Tooblekain's gf has had some pretty gnarly crashes in her Bells & her noggin still seems to work pretty well. I think he might've been wearing a Bell too when he crashes this year but his leg took most of the impact. PM him about it.
LOL...she's built quite the collection of Stars. On a couple crashes she actually did lose consciousness. The really bad one where she was in the hospital for a week she was out for 4 minutes and clearly concussed when I was with her and suffered short term amnesia where she didn't remember events from the past couple days.
The other crash where she highsided and broke her wrist she was out for about 30 seconds and concussed for a little bit but by the time I saw her i the pits she was fully cognizant.
Her last crash was a pretty fast one at Turn 13 at Chuckwalla (aka The Bowl) and helmet looked pretty thrashed and she did not lose consciousness.
A couple days ago she and I actually tried helmets on and to my surprise she has been wearing the wrong size Star the whole time. She has been wearing S when she should actually be wearing XS!!! Maybe if she were wearing the right size it may have helped with the loss of consciousness crashes.
For my crash I was wearing a Shoei X-11. After this season I had plans to replace it because it was already 5 years old with a lot of track use...but the crash retired it nonetheless. My helmet showed a lot of damage on the surface. I fortunately (or unfortunately) did not lose consciousness (though I kinda wish I did because I was in serious pain) but being fully conscious I was able to tell ALS on the scene my injuries. I clearly remember the crash and the first initial force my left shoulder/upper back to the big brute of the force followed by my head, left leg, and then my right leg compound fracturing where the bone actually pierced through my kangaroo leather suit....it was a bloody mess. The pool of blood is still on the track and the track owner said I can actually autograph it.
My next helmet I plan on getting is either a size Small Bell Star or a Medium Bell RS-1
(but back on topic)....
One thing you have to consider to is the force of the crash. At certain forces even the most top of the line helmet will not stop you from losing consciousness.
The most expensive gear will always be cheaper than a hospital bill. So something to keep in mind. However if budget is an issue, then do not cheap out on things that protect your head, hands, and feet. If price is an issue, than meticulously study/research the product and its features and benefits