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Old 15 Apr 2002
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Type of helmet

For an overland trip through Africa, which would be the best type of helmet to take? Full-face with visor, MX style, flip-up etc. Any advice?
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Old 15 Apr 2002
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I would absolutely go for a flip-up. When it's very hot, just open it. When you need to ask directions, just open it.
When it's dusty, close it. When it's cold, close it.
etc... etc...

Good luck with making the choise.

by the way, there is a lot if discusion on witch flip up is best. You can find it with the search-function.


- www.maartensworld.tmfweb.nl -
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Old 15 Apr 2002
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I agree with Martin, flip-up is best. Apart from the reasons he mentioned people are often friendlier if they can see your face. A biker with shades and a closed helmet is found to be intimidating by some local people - they can't see your face or your eyes.



\"Just grab something and give it hell!\"
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Old 16 Apr 2002
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I'm planning a similar trip and have gone for a flip-top. The Caberg lid I've got lets you easily remove the chinguard - turning it into an open face (you can get a kit that makes it a bit more durable).

Sadly the chinguard decided to come loose when I was riding through the Peak district last week - no real problem - but make sure you keep the screws tight!

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Old 18 Apr 2002
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I would LOVE to have a flip up helmet. Problem is, I can't find one that fits. I think I've tried them all, too. They all seem to pinch my forehead. They seem to be tighter up there than standard full face helmets.

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Old 18 Apr 2002
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Kurt, don't be afraid to take a Dremel to the styrofoam - 1/8" works wonders. I've gone from unwearable to perfect in less than that. Don't overdo it, be careful, and any difference in safety is minimal - especially when most manufacturers use one shell size for two or more sizes, and make up the fit with more or less styrofoam.

Grant Johnson

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Old 20 Apr 2002
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Originally posted by bruce_a_wallace:
For an overland trip through Africa, which would be the best type of helmet to take? Full-face with visor, MX style, flip-up etc. Any advice?
Been on the road through Africa for 7 months now. Started with full face but ditched it for MX style with goggles (mask) in Dakar - full face too damn hot! Even with full face or Flip-up visor up, got stung by sand, insects etc. etc. A good MX style helmet with a good pair of goggles (Oakley ?) with spare lens should see you right for years. keeps you cool but never cold. To avoid "fogging" of goggles during rain, treat them with "visor Clear" type treatment!
Good Luck

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Old 19 Jun 2002
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Speaking of flip up helments. What is the advantages of a flip up over a regualar 3/4 helment with a face shield? I have heard that after one bounce the flip up portion breaks off and leaves you with no protection anyway. Anyone ever put their flip up to the test? How did it hold up?
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Old 20 Jun 2002
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Heard different things. Personaly had a positive experience with a Caberg about 5 years ago. Crashed with it after a car had run into my side. It held well.
But also heard from a BMW system helmet were the front came off when it hit the ground. Wasn't ideal...

At the moment I have a Nolan system and I am not happy with it. I am considering the Schubert system (with heated viser against fog in the winter) or the Lazer Revolution (like the idea of the face mask against fog and cold).
Who can give me a comparisation between the two? How muc are they? Experiences?
Planning to use them year round.
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Old 19 Jun 2003
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I use the Schubert Concept Helmet for 3 years now. It is perfect for me. The BMW helmets are made by Schubert.

See http://www.schuberth.com/index2.htm

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Old 19 Jun 2003
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I have a lazer flip front which is very comfortable and I have to agree with the thought that people are friendlier if they can see your face.
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Old 22 Nov 2003
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While racing La Vuelta with Ricardo Rocco, I saw him crash in a brand new HJC flip up. The cheap plastic chin bar came right off and he banged his nose pretty badly. I believe he also had a mild concussion as he could not remeber the next hour or so.

I do not know if other brands are better, but I would definitely NOT get an HJC flip up. Treat it as an open face helmet that happens to keep the wind off your face.

I will keep my full face Shoei, thanks.

On a positive note, Ricardo is doing well (and his crash moved me up to 2nd place and a $1000 prize!).

Back on the road again.

Stuck at home...

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Old 24 Nov 2003
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the caberg flip-up now has a built in slide down sun visor, that you can use with the chinbar on or off. im thinking of getting one. i think shuberth do something similar, but alot more expensive.

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Old 24 Nov 2003
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My girlfriend tried buying the latest Schuberth flip-up in Berlin a few months ago. The smallest size was way too big, despte what the shop owner said. The slide down sun visor was a very loose fit in the helmet & the overall quality left a lot to be desired. She had set her heart on this helmet but settled on a Shoei Raid, considerably cheaper, better fit & ventilation. Also easier to get parts for?

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Old 27 Nov 2003
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I'll throw my 2 pence into this discussion. Note that I have toured with full-face, flip-up, MX and dualsport helmets.

The arguments for flip-ups seem to centre around ventillation and presenting a friendly face;

Ventillation: so it gets hot and you flip up the chin piece in order to let some air in ... and then face plant onto a rock. Ouch! Personally I've never understood why people ride with a helmet without chin protection. Apart from saving your face in an accident they also stop stones and insects impacting on your face as you ride along.

Friendliness: people are much nicer to you if they can see your face. I agree with this point, which is why when I pull up outside a shack in the Atlas mountains to ask for directions I kill the engine, take my helmet off, get off the bike and actually talk to the person. If you're such a rush that there's no time to stop, then I think people will speak to you no matter how you're dressed, or they won't.

Personally I wear an Arai Tour-X, a sort of cross between an MX lid and a full face. In the rain and cold it's got the practicality of a full face helmet, and in the heat and sun it's got the ventillation of an MX lid. I wear tinted goggles with it in hot dusty environments, and in the rain of the UK I use it like a regular full-face helmet. I find it to be well built, well ventillated and comfortable, but I haven't crash tested it yet.

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On the build quality front, you get what you pay for. Of course a £100 flip-up is going to rattle itself to bits on the first corrugated African track. But other manufacturers are now catching up with Shoei and Arai in this area.

How much money is too much to spend on the protection of your head?

Parting shot: the most important thing about a helmet is comfort. It doesn't matter if it cost the earth and has a host of gadgets, if it gives you a migrane every time you put it on you won't give a toss what the locals think about you.

Ride safe, Iain.

[This message has been edited by iswoolley (edited 27 November 2003).]
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