What kind of helmet should I buy? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-02-2007, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
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What kind of helmet should I buy?

My KLR 650 will be delivered this Thurs. I've been looking at helmets for the past week and thought I'd put the question to you experts.

What's a great helmet to buy? I plan on doing 50/50 road/trail riding. Is a "street" helmet good for this? Or would a motocross helmet with goggles be more useful?

What helmets have a good field of vision? The safest? Problems?

How about the best bang for the buck? Or ones I should stay away from?

Looking forward to your suggestions.

-- Ed
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-02-2007, 09:07 PM
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Read this and make your own decisions. Helmets are like buying art. It's a personal thing. Important part is to buy something that is comfortable and fits. Go to a shop and when you narrow it down wear it for an hour in the shop before you buy it.


My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #3 of 22 Old 04-03-2007, 12:20 AM
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Truth is, when you go to the store, only one will actually fit perfect. Another will have some features you think you want and may look awesome, but you'll ponder whether it's worth it to give up the best fit just to pay 3 times at much. Most likely, it's not worth it!

The best decision I made was getting the flip up. If I suggest anything that you actually listen too, I would hope it was the flip up. Makes talking at intersections and off-road trails much easier. Makes drinking a lot easier. Makes going through drive thru's much easier. Probably hundreds of reasons that I can't even think of.

I would really like to have a removable visor, but not a necessity.

I don't like motocross helmets. I use one for my KDX because it's made to grip the head better and stays put while getting beat up off-road. I would not like wearing it for street.

A good fitting street helmet will function fine for the level of off-roading people do on KLR's. Snug up the chin strap and they do fine.

There are crossbreed helmets, I believe arau makes the most popular, but also pretty expensive.

Some advice on buying.

It can get as ugly as you want!! Or, just go to the store, get that one flip up helmet that fits perfectly and is pretty reasonably priced, and go ride.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-06-2007, 12:26 AM
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Ed, do what we have all done. Go to a local shop and act like a buyer. Find the size that fits, and a brand that you like. Graphix and pretty paint should not be a concern. Features and fit are foremost. I personally settled on an HJC in a size XS, then i went online and found a great price and bought it. Obviously dont tell the shop this, they wont let you try them on then. I dont however agree on the flip up helmets, i found them to be noisy. The gap in the helmet lets in alot of ambient noise, kinda like having the visor up on a full face. Also most of them are not SNELL rated, remember, its your head...whats it worth to you? Never ever ever let a shop tell you whats good or bad, try it on and feel for yourself. If its loose or wigly, try one size smaller. More expensive is not necessarily better, some of the safest helmets are also the cheapest, so dont let the shop tell you that $400 Arai is safer, always look for SNELL, there standards are better than DOT. Try out the visor for sure, i didnt try my HJC, but i got lucky and i liked it better than some others i tryed. Try breathing through your mouth heavy and see if it fogs real bad, some helmets have breath deflectors built in, great for colder days or chilly nights. Play around, its a big purchase despite its small price, and one day it could turn out to be your best investment ever....Make it a good one!!!
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-06-2007, 01:12 AM
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Read closely!


And I wouldn't suggest argueing the issue unless you believe you have more knowledge then those guys and have done more testing and were involved with Snell at one time.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 04-06-2007 at 01:14 AM.
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-06-2007, 02:15 AM
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If you read correctly the article clearly states that as far as they can see, SNELL and DOT helmets both offer the same level of protection. I'll stick with SNELL thanks. Either way, fit and feel are still foremost. If the helmet is not comfortable, it can impact your riding.
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-06-2007, 10:10 AM
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I don't care what you do personally foretwoone, but in this thread you made it sound like DOT helmets are shit and SNELL is the only way to go. Far from the truth and that's the reason for posting the article.

Oh.. and it wasn't "as far as they can see", it was a flat out NO!
did a Snell-certified helmet work better at protecting a person in the real world than a plain old DOT-certified or equivalent helmet? The answer was no. In real street conditions, the DOT or equivalent helmets worked just as well as the Snell-certified helmets.

I've seen your type in many other activities, climbing being one of them. Go to the store, waste their time pretending to be a paying customer and then leave them hanging and go buy online. What a jerk! Why don't you try asking if they'll match online pricing and support the people who helped you out. I bought my helmet locally and glad to do it. Saved me a lot of hassle trying to find one that fits. If you don't want to buy from them, stay out of their store. You are part of the reason why stores start gettting bad attitudes and become less helpful to the rest of us.
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-06-2007, 11:32 AM
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Wanderer, im not trying to start an argument. Im not against asking for a price match, and many times when you buy more than one item they will do that. Im saying you need to feel the helmet. I dont think anyone else here will diagree. If a half face helmet is comfortable, so be it, at least its comfortable. When i was shoping around i tried on helmets at the shop because i was there looking for a bike too, they knew they were getting my business either way. So no, im not one of those people that piss of shop owners. As far as the SNELL stuff, i'll stay out of it, the experts in the article say more than i ever could.
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-06-2007, 12:08 PM
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I'm not trying to start an argument either, just clarifying some false claims.

You didn't say anything about buying a motorcycle the first time. You said..."Go to a local shop and act like a buyer". Walks like duck, sounds like a duck... probably a duck.

FYI... A half face helmet can be more then just comfortable, it can be DOT approved and comfortable.

Yeah, the experts definately said more about DOT helmets being safe then you ever could.
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-06-2007, 01:00 PM
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I like my Arai XD!

Also, the only flip up helmet that "might" recieve a Snell Certification as a full face is the ROOF Boxer V. Because of it's postitive dual latching chin bar. But that's really just a rumor from an independent Snell testing facility.
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