A $150 helmet that is DOT and Snell certified will protect you as well as a $600 helmet. There are several good helmets out there that you don't have to give an arm and a leg for. One is the KBC VR-1. It is both Snell and DOT certified, is light, well ventilated and cost around $150. My favortite is the Bell M4. It runs around $170. If you decide to get one of these you might want to be sure you chin doesn't touch the face bar.
i personaly dont think you should buy a helmet because it is the most "inexpensive" (as opposed to "cheap") one you can find. i think head protection should be at the top of your list. skimp out on your pipe or your gloves, not your helmet...
But that's just my point. I'm wondering what additional protection a "more expensive" helmet would actually offer. If both ("cheap" and "expensive") are DOT and SNELL certified, I'm questioning whether the only thing you are paying for is stuff like more complicated vents, liners, etc.
But like speedvlaze mentioned, I'm gonna do a search...
Arguing because it is more expensive means its better is weak ground to stand on..
I could make a helmet out of krazy glue and macaroni, and charge $2000 for it, does that make it the best helmet out there?
There are lots of examples in life of 2 items which perform the same function, and the lower priced one works better.
Do you think you'd see factory superbike riders racing in a sub-par helmet, no matter how much money was thrown at them? I don't think there are too many riders out there that dumb. You see them wearing anything from HJC to KBC, Nolan to Shark, AGV to Arai..
Do the $400-500 Arai's protect any better then a $150 HJC? No one really knows because the no one really does testing above what Snell does. They all pass Snell's test, so who knows if the Arai might do better then the HJC if they did higher speed tests, or maybe the HJC would be better then the Arai...
Granted the Arai's will have better features like ventilation, less noise, removable liner, etc.. but none of that = better crash protection..
Is there really a big difference in protection between helmet brands? I always look for Snell and DOT certified helmets. But is a $400 Shoei really that much better than a $200 HJC. I realize that part of the price difference may be the ventilation & liner systems (and advertising bumps up prices, as we all know). But aside from looks, maybe improved airflow, improved aerodynamics...if we're talking about two helmets which are both Snell and DOT certified, is spending twice as much money really going to give more protection?
Any thoughts? Better yet, any *objective, scientific evidence*? 
I'm a Nazi when it comes to this sort of thing - if you've got a $500 head, put it in a $500 helmet! Above that price, you're just paying for graphics. There is a difference between a two-hundred dollar HJC and a five-hundred dollar Arai. Just borrow your buddy's Arai after a stint with your piss pot HJC lid - there IS a difference. Basically, you want to get the lightest helmet you can afford.
It's pretty simple really, things like INERTIA and MOMENTUM don't care about cost. A lighter helmet will provide for a slightly reduced chance of head injury - even slightly reduced is better than ending up like Timmy on Southpark. Your brain can take an instantaneous deceleration of about 400 g's to concuss, a few ounces can be the difference between a slight concussion or a full-on closed-head injury. Nerve cells don't regrow that well, especially the ones in your brain.
I get these guys that come to me buying their first bike. After dropping eight large on a new 600, the first thing I usually hear is "what's your cheapest helmet?" I basically try and coerce newbies into spending the cash. One man admitted to me that he owes his life to me because we're both certain had he not spent the money he would have come out much worse for it. Seriously, would you buy a no-name brand condom based on price when you're about to nail some chick you barely know?
Without reading the threads that 'speedvlaze' would like us to, I would like to throw my 0.02 in. Basically I believe you should buy a helmet that fits your head and feels comfortable for you and not your wallet. In the shop try a helmet on and leave it on for 10 - 15mins take a walk around the shop (look at what other accessories are on offer), sit on a bike or two. The helmet should not give you any pain, 'cause if wearing a helmet in a shop for 10mins hurts imagine wearing it on an hour long ride, forget it!!
Lighter is going to be better, but that is in my opinion.
Just set yourself a budget of $600 and if you spend $200 you will have $400 to spend on your bike and/or beer!! Remember if you loose your arm you still live but loose your head and that is it, big black nothing, THE END.
I guess I'm a "Nazi" too...I have a serious collection of Arai RX7RR3's-4's, HJC's (02 models), Shoei's, Bieffe's and now an OGK from Japan. I've track crashed in lessor helmets and still have memory issues...what was I saying?
Buy the best lid you can afford...end of story!
I always cringe when I hear my students come in to tell me about their $29,000 Aprilia Mille, $25,000 Ducati 998-999, $50,000 Harley Road King or whatever...I ask them how much they spent on gear..."I bought some used gear through the Bargin Finder"...or..."it's all the same so I bought a $49.00 lid from storeX", or my fave..."I don't plan on crashing and I'm buying loud pipes...that's better than riding gear!".
If you can afford the spankiest new duck, prilia, gixxer, kawi, or hog...why not fork out a little for a great fitting lid and some protective gear...even motorcycle specific boots make a huge difference, oh yes...right, I forgot...nice pipes!
my AC-10 HJC helmet was cheap, has great ventalation, very light, (~3 lbs), removable liners, quick release shield, Dot and snell certified. Couldn't be happier, and even some of my friends who wear expensive Arai and Shoei's are impressed with the helmet...
The local dealer says that they have a test of several major helmets in crash situations, and the Suomy helmet came out on top, with Arai second. Considering the Arai is twice the price of the Suomy, it stands to reason that price does NOT necessarily indicate safety. Having said that, I've never had a helmet on my head that compares to the fit, finish, and quality of the Arai. I won't go through it all again, because it's all been posted here several times on other threads, but let's just say my next helmet will be... an Arai... just like my current one...
I know the inevitable question now is going to be "where's that test you're talking about?"... I don't know... I am going to the dealer tomorrow and I'll ask them for it, and post any findings.
"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
Well from surviving a 90+ MPH wreck just a little over a week ago I would say that any lid that is snell 2000 certified would be the minimum requirement. That being said not all helmets are made exactly the same and are not made with the same material. I somehow feel deep inside mw that when my head hit the road at over 90MPH and I had a cheap lid I would have had more injuries than a bad wrist.
The question comes down to.. How much is your head worth and your skin.. If you feel that it’s not worth more then $200 then get a HJC.. If you feel its worth $400+ then get a Shoei or and Arai. I know a lot of people that race and all have been in some unfortunate wrecks and all have had Shoei’s and Aries’ so I know that at 90+ that will hold.. Now I have heard that Suomy's are good but till I meet and talk to someone that survived a high-speed wreck wearing one I can’t trust it. It’s a one time expense that WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE… so how much are you worth???
Fast riding is a big enough risk as it is.... Why add more uncertainty?
Ok, since I don't want to get anyone's panties in a bunch (i.e. the "Do a search" zealots...), I'll end it here (since I started this thread).
To those who actually engaged in a *logical* discussion as to what could possibly be better (in terms of *safety*) about 2 differently priced helmets which are *both* Snell and DOT certified, THANK YOU. To those who *still* resort to the very lame (sorry, that's what it is) "If you have a $200 dollar head, buy a $200 helmet. I'm going for the $400 helmet...), you ENTIRELY missed the point. Frankly, I think my head is worth *more* than 400 bucks, or a thousand, or even a hundred thousand bucks. I really enjoy life, and I value mine. But guess what - buying a more expensive helmet (because it simply has better *ventilation*) doesn't necessarily mean you or I are actually getting better protection.
Special thanks to dj dunzie (who actually made a reference to *scientific evidence* in the form of a written test article). It's refreshing to know that some people here actually take the time to read what we all write.
The reason I told you to do a search was because the previous threads that discussed this very same topic were very good ones. You have to expect people are going to completely miss your point on here sometimes (a lot of times), so knowing that, I told you to do a search to save you both time and irritation having to read through some pointless posts.
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