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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone shed light on comparing an HJC IS or FS to let's say a Bell Vortex or Scorpion Exo?

What I am trying to learn is can a 175-250 helmet (like HJC) be as safe as a more expensive helmet that fits the range of 250-350?

What are the pros and cons? Is it safe to start with an HJC as my first ever helmet?

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All DOT-approved helmets are not created equal, for sure. But they all have to pass the same minimum standards, to be certified. The only differences you'll likely to notice is the quality of the visor system and headliner, and the weight of the helmet.

You probably won't go wrong, choosing the IS-Max as your first helmet (I have been using one for 2 years and like it a lot), but if I was taking a cross-country trip, I'd probably look for something lighter and quieter.
 

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I cannot compare any of those helmets to one another, but I can talk about the Bell helmets extensively. I own both a Vortex and a Star. Both are great helmets. Both vent a ton of air, both have the photochromatic shield available for them, both have quick release shields, both have removable/washable liners. Cheek pads are easily replaced to hone in the fit, just great overall helmets. The biggest difference between the two, other than the price point, is the weight, and noise level.

The Vortex, while not a heavy helmet, is a good half pound heavier than the Star. The Vortex also has a neck roll that seals around your neck, eliminating a lot of wind noise. The Star does not have this, and thus is very loud. After riding in both extensively, I can honestly say that the Star is less of a street helmet, and more of a track helmet. If I could do it over again, I'd probably get a RS-1 in place of the Star because of the noise levels. Instead I've just adjusted to wearing ear plugs.

I will also say this, I have not yet paid full price for a helmet. I've ordered both my helmets from www.sportbiketrackgear.com and both were on closeout pricing. I paid $99 for my Vortex, and $350 for my Star. I also bought a Vortex for my lady friend, and she loves it, I paid $150 for hers.
 

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Nef, in terse of safety, they will all do the job. No worries there. The extra you pay is for padding, airflow, visibility and weight. I have used a $175 HJC IS-16 for a long time. A very good bucket. Since I have been doing more riding the the original commute ride I thought I would only be doing I recently purchased A Shoei for just over $600.

Comfort and quietness is what I noticed first with my upgrade and ironically, I found the the HJC does a way better job keeping the visor clear of fog. Go figure!

The only Bell is have ordered I never wear, it is just to loud.
Blessings,
--Mark
 

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My wife has an HJC helmet. Not sure which model, but she has no complaints...I have a Scorpion EXO and love it. It's what I had when I got in my accident. Apparently I hit my head on the ground and didn't even know it until I looked at the helmet when I got home from the ER...I will forever be a fan of Scorpion bc I KNOW they work from personal experience...The helmet I was wearing when I got in my accident was out of date and had been dropped several times too and it still did the job! Glad I had it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great info, thanks guys. This helps a lot. My wife (as some might have read) is now interested in riding so, the budget has changed. I will share what I get with everyone this summer.

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I have a Scorpion EXO 700, and think it's a good helmet for the price. I've ridden with mainly Shoei helmets previously, but am satisfied with the Scorpion.

A lot of getting "the right helmet" is how it fits your head shape. They are not all the same. You really need to try each brand on to see which one fits best.
 

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I have a scorpion exo 1000 so I can tell you about that one. Has lots of features that I really like. Great ventilation, drop down internal visor, pump up cheek pads, comes with a wind skirt, has a nice aero wing, shield is super easy to change, and its pretty quiet as far as wind. Its DOT and SNELL certified and its made with a kevlar layer. The only thing I don't like is how heavy it is. As others have said, its more about fit than price. An $80 helmet will protect you just like a $600 helmet as long as its DOT certified and it fits properly. I have a really hard time fitting helmets. I can only wear scorpion or shoei. The exo 400 is a really nice helmet for a decent price, provided it fits you. Try everything on! that's the best advice I can give you.
 

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About fit: When I buy a new helmet, I find a lid I like, put it on, and wear it around the shop for about 20min, sitting on bikes, surveying other apparel and things. Some people look at you weird, but at this shop, the apparel guy recommended I do it, and have been doing it ever since.... It will show you if there are any hotspots. Pay particular attention to how your forehead feels. Also, cheek bones and where the straps fits under your chin.
 

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Has anyone ever asked their local shop if they can leave a credit card there while they take the helmet for a short spin? I did this with my not so local dealer and they were more than happy to do it. I took out 3 different helmets before finally deciding on my bell vortex. I chose that one for the ventilation over the others. I sweat like a whore in church in any temp above freezing and that helmet is awesome above 35mph or so. I didn't think about doing it, but the dealership where I got my bike and new gear actually suggested it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That is an awesome suggestion, glad you brought it up. When it's time I will do that.

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