Five years ago I got rear ended at an intersection and got catapulted over the bars and onto the road … luckily there was nothing coming. Other than doing about $5,000 worth of damage to the bike, I ended up with some hero marks on my leathers from a bit of tarmac surfing and a helmet needing to be replaced.
At the time I questioned whether I needed to replace my Arai with another $700+ helmet as there were lots of other good cheaper helmets on the market that should be just as good. And save me some money. So I walked out of the bike shop with a Shark vision R helmet which had a number of nice features.
I remember riding out of town a couple weeks after buying it and commenting to a traveling companion that we must be riding into a really stiff headwind as I was getting a lot of pressure on the helmet causing my neck to get quite sore. But there was no headwind. After that I took my new Shark and old Arai out for a back to back comparison. Actually that’s not fair – there was no comparison. It was night and day! The Arai was just so much nicer to ride with and didn’t create any of the drag that I experienced with the Shark. Next week I went in and bought a new Arai Vector 2.
So my plan of saving money ended up costing me over $300 and a new helmet to sit on the shelf to collect dust.
Fast forward to today and we are heading overseas in a couple of weeks which will include over a week on a bike so I’ve been tossing up which helmet to take with me. I was leaning towards the Shark as I could potentially ditch it if I ran out of room coming home. As it’s been a few years since I’ve worn the Shark I took it out over the weekend on our ride to see whether it was really that bad, and within 30 minutes I remembered why it sits on the shelf and doesn’t get used. After a short 250km ride I couldn’t wait to get it off and this morning my neck is still stiff and sore. That’s in contrast to the Arai that I can wear all day everyday. So it looks like the Arai is going on a plane ride.
An old Bell helmet advertisement once stated that – “If you have a $10 head buy a $10 helmet”.
A quick caveat – my neck is a bit fragile … something about running into cars and hitting the ground too many times I suspect