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What helmet do you wear? and why?

4420 Views 96 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  Sparkman
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Full face
Modular
off road
half
open face
dual sport
The

Personally I prefer the full face, I believe it's the safest
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I like wearing my old Bell open faced helmet. I do have a full face and modular but I mostly use the open face. If I had to ride on the freeway in very hot weather I use one of my other helmets with a face shield as the hot air on my face is very uncomfortable. I used to have a half helmet until a bee got logged in my ear while riding.
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I had a bee sting my ear even with a full face on. As you might have guessed, I didn't have a shield on.
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For a long, long time all I wore was the open face or 3/4 helmet. Now I have a Bilt modular. Bilt because I could afford it, modular because a chin bar seems like it could be a good idea in a face plant situation. Can be warm in hot weather but the visor swings up and out of the way. Also like the drop down sunshield.

I suspect when it comes time to replace it, I'll get another modular but maybe a step up the quality ladder.
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No bout adoubt it ~ full face is the way to go .

Until last week I was still wearing my old 3/4 lid I had on when I rode directly into the mountain going 40 MPH ~ I always wear a face shield, usually a old Tech Vari-Shield but this last time I had on one of those 1970's typ bubble shields ~ it didn't get scratched so apparently I dodged the face plant bullet .

The previous time I crashed I was wearing a 3/4 lid with Vari-Shield, my face must have slid along the pavement as it was full of scratches and broke, whew .

Sadly I cannot wear a closed face helmet due to claustrophobia .

I hope I never have another get - off and if I do I hope my face doesn't slide / smack on anything .

I went down to cycle Gear and tried to order a new Bell, no one had them in stock so I ordered up another HJC 3/4 typ, it has the three snaps across the forehead so I can install my bubble shield .

FWIW, I too don't like being stuck paying for others stupidity if they refuse to wear a helmet, I'm very aware tht when you crash you don't get to say 'no, thanx, I'm a manly man and don't need any help' ecetera (B.S.) , I have full health insurance via kaiser that isn't cheap bu they've saved my life more than onc and put me back together again if not really all that well multiple times so I pay my own way here .

The damned new helmet is prolly waiting in my post office box, it was supposed to arrive the day before I left for the Nevada Desert .
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We had a sad fatal motorcycle accident a few years ago near where I lived at the time. I rode past and saw the police cars and an (to the eye) undamaged Harley standing there, assumed it was minor mishap or maybe a stolen bike recovery since no one was doing much of anything, I found out the next day it was a fatality. What happened? A helmetless 60 year old guy rode his bike a couple of blocks from home to fill it up, he was turning into the gas station ( say 5-10 mph?), hit the edge of the curb vs the driveway and fell over, but as he fell he hit his head on a telephone pole that was next to the driveway. The bike landed leaning on the pole without a scratch on it, but he died instantly from the head injury. A helmet would have turned this into something to laugh about with his friends rather than a tragedy.

Think it can't happen to you? I did..then I pulled a stupid 2 years ago in my driveway and dropped my bike, but becuse of what I was doing ( trying a really tight, across the slope U turn) I fell over suddenly and much quicker than I would have expected. I hit my head pretty darn hard, I felt it through the helmet and in my neck later but obviously I was fine, but it sure would have hurt without a helmet...at the least.
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The following is taken from:


Full face
Modular
off road
half
open face
dual sport
The

Personally I prefer the full face, I believe it's the safest
Full Face only. I've been hit in the helmet with rocks, bugs, birds and even a turkey buzzard.
I've seen youtube videos of a guy being hit with a road alligator ( piece of a trucks retread tire )

Also as an EMT I have seen a few accidents where a skid-lid wearer lost his entire JAW because it wasn't protected.

Personally I wear a discontinued Nolan N44 which for the price ($350) has the largest field of view.. the windscreen is a bit more bubbled giving less of a claustrophobic feeling.
The best feature for me was that the Chin Bar was completely removable to make it a 3/4 helmet which was great in really hot weather.
Sadly, they have discontinued it now. The closest feeling is in the AGV helmet series but that one is $1700 (no thanks).

The price of your helmet depends entirely on what you value your head. (IMHO)
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I certainly understand the claustrophobic feeling as I have that problem too. I find that raising the face shield makes it okay for me. That emotional discomfort did increase the challenge of trying on a decent selection of helmets, some of which resisted opening face shields or coming off my head easily. My face shield MUST come up easily, quickly and intuitively or I have to fight with my instincts to remain calm inside the closed helmet. However, once I get ready to engage first gear, the shield comes down and I am fine with it.

There are many good write-ups on the Internet ... a websearch on types of motorcycle helmets will educate you.
Brave Search
The article link shared earlier is as good as any.
A Beginner's Guide to Types of Motorcycle Helmets

In my reading, research and personal experience, FIT is crucial. It has to be reasonably snug to function properly for head protection. It also must be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time through various weather conditions. In the $250 and up price range, adjustable ventilation is part of the package. That helps a lot. More importantly for me was to go into a reasonably well-stocked motorcycle shop inclined towards sport touring riders and try on various helmets - with a little help from knowledgeable staff. That decided it for me.

Baseline for my selection was knowing that DOT is a pencil-whipped design criteria that does not mean a whole lot for rider safety. SNELL is way up from that as they are independent and actually test helmets for real world applications, though their focus is race car driver safety. Which brings us to the European ECE 22.06 as much more relevant for motorcycle jockey safety. Thus, as I pawed through the shelves of street bike helmets, I looked only at full helmets, and then prioritized according to the accreditation the helmet manufactures were willing to afford and adhere to.

Happily, one of the most comfortable for me was also DOT, SNELL and ECE 22.06 certified. It doesn't get much better than that. Price difference online VS brick-n-mortar was minimal. Support those who are there for you ... and tap into their knowledge pool.

Two factors obsolete even a good helmet. 1) age - the plastics have a known effective lifespan, 2) impacts - once they strike hard objects their structure is compromised. Even an empty-headed drop from chest high to pavement is enough to bring their protective capacity into question.

How much are your brains worth?
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I guess claustrophobia comes in degrees(?) I've never felt it with a helmet, but I got stuck in a small passage way in a cave one time and thinking about the mountain of earth and rock on top of me gave me a scare. I got through okay, but then had to go back through a second time to get out of the cave.

My skin is starting to crawl just thinking about that and it must have been about 40 years ago.
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I guess claustrophobia comes in degrees(?) I've never felt it with a helmet, but I got stuck in a small passage way in a cave one time and thinking about the mountain of earth and rock on top of me gave me a scare. I got through okay, but then had to go back through a second time to get out of the cave.

My skin is starting to crawl just thinking about that and it must have been about 40 years ago.
I have major claustrophobia, but I fought it hard because I believe in the safety of full faced helmets. It took a while, but I finally beat it. Now I can't ride without one.
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I've stayed out of those kind of caves.
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Spelunkers, cave explorers, the Vietnam tunnel rats, and probably even submariners have a calm that is not possible for me. Somehow the liberty of motorcycle piloting erases the claustrophobia of an effective helmet.
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I took a tour of the USS Razorback a few years ago. Its parked in a river (in Little Rock) and was named after a fish. So other than being in Arkansas, it has nothing to do with Arkansas Razorbacks. Anyhow it is a WWII era submarine and was very interesting.

I didn't feel any claustrophobia while I was in the sub, but if I was under two or three hundred feet of water and someone was dropping bombs on me, I am sure I would feel different.
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I received my new helmet, it has an XXL sticker on the outside if it but I had to force it on my size 8 head, I know I can't wear it so next week back it goes...

I went in the WWII "Bowfin" submarine in Hawaii, wow is it snug in there .

Uncle Bill was a Submariner early in WWII, some bad accident occurred and he lost his sense of smell, this was useful in the South Pacific where we wound up on body detail ~ they putrefy very quickly in the jungles .
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I had a bee sting my ear even with a full face on. As you might have guessed, I didn't have a shield on.
LOL. I believe you. My half helmet had one of those cool vinyl flaps that covered your ears, so the bee was stuck between that and my right ear buzzing away. There was no place to pull over for 1/4 mile. Luckily it didn鈥檛 sting me.
I did have a yellow jacket crawl up my jeans and sting my left knee while riding. I had to pull over and drop my pants. Lol
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Oh, yeah ~ I hate bees in my helmet, usually I can bang the side of the helmet and stun or kill the bee, sometimes I get multiple stings .
I'm sure that wasn't funny at the time, but now...

Motorists zipping by watching you jump off your bike and yank your pants down on the shoulder of the highway. You're lucky it didn't go viral!
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Lol, I hate to say that wasn鈥檛 the first time I had to yank my pants off in public. First time I was walking with a buddy in the grassy dirt at the Marina when I thought a snake had crawled up and around my leg. I stopped it before it reached my groin and it stung me. Pulled my pants down to find a squashed yellow jacket. My buddy was laughing in tears lol
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You need a couple rubber bands, or some military style boots and britches.
Some years ago I ( 1990 ) I returned to riding bikes. I needed a helmet. An NHRA TF tuner buddy suggested a Simpson. ( Bill Simpson was his friend & sponsored his team)
I said, " sure! ". I went to Simpson Racing ( Torrance, Ca) and got measured. A week later I got a helmet in the mail.
Then a couple weeks later I got another version ( Voyager w/ nomex ).... then another one. And an open face 'NASCAR' style. Finding out Bill Sinpson was sending me 'blem' versions. Each helmet had different uses.

The only time I wore an open face is when I rode around town. Full face everywhere else.
It works for The Stig! I could be wrong but I was under the impression Simpson helmets were for automotive use only, not rated for motorcycles. I wanted a Stig helmet but never bought one for that reason.
You need a couple rubber bands, or some military style boots and britches.
I鈥檒l remember the rubber bands. That鈥檚 a good idea. 馃憤
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