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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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  #1  
Old 14 Sep 2008
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MX or street helmet ?

When you see the longdistance (and the enduro) people, they mostly wear motocross helmets.
Is this a fashion thing or a way to signal that "I'm a tough tourer, not on the way to the baker" or is there anything better in the MX helmet for touring ?
Fast sportsriders on the road, on the other hand, never wear MX helmets either.

I'm looking for facts/arguments not a general discussion or religious war ;o))
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  #2  
Old 14 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
When you see the longdistance (and the enduro) people, they mostly wear motocross helmets.
Is this a fashion thing or a way to signal that "I'm a tough tourer, not on the way to the baker" or is there anything better in the MX helmet for touring ?
Fast sportsriders on the road, on the other hand, never wear MX helmets either.

I'm looking for facts/arguments not a general discussion or religious war ;o))
I ride both a road bike and a dirty bike so I'll try.

An MX helmet is very light and ventilated and offers no weather protection. You can "nod" your head down when the rider in front roosts you with rocks or mud and the peak will stop you getting a face full and the same when riding through branches.

Road helmets should be less noisy and offer some weather protection but you would overheat very fast if riding some really naggery trails.

The "adventure" style helmets are the bastard son of both types. I know a few trail riders who wear them in the winter. It's not fun wearing an MX lid riding in sleet or hail. You have to find a way of riding with one hand covering the gap between the googles and the chin guard.

Hope this helps
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  #3  
Old 14 Sep 2008
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Arai XD

I wear the Arai Adventure helmet. It's great. It combines the best aspects of a full face street helmet (protection, visor, comfort) with the visor from a MX helmet.

It's a great choice for street riders on BMW GS, KTM Adventure, or Supermoto type bikes. I find the visor VERY useful around sundown.
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  #4  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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I also have one of each... (both BMW -system 5 and enduro- but this was a coincidence not the plan, got both on the cheap).

Full face shield flip face system 5.
UPS: Is very quiet (this with my faring I don’t need ear plugs)***, It is great for most weather, even in the hot you can open the face all the way (if going slow) and get lots of air. It is also good at resisting fogging up (with pin-lock). Easy to get on and off with glasses on. Can go into servos with out removing it , and you can talk to people on the street with out removing it.. I find this helps with acceptance of us (more so then shouting though a helmet.) Very comfy. Ventilation is okay but not great.

Downs: weight very heavy (in comparison), no visor for blocking rocks/sun, if going fast cant have chin up.. so it gets hot. It looks okay 5/10

Enduro, full face shield.
UPS: Weighs NOTHING!! has the visor that good for blocking sun or rock. Very comfy. Off road I can use goggles, on road has full face shield that is great for roads (no sweaty goggles but eye protection). Best thing ever when off road or when working hard in heat. Good at resisting fog,. Ventilation is GREAT! Looks great 10/10

Downs: Is very loud! (ears ring after 20 min with out plugs, at 50mph and above). No real weather protection (From underneath chin). The visor means that above 60mph you are fighting to keep your head down***, so any advantage i get from no weight is lost on wind. Not good at keep the rain off me.


***NOTE: remember this is bike to bike and person to person specific, what works on my bike for me is not the same what will work for you.. maybe better or worse even on the same bike.

So having said that I tend to travel with my road full face flip up helmet it’s UPS (IMHO) out weigh it’s DOWNS. When going for a hoon around with the possibility of dirt or if I don’t intend to go on highways I often (but not always) take the enduro, so (no offence to anyone..) for me when not using the enduro helmet for eduro work it would have to be more of a fashion statement then a practical choice.

I commute to work every day and wear the full face flip face.. (so maybe this tells you something too) … also please note that I am in the uk where the summer was not very hot..(this may be considered an understatement) SO this may all be different if I were back home where 20°C was considered cold, not warm.
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  #5  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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Thumbs up Try the Hornet

My bone dome is a Shoei Hornet DS. I reckon it's about as good as they get in terms of "best of both". Arai make their similar Tour X range of Ewan & Charlie fame, but a mate of mine has a Tour X2 and I borrowed it for a week to check it out - The Arai does have better ventilation but consequently is much louder and it has a harder top front edge which can rub the forehead (obviously depending on the shape of your melon), plus it just didn't feel as well made.

With the Hornet's vents closed and visor down it's very warm and dry, but vents and visor open it's almost identical to my MX lid - very light and great peripheral vision.

The Hornet is my sixth helmet and by far the best I've owned... the only down side is that it has a sun visor peak which can catch the breeze at speed and although you can remove it, it looks a bit wierd without.

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  #6  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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I used to ride road & I now ride off-road.

Currently I race for pleasure (might need to check that statement!) so I use Arai MX helmet with goggles. The goggles have enduro lenses which are drilled for air vents (they have foam for dust ingress) and the goggles have a half mask that stops rocks hitting your nose.

Pro's - you can fit tear offs or roll offs for vision, you can swap lenses easily.

Con's - noisy at speed, when it rains.... oh boy, anything above 25mph and you may as well stick needles in your face.

If I was overlanding I personally buy a dual sport lid (like the tour-x) as you have the visor for better rain protection, you can carry goggles & ditch the visor for technical stuff, or what a lot of dirt bike people do is wear saftey glasses instead of goggles. They are impact resistant and you could wear them under the visor giving you the best of both worlds at the flick of the visor.

Only reason I don't wear safety glasses is because I wear contact lenses &b goggles are a better bet at keeping dust out of the lenses.

RTS.
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  #7  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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Several people say the MX helmets are lighter. Are they designed and approved to the same standards as road helmets ? When looking at clothing, there is certainly a difference in what is offered as MX clothing and Road clothing.
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  #8  
Old 16 Sep 2008
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Camelbaks are much easier to use with an MX helmet.
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  #9  
Old 17 Sep 2008
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MX Helmets sold in the UK meet the exact same standards as UK road helmets - not sure about items sold in other countries. Though to be fair Arai aren't going to make a 'good' helment for the UK and a 'bad' helmet for country X, they'll make a decent helmet full stop.

Off-road cloathing is designed for a different remit to on-road gear, personally I use body armour underneath the spandex top. Even enduro jacket & jeans which is similar to road gear is too much for tough off-roading, but being to zip off the arms & open vents in the jacket is a good compromise in my opinion (I have both, but enduro gear is more for winter).

RTS
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  #10  
Old 17 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicTS View Post
If I was overlanding I personally buy a dual sport lid (like the tour-x) as you have the visor for better rain protection, you can carry goggles & ditch the visor for technical stuff, or what a lot of dirt bike people do is wear saftey glasses instead of goggles. They are impact resistant and you could wear them under the visor giving you the best of both worlds at the flick of the visor.
You can actually wear goggles with a tour-x with the visor up or down, which is a bonus...

I use Bloc mountainbike safety glasses with mine, usually with a yellow lens as it makes the world a sunnier place, but you can also swap them for clear or tinted lenses, rather than having to swap the visor shield in the helmet.

As others have said, the Tour-x style of helmet has far better venting and a less claustrophobic feel in general than a traditional road helmet, but conversly does tend to be noisier, and the peak can be affected by turbulence, especially at higher speeds. Fortunately the Tour-x peak can be removed easily if you had a few 100 miles to cover for example? For touring use, the main benefit of a peak is as a sun-shield towards the end of the day as richardnixon says...

xxx
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  #11  
Old 17 Sep 2008
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I have a persimmion / yellow enduro lens, the first time you put them on it's an OMG moment while your brain recalibrates.

Love them to bits, just don't wear them where the sun doesn't shine... went into a forest and it was darker than a really dark thing that had just been sucked into a black hole.... shame I'd not scrubbed off speed before hand.... eek!

RTS
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  #12  
Old 18 Sep 2008
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For me there's only one helmet choice for touring or indeed any recreational riding: Open face. In bad weather I wear goggles so I can still see, I don't find heavy rain or sleet on the rest of my face too bothersome.

The advantages of open face are being able to communicate with people properly without having to remove your helmet. I find not being able to see somebody's face very rude, so if I'm wearing the full-face the first thing I do when stopping is taking off my helmet even if it's only for less than a minute. I also find open face allows better peripheral vision, and keeps your head cooler. Two years ago I was in Greece and had no choice but to remove my full face helmet on entering any town or village, and only put it back on upon exiting where the traffic cleared. Couldn't cope with that 40degree heat whilst stationary sat on a running bike with full face lid.

Another advantage is being able to take photos quickly without the need to remove your helmet (although digital cameras with screens rather than view-finders negates this).


Basically I go touring/travelling to enjoy being in different places and countries, and I find having a big hunk of plastic infront of my mouth obstructs this.
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  #13  
Old 18 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Nath View Post
Basically I go touring/travelling to enjoy being in different places and countries, and I find having a big hunk of plastic infront of my mouth obstructs this.
Aye man, and you can drink and smoke a fag too!

I agree an open face helmet is a great way to feel part of your surroundings - even moreso if you face plant at 40mph...

Seriously though, all that "I'd never wear an open face lid" is all bullsh*t - I agree you should wear what you want, and suck up the consequences... I'll most likely buy an open face Arai when I get back to the States next month, as I like that feeling and appreciate the benefits Nath discribes... but it would have been no bloody fun riding 600kms on the Autoroute in the pouring rain which I did earlier this summer in France...

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  #14  
Old 20 Sep 2008
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Helmets

Hiya.
After trips with MX lids, open face, full face I've now found my balance point of a decent flip front lid that you can remove the chin piece from and use as an open face with goggles and a scarf ect.
There is a newish lid on the market (shark evoline) where the chin piece folds all the way over to the back of the lid similar to the roof type. A mate bought one but recons its a bit too heavy.
Brasso is quite effective at polishing light scratches out of goggles fyi.
David.
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  #15  
Old 20 Sep 2008
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I tour with a MX lid...

I have an Arai full-face, and a HJC MX lid. I initially bought the MX lid as it was the only lid that offered full-face protection and allowed me to squeeze one of those cycling maskswithout having to rearrange onces facial features. I wore this for the air pollution when I was riding into London for work every day.

Since then I really like them.

I still use both, but the MX lid is what I use on overland journeys as its face opening is so much bigger than the Arai. It almost feels like a open-face, so people can see all my features (although perhaps they'd rather not after a day in the dirt!), without removing the lid. I can also hold a camera to my eye (although a bit trick with an SLR) without removing the lid, etc. In hot climates it is also far cooler. The peak does offer more sun protection than the Arai, too.

Downsides are that in cold weather you get colder, and in rain, you get wetter. A flip-up is an option, but those that I have tried do no like my glasses and catch their corners when you close or open the front, or the sun-shade tries to remove my nose in much the same fashion....

Horses for courses. For me the MX lid ticks more pros than it does cons.
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