A retro full-face helmet to match your retro racer

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Too pretty to risk crashing in an open face, but don’t want to wear a helmet that makes you look like the Rossi-Fetish Ranger? Right now, there’s not really any other options; you wear a futuristic-looking full-face or you risk squishing your face in a Davida or something similar. Chad Hodge, a recent design graduate, envisions a third way. His Bullitt helmet combines retro bubble visor looks with modern protection.

“The idea for Bullitt Helmets came about when I was looking for a new full face helmet and noticed that almost all modern full face helmets on the market are styled to match a sport bike aesthetic, especially the top helmets available,” Chad told us. “Even though there are so many vintage motorcycles still on the road today, there are no full face helmets that match these bikes, so many of these riders are choosing to wear a modern, vintage styled open face, which aren’t as safe. Bullitt Helmets are designed to have all the features and comforts of a modern helmet but maintaining a pure look from days past. Riders of vintage machines now no longer need to choose between safety and style.”

Questioning the need for a full-face if all you’re planing to do is ride across the Williamsburg bridge to show off your skinny jeans? Data shows that 35 percent of crashes in which a motorcycle helmet is damaged result in a major impact to the chin area.

Chad’s gone further than simply realizing a classic shape in modern materials, he’s also found a way to visually resolve modern function like ventilation and Bluetooth speaker controls with the retro looks. Vents are cleverly disguised as visor snaps while iPod-like speaker controls are concealed within the visor hinge.

The retro proportions are highlighted by extremely nice details. Chrome piping runs around the helmet’s base and defines the visor aperture. A leather tab conceals a magnetic visor snap. The interior is positively luxurious and made from leather and a breathable anti-microbial fabric.

Come to think of it, it’s surprising that something similar isn’t already on the market. Instead of focussing on consumers, modern helmets seem instead focussed on solutions needed for racing. Chad hopes he can drum up enough interest to get the Bullitt prototyped and maybe even find a helmet maker interested in producing it.

Coroflot via Bubble Visor

  • amsterdam

    Fantastisch!

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    Looks like an old diving suit helmet. I’d have to see it on somebody in vintage leathers on an old 70s Ducati or something to tell properly. Not a lot of historical photos of people in helmets like this (anybody got some links?)

  • HammSammich

    Brilliant design! About a year ago, I was seriously considering a Davida or similar 3/4 retro-helmet, because my full-faced helmet looks a bit anachronistic on my Bonnie. A high side in January, in which I landed on my chin bar cured me of that desire. Something like this would be a great helmet without much compromise. If it could be produced to maintain this aesthetic while meeting USDOT and perhaps Snell 2010 standards, I would probably make this my next helmet, even at a premium over comparable modern-style helmets.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I like it. I would have Deathspray paint it with black and white flames.

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    I’d buy the Japanese rising sun helmet in a heartbeat.

  • Rydre

    I totally agree with the philosophy. Modern helmets are all cookie cutter you-can-change-the-sprinkles-on-top-but-not-the-flavor knock off of one another. Would love to find a wider variety of full face to choose from.

  • Bald Shaun

    I want!

  • SockMonkey

    On the “Holy-Shit-Is-That-Ugly” scale, that’s a solid 10. Seriously, you’d put that thing on your head..?

    • s0crates82

      yup.

  • wwalkersd

    Looks to me like the solution for those who want to look like “Bender” on Futurama. All it needs is an antenna on the top.

    • -TB-

      Or a member of Daft Punk

      • The Lawyer

        Agreed on Bender. Just get it in silver.

  • WoosterSauce

    I can finally look like a gay spaceman!!!!!!

    AWWWWWW YEAH!

    • WoosterSauce

      Seriously though, that rising sun helmet is pretty cool.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk UrbanRider

    Congratulations Chad, you are spot on with your assessment of the market. There is a gap in the market here. We have many customers who ride retro styled motorcycles who are crying out for something like this.

    We have asked Davida to produce a retro full face for some time. I now have it on very good authority a helmet not dis-similar from this design will be on the market in Spring 2011 although not from Davida but another major manufacturer.

    By my understanding, the reason nothing has come onto the market like this before is down to the safety standards. For this helmet to sell it has to be near the external shell dimensions of the 60s and 70s helmets it apes. To get such a helmet through the full face standard requires high tech and high cost materials and a high development cost. So a manufacturer has to spend more money developing such a helmet for a niche market (compared with racing/touring) and the SRP will be high to the material cost.

    I think the fine commercial balance of these factors has meant nothing has come to market until what I know is coming in 2011 ;)

    Good luck with the helmet Chad, if nothing else it will get you a top product design job I’m sure.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk UrbanRider

    PS Remember the Dammtrax Akira?

    • 85gripen

      Is that one DOT-certified?

      • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk UrbanRider

        No, to my knowledge it has no certification at all.

  • SPEKTRE76

    Great I can look like a used condom while I ride!

  • wetworx

    they sell similar helmets in japan…

    • 85gripen

      But they are not DOT-certified and they provide very little actual protection.

  • http://tcmechwars.com Rocketboy

    “I’d have to see it on somebody in vintage leathers on an old 70s Ducati or something ”

    Here you go:
    http://s458.photobucket.com/albums/qq307/Robotb0y/?action=view&current=HelmVintage3.jpg

  • http://www.vitessemoto.com John Mollanger

    Super good. The vintage / open face craze often seems to blur the industry’s vision and responsibility when it comes to actually protecting people’s jawbones…
    This shows adequate function can work hand in hand with proper, trendy styling.

  • 85gripen

    I like it. Make sure it’s Snell 2010 certified and has excellent ventilation (I live in SoCal) and you can sign me up! Oh, and some acceptable-sounding stereo speakers (for Bluetooth music played at reasonable volume) is something completely absent from the market.