Feb 11, 2008

Mailbag #17: I have a good helmet, and a bad one...

Sparx Hornet S-07Just dropped my helmet :( have a dent on it now. Planning to use it for commutes, and buy a new one for trips. Have a budget of Rs 2000. I guess I can only get an AGV in that price, right? Any advice?
HD


My advice is to make a will. But before I explain that rather macabre piece of advice, let me give you a little background. You already know how a helmet is constructed. Now, if a helmet were to fall, say off the seat of your bike with no one in it, usually the damage will be minimal. Since there is nothing inside to compress the EPS liner, the helmet should be all right. Let us say, still useable, but retires a year early. However, if the fall was bad enough to dent the shell, then the dent itself will have either broken or compressed the EPS. That's not good. From here on out, that helmet is just a souvenir. That's part one.

Part two is the fact that I've seen your Vemar lid. And frankly, it isn't in minty shape. There are scratches all over it, the visor isn't all that clear either. So in any case, you should be thinking about replacing it soon. The question of differentiating the risk in a commute and on a long ride doesn't actually arise. Most accidents, whether you like it or not, are urban phenomena. You're far more likely to have a big one five km from your home/office that 300 km from the nearest dhaba. So the only reason to have a better lid on a longer ride is either comfort (since you will in it for a longer stretch of time) or fashion. Which is it?

Okay, enough sarcasm. My friend, get a hammer and chisel and make hole in the top the helmet – if that's what you need to see to throw it away. If you're planning to store it as memorabilia, remember to use loads of shrink wrap to pack the lid. Otherwise the foam will stink, and spiders like to live inside them.

About the budget, live a little. Stretch it just a bit. You should be able to snag a Sparx for Rs 2500 onwards. They're fit-finish and comfort levels are far, far superior to the AGV Pacific. The price includes a spare visor, the interiors are removable, its a comfortable helmet and it meets ECE 22.05, which is tighter than ISI. If you have trouble stretching the budget, try thinking of it this way. It's for your head. You get only one in a lifetime. Without it, you're no use to anyone. Again, I suggest you upgrade to a better helmet. If you don't want to, of course, you still have the AGV option. It won't compare in comfort or finish or design to the Sparx, but its a solid lid.

Whatever you end up buying, wear it whenever you ride. Stop thinking of it as optional in all situations, and don't give yourself the silly option of an inferior lid on one kind of ride and a better one for some other. Any half-serious crash will cost way, way more than the money you 'splurge' on your helmet. And it will feel even worse if you were wearing a lid you knew was inferior at the time, when a perfectly good one was wasting away on a shelf at home. Which might have saved you all the trouble.

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7 comments:

Hrishi said...

I get the point :)

A few more points, which i missed in the original comment...
The helmet fell from head height.. not just off the bike, and on a stone. That caused the dent.

My commute is 3-4 kms with speeds of 30kmph. Also, most of the scratches on the visor happen in everyday usage.. these are my reasons for even considering to use the vemar for commutes.

But sometimes, it takes a dis-passionate third person approach to realize the truth. :)

2500 is a fair price.. :) not like the usual 10-17k prices featured in some of the posts.

Thanks a lot for the advice rearset.

Now the 60$ question is, where do i find Sparx in bby?

rearset said...

Dispassionate? Moi? B-)

Sparx is on sale at every Vega Distributor there is. Failing which, call Zubin at +91-9820325593

Hrishi said...

Thanks again... will do the needful soon.

Cheers.

snapper said...

110$ helmet equals 4k in INR...
not 2.5 k...

or is my calculation off...

rearset said...

$110 is the US street price. May or may not be Indian price, because the helmets are not coming into India via the US. Am given to understand that the price is design dependent, ranging from 2500 to 4000...

snapper said...

have bought a s 07 model for 4k ...

am dead sure they won't release it for less...(I'll sulk a lot if they do)

a week ago...saw the marketing price for proposed dealers(guess the pamphlets were picked up from auto expo 08) list of sparx and KBC at the dsg shop...
estimated prices are from 4.2k for sparx and 10k+ for KBC

let's wait and watch...

Cé$âr said...

Hi! Just went helmet shopping and came back with an AGV Pacific. needless to say, it's light years ahead of my till-now current Vega Formula HP, which is in a miserable condition.

Anyway, Sparx is available in Pune from 4500 onwards (I checked in Champion Sports), nowhere near Rs. 2500/- at PUNE at least.

Also DSG in Pune sell Daijiya helmets - might b pretty good but again starting from about 4 grand only.