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Old 05-13-2009, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Looking for a helmet

First track day will be next month. They require a SA2000 or higher helmet. What is the best priced helmet that you would recommend?
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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No Snell M? Brutal.

My vote would be the Simpson Diamondback.

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Old 05-13-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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No Snell M? Brutal.
No. One group requires SA2000 and the other SA95.

At the risk of many "what is your life worth?" comments, I had no plans on spending $600 on a helmet. I was assuming $300-ish. Maybe that's not a realistic budget?

I was browsing here: http://www.soloracer.com/helmettech.html Lots of options for SA2005 helmets in the $200-300 range. Even the Impact Racing SS is $369. Anyone familiar with any of the items in that price range?

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Old 05-13-2009, 11:05 AM   #4
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Pegasus has a variety of helmets in the <$300 range. Some in the open-face category are even <$200, and they're pretty much all SA2005.

Pegasus - Auto Racing Helmets & Helmet Accessories
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:41 AM   #5
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I need a new helmet too. I'm thinking about getting one of these:

I've never liked open faced helmets but this one is semi-closed, and when I'm in the car my visor's flipped up anyways.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:52 AM   #6
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I like open faced helmets and found Snell M2005 HJC brand twice for <100. The reason I bought two was because my big brain wouldn't fit in the first one. They are well built and comfortable. I always shop the clearance and discontinued sections. Good luck.

Edit: Here's a similar Snell rated HJC for $90
http://www.helmetcity.com/page/HC/PROD/cl31/cl31silver

EDIT AGAIN: No "M" ratings allowed? I missed that initially. Big money...

Last edited by sixshooter; 05-13-2009 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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Six, I had a HJC CLS M2005, and man that thing made me look like Space Ball. Very comfortable though. I sold my near mint helmet for 65 bones.

OP, are you for sure positive that they won't allow M2005? Odd that they would allow an SA95, but no M2005. Sebring allows M2005, but not SA95. For them the helmets must be 2000 or newer.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:39 PM   #9
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Dumb question that a good, long search would probably fix if I wasn't studying for my last final:

How do these ratings relate to motorcycle helmets?

I've seen some, like the Snell RZ-2 that are affordable, and rated.

I wonder how many of the other motorcycle helmets are rated, or would pass the rating if manufacturers cared to get them tested.

I have 3 helmets sitting in the garage, and assumed one of them was bound to work for track days.

As far as recommendations go, I've always had good luck with bang for the buck in MC helmets with the Icon Mainframes (thought they were squid gear but like) and the HJC CL-15 (less comfortable, but lots cheaper).

They are all only DOT and Snell certified, so I'm not sure if they can be cross certified. Any clarification on this would help. Does everyone buy car-specific helmets here?

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Old 05-13-2009, 12:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
I like open faced helmets and found Snell M2005 HJC brand twice for <100.
Yeah, that's why I asked. My AutoX lid is an M2005 open HJC that I bought from a motorcycle shop for about $100 (I think it was a CL-31).

Helmets are kinda funny in that every one fits differently. Two helmets of the same size rating, even from the same manufacturer, will feel different on your head, particularly around the temples and cheeks. If you can, going to a store to try them on is ideal. Second-best would be to order from a place with a liberal return policy. Note that on most higher-end helmets, there are several internal padding pieces which are interchangeable and come in different sizes to custom-tailor the fit.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:44 PM   #11
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I always opted for M's because they are cheaper. The SA adds fire proofing and roll bar impacts to the helmet's rating. The M2000+ helmets are usually accepted to most HPDE or track day events.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Helmets are kinda funny in that every one fits differently. Two helmets of the same size rating, even from the same manufacturer, will feel different on your head, particularly around the temples and cheeks. If you can, going to a store to try them on is ideal. Second-best would be to order from a place with a liberal return policy. Note that on most higher-end helmets, there are several internal padding pieces which are interchangeable and come in different sizes to custom-tailor the fit.
+1 Fit is KEY.


While it may be less of a factor in a car than a bike, I went through several helmets finding one that was comfortable for my 200mile daily commute on the bike.

I can only imagine a poor fitting helmet would take away from your concentration and enjoyment of a track day.

The more expensive ones are quieter, lighter and more comfortable, and you can find a sweet spot in the price range that gets you a much greater helmet for $50 more than the cheapies. In MC helmets this was in the $200-300 price point, with the really nice ones above $400.

-You will HATE a helmet that is too tight on your head, but can put up with smushed cheekedness.

-You will HATE one that has *just the wrong pitch of wind buffeting at 75mph, although this is probably less likely behind a windshield, and your speeds will be more transient on the track.

-You will HATE a helmet that is just a little to heavy, or has the bulk of the mass centered poorly and cants or rotates your head when you corner hard. Or worse (atleast on roads), will make it awkward to whip your head around checking blind spots.

Some of these things you can check in the store, some you won't know until you use it.

Although I never recommend buying a used helmet, you can sell one you don't like, and unless you find one with astounding reviews you might as well prepare too. The only helmet I every bought first time and never looked back was an Arai, and it wasn't cheap. Every other helmet change I went through involved at least two helmets, and I usually learned I should have spent just a little more. I'm not trying to pull the "what's your head worth arguement," just making sure you don't end up unhappy with a $200 helmet when you would have found bliss in a $300 one.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 96rdstr View Post
OP, are you for sure positive that they won't allow M2005? Odd that they would allow an SA95, but no M2005. Sebring allows M2005, but not SA95. For them the helmets must be 2000 or newer.

I took the info from the online tech sheet. This is for Fast Fridays at the track.

___Helmet SA2000 or newer (M rated helmets are not allowed)

FindTheLine rents the track on available Saturdays which is nice as I don't have to take off work to do it.

Their Tech Sheet says

16. HELMET: SNELL SA95 or higher rating, original certification sticker attached.

I can see SA95 over M2000. The year of the SA95 is still good until 2010. The M2000, while newer, is still a less restrictive standard.
So, I just planned onbuying a SA2005 to get the extra five years.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:04 PM   #14
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bummer.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
+1 Fit is KEY.


While it may be less of a factor in a car than a bike, I went through several helmets finding one that was comfortable for my 200mile daily commute on the bike.

I can only imagine a poor fitting helmet would take away from your concentration and enjoyment of a track day.

The more expensive ones are quieter, lighter and more comfortable, and you can find a sweet spot in the price range that gets you a much greater helmet for $50 more than the cheapies. In MC helmets this was in the $200-300 price point, with the really nice ones above $400.

-You will HATE a helmet that is too tight on your head, but can put up with smushed cheekedness.

-You will HATE one that has *just the wrong pitch of wind buffeting at 75mph, although this is probably less likely behind a windshield, and your speeds will be more transient on the track.

-You will HATE a helmet that is just a little to heavy, or has the bulk of the mass centered poorly and cants or rotates your head when you corner hard. Or worse (atleast on roads), will make it awkward to whip your head around checking blind spots.

Some of these things you can check in the store, some you won't know until you use it.

Although I never recommend buying a used helmet, you can sell one you don't like, and unless you find one with astounding reviews you might as well prepare too. The only helmet I every bought first time and never looked back was an Arai, and it wasn't cheap. Every other helmet change I went through involved at least two helmets, and I usually learned I should have spent just a little more. I'm not trying to pull the "what's your head worth arguement," just making sure you don't end up unhappy with a $200 helmet when you would have found bliss in a $300 one.


I absolutely agree.

Though sometimes a cheaper helmet may work better for your head. Best thing to do is go down to your local race shop and do some test fitting. You've got to have a **** tonne of circle track race supply shops in nebraska.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:39 PM   #16
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I absolutely agree.

Though sometimes a cheaper helmet may work better for your head. Best thing to do is go down to your local race shop and do some test fitting. You've got to have a **** tonne of circle track race supply shops in nebraska.
Yeah, Speedway Motors is huge and right here in town. I know fit is key. Prices were good, too. Impact Racing Super Sport is highly recommended. $369 elsewhere, $358 here and I can drive over and test fit.

I was more asking about which people preferred. After establishing a couple of favorites, fit would determine the winner.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:59 PM   #17
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yeah, sorry, was sure you had a good idea, just putting that out there for newbs that search.

I can't provide much input since I've only used MC helmets...but would like to know if anyone has been able to use a DOT/Snell rated helmet for events.

I'd hate to have to go back out and find another good helmet (even at $358).
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
No. One group requires SA2000 and the other SA95.
Forgive me if you already know this, but from your posts it's not obvious. Snell only updates every 5 years, and every SA rated helmet sold new today will be SA2005 because that's the most current year. The SA2010 stickers will start next year. I don't think it would even be possible to find a brand new SA95 or SA2000 helmet, and in any case you'd be a fool to pay regular price for one because "many" track groups only accept helmets with <10 year old ratings. IOW, you're good to go with SA2005 or SA2000 but SA95 is no good with a lot of organizations.

Many track groups don't accept M helmets (although they are usually accepted at autocrosses) so if you want a helmet that's good everywhere get an SA. It's been a while since I read the testing requirements but I believe one of the main differences is that SA helmets are tested for flame resistance whereas M helmets are not. Given that there is a possibility (however remote) that you could get trapped in a burning vehicle at a track day, groups want you to wear SA helmets. Being trapped in a burning wreck is obviously less of a concern with motorcycles.

You are nuts if you want to run an open face helmet on track. More than one person has needed facial reconstruction surgery specifically because of an open face helmet. There are better ways to save $100.

I have a Bell M4 because it fit my head and my budget. It was about $350. The shop did have some less expensive SA helmets but unfortunately they just didn't fit me as well. And of course they had the $$$ carbon fiber ones that felt way better, but I don't have that kind of scratch.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:24 PM   #19
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i love my zamp helmets. my buddy has discounts on them so if you want one - i can get one cheaper then retail.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:47 PM   #20
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Forgive me if you already know this, but from your posts it's not obvious. Snell only updates every 5 years, and every SA rated helmet sold new today will be SA2005 because that's the most current year. The SA2010 stickers will start next year. I don't think it would even be possible to find a brand new SA95 or SA2000 helmet, and in any case you'd be a fool to pay regular price for one because "many" track groups only accept helmets with <10 year old ratings. IOW, you're good to go with SA2005 or SA2000 but SA95 is no good with a lot of organizations.

Many track groups don't accept M helmets (although they are usually accepted at autocrosses) so if you want a helmet that's good everywhere get an SA. It's been a while since I read the testing requirements but I believe one of the main differences is that SA helmets are tested for flame resistance whereas M helmets are not. Given that there is a possibility (however remote) that you could get trapped in a burning vehicle at a track day, groups want you to wear SA helmets. Being trapped in a burning wreck is obviously less of a concern with motorcycles.

You are nuts if you want to run an open face helmet on track. More than one person has needed facial reconstruction surgery specifically because of an open face helmet. There are better ways to save $100.

I have a Bell M4 because it fit my head and my budget. It was about $350. The shop did have some less expensive SA helmets but unfortunately they just didn't fit me as well. And of course they had the $$$ carbon fiber ones that felt way better, but I don't have that kind of scratch.
Yes, I was aware of the rating years. Believe it or not, there are SA2000 still available new. I wouldn't consider them unless discounted enough to offset the loss of years.

I only put up both to show what each group mandates at a minimum so I knew I had to be SA2000 (or later).

I won't even try on the carbon fiber. Don't want to be tempted. Sure, if I was dirt track racing every Friday and Saturday, maybe. Not for what I want to do.
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