Lack of different shell sizes makes almost every helmet totally suck
I ordered my first helmet online. I tried to look for one that wouldn't be too much of a mushroom or bubble. I got a HJC IS-2. Unfortunately it looks like a giant bubble and I hate it.
I think the main reason all these helmets are so terrible is not because of the polystyrene layer for DOT compliance. It is because of the lack of multiple shell sizes. They blames the bulkiness on DOT compliance. I think they use DOT compliance as an excuse to make a half-assed product.
They use the same shells for many sizes. Some helmets are literally one shell size for every single marked size the helmet is offered.
A friend and I went to six different places in Charleston, SC to search for non-mushroom/space balls DOT helmets.Three of the places were listed as dealers for Daytona Helmets, which we specifically wanted to check out. However, none had a single Daytona helmet in stock. The closest we came was a Daytona Helmets Display Rack holding helmets from other brands.
Virtually every single helmet is a big bubble. In some case we could take a small (or even extra small) and hold it up to a XL and they would be the same shell, but the small would have triple the padding.
Most places don't even have any mirrors anywhere. They don't want you to look at yourself with the helmet on until you get home.
Daytona has four styles that they bill as "the smallest, thinnest, lowest profile DOT approved helmets ever made." The key to this claim is three of these designs have a different shell size for every two marked sizes. The fourth is a different shell size for every three marked shell sizes.
a lot of stuff I examined was one shell size for everything or only two different shell sizes.
The only helmets we found that we liked were Torq's Route 66 3/4 (Vintage Style Crash Helmets). These seemed superior to the same style helmets from Bell, Bitwell, Fulmer, and Cycle Gear's house brands. The funny thing is we found these at a Victory/Indian dealership. They had a shit load of them with Japanese Rising Sun flags on them that were half price. Three different versions. We had been joking about getting t-shirts and patches with Japanese Rising Sun flags since we both have Japanese bikes. Theoretically you could buy one of the half price ones and repaint it too.
Even then Torc Route 66 only uses two different shell sizes for all their marked sizes. It goes XS-M is one shell size, and L-2X is one shell size. Which is not great, but still better than a lot of stuff using only one shell size.
Some of the German Stalhelm style motorcycle helmets are the biggest joke of all. I found ones that have the polystyrene and the padding coming all the way down to lip. It literally transforms your head into a giant mushroom. Most are not even designed to fit like a military helmet.
I decided to take a risk and ordered a Daytona helmet on their website. I'll see how it turns out.