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  #46  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
Nitro are cheap because they are Chinese imports. I had a f'glass Nitro and found the foam lining deteriorated quite quickly, meaning it was too slack on my head. This in itself shouldn't be a problem if you're buying with the intention of replacing your lid 2x or 3x more often and not just buying because you're too tight to buy anything else. Come on, be honest.

I found that it's biggest problem was that it fogged up far too easily, even with the vents open and was the main reason I stopped using it. The visor release mechanism is awkward and looks fragile and the vent fittings became slack quite quickly.

It's best feature was that it had a large aperture giving very good visibility but needed a strip of tape at the top of the visor when the sun was low. It was fairly quiet at speed and quite comfortable until the foam started to degrade.

I have a Nolan at the minute but I think the best helmets on a budget at present, only in my opinion of course, are HJC. I like the Nolan's but won't be buying a flip-front as most reviews state they leak badly. I'll probably replace mine with a Shoei flip-front as I also wear glasses. KBC look good value but I think the iridium visor should be last on the list of priorities in this price range.

As for the £37 lids, are these the ones that Aldi had in last year. B-Square is Aldi's own brand and while the gloves and underwear are OK, the helmets have been massively criticised by German bike mags. Motorrad said they couldn't believe they passed the minimum standards of the safety tests. Buy one by all means if you think your head is only worth £37!

I believe Arai have had a hand in developing the new safety standards that are coming which can't be a bad thing.

Hey Craig, there's a lot of truth there from what I and others I know have experienced with helmets.

My AGV: went the same way with the forehead lining - the foam gave up quite quickly (my previous post refers).

My mates Nolan: leaked, around the visor from memory because of a poor seal.

Yep, I have electricians insulation tape around the top of my visor (two layers in depth) - it does the job.

Can't see a problem with private companies assisting in developing Government testing standards - after all, politicians and other jobs-worthies know next to nothing about such things, especially technical matters.
In fact, the only way to get it right would be to consult with those who know what they are talking about, and dealing with, constantly.
If you look at the Arai technical information for the Arai Tour X helmet it sounds very much like they already do impact testing to a high standard.
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  #47  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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The scheme will use a "star" award - Helmets that merely pass the test will be awarded 1 star. No helmets will be awarded 5 stars in order to encourage helmet manufacturers to design a better (safer) helmet.

It will interesting to see how the cheaper lids compare to the likes of the more expensive "designer" makes... The scheme is already hard at work and the first results should be ready very soon.... I suppose we should all keep a close eye on that website...
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  #48  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
If you look at the Arai technical information for the Arai Tour X helmet it sounds very much like they already do impact testing to a high standard.
But they don't publish the results of those tests in any kind of detail and merely certify that the helmet passed.
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  #49  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
But they don't publish the results of those tests in any kind of detail and merely certify that the helmet passed.
Of course. Arai will want to protect their product. Ever heard of industrial espionage? Why would they want to give their competitors information on their products, especially how they develop what are universally recognised as the best helmets on the market?

Motorcycle News sparks new helmet safety policy - Motorcycle News - MCN

Motorcycle News have been pushing for such a scheme for a while and were the first publication to announce it was coming. Seeing as all MCN's helmet safety and advice video's feature Arai helmets and Arai's technical staff, you can bet Arai has had more than a fair amount of influence, directly or indirectly. My last post stated that I'd heard Arai had a hand in it, meaning they were consulted, not they are devising the tests. I will find the exact article if you're really that bothered about it.

It's no secret that Arai have been pushing for this for a while, probably in the knowledge that their products would do well out of it. I'd be very surprised if the first helmets to be rated weren't Arai's. I would also expect MCN and Arai to regularly pressure the testing authorities to "move the goalposts" once the testing criteria is established.

I think this is a good thing, after all, any star rating or system of testing that is devised without consultation with the industry will be about as meaningful as the ACU's current Gold sticker certification.
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  #50  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
NO! The new UK Testing Authority is a Government Agency set up using taxpayers money. I am assured that there is no commercial involvement whatsoever. In order to remain 100% impartial this is necessary.
Clearly there shouldn't be any financial involvement by the industry, but it would be rediculous if there was no consultation between the testers and the manufacturers/importers. The respected maufacturers are going to have a wealth of knowledge and experience of designing and testing helmets - in some cases more than the testers themselves.
There's little new about the actual tests being talked about here - the difference is rather than just a pass or fail the results will be graded.

There's an interesting article here about the merits of various test methods and the interpretation of their results:

Motorcycle Helmet Design, Helmet Standards and Head Protection - Gear Box - Motorcyclist Online
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  #51  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
Of course. Arai will want to protect their product. Ever heard of industrial espionage? Why would they want to give their competitors information on their products, especially how they develop what are universally recognised as the best helmets on the market?
Craig,

That's NOT a valid reason to keep all of us (it's own customers) in the dark! It may be for you but I am sure most would prefer to know a little more about the results of these tests. We're talking about peoples safety here not Colonel Saunders secret ingredients! In any case we don't wish to know how they manufacture their product just how well it stands up to these exhaustive tests. If another manufacturer wanted to find out more about their product and how it is constructed it would be a straightforward job to forensically evaluate the product in laboratory conditions (which I suspect is done as a matter of course anyway).

This is fantastic news for all motorcyclists not just those in the UK. I am sure that the vast majority of website visitors will be bikers outside the UK. It's amazing it's taken the government so long to get their act together in this respect.

I don't know about your last comment regarding Arai producing the best helmets.... There can be no doubt however that their product is one of the most expensive. The most expensive doesn't always equate into the best value and safest.

Lets all just wait to see the results before we leap to the defence of the likes of Arai etc...

Neil
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Last edited by kentfallen; 23 Jan 2008 at 22:52.
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  #52  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
I don't know about your last comment regarding Arai producing the best helmets.... There can be no doubt however that their product is one of the most expensive. The most expensive doesn't always equate into the best value and safest.

Lets all just wait to see the results before we leap to the defence of the likes of Arai etc...
What's your problem with Arai helmets? This just seems to be some sort of reverse brand snobbery.
Do you think that the MotoGP and superbike riders as well as a large proportion of the Formula One drivers wear Arai because they want to be look good?? It's not because they've all got big sponsorship deals to wear them. Do you think the tests used to determine the star ratings are going to be more demanding than the FIM or FIA's requirements for motorsport use at this level?
The fact is if you buy a helmet from a decent maufacturer (not necessarily expensive) then it will be safe. The testing methods used around the world are well established - some are more severe than others, but the international brands like Arai, Shoei, Bell, etc pass them all.

The reason some of us choose to spend more on a 'premium' branded helmet is the same reason people choose to buy a Mercedes instead of a Renault, or an Audi instead of a Vauxhall. If you appreciate the quality then you'll pay for it.
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  #53  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
That's NOT a valid reason to keep all of us (it's own customers) in the dark! We're talking about peoples lives here! Besides if another manufacturer wanted to find out more about their product it would be a straightforward job to forensically evaluate the product in laboratory conditions.
That's exactly what other manufacturers will be doing. Even car manufacturers will buy another manufacturers product, straight off the forecourt, road test it, tear it down, analyse it in fine detail, cost it out, etc, etc. They spend millions every year on research and development of their own products and you honestly think Ford would publish all this data and hand it over to General Motors for free? The same goes for any consumer product.

You're talking about access to the full test results. The basics in layman's terms are freely available on Arai's website if you're interested. They're one of the few to disclose even the basics, even if it is just for marketing reasons. Are you a materials engineer or a specialist in destructive testing? I did my fair share of this kind of work at technical college and university and trust me, the detailed results don't make light reading. The average buyer will barely understand what they're looking at anyway.

Yes, Arai's are expensive and is the reason I have a Nolan at present. I prefer to spend a little less so I can afford to replace it more often.

If anyone, either a magazine or a company is pushing for greater safety standards and forcing others to raise their game, it will push all the crap off the market. In which case, I fully agree with you that this is great news for everyone, except for those who are dead set on buying a sub £50 helmet from Aldi's that is.

I've got to ask the question though, what's the point in starting a topic asking for honest opinions on Nitro helmets if you're just going to shout everyone down because their opinion differs from yours? My opinion is simply that they lack the longevity of products from more established manufacturers and fog up far too easily. However, I still use mine at the kart track but would not take it out on the road due to degradation of the foam lining. You say you're an ex-bike cop so I'm sure you will be all too familiar with the reasons of why you shouldn't use ill-fitting helmets.

One thing's for sure, companies who have been in the business as long as Arai, AGV, Shoei, etc, etc, know how to make a better product than any Chinese upstart. Let's be honest, they can't even make a half-decent copy of Honda's ancient CG125.

At the end of the day, you don't get anything for free. Even AGV make their lower priced helmets outside of Italy using cheaper labour, so if you've bought what looks like a £200 lid for £80, you know corners have been cut somewhere, not just in labour costs but in development, production or materials and I believe this will show when the NCAP-style rating is implemented.
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  #54  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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UVEX Enduro

Just spoken to the local bike shop and they say the Helmet is new and not due out till end of March. I'll be keen to see this one when it comes out....
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  #55  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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Don't guess any more !

Here it is , the answer....to the helmet debate, one of the best articles on the subject
Motorcycle Helmet Design, Helmet Standards and Head Protection - Gear Box - Motorcyclist Online
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  #56  
Old 12 Feb 2008
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Kbc Tk8

I just bought a new cheap helmet KBC TK8 for about $150.00 (I live in Brazil) It is Snell and DOT rated and seems to have a big success rate in the states. It is comfortable and the noise level is bearable at high speeds. I think it will do the job, of course I do not want to test it!

I chose the KBC over an HJC that looked better but was not more comfortable.

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  #57  
Old 16 Feb 2008
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This makes interesting reading

Translated version of http://www.motorradonline.de/d/133640?template=d_mrd_gl_drucken&drucken=d_mrd_ne_ artikel_1bild&_back_url=%2Fmrd%2Fhome

It's Google's translated version of Motorrad's review of the B-Square helmet sold by Lidl. From the look of this, it only just scraped a pass in the ECE testing.

I said in a previous post that B-Square was Aldi's own brand, which is incorrect as it's Lidl's. My most sincerest apologies to anyone who has spent the last month trawling branches of Aldi's for their new £37 helmet.

Last edited by craig76; 16 Feb 2008 at 15:51. Reason: Speelling misstake :-)
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  #58  
Old 10 Mar 2008
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I reckon that, in the 40 plus years I've been riding road and racing bikes, this must be the most discussed topic!

Until the governing bodies of the sport; ACU, RAC, ect, get to grips with proper testing and publish the results we'll never really know which is best for safety. That'll not happen though, as the smaller companies will fall behind and leave the big three to rule the roost and prices will soar.

Comfortwise I reckon that only one person can be the judge of that, and that's the wearer.
As for being 'fit for purpose', I reckon that riders need what riders need; some like a full face, some an open face, some a flip front, and every rider is different but not all manufacturers cater for all riders, hence riders wearing what they perhaps judge to be a less 'safe' helmet of 'cheaper' make.

Every rider has different requirements of a helmet, apart from it's efficiency when we really need it; in an accident, but safety also means having the 'right' helmet for you to start with.
For instance I wear glasses and I'm a bit claustrophobic. Not a problem? Well, ride facing into the low winter sun here in the North, especially after a rain shower, and with a visor (or goggles) and glasses any imperfection or smudge on the visor or lens makes it impossible to see.
Flip the visor up (or take the goggles off) and the wind swirling behind my glasses makes my eyes water badly, and I end up pulling in to clear my vision.
I have tried lots of full face helmets over the years, but the only one I've been happy to wear for any longer than a few minutes was a Griffin, which tells you how long ago that was. If I could buy one now I'd happily pay what 'A' charge for their top model.
That helmet had a good distance between my mouth and the front chinbar, and I could ride for days with no problems at all, but 'P' and 'A', not to mention both 'S' makes, have been tried and all make me feel too constricted. It's not just 'discomfort', it verges on real distress, and is a failing I know, but we all have our fears, don't we?
Motocross helmets are fine, with lots of room and a huge area of vision, so I feel fine with them, and the peak can be tilted to keep out the sun from my glasses. But, at cruising speeds on the BMW wind can be a problem with such a big peak.
So, I bought an open face B*ll Tourlite, a pair of O*kl*y L frame goggles and a leather face mask cover the gap between chin and jacket collar and I'm fine! OK, in a crash the lack of frontal protection may result in some facial damage, but if I'm comfortable and concentrating I'm less likely to suffer an accident than if I'm worried all the time and can't see properly!
One company (A) makes what is almost ideal for me; but the peak is still too big to be comfy at speed, while yet another (who also make bikes, German ones) has a good sized peak, but too constrictive a chinguard.

So, my open face Be** is not as expensive as a full face from the latest big manufacturer currently in the public image with WSB riders wearing their latest design, nor as safe as it offers less facial protection, but it's right for me.
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  #59  
Old 11 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
Always nice to help our Dutch friends across the water.... funny isn't it, the English and Dutch have nearly always got on well together. Probably something to do with the fact I've never come across a Dutchman who doesn't speak good English! Or perhaps our comradeship during WW2? By the way, you're troops are doing a fine job in Afganistan alongside our brave lads...

This news is so important for US ALL that I have taken the liberty of opening up another separate thread on the Hubb...
I think you mean British and Dutch...there is no such thing as an English Army. We have been British since 1707 (if you like to keep up with events).
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  #60  
Old 11 Mar 2008
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One company (A) makes what is almost ideal for me; but the peak is still too big to be comfy at speed, while yet another (who also make bikes, German ones) has a good sized peak, but too constrictive a chinguard.
Are you talking about the Arai Tour-X helmet - MX style with a visor? They're a decent helmet with plenty of space around the chin area. If your doing a lot of motorway miles then you can remove the peak completely to cut down the wind deflection and noise.
Shoei have just released a similar helmet as well, so it may be worth taking a look at that.
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