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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched for specific answers to these questions and have not found ready answers. Please help.

1. What is the best source of quality helmets at the best prices?
2. How does one size one's head for a possible internet order?
3. Is it necessary to 'fit' the helmet prior to purchase or is online ordering a possibility?
4. Any other advice I am too naive to ask about?

I have specifically ommited any question about helmet types because there's lots of discussion about that on the board already, but I did not see these questions addressed at all. I looked at helmets in motorcycle retail shops and the prices seemed exhorbitant - would like to do better if possible. Sports Authority online does not carry motorcycle helmets.

Edit: Sizing info, as follows:

NOLAN SIZING CHART
SIZE Inches
6 7/8 Small 21”–21-5/8”
7 1/8 Medium 21-3/4”–22-3/8”
7 3/8 Large 22-1/2”–23-1/8”
7 5/8 X-Large 23-1/4”–24”

Better, more complete sizing here:

http://www.helmetcity.com/page/HC/PROD/ ... er/39-7731

Click on the 'sizing center' below the helmet picture.

Thanks a ton.

------------------------------
Dennis/Fla
............getting ready............
 

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Dennis, I can't give you specific advice as to the best or cheapest source for helmets as I bought mine at the dealership. I know I paid more than I might have shoping the internet but if you figure in shipping, maybe I didn't.

What I can recommend is to go to a dealership or several and try on different helmets. You can't do that on the net. Find the helmet or 2 that you really like, make sure they are DOT and/or SNELL approved and get the dealer to properly size it for you. Then you can shop the internet for that helmet in the correct size. I found that an XL in one helmet didn't fit the same as an XL in another helmet.
 

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:withstupid: Wut he said!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Excellent..........

Great advice guys.

I just measured my head with a tape. Chart says I take a 7 1/8. We'll see how it fits at the dealership.

Thanks guys.

-------------------------
Dennis/Fla
 

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Another thought, peoples heads are shaped a little different, so different brands, are probably shaped different. The size may be the same for, lets say 3 different manufactures, but fit different due to the shape. Without trying each on, you really won't know.
 

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Jim really hit the nail on the head - ouch :!:
Differently shaped heads, of the same size, will fit different helmets. Sometimes a size change will make up the difference, but sometimes there just isn't a helmet in a particular brand that will fit your head.

My bride and I both have Nolan modulars. Apparently our heads are somewhat similar, because we both get a round pressure point at the top of our foreheads. I have somewhat ameliorated the problem by the judicious application of impact to "gently" compress the foam there, but much more would probably compromise the integrity of the the protection, so we tolerate a little frontal-lobe pressure :shock: as a fair trade off.

ymmv
 

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I agree completely with both Jim and McQ regarding the shape of your head but that brings about another question for my own future reference as well as kurnel and anyone else shoping for helmets.

Assume I go to a dealership and try on helmets. I find a helmet that fits my head perfectly. Sized right and shape is good. Lets say that helmet is an ABC model XYZ, size XL. If I then order that same helmet from another source over the internet, can I feel safe in assuming that helmet will fit the same as the one I tried on at the dealership? In other words, if ABC company mass produces 10,000 XYZ helmets, size XL and ships them to retailers all over the country, can I assume that they will be identical in shape and fit? If not, I can't see where it is safe ordering any helmet off the internet unless you like paying return shipping costs on several helmets until you get a perfect fit.
 

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Ja, don't buy helmets online. Go to a physical store. If you like the look of a helmet, put it on, strap it on, and walk around the store for 20 minutes to make sure the fit is good. A good store knows the value of a good fit and will let you do that. Saving $20 is not worth a bad fit, which is distracting, uncomfortable, and downright dangerous.

Look at the Scorpion line. If they fit, they're an excellent value. I like my $140 Scorpion better than I like my $350 Shoei. Some helmets do have inner liners that you can change out for a better fit - another thing to try at a store.


Also...
Buzz said:
I find a helmet that fits my head perfectly. Sized right and shape is good. Lets say that helmet is an ABC model XYZ, size XL. If I then order that same helmet from another source over the internet
...then what is the incentive for the store to keep helmets in stock and let you try them on? Even if you can order one of an identical fit over the net, IMO we should reward stores that go to the trouble of stocking helmets and letting us try them on by actually buying it from them.
 

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You have a definite point, there. Put a helmet on it! (oh, I'm so sorry, I just couldn't help myself)

But you do make a good point. I, however, cannot afford the huge mark up a lot of these stores put on thier goods. I absolutely have no issue with making a profit, but mark up on some of these items is, in many cases, over 100%. I think that's being a bit greedy, & it sticks in my throat to buy something & then see it shortly thereafter for a much lower price.

I'm cheap, so sue me! (No don't, I'm poor, too!).
 

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I appreciate your comments Roadstergal. I agree everyone has a right to make a profit and a sale. I've spent several hundred dollars at the dealership where I bought my Burgman, in addition to the bike itself. But you didn't answer my question. OK, forget buying off the internet. If the dealer has 10 ABC model XYZ helmets, size XL, will all 10 of them fit exactly the same. That is the question I'm trying to find out.
 

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In general, you can depend on an XL style XX helmet from ABC corp to be the same, regardless of where you buy it.


When you consider the overhead of operating a retail operation, ESPECIALLY one with a large enough stock for you to truly compare merchandise like helmets, a mark-up of 100% over what a warehouse or drop-shipper might charge may not be out-of-line.

I don't know where the line is, but if we want to be able to handle the product before buying, we really shouldn't turn around and buy it from a competitor who doesn't offer that privilege - unless there is a compelling reason. Maintaining stock-on-hand, operating a showroom, and staffing a retail store all cost $$$. If you are going to utilize the facility, they should get some compensation.

I wouldn't be surprised to see mark-ups rise to compensate for the business lost to mail-order and internet purchases! Not all of us can afford to pay full retail for every purchase, but we shouldn't expect full-service for nothing.
 

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I bought mine online. I didn;t try it on at a dealer first. I'm not unhappy with my HJC CL-14 that I bought for slightly more than $100.
 

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In general, you can depend on an XL style XX helmet from ABC corp to be the same, regardless of where you buy it.
Thank you. That's what I was looking for. I'm not an expert on manufacture of helmets. I assume they are made from a mold of some sort and eact one that comes out of that mold should be identical but didn't know for sure. That's why I asked. I didn't intend to start a debate on dealer profit. :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You guys are generous..........

Deleted.
 

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It makes all of the sense in the world to stop patronizing a place that doesn't give good service.

And it makes all of the sense in the world to continue to patronize a place that does.

Shop around, ask other folk who in your area is worth your time and who isn't. Let folk know the names of the shops that haven't served you well, so that they don't go there.

For me, Aurora Suzuki has always been fair and honest with me, and Seattle Cycle has always been good about giving fair prices and getting gear for me that they don't stock for no extra fee. I do pay a little more there than I would online (and I do mean little), and it's well worth it.
 

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Dennis,

Have you been to RIVA Motorsports in Pompano Beach? They are located on Dixie Highway just north of Sample Road. They have Blue Burgman AN650 in the warehouse. Ask to speak with Alex Fiffe or Mike Merz. They sold the 400 this weekend.

For helmets try:
Competition Cycle Center
1001 Old Griffen Road
Dania

They have a large selection of helmets. Their prices are pretty good. You may find lower prices on the web, but you can't try them on over the internet. Every brand and model will fit and feel different.

Janine :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Janine

Great suggestions, Janine,

Yes, I visited Riva once and plan to go back.

Also plan to visit the helmet shop in your reference.
I found them here: http://www.compcyclecenter.com/

Thanks again, truly.

------------------------
Dennis,
in Pompano Beach
 

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Wyldman said:
But you do make a good point. I, however, cannot afford the huge mark up a lot of these stores put on thier goods.
Maybe you could shop around, or print out the internet price you've found and ask the store if they can come close to the price? My wife and I went out last weekend looking for a helmet for her. I had found out several choices on-line but we wanted to go to a local store or two so she could try them on before buying. The helmet we ended up getting is an HJC CL12 Von Breaker that was listed at motorcyclesuperstore.com for $99.99 - the second store we went to (Santa Clara Cycle Accessories in Santa Clara, Ca) had the helmet for $99.95. We didn't bother trying to negotiate a better deal because we felt it was a reasonable price to start with.

But, my point is: if you find what you want on-line, print out the page that shows the price and take it to your local stores - the worst that can happen is they'll say "Sorry, we can't match that price" - more often than not they'll match it, or at least get close enough to make it worthwhile. And you get to build a relationship with the store for future purchases!
 

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There are "normal" shaped heads, and there are "odd" shaped heads. Being someone whose head shape is evidently hard to fit, I had a devil of a time finding a helmet that fit right. After all the dust settled, having tried on over 20 helmets, I found only two that would fit me -- the HJC CL-14 II ($100), and an Arai Astral X (over $400).

Being a price conscious consumer, of course I purchased the HJC. And for a couple of years it did a good enough job, but didn't fit "just right" -- had an unfortunate pressure point right on the top of my head that literally made my hair hurt after wearing it for about an hour.

Finally tiring of it, went back and tried on about a million helmets and found that, again, the only one that fit correctly was the Arai. But not just any Arai, only their Astral X helmet. Some of their other models were blatantly uncomfortable.

Given that I remember on longer rides saying to myself "I'd pay anything to not have my hair hurt" I took the plunge and invested some money in a quality, correct fitting helmet.

Looked around online, to see what the mark-up was, but Arai is one of those brands that you can't buy online, guess they have some sort of agreement with the manufacturer or distributor or something. About the only thing you can get online for them are replacement face shields, which are scarce and over 2 times the price of that of the HJC's. Some guy sells them on eBay, but they're priced about the same as my local dealer, who was very helpful in my arduous fitting process.

If you try them on locally, buy locally. But in the long run you're better served to buy the more expensive helmet that fits correctly rather than the bargain one that's not quite the best fit. Otherwise you're ultimately going to be either uncomfortable or end up buying the correct fitting one later anyway and you've just needlessly spent more money.

Comfort on a ride is something you may not notice when you have it, but you definitely notice it when you don't!
 

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I got my dealer to give me cost on two new helmets when I bought my 650. One for me and one for my wife. Of all he had, only one XXL even fit over my apparently huge head. I took that one. It took me about 15 minutes into my ride home from the dealer to realize the shape was wrong and I was getting a painful headache from pressure on my forehead. Bad fit. For awhile I simply wore my ancient helmet, despite that most of it's inner soft foam padding has disintigrated. Realizing I wasn't going to be able to do any better ordering over the internet, and not having anything that fit available locally, I decided to "fix" my new helmet. I needed roughly 1/4" more clearance at my forehead in the helmet. I took all the soft lining out of it to reveal the hard foam inner shell. It was consistantly 3/4" thick all around the helmet. Using some tape on a small drill bit as a depth guage, I drilled several holes 1/4" deep in the forehead area. Then I used my dremmel to chew away all the foam 1/4" deep between those holes. I smoothed the shape back into the surrounding 3/4" foam, but now have 1/2" foam at the forehead and 3/4" everywhere else. The soft foam liner went back in, and now my new helmet fits perfectly.

I don't recommend doing this. I know I have reduced the protection from a frontal impact on my helmet. But now I wear it. I was NOT wearing it, choosing rather to wear my ancient helmet, when it did not fit comfortably.

You'll be happy to know that with my recent accident the ancient helmet (what I was wearing when I was hit) has been thrown away. It did it's job very well, and was retired with honors. The other party's insurance is buying me a replacement. I may have to grind off some more foam, though.
 
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