ADV helmet quandary


Active Member
Apr 8, 2018
New Brunswick, Canada
My setup was quiet-ish, I have a Shoei Neotec and Arai Vector 2. Wearing foam earplugs looked after the noise for most short haul jaunts. It wasn't until my first SS1000 on the Tenere that noise became an issue. What isn't a bother at hour two can become a deal breaker on hour 17. For my height, and whatever aftermarket windshield is on my '13, the definitive answer was a set of Bose QC20 headphones. The things are frickin' magic. The most annoying sound became the high frequency rustle from the stuff in my side cases. It was usually there, but just overpowered by everything else.

I added the qualifier "for my height and setup", as I moved over to a riding buddy's Africa Twin, and the popping noise generated my the earphones made them unusable. They are very setup specific. They are magic, but try before you buy...
Aug 13, 2019
Great thread. For some reason I have a head that just can’t seem to be comfortable in an Arab helmet and I have tried so many.

I have a large head. I wear a 7 5/8- 7 3/4 fitted baseball cap. I would describe my head as having longer sides that seem flat but rounded along the front, top but I have a flat spot at the crown if the head, probably from spending a good deal of time as an infant, laying on my back staring at mobiles, or something.

Shoei fit quite well and I can wear HJC easily in XXL. I just can’t seem to get the right fit in most other brands. Shoei are pricy, HJC can be noisy, or uncomfortable and are heavy.

I haven’t put any 6+ hour days on a bike in a while, but when I did, it was with the Shoei.

Now I have the XXL HJC, but I’m looking at other options. I like a full face helmet. I’ve never seen a fold up helmet that felt quality as noise does big my after riding for awhile.

I wear earplugs most often even before I served in the Army. Finding good plugs that fit your unique ears is also important. I did ride with noise canceling Bluetooth ear buds for a decent part of the day. Noise cancellation is great, but truly is conditional on a very tight fit if the ear bud or when wearing over the ear headphones, which on a motorcycle is not an option. However for riding in a jet for long periods the over the ear headphones are worth their weight in gold.

I do have a set of Bluetooth Apple ear pods coming, but I doubt they will have any noise canceling abilities at all. I just happened to have a gift card to the Apple Store for $165 and couldn’t think of anything else to use the card on.

Eventually I’ll find a great helmet that suits my awkward melon. Living in the relatively cool NE gives me plenty of options. Maybe I’ll convert over to the ADV style if helmet.

The Kona looks like an inexpensive way to try out the style. As far as protection goes, and I worked trauma shift as a paramedic, so I can attest to this, but your helmet is basically there for the initial hit, and then stabilization and all abrasion and secondary protection is just bonus. Most times, the helmet stays on in conjunction with a C-collar to help avoid any more spinal issues until in a hospital where it can be removed with a oscillating bone saw, just like removing a cast, and then have the padding/lining cut with shears.

The helmets touting carbon fiber/ Kevlar and such are fine for that secondary abrasion stuff, but having a shell that’s “too” hard, can work against you in an impact as when a helmet cracks, that give is energy not transferred to your brain and spine. Having a great fit with good padding is much more important than the more hardened shell as it slows the head’s impact just enough to reduce the brain slamming into the skull by a fraction that could prove the difference between concussion and a more serious if not deadly brain contusion that ruptured both gray and white matter.

But if the shell is strengthened and lightened, then it goes that people are much more likely to put their helmets on, even when just riding up and down the street in front of one’s house or on the light duty dirt trail near one’s backyard.

So I’ll probably give the Kona a try, if I can’t find something that fits better. There is a Helmet warehouse retailer within a 40 minute one way ride.

If I could find that magic Arai, and keep it under $750, I would buy it. But most helmets are so much better than helmets from the turn of the century.

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