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Helmet sizing and pads

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by lena, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. lena

    lena Staff Member

    Are helmet pads interchangeable between different sizes of the same brand? Or does it depend on a brand? If I bought a wrong size helmet, would just swapping the pads fix it?
  2. james1300

    james1300 Track School Dazed

    No. Buying the wrong size means you have the wrong fit.
    You should consider being fitted by someone who has been trained to fit helmets.
    Even some same brand helmets/ same size can fit differantly.

  3. C~Style

    C~Style Retired

    I would say yes and no. There are a few different brands that keep the shell size the same for small to large and only change the pads. I am pretty sure the higher end stuff, like shoei actually changes the shell size for each size of helmet.

    I recently bought my wife a helmet and the head fit perfect but the cheeks had huge gaps. We were able just to purchase new cheek pads, and it is a perfect fit.
  4. depends on the brand.

    Icon, for example, uses a combination of cheek-pads and "comfort liners" (the part that pads the back/top of the head) to achieve varied fits for a shell size. On most of their helmets the cheek pads are interchangable between all the helmet sizes, but the "comfort liner" is not. So say you bought a Large helmet and it's just a bit to big, not enough to warrant going down to a full medium, but enough that after break in it wont be as tight as needed. You can get the "medium" size cheek-pads and "voila" you have a perfect fit.

    So it depends on how it doesn't fit and by how much.
  5. Yeah, what he said....

    I went to a helmet seminar type of thing and the guy said Arai and Shoei have specific shells for each different size, whereas others add padding to make the helmet fit a smaller size. He also said if you buy the correct size helmet and the cheek pads don't work for you, you can switch them out. But that still doesn't address the actual shell being the wrong size...
  6. lena

    lena Staff Member

    That's what I am finding out - depends on the brand. This is a Shark and I don't know if they change the shell sizes too or just the padding. Anyone knows? Frankly, I can't even remember when I bought my previous helmet four years ago, how tight it was and now it has compressed so much it's practically too loose.
  7. Search their site for the technical support. You should find a file for your helmet there that lists all the removable/replaceable parts for your helmet, including cheek-pads. Look here
  8. Google produced this: Shark offers the RSi in two shell sizes to fit heads from size XS to XL. It's addressing the RSi model; I'm not sure if that's true for all models but it seems likely...
  9. I'm not exactly sure how often a shell should be changed but I would say 5yr max.
    With my helmet I have noticed that just by washing pads it gets tight again but I'm thinking of changing all of the liners.

    ps.Scorpion also uses same shell for many sizes.
  10. lena

    lena Staff Member

    I checked the Tech Support and looks like they list 4 different cheek pads sizes but no info how they fit. I'd call them but they are in France, wrong time of the day. I tried calling one of local resellers but couldn't get through.

    Cyndy, if that's true about two shell sizes, then I think swapping the cheek pads would do the trick for me. But I do want to talk to someone and confirm first.

    Sweet! Thanks. :mrgreen:
  11. Call your local dealer and have them do the work FOR you. A good shop works closely with the manufacturer's rep. And they may have pads in stock for you to try. or even a helmet in their shop you can borrow the pads out of for fitting. They should have done that in the first place. When i bought my last dirt helmet, i needed different cheek pads. the parts lady had me try a few different ones on. I left happy:)
  12. lena

    lena Staff Member

    I wish! In the entire Portland I found one shop that carries Sharks. Everyone else stopped carrying them. And the one shop only had one helmet and in one size. Which I tried and that's what I thought would help me make a decision on the size, I bought it on line and now I am afraid it's too small.

  13. I don't know how Shark does it, but in general the smaller the "size" of the cheek-pad the thicker it is.

    ie: A medium cheek-pad will be, say, 12mm thick; and the XL Cheek pad will be, say 8mm thick.
  14. Awww. that sucks. Hard to believe there aren't more dealers around you.
  15. Yeah, the seminar I went to was sponsored by RMC and the speaker was the rep for various manufacturers. He wasn't biased toward any one specific brand, which helped a lot in that he was objective in his guidance. He measured me and gave me what he thought would be the best fit (different models carried by each brand) I had a few options and ultimately made my decision based on that comparison. It certainly helped take the guessing out of it having him do the legwork!

    You know, when I was trying on the various helmets I thought they were too small too, despite the rep's determination of my correct size. He said when you put the helmet on, you should not be able to turn it side to side. Of course we all know that the cheek pads are broken in over time, but he said if that's the only concern they can easily be switched out. So it sounds like you're on the right track in looking for different pads. Best wishes!

    Or you could just go around like me, with chipmunk cheeks developing new wrinkles with every ride.... Haha!!
  16. When I was a salesman of such things a few years ago I discovered that some brands could be custom fit by changing out pads. For example: If a customer tried a helmet that fit well on the top of his head, but the cheek pieces were too tight, I could install cheek pieces from the next size larger helmet. This works well with helmet brands that use the same shell size over a range of head sizes. I do not have any experience with Shark, however.
  17. lena

    lena Staff Member

    Chipmunk cheeks, exactly! crackup: That's what I have right now. I can't figure out if they will break in enough or if I should get the larger pads.

    Well, I did finally get a hold of one dealer and he confirmed that the cheek pads are interchangeable between certain sizes. So that's what I think I am gonna do, except they are on back order.

    I actually learned something! I didn't know the shells were the same size except for those few high end brands. It's great to know you can custom fit it a little bit. I have to say that if I knew a certain brand made only one size shell for all of their helmets though - I wouldn't buy it. It defies the safety purpose of having a well fitted helmet. The fattest cheek pads in a large shell are not gonna give me the same protection as the right size shell for my brain.
  18. If your helmet fits small, there are a few things to consider.

    Is the crown of the helmet correct, and the cheeks too snug or loose? If so, then the cheekpad route is the simple solution, generally speaking.

    Pressure on your temples? Sell the helmet and get something else.

    If it's just a bit snug, you need to wear it a bit for it to break in. My old and new Arai Corsairs are the same size, but my new one is a lot more snug. It gets better with every use.

    As far as shell size, Arai and Shoei do use the same sized shell for multiple sizes in some cases. The newer Snell 2010 standard may change this... not sure.

    For advice talk to Erica at Motocorsa. It's likely she will know what works and what doesn't. If she's not sure, see if you can get an email address for Kat (who works for Dainese now afaik). Kat will definitely know the specifics of the brands which Motorcorsa has sold.
  19. My MSF instructor (I don't trust military MSF instructors btw) told me 2 years max, after that the internal crap starts breaking down. Like he buys himself a new Arai every two years... Pshh.. :roll:
  20. There's shell size, foam size and pad size. Don't confuse them. There might be only two shell sizes, and various final helmet sizes that you see on the label are the result of different foam sizes (imagine two same size eggs having different sized whites). This is not something you can change. Cheek pads, yes you can change that and most big brands will offer various thickness cheek pads. Maybe the liner. But not the shell and foam.

    From my experience, helmet should fit pretty well both in basic size and in head shape to begin with. You can try to push hot spots with a spoon and change cheek pads but you absolutely have to start with a shell/foam that is quite close to the right fit.

    Maybe people with more experience can comment more.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
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