium, so I have the biggest size in the smallest shell but the poor side impact rating gives me pause and the poor execution of the latch mechanism ensured I would never be a repeat Schuberth customer. Thanks for giving me a few more reasons to look elsewhere for a premium modular helmet.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 11:39:32 PM by Bluesmudge »

Offline Watcher

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Re: Helmet help
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2019, 05:26:10 AM »
The unaware driver will likely be seeing us out of their peripheral vision. Human peripheral vision is bad at picking up color, so even if green is the easiest color to see, it is better to focus on our contrast relative to the environment and let color be of secondary importance.

We do explore peripheral vision in an activity during the classroom portion of the MSF Updated BRC.  It's done with 3 people and a deck of oversized playing cards.

Essentially, two people stand opposed about 10 feet apart and one holds a playing card up at eye level, the other looks directly at that card, and is instructed not to look away from that card.  Keep their eyes front and center.
The third person starts behind the person being tested, and moves a randomly selected playing card slowly into their field of view along one side or another.

The person being tested has to first announce when they can see the card in their periphery, next when they can identify the color, and finally when they can identify the value.

Most people see the card within 180į, can accurately identify the color within about 60į, and can only name the card within a few degrees of center.

In that 60-180į area, many people guess black when the card may actually be red.  Since it's a 50/50 chance, sometimes they guess lucky, but it's almost always a black card guess when it's that far from center.  To positively ID red it has to be much closer to center.

Truth be told, I never thought to relate this to the kinds of colors we select as riders, it was always just a "gee whiz" sort of fact about how your eyes work.  The formal lesson is "your peripheral sees more things but in less detail, while your central vision sees fewer things in higher detail.  Your peripheral can alert you to important information, but you need to keep your eyes moving in order to properly identify hazards or other valuable pieces of information."
Being able to relate this to a "think about how you may be seen to other drivers" is a great talking point I'll need to add to future lesson, thanks!
Now I'm wishing I had a multi-color card deck.



I think your statements about white vs Hi-Viz are on point, and they add validity to my earlier statement about using my Hi-Viz vest to stand out "among other riders" instead of just to generally stand out.  It's great and visible and attention getting, but I don't feel it's as valuable in traffic as most people think it is.  In truth the reflectivity of the vest probably does a lot more than the color.

I've thought this way for a while but you were able to articulate it far better than I was.



On the Schuberth topic, the poor side impact rating gives me pause and the poor execution of the latch mechanism ensured I would never be a repeat Schuberth customer. Thanks for giving me a few more reasons to look elsewhere for a premium modular helmet.

Browsing SHARP ratings has become my favorite "bored at work" activity, it really does shed a lot of light on who makes a quality helmet and who does not.  It's really eyebrow lifting in a lot of ways, as some that I thought would score high score low and others I thought would fail actually pass with decent marks.
It's also handy in unique situations when comparing other features perhaps not relating to safety, and when judging price/value.  Like, I think the AGV Pista is needlessly expensive, and it doesn't even come with recesses in the ears for speaker pockets!  What if I want a Pista and a bluetooth system?
I've been argued that having the speaker pockets would reduce the side-impact rating, so AGV didn't "cut that corner".
I argue back that both it and the X14 score perfect marks in SHARP for side-impact, but the Shoei is half the price and has said pockets.
Usually the argument is then changed to "AGV made this helmet with the track rider in mind, not the street rider."
I argue back "Shoei understands it's customer base, and made it's race helmet more accessible to the general public.  Having the speaker pockets doesn't reduce it's ability as a race helmet, but not having them would reduce it's ability as a street helmet."

AGV is a lot like Bell like that.  The "lower level" Bells and AGVs have good all around feature sets, but for some reason the AGV Corsa and Pista don't have the speaker pockets, nor does the Bell Race-STAR (but the "normal" Bell STAR does.)  Props to Bell for including the Photochromic shield on it's STAR DLX line.  That feature alone puts them in competition with other race helmets, considering the price.
Bell STAR for $500 vs Shoei X14 for $750, pay the extra $250, don't even argue with me.
Bell STAR DLX for $500 vs Shoei X14 and an add-on Transitions shield for $750 + $200 = $950... Damn, basically twice the price.  The Shoei is still a superior helmet but that cost difference is hard to argue with.
Both are 5-star SHARP with the Bell barely scoring worse than the X14, so that's not an arguable reason to get the Shoei instead...  It all comes down to the fit/finish, shield design, ventilation, and padding system, and the Bell isn't as good as the Shoei, but it's not $450 worth of not as good...


It's too bad there isn't a similar rating system for the US market, as not only are there some helmet brands that aren't represented in SHARP (like Sedici, for example) but sometimes you have to decipher between model names, a common practice that I've NEVER understood.
For example, the Shoei X14 is the Xspirit3, the RF-1200 is the NXR, and the RFSR is the Ryd, but for some reason the Neotec is still the Neotec, the Qwest is the Qwest, and the GT-Air is the GT-Air.   :dunno_black:

Same like the hair-brained decision to release the Yamaha MT lineup in the US as FZ bikes when it clearly didn't fit correctly.  They are and should always have been MTs, at least they thought better of that idea and changed it, eventually, but that's almost worse as now there's unnecessary confusion.
2017 FZ07 and a 2018 MT07 are the same bike?  Huh!?   :cookoo:
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 06:09:30 AM by Watcher »
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