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Helmet retailers in Boston/NE?

Discussion in 'New England' started by dan360, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Hi guys,

    I'm in the process of finding other car related things to keep myself excited during the off season (other than my love of Skiing).

    To this end, I'm looking to buy a new helmet ready for track days in the spring/summer. My existing helmet is old and scratched and the lining a) is smelly and b) is coming apart - not good safety stuff methinks.

    So I'm going to buy a new one and have it painted with some cool graphics of some sort. Likely to involve at least 1 pracining horse :)

    But I was wondering if anyone has a good suggestion of a retailer in or near Boston where I can go and try on helmets. I don't really want to buy one of the web since fit is so important.

    Any suggestions?

    Dan
     
  2. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Dan,
    Most motorcycle shops have a good selection of excellent helmets (Arai, Shoei, etc). I know that the Kawasaki shop in North Reading has a great selection, so I assume that any of the motorcycle shops in the city will have them too. Just be sure to go to a place that sell crotch rockets, not Harleys. The selection of "helmets" in a Harley shop is amusing (bowls not large enough for cereal, with a strap).

    Birdman
     
  3. racerx

    racerx Guest

    Nov 23, 2003
    879
    Birdman is right, any rice rocket shop would have a great selection of full face helmets. If your travels bring you near windsor UK there was a great F1 shop there that had what looked like the real thing. Does anyone use 2 way radio features on the track?
    T
     
  4. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Thanks for the starting tips - I'd rather buy a full car-race type helmet in plain white rather than a "crotch rocket" :) colored helmet.

    Perhaps I should actually do some research myself here as well :)
     
  5. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    dan - there is (or at least was) a place in burlington (at least that's where i think it was) where i got my helmet. big bmw shop. they sold all the accoutrements and performance parts as well.

    damn if i can remember the name though, nor their name or address. can't find them online or via the online yellow pages listings.

    let me do some more digging.....

    doody.
     
  6. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    found it! quicken to the rescue ;)

    http://www.hmsmotorsport.com/home.php

    they're in peabody. right where 95 and 128 split.

    good people. not the cheapest prices but not unreasonable either.

    doody.
     
  7. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    <i>Mr</i> Doody,

    Thanks - perfect, exactly what I wanted, I was just doing an exhaustive web search - neither Beiffe or Bell have a dealer list on their sites! Duh!

    AND they're convenient to me as well.

    Thanks very much!

    Dan

    Hmm - was trying to italicize the "Mr" since I have very much enjoyed your avatar. The word "pal" has particular resonance in england as a word meaning friend, but hardly ever used in that context. What are you looking at pal...

    Can't seem to get it to work.
     
  8. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    not html - ubb code. it's the hard brackets not greater-than-less-than

    the things between the P and the backslash on your keyboard

    [
    ]

    italic

    that's MISTER Doody to you, pal!

    doody.
     
  9. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Aha by george I think I've got it!

    Thanks Mr Doody!

    Dan
     
  10. TCM

    TCM Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
    552
    Tyngsborough, MA
    Ahh, Doody beat me to it. I also suggest HMS Motorsport if you are interested in a Bieffe or Bell. They have a decent selection of products although they can be a bit pricey.
     
  11. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    I'll third that recommendation. Joe Marko, proprietor of HMS Motorsports, is a good guy and current president of the BMW CCA. He's very active with track events. And HMS is actually only 20 minutes from your house!

    Be sure to buy a Snell SA2000 helmet. Bell and Bieffe both are fine. I bought a Bell at the beginning of the season (from another dealer; I had to custom order it to fit my XXXL noggin). It's white, and I like it. You can spend $$$$$ for kevlar, which is lighter, but does not offer any particular extra protection.

    As for graphics, there is a guy in Burlington that does custom helmet painting. Or, do as Mr. Cheap (me) did - I used a couple of the resin-impregnated Cavallino stickers and stuck them on the sides. Looks nifty enough, and cost me $20. :)

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  12. ChrisfromRI

    ChrisfromRI Karting

    Jan 28, 2003
    230
    Foster, RI
    Full Name:
    Chris F
    Dan,

    I bought a G-Force full face "hybrid" with a sun visor from HMS via mail order, and an open face Simpson with a sun visor from PegasusAutoRacing.com via mail order. Both fit great by just providing the circumference of my head to each of these companies.

    I like the open face helmet in hard roofed cars and I use the full faced helmet in open roofed cars (although for SCCA Solo2 I can get away with the more comfortable open faced helmet in the open car). I don't like face shields as I find they tend to either fog or make my glasses fog. You know what I mean if you have gone skiing wearing glasses under goggles. However, I really like the built-in sun visors on sunny days -- and even in the open car in light rain (top down).

    BTW, the G-Force helmet included free mounts for their neck restraint system -- which I should get around to buying for my open car which already has an SCCA approved roll bar and harnesses.

    Make sure whatever you buy is rated at least "SA2000" or you will be turned away from some events -- an "M" (motorcycle) or "DOT" rating is insufficient for most track events.

    Plain white is the coolest, most comfortable color on hot sunny days. Always leave it white side up on the seat when you're not wearing it -- the black side up will get it too warm. A few stickers can personalize it without adding much solar loading. I put may name on it with a P-Touch label so I can tell it apart from others.

    Kind Regards, Chris
     
  13. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Thanks for the seconding/thirding/fourthing of the recommendations. Looks like a ringing endorsement - I'll pass on the good wishes that the team gave.

    Chris - my current helmet is black and I've observed the heat issues therein, however vanity is likely to quickly overwhelm me and I'm set on the painting idea.

    My latest idea is to go for rosso scuderia with a stripe to match the new car - I think that'll be suitably absurd. Obviously I'll need at least one Cavallino on there for effect.

    Thinking that the bell m2 or M2 pro is a good way to go since its got the larger visor for my glasses to fit nicely.

    Will report back on plans over the winter.

    Dan
     
  14. Capt

    Capt Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    221
    North of Boston
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Dan,

    I will also recommend the guys at HMS, Joes especially is great to do business with (now that I think about it last time I was up there I actually brought the 355)

    I have a friend in North Reading that does custom helmet painting very reasonably. He is a body man by trade that loves custom paint and graphics. Check out the flames he painted on my Cutlass:
    http://home.comcast.net/~mcalvo1/cutlass.html

    -Michael
     
  15. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Thanks Michael,

    Do you have contact details for your guy in N. Reading? Someone local is always nice on these things - is he the sort of guy that does airbrush kind of Cavallino things?

    Nice cutlass - I'm just gonna have to invite myself over in the spring to come and take a look @ the "project cars"!

    Happy Holidays!

    Dan
     
  16. Capt

    Capt Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    221
    North of Boston
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Dan,

    You and your family are welcome up to Camp Calvo anytime.

    After three months off, I just landed at job at GeoTrust. Once I recover a little, the plan is to Dyno the latest engine combination for the Cutlass, install it and take the car to the track and see how she does.

    My friend's name is Dave Bosbach and he works at Dan's auto body in North Reading (right off of 28). In fact it is where I sent Birdman to have Dave do some body work for him. I don't have his cell phone # handy but I will post it when I get home. Basically he is a frustrated artist who does body work. I've seen some of the helmets he has done and they are amazing (not to mention the motorcycle tanks etc.)

    -Michael
     
  17. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Dave B. is SUPER AWESOME! I don't know about his airbrush skills, but the repair he did to my dented 308 actually looks better than it looked before I dented it. The guy is a magician! AND he charged me less than he quoted. A great guy all around.

    Michael, congrats on the new job man! Thank GOD you found one because otherwise you would end up like me being Mr. Mom! ;-)

    Birdman
     
  18. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Oops, I forgot the number:

    Dave Bosbach (978) 973-4802 and don't forget to tell him that Michael sent you. You'll get extra special treatment!

    Dave works for Dan's Autobody but "moonlights" on the side, so this is his cell phone number and you will get a much better price going directly to Dave than to the shop he works for.

    Birdman
     
  19. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Thanks again guys - just about to leave my office now with rather too much Xmas shopping left to do!

    Michael, Congrats on the new job. Looks like a good techie company.

    Happy hols

    Dan
     
  20. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Just to let everyone know that HMS were very helpful - their sales guy was good and patient as I tried on a whole series of different helmets.

    I also got to chat with Joe the owner and shall now be looking out for his souped up Mini as he lives in Marblehead also.

    I don't have the same XXL issues as Dennis, but it was interesting that the helmet that I'd identified as first choice on the web - the Bell M2-pro was a very poor fit for my head shape. The size that was comfortable was too big and loose and the one that fit was very uncomfortable on my forehead.

    So I ended up with Bieffe predator, a nice simple design that fits my noggin nice and snug. It also has the benefit of a removable interior. Good since I'm partly binning my old helmet due to its disintigrating and smelly interior.

    So now its on to designing the paint scheme.

    Dan
     
  21. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Aug 3, 2002
    6,061
    Southeast USA
    Full Name:
    Mike Charness
    You might check out www.helmet-painting.com

    I'd be pleased to help you with it.

    .
     

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