Bell Custom 500: classic open-face helmet returns

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Based on the company’s original 1954 “500″ helmet, this new Bell Custom 500 adds modern protection and graphics to the classic shape. The shell is fiberglass, creating an average weight of 880g and the helmets are DOT certified. We’re impressed with the level of detail — check out the chrome trim and quilted liner — Bell is able to offer for such a low price ($120-140) and the overall shape and proportions are spot on.
We’re kind of disappointed that the only solid colors on offer are
orange and silver, but as far as graphics go, these are pretty cool.

Bell commissioned the graphics from a handful of artists: “Bloodshot”
was penned by Jimbo Phillips; “Speed Soul” was done by Roland Sands;
“Stunt” comes from Chris Wood, the owner of AirTrix.

These helmets are new to the market, but you’ve probably seen them
before. Drake McElroy and Roland were wearing them in their insane
Smoking Seagulls jump shoot
, in fact, Bell commissioned that shoot for
its catalog.


  • kiya

    Thanks, you just cost me $130, bought the orange flake one.

  • Mark D

    Man, can’t beat that price for city riding!

  • Mangina

    The “Eyeballs,” “Ed Hardey,” and pinstriped models are quite douche-tastic but the solids and flakes are hot balls!

  • contender

    ‘Knew’ to the market?

  • Megatron Jones

    New rider in the market for a new helmet. I’ve been looking at getting a Roof Boxer, but i like the open-faced style, too. The sticking point so far has been the jacked up colors I see most of the time, but damn I’m feeling those solids…

  • vic

    hmm i think i am going to get that speed soul for bicycle riding,look way nicer than those vented tour du france wannabe

  • Emmet

    Yep, they just sent out their latest shipment to distributors. I’ve been waiting three weeks, but now I’ve got no money-spent it on a Stebel airhorn and Trimax motorcycle lock…

    Silver flake looks good, but black would have been better. Also the quilted linder isn’t removable, but overall excellent quality for that low price! And DOT approved, unlike the other retro color flake styles out there, like the Biltwell.

  • eric

    these are nice, especially for the price, but if I ever buy an open-face helmet, it’s going to be a davida. Better looks, better graphics, but of course, MUCH higher price. Bell needs to take a look at some of Davida’s graphic & color options; simple stripes & checkered patterns, etc. would be great additions to their design choices.

  • BobG

    The best thing is that they are sizing them up to 4x. That way they’ll fit over my five do-rags, my sixteen ear piercings that extra long wallet chain I just bought with no problem.

  • jcfjr

    I’ve got two of these. The quality is beautiful, the mediums run a little big. Looking for a light tinted bubble shield.

    • gregorbean

      That brings up a good question, with the button fixtures on top, is Bell marketing different bubble visors for these?

    • Grant Ray

      If you’re in SoCal, you can go to Garage Company. Yoshi has them in several colors. Or call and see if he has what you want.

  • HammSammich

    Very good looking helmets, but after high-siding this winter and landing on my chin bar, I’m sticking with Full face helmets, thank you very much.

  • meatsmasher

    Cool graphics. Zero protection.

  • Chris

    Bell Retro 3 Snap shields available September 1st for these Custom 500′s

  • froryde

    Pretty cool, but for the ultimate open face, I vote for Ruby helmets:

    Carbon fiber shell, Nappa lamb leather lining – scrumptious!

    • Urban Rider

      For 1 Ruby helmet you can have 5 of the Bell or 3 Davida. Nuff said.

  • froryde
  • flatten stomach

    There is obviously a lot to grasp about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.