Spirit Helmet and others

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Leon Swart's picture
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Good afternoon    (I hope im pasting this in the right place)

I am trying, with great difficulty to source some information regarding current helmets on the market. Returning to biking after a 20 year hiatus, it’s sort of like coming out of prison after a 20 year stint. I’m totally lost with products on the market. I remember Lafe’, Bell, Shoei that’s about it.

Ok what’s concerning me is the following. The concept of buying the best you can afford makes sense, but in the same token I loathe feeling as if I’m being ripped off with cost. On the other hand I’m left with a dilemma as an item that is to cheap also sets tea bells ringing in my head. BMW helmets approx. R7500-00 for a flip face, Shoei R6000-00 odd for a flip face, and then this Spirit Flip face, R1100?? All these helmets are approved. The Spirit is local manufacture so that probably reduces the price a little, but assuming the Spirit Flipface is good, is a Schuberth or Shoei R5000 to R6000 better? Am I making a mistake going with the Spirit? I decided to buy one see what it feels like with the Bluetooth comms they also sell and a ridiculously cheap price of R800.   

So far the helmet looks a bit glossy, plastic but it fits comfortable. Bluetooth device fits easy and comfortable as well.  It has a flip down smoked inner visor which feels a bit cheap, otherwise a nice helmet.

Ok so anyone got any helmet theories or ideas? Any comments on the Spirit? Any suggestions why I should fork out R20 000 for two BMW helmets with Bluetooth devices as opposed to paying R4000 for two Spirit helmets with Bluetooth. Is the BMW set R16000 more quality and safety ??

All comments, Ideas and criticism would be appreciated

Thank you chaps.

 

Kind regards

Leon

Kind regards

 

Leon

Charles Oertel's picture
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Joined: 2007/04/14

Yes, a more expensive helmet is typically of better quality and often (not always) more comfortable and quieter.  But you get diminishing returns as the price goes up.  At the top end you pay a few thousand Rand more to have a helmet that is 50g lighter.  They all need to pass the various safety tests, and some do it better than others.

A manufacturer like Spirit also suffers from the stupid old saw about "how much is your head worth?".  So even if they produce a fantastic helmet that is just as good as a top-of-the-range Shoei, unless they charge a similar price nobody will buy it.

Myself, I fancy the Spirit, but they were not available when I got my Uvex for R3300, my wife's helmet for about R1500, and my son's Shark for about R4000 (got internal drop-down shades for his commute).

Committee: Webmaster / Ride Captain

Leon Swart's picture
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Joined: 2014/03/03

Hi AC :) thank you for your prospective on the Spirit helmets much appreciated. Agreed indeed the idea of how much is your head worth, if I was going to be paranoid about injury or death I'd spend all day in bed and get rolled over every two hours to avoid bed sores. Can’t live in a bubble. Balance is key.

Thanks aunty

Regards

Leon

Kind regards

 

Leon

Tony's picture
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Joined: 2008/08/24

The best helmet is one that fits.

Safety is not just about what happens to a rider during an accident but should also focus on enabling the rider to "operate optimally" under varying conditions.

You should consider both the active and passive safety features when purchasing a motorcycle helmet.

Active safety elements are those which protect your head in an accident, both friction (sliding/abrasion) and the deceleration forces when "stopping" near instantaneously after colliding with an immoveable object.

    * general construction and materials used
    * helmet fit
    * fastening system
    * age of the helmet

The various certification agencies (Snell, DOT, etc) ensure that helmets meet a minimum standard in terms of the physical safety. A helmet which does not fit properly may not offer the rider adequate protection even though it meets the certification standard. Also the ability of the polycarbonate liner (commonly used in helmet construction) to absorb impact may be reduced over time. This is due to exposure to perspiration and the liner becoming compacted through normal usage.

Passive safety elements are those features which reduce the likelihood of the accident occurring

    * weight
    * noise levels
    * optical correctness of the visor
    * field of view
    * anti-fog technology / UV protection / tinted visors
    * ventilation

These all help reduce rider fatique (especially on, but not limited to, longer rides). Reduced rider fatique (or put another way, improved alertness/concentration) enables the rider to be more aware of and better assess their environment and thereby avoid potentially dangerous situations. Rider fatigue may not necessarily directly cause accidents but can certainly be a contributing factor. The extra "split second" reaction time is often the difference between a scary moment and an accident. T

This argument naturally assumes that all other variables (rider skill, etc) are equal. All in all many avoidable accidents remain just that - avoided!

By and large the physical safety component of all certified helmets are similar. These components however only protect the rider in the event of an accident!

In general, the more expensive helmets tend to offer more and/or better passive safety features. These features may enable the rider to be more alert and thereby avoid having to rely on the active safety features of their helmet. A much better scenario (IMHO).

So, think carefully when next purchasing a helmet. Which risks are you trying to minimse?

A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown

Leon Swart's picture
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Joined: 2014/03/03

Hi Tony

Thank you kindly for your comments, this is really useful and well worth considering, If I could push you a little on your thoughts, Is a R7500-00 helmet as opposed to a R1200 helmet really R6300-00 worth in safety passive or active? Especially if both are rated as meeting safety standards?

Do you have any specific thoughts on the Spirit helmet?

Thanks Tony, your input is gratefully accepted

Kind regards

Leon

Kind regards

 

Leon

Charles Oertel's picture
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Joined: 2007/04/14

A few years ago a study by a bike mag found that one of the best helmets ito safety (both passive and active) was one of the cheaper ones.  Certainly you are more likely to get a better helmet if you pay more, but not always.

It is also true that if you have a slightly less-fancy helmet, you might be less comfortable gunning down the highway at 160, so will ride slower.  This will compensate somewhat for the lower passive safety features.

Tony is right about the fit, and different brands have different shapes.  For e.g. the BMW and Uvex lot are for narrower heads and don't suit big ears.  Other brands suit Noddy better.  I was going to get my son a Spirit, but it just did not suit the shape of his head.

Committee: Webmaster / Ride Captain

Tony's picture
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not sure how much extra value you get for R6000. Somewhere between the two extremes is the "value for money" product. This price point is different for each individual - that's why there's such a wide range of prices Tongue out.

I previously had a BMW System 5 helmet. Now I've got a Uvex. I don't know anything about the Spirit products, so can't comment.

Check out www.webbikeworld.com - there's a comprehensive section with helmet reviews.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown

Leon Swart's picture
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Joined: 2014/03/03

Great stuff, thanks for the info Tony.

 

Kind regards

 

Leon

Kind regards

 

Leon

Deon Sachs's picture
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Leon Swart's picture
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lol information overload...thank you chaps seems I have lots to read up on, much appriciated. Ill review the site Deon, thanks. :)

 

L

Kind regards

 

Leon

Gareth's picture
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Joined: 2014/03/07

This is a very interesting topic, I also have recently returned to the world of biking and had to face the the big helmet choice challenge.

In the end I decided to go with the Spirit Helmet, it fits comefortably, meets safety standards and is priced competitively. Other positives is the inner sun visor and ratchet style buckles. I figured instead of stressing and possibly buying a expensive helmet that I might regret, I'd buy the Spirit Helmet and see how it goes.

The down side is the wind noise, although to be fair I dont really have anything to campare it to. Psycologcaly I hear wind noise and relate it to the cheaper helmet, but at least I know it didnt cost me a fortune. On the flip side, if I had bought a pricey name brand helmet, and still had wind noise, then I would be a little frustrated.

What helped me make my decision was when looking at the Sharp ratings it wasnt a given that the most expensive helmet was going to get a 5 star rating, infact there are some pretty budget helmets on there that score 5 star safety ratings. (I guess this is where the active and passive features come in to play).

Having said that, I'm not sure if I'll buy another one, infact at some stage I might start shopping for another brand that gives me more peace of mind regarding the safety performance. 

For me the Spirit helmet serves its puspose as a stopgap helmet that can always be used as a spare when I am ready to upgrade.

BMW F800GS Adventure

Charles Oertel's picture
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Joined: 2007/04/14

Your logic is good.  In any case you should be using ear plugs.  Seriously - I have hearing loss (not from biking) and it truly sucks.

What frustrates me when choosing a helmet is that you don't get much of a "try before you buy".  So you cannot test the wind noise for you on your bike compared to other helmets in the same conditions.  It all comes down to hearsay.  You are reliant on sites like Revzilla.com to analyze helmet reviews and go on other people's opinions.

Also, in the beginning you are likely to drop the helmet more often and scratch and damage it before you get your bike legs again.  So a cheap start is a good idea.

Committee: Webmaster / Ride Captain

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 After absorbing all the sensible advise mentioned above make your decision, YOU need to feel comfortable with your purchase. I have 2 of the more expensive helmets and they are noisy(it's the air turbulence off the screen) that is why I wear ear plugs by the Ear Iinstitute. What ever makes you sleep better at night, that's the keyCool 

Think before you ink.

Trust is the most valuable asset.

I have the rest of my life to get old.

Leon Swart's picture
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I've actualy had to open a bottle of red vino to allow for all these comments to sink in, all with extreemly valid points. Ok so pondering here its bacsically like a red wine deal, the cheapest can really be crude but do a job, the mid range is for the masses but has no appeal, and the expensive stuff does not nessessary suit your taste buds or offer a better romantic evening, but either way it wil all get you to the same point :)

Based on the above I'm going to go with two choices which will hopefully fulfil and suffice, two Spirit flip face with bluetooth, and two BMW open face for fun, (and incase we get invaded by aliens we will at least look the part with those Beemer hats).

Thanks for all the down to earth advice and not professing the usual if its more costly its deff better line.

Kind regards

Leon

 

Kind regards

 

Leon

Gareth's picture
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I must agree on the wind noise and ear plugs.... to be fair I think most of my wind noise is coming from the buffeting effect from the F800GSA screen. 

When I tested the Wunderlicht screen extender I did notice there was a decrease in wind noise.

And I have a set of ear plugs sitting in the garage that I need to teat out I just keep forgetting - I think I'll take them out right now and put them next to my helmet Laughing

BMW F800GS Adventure

SauRoN's picture
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Joined: 2016/07/14

The problem with Spirit is that there are just too many question marks.

 

There isn't any safety rating by any objective third party. There isn't any information available for this reason from anyone but themselves so you have to take their word for it.


Then there's also the case of just not very good construction and these helmets falling apart before even getting to crashing which will likely see you injured badly as opposed to a known brand helmet for not that much more money.

I'm pretty sure it's a chinese rebrand and not locally manufacturered at all.

 

Personally I recommend Bell as the safest but reasonably priced option to people.

StanH's picture
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I am using a Spirit  flip face helmet which I bought almost 2 years ago.  I had the same problem at the time of buying all the kit and a helmet.  If you want to buy "the brand" then you are going a deep hole in your wallet.

I do not have any issues with the helmet.  There is some noise when I get over 110km/h, but that is it.  The noise is somewhat due to the turbulence from my screen.

For me, buying all the kit is one go meant that I had to look at price.   Now that I am back riding again I can slowly start looking at my next set and take my time about it.  I can also stagger the buying of the kit so as not to kill my wallet.

 

Stan

A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

SauRoN's picture
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Joined: 2016/07/14

Yeah look a Spirit is still better than no helmet at all, not that we have that option from a legal standpoint in SA.

And I get that you don't want to spend unnecessarily for a diminishing return.

Which is why I recommend Bell as a reasonable price compromise while having super start safety ratings.

Shark also have a few more reasonable price options, but having gone through that trauma and spending a couple of extra grand to have a Shoei instead after months of fighting I wouldn't touch them again.

The Bell I briefly tested was nice, but didn't have a sun visor.

Granted I would struggle to fork out for a Shoei outright now, but at the time I had the Shark for just about six months before they finally issued a refund so it felt like I was paying "only R2000" for it.

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It also irks me that a helmet is so expensive and the recommended life span is 5 years

hd
hd's picture
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Joined: 2007/06/18

I wanted a flip face helmet too. Tried them all on. The sad part is you cannot test drive a helmet. Loved the Shoei, but the price! Then eventually settled on the Spirit flip up. Granted its cheaper, but for the price of the Shoei I got a helmet, set of new tyres and a full service for my baby. Riding with the Spirit was ok, noisy at speed, visor kept on dropping down. Earplugs compulsory with this helmet - but you can't beat the price. Discovered they have a factory showroom in Montagu Gardens - that's nice.

But then discovered the Caberg Tourmax flip up helmet. Slightly more expensive, but much better overall. It also have a peak that a miss from my older adv helmet. Bought it at Motorcycle World in Parow (must say these guys give good service and very good prices). Caberg gets very good ratings overseas very popular in Europe. Italian made. My 2 cents.

 

 

SauRoN's picture
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Joined: 2016/07/14

Quite sure Donford wouldn't mind you taking a helmet for a spin if you were a serious buyer.

 

Assuming of course the floor model is your size and they don't need to break out a new one. But then how would they sell you a helmet anyway if you couldn't try on a floor model.

 

Whether you test ride it or buy it and bring it back a week later is ultimately going to be the same problem for them.

zebra's picture
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Joined: 2008/03/28

we stock the CABERG range, and have stocked them for the past 6 months, or so.

Quality product, with all the necessary safety certification in place.

(All helmets are ECE22.5 and Sharp approved and all have removable and washable inner linings.)

http://www.dmd.co.za/index.php?route=product/search&search=caberg

Cheers

Chris & Team

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