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Old 07-Feb-2009, 02:30 PM
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WeeJohnyB WeeJohnyB is offline
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'SHARP' Helmet Testing

What do you reckon?

I have always worn Arai, like most racers (although some swear by Shoei as the head shape is different). Now we all know Arai is not the cheapest, but the advice is always 'buy the best you can afford that fits'.

I have had about 8 helmets, all Arai and the last 3 have been the RX-7, top of the range jobby, over 500 if you buy froma UK retailer or c300 if you buy direct from Japan like me! I know lots of racers on a budget buy cheaper and some buy the pretty one and others don't care. Each to their own.

My point is, the RX-7 gets a 3/5 star rating, where 'lesser' names and some names I have never even heard of get 4/5 and even 5/5.

I know there is controversy about the tests, but are you intending to change from your expensive helmet to a cheaper one with a higher rating on the basis of these tests? Do the tests 'work' ie will they do as intended for people whose views have been coloured all these years like me?

Personally, it's Arai for me.

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Old 07-Feb-2009, 02:37 PM
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I'm not familiar with the SHARP testing but for me the cheaper helmets may pass the crash tests well but they miss out in other areas. Like wind noise, weight, quality of finish etc.

My Suomy snapped a plastic lug off in the visor release mechanism not long after having it. The air vent on top, which was glued on, came off very quickly. Even the spare one I had that has never been worn has had the top vent come off. The straps wear quicker, the inside lining wears quicker and isn't made of the same high quality stuff as the Shoei XR1000 I raced in all last year.

I've had an Rx7 but the chin bar is too close to my chin and my fear is if I hit the front of my head on the ground hard in a crash I'll break my jaw. The Shoei gives me more room there and is more comfortable.
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Old 07-Feb-2009, 03:40 PM
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bradders bradders is offline
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for me, expensive lid for the road, when I'm likley to be in it more and for longer, the look is more important and it will last quite a while

for the track, cheap ACU gold stamp will do; shame to write a 500 lid off for a simple slide down the road

apart from safety, fit is most important really, I can sort all the other tings out!!
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Old 07-Feb-2009, 04:06 PM
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Fit /comfort is the most important to me, saying that, I wouldn't wear a cheap helmet that fitted me well either.

I mainly used Suomy and laterly X-lite, as I'd found these the best fit for me (I don't have an Arai-shaped head), they're light, reasonably quiet (less of an issue), are well ventilated (much more important) and crash well. I has a 801RR, but wrote it off in Guadix.

But I recently bought the new AGV GP Tech, which is light and fits me better than the older GP Pro series AGVs
like this lid and it rates really well. How does this crash? I don't want to find out

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Old 07-Feb-2009, 04:07 PM
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Scooter916 Scooter916 is offline
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Sharp testing has changed the business model for us dealers, It has caught a few of the top manufacturers with thier pants down, The top brands always used to score very well due to reinforcing the know test areas, This will no longer work as sharp testing asseses the chances of a brain injury from an impact, The lining and polystyrene now play a part in the test.
Small shell lids seem to come out Quite low too Obviously not as much padding inside.

Some good Gen here about it all

Personally I wear what I sell, Vemar, Or Nitro. Had an arai once and wrote it off in one spill, 400 is ok if your sponsored.
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Old 07-Feb-2009, 04:29 PM
KeefyB KeefyB is offline
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Shoei all the way for me.(I have three of them)Fit and finish is fantastic,....even on the level entry Raid.Visor change mechanism is second to none.
Both the X-Spirit and the Raid scored 4/5.
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Old 09-Feb-2009, 10:36 AM
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There has been an explosion of lid manufacturers in recent years. Some of them do have a poor reputation for variable quality/safety.

It's long been the case that some cheaper lid have faired better in crash tests, e.g. ploycarbonate lids as they are "softer" they absorb the impact and not transfer it through to yer nut.

Fit and comfort are important and I probably do give a nod to the sharp tests or anything else that might give an objective rating.

On the topic of sharp testing lids with big wide strong chin bars seem to do well as this is an area that is tested.

Been a fan of suomy in recent years, they seem to fit me well but the quality of the linings isn't too good.

Not sure what I'll go for next time I need one, probably just go to a big retailer and see what fits the best, has a reasonable price and has a resonable rating.

Lids tend to engender brand loyalty IMHO, whether thats based on genuine performance, who uses their kit on the track, fit or whatever depends on the individual?

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Old 09-Feb-2009, 10:48 AM
phillc phillc is offline
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I was in the market for a new helmet last year, after a mid-season crash. I used the Sharp ratings to help inform my decision. In the end I bought a Shoei Raid II. It received the same 4 star rating as the twice as expensive Shoei X-Spirit!
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Old 09-Feb-2009, 11:29 AM
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I think there's a lot of truth in what Glynn says

My question - is the sharp test the best measure of helmet safety?

I've got a top of the range Arai - frankly don't know what to do - but may switch to AGV if the Arai rating doesn't improve by the time I'm buying my next one....

I don't think we can ignore the test until it's been discreditted........

Anyone know if it has...or not
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Old 09-Feb-2009, 11:36 AM
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Its worth having a look round the sharp site.


They was an article in the comic last year about the testing and the intial batch of result. A few manufacturers/importers moaned about the testing, not surprisingly if their stuff had performed poorly.

One of the bits I like is that the lids are bought from retailers. Avoids specially prepped test special lids.

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