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Author Topic: I think I"ve settled on my new helmet  (Read 1628 times)
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bajakirch Topic starter
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« on: February 10, 2013, 03:48:13 PM »

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend the International Motorcycle Show in Chicago. While in general I went to ogle the bikes, sit on a few new models and basically absorb the experience, I did have 1 goal in mind -- to try on every brand of helmet I could find to see what I finally wanted as a replacement for my old Shoei RF-200.

I hit all of the major manufacturers:  Bell, HJC, Shoei, Scorpion, Nolan and more, as well as a few brands that were new to me, like Schuberth.

Going into the show, I was hoping to find a decent price on a Shoei modular helmet. But alas, the cost was way beyond my $300 budget. I was pretty much settled on the RF-1100 instead...even though it wasn't a modular, it fit great and they had a show special of $330; close enough to the budget to avoid a severe tongue-lashing from SOQS.

Then I made it to the Scorpion booth. After trying on a few of their offerings I found myself very impressed with the EXO-900. It's modular, it has a pump-up air bladder for the cheek/neck ring, it fit me well, it has a flip-down sun visor (Top Gun-style, and it doesn't interfere with my glasses or hit my nose) and it was being offered at the show for $229.

Even though that price was a good $40 less than I was finding online (my brother had a bar-code scanner app on his phone and we did a quick check), I didn't pull the trigger at the show. I didn't want to make an impulsive decision that I'd regret later, so I decided to check some reviews, sleep on it, and -- if it still seemed like the right choice -- find the best deal I could online.

That night I spent a good hour+ looking at both professional and amateur reviews of the helmet. Overall, it fared very well. The most common criticism I saw was that it tends to leak in the rain from the leading top vent, even when the vent is closed.

So, unless I hear some really vocal objections to it here, I think I'm going to pick one up when I get back from my business trip this week. I'll give my local dealer the first chance at my business, but I know that the helmet is being sold at a pretty standard price of $269 online and I know Revzilla offers free shipping. Especially since I passed up the $229 price at the show, they're going to have to come pretty close to the online price for me to buy locally.

As for color, I think I've decided on 'Hypersilver'. My current helmet is wine-red and there's a similar option from Scorpion. But I'm hoping that the silver color will reflect a little more heat and make the helmet slightly more comfortable in the summer heat. With the extra money, I might pick up an extra shield in either dark smoke or mirrored silver to help with the heat issue.

One other feature of the EXO-900 is the option to remove the chin bar and shield and install a visor, turning it into a 3/4 touring helmet. Not really my style or level of protection, but some might find that worthwhile.
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 04:10:20 PM »

Hi,

I have the EXO 1000. Have had it 3 years or so. Its not modular, the rest of the features are the same i think. Its the best helmet I have owned. Fits perfect, vents well, and compfy. The internal visor is a great option. Mine fits so well, I dont use the air pump, but I can see it would work well if the helmet was a little loose. Have a new visor waiting to go on.

  Thanks,
       Dave
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 05:24:46 PM »

I don't have personal experience, but have friends that wear Scorpion and Shark helmets and they love them.  They are slowly climbing above the likes of HJC, Bell, AGV, and Nolan into the rarefied air of Arai, Shoei and Suomy.  I hear more good stuff about them than any other mid-priced helmets on the market, including some of Shoei's and Suomy's lower end helmets.   

I'm an Arai snob, mainly because for decades they have been the only company to make oval shaped helmets to fit me perfectly...and they are beautiful.  However, these days I'm hearing that Shark and a couple other companies have started making more oval shaped lids.  I may look into it someday.   scratcher   Nah.   jkam
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 05:26:21 PM »

I'm a big fan of Scorpion helmets. Great bang for the buck IMO...make sure you really, really like those bladders in the cheek area. I've heard some complain about them, but everyone's head is shaped different.
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 08:37:49 PM »

I owned a Scorpion helmet, an older model, I don't remember the model number.  The helmet itself was great, really well put together just too uncomfortable for me to wear over thirty minutes.  Shame because they are great helmets.  My latest is the Shoei RF1100 and it's all day comfortable.  Only gripe with the Shoei is the shield isn't treated for fog and condensation like the Scorpion lid.
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bajakirch Topic starter
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 05:40:20 AM »

Chalk another one up for the Internet.

Yesterday I stopped by my local Honda dealer with the intention of buying my new Scorpion helmet. According to Scorpion's website, they are the largest dealer of the brand in our state. A HS buddy also is part-owner of the store, so I wanted to support his company if I could.

I walked in and they had exactly 3 Scorpion helmets on display, and only 1 EXO-900. Wrong color and size. I talked to a sales guy and they had 3 in back, none of which fit the color or size I was looking for.

Their price -- $280; add in our local sales tax and it comes to around $300. I can get the same price online with free shipping and no tax.

So it looks like www.motorcyclegear.com will be getting some more of my hard-earned money.

I'm kicking myself a little harder now for not jumping on that $229 show special at IMS.  Sad
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 09:46:07 AM »

Chalk another one up for the Internet.

According to Scorpion's website, they are the largest dealer of the brand in our state.
...
I walked in and they had exactly 3 Scorpion helmets on display, and only 1 EXO-900. Wrong color and size. I talked to a sales guy and they had 3 in back, none of which fit the color or size I was looking for.


Yeah, that's been my story every time I went hunting for something locally to support a business. Everybody moans about brick and mortar stores not being able to move product... well, you have to HAVE the product to move it!  soap

I suppose if I go with a Scorpion myself I won't have this problem; one of the local dealers has an ENORMOUS selection of Scorpion branded helmets. The owners all ride with Scorpion lids, and the sales manager is a big fan. 70+ on display last time I was there, and they apparently stock every color and size combo you could order.
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 11:19:50 AM »

Chalk another one up for the Internet.

According to Scorpion's website, they are the largest dealer of the brand in our state.
...
I walked in and they had exactly 3 Scorpion helmets on display, and only 1 EXO-900. Wrong color and size. I talked to a sales guy and they had 3 in back, none of which fit the color or size I was looking for.


Yeah, that's been my story every time I went hunting for something locally to support a business. Everybody moans about brick and mortar stores not being able to move product... well, you have to HAVE the product to move it!  soap

I suppose if I go with a Scorpion myself I won't have this problem; one of the local dealers has an ENORMOUS selection of Scorpion branded helmets. The owners all ride with Scorpion lids, and the sales manager is a big fan. 70+ on display last time I was there, and they apparently stock every color and size combo you could order.

I normally wear a small helmet, regardless of brand. I'd like to support local businesses, but in most cases, their selection of helmets in size S is puny. I understand the economics of that - I realize I'm in the far left tail of the bell curve - but I've still got to buy something.

They always say they can order whatever size I need, but they want me to buy it first, and I'm not going to buy a helmet if I can't try it on first. I asked one salesman if I could buy the helmet, then return it if I found out when it came in that it didn't fit. He said "Sorry, no refunds on special orders." Some businesses are their own worst enemies.
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 07:25:56 AM »

I was tempted to reach out to anyone attending the last IMS in Charlotte NC next weekend to maybe arrange a way for me to get one of those show specials; even with shipping it'd be a better deal for me. But it's one thing to buy buy a $30 part through someone you only know via a web forum...and anothercthing entirely to entrust all the money you've been saving up for months to them just to save $30 at the end of the day.
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 08:13:09 AM »

Baja, have you purchased your helmet yet?  I received an email this weekend from Motorcycle-Superstore, they are having a sale on helmets, I think Revzilla is as well.  You may want to check them out to see if you can get a better deal.
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 11:48:15 AM »

Thanks!  Looks like the price has come down $10 at both sites. I'm not sure about MSS, but I know Revzilla offers free shipping too.
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 11:39:43 AM »

Thanks!  Looks like the price has come down $10 at both sites. I'm not sure about MSS, but I know Revzilla offers free shipping too.

Oops. I waited to long. Either the price popped back up to $279 for my helmet or I failed to look at the Large size that I wear (there's typically a $10 price difference between the L-and-up sizes).

Pricing on Scorpions is pretty much identical across the Interweb...at least at motorcyclegear.com, motorcyclesuperstore.com and revzilla.com.

So, enough dilly-dallying; today I ponied up and placed my order for the EXO-900 in Hypersilver. I had a little money left over in my helmet fund, so I picked up an additional shield in dark smoke (I wanted mirrored silver, but the cost was double). I figure the darker helmet will help keep me cooler in the summer. I have enough storage space on the bike now that I should be able to carry both shields with me and switch them out as necessary.

I ordered from motorcyclegear.com because I've purchased from them before and I've never had any problems.

One note on the EXO-900 (and, I believe, other Scorpion helmets): They run small. My head has a 22" diameter, which pretty much puts me in S or M helmets from every other manufacturer.  I tried to put on a M EXO-900 at the Chicago IMS and couldn't even get it past my ears. The sales guy said that people regularly have to order their Scorpions one size up from what they're used to.
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 06:22:50 PM »

One other point before I leave this topic behind. Call it a cautionary tale for any burgeoning motorcycle equipment salespeople.

I mentioned that, back at the IMS, one of my goals was to try on every helmet I could find to see what fit me best in my price range. Any time I saw a helmet display, I wandered over and started trying them on.

Certainly, Scorpion was on my radar. But another brand I was very interested in was Nolan. I have a buddy with a Nolan modular helmet and he really likes it.

Near the end of my time at the show, I came across Nolan's small booth. Like with all the others, I immediately grabbed one of the displayed modulars and tried it on. It fit well and I liked the feel of it. Price was a bit outside my budget, but not by much.

Anyone that owns or has tried on modular helmets knows that they all have a release button of some sort to raise the chin bar. But, try as I might, I couldn't find the release for the Nolan. I was left to blindly push and pull in the area where I thought it would be in the hopes of finding it.

A sales guy walked up and immediately recognized my dilemma. The following dialogue ensued:

HIM:  Looks like you're stuck.

ME: (sheepishly) Yeah, I guess so.

HIM:  Do you normally go putting your head into places you can't get it out of?

ME:  Ah...no.

He proceeded to show me how Nolan's 2-step release mechanism works, and I was able to remove the helmet. I walked away, a bit red-faced.

So here's the lesson. If you're trying to sell someone a $300 piece of equipment, don't make them feel foolish about trying it on. Any thoughts I had about buying a Nolan instantly evaporated.
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 06:53:44 PM »

One note on the EXO-900 (and, I believe, other Scorpion helmets): They run small. My head has a 22" diameter, which pretty much puts me in S or M helmets from every other manufacturer.  I tried to put on a M EXO-900 at the Chicago IMS and couldn't even get it past my ears. The sales guy said that people regularly have to order their Scorpions one size up from what they're used to.

Diameter or circumference?   puzzled
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 10:24:20 PM »

One note on the EXO-900 (and, I believe, other Scorpion helmets): They run small. My head has a 22" diameter, which pretty much puts me in S or M helmets from every other manufacturer.  I tried to put on a M EXO-900 at the Chicago IMS and couldn't even get it past my ears. The sales guy said that people regularly have to order their Scorpions one size up from what they're used to.

Diameter or circumference?   puzzled

Whoops...circumference.

 shog

Sort of explains why I got a liberal arts degree, doesn't it?
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2013, 10:25:54 PM »

One note on the EXO-900 (and, I believe, other Scorpion helmets): They run small. My head has a 22" diameter, which pretty much puts me in S or M helmets from every other manufacturer.  I tried to put on a M EXO-900 at the Chicago IMS and couldn't even get it past my ears. The sales guy said that people regularly have to order their Scorpions one size up from what they're used to.

Diameter or circumference?   puzzled

Whoops...circumference.

 shog

Sort of explains why I got a liberal arts degree, doesn't it?

Dang. I was hoping to meet the guy with the 22" (diameter) head. My hopes are dashed.
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2013, 10:57:34 PM »

One note on the EXO-900 (and, I believe, other Scorpion helmets): They run small. My head has a 22" diameter, which pretty much puts me in S or M helmets from every other manufacturer.  I tried to put on a M EXO-900 at the Chicago IMS and couldn't even get it past my ears. The sales guy said that people regularly have to order their Scorpions one size up from what they're used to.

Diameter or circumference?   puzzled

Whoops...circumference.

 shog

Sort of explains why I got a liberal arts degree, doesn't it?

Dang. I was hoping to meet the guy with the 22" (diameter) head. My hopes are dashed.

Me and my ride.


* 220px-Stewie_Griffin.png (59.92 KB, 220x248 - viewed 273 times.)
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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2013, 09:56:12 PM »

It's Christmas in February!



I came home tonight to find a box from motorcyclegear.com on my front porch.  banana

From right to left, my new Scorpion EXO-900, the visor attachment for those that want to use it as a 3/4 helmet, and my extra 'dark smoke' shield.

Naturally I had to try it on and play with it for a bit. I am LOVING the flip down internal sun shield -- no more switching from regular glasses to sunglasses for my rides. And I couldn't believe how easy it was to remove the chinbar and put it back on; it took me less than 5 minutes to master it and I never looked at the instructions...cuz I'm a guy and reading the instructions in advance goes against the Man Code.

March is just around the corner, and that means there could actually be some riding within a month if Mother Nature cooperates. I really need to get going on my winter maintenance list. I haven't even changed the oil yet.
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 06:14:13 AM »


It's Christmas in February!
I came home tonight to find a box from motorcyclegear.com on my front porch.  banana

You better wipe that ear to ear grin off your face.  Mom says it will stick that way.    Hap1
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« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2013, 11:41:34 AM »

Thanks for the very comprehensive post! I've been eying the same helmet, the Exo 900. I have two Exo 700 helmets now, and I guess my head is the perfect shape for Scorpion. I pulled the trigger on the same silver lid you got, and looking forward to receiving it!  With the time change, the sun is in my eyes for part of my commute in the morning - I'm looking foward to that drop-down sun shade!

Laminar, I had the coating start to flake off on one of my 700s. I called Scorpion, and they very quickly sent me a replacement and apologies after I sent a picture of the defective shield. You might try to see if you can get a replacement from them.
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2013, 04:00:08 PM »

Just got my Exo 900. It fits a bit tighter in the forehead than my 700, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Commuting with it for two days now, and really like it!
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« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2013, 12:18:52 PM »

I have a Scorpion 750, which is similar to the 700, except it has a visor lock feature that will keep the visor down. Don't specifically care for the lock feature, but anyway:

I switched to scorpion after my Icon helmet wore out. I think Scorpion is a good bang for the buck, but I found it to leak more air around visor, as opposed to the Icon. Good thing in the summer, but really cold in the winter!
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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2013, 01:15:55 PM »

Just got my Exo 900. It fits a bit tighter in the forehead than my 700, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Commuting with it for two days now, and really like it!
I also have an EXO 900.  You'll love it.  The only thing I don't like is the drop down shades aren't dark enough.
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« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2013, 03:17:55 PM »

Today I was finally able to test out the EXO-900. I took my newly-put-back-together bike for a short shakedown ride (about 5 miles) and then a longer break-in ride (50 miles).

Wind noise, compared to my very old Shoei FF helmet, appeared to be less at low speeds and about the same at highway speeds. Combined with a new in-hear headset for my iPod (one ear) and a regular ear plug (other ear), things were much quieter, even at high speed.

I'm loving the drop-down sun shade. For me, it was dark enough for riding in sunny spring conditions. For summer day riding, I also picked up a spare faceshield in dark smoke (mirror was too much money). If I ever felt that one or the other wasn't dark enough, I'll probably just use them both together. Heck, I can even add sunglasses for triple protection -- that'll probably be dark enough to safely view a nuclear blast.

After my first day of use, I'd have to say I'm very happy with the new lid.
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2013, 06:01:59 AM »

Glad to hear it Baja!
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