Have a quick modular helmet comparison from a man with a silly shaped head.
Since I couldn't find any helmets nearby (within 150km) that would fit, I ordered couple helmets that I couldn't find any info or reviews on, to test out.
Well, any fitting helmets might be a bit of an overstatement, but full face helmets are too claustrophobic to my taste, so I haven't tried too many of those. On the expensive end, a flip up Shoei seemed to fit, but I was rather looking for either another modular helmet, to replace my Nolan N43 Air, or an adventure type helmet. Those types and a long oval head seems to be almost an impossible combo, so I was rather surprised that both helmets I ordered fit, up to a degree at least. And since there doesn't seem to much info about either of those I thought I'll write something up.
I'll start with Airoh Executive. At around 240eur, so within the normal budget price range. I got it in the subtle hi-vis orange colour on the basis that if I'll end up owning two quite similar modular helmets, I might as well add some color to the other one.
While numbers tell the weight of it should be quite close to my Nolan, it does feel really light, which it of course is at just under 1.5kg. It's still a solid build though, having less flex with chin guard on and a bit more without it, comparing to Nolan.
And then, the honest surprise, IXS HX-145. Not much to complain with a 130eur price tag. If anything, I was expecting very little from it because of that. It's even more jack of all trades helmet, as it's still a modular helmet as well, but has adventure helmet features as well.
While it is heaviest of these three, I still wouldn't call it heavy as such. It's new enough for even the web shop I bought it from to have any info about it. But it was interesting and cheap enough to try and it sure didn't disappoint (apart from not fitting my head shape well enough). :lol:
Few variations of the whole group
Sun shade comparison. Nolan is clearly the worst here with Airoh having the best setup
And since we're talking modular, without chin guards
Like Nolan, IXS looks ridiculously large on my head, as the outer shell is quite round and I need at least an L-size helmet to fit, depending on brand. Airoh has more oval shaped outer shell as well, so it actually looks like it could be about the right size..
All three have quite thin and open lining, compared to some full face or flip up helmets I've tried and none of them have any kind of chin curtain to control noise from below the helmet.
Comparing chin guards, there are clearly different takes on the idea between these three
While Nolans take is probably the best compromise with the ease of installing and removing by feel, release button placement etc, I really like how it's done on the IXS as well. Release buttons are on the chin guard itself and are very easy to find and use and the dual layer locking guides work excellently. Airoh on the other hand is a bit fiddly, with release buttons being very small, and on the side of the helmet. So you need to pull those small buttons backwards, while simultaneously pulling the guard off. It is still usable though, but worst in this comparison.
Close up of the IXS lock and guide mechanism
And while very simple, the way it's done on Airoh and Nolan, latter pictured here
Back to the main issue of shape and fit. Nolan is a sixe XL iirc, while both Airoh and IXS are size L. And while my Nolan sort of fits, it's slightly loose from sides and if I wear it for several long days my forehead starts to bruise up. And there's no chance I can wear a hood of any kind (or longer hair). Width of the IXS is good, but it's too short as expected. Quite unfortunate, because I liked everything else about it. Surprisingly Airoh actually fit me, even if that could have slightly longer interior as well, still. But I can fit a hood there and there's no clear pressure points at least, as there usually tends to be with almost every helmet. And since I had them, I thought I'll do a quick side by side test how they fare with my bike, which would be a half faired bike that basically leaves helmet above any (or most) wind deflection.
And good news just kept on coming for the IXS. With shield up (how I like to ride whenever possible) it was the most quiet and stable helmet, with least wind swirls on the eyes. Closing the shield didn't change any of that. Up to motorway speeds it was still the most quiet out of these three and despite the sun visor very stable. Only when looking straight ahead though, it does catch wind at speed when looking to the sides.
Airoh didn't do too well in comparison, to be honest. At low speeds with shield up something made an irritating whistling noise. Nothing loud, just irritating. And at speed it was probably the noisiest when measured in dB. But frequency and the type of noise is much less irritating than what Nolan makes, which should make it easier to control.
TLDR sum up then.
-IXS HX 145 would be a great deal even with twice the price, I feel. Needs slightly less oval head than mine though.
-Airoh Executive is a better fit for me than my Nolan and I think it will stay. And dispite small technical details it feels like a solid build and looks less stupid on my head due to having more oval shell.
-Nolan N43 Air that I've had for few years now still works great as a well ventilated helmet that feels like an open helmet even with the chin guard on. But not perfect fit shape-wise to wear for longer periods.
I think the Shoei Qwest came up a couple times in this thread. I've got a short little review for it.
Picked up a gloss black one back in early April. Partly because the MSF instructor was sort of appalled at the condition of my nasty old LS2, partly because a friend of mine survived a pretty horrific crash thanks to a Shoei. Also I like that it's a low-key looking helmet. No weird angles or goofy wings. Nothing unnecessary. Paying $330 for a helmet wasn't fun. But for the most part I've been really satisfied with it.
Downsides? Airflow isn't great. Vents are small and just don't seem to do a whole lot. My $70 LS2 flowed more air. On top of that the liner isn't removable. You have to hand wash it in the helmet. Kind of a pain in the ass. Especially for a $300 helmet. And maybe I toss it around too much, but the paint on it seems to chip really easily.
Upsides? I've put like 2,500 miles on this helmet and it's still as snug as the day I bought it. Fit is perfect for my head. Wind noise is minimal. The visor mechanism is cammed so it pulls the visor against the helmet when fully closed. Visor will stay cracked open at highway speeds too. None of my cheaper helmets did that.
So again, overall I'm real happy with it. Putting on a helmet each day that doesn't feel like a nerf-padded fiberglass bucket is fucking satisfying. Now I just need to suck it up again and buy some good gloves.
After our last moto trip (which included an unexpected sandblasting while we were waiting for construction), I finally did a complete tear down of my helmet's interior and washed the pads in a bucket o' water with shampoo. Best decision ever!
All the pads dried quickly ,and all the residual dirt and grime are gone. I also went through all my vents with a cotton swab (per the helmet's manual) and cleaned out all the crunchy protein bits.
I didn't photo document the cleaning process, so instead, I have a fun pic showing the custard and raspberry jam explosions:
Yeah, I've never washed my previous helmets either, until I saw a friend dunking his Arai (shell + interior) in a bucket full of shampoo per his manual's instructions. I should have done it sooner - it's nice not having the griminess.
Aww, now I'm opposite when it comes to the visor - I was thinking about replacing mine, but then I realized, I'm due for a new helmet next year or so.
So I'm thinking about getting a new helmet. Currently I have an HJC CL 17. It's a good fit, but on the Tracer it tends to be pretty noisy. So I was looking around to get something a little higher quality. Schuberth S2 Sport came up. Anyone have an opinion on it? My primary objective is a quiet helmet and I need to fit my Sena SMH10 on it.
I've been very happy with my Shoei Neotech thus far, I found it quite a bit more silent than the cheapo helmet I had before. Though I'm not sure how it compares to other quality brands.
The Shoei Neotec is a flip-up style helmet, the GT-Air is the closed style alternative of the same helmet.
It's time for a new helmet this year. I'm thinking of going back to the Shoei RF series; I have enjoyed how light my Bell Star Carbon has been, but I sometimes get a "hot spot" on the top of my head unless I position the helmet just right. It's also a pretty loud helmet and it leaks in the rain (it's really more for a track than touring).
I like the look of the Parameter TC-2 graphics... except the damn multicam parts. I'm considering the Philosopher TC-2, or Flagger TC-1 or TC-2.
The big reason I'm looking at Shoei again is that they now have a photochromatic visor available. After having one on my Bell, I don't think I can go back..
I need to get my head in a Suomy to see how those fit. I'd want to put an Arai in the running, but they are much more expensive and they are not available with a photochromatic visor. the Suomy at least has a flip-down sun shade, not quite as good as a photochromatic since it adds weight and bulk.
Wait for a sale on Arai if the Shoeis don’t fit. I got a Multitec 2 as a gift and while I liked the idea of it, I was ready to rip it off my head after 45 minutes. I had the worst pressure on my temples, which was magnified by wearing glasses.