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My wife and I do long road trips throughout the warm months. We're coming on our 3rd summer married, and our 2nd on a Harley. (When I get to plan these trips there's stretches of several consecutive days with 6+hrs in the saddle). I have a dead center fairing with a tall windshield and fork fangs on my '05 RK Classic.

We currently both have $55 DOT approved modular helmets from Amazon. We know these are not the best option, but money was tight and at the time we were newly weds cruising on a '79 suzzi without a windshield.

My biggest issues are the cost/quality ratio, as well as cutting back on some buffeting. I get a lot of wind up around the fairing and tank, which becomes unbearable after long sessions. (I've combated this with a tall Klock Werks and the deflectors on the forks, both of which help, but not solve.... Which is a bummer, because those leathers get hotter every time I add another barrier) Once we get up to interstate speeds, my entire head just rattles from the random air movements coming around my fairing and up off my tank and legs.

We've looked at some HD branded helmets, as their conveniently displayed at 50% of our stretching breaks, but we want to make sure if we part with some money, we do it responsibly. I like the 3/4 style, as I think it would help with the noise, but she's adamant I have as much protection as she does, so full face or modular is about the only option at this point. (Her face is just too pretty to not protect, even at the cost of losing some wind in my beard).

If anyone has any advice, please let me know. We don't mind spending money on some protection, especially if it comes with an improved quality of life with the wind-noise. (Also, If you have any ideas about the awful wind situation, let me know.)

Thanks in advance.
 

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As far as helmets, I would say don't buy anything you can't try on. Shoei helmets fit my oval shaped skull. Not the cheapest but good quality.
A batwing fairing may help with wind.
Let us know if we can help you spend your money on anything else.We're pretty good at it.
 

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Check Motorcyclecloseouts.com they have Quality Helmets at Discounted Price$. I bought a Bell 3/4 there last year for $62.00.
 

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First, you and your wife should wear ear plugs for noise. Walmart sells a variety of foam disposable ones. I wear the purple quiet time ones, $8.50 for a box of 40. They have a bunch of different types, find ones that work for you and the wife (may be different for your wife). Your hearing will thank you later and it will prevent a bug (bee) from crawling into your ear should one find its way into your helmet.

Many things affect the air flow when riding, having the windshield the correct height is the most important factor, many videos & stuff out there when you Google that will help you. You want the wind to hit your helmet just above your face shield for minimal buffeting, your wife may still get caught up in the wind stream though.

Helmets; go somewhere that has them and try them on so you get a good fit. More expensive helmets generally are better with aerodynamics but can still have buffeting as most are designed to flow air without windshields. Sometimes comfort on a motorcycle is not cheap, and of course long distance just makes it more evident. Good luck and keep us informed on your choices.
 

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If you try a helmet on and it puts pressure on your forehead then you most likely have an oval shaped head.This is my experience with a couple of helmets that are for people with oval shaped heads.Shoei and Arai Signet-Q are excellent full face helmets for people with oval shaped heads.Arai seems to have a better quality liner than Shoei.The D-ring strap on the Arai is short which I don't like.
A high quality good fitting helmet is key to being able to comfortably wearing one.I personally prefer a full face helmet,especially when traveling long distances and at highway speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ElatedErieLotus

First, you and your wife should wear ear plugs for noise. Walmart sells a variety of foam disposable ones. I wear the purple quiet time ones, $8.50 for a box of 40. They have a bunch of different types, find ones that work for you and the wife (may be different for your wife). Your hearing will thank you later and it will prevent a bug (bee) from crawling into your ear should one find its way into your helmet.
Thanks for the advice, after our first 2,000+ mile trip last year, we invested in some EarPeace plugs. Little fitment issue at first, but wouldn't want to leave home without them now. What's nice about them is being able to hear the traffic but not the wind on the road, and then being able to have a conversation without yelling when we stop for gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As far as helmets, I would say don't buy anything you can't try on. Shoei helmets fit my oval shaped skull. Not the cheapest but good quality.
A batwing fairing may help with wind.
Let us know if we can help you spend your money on anything else.We're pretty good at it.
Where do you go to try on helmets? In Wisconsin we had at least 6 shops without affiliation to a brand, but PA and WV seem to be pretty limited. Would a general motorsport store have helmets designed for the safety regulations relating to interstate travel rather than dirt/track?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you try a helmet on and it puts pressure on your forehead then you most likely have an oval shaped head.This is my experience with a couple of helmets that are for people with oval shaped heads.Shoei and Arai Signet-Q are excellent full face helmets for people with oval shaped heads.Arai seems to have a better quality liner than Shoei.The D-ring strap on the Arai is short which I don't like.
A high quality good fitting helmet is key to being able to comfortably wearing one.I personally prefer a full face helmet,especially when traveling long distances and at highway speeds.
I'm not sure what shape my head would be, I'll try on a few options next time I'm at a dealership/motoshop. Thanks for the "heads" up there.

I always assumed full face would be more comfortable, but with the wind, it seems to be more bearable when I raise my modular.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
See if you have a Cycle Gear Store near you, they generally have a pretty good selection of helmets you can try on. You do not have to buy there, just see what you like. https://www.cyclegear.com/
Thanks! It looks like Pittsburgh has one, which is under 2 hours away. Wife and I might make the trip up there this weekend, see what we like. Thanks again.
 

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if you want a little day trip although not in PA there is a giant motorcycle accessory place in Columbus,Ohio https://www.ironpony.com/Default.asp they have almost any helmet you would want to try and their prices are as good as almost all web based , its a nice way to spend a day , I picked up a helmet there las year and they encouraged try it on and walk around for a while to make sure the fit is good , looked a little silly perhaps but at least I got a helmet that doesn't hurt after 20 minutes
 

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I agree that being able to put it on your head is important. I bought one off of Revzilla that I thought I would like but hated the way it looked AND felt. They do, in fact, have an easy return but I had to pay return shipping(understandable, not complaining). But I was afraid to order another and not like it too.

Instead we went to a fairly large Honda dealer that is pretty close to us. I tried on so many different helmets that my checks were raw. I ended up with an HCJ IS-33-II that remains very comfortable but has opened up a little. Its the same helmet as the "Harley" Mayfield model but $20-30 cheaper. I tried on an Aria and a Shoei that each felt pretty good but not good enough to justify the added costs. The HJC feels like it was molded for MY head, you may find that you hate the fit.

Safety level is a decision each of us have to make for ourselves. But I decided that a full faced or modular would be too hot behind a windshield. I had planned to add a full after the weather turned cold but after riding in some cold weather I find that I don't alway pull the shield down unless its a very windy day.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
if you want a little day trip although not in PA there is a giant motorcycle accessory place in Columbus,Ohio https://www.ironpony.com/Default.asp they have almost any helmet you would want to try and their prices are as good as almost all web based , its a nice way to spend a day , I picked up a helmet there las year and they encouraged try it on and walk around for a while to make sure the fit is good , looked a little silly perhaps but at least I got a helmet that doesn't hurt after 20 minutes
About a 4 hour drive, but pass through a few times a year visiting family. Still have a month or two before riding season, will add it to the list of places to stop. My concern is dropping money on something that isn't better, or isn't comfortable... The ability to wear it for more than a few minutes is a good reason to give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree that being able to put it on your head is important. I bought one off of Revzilla that I thought I would like but hated the way it looked AND felt. They do, in fact, have an easy return but I had to pay return shipping(understandable, not complaining). But I was afraid to order another and not like it too.

Instead we went to a fairly large Honda dealer that is pretty close to us. I tried on so many different helmets that my checks were raw. I ended up with an HCJ IS-33-II that remains very comfortable but has opened up a little. Its the same helmet as the "Harley" Mayfield model but $20-30 cheaper. I tried on an Aria and a Shoei that each felt pretty good but not good enough to justify the added costs. The HJC feels like it was molded for MY head, you may find that you hate the fit.

Safety level is a decision each of us have to make for ourselves. But I decided that a full faced or modular would be too hot behind a windshield. I had planned to add a full after the weather turned cold but after riding in some cold weather I find that I don't alway pull the shield down unless its a very windy day.
Thanks for the input. I'm weary of shopping online for a new helmet over the $50 mark for that reason... It's an insurance policy for my head, don't want to spend $200+ on an insurance policy that doesn't quite fit my needs (Or my head)...

Also always went back and forth on the full face design vs open face... I feel that the open face would be more comfortable to me due to the windshield and seating position, but when I put my wife's life (and face) on the line, my preference is that she gets a full face, and when she has a full face, her preference is that I have a full as well, which is a stipulation I can understand...

We don't ride too much in the cold, partially due to just the way scheduling vacations work, but also the roads in PA get pretty rough (they throw down gravel for traction) once it dips below 30 for the first time...

All that being said, I think we are due an upgrade, but our $55 amazon specials haven't let us down, and with money being tight, it's hard to give the local dealer $500+ for a couple of upgrade...

But as they say, a $10 helmet is for a $10 head...
 

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Can I ask, what sets it apart as "amazing". My only experience thus far is with a cheap modular, what am I missing out on experience wise?
I don't have anything to compare against in terms of another modular, but i can compare against other full face helmets. I own Arai and Shoei helmets and this is by far my favorite.

- I love the looks of it
- Being carbon fiber, it is significantly lighter and very noticeable while wearing
- The shield hasn't fogged on me once this year and with riding in freezing temperatures, that is hard to come by
- The unlocking mechanism is easily operated with one hand and it auto locks when closing
- When open, the chin piece folds all the way to the back of your head so there is no drag.
- The chin strap is not the normal D ring and strap. It's almost like a ratcheting system with a simple pull to open
- Arai and Shoei both have decent venting systems, but Roof is better in my opinion. Although haven't tested that too much yet being 20 degrees outside

Only downside has been the price --- although I this is my first new helmet in about 7 years, so I get a lot of use out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ElatedErieLotus

- When open, the chin piece folds all the way to the back of your head so there is no drag.

- Arai and Shoei both have decent venting systems, but Roof is better in my opinion. Although haven't tested that too much yet being 20 degrees outside

Only downside has been the price .
The chin flipping all the way back and the vents actually working would big selling points, though beyond that I have to say, mine does feel like a hunk of molded plastic... A high quality, lightweight, science-y helmet would be nice...

...We've been kicking around the idea of new helmets for well over a year, but it's tough to "upgrade" when we're talking $1,000+ for some comfort.

Thanks for your input.
 

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So the general consensus is try it on.
Everything else is secondary.
Older models and solid colors will be cheapest.
 
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