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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it is time to get another helmet for 2023. I rode for 35 years on the street and only had one moderate crash and one very low speed low-side. I have now been doing track days for two years and have had one crash. I expect to crash again at some point.

So, it is hard to justify a 1000 dollar helmet for track days and maybe one or two races per year. There is a good chance I will have to replace it in any given year.

Must be Snell rated for the occasional WERA race. I am thinking HJC (if Snell or ECE rated), or maybe another 200 to 400 dollar helmet. Saw a Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Helmet - Solid for 399.00 recently DOT&ECE approved.

Would welcome comments and suggestions from all you track day / racing junkies!
 

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There’s an old saying that goes something like “if your head is only worth $200 then a $200 helmet will do”.

If you plan to ride on track or race get a Snell rated helmet. Personally, I will not put my head in a plastic helmet.
 

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I’m helmet shopping as well. There are a lot of great helmets out there. I look for ECE approval, but within that range there are a ton of options. From there as you know, fit is huge. I've heard great things about the Scorpion EXO-R1. In a similar price point is the HJC RPHA 11. I ran that for the past 5 years on both street track and it's been excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I’m helmet shopping as well. There are a lot of great helmets out there. I look for ECE approval, but within that range there are a ton of options. From there as you know, fit is huge. I've heard great things about the Scorpion EXO-R1. In a similar price point is the HJC RPHA 11. I ran that for the past 5 years on both street track and it's been excellent.
RPHA is what I have had the last two years as well, but it is getting kind of beaten up at this point. It has been a great helmet for me also. Had a Shark before, and it was bad to whistle when you turn your head. Scared me pretty good the first few times it happened. I thought someone was right on me blowing a horn. Don't want that annoyance on the track.

I may go with another RPHA, but the model lineup has changed a little bit so I need to see what the ratings are for them. I used to be a Shoei guy, but when/if I take a several day ride somewhere, the pressure point on my upper forehead from the Shoeis gets very aggravating. Just not my head shape I guess. Plus, Shoei and Arai are just so expensive now.

It is hard to justify a 1000 to1500 dollar helmet. When I used one of my helmets for 10 years on the street, not so bad, but for track use, I don't anticipate using the same helmet for more than two years. $1000 / 10 years is $100 per year. $1000 / 2 years is $500 per year. If there are good, safe helmets for $400, then my annual budget for helmet works out to be $200/year. So the question comes down to what you get for double, or triple the price. Is it double/triple the protection, or is it more about features, comfort, better setup for audio or what? My gut feeling is that any helmet that scores well on the Sharp tests and gets Snell approval is probably good enough, but, that is just a guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
as well, but it is getting kind of beaten up at this point. It has been a great helmet for me also. Had a Shark before, and it was bad to whistle when you turn your head. Scared me pretty g
There’s an old saying that goes something like “if your head is only worth $200 then a $200 helmet will do”.

If you plan to ride on track or race get a Snell rated helmet. Personally, I will not put my head in a plastic helmet.
@Duckman - I am old enough to remember when the saying involved 100 dollars. :)
 

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This will be an unpopular post:

Yes, there was a Bell Helmets ad - "If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet". I still have a Bell Vest from that era.
The truth is today we have better materials and better testing and no $10 helmets.

I've crashed with a cheap open face helmet, and while I was hurt real bad, and thrown 20 feet in the air, my melon survived intact. And I've crashed wearing helmets from both mid-level and premium. I've never had a concussion. I buy SNELL rated helmets, which are required for many racing orgs, and have helmets from $80 to $800 (SNELL SA helmet for my fire suit).

The reason I never had a concussion is the helmets have never come off. That is the biggest problem today, the helmet coming off on impact and the second hit does you in. Don't trust quick releases, only D-rings. The helmet needs to be snug with the chin strap tight. Impacts will knock your shoes and gloves off sometimes, but don't let one knock your helmet off.

Any full face, DOT (or prefer SNELL) with D-Rings that fits snug and you keep the chin tight is going to be adequate IMO.
 

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It is hard to justify a 1000 to1500 dollar helmet. When I used one my helmets for 10 years on the street, not so bad, but for track use, I don't anticipate using the same helmet for more than two years. 1000 / 10 years is 100 per year. 1000 / 2 years is 500 per year. If there are good, safe helmets for 400, then my annual budget for helmet works out to be 200/year. So the question comes down to what you get for double, or triple the price. Is it double/triple the protection, or is it more about features, comfort, better setup for audio or what. My guess is that any helmet that scores well on the Sharp tests and gets Snell approval is probably good enough, but, that is just a guess.
As a novice rider that puts out less than 400 miles in a year in my bike, for now 😉, @Flash Bantam pretty much was on point. 🤷

I own an Arai top of the line skull cap and I know that the top sharp end of the pointy knife pro riders wear this helmet.

The same holds true for the rest of my gear, top of the line, and all the above is what saved me from my recent crash at CMP.

Yeah the helmet got scratched and passed tech after inspection and the rest of the gear was all minor damage.

Don't skimp out.
Why you're even changing your helmet every 2 years is beyond me. 🤔
Get the best you can afford. Save for it or do a 6 month same as cash like I did with alot of my gear buying.

Good luck in your season next year and listen to what enthusiasts and pros say alike. 🤙
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@misnblu - Regarding the two year estimate. Things happen. Wind blew my RPHA off a table causing it to drop on the asphalt from a table at the track this year. Plus I crashed once in it at the track - It did it's job but has a little road rash. I doubt it would pass race tech, but even if it does, I've always heard that it is highly recommended to replace after a crash.

With the number of track days I am doing and the plans for racing a couple tracks in 2023, I figure two years is a long time to go without a crash. I rode about 2000 miles on track this year.
 

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I am a Scorpion man, I have about 6 or 7 of them. The latest are the 2 EXO R-1 air.
I too have been a recent Scorpion convert for now. Last two, or thee have been Scorpions. So 8-10 years ish. All of them are ECE and DOT, as well as most of the affordable ones are FIM as well. You can even find the Carbon ones very affordable compared to others carbon lines.

I have a friend who is a Canadian SBK rider and he is sponsored by them and some of the stuff they have and do has made me impressed with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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After trying multiple helmets over the years, I landed on the HJC RPHA 11 Pro. Comfy, great field of view (I still have to add additional top pads to see no matter the helmet), and while definetely don't do this, I'm guilty of reusing across multiple crashes. On my second one now, and my first one still just looks like it was dropped in the paddock mostly, despite touching the ground 2-3 times in crashes. Just swapped to the tinted visor for it and that was it (ruined the clear with pinlock). Again though, if your helmet touches the ground in a crash, do as I say, not as I do, replaced your helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After trying multiple helmets over the years, I landed on the HJC RPHA 11 Pro. Comfy, great field of view (I still have to add additional top pads to see no matter the helmet), and while definetely don't do this, I'm guilty of reusing across multiple crashes. On my second one now, and my first one still just looks like it was dropped in the paddock mostly, despite touching the ground 2-3 times in crashes. Just swapped to the tinted visor for it and that was it (ruined the clear with pinlock). Again though, if your helmet touches the ground in a crash, do as I say, not as I do, replaced your helmet.
I agree in principle, and certainly encourage others to do the same. But full disclosure... I finished out this year without changing helmets. The crash was a relatively low speed "lowside".

I am leaning toward the RPHA11Pro as well. Thankfully I prefer solid white, and solid is cheaper.
 

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I agree in principle, and certainly encourage others to do the same. But full disclosure... I finished out this year without changing helmets. The crash was a relatively low speed "lowside".

I am leaning toward the RPHA11Pro as well. Thankfully I prefer solid white, and solid is cheaper.
Yeah if you like just black or white, usually saves about $100. I like my colors though, not enough color in gear these days. None of my crashes were low sides unfortunately, and if you look closely you can see the damage from the first crash. The second crash just tapped my helmet and broke a visor tab (replaceable piece screwed onto the RPHA 11 pro that holds the visor, which I replaced), visor was fine and only a slight scrape of paint on the helmet. The last crash was an endo at 80mph, that one scraped my visor on the ground, so I just swapped to the tinted visor after that. It's currently now my street helmet, since I rarely ride the street ever, but I'm looking to get a new HJC RPHA 11 Pro so I have a fresh one just laying around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Best price I have seen in U.S. is $324.99. I called the vendor's tech line to inquire about year of manufacture. Waiting to hear back. WERA rules don't allow helmets older than 5 years, and I think these first came out in 2017. So better do my due diligence.

Vendor called back. The units they have were manufactured this year per date code in the helmet.
 

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Best price I have seen in U.S. is $324.99. I called the vendor's tech line to inquire about year of manufacture. Waiting to hear back. WERA rules don't allow helmets older than 5 years, and I think these first came out in 2017. So better do my due diligence.
Does WERA tech your helmet? If not then probably doesn't matter too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@NinjaBraap - Not sure, just got my racer's "permit" this year and don't plan to race till 2023. But their rule book says they look at your helmet and put their own sticker on it before each race. From their website:

10. Riders clothing and protective requirements:
a) All WERA competitors must wear helmets which have a Snell ’05 thru ‘20 approval sticker, or must be BSI or ECE approved and must be in good condition (as determined by Tech) and not manufactured more than 5 years prior to the date of the event. Helmets must be taken to Technical Inspection and must display a WERA Helmet Tech decal prior to being allowed on the track. Open-faced, modular, and dirt bike helmets are not allowed.
 
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