Helmet buying tips - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-11-2016, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Helmet buying tips

I'm going to be bringing my KLR home hopefully friday. It's the first bike I've owned in over 20 years. Now I need a helmet. Actually I plan to get 3, a 3/4 helmet for putting around town (small town), and a full dual purpose lid for when I leave town, and another full size for the wife when she's on the back, I live on a cop's salary, so I don't have a wad of money to blow. I know these motorcycle dealers have to make a profit, but I hate paying a premium price for something I can get a lot cheaper on-line. My biggest problem is figuring out what size to get. I do know it has to fit like a glove to do me any good. I'm sure I'm either a large or an XL. Any tips on figuring out my size?
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-12-2016, 12:49 AM
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Some of the online sellers have head measuring tapes you can download. Try a Google on that. Otherwise try a few brands on for fit at a dealership and take notes. I know that's taking advantage of the dealer but ..... Some of the online heavy hitter sellers like Revzilla will accept returns if the fit isn't right.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-12-2016, 12:59 AM
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Medford,

Many companies have different sizing systems.
Personally I have to try one on before laying down the debit card.

People will chime in about 60 dollar helmet, 60 dollar head and such,
but the main thing is that two hard heads are better than one.

I got a very much nice DOT rated ATV full face helmet at Tractor Supply.
Those things may not be an Arai or Shoei, but it's designed to bounce off
a rock and save an atv dude's brain and that's fine enough for me.
I have a cereal bowl, 3/4, and the facer.

With the Raider brand I bought last year, a youth XL fit my small-ish skull
perfectly. The adult small was too small. This is why I won't order one off
the webbernet. Not advocating a box store helmet, but they also have to follow
NHSTD standards. Snug but comfortable padding and a solid shell are gonna save
your noggin' probably as well as the one's costing multiple hundreds of dollars.
Snaps on the strap mean it's a novelty, not DOT. Get one with D-rings that can't
come apart before ya bounce off of something.

I've broken two shells in my life, the worst injury ever was a busted, fat lip.
The styro inside did it's job perfectly.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-12-2016, 08:12 AM
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Buying a helmet online is difficult because, as stated above ^^, sizing is different brand to brand. If you can find a helmet that you like at an expensive local shop, get your size zeroed in and then find it online for cheap is an option.

If you have to go straight to the online retailer, I'd recommend Revzilla because they have the absolute best return and exchange policy, imo. When I get a package from Revzilla it always includes the paid-for UPS return tag. Also when you buy from Revzilla, orders over $39 come with free shipping. So you if you get your helmet and don't like the fit, it's super easy to exchange. Here's a link to their return policy.

https://www.revzilla.com/returns

On the cost, expensive helmets are expensive mostly because of the name. I think most riders concede that many of the expensive name brands do have better internal materials for perhaps more comfortable riding. Comfort is important, but what's real important is the fit and that the helmet has a recognized safety rating.

Helmet Safety Ratings 101 - RevZilla

The two helmets that I'm using at the moment for dual sport riding are both as inexpensive as they come, both Cycle Gear BILT Brand.

BILT Explorer in High Viz-$110
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/bilt-...venture-helmet

BILT JET in Black w/Vizor-$50 (+$20 for Visor)
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/custo...age-jet-helmet
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/bell-...-500-520-visor

Like you, I like to have a 3/4 for around town or local traffic in the sweltering Florida heat.

I can't say that either helmet is the most comfortable helmet that I've ever had but the Explorer saw over 20K miles last year and the only complaint I have is that the drop down visor broke, which CG replaced right on the spot.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-12-2016, 08:33 PM
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Right now, I have a Scorpion helmet. I like it a lot. Their sizing is insane though. I'm an XXL or something crazy. Used to be, I just wore HJC helmets and I knew what size I was and I ordered whatever was on clearance at motorcyclegear.com (I wish it was still newenough.com). They're real good folks and they always have something on clearance that suits my needs. I'm not a shill, I just always buy helmets from them.

The smart move is to go try on a bunch like the guys said. Then find the best deal online. I don't feel too bad about this when I buy from a small company that I respect. I've done worse things.

I don't pay more than $100 bucks for a helmet give or take twenty. I don't think an $800 helmet is better than an HJC or my Scorpion. But, that's a personal thing. Some folks want a "good" helmet. I just want a safe one that's cheap.

Enjoy.



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post #6 of 11 Old 07-12-2016, 08:46 PM
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Checked for the heck of it. This is what I have (mines black and hi viz), same model. FWIW, I have a XXL and I added thinner cheek pads. I wear a Large in most hats. Hat size 7 3/8s

I like this lid. Tight around the neck. Drop down sun vizor. Good venting. I'll stop now (they should pay me)

Scorpion EXO-500 Helmet - Solids :: MotorcycleGear.com

There are others on clearance too including an HJC (I find their sizing right on) for $65




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-13-2016, 07:04 AM
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I just bought an open faced Bell 500 from Revzilla, and used their online sizing chart.
The Bell fits perfectly!
I bought some cool goggles as well, so I'm rocking the old school look (at least for summer)
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-13-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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You hit the nail on the head Lockjaw. Since I'm paying for my KLR today (not picking it up yet), I'm going to try on some of their helmets. I've checked the sizing chart on-line for a couple of brands of helmets and found my size is right exactly on the line between L and XL. Meanwhile, I'll check out that website. Thanks

Last edited by medford2; 07-13-2016 at 10:37 AM. Reason: Needed to add more
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-13-2016, 11:25 AM
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There is good advice on this thread. I second the motion that Revzilla is a good online retailer. The product reviews give sufficient information to inform your decision on the helmet features and sizing. Returns are no hassle.
I've used 3/4 helmets and liked them a lot, but feel better these days in a full face helmet. I have an inexpensive dual sport from MSR but my favorite is my Kabuto Ibuki modular. Paid a bit more but no where near the price of a Neotec or the like but have similar features. I wear glasses and the modular makes putting on and taking off the helmet a breeze. The padding allow for the temples of the glasses to fit without being bent and they stay in place. It also has a drop down sun visor so I no longer need to change between my prescription sunglasses. Ventilation is adequate for a full face modular. The Sena 10 headset fits on the helmet securely.
Good luck!
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-14-2016, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Actually, I was kind of surprised when I browsed through my dealer's helmet inventory. I'm picking up a good 3/4 ventilated helmet with a visor for jut $40. They also have some nice full-face helmets for as low as $88. Since I wear glasses though, I am going to check out that Kabuto helmet..thanks for the advise...aj
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