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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 2006 when I bought my Hayabusa I think I paid over $500 for a Shoei which did save my life during a crash. However after looking at DOT studies and data I believe the protection that a $140 Bell provides isnt much different than a $1700 AGV Pista. Of course the more expensive ones look better, are lighter, keep your head cooler but do they really provide more than triple the protection that a $150 Dot approved Bell does?
 

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I think in many cases, you pay a lot for the name stuck on it. Is it better? Probably a bit better materials, a longer lasting shine, but...

They pass the same tests for that D.O.T. sticker.
 

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I wonder if there has ever been any comparisons in a study of price versus effectiveness. Who’s the googler that knows all the cool buzz words that can find such a study if it exists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wonder if there has ever been any comparisons in a study of price versus effectiveness. Who’s the googler that knows all the cool buzz words that can find such a study if it exists.
Well. Thats my point. Is it really offering 3 times more protection compared to a DOT approved $200 Bell helmet?
 

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It's a big "depends". If you're comparing ECE helmets to other ECE helmets and SNELL helmets to other SNELL helmets, then higher price doesn't necessarily mean better safety. The best helmets all have similar safety ratings regardless of price. For example, you won't find a single one of these helmets with a one star rating. With a lot of these helmets it's going to be like buying an Apple or Samsung phone, you're paying a decent upcharge for that brand name on there.

But helmets that are only DOT rated? Now we're getting into troubled waters, even if you just compare two DOT helmets with one another. The cheapest DOT helmets (I'm talking the $15 Chinese specials on eBay) are trash, basically little better than wearing a colander on your head. Meanwhile, more expensive DOT helmets by known brands are often pretty good. Unfortunately the DOT certification is so loose it allows helmets that really won't do a whole lot to keep you safe.

So I'd say, do you need to spend nearly two grand on a helmet? No. But you should definitely spend more than $20.
 

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Well. Thats my point. Is it really offering 3 times more protection compared to a DOT approved $200 Bell helmet?
No, they all meet a set standard. There are articles out there that have the info but, bottom line, is that if they have the DOT approval, they are good. Now, if they have DOT & Snell, that might be worth the extra $$$. 3 times as much? Well, that's really up to you to decide...

https://www.bikebandit.com/blog/motorcycle-helmet-faqs-dot-snell-and-ece
 
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I dunno. I've been wearing Bell Helmets for over 50 years. They have saved my A## more than once. In the dirt, on the street, and on the track. I just bought a new one a few months ago, KNOWING that it will do its' job if it has to. DOT and Snell are very important, so stay away from the 20 dollar helmets. Guess I'm not much into the fancy graphics, vents, bluetooth ready, flip up shields. 'Fancy' won't save your noggin any better than a good plain helmet. Not much into the full face helmets either. I've always used the Bell 500 3/4 open face helmets.

Check the history of the Bell Company, and decide.
 

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"Do you think its worthwhile to spend $500+ on a helmet?"

Yes, but you can spend less and be as safe as you would be in a $500 helmet. IMO
There was a study (Hurt) that found that the rider "goes in face first" 70% of the time during a crash.
So I always recommend a quality full face helmet, and you can get one for a lot less than $500.
 

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I've had both the cheap helmet, not the Chinese junk, but still cheap and the more expensive. I even crashed hard with the cheap one with it's DOT sticker. The extra accessories that some helmets have are worth the extra cost. But some isn't. Personal opinion but I don't think graphics that's the same on several thousand helmets sold is worth a nickel to me. It must be to others though. But like what I have now, a drop down inner sun shade and installed speakers, yeah, they are worth something to me. But I'm talking about a $150 versus a $350 helmet. So what's the other $150 in your $500 helmet for? You must decide if you are getting extra value to you. As others have said, both will save you noggin in a crash. And there is not a thing wrong with that Bell helmet. And they have helmets that cost much much more. Heads up display with rear view. That's going to be worth the extra cost to some. Not sure it is to me. But you have to go with what is worth to you.

One thing I'm noticing between my cheaper Fulmer helmet versus my more expensive Nolan helmet is the inner lining material. The Flumer was "broke-in" in about 500 miles of use. This Nolan still isn't "broke-in" after 5,000 miles. It still feels nice and snug where the Fulmer was on the sloppy side by that amount. So there are things you might not see that are definitely worth the extra bucks. You just can't see it until you own and wear one for awhile. Little things will begin to show up. It might be much quieter. That's worth more. There are many others too. Value is up to you.
 

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$500 for a helmet?
I don't even pay that much for a bike!
LOL!!
 

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SNELL only test 3/4 or full face helmets so there is that. If you are buying a 1/2 or modular you have to depend on the DOT standards.
 

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When I did a lot of long distance touring I had a $600 carbon fiber modular helmet (still use it on occasion depending on what bike I'm on). It was the lightest modular helmet made and when spending 12 hours in the saddle at interstate speeds, it made a big difference as far as fatigue was concerned. I didn't pay $600 for it because I won it in a charity auction and won it at half that price. The helmet was donated to the auction by the vendor. But after using it and knowing how well it worked, I think I would have paid regular price for it knowing how well it performed for the specific use I wanted it for. All that being said, I've had and have some good less expensive helmets too.
 

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I changed my mind on this topic, I was very happy with my $75 helmets, but my wife bought me a $600 Arai and it is so much more comfortable there is no comparison.
And now I'm spoiled :)
I recently took the liner out to wash it and went back to my old lid for 2 days while it dried, and I found it so uncomfortable and noisy it was almost unbearable. $600 is a lot of money to spend on a helmet but in my opinion it's worth it for the benefit I am getting in comfort. So far my new helmet is about 3 years old, about 120,000 miles and other than a few chips from stuff hitting it it works and fits like new, I can easily see it lasting 5-10 years, at that time I think it will be time to replace it.
 
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--

What is not mentioned is that if one finds out they have the 'perfect' head shape for a certain brand, then they know any model of them will fit fine. But if one's head is not the 'perfect' shape, then one must go into a dealer and try on the brands and sizes they have on display. Only once have I been in a shop with an Arai which was not the right size, so I couldn't really tell. I therefore usually just buy an HJC because I can try them on. Even so, I usually have to make some padding mods to get it right.

As to full face or modular (flip up) styles, I can't get the full face over my head without having the front flipped, so I have no choice there unless I want to go with an open face style. Practicality takes precedence over price.

--
 

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In some case I think one may be paying for features -- flip-up this or that, included visors or even ability to hold electronics -- not to mention various artsy paint jobs... but for the basic brain-bucket, who really knows... I wore a DOT JCWhitney helmet for nearly three decades plus, but eventually concluded that the smudges and gouges that I thought gave it character might have some detrimental effects... so the oldie-goldie has been retired (lots of road-rash prevention in that -- one or two mild KOs), so for my new helmet I went over to where folks race and got a Snell -- plain, simple one color and well short of $500 although not free... It is nice, much quieter and I hope protective (one never knows) -- but I had to put on my own reflective tape...

So long as it protects yer head; and generally Snell's standards seem reliable -- the rest is just embroidery...
 

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Snell does some tests the others do not do. A good 3/4 or open face helmet with a Snell sticker, will lead you to a Shoei for about $350. Full face helmets with a DOT sticker start around $100 and go up. I would trust name brands first. I just bought a DOT only AGV for $250. It has some nice features and fits. Shoei fits me, Arai does not. So you need to check the fit. I would prefer Snell and DOT, but I do own two DOT only helmets.

My AGV has my BD number on it, which matches my back pack with my BD number on it. It is also the same number the oldest MOTO GP rider uses.

I should add. The early plastic helmets were not safe.

UK
 
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