I started out riding a Kawasaki KB100 and then a Bajaj Boxer. I was not very concerned about my safety back in those days (Read: I was an idiot). Most days I used to ride to college and back without a helmet. My dad brought an INDEX helmet and it had really good graphics. That was my first helmet.
It was something similar to this.
The helmet was too large for my head, and not safe at all. But I did not know better.
- Looked good
- Not a quality helmet
- Too big for my head
- Was very noisy
The next helmet was when I got my Pulsar 220, I got a Studds Chrome helmet with it.
- I got it for free
- Was very light
- Not Safe at all in comparison to my later helmets
- It was the correct fit and it was better than my previous helmet.
After a couple of months, while searching through xBhp forums I got to know about the Vega Boolean dual visor helmet. It was around 1700 INR and it was a lot of money for a helmet in a middle-class family. But after some blackmailing and tantrums, my parents got me that. It was a proper fit and a good helmet.
- Safer in comparison to the previous helmets
- Dual Visor
- Still not safe enough
I was totally ignorant about most other helmets and its availability in India. I suspect that this is the same with most people at that period of time although it has changed recently. After going for multiple xBhp meets, I got to know about LS2, HJC and other brands.
LS2 was a coveted brand at that time for me and in 2012 April I got the LS2 piston head model. It was my first proper helmet and I just loved it.
- ECE Certification and thus safe
- Light weight
- Visor scratched easily and removing and putting it back was a bit hard
A new motorcycle shop opened at my hometown and they had this really cool collection of premium helmets. This led to my next upgrade the HJC CL-16 Shock helmet in October 2013. This was chosen after some research on the internet and I got a really good deal on it. It was SNELL and DOT certifications. It also had a pin-lock visor to prevent fogging. I just loved it. The downside of it was that it was heavier than my previous LS2. I had to get used to it.
- Internationally acclaimed brand and model
- SNELL certification (pretty safe)
- Pin lock visor so no fogging up of visor
- Double D locking mechanism (Much better than the ratchet mechanism in the event of a crash)
- A bit heavy
- Wind noise was more
I was really happy with my HJC and was not looking for another helmet but on one of my visits I saw the LS2 FF323 Yonny Hernandez Replica. It was the MotoGP inspired replica. I was lighter and had a large visor too. I loved it and a couple of months later in 2015, I bought it. The helmet was sleek, sharp and looked amazing. It also had a quick release tag that would allow paramedics to remove the cheek pads in the event of an accident.
It was lighter and pressed against my cheeks better than the HJC. It was good. But a few weeks later, the forward vents came off slowly. It looked like the glue had given way. This should not happen in a quality high end helmet from LS2. Other than that, I am really happy with the helmet.
- Light weight
- ECE Certified
- Looks great
- Wind-noise is much more than I expected
- Build quality at the forward vents
- It was harder to put on the double D in comparison to my HJC
Helmet care tips.
- When wearing a helmet, it is almost guaranteed that you will sweat. So always use a balaclava to absorb the sweat. It keeps the helmet from stinking. Believe me, removing the liner and cleaning it, then waiting for it to dry is going to take a long time. A balaclava is like 200 INR and having a couple of them will help absorb the sweat and also keep your helmet looking like new.
- Never drop your helmet. I have seen people just keep the helmet on their motorcycles of on their rear-view mirrors. That might cause the helmet to fall down and compress the EPS lining which will affect its integrity. If you drop a helmet or it has been in a tumble, replace it immediately.
- Always wipe your helmet’s visor. At least once in a couple of days with a soft paper tower and a liquid that is neutral to the visor (I use hand sanitizer). Scratches on the visor are horrible during night time. The light spreads along the cracks you will not be able to see anything. Putting up the visor is a solution but then all the bugs splatter across your face.
- Never use a tinted visor at night. It is better to use a clear visor and sunglasses or two visors and swap them out.
If you are from India and looking out for a helmet, I suggest not to get a cheap helmet. Those are mostly flimsy and unsafe. Spend a bit more a get a good proper helmet. I was ignorant at the beginning, and have moved on. I see safety gear as an investment and hence spend more on them.
Most images except the HJC are sourced from google. Copyright to their original owners.