Saturday, August 25, 2012

When you can't keep a lid on it

For over 6 months now at least once a week Dan and I have mused over helmets. It’s partly an excuse to chin wag and partly because….well we both needed new lids.
My Shoei XR1100 has been my trusty companion for about 50,000km now. Over the past four years its seen snow, ice, hail, heat and many a flying insect. Mine has weathered well with no major scratches. It fell off my seat once landing on the open visor. It broke the visor mount plates (replaced for about $30) but didn’t mark the helmet. I’m still running the original clear visor plus an iridium tinted visor I bought after a month of ownership. Both visors are in good condition with minimal marks on the screens. Although both have lost their anti-fog qualities after so much cleaning. It’s never let me down.

The only issue is that 50,000km in all conditions takes its toll on a helmet. The strap is worn and faded showing signs of frey and the liners despite regular washes (ie riding in torrential rain) is starting to give off a hint of  'eau de steve'. I’ve swayed back and forth between dual sport helmets and proper full face jobs. I really like the DS form of a dirt bike style lid with a peak and visor but retaining the ability to ride with goggles. My issue is that in a Shoei I’m in between XL and XXL. The Shoei Hornet DS, Shoeis DS helmet offering is only available in XL. I’ve also tried on the other brands, some ok but most less than (most I can't even get over my head) the only DS helmet that came close was an Arai XD3, I say close because it just wasn’t quite there. I’d all but resigned to the fact that I’d have to either opt for another full faced helmet or or go with the Shoei hornet DS until it broke in some more.

Then last week Dan sent me a link to the new Arai XD4 (it was new in the States 6 months ago but they are only starting to filter through to AU now). Immediately I knew I had to try one. The XD4 has minor changes to the XD3, additional vents and a change in style of fit mainly so I was hopeful it might fit. Fast forward to yesterday at out local source of bike pr0n. Dan spots XD3’s on sale & Dan (being in the market for a new lid after his recent whoops) asked the saleswoman if they were clearing out XD3s in anticipation for when the XD4s came out. The response was straight up "they’re already here". I beat Dan to the XD4s selected an XXL Booom fits, job done.

 Dan Tried on an L then an XL and got his fit too. He asked if they could do a deal on two, which they did surprisingly well at, so here we are both with new Arai XD4s. Stay tuned for my review of the Arai XD4 Steve
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