Since I ambled back into motorcycling about 2 years ago there has been a need to update my gear as so much of it is almost 20 years old and/or clapped out. New boots, gloves and jackets have been procured to add some protection quality to areas where it was obviously lacking.
This unstoppable safety criteria met the immovable economic reality when it came to my skid lid though. Well, my little used Arai Quantum e stilled looked a million bucks even if the comfort lining was disintegrating, covering my noggin and shoulders with a sort of sticky, black dandruff. Nope, once I had it cleaned up and smelling fresh again I figured that it would do for the time being.
But.....Chillertek and I have been planning a motorcycling trip to New Zealand for next February and I knew in my heart that I would need a new helmet for that trip. His post regarding his helmet replacement project saw me revisiting the fact that my helmet was made last century! 1998 in fact was the year of manufacture and even doubling the conservative 5 year life recommended by the manufacturer saw me 5 years past replacement date. Yep, I reckon I got my money's worth there! Here it is below in June 2001 sitting atop my new R1 on a ride across the Fleurieu Peninsula . Both bike and helmet were new.
After much internet searching, telephone discussion and the fact that my brother got off his backside and bought a new helmet (I'll let him tell you about that) I felt ready to bite the bullet.
So I was off to the only bike shop that is open on a Sunday here in Queensland, the new Motobarn accessory warehouse. I had a firm...ish idea of what I wanted to spend and a couple of helmets in mind. These being a Shoei and a Shark.
I had issues with both though. The Shoei was blowing the budget and while the Shark was in the ballpark, it just didn't fit right and have that quality feel. That is when the salesman asked if I had seen the Kabuto range? "No, I didn't need a small tractor, I needed a helmet" I replied. No, Kabuto, not Kubota! "Oh, well no, clearly I have not", was my response. He proceeded to show me the range and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! They looked good, were very light, all the moving parts had a quality feel to them and it fit just as snugly and comfortably as a helmet well over twice it's price!!
I know that "you get what you pay for" in life and many say that if I don't spend a gazillion dollars on a lid then I don't value my safety, but if you want to push that line you would be driving a Volvo anyway, not riding a motorcycle.
Yes, there is a point where the marketing bullshit walks and safety meets cost. I "feel" that this helmet will balance that equation out but obviously really won't know until I actually get to try it out on the bike. I will keep you informed as time progresses, meanwhile, say hi to the Kabuto Aeroblade III.
Quality feeling vent actions, pinlock ready and inexpensive replacement visors. And VERY light.
Hopefully many miles of hassle free comfort lie ahead.