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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone using the KBC VR-1 for their Skeeed lid....I'm in the market for a new one. I like the KBC fit and finish. It fits my head nice...has Snell and DOT and a few euro safety ratings...but the price seems a bit low...My instincts say good helmet but I also believe you get what you pay for ....matter of fact I like it as much as the Arai or the Shoei just on feel...the internet seems to like this helemt too..but you know how that goes

whelp any opinions?? or anyone take one of these to the ground yet??
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Oldskool said:
Anyone using the KBC VR-1 for their Skeeed lid....I'm in the market for a new one. I like the KBC fit and finish. It fits my head nice...has Snell and DOT and a few euro safety ratings...but the price seems a bit low...My instincts say good helmet but I also believe you get what you pay for ....matter of fact I like it as much as the Arai or the Shoei just on feel...the internet seems to like this helemt too..but you know how that goes

whelp any opinions?? or anyone take one of these to the ground yet??
I used one this year. The vents work well and you are right, it did seem to fit my head alot better than the others. It's hard to really know with a helmet unless you crash in it. But overall, it was a good lid for me.

It's also for sale if your interested.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I was considering a KBC VR-1 or an HJC AC-11 helmets. I did the research for both these helmets and compared them to their similar counterparts in Shoei and various other helmets.

My conclusions were that the above two helmets were almost identical in materials used and protection (ie ACM, fibreglass or equivalent) to the more expensive helmets such as Shoei. The only differences are in the quality and design for the vents/controls/shield ratcheting system etc.

In a crash, they will protect you just as well as the more expensive helmets.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe the VR-1, like the Racer-1 (which I have), meets the stringent European specs for helmet safety. They are more stringent than Snell. They are DOT/Snell certified, too.

My Racer-1 fits well and seems to be a great helmet! I got mine for around $240 shipped from helmetharbor.com. :thumb:
 

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GhostRider said:
My conclusions were that the above two helmets were almost identical in materials used and protection (ie ACM, fibreglass or equivalent) to the more expensive helmets such as Shoei. The only differences are in the quality and design for the vents/controls/shield ratcheting system etc.
How was your research conducted? Using the same materials in construction means absolutely nothing. The same basic materials were used in a Yugo and Volvo for example.

In a crash, they will protect you just as well as the more expensive helmets.
Says who? Everything I've looked at says this is wrong.

It's your head. High end Arai, Shoei or AGV IMO, and maybe Suomy and a couple of the other EUROPEAN brands. Not the Chinese copy shit.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
luvtolean said:
How was your research conducted? Using the same materials in construction means absolutely nothing. The same basic materials were used in a Yugo and Volvo for example.

Says who? Everything I've looked at says this is wrong.

It's your head. High end Arai, Shoei or AGV IMO, and maybe Suomy and a couple of the other EUROPEAN brands. Not the Chinese copy shit.
Comparing a Volvo and a Yugo is not an accurate comparison, as you can find just as well engineered parts in one vehicule as in the other. A better comparison would be to look at individual parts, such as a Yugo fender as opposed to a Volvo fender. What are the metals used? Is it a combination of metals? What is the corrosion resistance? What is the design and crashworthyness of each. Of course we, as simple consumers, can not test all these possibilities. But we can use the information about the materials, the design and the standards organizations available out there, in order to come to a good decision.

I compared specs (like anyone could do online) and the shell material was similar (either carbon fiber, fiberglass or a mix of these and other materials). Basically, materials that shatter or compress in order to absorb energy from an impact. Going on the assumption, that simliar materials will yield a similar result in a crash. The inners are a styrofoam shell, which is pretty much standard on most high end helmets. The Snell and Euro standards also applied to these helmets as well, which reinforced my opinion. I did not find as vast a difference as I initially thought (in build materials), comparing to mainly the Shoei RF-1000 helmet.

Sure, the Shoei had alittle better ventilation and the ratchet and other small parts were more polished and refined, but is that worth an extra $200 or $300 (or more in the case of Arai) difference? For me, I don't think so...but that's a personal desicion based on personal taste, and of course how much you can shell out for a lid.

In my opinion, the top of the line HJC and KBC helmets are excellent helmets and competitively priced. I wouldn't have any problem owning one. :thumb:
 

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GhostRider said:
Comparing a Volvo and a Yugo is not an accurate comparison, as you can find just as well engineered parts in one vehicule as in the other. A better comparison would be to look at individual parts, such as a Yugo fender as opposed to a Volvo fender.
No, it wouldn't be. I don't care how good a Yugo fender is. I care how good the system is. And it is not a difficult thing to imagine that even if the Yugo had fenders made of ex-T34 tanks, you still didn't want to hit a wall in one.

I compared specs (like anyone could do online) and the shell material was similar (either carbon fiber, fiberglass or a mix of these and other materials). Basically, materials that shatter or compress in order to absorb energy from an impact. Going on the assumption, that simliar materials will yield a similar result in a crash.
You are dead wrong. I have done research with carbon fiber and how it works, and made several parts with it in wet lay-up. We then proceeded to crash our HPV at speeds from 5 MPH to 50+. You can use the same resin, the same material, the same mold, pull the same vacuum and even the same oven, and if you get something a bit wrong, like misaligning overlapping fiber layers, and it will not be nearly strong. Choosing fibers, core materials, fiber orientation and such is very very complicated science. And it is everything when it comes to making a good laminate component. Not to mention the process control to make it repeatable...

The inners are a styrofoam shell, which is pretty much standard on most high end helmets.
Interesting you mention this. Did you know a lot of the Chinese helmets (like the companies you mention) use the same shell size for all helmet sizes and then just vary the styro thickness? That is not good engineering. And it means...the inner crush layers are not created equal.

The Snell and Euro standards also applied to these helmets as well, which reinforced my opinion. I did not find as vast a difference as I initially thought (in build materials), comparing to mainly the Shoei RF-1000 helmet.
Have you read the standards? They are a joke. And further, just because they all pass the standard, it doesn't mean one isn't better than another. All lawyers pass the BAR, are they all equally good? If you know the standard you are designing to, it is very easy to design a laminated structure to pass the test, it's not so easy to design one that will protect in a crash that is unforseen in the test definition process.


Sure, the Shoei had alittle better ventilation and the ratchet and other small parts were more polished and refined, but is that worth an extra $200 or $300 (or more in the case of Arai) difference? For me, I don't think so...but that's a personal desicion based on personal taste, and of course how much you can shell out for a lid.
That's up to you, but a helmet that is even 5% better in a crash is worth $200-300 to me since as long as I'm alive I can make more money.
 

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I have crash dummy (that's me) tested at least 7 helmets (not counting the ones that were only "scuffed"). Basically, I found that the difference in lining materials has a huge effect on whether or not you can speak again after crashing. My one "cheapy" helmet that I owned was one of the newer Bell's which was made by HJC and presented as their "top of the line" offering. It was only 100 bucks or so less than the ARAI it replaced, but believe me after crashing at around 80 or so and rolling head over heels for about 200 yards, the difference in "the system" became readily apparent when I sustained 2 concussions and lost a major portion of 3 teeth in the process. I have crashed in Shoeis, Arais, AGVs, original Bells and this HJC/Bell and although the impact was the slightest with the HJC unit, the damage was the worst.

Don't believe the rhetoric, you just plain get what you pay for . . .
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Since I did not make the helmet and did not see the helmet being made, I can not verify that any helmet (including Arai) has been put together 'properly'. A company charging more for their helmet doesn't mean they followed some of the production steps you outlined. And also dosn't mean a so called 'less well known' manufacturer can not use the same standards.

I would not even consider a helmet that did not have a recognized standard attributed to it. They are there for a reason. Can they be better? Sure, but based on what I know of these standards is enough to influence my decision about one helmet over another that isn't approved.

I have actually seen some of the tests they perform for Snell standards (in a video, I forget where I saw it) and I thought they were very relevant. Some of the tests even went beyond the scope of normal everyday situations. Like having a pointy and weighted (not sure how much weight) lead cone impact the helmet from a 5 or 10 foot height, impacting at different spots on the helmet, while measuring devices collect the data. And from what I am led to believe, the Euro standards are even more stringent. :idunno:

Doing 5% better in a crash is all very good, and I'd probably pay alittle more just for that fact (if it can be proved), but no helmet can protect your brain or spine from a severe impact, no matter how 'good' the helmet is.
Your helmet can stand up to most medium or even severe crashes...your brain can't. Even a small impact can cause anything from a concussion to internal bleeding in your brain, let alone the multitude of spine injuries. And no amount of money for a better helmet can change that....that's just physics. Not to say that a good helmet doesn't help in reducing the physical damage, but there is a point where any helmet may not make a difference.

We just have different opinions based on our own personal experiences and points of view...nothing wrong with that. :)

I still think the top of the line HJC and KBC helmets are very fine and very capable products.

Anyway, this is far too depressing...and we can't have that! ;)
Crashing sucks...nuf said. :D
 

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I'd just like to reitterate the comment about concussions. Abtech the concussions you sustained would have most likely happened no matter what helmet you were wearing (although a different weight helmet or differetn shape could have affected the way your head hit the ground but thats not really an issue of design). Your brain is gonna slam against your skull if yo hit your head hard enough. If a helmet could stop a concussion then football players would wear better helmets.

I think as far as the HJC and KBC helmets, I wasn't a big fan of my HJC and when I got my Suomy I really found out what it was like to own a nice helmet. My friend has a KBC VR-1 and he loves it. Another friend had one also and crash tested it and no head trauma at all (he still owes me for that helmet). I agree with whoever said that shell size makes a difference. I definetly feel that the better the shell is fitted to your head the better its gonna protect. its just as they say if the helmet is too big for your head then its not gonna protect you as good and I think adding padding to make up for it isn't the answer. If Mat Mladin wears a KBC I think its good enough for everyone else, remember when his tire blew last year doing about 170, held up good. I do think the Shoei is a little overpriced as is the Suomy to a lesser extent (the Spec 1r extreme is rediculously overpriced) and the Arai is way too much. The KBC is good price especially since I think they are eqaul in quality to the $500+ helmets. Don't get me wrong I still think a really good helmet such as those is worth it, I spent $430 for my Suomy Spec 1R. But $500+ is getting a little rediculous but the company does have to make some money. The Arai's are completely hand made aren't they? thats where a lot of the money goes.

I think any of the medium-high priced helmets are comparable in quality and crash worthiness to the big price ones just the big price ones have better ventillation and linings. And we all know a really comfortable helmet is safer than one thats not comfortable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
CBR929RE said:
I'd just like to reitterate the comment about concussions. Abtech the concussions you sustained would have most likely happened no matter what helmet you were wearing (although a different weight helmet or differetn shape could have affected the way your head hit the ground but thats not really an issue of design). Your brain is gonna slam against your skull if yo hit your head hard enough. If a helmet could stop a concussion then football players would wear better helmets.

I think as far as the HJC and KBC helmets, I wasn't a big fan of my HJC and when I got my Suomy I really found out what it was like to own a nice helmet. My friend has a KBC VR-1 and he loves it. Another friend had one also and crash tested it and no head trauma at all (he still owes me for that helmet). I agree with whoever said that shell size makes a difference. I definetly feel that the better the shell is fitted to your head the better its gonna protect. its just as they say if the helmet is too big for your head then its not gonna protect you as good and I think adding padding to make up for it isn't the answer. If Mat Mladin wears a KBC I think its good enough for everyone else, remember when his tire blew last year doing about 170, held up good. I do think the Shoei is a little overpriced as is the Suomy to a lesser extent (the Spec 1r extreme is rediculously overpriced) and the Arai is way too much. The KBC is good price especially since I think they are eqaul in quality to the $500+ helmets. Don't get me wrong I still think a really good helmet such as those is worth it, I spent $430 for my Suomy Spec 1R. But $500+ is getting a little rediculous but the company does have to make some money. The Arai's are completely hand made aren't they? thats where a lot of the money goes.

I think any of the medium-high priced helmets are comparable in quality and crash worthiness to the big price ones just the big price ones have better ventillation and linings. And we all know a really comfortable helmet is safer than one thats not comfortable.
:thumb:
 

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Unfortuately, price has very little to do with the actual cost of designing, manufacturing or testing helmets. Over 1/2 of the cost of helmets covers the company's product liability insurance thanks to a landmark case in California several years ago (that essentially ended the Bell Helmet company). This liability insurance is based on an actuarial formula factored on the units projected retail selling price, so the higher the retail price, the larger the ticket for insurance.

I guess a few people have not read the detail in my post above, as my primary comment regarded the lining material and construction differences between the HJC and other brands. I have all of my crashed helmets looked at by the manufacturer and according to Bell (they were the actual seller), the lining failed after the first impact allowing free movement within the shell. If you take a cross section of different helmet linings you should see a sandwich of progressively softer materials going from the shell to the interior. Upon impact the outer shell should fracture and absorb the first 60% to 75% of the force, while each layer of the liner is supposed to crush progressively further reducing the amount of energy transferred to your head.

Based on the number of contacts and whatever measurements they made, they stated that the lining should never have compressed as much as it did and offered to replace the helmet at no charge (which I declined). Interestingly, Bell began to source their helmets from AGV the following season, so I would guess I wasn't the only one with problems.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
abtech said:
I have crash dummy (that's me) tested at least 7 helmets (not counting the ones that were only "scuffed"). Basically, I found that the difference in lining materials has a huge effect on whether or not you can speak again after crashing. My one "cheapy" helmet that I owned was one of the newer Bell's which was made by HJC and presented as their "top of the line" offering. It was only 100 bucks or so less than the ARAI it replaced, but believe me after crashing at around 80 or so and rolling head over heels for about 200 yards, the difference in "the system" became readily apparent when I sustained 2 concussions and lost a major portion of 3 teeth in the process. I have crashed in Shoeis, Arais, AGVs, original Bells and this HJC/Bell and although the impact was the slightest with the HJC unit, the damage was the worst.

Don't believe the rhetoric, you just plain get what you pay for . . .
For a couple of years I had always wanted an Arai, but couldn't bring myself to pay $700 for a helmet. After all, that would buy a lot of other stuff, huh? But last year I found an awesome deal at an event, and just couldn't pass it up. Man, was I happy. I finally had my Arai. Then in June I, like you, became my own crash dummy. As my remember, my head was the first thing to hit the pavement, followed by what seemed like 5-6 seconds of pure Hell while I was flipping and rolling. After it was all said and done, my helmet was destroyed. It had a huge chunk of the shell missing in the rear, and the visor looked like it had survived a blast from a 12ga. I realize that any injury can happen no matter what type or brand of gear is being used. However, after realizing what had happened to me, I believe I was spared any head trauma because of my Arai, and the quality and protection it offers.

I truly believe you get what you pay for. There are some things in which you can save money by buying another brand, and this applies to all things in life. For me though, I will never try to save some money or buy cheap when it comes to a potential life saving device.

:twocents:
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
929hit said:
Arai Quantum/f is around $300 right??? what are you guys talking about? $600!! :idunno:
fivestar said:
For a couple of years I had always wanted an Arai, but couldn't bring myself to pay $700 for a helmet.
Aflaaaaaac!!!!! what are you guys talking about, Arai's best helmet w/ new graphics at suggested retail???
 

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abtech said:
Unfortuately, price has very little to do with the actual cost of designing, manufacturing or testing helmets. Over 1/2 of the cost of helmets covers the company's product liability insurance thanks to a landmark case in California several years ago (that essentially ended the Bell Helmet company). This liability insurance is based on an actuarial formula factored on the units projected retail selling price, so the higher the retail price, the larger the ticket for insurance.

I guess a few people have not read the detail in my post above, as my primary comment regarded the lining material and construction differences between the HJC and other brands. I have all of my crashed helmets looked at by the manufacturer and according to Bell (they were the actual seller), the lining failed after the first impact allowing free movement within the shell. If you take a cross section of different helmet linings you should see a sandwich of progressively softer materials going from the shell to the interior. Upon impact the outer shell should fracture and absorb the first 60% to 75% of the force, while each layer of the liner is supposed to crush progressively further reducing the amount of energy transferred to your head.

Based on the number of contacts and whatever measurements they made, they stated that the lining should never have compressed as much as it did and offered to replace the helmet at no charge (which I declined). Interestingly, Bell began to source their helmets from AGV the following season, so I would guess I wasn't the only one with problems.
so if I understand that insurance thing correctly the higher they list the price as the more they pay for insurance? that can't be right.

The way I look at bell helmets is this, they sell them in JC Whitney, thats enough of a reason for me not to buy one. I guess the nascar ones must be decent enough since a lot of them wear them but its not like their head ever hits the ground. I don't blame you for not wanting a free one, who would take another chance after it failing that bad.

I still think a mid-high end helmet from a good manufacturer such as Shoei or Arai or Suomy will offer the same protection as their top of the line helmet. Look at teh Suomy Spec 1r and Spec 1r Extreme, the extreme is over another $100 but its not gonna protect you any better in a crash than the regular but it offers better ventilation and I guess a more expensive color/paint scheme. When you start to get into the really high priced helmets you're now paying for a lot of creature features. When I told my parents I paid $430 for a helmet my father called me nuts, so I told him this one is more aerodynamic, fits better, is lighter and has better ventilation then my old helmet (HJC CS12 I think it was) and thereby produces less neck strain and fatigue so this helmet is actually safer in terms of just riding not even how it takes an impact. So a good helmet is worth its weight in gold as the saying goes (with how little some helmets weight thats not much gold nowadays though)
 

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The way it was explained to me is that a helmet that costs 100.00 to manufacturer (and would probably carry a 250.00 non-insured retail pricetag to maintain manufacturer and distribution profits) would cost 250.00 in product liability insurance based on their carrier's weighting. This is approximate for a "good quality" helmet.

Now take a helmet that costs 25.00 to manufacture and carries a 150.00 non-insured retail pricetag. The actual retail price would have to include another 75.00 to defray the cost of product liability. Here is your garden variety Chinese knockoff. Some very good looking helmets cost less than 10.00 to manufacture based on production techniques etc.

FYI, Bell Helmets used to be the absolute best money could buy. In the mid 70's, no one even heard of ARAI, Shoei and only a couple of racers actually used AGV. Fast forward to some bereaved parents who took Bell Helmets to court because their 16 year old son hit a tree at 125 mph and was subsequently killed and the court awarded the family more than 5 times the gross worth of Bell and it's subsidiaries. The ruling stated that regardless of what the manufacturer may say, write or advertise, the buyer has a reasonable expectation that a safety helmet should protect them under even the most extreme circumstances. This wording has changed a bit over the years, but essentially helmet manufacturers have to fund their own insurance pool, thus the incredible increase in cost for a good helmet.

Think whatever you like, but I am willing to pay for the track record of a Shoei, ARAI or AGV.
 
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