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Shoei Syncrotec Series

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      04.11.2008 11:22
      Very helpful



      If you ride daily, this or the RAID II is all the head gear you need.

      Just to confirm, this is a flip-up crash helmet or a "Approved Safety Helmet" as the government prefers us to say!

      In some ways there's little to say about this crash helmet, it's cheap, comfortable, quiet and it does work in the event of a 'typical' accident...having been a test dummy a few times, I'm living proof! I bought it for £200 at the Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace Bike Show, London, UK), plain black because I'm not going to pay extra just for a lavist paint job...what next, 'blinging' up the seat belt in your car? (please don't say you would!).

      The build quality is very Shoei, having abused this lid for 3/4 years it's only now that the chin-piece catches which hold it in the 'up' position, now fail. Bear in mind this lid REALLY has been used practically every day, so that's a daily minimum of 2 flip-up/flip-downs and normally 4-6. The seat-belt type of chin-strap is still going strong and there are no mechanical problems. It still surprises me that they're not allowed on the track, but I'm sure they have more statistics than I do! In conclusion this Shoei has BMW levels of quality, of course BMW make crash helmets too so...errr...I guess their quality is Volvo quality. I'm glad Volvo don't make lids or I'd be stuffed!

      It comes with the usual Crash Helmet vents which don't work at low speeds and might at high speeds...although at high speeds you're not going to be thinking, "is my front vent working?". I would say most crash helmet vents work to an extent, some work better than others but more often than not, they perform 10% of the job you'd like them to.

      A handy function also adopted by other lid makers is the visor lifting tab, sorry, without more thought there's few other ways of describing it! This plastic catch ensures the visor doesn't totally seal in the closed position and lets air in to clear the inside face of the visor. Hope that makes sense? It's a very handy function nonetheless, although a breath guard is a worthy investment...and if you buy the lid at a bike show they'll probably chuck one in for free.


      Hmm, an ominous sub-title! I have to say I'm very impressed, not only by the strength of what is effectively a weaker helmet (by design), but moreover the lack of damage to the outer shell after an accident. A slight paint chip and that's it. I've had two accidents in this lid, after the first I had it X-Ray'd at a bike show for free (why not) and it was confirmed to be fine. The second time I didn't risk it - cut the straps off and binned it...a sad day :-(

      The replacement?

      A Shoei Raid II (full-face). The reason? A little bit more peace & quiet and to cease looking like my biking Uncle :-D Seriously though, it's just cheaper and I bought it from Groombridges (near Healthfield, East Sussex) for £168.50! Groombridges is a good place for a bargain, but don't expect anything more! A case in point is that I spent the aformentioned amount, asked for some ear plugs too...and they were billed. It's like buying a new car and having to pay extra for tyre plug caps! The other reason for buying a full face is that I've been on the track this year and it's not entirely practical or safe to use a flip-up!

      Keep the rubber side down.

      SIDE REVIEW (of the design of a flip-up):

      Flip-up lids are generally associated with 'the mature rider', but I bought mine as I thought it would make bike instructing easier. It really is the best of both worlds, although if it was possible to put it on in the 'full' position, that would be nice. Really useful for road-side fuel/drink/smoke stops, one less thing to hold or take off AND you can keep a little bit drier to boot!

      A flip up is the best of both worlds, in hot weather you can wear it up (although in the UK this isn't technically legal) and of course when it rains...you get the idea. It makes touring in other countries a joy and because you don't know anyone, you don't care about having your squidged face on display. If you do this, never look "moody/cool" as this actually looks like grumpy and miserable, in turn you'll look like a twat! One thing I really liked doing was having a bottle of unnamed fizzy pop (coke) in a tank bag and riding along (at mid-speeds) and having a sip. Kit-Kats were a little more difficult, but still achievable.

      It's worth noting that flip-ups get quite a bit more wind noise than full-face lids and for long distance, ear plugs are recommended. It's worth knowing that it has been PROVED that riding a bike without ear protection, makes you deaf after about 5 years (dependant on average speed). So unless you want workmates creeping up on you and playing pranks, stick summit in your ears!


      Go to this website and see how safe your crash helmet really is: http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/ (it's a government website, so of course tells the truth...).

      The above website revealed shockingly that some of the bigger and more popular manufacturers, weren't very good at making lids. More surprisingly was the 'lesser' manufacturers were better!

      NOTE: Always cut the straps off a crash helmet when you dispose of it - it ensures that no kid is going to take it out your bin and assume it'll save him in some way.


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