"why pay 500 for a helmet?"
hmm, sounded like me when i was looking at first...exactly like me. after visiting my bike on the show room on a few occasions i mosey'd on over to the walls and walls full of helmets. i had been doing my research online and was quite famalier with helmets and their price ranges. of course..i wanted to go cheaper. they had a number of nice looking HJC's on the racks. tried some on..wow, pretty comfy! so thats what i planned on. when reading what some pay for arai and shoei helmets...im like who needs all that!? these are only 69-200. so the day i picked my bike up from the dealer, the guy who had been with me the entire way through was helping me pick out a helmet. i told him i was just gonna get a cheapie. he said "thats fine, but before you do, i want you to try a few others". so im like ok..he's just bein nice, ill try em on and go with my cheapie. so having that in my head...he shows me a shark. wow, ALOT more comfortable. and at the last he said...i want you to try an arai, just so youll know what one feels like. im like no way...i know those things are hella expensive! i try anyways...PURE HEAVEN. my entire face was padded and cushioned. fit like a glove and i felt very safe. locking face, etc etc etc. so just for the hell of it, i go back and try on a hjc..i can barley stand the feeling of getting it on. felt like an old bicycle helmet from wal-mart compared to the arai. padding was like 1/3 the thickness, fit was crap no matter what size i tried in comparison, and felt VERY heavy. he told he i could chose the shark of the arai for 300...needless to say i left that afternoon with a black arai.
your not paying for saftey, your paying extra for comfort in padding, fit, lighter weight, cooling, etc. mine is super quiet and i feel like im wearing a pillow wrapped around my face. thast how well the padding and fitment is. it fits like a helmet should...not lose for your head to go rattling around inside.