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I was always a ***** about weight. When I started riding, it was always Suomy spec1r, Shoei x11, and Arai Corsair. I think I had 4 or 5 Spec1rs. Was a big Barros fan.

Anyways, my very first two helmets were both HJC. Both around 100-150. From weight, to aerodynamics, to interior materials, it all feels different.

Also realized I fit Japanese and Euro helmets better, even wi th same models. I've been using an OGK FF5V for the last 4 years - had to order from Japan. It's been the best helmet for me overall - space for speakers, aerodynamics whether I was on the r6 or any of my standard bikes.
I have a new x12, but I rarely use it except at the track. Sucks for standard bikes. Hope any of this helps.
 

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I too wore an HJC when I first started riding. It was cheap, $120 if I remember right. I didn't want to go out and buy and expensive helmet right off the bat. I bought my first helmet before i even owned a bike. I bought it to take the MSF class and I had never been on a motorcycle before, so I didn't want a $500 paperweight if I didn't like riding. I used that HJC for nearly 3 years before I decided to upgrade. I went in with a budget of trying to spend less than $350. I was looking at Scorpion helmets initially, since I have a jacket of theirs that is amazing. But it just didn't fit my head, large was too small and XL too big. And the shape just wasn't right and I knew it wasn't going to work. I must have tried 15 different helmets. Some were good others, not so much. I settled on the Shoei RF1100. Fits my big head like a glove. It's literally a perfect fit for my head, almost as if it was custom molded for me, plus it was on sale at the time. I got the helmet and a tinted shield for less than the normal price of just the helmet, it was a win-win situation.

The first time I rode with it, I couldn't believe how much better it was. For me it was better in every way, comfort of the pads, build quality, noise reduction, visibility through the shields. I wish I had upgraded sooner. Now I've had my Shoei for the same amount of time that I used the HJC. And their current condition is miles apart. The Shoei is practically brand new still, a few scratches, but its still as good as the day I bought it. The HJC started falling apart after about 2.5 years of mild use. The face shield would randomly pop out when closing for no reason, pads were worn out and falling apart.

For me, it comes down to the fit. If it fits and is a reasonable price, then jump on it. Now that I'm older and not quite such the cheap ******* that I use to be, I'm more open to spending a little more than my budget it I end up with a better quality product. I just try and save up money for an extra month or so and buy the better product. Some things are just worth spending a bit more on.
 

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The scorpion exor2000 is around 3-400 and you won't find a nicer helmet at any price. I think it will be my next one
 

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The scorpion exor2000 is around 3-400 and you won't find a nicer helmet at any price. I think it will be my next one. It scores average in the British test.

Cool to see my 150 dollar hjc scores as well as a schuberth. It is real proof, but no one bothers to look. The schuberth owners swear their helmets are extra, special safe just because
 

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I've had three helmets. 2 Arai Vectors and an Icon. I rode the Arai for the first season, loved it, then it got dropped one too many times for me to feel comfortable. I was on a budget so I bought an Icon. It was tighter, a bit uncomfortable and the lining was light colored, which looks dirty very quickly, and was not as soft as the Vector. There is a large price difference between the two. My new Vector fits as nicely as the original, and vents better than the Icon.

In less than a season the chin vent failed on the Icon. The lining is dirty (could be cleaned) and doesn't feel as comfy on the skin.

There is one other difference, the Vector has a Snell rating.

My g/f bought a Snell rated HJC RPHA and she likes it. Right now she is just riding with me, I am hoping she gets a bike of her own in time.

What it boils down to is finding a helmet that fits you head, and buying the best one you can afford and then wearing it
 

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Look into a used Arai Quantum/f. They fit great, and you can buy them for about $50 on eBay, and they look like you spent $700.
...and there really is nothing better than getting in another guy's lid for the very first time. Every used lid is unique. The outside will have its own character. The inside will have a unique smell. (No two well worn helmets smell the same.) I own several used lids, and depending on my mood, I decide what I'll wear for that day. When you buy new, it gets a little expensive to do that.
 

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As others have said, some of the protections will be the same from cheap to expensive, but wind noise can be awful in cheaper helmets. If you want to listen to music at all or utilize any navigational systems, make sure your helmet is as quiet as it can be.
 

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Surprisingly weight would appear to be a top consideration of a cheap helmet vs an expensive helmet yet it is not always the case. I'm in the market for a modular helmet to add to my collection and two of the top considerations are the Schubert C4 and Shoei Neotec. Both close to the $700 price yet 2 of the heaviest modulars on the market by about 20%. Needless to say today the Schubert C4 is highly discounted and being replaced by a new model with a little weight loss but still a heavy lid compared to HJCs or Scorpions for example.
 
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