Full-face helmet recommendations for claustrophobic rider
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Hooked
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:31 am quote
I plan to ride my scooter into the colder months here in the northeast. I have always worn a 3/4 helmet because full-face helmets make me feel too closed in. I'm thinking a full-face would help with the cold. Are there any full- face helmets with enough visibility to help reduce that closed in feeling? Also, since cost is a factor, any new helmet would need stay within a few hundred dollars.
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:37 am quote
Consider a modular (aka 'flip-front') helmet. You can open it up as if it was an open-face at city speeds, it makes putting it on a doddle especially if you wear glasses, they often come with sun-visors and some have just a thin removable chin-bar rather than a fixed one.

One thing though, if you're going to be riding when there's a chance of visor-misting due to cold and damp, ensure your helmet is 'Pinlock' capable, and factor in the extra $35 or so for a Pinlock visor insert.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:40 am quote
Irene, its pretty difficult to recommend helmets since evryones head is shaped a bit different. You might try one of the motorcycle Superstores (if there is one close) where you can try on many different brands.

Also, you might try a flip helmet. The advantage is that, at a stop, or even at a traffic light (hot weather?), you can raise the front of the helmet.

There are lots a high quality helmets in your price range. Be aware that if you desire one with a Snell rating the cost may be quite a bit higher. For me this particular rating is not significant, but others might/will disagree. There are three main rating systems (independent of each other). DOT, Snell, and ECE (Europe). The attached article might help if you are interested.

http://silodrome.com/snell-vs-dot-vs-ece-r22-05-helmet-standards-throwdown/


PS, I have a "neanerthal " shaped head, and currently wear a Shoei GT Air, which I love. I think I have maybe 15 older helmets, various brands/styles in the garage. Not sure why I keep them.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:44 am quote
I am a big fan of the Nolan N43e or N44 helmet with chin bar. It provides a much wider opening to avoid the claustrophobic feel of many full face helmets. Also protects your face - a good thing. Much lighter than the modular. Good visor and sunscreen. And it comes with a pinlock, which is a big plus in cold or wet weather.

Nolan N43.jpg

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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:45 am quote
A modular (flip-up) helmet may help you adjust to the face shield and chin bar of a full-face helmet. You could flip it up at a stop, but the visibility is going to be the same as a full helmet when closed.

If you want to stay with a 3/4 style, check out a Scorpion CT-220. The face shield is larger than most and drops down below the chin. I have one of those and I think that with the top vents closed it's warmer (and quieter) than some full helmets I've had.
Hooked
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:48 am quote
Thank you to both of you. I will definitely look into the flip/modular style helmet.
Hooked
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:51 am quote
Thank you everyone - all this information helps!
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:08 am quote
As much as I like my modular (it's called xpeed or something?) it's not simple to flip the whole thing up at a traffic light. It's latched, and to unlatch it takes a little dexterity and a firm tug downward to release the latch. I usually just open the shield at lights because I'm focused on keeping my "slightly too big for me" scooter upright. I'd also be worried about riding and trying to make sure it's properly latched while riding off.

I like the convenience of not taking my helmet off at a quick gas stop, and to flip it up before I get on my scoot.... not to mention it's soooo much easier to get my glasses on with the helmet.[/url]
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:20 am quote
My wife will not wear a FF helmet. She has a 3/4 Arai "XC," which features an extended-length Pinlock face shield. Also, this helmet features "brow vents" at the top of the shield for extra ventilation during those hot summer months.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:32 am quote
Larrytsg wrote:
As much as I like my modular (it's called xpeed or something?) it's not simple to flip the whole thing up at a traffic light. It's latched, and to unlatch it takes a little dexterity and a firm tug downward to release the latch. I usually just open the shield at lights because I'm focused on keeping my "slightly too big for me" scooter upright. I'd also be worried about riding and trying to make sure it's properly latched while riding off.
Larry-

I would suggest that this latching difficulty might be a problem with your particular brand/model of modular. My wife and I both wear Caberg Kondas, and they are quite easy to latch and unlatch. And they scored very well on SHARP's latch security tests.

That said, yes, it is also easy to lift the clear shield shield when stopped, and since my Caberg has a second, tinted visor, in hot weather, I generally leave the clear shield up and only use the tinted one to get more air circulation.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:05 am quote
Hi Irene, I also have experienced a claustrophobic feeling when trying on full face helmets, but recently replaced my Shoei open face helmet with a flip front AGV Compact helmet. This feels quite "roomy" when worn in full face mode, and can also be used while riding (here in the UK), with the front flipped up, as the flip portion can be locked in the open position. The visor can be opened slightly for extra ventilation if required, and it has an internal flip down tinted visor for bright weather. Try on a flip front (modular) helmet if you can , you may be pleasantly surprised.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:05 am quote
I, too, had a claustrophobia issue with a full face helmet. The worst part was just as I shoved my head in it - where the padding around the bottom squeezed onto my temple area. I got a slightly larger helmet and found if I shut my eyes, tugged it open at the bottom and put it on quickly I could cope. Once it was on the feeling of panic subsided.

I keep the visor open unless I am moving.

Claustrophobia is the fear of not having an escape route. I guess so long as I am peeking out the front I am OK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claustrophobia


It is not the fear of Father Christmas.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:27 am quote
Raputtak wrote:
I, too, had a claustrophobia issue with a full face helmet. The worst part was just as I shoved my head in it - where the padding around the bottom squeezed onto my temple area. I got a slightly larger helmet and found if I shut my eyes, tugged it open at the bottom and put it on quickly I could cope. Once it was on the feeling of panic subsided.

I keep the visor open unless I am moving.

Claustrophobia is the fear of not having an escape route. I guess so long as I am peeking out the front I am OK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claustrophobia


It is not the fear of Father Christmas.
Good observation! I never close my face shield unless it is raining or very cold (neither of occurs often here). I depend on the windshield and sunglasses to protect my eyes.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:42 am quote
I have the exact Nolan that dooglas posted. Great helmet, but somewhat noisy. An added plus is that it comes with a visor you can attach in place of the shield. Great for nice weather. Also flip down sun shade. Never feel closed up in that helmet.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:38 pm quote
Just picked this up. Maximum visibility for a full face, or 3/4 as desired. Multiple configurations an added bonus. Similar to the N43/N44 but a little less aggressive styling. $250, but only available with the chin guard in Europe.

nolan n40.jpg

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Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:42 pm quote
I use one of these when it gets cold. Yea I know I'm in Florida.

X0010.jpg

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Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:52 pm quote
gitder wrote:
Just picked this up. Maximum visibility for a full face, or 3/4 as desired. Multiple configurations an added bonus. Similar to the N43/N44 but a little less aggressive styling. $250, but only available with the chin guard in Europe.
Buy in Europe - add your own DOT sticker.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:20 pm quote
I concur with all the other poster on the modular.

I'll say that you get used to modular pretty quickly. Now I feel too exposed with a 3/4.

I have a Shoei. It has a wide open view. I don't use the face screen. I have a large wind screen cut down to meet my height. I ride as long as it's not icy. The tall windscreen keeps the wind out of your face and off your body. It takes a lot of work out of the ride, especially long, fast rides

Just my opinion.

Best
Miguel
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:03 pm quote
Dooglas wrote:
I am a big fan of the Nolan N43e or N44 helmet with chin bar. It provides a much wider opening to avoid the claustrophobic feel of many full face helmets. Also protects your face - a good thing. Much lighter than the modular. Good visor and sunscreen. And it comes with a pinlock, which is a big plus in cold or wet weather.
If the Nolan helmets fit your head then I also highly recommend the Nolan N43/N44 helmets. They have the widest field of view of any full face helmet I've ever seen/tried.

Like you I've got a tendency towards claustrophobia and fortunately a Nolan Med fits me perfectly. I've owned both and prefer the N44 because of the vent in the face shield. That vent combined with the pinlock that comes with the helmet has kept me fog free in the 20s in Colorado While the extra airflow from being able to crack the face shield is a godsend during Houston summers.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:04 pm quote
Helmet
I just got a AGV K3 Sunvisor model
Reasonably priced and has sunvisor
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:34 pm quote
Shoei. Showy? ShowI? ShowE-I? ShowA? Or something else?
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:08 pm quote
Syd wrote:
Shoei. Showy? ShowI? ShowE-I? ShowA? Or something else?
Shoo-E? Shoo-eye? Show-eye? Show-A-E?
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Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:19 am quote
bagel wrote:
Syd wrote:
Shoei. Showy? ShowI? ShowE-I? ShowA? Or something else?
Shoo-E? Shoo-eye? Show-eye? Show-A-E?
Choo choo ch boogie.
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Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:21 am quote
Syd wrote:
Shoei. Showy? ShowI? ShowE-I? ShowA? Or something else?
The good folks on the other end of the phone answer "Show" (rhymes with {dog} "chow") "Uhhh."

Everyone in Oklahoma pronounces it "Show" (rhymes with "blow") "Eeeee," but we're all hicks........
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Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:28 am quote
Full-face plus windscreen?
I have an HJC CL-17 full-face, and though I'm not claustrophobic, I do like good ventilation and a little breeze. My scooter came to me with a tall windscreen, and so far I've left it on. I ride with the visor up, since the windscreen pretty much blocks any debris (though I do wear impact-rated wrap-around glasses) and cuts any wind to almost nothing. Might be something to try if you're okay in the helmet with the visor up.

As an aside, I imagine one is at least slightly less safe in an accident with the visor up, does anyone have any experience or data on this?

-brian
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:50 am quote
Re: Full-face plus windscreen?
brian_m wrote:
As an aside, I imagine one is at least slightly less safe in an accident with the visor up, does anyone have any experience or data on this?

-brian
Visor does not have an effect on impact protection as such, but of course protecs eyes from loose/pointy objects.

Some cheap flip-ups may give poorer impact protection than full-face helmets, especially the "joint" of the flip-up part and the helmet body can be a weak part. And of course, the chin protection should be in place when riding.

As a rule of thumb, the actual helmet body material matters a lot - fiber glass as a "woven" material handles the impacts better, but is more expensive. Plastics are cheaper, but more difficult to make equally protective. So I would stay clear from cheap helmets that are not made withh fiber glass.
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:01 am quote
As suggested before a flip seems like a good idea ..i would say don't skimp on the money if you can as you tend to get what you pay for in lids ..other considerations are wide visors i believe shark do one with an extra large type visor ..also consider adventure style lids as the chin bar if further away giving a less restrictive feel ..Examples below

product_image_115_2_12_9_49_53.jpg

maxresdefault.jpg

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Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:09 am quote
Comfort is very important and will help you avoid that claustrophopia. Please take a look at webbikeworld.com for information on helmet and head shapes. Once there you can review almost all the decent helmets on the market.

Not having a match of helmet to head shape will cause a loose fit or tight in some areas resulting in hot spots. Anything that causes you to think about the helmet distracts from attention that should be given to riding. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good fit.

When people on forums recommend particular models, that should be taken with a grain of salt. There are many really great lids that I would like to try but I know they will not fit--therefore are not candidates.

Finally there are plenty of vendors that allow free exchanges for size or fit. If you do your homework on shape you can narrow down choices. Once you have that spiffy new helmet, wear it in your house for 20-30 minutes minimum. You will know pretty fast if it is comfortable.

I have learned the hard way and am glad to pass on the advice.
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:42 am quote
yes yes no
a. Agree. I was surprised at the number of flip-up helmet failures listed on the SharpUK testing site. Yikes!

b. Agree. Flip it down!

c. Uh!? There are lots of very safe "plastic", non-woven helmets out there, and some of them are not expensive at all. You might be surprised how many helmets are not fiberglass. The quality of material and the design of the shock absorbing material under the shell is maybe even more important.
RRider wrote:
Some cheap flip-ups may give poorer impact protection than full-face helmets, especially the "joint" of the flip-up part and the helmet body can be a weak part. And of course, the chin protection should be in place when riding.

As a rule of thumb, the actual helmet body material matters a lot - fiber glass as a "woven" material handles the impacts better, but is more expensive. Plastics are cheaper, but more difficult to make equally protective. So I would stay clear from cheap helmets that are not made with fiber glass.
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:38 am quote
Having worked in the industry I would steer clear of plastic helmets
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:07 pm quote
Mr fish wrote:
Having worked in the industry I would steer clear of plastic helmets
That was largely my sentiment 40-plus years back when I got my first helmet for off-road riding, but I've been doing a decent amount of research since deciding to motorize (Vespasize?) myself again, and it seems the chasm of 'glass vs. plastic isn't quite as vast as it was back then. Simply paying more for a brain bucket doesn't seem an absolute given either, especially given the info from the 2009 NYT piece (sublink provided via gregbenner) highlighting a study where an $80 helmet outperformed a $400 helmet, among 31 others in the test.

Not that I'd heedlessly go bargain-hunting when it comes to keeping one's head from harm, of course, but it appears the devil truly is in the details. At the moment, I'm tilting strongly towards a modular helmet of some sort.

Last edited by amateriat on Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:32 pm quote
...

This why we wear helmets.

scrape_helmet.jpg

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Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:46 pm quote
amateriat wrote:
Mr fish wrote:
Having worked in the industry I would steer clear of plastic helmets
That was largely my sentiment 40-plus years back when I got my first helmet for off-road riding, but I've been doing a decent amount of research since deciding to motorize (Vespasize?) myself again, and it seems the chasm of 'glass vs. plastic isn't quite as vast as it was back then. Simply paying more for a brain bucket doesn't seem an absolute given either, especially given the info from the 2009 NYT piece (sublink provided via gregbenner) highlighting a study where an $80 helmet outperformed a $400 helmet, among 31 others in the test.

Not that I'd heedless go bargain-hunting when it comes to keeping one's head from harm, of course, but it appears the devil truly is in the details. At the moment, I'm tilting strongly towards a modular helmet of some sort.
It's the way a plastic takes an impact it splits at a lower impact than composites because of the way they are woven ..but agree the plastics have moved on in leaps & bounds
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:48 pm quote
jimc wrote:
...

This why we wear helmets.
He must have slid for miles upside down
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:03 pm quote
jimc wrote:
...

This why we wear helmets.
Should have rolled.
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:25 pm quote
jimc wrote:
...

This why we wear helmets.
And to the OP, if that person were wearing a 3/4 helmet and landed on their face vs the back of their head, the helmet would probably look ok but their face would look like the back of that helmet. It was exactly that type of scenario that happened to a new client a few years ago that convinced me to get a FF. I opted for a modular flip up for all the reasons people have cited above. I bought it the very next weekend. Now I feel naked and fully exposed whenever I've ridden with a 3/4 helmet.

Just my opinion.

Best
Miguel
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:27 pm quote
jimc wrote:
...

This why we wear helmets.
Agreed. I would hope the wearer of this one emerged alive and mostly sentient?
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:32 pm quote
amateriat wrote:
jimc wrote:
...

This why we wear helmets.
Agreed. I would hope the wearer of this one emerged alive and mostly sentient?
BTW amateriat I really like your avatar.
Molto Verboso
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Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:07 am quote
Schuberth J1
Schuberth J1 - Open-Face Helmet Helmet With Chin Bar offers the protection of a full face
http://www.schuberth.com/en/motorcycle/j1.html



Last edited by TEX on Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:20 am; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
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Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:17 am quote
Shark Evoline 3
I'm a fan of the Shark Evoline 3 helmets.

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