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Discussion Starter #1
What are some good brands that isnt too expensive. I just need a general direction to head to.
 

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Make sure that whatever helmet you get is Snell rated.

AGV, Bieffe, Bell, Simpson, Shoei, Arai, HJC and G-Force are all good choices; there are others worthy of consideration as well. Do you need a helmet for autocross? Track events?
 

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If its just for auto-x, i'm pretty sure that it can be M rated. I have a G-force helmet thats M00 that was around 110 at my local speedshop.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actually I do eventually want to head out to track events. SO I assume I would need a Snell rated helmet then, right?
 

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While you can save some bucks by buying online, my advice is to go to a race shop and try some on. Much like clothes, brands fit differently even when the same size. Since you want to do track events, comfort is very important.
 

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While you can save some bucks by buying online, my advice is to go to a race shop and try some on. Much like clothes, brands fit differently even when the same size. Since you want to do track events, comfort is very important.
That' s true. For track events you really should think about SA rating--though it may not be required unless you go wheel-to-wheel racing. At minimum, as stated above,a M rating is necessary.

Go to www.racerwholesale.com and look--their prices are really good; make sure you can test fit locally before you buy. They have $99 G-Force M2000 rated full-face helmets...

This place has good prices on motorcycle helmets (M rated)
http://www.compacc.com/category.cfm?Category=7

Remember, do not skimp on this--especially if you are doing high-speed track events. Buy a $59 helmet if you have a $59 head
 

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If it is a brand you've heard of or seen a driver on TV wearing, odds are it is decent. I personally use Arai because they fit my head nearly perfectly and are very high quality, but Bell and Simpson are also reputable and good helmets. They are also significantly less expensive than Arai. I don't have experience with G-Force or some of the other brands, but as long as they are Snell rated, they had to pass the standards and should be good.

There are two Snell ratings that are relevant to car guys: Snell M2000 and Snell SA2000. M is the motorcycle rating. Most autocross clubs will accept an M-rated helmet due to the lower speeds and low probability of a major accident. M helmets are not fireproof, and the better ones are more aerodynamic for sound for obvious reasons. They are cheaper and more easily found in a store to try on.

Note that motorcycle helmets in America must also have a DOT approval on them, as they must be legal for road use. I don't believe there is such a thing for car helmets, as road use generally doesn't involve helmets (though with this crowd, maybe it should!).


SA helmets are fireproof, have a positively-attached visor (with screws - no "quick change" designs), and are generally more expensive. They tend to have a bulge in the back of the head, where more impact-absorbing material is placed in anticipation of hard contact with the seat. M helmets don't have that, as motorcycle crashes are fairly random as far as where the rider's head contacts the hard objects.

Most track-day clubs are moving toward SA requirements - I know our local Porsche club changed about 4 years ago, rendering M-helmets non-eligible for autocross or track days.

Also, the Snell rating is updated every five years, and most clubs only allow the current rating and the one previous - SA2000 is currently preferred in SCCA, and SA95 is accepted. This will change in 2005, when the SA95 helmets must be replaced. Helmets deteriorate after 5 years anyway, so that's not such a big deal. (Yes, even that helmet that has been sitting on the shelf for 4 years unsold will need replaced in one year for maximum safety. The EPS material that provides the shock absorbtion deteriorates even if you don't wear the helmet. Sunlight accelerates this deterioration even faster.) Always check the date of manufacture of a helmet you buy. It should be stamped somewhere on it, either on the D ring or one of the straps. This is the key date, not the date you bought it. If you get a helmet that is already 3-4 years old, you should raise hell and get a newer one from the company (if mail order). Buying from a shop will let you examine the helmet personally and try to determine the age.

I can't recommend going to a store and trying them on enough. Nearly everyone in SCCA has a Bell helmet because they are widely available and priced reasonably for a good helmet. However, I can't wear Bells, as their internal shape is completely incompatible with my head. You'd never know this unless you try one on. Also, sizes within the same company vary. I wear size M Arai motorcycle helmets, but their SA helmets run small. I tried them on and found I needed an L in the SA, which was actually somewhat tighter than the size M motorcycle helmet I already have. I tried on the helmets at a trade show after receiving some advice from a mail order company; I then mail ordered from that company after I knew the fit was right. They were very helpful and responsive via E-mail - same day, as a matter of fact. www.speedwaremotorsports.com, and my guy was Dan Reiss. Friendly and helpful, and all via e-mail until I called to finalize the order. They also sell Bell and Sparco.

The helmet should be snug, bordering on tight, when you get it. It will loosen up with wear, and if it starts loose, then it will be too loose and may come off in an accident. Clearly NOT GOOD. When you put the helmet on, grab it with your hands over your ears and rotate it left and right. The skin on your forehead should move with the helmet when fitted properly. If the helmet just slides over your skin, IT IS TOO LOOSE and may let you down when you need it most. Also, grab the helmet at the back, at the base of your head and try to rip it off by pulling it forward. If it comes off, you need a smaller size. It should be impossible to rip it over your head like this.

In case you think this can't happen, here is a story for you. A friend of mine does track days on his bike. There was an accident at very high speed, and the rider involved had severe impacts in the crash, at which point his helmet came off. He then skidded down the track at well over 100 mph. Sadly, this rider is no longer with us. There's no telling if he would have lived with a proper fit, but it certainly couldn't have hurt his chances. It *can* happen. Make sure the fit is correct.

Above all, get the right fit and the right Snell rating. If you can't afford a mega-buck helmet, that's fine as long as you get proper fit and ratings. I wouldn't buy "Johnny's Back Yard" helmets, but there are several good budget brands out there. Take the time, do it right.
 

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I agree, you have to try helmet on to be sure it fits correctly, Snug but no pressure points. Also get the freshest you can find (M 00 or SA 00- most Snell 95's are probably gone, anyway) as they must be replaced every 10 years, anyway. SA are fire resistant, not fireproof and designed for repeated hits- delaminate slowly, M are designed to be more abrasive resistant, as sliding down the street on your head- done that. That is why a M helmet can be a single shell of plastic, where just about all SA helmets will be laminated fiberglass, kelvar, etc. Simpson puts there manufacture date inside the padding with their SA sticker. Note SNELL rating date is the one inspectors look for, therefore a helmet made in sept 95 (Snell 95) will be "illegal" the same year as a helmet made in Dec 99 also with a SA95 rating.....I was at Nationals last week and they were still selling M helmets. <font color="blue"> HJC </font> are inexpensive, but G-force has the best price i've seen on SA, if they fit you.
 

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ctb, an excellant rundown on helmets. i have just ordered a hybred from g-force since i now have to wear glasses. i'll let you guys know how my first cyberspace order worked out. so far i have been very happy with previous purchases via phone with g-force. and you have covered the topic beautifully. i will just ditto what you have said. back in the stone age when i raced on stones, we were only required to have roll bars and single layer nomex. it is a good thing how far we have come. i remember my first helmet, i put it on as i pulled away from the place of purchase, and promptly got pulled over by a town cop, asking, huh.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hate to raise the dead. But I just test fitted a few HJC helmets and I'm wondering on 'how tight is tight'.

XXXL fits my head comfortably. It's tight on the check and it have a bit of wiggle room.

XXL fits my head snugly. It's very tight on the check and it wraps around my head tight enough to feel my pulse.

Should I go with XXL or XXXL?
 

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If it gives you a headache, it's too tight. Otherwise, it isn't. That's my rule of thumb. Remember that helmets loosen up, esp if you're going to wear a balaclava under it. So if it fits perfectly now, it'll be loose in a year.

Also, if it leaves really clear red marks on your face/forehead, probably a little tight. I mean dark, clear marks, not light ones. Ever see the F1 guys when they take their lids off? They have prints on their face from the cheek pads/balaclavas.

I have to "pull" my helmet onto my head - it doesn't just slip on. Each time I put it on after a long time away from the track, it stands out to me that, "Gee, this is a semi-tight fit." After about 20 sec in the helmet, though, I'm good to go.

If you can feel your pulse, I'm thinking that's too tight.

Also, as I mentioned in my longer post above, check that the comfortable one (XXL?) still moves your skin on your forehead when you grab the helmet and try to move your head inside it. If your skin doesn't move, too loose.
 

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I just bought my helmet online from a store on eBay. They are called Belden Motorsports. They also have a website Belden Motorsports I got a Bieffe helmet for $39 and bought my husband one for $49. I went to a helmet store and tried on Bieffe helmets and got the right fit and then ordered. This helmet is DOT and Snell 2000 approved. I found them great to deal with as far as customer service. I also bought a couple of wool lined helmet bags for $15 each. Hope this helps.

T =0)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay so I have this helmet it's HJC CS-12 forma xxxl.

So I have it at home, and I'm over here turning looking at it and I dont see no Snell M2000. Now I did a little digging and the www.hjchelmets.com website say it's snell m2000 certified. But on this website it says that the XXXL helmet doesnt have that damn snell rating (this website is http://www.beldenmotosportstore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HJCCS12MC5&variation=&aitem=4&mitem=10).

Now before I raise a little hell. Is DOT good enough for SCCA solo 2 stuff? The rules book says snell or better....is DOT better?
 

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no. dot rating is bare minimum. and btw, the helmets mentioned at site above are for atv, etc. you can not find a sa helmet for much less than 200 dollars. try g-force. atv's etal have no set standards that i know of. there is no way to buy a sa2000 helmet for under fifty dollars w/o using a gun for the holdup. as far as i know the cheapest sa helmets are 180 to over many thousands or better. i have to replace mine at the minimum every five years. currently own two sa 2000's and one sa 95. the cheapest helmet i saw at belden site was 84 bucks for an ma,not sa helmet. maam i appreciate your input but sa and ma are quite different in the end. i would have hoped off roaders would require a better helmet, then realized, there is no sanctioning body for those classes that matters that i am aware of. maybe there should be. and then again, they do not require tech before going out. too bad. might save some lives. and maam, if you utilized store that has to pay rent, let you try on helmets, etc, why not buy from them. they have to eat also. why waste their time and not let them make a living as you expect to do. remember henry ford was the first to pay a living wage so his employees could buy his and others products. is your time worth more than their's.
 

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Okay so I have this helmet it's HJC CS-12 forma xxxl.

So I have it at home, and I'm over here turning looking at it and I dont see no Snell M2000.
The Snell M2000 decal is inside the helmet, under the liner. It's a dark brown-[censored] background with dark gold lettering - very hard to see without lots of light.

Check inside the helmet first before you do anything else. It's probably there. It takes me a few minutes to find mine to show the tech guys, and I know it's there!

EDIT: I typed in brown - i-s-h up above, as in kind of brown but not for sure. The letters i, s, and h are censored?
 

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Okay so I have this helmet it's HJC CS-12 forma xxxl.

So I have it at home, and I'm over here turning looking at it and I dont see no Snell M2000.
The Snell M2000 decal is inside the helmet, under the liner. It's a dark brown-[censored] background with dark gold lettering - very hard to see without lots of light.

Check inside the helmet first before you do anything else. It's probably there. It takes me a few minutes to find mine to show the tech guys, and I know it's there!
I remember when i was doing tech inspection for an SCCA rally, i made the mistake of trying to save the drivers time and just finding the snell and SFI approvals myself. That is one of the most disgusting things ever! some of those helmets were NASTY!!! so here's a little tip to keep the tech inspectors happy...
Get a Snell decal on THE BACK of your helmet! I have one on mine, and all I have to do is show them the back and im good to go, no digging around for the hard to see decal. I seem to remember hearing that snell will send you a decal if you tell them the type of helmet you have...
 

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You won't find sticker under the lining, as I don't believe Snell tests the really big helmets. Most companies don't submit anything larger than a 7 5/ -8 or XXL helmet. This from a site that sells HJC C12's
Standards: DOT-218, Snell-M2000 (Youth sizes & XXXL DOT only)
I remember seeing something in the GCR about really big (sorry) sizes not having a sticker. http://www.smf.org/
 

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Now before I raise a little hell. Is DOT good enough for SCCA solo 2 stuff? The rules book says snell or better....is DOT better?
Check the rulebook again. Snell M should be ok for SCCA Solo II. SA wasn't required last time I checked, which was a while ago. Road racing, however, is a different story - SA is required. Also, many track-day clubs require SA helmets now.

DOT is required by the US Govt for helmet to be road-legal on a motorcycle, etc. SA helmets are *NOT* for use on motorcycles, so they do not have DOT ratings. Much has been written in bike mags about DOT v. Snell. However, SCCA requires Snell, so DOT does *not* fit the bill here.

If your xxxl helmet truly is not Snell rated at all, then raise hell and send it back if they adverised that model of helmet as Snell-rated without a disclaimer on the xxxl. (I was unclear as to whether you ordered your helmet from the site that did say the xxxl wasn't Snell rated.) I once received a helmet from a mail order place that was so old that it had the previous Snell rating (at the time, this was M85), even though M90 had been out for two years. I raised hell and sent it back, tho I think I ended up eating the darn shipping. But at least I didn't eat the cost of the helmet, which was quite a bit for a college kid to scrape up.
 
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