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Helmet Reviews

Shoei RF-1200 Helmet Review


Ever since the first Shoei RF-series full-face helmet was introduced in the mid-1980s, every time a new version is announced it’s a bit worrisome at first, since it seems unlikely that Shoei could possibly improve upon the current model. Almost without exception, however, sliding into each new one—RF-105V, RF-200, RF-700, RF-800 and so on—has brought ever-increasing levels of comfort and ...

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Full-Face Helmets Buyers Guide 2013


Why a Full-Face Although wearing any helmet that is at least DOT approved is better than wearing none at all, here at Rider we prefer full-face helmets. A full-facer is one on which the chinbar is an integral part of the helmet rather than an add-on that can be pivoted upward, such as with a modular helmet. Because it’s all ...

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Shoei GT-Air Motorcycle Helmet Review


When helmet manufacturers release new models or update existing ones, they often incorporate new features or adopt them from other helmets in their lineup. The GT-Air is an all-new full-face helmet from Shoei that combines new and existing features, and is priced between the top-of-the-line X-Twelve and the popular RF-1100. Like other Shoei helmets, the shell is made of AIM ...

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Arai Defiant Motorcycle Helmet Review


The Gospel According to Arai: the prime objective of a helmet is impact energy management; everything else is secondary. Kinetic energy, the amount of work required to accelerate an object from rest to a particular velocity, increases at the square of speed. When speed doubles, say from 30 mph to 60 mph, kinetic energy quadruples. And when an object—such as ...

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Nolan N85 Motorcycle Helmet Review


Italian helmet maker Nolan, along with sister brand X-Lite, gets high-profile, worldwide exposure on the heads of MotoGP and World Superbike racers such as Jorge Lorenzo and Marco Melandri. Here in the States, the company is best known for its flip-up helmets, such as the N104 introduced last year. After a hiatus, Nolan has re-entered the American full-face helmet market ...

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Bilt Explorer Motorcycle Helmet Review


Since it was founded in 1974, Cycle Gear has grown from a single store in the Bay Area to 98 retail stores in 31 states, and it claims to be America’s largest retailer of motorcycle apparel and accessories. Having carried other brands of apparel for years, in 2011 Cycle Gear launched two in-house brands: Bilt, a value-priced line that comes ...

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LS2 MX453 Dual-Sport Helmet


Not familiar with LS2 helmets? Neither was I until two of them—the MX453 dual-sport and FT2 FF396 full-face models—showed up at the office late last year. The LS2 brand was launched in Europe in 2007 by MHR Helmet Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Xiqing Plastics, a Chinese company that has been making helmets since 1991. Within just a few years, ...

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HJC RPHA Max Modular Motorcycle Helmet Review


I’ve sometimes found flip-up helmets a bit too noisy for my tender ears…although I do like the style and ease of communication with the chinbar flipped up. But when Editor Tuttle called up and said he had a genuinely new one from HJC that I might like, I told him to send it up. The box arrived, was carefully opened, ...

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Bell RS-1 Motorcycle Helmet Review

Bell RS-1 Full-Face Helmet

Three basic steps are involved in the testing of a helmet. The first thing I do is weigh it. Bell’s new RS-1 uses two shell sizes, one for XS-M and a slightly larger one for L-2XL. The size XL, which fit me, came in at an acceptable 58 ounces. In the smaller of its two shell sizes (XS-M), Bell says ...

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Schuberth S2 Motorcycle Helmet Review

web-S2 white clear shield 3_4

After a hiatus from the North American market for several years, German helmet maker Schuberth introduced its C3 flip-up helmet last year (Rider, April 2011) and has just added a full-face helmet, the S2. Like the C3, the S2’s shell is made of a proprietary mix of resin, composite and fiberglass that Schuberth calls S.T.R.O.N.G. fiber, compressed in a high ...

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