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Old 09-05-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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Question Helmets (yes, I searched)

So, I am updating my safety equipment in preparation for a big boy track versus the "mini roadcourse / fast autocross" tracks I have mostly run on. I've got some 6-point harnesses (camlock, pull-down, FIA & SFI rated, clip-in with eyebolts) on order, Sparco seats to accomodate them and need to update my helmet. I've been running the same motorcycle helmet since the days of Clinton being acquitted for impeachment so I need to step up to an SA2010 option.

Having searched, I'm wondering if there's any glaring defects with this Pyrotect Pro AirFlow? At just over 3 pounds and just under $300, it seems like a nice balance of price and weight.

I do not plan to initially run a head-and-neck restraint, but like the flexibility to add one later. This helmet can be ordered pre-drilled for post clips or can have the post clips already installed for an additional $85.

Does that seem like a worthwhile upgrade or would it make more sense to wait until I actually buy a HNR?
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
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One glaring defect is that it may or may not fit your head. I tried on a dozen helmets (literally a dozen, the sales guy was getting angry at me) before I bought the Arai GP5K I have now. You really need to try on the helmet before you buy it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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One glaring defect is that it may or may not fit your head. I tried on a dozen helmets (literally a dozen, the sales guy was getting angry at me) before I bought the Arai GP5K I have now. You really need to try on the helmet before you buy it.
Right; I should have added that caveat. I'm still trying to find some place relatively local that carries a decent selection of SA helmets. Several people recommended Wine Country Motorsports, but that's about a 6-7 hour round trip shopping experience.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #4
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I had a real hard time finding a place to try anything on locally. I gave OG Racing a call and talked to a helpful salesman and we worked over the phone discussing head shapes and sizes and came up with a best guess. It ended up working out just fine but if not I could have lived with their return policy. FWIW I got an HJC AR-10 II. It's a nice middle of the road shape and pretty good features for the price point.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #5
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I have 2 Pyrotect helmets(SA 2000/2010) and like them but even though the same size they changed them slightly and the new one is slightly looser than the older one.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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I picked up my Pyrotect from Apex Performance. They were willing to spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with me discussing head/face shape and size, and we were able to nail it on the first try. I don't think they carry Pyrotect any more, but if you consider another brand give them a shot.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:37 PM   #7
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I wore a Simpson bandit for years until the Snell expired. Then, after winning our national championship I got a GeForce helmet for free. It is actually a very nice helmet, it is comfy, and came predrilled for my hans anchors
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:39 PM   #8
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They only way you will know is to try them all on. I went in thinking that I was going to buy one helmet and it fit poorly. A friend of mine has that same helmet and fits him well. You would be doing yourself a disservice by not doing so.

Call around to all the performance shops in your area and they will point you in the right direction.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:28 AM   #9
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They only way you will know is to try them all on.
+1. I walked into Wine Country at Infineon last year expecting to replace my SA00 Bell with an SA05 Bell, only to discover that none of the SA05 Bell helmets fit my head.

The most important thing is forehead pressure - the slightest, tiniest pinch when you put the helmet on will be a throbbing headache in 30 minutes. The best way is to actually wear it for 10 or 15 minutes to be sure.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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You can at least get an idea. Have a round head, look at bell or pyrotech. Have a long narrow head, look at simpson or impact, have something in between look at rci or hjc. Theres more generalizations like that but I just dont know them. Like others have said, you need to try them on.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #11
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Definitely try them on. I wore one of sixshooter's spares to ride passenger with him at Sebring and it was putting slightly to much pressure on my temples and forhead. It felt completely fine at first but I had a huge headache after the first session. Near the end of the second 20 minute session I was having trouble keeping my eyes open and staying focused.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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The problem I ran in to with my new GeForce Eliminator is the way it sits. The helmet has a higher neck line than my old Bell M4 did. So when wearing the helmet, it feels like the neck isn't covered. The helmet extends lower in the front of the helmet as well. To me it is comfortable, just took a while to get used to. But best of all, it was won as an award from competing in OneLapofAmerica, so cost was 0.

-Greer
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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What are the major differences between an Automotive racing helmet and a motorcycle helmet? Flame retardation?
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #14
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SA normally denotes that its flame retardant but theoretically SA helmets are designed to take a bunch of smaller impacts (aka banging your head off of **** while the car it flipping and rolling) vs a M helmet which is theoretically designed to take one or two big impacts (aka your head hitting the pavement after some bitch in an expedition cuts you off).
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:02 AM   #15
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I have that Pyrotect and stopped wearing it after a couple of seasons. The helmet was comfortable on my head. I really liked the removable liner, and washed it out often (it is amazing how much crud apparently leaks out of my head when I'm sweating my *** off in the car).

The problem with the Pyrotect helmet was its build quality. The crappy foam weather-strip like liner around the opening, which is supposed to seal the shield to the helmet when closed, lifted and flew off after just a few uses. The metal screens in the air flow ports became loose and the ones at the mouth opening always seemed to find a way to expose a sharp edge to nick my hand and/or chin. The non-removeable part of the liner became loose, and would flop around, making it kind of a PITA to put the helmet on without that pad moving.

I stopped using the Pyrotect after I got a package deal on a new cf HJC helmet and HANS. The HJC is awesome. Light and comfortable and with a removable liner. The HJC liner is also softer and more comfortable than the padding in the Pyrotect helmet, though after 2 seasons the HJC padding shows a bit more padding than the Pyrotect. Most of the abuse is a result of the frequent washes. Other than that, the build quality of the HJC has been absolutely awesome.

A friend has the same HJC helmet but the fiberglass version. That would be my pick if I were looking for a helmet priced similarly to the Pyrotect.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:13 AM   #16
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wildo - Thanks for the feedback on the Pyrotect build quality. For what it's worth, the model I linked to specifically has a rubber seal where there used to be foam - probably because of complaints like yours.


You guys are killing me with the "try on a dozen helmets and wear each one for 20 minutes" concensus. There is apparently a motorcycle-oriented shop in town that carries a ton of helmets, but their selection of automotive helmets is quite thin. Helmet Shop. I did find a place in town that I think stocks the Pyrotect Airflow SA2010 so I will try to wear that one for a while and hope I get lucky with the first option I try on.

Someone has recommended I go in and try on a bunch of the motorcycle helmets, then order an SA2010 version of the same brand but I am not sure how good a proxy that is going to be.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Someone has recommended I go in and try on a bunch of the motorcycle helmets, then order an SA2010 version of the same brand but I am not sure how good a proxy that is going to be.
Not very. The two are designed completely differently, so shell size/thickness, liner thickness, etc is going to be fairly different. Eyeport design and size is very different on a moto helmet as well.

Its kind of like hoping a size 9 Nike will fit like a size 9 Rockport.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #18
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Not very. The two are designed completely differently, so shell size/thickness, liner thickness, etc is going to be fairly different. Eyeport design and size is very different on a moto helmet as well.

Its kind of like hoping a size 9 Nike will fit like a size 9 Rockport.
To clarify, the shop stocks Arai, HJC, Bell, etc motorcycle helmets and can order automotive helmets from the same brands. I would think it's more like hoping a size 9 Nike basketball shoe will fit like a size 9 running shoe? Again, probably not a lot better than wrapping a tape measure around my head and ordering something from the internet.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #19
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Near the end of the second 20 minute session I was having trouble keeping my eyes open and staying focused.
Some of that was probably my driving.

I figured that helmet was going to be a bit small for you. It is a large and it is too small for me, and you have a pretty good sized noggin.

I have had two HJC's and now have a Zamp SA2010 helmet and they do all fit differently.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #20
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I guess the fact that I line up almost exactly at the margin of the Medium/Large portion of the Pyrotect sizing chart is one more argument for going and trying them on. :-/
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