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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother was a died in wool SHOEI guy, and sometime ARAI. I always had AGV and BELL helmets, and more recently have loved Icon. I think Icons are the best blend of aesthetics, features, protection, and value. Right now I have my AGV K3 in black, and an ICON Alliance Rubatone.





I had an ICON Airframe Parahuman, but it was a size too big so I gave it away. I think the AGV will be a backup, and the ICON will be a passenger helemt. Going to spring for a new helmet soon. I like to get good stuff a lot, but have tempered that down a bit in recent years. I don't always have to get the best, and I will definitely not drop $1,399 on a CF AGV.

My brother would recommend the SHOEI RF-1200, which has a long pedigree, and is tried and true, and has a huge base of "adherents" and "practitioners." I have a long oval head, so the BELL's and ICON's fit me great along with AGVs. THe RF-1200 and XF-1400s are expensive. I usually go a few years with a helmet. Some swear it off after a drop. in a 4-season area of the country, the temp changes, high use, etc does wear on it. I believe the integrity is still good though way beyond the way conservative tolerance limit of helmet replacement guidelines, which benefit the manufacturer for obvious reasons.

Anyway, $400 would be ideal, and would like a mix of CF, and am willing to go to $600. Therefore I have settled on a few models to chose from. I was wondering if anyone had an experiences with these new models. My last 3 have been 1 AGV, and 2 ICONs, so I am leaning on the BELL STAR, which is totally new from ground up, and the best value and fully featured. SO many awesome graphics too.

First, is the ICON AIRFRAME PRO CARBON (Full CF for $600, which is pricey, but a good value considering comps) but very severe posture.


Choice 2 is another ICON. Just a step below. The ICON AIRFRAME PRO which has a a composite shell of fiberglass, CF, etc as opposed to fully CF AIRFRAME PRO CARBON above. Same awesome feature set, set. ICON has created another 2 set of winners at a great price point. $375 for solids and $400 for graphics for the AIRFRAME PRO helmets


I absolutely love the BELL STAR family. The RACE STAR too, but at $799, it is more predicated on the track which I am not going to do at this time. Love the "FLEX IMPACT LINER" which is a flexing initial liner for low impact crashes. I dig the STAR "sub-families": BELL STAR PACE (1st pic) and BELL STAR SPECTER (2nd). Same features, just different graphics. The BELL STAR is like the AIRFRAME PRO in that it has a Carbon Fiber layer, but the shell is a composite unlike the fully CF shell of the ICON AIRFRAME PRO CARBON or BELL RACE STAR. at $499, it's priced more than the composite ICON, which it has a similar feature set to, but also closer in features to the more expensive ICON AIRFRAME PRO CARBON sans fully CF shell.






Yeah, the SHOEI RF-1200 and SHOEI XF-14 helmets, are a consideration, and again, are incredible helmets. Some of the best if not best out there. But they're more for round heads, not big noggin's like I got. I love ICONs for the features, looks, certifications, and value. I love the BELLs for their features, and graphics, and safety. I'd give AGV and SCORPION for honorable mentions here, but have settled on those three helmets. ICON AIRFRAME PRO CARBON, ICON AIRFRAME PRO, or BELL STAR helmets for my next helmets.

I am leaning toward the BELL STAR. Anyone bought one of these bad boys recently? Would love to hear your experiences! But, the ICON AIRFRAME PRO CARBON is a close #2 . I really dig the yellow/white/carbon BELL STAR though. Will look perfect if/when I get the MDF Pumpkin Yellow Decal kit for my Raven R3!
 

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I love my rs1 with the photochromatic lens. Much quieter than my old icon was, and comfortable even after 20 hours on the bike. I was sooo close to pulling the trigger on the star when it was time to replace but wound up just getting another rs1. I think it is one of the best value helmets out there. Paid 199 for it on clearance which is unreal for a helmet of that quality.
 

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You can get a Bell star from STG for under $400 on close out. These are older models when the Star was Bell's top of the line. I hate that they changed their line up. It's a little confusing now.

I'm a die hard Shoei fan. However the 1100 series didn't fit me for squat. They seemed to go back to their roots with the RF1200 though so I would like to pick one up for a back up.

My brother is a die hard Arai. He has more of a round head so that's what fits him best. My women is the same way. Arai fit her the best after trying on many brands.

Proper fitment is the key.
 

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I have the older generation of the Bell Star. I love the fit for my Shoei style head. (intermediate oval). I tried the new style base model Bell as the Flex liner helmets are still not shipping. I do have the Flex Moto-9 dirt helmet and LOVE it. The base model 2016 Bell Star doesn't have the plush liner like my Moto-9. It feels cheaper and not as soft or comfortable. I passed on it. I tried on the Shoei X-14 and bought it. I use it for my racing helmet primarily. The thing is very comfortable and LITE! When buying a helmet I rate them on fit and then lightness. You feel heavy helmets on those all day rides. The Shoei stays put on my head with no movement at speed. That's due to its fit but also being comfortable at a size that is really snug. Loose helmets don't work. Make sure you get one that fits snug.
 

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Take this with a grain of salt because you stated you have a long oval head, but for my intermediate oval head, the AGV K3/K5 fits just as well as the RF-1200, but the RF-1200 feels like a more refined helmet compared to the other two which is why I went with the RF-1200.

The RF-1200 is definitely on the more expensive side, but I think the engineering that went into it are worth the money. Its venting options and internal liner makes it very comfortable even when external temperatures swing from 50F to 80F (the Bay Area has wildly varying temps), and the wind noise is seriously cut down. I still wear earplugs when going on the highway because I feel like I'd still get tinnitus in the long run despite the helmet design, but there have been a few times where I've forgotten to put in ear plugs and the helmet makes the wind noise very bearable and not a nuisance. This wind noise reduction is a double-edged sword though because I had difficulty mounting my Sena since Shoei made everything so tight that it's still very hard to tuck those thin wires away. My favorite feature of the Shoei by far though is the Pinlock visor technology, which really works in preventing your visor from fogging up (no sprays or chemicals required), and my Shoei came with the Pinlock insert, which usually runs ~$30 new, so it's not something you need to buy separately. The cherry on top is the transitions visor I got for my Shoei, so no need to swap between visors for day/night driving.

BELL has both the Pinlock and the transitions for its Star family, and I've never been a fan of ICONs either because they are more conspicuous to me than Shoeis and BELLs, so my vote goes for the BELL. In fact, I've been considering the BELL Star as a secondary helmet option for a while.
 

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I am a Shoei X guy. Gone from X-11 to X-12 and just bought a X-14. My head shape is perfect for this model and is comfortable even if riding for hours. No wind whistling, lots of ventilation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback. I am leaning toward the ICON AIRFRAME PRO CARBON partly because they are explicitly sized for LONG OVAL huge noggins like mine and as full carbon fiber, it's super light and a great price point considering the features. However, my last 2 have been ICONs, albeit none of their top of the line carbon fiber or composite ones, and I wanted to switch it up.

I know the SHOEI RF-1200 is probably the most tried and true from a track record standpoint, and my brother would be screaming SHOEI at me. The new BELL's are "new from the ground up" which some people love, and others hate who loved the STAR CARBON predecessor lines. STG does have some awesome deals for the older BELL STARs-like 40% off, which is tempting.

Again, I have a long oval coconut, and my ICON predicated for LONG OVALs, and my AGV K3 predicated for INTERMEDIATE/ROUND OVALs, are the same size and both fit me equally well. That is, even though their sizes tend toward specific head shapes, they both fit me snugly, firmly and securely. All three of the prospective helmets-ICON AIRFRAME PRO, BELL STAR, AND SHOEI RF01200 are middle top of the line, and have different shell sizes instead of sizing through internals, and all have a composite CF, FG, etc (sans the ICON PRO CARBON). Basically, they are all excellent and comparable and will come down to fit, and looks really. One cannot go wrong with any of these choices methinks. Arai gets an honorable mention and SCORPIONs offer great value and features at their price point, but I am basically gunning for a bottom of the top of the line or top of the middle helmet, if you will and want basically the best road helmet, just below the top track helmets, which all three of these helmets fall into.

I am leaning toward this yellow/red/white/black BELL STAR.


I am thinking of getting the MDF Pumpkin Yellow Decal kit for my Raven R3, so this graphic theme would fit perfectly. However, I do like the orange and red ones, and the yellow/gray on the BELL STAR SPECTER series.

You cannot deny that both of these helmets would look liquid with the pumpkin yellow strobe decal kit! The colors aren't exact, but the "motif" is similar enough. I don't want it totally monochromatic. I have a hard enough time keeping my self from EVERYTHING being MURDERED out in ALL PITCH BLACK.



The BELL RACE STAR has a slightly better yellow/red/white/black graphic theme than its cheaper brethren the STAR above, but I do not think I can justify almost $800 on a helmet. But how sick are those graphics?!?!

 

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If you're a long oval shape, you should take a look at the Arai Signet-Q. Its specially shaped for long oval. Comfy, but just a little too long front to back for me.

I've also tried on the RF1200 and the new Bell Star and I preferred the RF1200. I love the new visor on the Bell Star, but the opening for your head is so snug it hurts my ears to get it on and off. Also, the RF1200 comes with a pinlock ready shield and the pinlock insert in the box, while Bell requires you to buy a different shield AND the insert separately. That's basically an extra $100 to make the new Bell Star comparable to the RF1200. Just something to consider when you're comparing value for the price. It really feels like Bell cheap'd out there.

And if you're curious why I didn't buy either, its because i ordered a Schuberth S2 from Revzilla to try out. If i don't like it, then i'll be deciding between the RF1200 and the GT-Air. This is going to be an upgrade from my current Bell Qualifier DLX.
 

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Seeing how you like yellow speed block.... This is my R1 with Project 46 2.0 AGV Carbon and my R3 racer with the Shoei X-14. Love the fit of the X-14. Plenty of room for my ears. The AGV's fit different than any other helmet I've owned. Lousy street helmet as the shield doesn't go open enough to get it out of you sight line. Fogs like crazy due to its snug fit. (There is a chin cut/recess out in the front. That's how close it fits to your face.) Looks great with the Anni-R1.

Time to sticker up the race bike. Looks too plain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
That's a beautiful R1 @ducatirdr. Love how Yamaha added the retro Yamaha yellow/black/white paint scheme to the R1/R6 line, along with the dead sexy matte gray. Also, @ducatirdr, you and @zdaman seem to be fans of the older Bell Star family. I dig the Shoei X-14 and RF-1200, especially the red/black Marquez ant graphic themed one, along with some of the brighter themed ones. I love the Icon Airframe Pro Halo Carbon helemt, but since my last 2 were Icon's, I am going to opt for something else. Will likely end up being a Shoei RF-1200/X-14 or a Bell Star, with the latter getting a slight nudge at this moment.

I am definitely thinking of doing the decal. If/when I get sick of it, I hope it doesn't become a total nightmare to remove. How resilient are the decals to weather/peeling/damage/sun bleaching, etc? Are the decals basically "clear coated" and do the accept wax for shine/protection or is the decal itself protected, per se?
 

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My .02.

My fiance has a RF1200. She loves it. When we looked for her a helmet I urged her to look not based on looks and, instead, based on what fit well and features offered. She went into it wanting an Arai and left with the Shoei.

I have a Nexx XR2 Carbon and love it to death. To put in perspective, my brother has a Bell Star Carbon and my helmet is quite noticeably lighter than his. Plus I don't have any sort of fog issues, haven't had any problems with the helmet, and it's not common!

My fiances starter helmet, a Icon Alliance Dark, had the quick change assembly break and Icon refused to warranty it claiming owner abuse. I like their Airframe helmet a lot but, after that customer service issue, I won't buy another helmet from them.
 

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That's a beautiful R1 @ducatirdr ....

I am definitely thinking of doing the decal. If/when I get sick of it, I hope it doesn't become a total nightmare to remove. How resilient are the decals to weather/peeling/damage/sun bleaching, etc? Are the decals basically "clear coated" and do the accept wax for shine/protection or is the decal itself protected, per se?
My 16 R1 is just decals. No clear coat either. Just plain yellow plastic with stick-on decals from the factory. I imagine over time they get sun damaged and will peel. I know that decal technology and wraps have come along way in the past 10 years. Having decals on my dirt bikes has taught me that prep (pre-cleaning plastic) goes a long way to having them stay stuck on and looking good for a long time.
 

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As long as you store your bike indoors and out of the sun you have nothing to worry about the decals.

I had a 2003 aprilia with a ton of factory decals and it looked mint after all the years and mileage that I put on it.
 
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